History of Open Adoption

So today I was doing some more research and reading and came across this blog about the history of open adoption within the US. The article really helps to shed some light about how our society has started to come back to the origins of adoption in the US and how as always there are times when it is two steps forward and one step back.

Adoption started out as being more for practical reasons than for the desire/want of a child. In the beginning families that had too many children to feed or take care of would give one of their children to a family that had none or needed more because of their economic situation (think someone on a farm could always use more hands to help out whereas someone in the city might have a hard time raising more than a couple children). At this time it wasn’t a legal proceeding or handled by some third party that didn’t know what was going on but between families.

As time progressed though the government got more involved and started putting rules together to offer security to all those involved in the adoption to avoid any issues down the road. The laws made things more secure and more cut and dry in an adoption but it also fed to people’s fears around adoption. It made the subject of adoption and being adopted taboo where it was something to try and hide rather than just being a part of their history.

Luckily people like those that work at our current agency have gotten to know the parents (both adoptive and birth) and the adopted children and realized that what might have seemed like a good idea wasn’t really helping anyone involved. There was still the fears that people had and now there were doubts and questions in their minds; how is my child growing up are they well and taken care of, will the birth mother take away my child, who are my birth parents and where do I come from?

Although when we first took a step at open adoption it was scary, the more information we get and read the more secure we feel in our decision. I don’t want to adopt a child and have them afraid to tell me they wish they knew who gave birth to them because they have so many questions. I would rather know the person myself so I could thank them for all that they are giving to us and get to know them so that even if we lose touch with them (like sometimes happens) I can tell my child the story of them and where they come from.


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