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A Precious Gift ARC encourages, supports, and advocates for open adoption.  We believe, in most cases, open adoption is beneficial to all members of the adoption triad:  the birthfamily, the adoptive family, and most importantly the adopted child.  It is important to learn about the problems of the closed adoption system and the benefits of today’s open adoptions.  We will help educate you on all aspects of open adoption and how it relates to birthfamilies, adoptive families, and the adopted child.

No two open adoption plans are the same because the people involved have unique needs and desires.  Most birthparents today request continued communication with adoptive parents after the placement of a child into the adoptive home.  Some birthparents opt for sharing letters and photos over the years as the child grows, either directly with the adoptive family or through the agency.  This is considered semi-open adoption. Other birthparents want fully open adoptions where the adoptive parents, child, and birthparents visit at different intervals throughout the child’s life.

It is important to remember that it is ultimately the birthparents who decide the type of open adoption they wish to participate in over the years with the adoptive parents.  The birthparents will choose adoptive parents who will agree to and fulfill the promises of their desired open adoption agreement. 

On October 27, 2010, Act 101 of 2010 was signed into law, which made several amendments to Pennsylvania’s Adoption Act.  The most significant change is that Pennsylvania now enforces open adoptions, or voluntary agreements for continuing contact or communication.  It is strongly encouraged by A Precious Gift ARC that both birthparents and adopting couples enter into a mutually agreed upon open adoption agreement with the focus being on what is in the best interests of the child being adopted.  

RECOMMENDED READING

THE OPEN-HEARTED WAY TO OPEN ADOPTION: HELPING YOUR CHILD GROW UP WHOLE, By Lori Holden and Crystal Hass

A complete guide for adoptive and birthfamilies – from making the decision through the child’s growing years.  This book covers common open adoption situations and how real families have navigated typical issues successfully.  Through their own stories and those of other families of open adoption, the authors review the secrets to success, the pitfalls and challenges, and the joys and triumphs. By putting the adopted child at the center, families can come to enjoy the benefits of open adoption and mitigate the challenges that may arise.

THE OPEN ADOPTION EXPERIENCE, Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roszia

A reassuring guide to the issues and concerns of adoptive and birth families through all stages of the open adoption relationship. This book covers the steps from initial preparation, through placement and the first year, to the challenges of adolescence. The Open Adoption Experience helps all involved in an open adoption to understand and nurture their relationship as it grows.

TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW, Sherrie Eldridge

This remarkable book offers an unparalleled window into the heart of the adopted child, giving voice to feelings that are often too difficult to express. In powerful, poignant essays, it highlights the Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. It also speaks to the unspoken concerns at the heart of every adoptive family, offering practical advice for addressing past issues, handling current crises, and ensuring a long, loving future for you and your children.