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When do you think Open Adoption actually began?

I see a continuous response here from an anon poster that continues to discredit certain first moms stories as not being worth listening to (much like Southern's question before mine) because of how long ago their adoption took place.

And I keep seeing the "20 to 30" years ago point brought up as firsts moms who really shouldn't be listened to because they weren't a part of open adoption.

Except that, my son will be 22 in December and his adoption was an open adoption that closed fire years later. Infact, when I first said there was no way I could go through with a closed adoption, I was presented with the "new" kind of adoption - open adoption - that was better for first moms and adoptees.

So now I'm curious how many people believe or originally believed that open adoption is a new concept when it actually was something offered to EMom's over twenty years ago?

Answer Question

Asked by bellacocco at 7:49 PM on Nov. 18, 2009 in Adoption

Level 1 (1 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I think I remember reading that it started happening more sometime in the 1980s. I say "more" because there have always been kinship adoptions (and maybe those between friends) that were open. Right now I'm not able to look through all of my books to find an exact year, though.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:13 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • I think saying those things is just a way to try to silence anyone who doesnt have a rosy picture of adoption to share.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:54 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • I'm not really sure when it began. DD's BMom is 20 and, from what I'm told, her parents (adoptive) hadn't even heard of open adoption when they brought her home. However, I have a friend whose oldest just turned 16 and his adoption is open. So I guess I just assumed late '80's/early '90's.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 10:58 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Mine was in 1986. I was told it was a "new kind". I would love it if someone would research it and find out. Mine was in California. It was presented to me. I didn't ask for it, didn't know to. But, I know what happened to me , and that my story was real.

    Answer by stillamom1213 at 1:39 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Sadly, I was told nothing about ANY options...adoption was not discussed, until the last 4 weeks. I wish someone would have told me there would be such a choice:( I was told that I would be recieving pics. until the age of 2 yrs. old. This never happened, even though I always made sure to put in a change of address when I moved...had to, because, I recieved Social Security from the death of my first husband. I did recieve a pic...4 weeks ago, and was so thrilled...even though it was 23 yrs late in really made me warm to have that photo. I am blessed to have gotten it. Blessings, C.J.

    Answer by ceejay1 at 9:56 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • My adoption happened 17 yrs ago, and to be honest "open" adoption wasn't something I was given any information about because I didn't go through an agency, however the adoptive parents told me that I could have letters and pictures and some day we would all reunite. When I had my children they talked about exchanging our children in the summer so they would know each other, so I was under the premise by their promises that I would never loose touch with my first born, even though he was raised by his adoptive parents. That was one of the reason I was okay with the adoption in the first place, just to have the door closed after he turned 12.
    His parents had spoken of how contact between us is better for the child, and had seen counselors, gone to workshops ect to learn more. Unfortunately they didn't follow through on their beliefs at that time (1992).

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 10:39 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • The agency we adopted our son through was established in the early '80s and was apparently one of the first to embrace open adoption. That's sync's up with your timeline as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • There have always been open adoptions. My great great grandmother and all her siblings were openly placed for adoption when their mother died. The various families who took in one or two children made sure that the siblings continued contact with each other. Makes for some interesting genealogy.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Open adoption is much more normal than all this secretive stuff.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:14 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • So is it safe to say then that the concept of open adoption we discuss in today's world is at least twenty-five years old and not a new or recent development, just one more commonly known and recognized today compared to over two decades ago?

    Answer by bellacocco at 3:36 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • 20 years ago, open adoption was very rare. Currently it is more than 99%. Because it existed doesnt mean it was as common as it is today.


    Answer by 2ndtimewish at 9:37 PM on Feb. 27, 2011

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