Just as American society has evolved from generation to generation, so too has adoption. Today, the facts are that open adoptions are much more common and more beneficial to all parties involved than are closed adoptions.
In the early 1930s, it was believed that adoption should be a discreet process and that secrecy should be maintained to protect not just the adoptive family, but also the birth parents. American society believed that a relationship between the child, the adoptive family and the birth parents would cause undue stress and emotion for everyone involved. These assumptions, presumed to be adoption facts, were furthered by the societal view that being an unwed mother was shameful. As a result many women quietly snuck away to maternity homes and placed their babies for adoption.
However, by the early 1980s, many came to realize that this secrecy, guilt and shame only led to resentment and depression. Not only did adopted children not have a sense of where they came from, but their adoptive parents lacked the resources to help them and couldn’t even access their adoption records. And women who had placed their babies for adoption were forced to live their lives hiding their adoption story and never knowing what happened to them. Everyone involved in adoption knew it was time for change.
As a result, adoption is very different today, which you will see in the following facts about open adoption: