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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Open Adoption with the Family and Your Child

How American Adoptions Encourages Open Adoption

Are you interested in getting to know the adoptive family? Do you want a relationship with your child?

At American Adoptions, this is all possible in an open adoption.

You may be familiar with the term “open adoption,” but what does it really mean? Open adoption basically refers to contact shared between you and the adoptive family, and it can look different in each adoption. For example, in some open adoptions, a woman may choose to receive pictures and letters of her child after the adoption; in other adoptions, a woman may choose to visit her child once a year.

You may request the following contact both before and after the adoption:

Before the Adoption

Conference Call – A phone call between you and the adoptive parents to help get to know each other better. Your Adoption Specialist will be on the phone call as well to offer support and comfort.

Email and Phone Number Exchange – You and the adoptive parents may email or call one another with updates and questions. Emails are popular because you may respond to them at your convenience.

Visits – Visits are an in-person meeting between you and the adoptive parents in your hometown. They will travel to you and usually meet you over lunch or dinner, where you can get to know each other even better.

After the Adoption

Pictures and Letters – Nearly all women choose to receive pictures and letters of their child for the first 18 years of his or her life.

Phone Calls/Skype – You may choose to have supervised phone calls or Skype sessions with your child, helping you stay involved in his or her life.

Social Media/Email – Stay connected with the adoptive family over the Internet. You will want to talk to your Adoption Specialist for how to regulate social media.

Visits – Visits are the least common form of contact, but there are many families who are open to them if you want this type of post-adoption relationship. In fact, all families who work with American Adoptions are ready to commit to at least one visit within the first five years after your adoption is completed, if that’s something you decide you want.


Because we work with so many adoptive families, we have plenty who are excited to share the types of contact that you are interested in — whether through an agency-mediated method or directly with you. Our agency encourages contact between you and the adoptive family, as we believe it leads to healthier adoptions and happier lives for everyone involved. Every prospective adoptive family we show you is ready for:

  • A pre-placement conference call that gives you the chance to ask any questions you have

  • Exchanging email addresses and phone numbers for direct communicate with you before and after placement

  • A personal meeting during your hospital stay and throughout the placement process

  • Sending pictures and letters directly to you or through our agency for the first 18 years after your adoption

  • An in-person meeting within the first five years of placement

To learn more about contact with the adoptive family and your child, contact an Adoption Specialist today at 1-800-ADOPTION or complete the following for free adoption information.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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