More and more often these days, couples and birth parents are opting for an “open” adoption (as opposed to the traditional “closed” one). In a closed adoption, the birth parents have no contact with the child after they are born. They leave the hospital with their adoptive parents and go on to live their lives. The birth parents are not given any updates, information, or photos of the child and will never have contact with them, as agreed with the adoptive parents. However, adoption trends have shifted over the years to more birth parents and adoptive parents choosing an open adoption. The details are worked out individually, but typically in an open adoption, the identities of the birth parents and adoptive parents are known and they are able to interact. The birth parents are able to choose the family they want to adopt their child, giving them an amount of control over who their child will be raised by. The adoptive parents are provided with medical information about the birth parents but also will benefit from learning more as the birth parents age. Adoptive and birth parents sometimes attend pregnancy events together, such as doctors visits and important milestones. Some adoptive parents are even welcomed in the delivery room. In addition, the birth parents do not have to immediately cut ties with their baby and the adoptive parents after birth. They can be included in their child’s life post-adoption in many different ways, from getting pictures and updates at certain milestones and in some instances are permitted to visit or continue contact as the child ages. This eases the grief felt by many birth parents after placing their child for adoption. Many families choose this option because it allows the child to understand the circumstances around his or her birth and all the people involved in it who care for him or her. It reduces potential abandonment issues and allows them to learn about their biological family and where they come from. The only struggle seems to lie in initially explaining the concept of an open adoption to a child, and the following blog has a great list of children’s books to help parents start the conversation.