Martin, D. M., Leve, L. D., Natsuaki, M. N., Neiderhiser, J. M., & Ge, X. (2011). Toward a greater understanding of openness: A report from the Early Growth and Development Study. National Council of Adoption’s Factbook V, 471–477.
Abstract: Over the last century, adoption practice has moved from only closed adoptions, with no information exchanged or contact between birth and adoptive families, toward availability of more open arrangements, with varying degrees of contact and information exchanged between birth and adoptive families. With these changes came the debate about the detrimental or beneficial effects of openness in adoption. Opponents of open adoption assert that all parties in the adoption will be adversely affected, with adoptive parents feeling insecure in their role as parents and birthparents being unable to “move on” with their lives. Proponents of open adoption assert that it helps adoptive parents assume the parent role by having permission to parent from their child’s birthparents. Birthparents are also thought to be better adjusted in open adoption because they know that the child is well, trust is built between birth and adoptive parents, and the decision to place has been validated. Existing studies, however, have not reached consensus; some studies found open adoption to be detrimental to mental health while others have found it to be beneficial. Given these conflicting results, further investigation is needed to clarify how openness affects birth and adoptive parents who have completed an adoption plan.