Talking about adoption - Watch adoptees and their families share their experiences with Barnardos open adoption over the past 30 years.
What is open adoption?
Open adoption means children have regular on-going contact with their birth family. The frequency of this contact depends on the age of the child and their relationship with their birth family, but for many is a contact order which on average would be visits 3-4 times per year. Other forms of contact include letters, photos and cards may also be used.
Why Open Adoption?
Australia has built a dysfunctional foster care system in which too many children never find a forever home. Too many moves to a succession of placements means ex-foster children are found in juvenile justice institutions, then later, adult prisons and mental health facilities. Unemployment is very high and homelessness frequent, as is alcoholism and substance abuse. Early pregnancy is common and often leads to generational deprivation.
Adoption disruption rarely occurs and stability of relationship within a secure family structure offers children the opportunity to develop and flourish. These children tell us they feel accepted in society and do not experience the social discrimination felt by many foster children Stability enhances their life options.
Why is Open Adoption best for children?
Open adoption gives these children the best opportunity for a secure future by meeting their attachment needs and giving them the opportunity to understand their past. This is essential to their development and ongoing construction of identity as a member of an adoptive family.