Openness in adoption means that there is some type of ongoing relationship between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents, as well as with the child. New Life views openness in adoption as a lifelong journey. We see many benefits to having some type of openness in the relationship – benefits to the birth parents, to the adoptive parents, and especially to the adoptee. During the adoption process, New Life assists both birth parents and adoptive parents to think through their options for openness and to come up with a plan that works for each member of the adoption triad. New Life encourages both parties to put their openness agreement in writing through a cooperative or contact agreement.
Open adoption relationships grow and change over time, just like every relationship in life. New Life Post-Adoption services are available to assist birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees throughout this lifelong journey by offering resources, information, support, and if needed, mediation. Learn more about our ongoing support services.
Read more about New Life's philosophy on openness and what research says about open adoption. (pdf)
At New Life, birth parents and adoptive parents are encouraged to make a written agreement regarding the types of openness they desire in their adoption relationship.
A cooperative agreement is an agreement based on good faith and is completed in a meeting between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents prior to the birth parent giving consent in writing to the adoption. New Life is able to help birth parents and adoptive parents draft a cooperative agreement.
In Minnesota, birth parents and adoptive parents can also legalize their openness agreement if they desire. This is called a contact agreement and can be done with the help of an attorney. New Life does not draft contact agreements but will assist with the process.
Neither type of agreement changes an adoption after the adoption is final; however, the agreement is very important to the success of an open adoption relationship. In addition to drafting a cooperative agreement, New Life also assists birth parents and adoptive parents in honoring the agreements made between parties.