Open adoption is becoming the standard in the United States. There are over 15,000 infant adoptions in the United States each year, and according to the Huffington Post, more than half of those adoptions are “fully open.” That means both the adopting and biological families have knowledge of each other and maintain ongoing direct communication. Another 40% of those adoptions are partially open, with the adoption agency mediating the communication between the two families. Only about 5% of infant adoptions are closed, a huge change from a few decades ago when closed adoptions were the norm.

Many embryo adoptions are following this trend towards increasing openness as well. While anonymous embryo donations do happen, many couples are choosing an open adoption through an agency for their remaining embryos. This allows them the chance to help choose a family for their embryos and stay in contact as the child grows up. For adopting families, it gives them access to important medical information as the child gets older and a chance for their child to get to know their biological siblings in the future.

Agencies work hard to match donor and adopting families based on the amount of contact they wish to have in order to facilitate a good relationship in the future. Families are allowed and encouraged to set the amount and kind of contact they want to have with each other. While some families simply share photos once a year through their agency, other families may visit each other and take vacations together. With the amount of flexibility and the added benefits to all parties involved, the open adoption format is likely here to stay.

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