The idea of an open adoption may be a scary idea for adoptive families taking their first steps into the adoption process. Open adoption is where adoptive families and donor families stay in contact after the adoption is complete for the benefit of the adoptee. This contact could be as close as the biological family and adoptive family texting each other and spending holidays and birthdays together. It could also be that they send pictures and letters through the agency or another third-party mediator to each other. Or it could be somewhere in between. This all depends on the comfort level of both families and what they feel is beneficial to the adoptee as they grow up.

In the adoption world, when you are hearing about open adoption, you will often also hear about the adoption triad or triangle. For embryo adoption, the adoption triad consists of the donor or biological family, the adoptive family, and the adoptees. Open adoption impacts each part of the triad in a unique way.

Embryo Donors

With embryo adoption, the donor family has made the selfless decision to donate their remaining embryos to a family who is wanting to start or continue to grow their family through adoption. The donor family is able to find a family they connect with and give them a very precious gift. Having an open adoption with the adoptive family allows the donor family to have peace with their decision of who they chose to adopt their embryos. They are able to know how their genetic child or children are doing and not have to wonder. The donor family is also able to provide medical history to the adoptive family and having that openness would be beneficial if a medical issue comes up in the future for the adoptee.

Adoptive Family

The adoptive family can often be the most hesitant with the idea of having an open adoption. They may fear that it could turn into a co-parenting relationship or that the donor family would have too much influence on the child. However, having an open adoption does not mean that the donor family will be involved in every aspect of the child’s life. The adoptive family is able to set healthy boundaries with the donor family while still remaining open with them so the child is able to be connected to them in some way. There is also opportunity for the adoptive family to develop a relationship and friendship with the donor family, and that is supportive of everyone in the triad – especially to the child.


The child is the most important part of the adoption triad and can often be the driving force of how open they want the relationship to be. As an embryo and newborn, the child will not have a say in the level of openness, but as they grow up, they will begin to have more questions and become more curious. Having an open relationship with the donor family will allow the child to ask these questions and never have to wonder who they are or where they came from. This openness would also allow the child to be able to get to know their genetic siblings and have a relationship with them, if they choose. These positive relationships with the adoptee’s donor family and siblings does not take away the importance of and love they have for their adoptive family. Allowing them to have these relationships shows so much sacrifice and love on the adoptive parent’s part and they will be able to watch their adopted child or children grow and flourish.

To learn more information on open adoption through embryo adoption, visit