Open Adoption

Adoption in the Best Interest of the Child

Main Page Domestic Adoption Adoptee Information Planning to Place Planning to Adopt Adoption Reform


Recommendations for Adopting Parents
After you have studied all the issues below you may use the Adoption Agency Selection Checklist linked here. Selecting the agency is one of the most critical decisions you will make in the adoption process.

1) The Adoption of a "healthy anglo infant" within a year?

2) Why the statement that there are forty families waiting for every infant is wrong.

3) The Adopting Parent Outreach Program An Article

4) A Statement of Beliefs A formula for adoption quality - Jim Gritter

5) Infant Adoption Costs and Related Issues

6) Adopting Parent Networking - Visibility!  (Note: With the onset in 1999 of the "Baby Abandonment" legislation in Texas, and soon thereafter with similar "baby dump" bills passed in other states, the urgent need to make open adoption alternatives more visible is clear.  These networking recommendations can do much for saving the lives of children and eliminating the need for such legislation.  Please contact me if you are concerned about this tragic legislation and the negative affect it is having on the image of adoption alternatives. Bill Betzen - 7/20/00)

7) Good books on adoption.
These are available through Tapestry Books, as well as most book stores and libraries.

  • Adopting After Infertility, by Patricia Johnston
  • Adoption Without Fear, edited by Jim Gritter
  • The Open Adoption Experience, by Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roszia
8) Adoption and the Internet Revolution!

Special Notices: A basic adoption question has been answered by thousands of adopt adoptees.  Here are some of the answers collected by a web page that once existed called the Adoptee Internet Mailing List. Please see the hundreds of answers adoptees have given, and continue to give, to the question,
"What do you wish your adoptive parents had known?"

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Adoption of a "healthy anglo infant" is possible within a year

Families wanting to adopt, and well educated in adoption issues, are simply neither numerous enough, nor visible enough, in our local communities.

Most often, families can adopt within less than a year. The requirements for this success are not $20,000+ adoption fees. A family simply must dedicate themselves to mastering adoption issues, preparing the best home possible for their child, and making their plans to adopt well known within the community where they live. I make this statement after more than nine years in managing infant adoption programs. During these years I worked for two adoption agencies, one Lutheran and one Catholic. At the Lutheran agency, the Region that I managed increased infant placements 65%. Most recently, at Catholic Charities, the infant placements increased over 100% within 3 years.

How long does the adoption process take? The adoption home study should never take longer than 5 months unless the adopting family wants the process to go slower. Usually the home study can be completed much sooner. Once it is finished, and families began the networking process, over 90% of all families in recent years have receives placement within 17 months that I have worked with. The average wait for all families was 10 months. However, it is has not been wise to give out this number to adopting families. Even if the rate of placements does not change, there will still be over 45% of families who will wait longer than the 10 months that the "average" families wait. Therefore, I was more comfortable only volunteering the 90% number. Then less than 10% of families will wait longer than the 17 months, and there will be less frustration due to high expectations. It is also correct that all of the families waiting over the 17 months were waiting for an anglo infant. The longest I have had any family wait before placement over the past 6 years is 26 months.

Regarding the time taken before an adoption happens, it is recommended that a family exploring adoption ask the following questions of an agency being considered:

  • How long will it take from today, if we decide to select your agency, for our family to have our home study completed and to begin to network?
  • What was the average wait for an adoptive family in your system after completion of the home study and before placement over the past year? (Expect your wait to be longer!)
  • Within how many months do over 90% of your families receive placement?

Please go to the article on The Adopting Parent Outreach Program for more details as to how this growth in placements happened. Elements of this program are now being used by many adoption agencies in the US.

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Why the statement that there are forty families waiting for every child
is wrong

Please do not believe the often quoted statistic that there are 40 families waiting for every baby placed. That is not true unless you are talking of only the "healthy Anglo baby" being placed with NO adoption fee and NO home study needed. Once families are required to have any education about adoption, and a home study, the number of families wanting to adopt begins to go below 40 per child available. Once you begin to charge an adoption fee the number of families goes down further. As the adoption fee rises above $10,000 the number of families begins to go down rapidly. Once you move to the understanding of adoption issues required for a family to prefer a fully open adoption for their child, the number of families goes down even further. Once you realize that these families wanting a fully open adoption must become visible in their own communities, then the number of families with enough self confidence to be so visible goes down even further.

Now you have arrived at the reality of adoption in 1996. There are simply not enough fully open adoptive families visible in their communities to accept the number of children who would be available.

Less than 20% of young mothers with an unplanned pregnancy have ever heard of open adoption. Far too many only know of abortion or parenting as available alternatives. That is our fault. We must make fully open adoption alternatives more visible. While good open adoption agencies certainly need to invest in yellow page ads and other advertising, the fact remains that families wanting to adopt are the ones who can advertise themselves better than any agency can. A mother wanting to place an infant comes to an agency for a family. The family is the goal. She wants to give her child a family that she cannot herself provide at that time. That is why agencies need to be helping and supporting their families in a networking program within their own communities.

Please see more details in the section of these pages called The Adopting Parent Outreach Program.

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Adoption and the Internet Revolution!

Even with the current dangers on the Internet for people considering adoption, adoption practice will improve dramatically due to the fee exchange of information available here.

The free flow of information about adoption that is happening here every day is wonderful! But, some of the information is bad and designed to manipulate. Parents considering the possible placement of a child they are expecting need to be especially careful if they are trying to find an adopting family on the Internet. It can be done, but only VERY carefully. The same caution must be given adopting families. The dangers of the Internet when used for "matching" and helping adopting families find mothers considering placement will continue to be documented. Just be very careful. I think this is the greatest danger in the field of adoption on the Internet.

Following are some of the sources for good information on adoption on the Internet. However, web pages change rapidly and if anyone becomes aware of information on these pages that is less than ethical or accurate please let me know. I have attempted to avoid such adoption pages but that is always very difficult to do.

  1. Faces of Adoption: Americas Waiting Children
  2. Tapestry Books: Adoption Book Listing
  3. Texas Adoption Resource Exchange Children available for adoption in Texas through TDPRS.
  4. Adoptive Families The largest national magazine for adoptive families. 
  5. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute  These pages are some of the best on-line as to adoption research and practice.  There are thousands of recent research studies available through this site.
  6. The Child Welfare League of America is the oldest and largest national affiliation of adoption agencies in the world.  In January of 2000 they printed the most recent update of their adoption standards. These updated standards are a wonderful reinforcement of the rights of adopted children. 

It is impossible to keep up with the explosion of information that is happening on the Internet.  The bottom line is that a more free sharing of information about adoption has been good for adoption practice. 

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Tapestry Books: Your complete source for adoption related books since 1990.
Tapestry Books: Your complete source for adoption related books since 1990.
Main Page Domestic Adoption Adoptee Information Planning to Place Planning to Adopt Adoption Reform
Bill Betzen, LMSW (Emeritus), Webauthor
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