Open Adoption

Adoption in the Best Interest of the Child

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

History of

In March of 1996, after 23 years of working in child placement, 17 years working with micro-computers, and many months of planning,  I secured the domain name The original web site was developed with 6 months of full time work, before and after this date, spent writing the pages and putting them into HTML.

Originally it was hoped that a national organization of fully open adoption agencies would be formed following the Traverse City model of Values Based Open Adoption described best by Jim Gritter in his Statement of Beliefs.  That did not happen for a multitude of reasons, the major ones being the amount of work involved to create such an organization, and the fact that the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) by 2000 had embraced many of the values of fully open adoption. The adoption standards CWLA published that year gave us an event to celebrate. 

The Child Welfare League of America (, with over 1,100 members, is a wonderful organization we all should support. Large, well funded agencies who refuse to join CWLA need to be asked why they do not join. Evidence indicates that the main reasons include their lack of support for authentic open adoption. This and related actions by such agencies indicate they do not place children as their most important clients in spite of verbal statements they may make otherwise. (Note: many excellent agencies do not have funds available for such memberships as CWLA and struggle to balance their books while delivering excellent service.  They are truly dedicated to children and that dedication is often obvious, even without active CWLA membership.)

The urgent need for freely available information on how adoptions should be managed by birth parents, adopting parents, adoptees and adoption agencies continues. Hopefully this web site will continue to be one source for such information - unaffected by the tragic amounts of money that it appears are still somehow involved in the adoption process.

The secrecy of the closed adoption process continues to hide the apparently very large amounts of money changing hands.  How can a less than fully transparent accounting system for a licensed agency be in the best interest of the children involved? Why is current accounting information not posted on the agencies web sites?  Most folks would be bored by it, and few would look at it, but it would help to keep the adoption process more respectable.  Yes, adoption takes money, but the amount of money involved, and what it goes for, should never be a secret from anyone.  Why keep it a secret?

If an adoption agency helps make it's owners multi-millionaires what is happening?  Is the true focus of agency unplanned pregnancy services only relinquishment and placement?  Is the focus to help make adopting parents feel desperate so that the high fees they are asked to pay will be paid without question?

These pages will continue to support a more gentle, honest, and open adoption process wherein secrets are few and love for the children and families is common. We owe that to the children we are honored to serve.

Who is Bill Betzen? 

While I have a resume on this web site I can state more simply that I worked 17 years for the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services in Dallas investigating child abuse, removing abused children from their homes, and placing children in safe homes while working with their families to make a more safe and secure home available for them to return to. For 10 of those years I supervised the Night and Weekend Investigations Unit. Then for 10 years I managed Lutheran and Catholic agencies in Dallas supervising infant adoption and other social services. After one wonderful year in Colorado Springs managing the Catholic Charities Adoption Program, I returned with my wife to be closer to our amazing grandchildren here in Dallas.  I have now been a middle school computer teacher in Dallas for the past 5 years and love the more relaxing pace in education as compared to the hectic pace of social work.

My wife and I are blessed with 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren, all of whom live here in Dallas except for one grandchild in Oregon. One son and his wife are planning to adopt a sibling group as they finish work on their Dallas home. These pages are a reflection of what I am advising them in their adoption process.

I own and manage 3 additional web sites:,, and which give you some idea of my interests outside adoption work. I also serve on the board of the Texas Coalition for Adoption Resources and Education working for legislative reform in Texas adoption law.  I help manage the web site.

 Finally, in the spirit of open adoption, if you google "Bill Betzen" you will probably find out more than you ever wanted to know about my work.  Here is a link to Google if you are curious.

There are many good sources for solid information on adoption that are developing. One of them is Adoptive Families Magazine.  It is strongly recommend for every adoptive family that they subscribe with the understanding that I never agree with everything in the magazine, but it is good to know where you stand on these adoption issues.  Adoptive Families Magazine has a wonderful listing of adoption myths they publish that mirrors what was placed on these pages in 1996. The truths of adoption do not change quickly.

I welcome your comments and questions, especially if any confusion remains after you have read these pages.  I hope these pages are a help in your search for accurate adoption information.

in the spirit of open adoption,

Bill Betzen LMSW (Emeritus)
July 23, 2005

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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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