Research on Open Adoption
Three of the most thorough studies on open adoption were carried out by the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project and the California Long-Range Adoption Study. These studies, which took place over the period of two decades, had results that were almost identical in nature. The groups found that open adoptions almost universally have a positive effect on children versus those that are closed. The respondents to the studies who did not report a positive affect were simply neutral. There were no negative reactions in any capacity to open adoption.
One interesting finding that was consistent among all of these studies was that adoptive parents and children alike desired more, not less, contact with their biological parents. This became even more apparent as the children grew older. In all of these cases, the children displayed no negative feelings toward the birth parents, even those who did not have as much contact as the children would like.
Luckily, in all cases, the type of adoption did not seem to affect the relationship between adoptive parents and their children. Neither the children nor their parents felt any less connected to each other whether they had access to birth family or not. The key distinction between closed and open adoptions is the psychological health of the child.
Little research has been done on the effect of closed adoption on birth parents. However, those birth parents who have joined studies regarding open adoption also report high self-esteem and satisfaction with their choices. These studies, and many others like them, show that open adoption offers advantages that closed adoptions do not.