Changing agency practices toward openness in adoption

Susan M. Henney, Steven Onken, Ruth G. McRoy, Harold D. Grotevant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The impact of openness in adoption on private adoption agencies' practices and services was examined. In 1987-89 and 1993 staff from private agencies participated in structured interviews concerning their current practices regarding openness and the services offered by the agency. Over time, agencies tended to offer a greater range of openness options. Agency personnel reported that client demand, changes in agency philosophy, and competition from independent or private adoptions were among the most salient reasons for this change. Compelled to adopt new roles in response to openness, many agencies now offer mediation services to help address requests for information or problems within the adoptive family-birthparent relationship. The perspectives of adoption staff regarding the main advantages and disadvantages of each type of openness are explored, and implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-76
Number of pages32
JournalAdoption Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


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