Contact in adoption is a complex issue that adoption professionals frequently negotiate. Today most adoption placements include an initial plan for contact that in many instances changes over time. By understanding contact as an issue that presents itself over the course of an adopted person's lifetime, the complexities it brings to the adoption experience can be seen. Gretchen Miller Wrobel, Harold D Grotevant, Jerica Berge, Tai Mendenhall and Ruth McRoy discuss contact from a US perspective using findings from the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Project, a longitudinal study of openness in adoption. They examine how curiosity, satisfaction with adoptive contact, family communication and searching influence decision-making about the extent of contact. Implications for adoption professionals in the USA and the UK are also presented.