The Atlantic

The Hardship of a Very Open Adoption

In Rock Needs River, Vanessa McGrady tells of how she invited her daughter's biological parents into her own home, and everyone had to live with the consequences.
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In America today, it’s quite normal for a family to adopt a child and maintain some degree of contact with the child’s birth parents. But as accepted as this is now, it’s a significant departure from the adoption practices that dominated for most of the 20th century, when “closed” adoptions were preferred (that is, adoptions in which children’s biological parents cease to be a part of their life after the adoption). Slowly, in the later decades of the century, experts came to favor these more open processes. As the journalist-turned-adoption-advocate Adam Pertman wrote in his 2006 book, , “Social-work and mental-health experts have reached a consensus that greater openness offers

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