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Open adoptions are those in which identifying and non-identifying information about the adoptive parents and the birth parents is shared with each other, which can include last names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Open adoptions vary depending on the type of relationship that the birth parents and the adoptive parents have agreed to. In some open adoptions, the birth parent and the adoptive family know each other and have ongoing communication about the child.
Open adoption is a voluntary process and no parties in the adoption process may be forced to participate in open adoption. In open adoption there is never any guarantee that the adopting family will keep their side of the agreement to stay in contact. In several states there are some elements in the adoption reform movement who are working for legally enforceable open adoption agreements.