Choosing open adoption

Jennifer Bliss, PsyD Adoption Expert, explains why it can be difficult for parents to choose an open adoption, but why it is important and benefits the child much more than a closed adoption
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Choosing open adoption

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I could understand why perspective adoptive parents would be skeptical about choosing open adoption route, especially if they have gone through many years of infertility and the emotions involved in that. Their goal is to be a parent and the idea of taking on an additional relative seems unnecessarily complicated. And I understand that, but you are not choosing open adoption because it´s in your best interest, you are choosing open adoption because it´s in your child´s best interest. Open adoption allows a child to grow up in the healthiest environment possible in an adoptive family. They know they weren´t abandoned. They weren´t abandoned. They know who they are. They don´t focus or concentrate constantly on the past because they know it. They can look towards the future. So adoptive parents will often choose it because it is in the best interest of their child but the ironic part is that the studies show over and over again that parents in an open adoptive relationship are actually more confident in their role as the real parents than parents in closed adoption. There isn´t the anxiety of who is she, where is, is she going to steal the baby back, is she hiding behind the bushes. She doesn´t need to in an open adoption. You know where she is. She is Megan. She lives in Chino and she´s dating a guy named Bob. You are going to see her next summer when she is in town. There´s no mystery and there´s no fear because everything is out in the open.

Jennifer Bliss, PsyD Adoption Expert, explains why it can be difficult for parents to choose an open adoption, but why it is important and benefits the child much more than a closed adoption

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Expert Bio

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Jennifer Bliss, PsyD

Counseling Director of Independent Adoption Center

Dr. Jennifer Bliss is the National Associate Counseling Director and Southern California Branch Co-Director at the Independent Adoption Center (IAC), the preeminent open adoption agency in the United States. She is also the author of a new book on open adoption, Another Choice: A compassionate Guide to Placing a Child For Adoption.

Dr. Bliss attended the University of Southern California where she received a BA in Psychology and a B.S. in Education. She went on to earn her Masters in Social Welfare from University of California Los Angeles and completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Ryokan College. Dr. Bliss supervises the Open Adoption Counselors in the Northern and Southern California offices and provides ongoing training and support for IAC counseling staff throughout the county. Additionally, Dr. Bliss was the featured counselor on "Adoption Diaries", WEtv's documentary series on Open Adoption.

Founded in 1982, IAC has been instrumental in pioneering open adoption. It is a counseling-based, licensed, nonprofit agency, and has facilitated over 4,000 adoptions, making it one of the oldest and largest fully open adoption agencies in the country. The agency also prides itself on the fact that it is one of the only adoption agencies in the country that has never had any exclusionary policies for adoptive parents, including age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, ethnic background, color, or race.

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