Feeling at home in your open adoption.

“We had an incredible experience with OA&FS. We love the philosophy of the agency and the empowerment it provides birth families. You are a tremendous group of people. Thank you!” – OA&FS Adoptive Parent

Call us to get started on your open adoption journey.

A bridge representing the journey through the open adoption process

We’re happy to discuss our program with you. OA&FS has offices in Oregon and Washington, and can provide services throughout the US.  Call 1-800-772-1115 or email us at info@openadopt.org and get started on your journey to become an adoptive parent.

Call for info and answers to your specific questions.


Our Client Services Manager is here to help you Monday thru Friday, 9 am-5 pm PST. She can also sign you up for our free Adoption Information Meeting or Adoptive Parent Seminar! To get free info anytime fill out the online form.

Complete this form to get free info and a fee schedule.


OA&FS Values

We are pro-choice, welcome diversity, and offer fully open adoptions with lifelong services.

Several happy adoptive families, adoptees, and birth parents

Open Adoption & Family Services is a non-profit, agency providing services nationwide from headquarters in the Pacific Northwest. In our program, pregnant women and couples are treated with dignity and respect as they explore all of their pregnancy options: parenting, abortion and adoption. They are empowered with extensive information so they can make the decision that feels best to them. Regardless of their choice, they receive our compassion and support.

When expectant parents choose to plan an adoption, our fully open adoptions include ongoing visits and lifelong services.  At OA&FS, our goal is for all of our clients – birthparents, adoptive parents and open adoptees – to feel at home in their open adoptions. Feeling at home is the reassuring sense of being completely welcomed, accepted and comfortable.

In his book “Hospitious Adoption”, Jim Gritter – a prominent open adoption advocate – uses the concept of hospitality as a framework to describe the components of a satisfying and meaningful open adoption experience.  The giving and receiving among adoptive parents, birthparents and ultimately the open adoptee, is implicit in the model of hospitality, and is at the core of our high-quality open adoptions.

Open adoption is about connecting families, not replacing them because they are both invaluable to the child. For the child, “home” is a state of mind that makes room for all of the people she counts on and loves. The hospitious home welcomes and celebrates every aspect of the adopted child.

When hospitality works, people feel at home. When adoption works, children feel at home.  Jim Gritter
Adoptive parents Margi and Scott with adoptees Teal and Owen

Adoptive parents Margi and Scott with children Teal and Owen.

Adoptees Tess and Max

Adoptees Tess and Max.

Adoptive mom Annie with daughter Claire

Adoptive mom Annie with daughter Claire.

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” Simone Weil

Adoption is a word that can connote many feelings … a sense of family, love, and fulfillment, and also grief, fear, questioning, and secrecy.

Where we come from is often a central component of our sense of identity, helping explain who we are and to whom we are connected. When we don’t know where we come from, or we wonder about an unknown past, this can lead to feelings of uncertainty about our place in our families and in the larger world, especially when we don’t have a way to seek out this information. Open adoption as a process empowers birth parents, children and adoptive parents to know each other’s stories, to ask of each other the big questions, and to foster lifelong connections that lead to a sense of security and belonging. Particularly in the process embraced by Open Adoption & Family Services, each parent, expectant and adoptive, has had an honest and authentic opportunity to reflect on their choice to parent or not, and to be supported through this process with dignity, resources and ultimately respect for their chosen role in a child’s life.

In contemplating the value of open adoption, one is often most struck by the positive intentionality of loving relationships that this process strives to create. Family is not a word with a singular definition; it is both where we come from and where we choose to be in human relationships. In the case of open adoption, each extended family creates, and then recreate throughout their lives, a sense of love, commitment, and respect for each other and most of all for the child (or children) who have brought them together. In an ideal world, this would be true of all families, no matter their origins. With open adoption, an opportunity is created to be mindful, inclusive and respectful in one of the most central human relationships we have.

For birthparents open adoption facilitates an ongoing connection to a person they have created and nurtured into this world.

In choosing to place a baby in an adoption, birth parents are acknowledging their choice to not parent at this time in their lives, and open adoption allows for a path to knowing who this child will become, and also to be known to this child in an ongoing way. This means the growth of, rather than the severing of a relationship. Birth parents can continue to love their child, and can hopefully move past the grief by letting go of what might have been, to embrace a broader experience of acceptance into a new extended family that they have helped to create. Birth parents can respond to their child’s questions with reassurance and honesty, helping them feel secure in a family that loves them completely. They can feel strength in knowing they have played and will continue to play an integral role in taking care of their child’s needs in the best ways they can.

For adoptive parents open adoption allows for a sense of connection to where their child comes from and helps them provide honest answers to their child’s questions as they arise.

Having a structured relationship with birth parents can also support a sense of security in adoptive parents, of their primary role in parenting their child while collaborating in nurturing them as they grow up. During more challenging times in parenting, adoptive parents have the ability to respond from a shared understanding of how their child came to be adopted, because it has been a transparent process. Adoptive parents can experience security themselves in bearing witness to the relationship their child has with their birth parents, rather than fearing betrayal or anger about an unknown parent or a secret past. They contribute to meeting their child’s deepest emotional needs in this way. They can play an integral role in supporting their child in having honored, mutually meaningful relationships with their birth families as they grow and learn to experience trust, love and commitment within the context of family.

For the child, open adoption reinforces a true sense of being supported by many loving adults, including their adoptive and birth parents, and ideally by even larger extended families on all sides.

This supports healthy attachments to their adoptive parents, with a shared understanding of each person’s role in the child’s life. As questions arise about where they came from and what it means to be adopted, they have the ability to ask these questions directly, and with support when needed, to hear honest responses. While this may not always be a smooth path, children learn to feel respected and worthy of trust when their past is not a secret, and when they are honored with transparency and truth from their family. When children have meaningful connections with birth parents that are supported and genuinely respected by adoptive parents, they can feel safe in creating and nurturing their own sense of understanding about who they are. Ultimately, this contributes to their overall sense of self-worth, security and belonging.

Beyond the individuals involved in each open adoption experience, the philosophy itself supports values integral to healthy communities.

This includes empowering people to make informed and respected decisions about whether and when to parent, with access to the support they need to know that they are making the best decision for themselves and for their child. It also includes fostering genuine relationships that are based on mutual respect, transparency, and honesty, especially in times of intense vulnerability. Modeling this for children supports strong communication skills and emotional intelligence, both of which contribute to healthy interactions and relationships throughout their lives. Open adoption supports a broad and evolving definition of the word family, and always includes the right of children to feel loved, completely welcomed, and accepted by their families, whoever they may include, which makes its value immeasurable.

What is open adoption?

Learn about our high-integrity process.

We plan child-centered open adoptions in which birthparents and adoptive families create healthy long-term relationships addressing the ongoing needs of the child. We are deeply committed to completing adoptions in which the child’s need for information is not only met, but exceeded.

In an open adoption, birthparents select adoptive parents with whom they want to place their child. The adoptive parents and birthparents choose the level of contact and openness they prefer. They create a legally enforceable adoption agreement that outlines ongoing contact and communication.

Ongoing contact provides birthparents reassurance that their child is thriving in the adoptive home. This helps them feel at peace with their decision. Knowing that the birthparents fully support the adoption, the adoptive parents feel secure in welcoming the birthparents into their lives.

Open adoption relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect. In an open adoption, adoptive parents and birthparents value one another’s unique role in the child’s life. By witnessing this relationship, the child feels an unconditional acceptance of his full identity. The child has direct access to information about his history and answers to his questions. This allows for healthy development of the child’s identity and self-esteem.

Steps to Adopt

A new happy family, brought together by the OA&FS adoption process

15 reasons to choose OA&FS.

Several happy families who chose Open Adoption and Family Services

  • Connector.


    we give absolute equality to every pregnancy option: parenting, abortion and adoption. Our complete focus is on personal choice.

  • Connector.


    we provide a safe place for pregnant women and couples to make their choice.

  • Connector.


    we do not practice coercion.

  • Connector.


    we have an empowerment model grounded in dignity and respect.

  • Connector.


    of our high quality services, if a woman thoughtfully explores all of her options and decides she wants to plan an adoption, she will be best served through our agency.

  • Connector.


    we facilitate high-integrity fully open adoptions in which the birth and adoptive parents form genuine relationships, much like extended family.

  • Connector.


    we welcome all belief systems and are not religiously affiliated.

  • Connector.


    we embrace diversity and welcome LGBTQ clients.

  • Connector.


    our information is transparent and accessible. There are not separate messages (or hidden agendas) for expectant parents and adoptive parents.

  • Connector.


    of our thorough counseling and relationship building, our adoption disruption rates of 4-7% are far below the 20% national average.

  • Connector.


    we provide lifelong services for birth and adoptive families.

  • Connector.


    our counselors are highly qualified, experienced and compassionate. They’re a dedicated crew whose roster brims with Masters degrees in social work, counseling and marriage and family therapy. Many of them are also licensed clinical social workers.

  • Connector.


    we cultivate a vibrant open adoption community and host events such as an annual birthmothers’ retreat, summer picnics, holiday parties and speaking engagements from nationally-known open adoption experts.

  • Connector.


    we value the input of birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptees so much, we include them on our Board of Directors.

  • Connector.


    expectant parents trust us to support them in this complex decision-making process. And prospective adoptive parents choose us to be their partner in this journey.

Learn more.

Contact OA&FS

Steps to become an adoptive parent.


Free Program Info Email

Get introduced to the OA&FS open adoption philosophy and program with our free information email. Request yours via our online form, or give us a call at 1-800-772-1115.


Adoption Info Meeting

If you’d like to learn more about our philosophy and hear an overview of the agency’s process, please contact OA&FS to attend an optional, no-cost Adoption Information Meeting: 1-800-772-1115 or info@openadopt.org.


Pre-Adoption Seminar

To complete an adoption through OA&FS, the first step is to attend our required Pre-Adoption Seminar. Insights you gain in the seminar will be invaluable as you plan your adoption. This 12-hour workshop guides prospective adoptive parents in an exploration of the emotional, procedural and legal issues involved in planning an open adoption.

In the seminar, OA&FS staff members discuss the dynamics of an open adoption and each step towards completing an adoption through our agency. A guest panel of birthparents and adoptive parents share their adoption stories and answer questions. An adoption attorney discusses legal issues. This seminar satisfies Oregon’s requirement for pre-adoption training.

View this flier for seminar details, cost and FAQ. To register, contact Client Services Manager Lori Maas at 1-800-772-115, lori@openadopt.org.


Application & Intake Meeting

After you complete the necessary application forms, the agency will schedule an intake meeting in which you’ll meet your OA&FS counselor. The interview provides you the opportunity to ask further questions as your counselor learns more about your unique circumstances and adoption vision.


Homestudy & Family Prep

As part of your Family Profile, your OA&FS counselor will write a homestudy report based on information gathered during interviews in your home and at the OA&FS office near you. Our unique and descriptively written homestudy reports are read by pregnant women/couples when selecting an adoptive family. Your OA&FS counselor will also help you create a Family Introduction Letter, autobiographies and a photo collage to include in your family profile.


Waiting Family Pool Entry

When your Family Profile is complete, you enter into our pool of waiting families. Each year, between 350 and 400 pregnant women/couples contact OA&FS to request free options counseling. Those that choose adoption select an adoptive family after reviewing family profiles. Adoptive parents wait an average of 16 to 18 months once they enter the pool.



Adoption Planning

When a pregnant woman or couple selects you, OA&FS schedules an introductory meeting. After meeting, both parties decide whether to proceed into adoption planning. During adoption planning, you will receive support and guidance as you begin building your open adoption relationship. Your counselor will also ensure the procedural and logistical details of the adoption plan are in place, and assist you in creating an open adoption agreement outlining future communication and contact.


Placement, Entrustment

During the hospital stay, OA&FS provides guidance and support to all parties. We facilitate the placement and entrustment ceremony, and complete birthparent consents. After placement, you and your child’s birthparents will have access to support through lifelong services from OA&FS.


Adoption Finalization

State laws require an attorney to finalize all adoptions completed in Oregon and Washington. We can provide with a list of reputable adoption attorneys for this purpose.

For a current information packet and fee schedule, please contact us at 1-800-772-1115, info@openadopt.org.

What to expect long-term.

At OA&FS, you will always be welcome to access our ongoing services. These include adoption-related counseling and open adoption relationship guidance. From our summer picnics to our holiday parties, OA&FS hosts a variety of events where you can connect with other adoptive and birth families. There’s also public speaking opportunities. Adoptive parents are invited to help educate others about open adoption by sharing their stories at a variety of venues.

Contact Us

Tenets of our program.

Our core mission is to provide choices, transparency and respect to expectant and adoptive parents.

Comforting hand-holding between a pregnant woman and her pregnancy options counselor

All Options Pregnancy Counseling

  • We provide free counseling to pregnant women and couples.
  • Our counselors empower expectant parents to explore all of their options: parenting, abortion and adoption.
  • Our all-options pregnancy counseling is free and confidential. Our counselors provide services in a supportive and non-biased atmosphere.
  • Every pregnancy option is supported. We provide community resources and referrals for expectant parents choosing parenting or abortion.
  • Our highly-trained counselors are available 24/7 and are able to respond to urgent situations.
An adoptee and both her adoptive parents and her biological parents


We facilitate adoptions in which:

  • Expectant parents receive all-options pregnancy counseling. Those that choose adoption receive ongoing counseling as they create their own open adoption vision.
  • All services available to birthmothers are also available to birthfathers.
  • Extended birthfamily members may also receive adoption-related counseling.
  • Birthparents may receive financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses. All services are free of charge to birthparents.
  • Birthparents choose the adoptive parents from our diverse pool of carefully screened prospective adoptive parents, who are seeking an open adoption.
  • All OA&FS prospective adoptive parents share a strong commitment to openness in adoption and desire to create a genuine and lifelong relationship with birthparents.
  • Birthparents choose from a large selection of families; our pool averages between 65-85 waiting families.
  • Birthparents choose from a diverse selection of families, including local families, out-of-state families, married couples, LGBTQ families and single parents.
  • OA&FS prospective adoptive parents maintain diverse values, parenting-styles and interests, and are from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities.
  • We are a licensed adoption agency in Oregon and Washington with over 30 years of experience planning successful open adoptions. Our families are extremely well-prepared.
  • We pre-screen our waiting families according to state regulations before they enter our pool.
    Our prospective adoptive parents prepare for their open adoption by completing our intensive seminar about building a lifelong open adoption relationship with birthparents. Our seminar meets the pre-adoption education requirements set by the state of Oregon.
  • We provide pre-adoption counseling and support to prospective adoptive parents to prepare them for this new relationship.
  • The level of openness is chosen.
  • Birthparents and adoptive parents create a legally enforceable open adoption agreement outlining ongoing visits and the exchange of letters and pictures.
  • On average, the open adoption agreements developed by OA&FS birth and adoptive families agree to 2-4 visits per year.
    With the support and guidance of an OA&FS counselor, birthparents and adoptive parents build a foundation for a healthy lifelong relationship.
  • After placement, birthparents and adoptive parents have ongoing access to support, consultation and guidance from OA&FS.
    Birthparents and adoptive parents have access to lifelong adoption-related services.
  • Birthparents and adoptive parents have access to the OA&FS peer mentorship network, where they may give and receive support and guidance with other OA&FS birthparents and adoptive parents.
  • Birthparents and adoptive parents and are cherished members of our open adoption community and are invited to birthparent support groups, the annual OA&FS Birthmothers’ Retreat, and a variety of agency gatherings and events.

Answers to questions

frequently asked by adoptive parents.

Several adoptive parents who had questions about pursuing adoption
A. The typical wait in our prospective parent pool is 16 to 18 months.
A. We place more domestic infants than any other adoption agency in Oregon and Washington. We’ve averaged 41 placements per year over the past five years. Even though the media suggests domestic infants aren’t available for adoption, with our national expansion, our placement numbers are on the rise. When expectant parents are empowered to make their own decisions  through our all options pregnancy counseling, it ensures that if they do choose adoption, it’s with a clear mind and open heart. Knowing they can choose, meet and form a genuine, life-long relationship with the adoptive family, makes our unique open adoptions a viable option for them. Most expectant parents tell us they wouldn’t consider adoption under any other circumstances.
A. We place no restrictions (ethnicity, religion, marital status, residency, etc.) on adoptive parents. Those interested in adopting must meet the minimum requirements for the states of Oregon and Washington and participate in a careful screening process with our agency. Adoptive parents from throughout the country have adopted through OA&FS. Note that the legal restrictions of some states (New York, for example) prohibit residents from working with an out-of-state agency. Please contact us at 1-800-772-1115 for details.
A. Many birthmothers are referred to us by other professionals or find us through internet searches, our online ads or upon the advice of someone they know. We are contacted by approximately 30 expectant parents per month. Options counseling is available to them at no charge. Of the expectant parents that contact the agency, 10-12% choose adoption. (Nationally, about 1% of all unplanned pregnancies result in adoption.)
A. Expectant parents that contact OA&FS vary in age and background, but most have long-term plans for their lives and all care deeply about the welfare of their children. A tremendous amount of love and foresight goes into their decisions.
A. Birthparents chose the adoptive family. Birthparents receive books containing introduction letters from our prospective adoptive families. They request more information about families they are most interested in getting to know. Further review of those families’ full homestudies, autobiographies and photo collages helps birthparents narrow their choice.
A. It ranges in size from 65 to 85 families. The size of our pool is very attractive to expectant parents because it provides them with a diverse set of families from which to choose. It is rare for expectant parents to receive profiles representing the whole pool. The families they ultimately review are defined by the qualities they’re seeking for their specific situation. Additionally, each of the families set their own unique parameters, which is a determining factor in the number of expectant parents who will review their materials.
A. Typically, over 90% of our placements are newborns.
A. OA&FS has always welcomed people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We honor and celebrate the diversity of our clients, and we strive to create an inclusive environment where all of our clients feel safe and respected.
A. No. The adoptive parents are the legal and emotional parents. Openness does not detract from the permanency of parenting. Rather, it establishes an atmosphere of candor in which the ongoing needs of all parties are honored.
A. Birthparents choose the adoptive family that they want to raise their child. Together the adoptive family and the birthparents create a legally enforceable, individualized plan for ongoing visits and the exchange of photos, letters, etc. Birth and adoptive parents can call OA&FS for help and guidance, or to oversee the open adoption in the future if circumstances change or problems arise.
A. Our fees continue to be among the least expensive of all agencies in Oregon and Washington. Total adoption expenses are determined by the adoptive parents’ state of residency, costs associated with the birthmother’s pregnancy, and legal fees. Fees will be explained in detail at one of our free introductory meetings.
A. Contact Open Adoption & Family Services at 1-800-772-1115 or info@openadopt.org to find out more, or to reserve a spot at one of our free Adoption Information Meetings. To find out when the next free meeting is scheduled in your area, contact us. You can also review our step-by-step guide of how to adopt through OA&FS.

Our adoptive parent Bill of Rights.

We believe that you’re entitled to…

Receive ethical, high-integrity, transparent services.
Be treated with dignity, respect and understanding.
Benefit from our experience and expertise.
Receive education and support as you learn about open adoption.
Explore and process your fears in a compassionate environment.
Receive counseling and guidance throughout the process.
Have the opportunity to enter our diverse pool of families.
Have access to all available information.
Agree to the adoption situation that feels right for you.
Receive guidance as you develop a relationship with the birth family.
Receive a legally enforceable contract for ongoing visits.
Have the birthparents entrust their child to you in a ceremony.
Feel at home in your open adoption: feel welcomed, honored and valued.
Have access to ongoing guidance from the agency.
Be welcomed into a vibrant open adoption community.

Same sex families enrich our community.

Open Adoption & Family Services has welcomed same sex prospective adoptive parents into our infant adoption program since we opened our doors in 1985. OA&FS is on the cutting edge of offering progressive and inclusive open adoption services. In 2008, OA&FS was recognized by the Pride Foundation for strengthening and serving the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Additionally, OA&FS was a significant contributor to All Children – All Families, an initiative launched by the Human Rights Campaign to develop Promising Practices in Adoption and Foster Care, a Comprehensive Guide to Policies and Practices that Welcome, Affirm and Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Foster and Adoptive Parents. We were also included in the Transition to Adoptive Parenthood Project, a longitudinal study focused on the transition to adoptive parenthood among same sex couples and heterosexual couples. Abbie E. Goldberg and Katerine R. Allen have subsequently written a book based on this study, “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children“. This book additionally surveys many relevant studies on the topic of gay and lesbian parenting.

Approximately 25% of the adoptive placements at OA&FS are with same sex families. Typically, our pool of prospective adoptive parents is comprised of 35% same-sex families. These families come to OA&FS from throughout the United States.

Dan Savage, syndicated columnist, author, and regular contributor to NPR’s This American Life, is an OA&FS adoptive father and active advocate of our agency. To get a firsthand account of adopting through OA&FS as a same sex family, check out his book “The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant.” This book chronicles Dan and his husband Terry’s experience adopting through our agency.

Facts about same sex parenting.

Numerous well-respected authorities agree that children of same-sex parents are as healthy, happy and well-adjusted as their peers raised by heterosexual parents.

On the basis of a remarkably consistent body of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, the American Psychological Association (APA) and other health professional and scientific organizations have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation. That is, lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. This body of research has shown that the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children are unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish. (APA policy resolution, June 2012.)

Based on more than three decades of social science research and our 85 years of service to millions of families, CWLA believes that families with LGBTQ members deserve the same levels of support afforded other families. Any attempt to preclude or prevent gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting, based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best interest of children. (Child Welfare League Position Statement on Parenting of Children by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults, 2003.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation’s leading pediatric authority with 57,000 members, says that children who grow up with gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning as children with straight parents.

The National Association of Social Workers, with nearly 150,000 members, agrees that research on gay and lesbian parenting shows a total absence of pathological findings in their children.

The Human Rights Campaign has compiled positions on LGBT parenting from numerous professional organizations. They say “The prevailing professional opinion is that a parent’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with his or her ability to be a good parent. The nation’s leading child welfare, psychological and children’s health organizations also have issued policy or position statements declaring that a parent’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a child.”.

In Abbie Goldberg’s book “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children“, she dispels the notion that children who are raised by gay and lesbian parents are more likely to be bullied. “Vanfraussen, Ponjaert-Kristoffersen and Brewaeys (2002) compared school-aged children from 24 intentional lesbian-mother households with children from 24 heterosexual-parent families and found no differences in the rates of teasing between the two groups.”

Research shows children thrive.

  • 25 years of social science research concludes that children raised by such parents fare well when compared to those raised by heterosexuals. Studies on lesbian parenting and the few extant studies on gay parenting have found that their children are not disadvantaged and, in some cases, receive unique benefits. (Donaldson Adoption Institute: Expanding Resources for Waiting Children II.)
  • A 1995 National Health and Social Life Survey by E.O. Lauman found that up to nine million children in America have gay or lesbian parents (Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, 2002).
  • There are no systematic differences between gay or lesbian and non-gay or lesbian parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001).
  • Evidence shows that children’s optimal development is influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by its particular structural form (Perrin, 2002).
  • No studies have found risks to or disadvantages for children growing up in families with one or more gay parents, compared to children growing up with heterosexual parents (Perrin, 2002).
  • The study “Adults Raised as Children in Lesbian Families” by Fiona Tasker and Susan Golombok found no significant difference between children raised by lesbian parents and those raised by heterosexual parents in the quality of the young adults’ relationships with their mothers, in incidences of teasing or bullying in high school, or in their emotional well-being. (1995. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 65, No.2, pp.203-215.)
  • In Abbie Goldberg’s book “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children”, she references studies that found growing up with sexual minority parents had facilitated (their children’s) capacity to tolerate differences among peoples and to embrace diversity. Specifically, many participants in these studies described themselves as open-minded, nonjudgmental, and accepting of differences.

Additional information and resources.

Learn about open adoption with this infographic.

An infographic explaining the benefits and unique features of OA&FS adoption services

The open adoption relationships that are built with our unique program benefit everyone  — adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents. Here’s how.

View Full Infographic

What our clients say about Open Adoption & Family Services.

OA&FS parents are generous in offering insights about their adoption journey. Here’s a sampling.

“My husband and I adopted both of our children through Open Adoption & Family Services (OA&FS), and worked with the agency for a period of four years.  We chose OA&FS after researching several different agencies and attorneys.  Through the inevitable highs and lows of our adoption process, there was one constant: the agency staff’s dedication to helping us through all of it.  From the first information session we attended through our 2nd child’s adoption finalization, we observed OA&FS staff going above and beyond their job descriptions in their work.

Our first adoption involved a long wait and contact with several counselors in different offices.  With each interaction we were struck by how well the counselors were able to advocate for both the expectant parents and the adoptive families, a difficult balance to strike.  We especially appreciated the agency’s dedication to working with expectant parents regardless of whether or not they ended up planning an adoption.  On the adoptive parent side, we always felt very supported by the agency in the decisions we made, and connected to the adoption community even during our wait.

Adoption is often a tumultuous process, full of difficult choices and hard-to-navigate processes.  I needed a lot of support to get through it all.  I got that support many times over through OA&FS, where even the administrative staff went the extra mile to take care of us.  It was a privilege to work with OA&FS, and I recommend them highly to anyone considering domestic adoption.” – Janet

“Both of my kids were adopted through open adoption and family services. Both from Portland from OHSU. Both birthmothers name Robin, and had the same nurse. One born in the evening one in the morning around 6. And born 3 years 10 months apart. Both raised and living in Portland. One grandchild to date. Thank you for being there for us.” – Brenda

“We came to OAFS after a failed adoption with another agency. OAFS was amazing, we could not have been in better hands. In the beginning we had some struggles adjusting to our open adoption, but I feel now we are a true open adoption success story. We have a beautiful, loving, brilliant daughter that we are so proud of her and marvel in amazement every day that we have the privilege to be her parents. We love and respect our birthmother and are one big family. I would not change the difficult road we had to go down to get to OAFS and our daughter, this is what was meant for us and she was meant for our family.” – Marni

“Our family was built with Open Adoption and Family Services. We have two beautiful daughters (aged 27 and 25), and now our family has grown to include a son-in-law and a glorious grandson. I guess we were pioneers in this ‘new adoption craze’, but I have to admit, it has worked out beautifully for us, and after all these years, we still maintain a level of contact with both our daughters birth families. We are a lucky, but very normal family.” – Jodi

“I don’t think that Sean or I when starting this journey ever thought that it would just fall into place so wonderfully and right with no doubts or second guessing, and here it is, exactly like that.  We feel truly honored and blessed to have been placed with this birthfamily.” – Karen & Sean

“We would recommend OA&FS without hesitation. To the extent it is actually possible, they have perfected the adoption process through their years of experience, attention to every detail, and well-trained and highly competent staff. You have to trust the process, be patient, and put your whole heart into it – and the result is amazing.” – Jeff & Jason

“Welcoming our daughter and her birthparents into our family has been one of the most enriching experiences of our lives. Sarah’s birthparents chose us for who we are. Because of that, we have a lot of similarities. They feel like friends to us. Our daughter will grow up understanding her open adoption as a natural part of her life. If she has a question, we can say, “Let’s ask your birthmom”. There are no secrets, no unanswered questions.” – Minne

“During the waiting period, do the things that you’ve been meaning to do or have wanted to do. Finish projects; take an art class; go on dates with your partner. It will help distract you from the anxiety of waiting, and you’ll be happier as a result. And trust me, you’ll no longer have the time to do these things once your child is placed with you!” – Kerri and David

“Flexibility is so important. While we may not have jumped into the situation initially, had we known all the details of the birth family, we are so glad we took that leap of faith and now have our beautiful daughter. Once we met the birthparents and our daughter we realized all the stats were less important and that allowed us to open ourselves up to forming relationships and building trust. – Jaime & Paul

(Our counselor) did a wonderful job of validating everyone’s experience and helping us to share these with one another. She also did a great job of advocating for our birthmom and helping her to voice her desires and concerns to us. She also worked hard to get the birthfather involved.” – Amy & Sarah

“Waiting family groups were great! They helped opening up conversations with people were at the same point in their journey.” – Stephen & Bob

“I am so grateful to have an open adoption, where the story of his life is woven into the fabric of our conversations. From bathtime silliness to bed time stories, to crawling, then walking, running, climbing, laughing, and crying. He knows her. He knows him. He knows they made him, she gave birth to him, and they chose US to raise him. To help him travel this road of life, with love and honesty and integrity, we talk. And at 13, he knows this as his story. Not some scary made up fantasy or a story suddenly sprung on him, not some hidden secret, not some shameful fact of his life. But woven into the fabric of his developing sense of self. We honor him, our son, as we honor her journey, and his journey, the birth parents who knew they wanted more or different for their baby boy.” – Jennifer 

“We appreciate the openness and welcoming of OA&FS to same-sex couples such as us.  It is refreshing to deal with an agency that shares our values, and represents a microcosm of the world we want to create, where all people are respected and valued for who they are.” – Ed

“We still can’t believe how much we have learned from building our family this way. It honored all our values, most importantly it truly is child-centered, and at all times the staff made this feel like the sacred experience that it is.” – Elizabeth and Ryan

“Begin the journey. Enjoy the process. Look for support. Involve yourself in classes and seminars. Expect the unexpected. Value your faith. Everything is as it should be!” – Dave and LeeAnn

“So far, we have found the adoption experience to be wonderful. Not only are we enjoying being new parents, but we feel so fortunate to have our birthmother and her family as our extended family. Our love for our child reflects the love our birthmother has for our child as well.” – Suzie and Stasa

“Openness in adoption is much more than knowing a birth family. It also requires opening yourself to opportunities and situations that might seem overwhelming at first. The payoff is spectacular.” – Susan and Mark

“It’s meant so much to have Andrew (birthfather) involved. He was involved in choosing us, so we felt an immediate connection to him. We were so lucky he wanted to stay involved in our lives.” – Jan

“The wait can be long and frustrating, but the end result is worth it! The agency’s child-centered philosophy is great. Our experience, while stressful, was well worth the wait — we now have a beautiful daughter in our lives.” – John and Don

“We really enjoyed our mediations.  Katie was great at keeping the conversation flowing and knew exactly when to interject or guide the direction of the conversation.  She really helped us all feel at ease during this process.  It couldn’t have gone any better!  The paperwork and interviews seem to take up a lot of time, but the end result is so worth it! Try to get to know the birthparents as best you can – it will make the whole experience much more worthwhile and easier. When you get in the pool go ahead and start figuring out nursery decorating themes and accepting hand me downs, it can help to plan ahead in case you get a last minute placement or a fast match!” – Sandy and Joe

“Things happen for a reason. Trust your instincts, and the right baby and birth family will come along.” – Melanie and Ed

“Growing up gay came with many secrets … so we knew we didn’t want to put that burden on our child. We wanted our adoption to be honest, and have all choices made out of love and openness … no secrets! Open adoption is the only way for us. We felt an immediate connection with our birthmom. Now six, Jolie knows her birthmom, Megan, can call to talk to her whenever she wants. Jolie can ask any question and knows we will answer honestly. We celebrate and cherish our open adoption every day of our lives!! It brought all of us a love that we never knew we could experience!” – Joe

“We really try to listen to our gut — or heart — to know which direction to turn. Sometimes it’s appropriate to say “no” for whatever reason. Listening to your heart helps with the difficult decisions of entering into an open adoption relationship.” – Jill and Steve

“Garrett (birthfather) has a strong sense of responsibility to his relationship with Fin (our son). Garrett is very clear about wanting Fin to know how much he cares about him (and our whole family). Even when Garrett was out of the country for two years, he sent Fin numerous postcards and gifts. Fin will always have those to look through and again see how much his birthfather was thinking about him. It’s so valuable to the child to really have the knowledge that his birthparents love him. The best way for a child to experience this is through a relationship with the birthparent. It’s a pretty amazing gift to a child if his birthfather can stick it out and stick around in his child’s life, even when it’s scary.” – Joell

Several families who have positive feedback regarding Open Adoption and Family Services

Open adoption facts and fears.

FACT.  80% of parents who adopted through our agency found they did not feel jealous of their child’s birthmother.
FACT. Adoptive parents and birthparents create a legally-enforceable open adoption agreement, an individualized plan that outlines in advance the number of ongoing visits and the exchange of letters and photos.
FACT. Closed adoptions have shown that secrecy confuses children. Children benefit from access to honest information. In an open adoption, the roles of adoptive parents and birthparents are separate and clearly defined.
FACT. Nearly 100% of OA&FS adoptive parents who responded to our survey reported that their extended families relate very positively to their adopted children.
FACT. A national study (Grotevant & McRoy, 1998) found that ongoing contact significantly benefits the adoptive parents by putting their fears of the unknown to rest.
FACT. On average, only 4- 7% of pregnant women/couples who plan adoptions through OA&FS change their minds after the baby is born. Nationwide, the average is 20%.
FACT. In an OA&FS survey, families maintaining regular contact with the birth family reported higher levels of satisfaction with their adoptions.
FACT. In our survey, 90% of adoptive parents reported they did not continue to feel infertility-related grief after adopting.
FACT. In an open adoption, the birthparents’ role is separate and distinct from the adoptive parents. The birthparents do not compete with the adoptive parents.
FACT. This is less likely to happen when children know their birthparents, because they have no fantasies about them. The bond between adoptive parents and their children is just as strong as a biological bond.

A family exploring the adoption forms available on the OA&FS website

Adoption forms in one handy place.

Thank you for enrolling with OA&FS. We’re honored that you have chosen our agency to facilitate your open adoption. Below are links to pages that include all of the materials and forms you’ll need as you go through our process. Note: These pages are password protected. Please refer to the password emailed to you for access. If you have any questions contact our Client Services Manager, Lori Maas, at 503-226-4870, lori@openadopt.org. We wish you an enjoyable, educational, and inspiring experience!