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How Closed Adoption Hurts Birth Families

The effects of closed adoption on adoptees is well-documented. However, often the effect of a closed placement on birth families is overlooked.

Jennifer Mellon September 16, 2016

Closed adoptions refer to a confidential placement of a child where there is no identifying information provided to the birth family or adoptive family. Although this was historically the most common type of adoption in the U.S., over the past few decades it has become more common for birth and adoptive families to agree on some level of openness in their adoption plan. In closed adoptions, there is no identifying information provided either to birth families or adoptive families. The effects of closed adoption on child and adults who were adopted is well-documented. However, often the effect of a closed placement on birth families is overlooked. There are a number of disadvantages to closed adoptions, many of which can affect birth families.

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Jennifer Mellon

Jennifer Mellon has worked in the children welfare field for more than a decade, serving in varying capacities as the Executive Director, Member Manager, and Chief Development Officer at Joint Council on International Children’s Services. She also worked for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) and served on the Board of the Campagna Center, which provides critical educational services to children and families in the DC Metro region. She currently serves on the Development Board for the National Council for Adoption.She is the Co-Founder and President of Trustify, which she founded with her husband, Danny Boice. They reside in Alexandria, Virginia with their 5 children.


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