SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Over the last several decades, adoption has moved from the largely closed adoptions of the past to semi-open and open adoptions, according to Lutheran Family and Children Services (LFCS) of Missouri.

LFCS Director of Adoption Services Melani Engel explained the new paradigm in American adoption and the benefits of open information sharing during the adoption process.

Approximately 1,200 children are adopted in Missouri every year, according to Engel. Currently, about 60-70% of all adoptions are considered open adoptions. The shift toward more open adoptions can be attributed to many factors.

The growth of DNA services and social media platforms has also made it easier than ever to connect. Changing legislation in many states has even affected the openness of adoptions.

Missouri now allows adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates, making it easier to connect with birth families.

In 2018, when Missouri implemented post-adoption contact agreements, birth and adoptive parents were able to negotiate contract terms that outlined the type and frequency of contact expected from either party.

This has allowed those who might have otherwise opted for a closed adoption to set terms they were comfortable with – and in the best interest of the child.

For more information about LFCS adoption services, click here or call 314-787-5100