Picture showing the birth mother, the adoptive mother, and the child. The little girl, wearing a red coat, is positioned between both mothers, all of them smiling.
Photo credit: the Altizer family

Having an “open” permanency arrangement means you’re open to contact with important people from earlier in your child’s life. It usually includes their immediate birth family, but can also extend to previous caregivers or extended family. A “closed” permanency arrangement means the child has no contact with their birth families. 

The levels of openness can change over time. Permanency arrangements often start out closed, but open later on as the child grows up. A child may also decide that they’d prefer to have less contact, or no contact with their birth family.

Nowadays, open permanency arrangements are more common and thought to contribute to a child’s healthy development and sense of self. Depending on the age of the child and your situation, do consider what they want and need now that they are part of your family.

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