Press Release


New Curriculum Provides Education and Tools for Professionals and Parents


Heather Schultz  (212) 925-4089

New York, NY, November 15, 2016 — The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) launched its new “Openness in Adoption: What a Concept!” online curriculum today. The curriculum is intended for parents who are experiencing or considering openness in  adoption and professionals who provide services in this area.

After many years of research, we know that open adoption has a positive impact for the extended family of adoption – especially the adopted person. In fact, our research shows that 95% of agencies offer some form of open adoption today. Greater openness is associated with more satisfaction by all parties with the adoption process. Our research also supports that open adoption benefits the adopted person by allowing a clearer sense of identity through the removal of any sense of mystery and avoiding the need for eventual disclosure that could potentially be traumatic.

DAI’s “Openness in Adoption: What a Concept!” is designed to provide a fact-based, practical resource for the many families who have formed through adoption and for families considering adoption. The curriculum is designed as an interactive presentation where a narrator guides the user through the curriculum. Video clips that highlight real life experiences as well as example exercises are included throughout the curriculum in order for the user to have opportunity to put their knowledge to practice.


The curriculum is divided into three sections that cover material surrounding exploring openness as a concept, learning about the experiences of openness in adoption, and finally to provide resources and tools so individuals can live openness in a way that is healthy for all family members (most especially the child). Other components include a video documentary that follows several families who have experienced open adoption, a movie discussion guide and User’s Guide.

“The underlying philosophy of DAI’s curriculum surrounding open adoption is that openness is about creating and sustaining relationships that serve the best interest of the adopted person,” said April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute. “Like any complex family structure, openness in adoption can feel difficult at times, particularly when families do not have accurate information or the supports necessary to build relationships.”

Every experience of open adoption will be unique. However, at the heart of this “concept” is a shared commitment to honoring all of the connections inherent in building a family through adoption. With the right supports in place, families can embrace all family members and live openness in a way that benefits the most important person – their child.

“Openness in Adoption: What a Concept!” is available at and is free throughout December 31, 2016.


About The Donaldson Adoption Institute

Since 1996, The Donaldson Adoption Institute has been on a mission to improve the lives of children and families through research, education and advocacy. We investigate the issues of greatest concern to birth parents, adopted people, adoptive/foster families, the people who love them and the professionals who serve them. We educate and train professionals, enlighten parents and engage members of the community to make a positive impact on laws, policies, practices and perceptions.