Families and Open Adoption

This was originally posted on RadioWest.


A picture of the the Bateman-Rapier family, with their son’s birth parents, hangs in the 3-year-old’s Salt Lake City bedroom. Photo Credit: Jerry Rapier

There was a time when adoptions were a source of shame for a birth mother, and weren’t discussed in the adoptive family. But that slowly changed with birth control, a demographic shift in babies available for adoption, and the “adoption rights movement.” Today, 95% of infants in the U.S. are placed in “open adoptions” where the birth mother and the family have some sort of contact. Thursday, we’re talking about how adoption has changed over time, and what it means for children and families.


  • E. Wayne Carp is the emeritus Benson Family Chair in History at Pacific Lutheran University. He’s the author of Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption [Amazon] and more recently Jean Patton and the Struggle to Reform American Adoption [Indiebound|Amazon]
  • Amy Seek is the author of God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother [Indiebound|Amazon]
  • Kirt Bateman and Jerry Rapier are adoptive parents in Salt Lake City, Utah. We should also mention that Rapier is himself an adoptee.


DAI posts news articles and commentary in areas relevant to adoption and foster care adoption as a way to aggregate information for members of our community. Links to the original article and publication source are included in each post. The views expressed in the articles posted on our News and Views section do not necessarily represent those of DAI, our staff, agents or affiliates. If you wish to read original commentary by DAI, check the blogs on our website as well as at The Huffington Post.