1000 Hastings Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: 231.947.8110
Fax: 231.947.3522

Statement of Beliefs 

  1. We understand open adoption to be a transfer of parental responsibilities that preserves the relationship between birthparents and the child. It necessarily includes a full disclosure of identifying information and features a commitment to lifelong relatedness. 
  2. We believe that every form of adoption must center on meeting the needs of the child. We believe that children are best served by preserving their connection to their family of origin. 
  3. We assert that there is a tragic dimension to adoption. Every participant in adoption experiences pain and loss. Any significant description of the adoption experience must recognize the theme of loss.  
  4. We believe the first effort in working with pregnant families must be to preserve that family. 
  5. We are committed to protecting the rights of birthfathers. We recognize that they are important in the lives of their children and seek their full participation in the open adoption experience. 
  6. We believe birth families require at least fourteen days following the birth of the child to consider their options before legally committing themselves to an adoption plan. We will respect a birth family's sense of pace. 
  7. We recognize a professional obligation to assist clients to reach fully informed decisions. We will defend families facing the challenges of untimely pregnancy from premature feelings of obligation, and will defend their opportunity to change course in timely fashion. 
  8. We recognize that geographic distance makes open adoption more difficult to plan, implement, and sustain.  We believe that open adoptive relationships are enhanced when adoptive and birth families live in the same region.
  9. We recognize that adoption is a lifelong experience and that adoption organizations must remain a resource to their clients through the years. 
  10. We believe adoption services must not yield personal or organizational profit. 
  11. We will operate our program with fiscal integrity and openness. We will work to keep our fees affordable so participation in our program does not require financial prosperity. 
  12. We recognize that the spirit of candor needs to be applied to adoptions from the past. We actively support open records and the right of adoptive persons to their original name. 
  13. We believe adoption programs should be evaluated in terms of quality, not quantity. 
  14. We believe the commercialization of adoption diminishes the dignity of children. 
  15. We believe the vitality of adoption is directly linked to its commitment to candor. We approach every adoption with the presumption it will be open. Any departure from candor is considered extraordinary and requires documented justification.  
  16. We believe the spirit of openness and candor begins with the professional. It is their responsibility to create a climate in which overall honesty is encouraged and reinforced. 
  17. We believe the most promising context for ethical adoption services is the nonprofit agency. We acknowledge that our organizations often fall short of our ideals and that we must root out inconsistencies and self-serving practices. 
  18. We recognize that integrity requires consistency in our beliefs and actions. We will select our affiliations carefully, supporting organizations whose purposes and practices are consistent with ours, and working to reeducate organizations whose practices are in direct opposition to our beliefs. 
  19. We believe that dynamic adoptive practice engenders a spirit of community. We strive to promote adoption fellowships where experiences and common values are shared. 
  20. We believe there should be no monetary connection between adoptive parents and birthparents. 
  21. We believe adoptions of quality are adaptable. Every adoption will be a unique expression of the original and continuing creativity of its participants. 
  22. We believe the practice of open adoption is dynamic and continually evolving.  We are receptive to responsible innovation.