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Independent Adoption Center has been a pioneer and advocate of Open Adoption since 1982, and is now the largest, oldest, and most experienced open adoption agency in the country. As a non-profit and trusted leader in the field of adoption, one of our goals is to create transparency and make available the information needed to learn more about open adoption and our organization.

For background information, as well as objective third-party perspectives, please see the news stories and organizational details below.

For media queries, more in-depth information or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Bruce Rappaport (1942-2006), PhD, Founder & Former Executive Director

Independent Adoption Center was founded in 1982, by the late Bruce Rappaport, PhD, as a way to buck a system that he and other concerned adoption professionals considered unfair and cruel to all parties in the adoption triad. As a former Berkeley radical, who strove to create cultural equality throughout his life, in founding IAC, he wanted to ensure that children, birthmothers and families of all types could receive the love, help and support that is their right. His ultimate goal in progressively effecting change on a secretive, autocratic (as well as overly bureaucratic) process, was in keeping with his lifelong need to right an injustice: He wanted to do away with the stigma associated with adoption, and which prevented adoptees, their birth families and adoptive parents from being able to connect openly.

Along with his own experience with infertility, the impetus for founding the Independent Adoption Center came from Dr. Rappaport’s work as the director of a Bay Area infertility clinic. There he saw first-hand how the constant “medical treadmill” (along with the layers of red tape associated with the county’s process, if former clients decided to go the adoption route) would routinely crush hopes of wanting to start a family. Given this situation, as well as his anger at how birthmothers were treated in this system, he decided, with some of his clinic colleagues, to challenge the status quo. As few alternatives existed, he not only established Independent Adoption Center (now the largest adoption agency in the country), but also founded the National Federation for Open Adoption Education to help educate other agencies and sponsor national conferences.

A former political science professor at San Francisco State University, Dr. Rappaport earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Chicago and his doctorate in political science from UC Berkeley (during the Free Speech Movement). He was also the author of The Open Adoption Book: A Guide to Making Adoption Work for You (Macmillan, 1992), numerous open adoption articles and other writings, as well as a resource on open adoption topics for the media (including CNN, Nightline, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times).

Independent Adoption Center will forever be indebted to Dr. Rappaport’s passion, work and leadership. Not only was his example and dynamism the foundation of IAC’s cutting edge work, but also the foundation for helping shift the cultural perspective on adoption, both here in the US and internationally.

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