Practices in adoption are moving toward openness between adopting families and birth families. This means that adoptive parents are open to some contact with birth family members and former foster parents after the adoption. This could range from the exchange of cards, letters and photographs (either directly or through the agency) to visits with birth family members. While openness has become increasingly accepted over the last several years, this is a decision that has to be made individually in each adoption. The degree of openness a child needs, the birth parent wants, or what an adoptive family can accept should be carefully examined early in the adoption process.