Monday, June 4, 2012

A thought

This weekend I saw a post on a birth mother's support group wall that I sometimes visit.

The birth mother had just been told that the adoptive parents were not yet 'comfortable' with their son meeting her (the birth mother) and his older brother.  The adopted child at hand is 17 years old.  78 days from being 18, when the child, who has already contacted his birth family, will be allowed to establish a relationship with them.

Really?....

Obviously I am not privy to all of the dynamics involved here.

But here is the thought that kept running though my mind.

If you are not comfortable with your child meeting his/her birth family, don't adopt.

Because your child is the genetic match to his birth family.  You don't have to like the choices that they made, but you do have to acknowledge that your child comes from another family.  Your child probably looks like them.  May even act like them.

And I wonder if you are uncomfortable with knowing your child's family of birth, are you completely accepting of who your child is?  Because he/she is the sum of many things.  Things you have taught in your home, and things that may just be part of his/her genetics.

It is all important.

If you are not willing to accept that part of your child's life, maybe adoption is not the best choice.

Just a thought.

6 comments:

Susie said...

Amen!!!

MommySquared said...

Well said! So sad for the child/almost adult!

birthmothertalks said...

Very well said.

Nan said...

I think this happens often, more than we even hear about. I know when I first established contact with my birth daughter's parents, they asked me not to try to contact her. I trusted their judgment. Maybe she wasn't ready yet, not mature enough, etc. After all, they raised her. They knew her best. But since then, I have come to realize they were afraid of what her having a relationship with me (as the birth mother) would mean to them. In fact, months later, they are still kind of freaked out about it.

Not to make excuses, but I don't think anyone ever prepared them for the possibility that we would want to be part of their lives today. I had a limited correspondence with her family for a brief time all those years ago, and during that time, I came to see them as family. It was really hard to sever ties, but the agency we communicated through insisted on it.

That is why I think it is so important that you make a statement about these kinds of things. Prospective adoptive parents should always be made aware that even if they pursue a closed adoption, they need to prepare for the very real possibility that their child will some day search for their roots. We all do it, even those of us who were not adopted want to know all we can about where we came from, our ancestors, etc.

I know I am writing a novel, but I have to say one of the most painful times in my life, second to the excruciating anguish of the loss (which I chose, and still believe placing her was the right choice for me), was the time that I believed my birth daughter's family had no desire to know me again. It was devastating.

The things you say here are all true, for open or closed adoptions, and I think both current and prospective adoptive parents need to hear it.

Debbie said...

This post here should be read at adoption agencies and by attorneys to people wanting to adopt.

As we started the process to adopt we watched a Dateline episode on adoption and they followed two young ladies who placed for adoption. One had contact and was fulfilling her goals after placement.
The other had no contact since the adoptive parents refused and I can still see the birthmom and Grandma sitting in front of the camera saying that the day she turns 18 they will be there because she is their family. It was painful to watch their pain.

LisaAnne said...

I hope that agencies and attorneys will change how they present adoption to adoptive families. The idea that you can receive a baby and raise him/her 'as if they were born to you' is a farce.

The child comes with history. A family of origin that does not go away, no matter how far removed they might be. And there is the distinct possibility that even if you have a closed adoption in the beginning, it may not stay that way.

Adoptees DESERVE to know their heritage if they so choose. And if an adoptive family cannot fathom having the family or origin now connected to their family tree, then they should choose not to adopt.

It makes me so sad that adoptees are forced to 'choose loyalty' so often. Children raised in their families of origin are not told to be grateful for the fact that their parents raised them. Children raised in families of origin know who their extended family is, even if they are bad decision makers.

Adoptees deserve the same. And if you cannot extend that to your child, please DO NOT ADOPT.