Category Archives: Birth parent

Wrong Way Adoption: The Back Story (Part 2)

In Part 1, Clemencia Deleon began to tell about her wrong way adoption, a kinship placement that was supposed to be open. Despite expectations and agreements, it remained unknown to her son that the woman he lived with but didn’t call “mom” was, in fact, his biological mom.

That was an untenable situation. One way or another, a living lie will resolve — with intention or without it. And there will be fallout.

Here’s how things unfolded for Clemencia, her son Kobe, and his parents — her half-brother and his wife.

People in kinship adoptions need a map, too. Or they may go the wrong way.
Continue reading Wrong Way Adoption: The Back Story (Part 2)

Kinship Adoptions Need Openness, Too: A Birth Mom’s Story

Clemencia Deleon reached out to me several months ago, grateful to have found place to talk about adoption that is neither all “rainbows & unicorns” nor “fire & brimstone.” I told her that in this space we allow for the complexity of living in adoption from all stations of the constellation, and I invited her to tell her story as a birth mother in a kinship adoption.

Kinship adoption is rather unexplored territory for me, so I was thrilled that Clemencia offered her thoughts about the kinship adoption of her son, Kobe, gone wrong. Her two-part tale of pitfalls and regret is instructive to us all.

Please welcome Clemencia Deleon.

openness in kinship adoption

An Oozing Wound

Continue reading Kinship Adoptions Need Openness, Too: A Birth Mom’s Story

Tough Conversations with A Birth Mom, Part 3

Help: How to Talk to a Birth Mother?

Letter Writer: Thanks for your previous help in understanding Bianca when she constantly wants pictures of Charlie and when she cancels our visits. We are taking your advice but are still struggling to build a relationship with our son’s birth mom. One thing that has been hard in relating with Bianca is that most every attempt to connect with her outside of Charlie is met with silence or a quick response.

For example, if I text her pictures of Charlie letting her know that I’ve been thinking of her, she’ll respond with a thank you or how Charlie looks like her. But when I try to continue the conversation (ask her how she’s doing, if she had a good birthday, etc) she either stops responding or simply says “I’m good,” and the conversation ends there.

I’m sure there are triggers I’m not seeing, but it’s hard to not feel like Bianca sees us as only as a vessel to get pictures or information about Charlie. She doesn’t show much interest in us or our family (I probably shouldn’t expect her to), but that does make it hard to know her intentions in all the sharing on social media. If I actually knew her better, it might be easier to not be so alarmed.

Do you have any ideas for how to approach the conversation of not sharing images on social media? I’ve never actually asked her to not share them before, so bringing it up would be for the first time. Should I bring up the fact that I found her account and saw the images she’s shared? Should I make a blanket statement of “hey I know we’ve never talked about this before, but please don’t share these images of Charlie online for his protection?”

— Carla

how to talk to a birth mother when she won't engage with you
Continue reading Tough Conversations with A Birth Mom, Part 3