Question: We brought our son home through domestic private adoption 14 months ago (he spent a month in agency foster care because of some time in NICU and a bunch of red tape delays).
We have openness with Ben’s birth mother, Tina — at least we did. I send pictures through an app so she can see them when and if she wants. She doesn’t directly inquire about him, though she’ll ask how we’re all doing. Months ago after a long period of not getting any response from her, I looked on her social media, which was public, and discovered she was expecting a baby.
She’s never told me. We’ve texted a few times since, but she’s said nothing about being pregnant. Last week I discovered she’d just had her daughter. I have filed away the baby’s name in case my son wants to search for her some day. No one in Tina’s family knows about our son. (I have their names and some information as she was very forthright with it. Detectives tried but couldn’t find the birth father.)
From social media, it’s clear that her family is ecstatic about this current baby. I don’t believe Tina has any intention of telling us about her daughter, as then it would open the possibility of my son being discovered.
What should I do now and in the future? I am afraid of making a misstep that ruins any possible relationship between us and our son’s birth mom. There is a very real possibility of her closing the adoption, which saddens me. Do I admit I know about the new baby, or continue as if I don’t know? I prefer honestly but it would also require I admit that I have seen this information online. I worry this would make her feel violated.
At what point do I tell my son that he has a bio sister? I would love more contact for my son’s sake, but I don’t want to ruin things in my desire for it.
Continue reading I Know Something I’m Not Supposed to Know about My Child’s Birth Mom
Question: I’m in a support group for adoptive mothers. We have a new member who adopted her son at about 3 months old. The boy is now 5.
This mother strongly believes her son is hers and there is no need to talk about adoption with him. Her husband supports this opinion.
She broke down crying when we talked about how her son already knows and feels the truth. I would like to break into her resistance gently so as not to lose her attendance in our support group. What can we say to make her understand?
Continue reading Her Son is Only Hers. She Can’t Bear to Think Otherwise.
A year ago I published a letter from Charlene that explained her son had found his birth mother and they had all attended his college graduation. The reunion had gone so well that the son had decided to move to another state to live with his birth mom and get to know his biological family.
Charlene was happy for her son, yet also had many other emotions and was feeling confused by their coexistence.
That post resulted in a lively and helpful discussion. Charlene wrote in this week with an update, and she doesn’t mind that I share it with you. We both feel there is value in seeing what happens when a person has no choice but to trust the process (well, I suppose you can fight the process, but in adoption that rarely ends well).
Continue reading Update: the Mom Whose Son Left to Live with Birth Mom
But there are a few problems with that.
First of all, he has no direct experience with open adoption, or even plain old adoption, as far as my sleuthing skills reveal.
Second of all, his advice is terrible.
Though he apparently has a big following, Jim Rosemond is new on my radar. I heard of him only because I got a google alert that in his syndicated column, he’d offered advice to a letter writing couple having difficulty with their teen son and his birth mom. This is what we know about their situation:
- The boy is 14.
- Birth mom has been out of the picture, but has gotten to a good place and wants to reestablish contact with “her” son (it’s unknown whether the quote marks were inserted by the letter writer, John Rosemond, or an editor).
- Contact went from phone calls to daytime visits to overnights to a summer vacation.
- Now, the increasingly moody teen wants to live with his birth mom and eat ice cream all day, figuratively speaking.
Sticky situation, for sure.
Continue reading Parenting Expert John Rosemond Wants to Give You Open Adoption Advice