Tag Archives: open adoption advice

When An Open Adoption Doesn’t Feel Safe

Letter Writer: We have multiple kids, all of whom have open adoptions. One of the open adoptions has gone awry. It was never good, but it’s gone from OK to terrible.

While we’ve kept all of the promises we made and agreed on, the birth parents have made astonishing demands, including financial and contact, that weren’t part of our agreement. As a result, they have harassed and stalked us by snail mail, online, by phone, even by using other people to do their bidding.

We’ve tried everything we can think of to help the relationship, including involving the social worker, keeping communication open, and compromising. But it hasn’t been enough. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the birth parents threatened to come to our home to speak some really inappropriate things to our child, an infant at the time. We were then at our breaking point.

Their continued inappropriate actions were detrimental to our family. We needed a reset and asked for no contact for a period of time, but they broke that boundary as well.

birth parents don't feel safe

We aren’t hopeful. Trust has been broken so many times, in so many ways. We never thought we’d be in this situation, the one where birth family truly is not safe. We are beyond heartbroken, especially for our son.

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Her Birth Mom Is Having a Baby. What Should We Anticipate?

Question:  We adopted our daughter 8 years ago. We have an open relationship with her birth mom, Jane, and visit a couple of times a year. Birth dad is out of the picture.

Jane got married a couple of years ago to a great guy, and their life is very settled. Joe loves kids, including our daughter, and we knew it was only a matter of time before they wanted to start a family.

Jane just told us she is pregnant, due in the fall. We are meeting up with her next month for a semi annual visit. We are all so excited!

Our daughter has, in the past, desperately wanted a sibling, and we’ve talked about that in the hypothetical. About how she would have a relationship with any other children her birth mom may have much like she has with her cousins who live across the country — they love each other dearly, they just don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like.

We are trying to anticipate the questions our daughter may have about a new sibling. We want to make sure that we answer as sensitively as possible. Some of the tougher ones that have crossed our minds are these: Continue reading Her Birth Mom Is Having a Baby. What Should We Anticipate?

What Carolyn Hax Could Have Said on Adoption Question

A recap of the situation a letter writer brought to Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax:

“Tell My Son” and wife adopted a baby born to a teenage niece. Now age 5 or 6, Jake has always known he was adopted. His parents showed him a photo of his birth mom, Tara, when he was old enough. They told him he could get more information about his birth parents any time he wanted.

At some early point the wife was advised to “never give Jake more information than he wants.”

Due to geographic distance,  Jake and Tara have seen each other only a handful of times, and the parents report that Jake has never connected with her picture. Tara is a little awkward during visits, and the letter writer says “she avoids us when she’s visiting.”

adoption adviceWith an upcoming annual visit, Tara would now like to begin to cultivate a more authentic relationship with her son. Her big ask of Jake’s parents is that they give Jake the truth about her.

Continue reading What Carolyn Hax Could Have Said on Adoption Question