Your daughter or son is facing an unplanned pregnancy – what do you do? The question shouldn’t be what do you do, but what are your child’s options. A couple or single who is facing an unplanned pregnancy has three options: parenting, aborting, or placing. If your child has decided on adoption it is important to realize that through open adoption this does not mean that you will never see your grandchild or know how they are doing.
Here are some specific examples from our AFTH social workers on how birth grandparents stayed involved before, during, or after placement.
- One AFTH birth grandmother has email contact and 1-2 yearly visits with her grandchild’s adoptive family as well as receiving picture updates. She gets these contacts even though her son and his girlfriend have decided to not have a relationship at this time with the adoptive parents.
- Another AFTH birth grandmother helped her daughter through the adoption option and was able to meet with the adoptive parents in the hospital. She and her daughter will be coming to our annual picnic this summer as a yearly visit with the adoptive family.
- Even if you are long distance from your child who is looking to place, birth grandparents can help through the adoptive family selection. A couple shared their two adoptive families profiles with their parents who viewed and were helpful in the couple’s final decision.
- An AFTH expectant mother did not have a license so when appointments were made the woman’s mother would drive and attend as well. They were each other’s support system through every step of the pre-placement and post-placement. As a birth grandmother, she attended birth parent support groups with her daughter to cope with the post-placement.
- An AFTH birth grandfather and his daughter (birthmom) do their annual visits with the adoptive family together. Raised by only her father, the birthmother and her father were each other’s support through every step of the way during the adoption process.
Other ways that birth grandparents can get involved, depend on the relationship that you and the adoptive family have created. Some birth grandparents visit on special occasions such as birthdays, school plays, or sports events. Some birth grandparents and adoptive families meet up to go on adventures such as to the zoo or aquarium.
Building a relationship with your grandchild’s adoptive family may seem difficult but the key to starting the relationship is honesty. When meeting or speaking with your child’s adoptive family pick, let them know what you would like to receive out of this adoption plan and be completely open.