Adoptees, Birth Parents, Open Adoption

For adoptive parents: your child’s evolving relationship with birth parents

 As children age, parents lose more and more control. This can be hard to handle, especially for adoptive parents, a unique and challenging situation can arise. With this new-found freedom, your child may start growing closer and closer to their birth parents. When you once used to control the frequency of meeting and contact with your child’s biological parents; this is no longer the case. They are seeing and talking to them more than ever before. And for whatever reason, this may bring feelings of jealousy or sadness.  

It is ok to feel this way. A situation you once felt you had control over has fallen out of your grasp. You should not let this affect you and your child’s relationship. Notice I said YOUR child. They are still and always will be your baby, nothing and no one can change that. 

Talk About How You’re Are Feeling. Try expressing how you are feeling with your partner or your friend rather than your child. Talking to a therapist is always an option. But what you don’t want to do is make your child feel guilty for pursuing this relationship with their biological parent or parents. It is natural for your child to want to have a relationship with their birth parents.

Embrace it. Don’t create unnecessary tension. As adoptive parents in an open adoption, it’s important not to make your child feel like they are playing a game of tug of war. Let go of the metaphorical rope. Talk to your child about their birth parents early and often. Make them feel comfortable confiding in you about their questions and concerns. After all, all the members of the adoption triad are on the same team. They all just want to do the best for the adoptee. 

Create Your Own Relationship. As adoptive parents, it’s important to have a relationship with your child’s birth parents. Create realistic boundaries early on and stick to them. This will make room for open communication in the future. It will also create a sense of security for both parties.

Highlight the Positives. Try to think of the positive aspects of your child having a strong relationship with their birth parents. Write it down for times when you are feeling down. Read it. And Reread it.

Remember Your Purpose.  Lastly, always be mindful of why you chose to adopt in the first place. Your child’s birth parents are the reason you have this beautiful child sitting in front of you, and for that, you should be eternally grateful. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s