“At what age should we start letting our daughter take the lead in birth parent contact? I know that my daughter will be able to call her birth mom freely when she gets her own cellphone, so how do we step back responsibly?”
Living in Open Adoption
How to maintain contact with your adopted child’s birth family in open adoption, from letters and texting to phone calls and in-person visits.
For years, my daughters’ birth mother dropped in and out of our lives as she battled a drug addiction. Now she is back in our lives, back in her own life, and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for all of us.
We asked “Does your child have a birth sibling who lives with another adoptive family?” Parents respond and explain how they keep in touch (or why contact isn’t possible).
Christine Bauer’s revealing memoir begins when she hears those three words (“You are pregnant”) and faces an unplanned pregnancy, and takes readers through her open adoption decision, and the ensuing three decades as a birth mother and mother. In this excerpt, Bauer relates the complicated emotions that accompanied her second pregnancy, 11 years after placing her daughter for adoption, and the birth of her oldest son.
Adoptive moms and dads share how their open adoptions have changed over time — whether they became more or less open, and why.
My love for my youngest child, who was born to me, takes a different timbre from my love for my twins through adoption. Accepting this helps me understand the inimitable bond they share with their birth mother, and the ache she must feel.
Our daughter knows she was adopted, but doesn’t know she has younger half-birth-siblings. I worry about telling her, but I also I don’t want her to feel like we were hiding information from her.
After adopting my children from foster care, we eased into contact with their birth mother. She and I—a conservative, suburban mom—couldn’t be more different, and I’m glad that’s the case. The kids have a special relationship with her that they can’t have with me.
“My cousin is pregnant but not ready to be a mom. She and I have discussed my adopting her baby. I realize we’ll need a lawyer, but what else will we need to do in order to adopt a family member’s child?”
“Our son’s birth mother is now married and parenting a newborn. How should I answer if he asks why they couldn’t raise him?”
Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.
An expectant mother who’s making an open adoption plan wonders how to explain to her child that his baby sibling will be adopted by another family. A birth mother offers advice.
We asked our readers: If you’ll be giving your child’s birth parents a gift this holiday season, what is it and how will you give it to them? Read the answers from adoptive parents.
“In the beginning, my son’s birth mother seemed to want a lot of contact. I send photos or updates about once a week. She hasn’t seen him in a year, however, and her family hasn’t seen him since birth. Should I back off?”
Real-life advice from the Adoptive Families community on understanding openness, navigating visits and contact, explaining birth siblings, and more.
Having children was something that other people did. But giving birth has given me a sense of connection I never felt before.
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”
I used to see adoption from only one viewpoint—that of the adoptive parents. But working in the field before becoming an adoptive mother opened my eyes to how complex and bittersweet adoption can be.
As teen’s desire more control over their lives, they want to be the decision-makers in determining contact with birth family.
A mother is nervous about the upcoming first birth family visit, wondering what it will be like, how to react if she or the birth mother get upset. Parents in open adoptions offer advice.