Q: Our son has lived with us since he was 6 months old, and we recently finalized his adoption (he’s now 4). His birth family, including two biological brothers, has been in our lives the entire time.
The boys have spoken a few times, but I am reluctant to let them see each other. The birth parents both have criminal histories and problems with drugs, so I am afraid that the brothers may become bad influences.
The siblings all miss each other, however, and I worry that being an only child will be hard on our son, especially knowing that he has siblings and that we are keeping them apart.
A: Thank you for your sensitivity to your son’s needs. Your son’s biological siblings will and should remain a presence in his life, whether they have direct contact or not. Without knowledge of how they are doing, he will wonder and worry. Try exchanging letters through your public agency.
You can get a feel for what is said before you decide how to proceed further. In addition, supervised visits might work out well. I know that you are concerned about the negative influence of his siblings’ parents, but lack of contact with his brothers could result in more difficulty of another kind later on. The sibling bond is powerful.