Ask AF: Uncomfortable Level of Contact with Birth Family

We agreed to visit our child's birth parents a couple times a year. Now her birth grandparents are seeing us weekly. What should we do?

Q: Ten months ago, we adopted a baby girl in a semi-open adoption. Our contact agreement with the birth parents is to provide periodic updates via e-mail, and to visit once or twice a year. Subsequently, the birth grandparents have asked to see our daughter weekly and to be called “grandma” and “grandpa.” We did not agree to this, but they’ve found out where we live and have begun attending our church. How should we cope with this situation?


A: You were straightforward with the birth parents and birth grandparents in your open adoption agreement about the level of contact and openness with which you are comfortable. It’s clear that the birth grandparents are inappropriately crossing the boundaries you set. I suspect that this is because they have not come to terms with the birth parents’ decision to place their child for adoption.

If an agency or counselor was involved in your adoption, ask for her help in suggesting counseling to the birth grandparents.