Just as birth parents don’t have any right to tell adoptive parents how many other children they can have and how they can go about adding to their family, adoptive parents don’t have any right to dictate how and when birth parents add to their family. Pretending that it is okay in any fashion is a joke.
Some have tried to justify their interference in such an intimate decision by stating that they don’t want their child to be hurt. Noble as the intention is phrased, it is still a gross overstepping of a boundary. Should birth parents be concerned with the emotional well-being of their relinquished children? Always. Will they have to answer the child’s questions when they arise as to why they felt better able to parent at x-time? Yes. Will the adoptive parents probably have to initially field such a question? Yes. If there is an open relationship, can the adoptive parent then refer the child to the birth parent so that questions and anger can be directed at the appropriate party? Yes.
And that’s the kicker: the open relationship.
I’ve seen how some try to try to prove that their point is right. It’s okay for birth parents who placed their first born for adoption to have children, as long as it is done x-years later and with the permission of the adoptive family. Or, it’s not okay for birth parents who were already parenting a child when they placed a 2nd or 3rd (or xth) child to have another child because of some inability to understand the panic that accompanies a pregnancy that was either unplanned or came at a time when financial issues scared the pants off of a family/mother/father. Especially for the latter example, people don’t want to believe that a birth family could, after relinquishing, come to the conclusion that the process of doing so was something they never wanted to live through again.
There are those then that say the the latter group should learn to use birth control. Nasty things are said about them picking and choosing their children. They are made fun of, they are scorned, they are called unfit. Their parenting is called into question. But if a birth parent ever called into question the parenting decisions of an adoptive parent, the adoption would be immediately closed. There would be no question of who was in the wrong in such a case. So how is it right when the shoe is on the other foot.
In the end, birth parents who add to their family in any manner will have to face the question: “Why them instead of me?” For children who haven’t been reassured by their adoptive families that the birth family relinquished in love and with the child’s best interest in heart and mind, there is likely to be some confusion and anger presented with the question. Even those who have been reassured are likely to have some anger. (Did life make sense to you at all ventures? Were you always happy when other’s decisions affected your life? When birth and adoptive families are able to respect each other’s decisions, without always and thoroughly understanding them, the child has a better chance of being able to make sense of it later on. Birth and adoptive parents who work together to answer the tough questions (like this one) will have a better chance that the anger from the child will be inconsolable. When the two sets of parents are on the same page with what the answers are, they can better give an attempt at answering before referring the child to the correct party.
As a birth parent, you should be considering how your child’s placement fits into your family’s story. Soon I will be talking how to handle the statement, “If you wouldn’t have placed your baby, then another baby wouldn’t exist” as well as some of the other things that we are told and how to properly process such things.