The key to succeeding in adoption is to never lose sight that adoption is supposed to serve our children’s interests first. For both sets of parents, to maintain a amicable relationship can be of great benefit for a child. I realize that this is not always possible.
Here are a few reminders to aid you in getting along with your child’s other parents:
1. For birth parents, unless asked, keep mum on any child-raising issues. Only in rare situations will the adoptive parents seek or appreciate your opinions on child-raising. They are entitled to parent however they choose, and will not likely want your opinion on how to handle certain situations or issues. Of course, there will be some exceptions, but do not volunteer advice.
2. For adoptive parents, understand that in many cases a birth mother may not want to share her adoption issues with you. In fact, you might be the last person on earth that she might want to share her feelings about the adoption. Do not take it personally if she wants to keep her feelings to herself. It does not necessarily mean that she does not like you or that she had no deep feelings. She might have many reasons, including not wanting to spoil your happiness with her issues.
3. For birth parents, the adoptive parents deserve your respect and support for any decisions they make with regard to raising your child. If you chose them, you need to trust their decisions and support them.
4. Both sets of parents need to be respectful and sensitive to the other parents. In some situations this can be particularly difficult, and that is when parents are tested the greatest. When birth parents are dysfunctional and have serious problems, it could be very difficult to deal with them. Likewise, when adoptive parents have particular issues, communication can be challenging.
5. For adoptive parents, extend your hearts and friendship to your child’s birth parents as much as possible, no matter what they may be like. It could make a real difference in their lives, your own and that of your child.
All you can do is your very best, no one can ask more from you. Parenting is generally not easy under the best of circumstances. Adding adoption to the mix complicates it further.
Photo by Jan Baker 2007