I’ve been seeing some posts on the forums that concern me. Adoptees have been asking why their birth parents are refusing reunion contact. And, trust me, I’m not really concerned about the birth parents in these scenarios.
Don’t get me wrong. I get that everyone has their reasons. I get the fact that many mothers (and fathers) from the closed era were told to just forget about the children that they relinquished for adoption. I get that many of these same birth parents never told their subsequent children or spouses about the child that they relinquished.
But I’m failing to see how any of this is the adoptee’s fault. And I’m failing to understand how punishing the adoptee solves anything in this convoluted mess.
My initial question asking if there is any reason to refuse reunion contact is speaking of that initial contact. I am well aware that once into reunion birth parents and adoptees may find issues hard to cope with, a personality clash or other issues that are hard to overcome. My problem, of course, is with those birth parents that are not even willing to meet their children.
I’ve heard the many well-intentioned excuses. “They have a family. I don’t want to disrupt that.” “My husband doesn’t know.” “My children don’t know.” On and on and on. Personally, I’m amazed that these birth parents aren’t curious about how their child “turned out” or interested in touching their child for the first time. I know it is a conditioned response, a coping mechanism after years of hidden grief and loss.
But this is one time where birth parents absolutely need to step out of their comfort zone and consider the other party. This isn’t about appeasing the adoptive family. This isn’t about making your own parents happy or redeeming yourself in their eyes. While this does involve your spouse and your children, it isn’t about them. This is about the child you placed for adoption. Whether you were a willing party to the adoption or not, your child deserves to meet you, if only once.
I cannot think of a reason that one face-to-face meeting can’t happen. I cannot think of a reason that letters cannot be sent and replied to. I cannot think of on valid reason for turning your child away. And yet I have seen so many of my adoptee friends face exactly that: no reply or a refusal of contact from their birth family. It makes me angry. It breaks my heart. And it makes me more determined to fight for better counseling for today’s generation of birth parents. Maybe we can help this generation learn how important we really our to our placed children.
My hope, of course, is that fewer and fewer adoptees will have to post on forums asking for help when their birth parents refuse contact. Maybe someday we won’t hear any such nonsense.