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Has Adoption Touched Your Life More Than Once?

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Over the years the agency has worked with a number of birthparents whose own mothers also once placed a child (or children) for adoption in their younger years.

These older birthmothers-now-birthgrandparents face special challenges in helping support their daughters through second generation adoption choices. Most of these women have had only closed adoption experiences, and being a peripheral part of an open adoption can evoke discomfort, sadness, guilt or regret, that they did not have open adoption choices available to them at the time of their own placements. Many have never revealed to their own families that they went through this before, and don't know how to do it, now that their own son or daughter is facing this dilemma, too.

Some worry that openness could somehow make the adoption experience harder on their daughters (or sons), because they themselves know how to live with the loss of closed adoption but not with the assurance of openness. Yet others find a renewed curiosity for establishing or recharging reunion ties with the agency or family or child with whom they placed so long ago.

And still others cringe at the idea that relatives will point a finger at them for their own kids' adoption choices, thinking the birthgrandparent "set a bad example" or is now paying some bizarre sort of cosmic payback for having "given up that baby" long ago.

It's a tough road, but you've got friends out here that you don't even know about yet... so if you are the parent of a birthmom or birthdad and you need to connect with others in the know, call Abrazo, or post here... come on out of the shadows and into the light! because you're not alone! There's an army of support out there just waiting to be tapped! and it's yours, for the asking.

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  • 1 year later...

We shared a heartbreaking moment in the office this past week, when one of our hospitalized birthmoms called home for encouragement and was told by her mother (who'd also placed a child for adoption years ago, in a closed adoption) that if she "gave away this baby, (she) was no better than a dog in the street."

The words stung our birthmom, who admitted that while her mother had not ever been supportive of any of her decisions, she still longed for her mom's approval, no matter how old she becomes. Will you be there for me and my baby if I bring him home? she asked, but the answer to this question was no more supportive. She asked her mom if she would be willing to meet the baby and his new parents (an opportunity never afforded her mom, when she made her placement plan) but the birthgrandmother-to-be said "no way" and hung up.

The birthmom wept bitterly, feeling very alone. In the end, she realized that the right choice for her would be to give her baby a more supportive family and a more stable home than the one she had, and she followed through with her adoption decision.

But you know what? When she called home again to tell her mother what she'd done, her mom actually supported her! She'd apparently given it some more thought, because she now told her daughter she knew it was a hard decision and that she understood her daughter had done only what she thought was best for her baby. She may not have agreed with the decision her daughter made, but she acknowledged her right to make that choice, and that was a big step for them both!

And later this week, the birthmom and adoptive family and the baby are going to meet the new birthgrandmother and a proud "big" birthbrother. May it be a wonderful beginning to a beautiful new friendship for them all.

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What an emotional story! All involved will be in my thoughts and prayers! I wish the best for all of them.


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