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Relative Involvement in Open Adoption Plans


What, in your opinion, is the "right" time for the birthrelatives to get involved with the adopting family?  

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What's your take on this one? What's been your experience? What worked for you-- or didn't?

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We always tried really hard to have as much contact with Dylan's Birthmom and her dad. We had spoken to the birthdad and his mother briefly. Right before Elizabeth passed away Kim(paternal grandmother) and I began talking more and more. She is the one who called to tell us about Eliozabeth's death. Kim has told me that for a very long time she held a grudge against Elizabeth for placing Dylan for adoption. However as the years passed and I sent her photo's of Dylan she saw how happy he was and how well he was being provided for. She told me 2 weeks before Elizabeth died she had forgiven Elizabeth and they minded their friendship. We still talk every 3-4 months and I send photo's on a regular basis. We are planning to meet them this summer before Camp Abrazo. So our expierence has been good and I hope for it to only get better. I remember last summer when I told Dylan that we were going to try to go visit them he said"good because they might die too and then I will never know them" That hurt!! I think it will be a very healthy meeting for all of us. I only wish he could have met his birthmom. He will someday in Heaven...... smile.gif

Edited by stennison
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I think it would be healthy and give the birth relatives a sense of security with the birthparents decision if they knew the AP's from the start, plus it makes for even a more wonderful extended family :-).

-Loriahn

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I think that the family involvment really depends on the family and the birthparents and should also have a little to do with the adoptive parents too. If the BP's are underage then I see a little more need but really what ever is most comfortable for all involved. My grandmother and mother were involved alittle and that was great. The AP's enjoyed talking with my grandmother and my mother seeing since how my mom was adopted it helped a little. My mother was able to tell them the outcome of her situation and the questions she asked it was helpful a little. We all had a great relationship and time together.

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Now that my dad and stepmom are involved with my son, they have all had an increase in joy! My son loves cowboys, and though my dad may not be an official ranch hand or such, he's pretty close in a little boy's eyes! My son couldn't contain his excitement to find out his new friend, my dad, wore boots and jeans and even owned a cowboy hat or two! This connection has been good for all of us and wouldn't trade it for the world! Granted my mom isn't involved, but that is because she isn't nice to any of us about the situation. But, the enjoyment of the extended family is a joy beyond compare!

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  • 1 month later...

How do you balance things? I wonder if there are instances when the Birthparents might feel jealous of their family's contact with the adoptive family. Especially, if your family didn't agree with the adoption until long after it was done? How should adoptive families handle that?

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  • 6 months later...

I am bringing this back out, because I need help!

My mom as many of you know is not nice about the whole thing. She believes I should have given her the choice in parenting. I would NEVER have done that and she's crazy for thinking I would have with all our issues. With that siad, she is now using my Daughter's courisosity to get pictures and info, J is 11 now and is asking losts of questions and smart loving big sis would ask. She even has some picutres, but my mom 'copied" them for her own. AMAZING! I have explained to my mom in more than 1 way that we can discuss her having contact but until she can be civil to ME she doesn't deserve any of those things. She doesn't ask me- she goes against everything I ask. She disrepects me but wants to run the show! AMAZING! I can't believe her. she refuses to deal with me, but she thinks she should have the right to tell anyone in MY family that she wants her version of the whole ordeal. Darn IT! It's not even her side of my extended family, its my dad side, and they've been divorced since 1980, and he agrees with me that that info is mine to tell when I AM READY . Good gosh almighty! SHE ticks me off. Any suggestions?

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What's your take on this one? What's been your experience? What worked for you-- or didn't?

15569[/snapback]

I told my parents after I matched with Jen & Doug. I wanted to have as much info as possible before even telling them that I was pregnant. I wanted to have a game plan. Otherwise I would have freaked out!!

So- that's that.

A. rolleyes.gif

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What's your take on this one? What's been your experience? What worked for you-- or didn't?

15569[/snapback]

well first of all my APs and i have a great relationship. i told my parents i had matched with angie shortly after it happened. my parents had met angie even before colby was born and then we were all at the hospital together. not only did angie get to met my parents, but my boyfriend (we were just friends then) and my bestfriend. but angie and wade are bringing all the boys on the 23rd. i wanted to invite some of my friends then to meet colby. And angies okay with that, she knows i want to show colby off.

also though i was slightly angry at my moms involvment at first. she suddenly loved colby and was willing to be there for me. when i was first pregnant she wasnt really willing to help out because of my past behavior, and she wasnt sure if/how/when id change. i guess now im cool with it, whats done is done, and her reasoning makes sence

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I dont post much here and decided that I would post on this one.

I placed Nicholas for adoption with Abrazo in 1998 and then I placed Grace through a private adoption in 2000.

I never told my parents or any of my family that I was pregnant so they never knew I was placing a baby or babies for adoption.

My husband(now my EXHUSBAND) told my my family in 2001. We got into a fight and he used it against me and told my grandmother and my sister. I was very upset because he told me because I did not know what they were going to say or do. They were very upset at first but these last few years they have actually accepted what I have done and they have been very supportive.

If I could change things I would have told my family in the begining because it would have been so much easier.

Elicia

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  • 1 month later...
What's your take on this one? What's been your experience? What worked for you-- or didn't?

15569[/snapback]

I have been involved with my daughter's decision to place from the very beginning. At first, it seemed to be a 'no-brainer' - she was raped. I know she is unable physically, financially, and most of all emotionally to 'keep' this child - the decision to place has always been hers, and although I did not push it, I supported it. As time as gone by, and the baby is growing, it has become a little harder to imagine 'giving your child away'. But, through the miracle of Abrazo, she (we wink.gif) have found the PERFECT APs for this child and feel so blessed that this decision has been made at least a little easier. We have had a lot of phone & email contact, and we actually get to meet them next week!!!! biggrin.gif I cannot wait, because I know that they will not give this child what he needs, but they are helping HER give him what he needs!!! It's very hard to watch my daughter have to go through this, and to experience this myself as well - he IS still my grandson - but Ted & Ashley (APs) are going to let us be as involved as we like, so he STILL gets to be my grandson!!! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif . I love Diana, I LOVE little Tucker, and I love Ashley & Ted for coming into our lives.

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What an amazing source of support for your daughter. You guys are so lucky to have one another. Thanks for sharing....AMAZING!!

Sabrina

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  • 1 year later...

I was reading the press reports about the maternal birthgrandparents' of Angelina Jolie's latest child, Pax Thien, in which they allegedly complain that their daughter has been a heroin addict for years, and conceived as a result of an affair with a married man, thereby necessitating their abandonment of their birthgrandchild at the orphanage from which Jolie plucked him out, and warning the world that their daughter may try to extort money from Jolie in exchange for the child... and I thought, jeez Louise! That poor gal (however messed up on drugs she may be!) With your own family saying these kinds of things about you, who needs in-laws?! :P

Here's hoping Angelina takes a page from Madonna's book (though admittedly imperfect) and makes some effort to reach out to the birthfamily and preserve this child's connections to them, given that he is not, in fact, an orphan but a child with living, breathing relatives who deserve to know him and be known by him!

I think one important way in which relatives can contribute significantly to the success of open adoption plans is for birthrelatives to always seek to honor the birthparents in your communications with the adoptive family and the child, regardless of your personal feelings or frustrations with the birthparents, their lifestyle or choices. (Remember what Grandma always said: if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all?)

For whatever painful chapters in family history may be known all too well by the birthgrandparents and other relatives, take the high road, and use discretion in deciding what "dirt" is (or is not) relevant information to be shared with the adopting family (as well as when and how.) Always keep in mind how essential it can be to the adopted child's self-esteem and identity development that he/she know things about his/her birthparents of which he/she can feel proud.

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I think it should be when the Birth Family wants to involve them. And, each situation is different so you just have to trust the decision of the Birth Family.

I know at times we, as an adoptive couple, may resent the fact that these inidividuals are involved. But, really it is the best thing ever. In some cases they are the ones that are trying to crush the adoptive plans, this happened to us. But, now they tell us that we are the best thing that has happened to this family. I love them like I do my own family.

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  • 1 month later...

I posted this elsewhere, under Persona Grata, but wanted to reprint it here, too, so that birthgrandparents who are wondering about the effects of openness on them and their daughters (or sons) after placement can find some reassurance that it is, indeed, healthier to continue contact:

STUDY FINDS BIRTHFAMILIES WITH CONTACT MORE ABLE TO RESOLVE LOSS

An English study interviewing 72 birthparents or grandparents of children adopted under age 4 (both voluntary and child welfare) found three patterns of adaptation: positive acceptance, resignation, and anger and resistance.

Coming to Terms with the Loss of a Child: The Feelings of Birth Parents and Grandparents about Adoption and Post-Adoption Contact, by Dr. Elsbeth Neil, was published in the current issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 10, Issue 1).

The research shows that birthgrandparents were more accepting of the loss of a child placed for adoption than were the birthparents, and that birthparents having face-to-face contact with the child rather than mediated contact through letters were more able to come to terms with the loss sooner.

Those whose children were involved in child welfare adoptions (meaning those who lost parental rights due to state involvement) were more likely to fall in the positive acceptance category than those in voluntary adoptions; 52 percent compared to 39 percent. (This could mean that it is "easier" to accept losing a child involuntarily than having to make such a sacrificial decision of one's own free will.)

To access a free abstract, go to:

https://www.haworthpress.com/store/Toc_view...20Issue%3A%201;

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  • 10 months later...

We were delighted to recieve an e-mail yesterday from Bailey's birthgrandmother after a long period of time. It was so good to hear from her and how things are going in their world and share how things are going with Bailey. You can tell how much she thinks about Bailey and is glad she is with us. Bailey has a birthcousin (is that a term?) that is close in age to Bailey, and the grandmother comments that as she watches the cousin grow she wonders if Bailey is doing the same things developmentally. It's sweet to know Bailey is on her heart and mind.

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