“A Birth Mother Should Have No Rights”

Excuse me? Did you actually just say that?

Did you actually just say that once someone decides to give up their child they should have no right to choose the adoptive family, or to be involved in the child’s life? Did you actually just say that if someone chooses not to raise their child, then they should have no rights? Did you actually just say that the second someone chooses to give up their child that they should have no involvement in their lives?

.

Someone I love dearly said all of these things to me a while back. As she said it, I could feel my heart start racing and my anxiety increasing. How can someone say such horrible and inaccurate things? How am I going to protect my child from this type of language? Why don’t people understand the consequences of their words?

Clearly, we’ve chosen open adoption, and therefore we value the involvement of the birth parents (and extended birth family) in the life of our future child. In fact, we already value our future child’s birth parents and their relationship with our future family and we view them as part of our future family. We are taking the approach of:

20150414 - A Birth Mother Has No RightsThe more people involved in our child’s life, who love our child, the better. Only good things that will come from a child being surrounded by people who love them.

Further, we believe open adoption is a choice, one that does not have to be made by the birth parents. We are not adopting through foster care where a child is removed from a home. Unlike the foster system, no-one is forcing a birth parent to place their child. We are adopting in system where the birth mother (and possibly father) will choose us and we in turn choose them. We believe in most circumstances adoption is the kindest, most selfless act that any birth parent can give their child. We also believe open adoption places high value on everyone involved, and ultimately places the highest value on the child who is unable to voice their own desires in the situation. Research has shown that the child will benefit from knowing their roots and everyone who loves them, and doing what is best for our child matters immensely to us.  In fact, this is paramount in our minds.

So, given all of this, I was gobsmacked when someone said to me, in a matter-of-fact tone that birth parents should have no rights.

I am ashamed to admit that I did not correct the person who made the comment. I made a conscious decision not to, because right now we are just trying to get everyone on board with being part of our adoptive family. I know there will be times in the future when I can educate, and make it clear that this type of language is not permitted around us or our child. But, in that particular instant I decided that I also need to be cognisant that I cannot jump down someone’s throat every single time they say something wrong about adoption.

But, this does leave me questioning why someone would say something so hurtful and mean towards someone they have never met and towards someone who will forever be involved in our lives.

Nearly every person in our lives are excited for us to adopt. In fact, every single person from the nurse at my family doctors office to my in-laws, are excited for us, and often they have been more excited for us then we are for ourselves. But, what we’ve realized is that while they may be excited for us, most definitely do not understand open adoption.

We’ve been educating ourselves about open adoption. In fact, if I think back months ago, open adoption initially really scared us (and truth be told still does in some ways), but we’ve come a long way in our understanding and our desire to ensure we are part of an open adoption. We’ve been attending adoption information sessions, learning from other bloggers, meeting adoptive families, and reading adoption books. We’ve actively been educating and indoctrinating ourselves in the adoption world.

But, I now realize, no-one in our family outside of Mr. MPB and I are doing this. At the end of the day, this decision has been forced upon them. Ultimately, the decision to adopt is our decision and they just have to get on board if they want to continue to be part of our lives. So, because they love us they are doing their best to get on board.  But, they are doing so without the knowledge that we have, and instead they are likely relying on their out of date, stereotypical, and often incorrect knowledge of adoption and open adoption, just like we did when we started down this path. Honestly, if I were in their shoes, I would probably have done the same thing if someone told me they were adopting.

But here the thing, this isn’t good enough for us. We know they mean well, but we also want them to be aware of what is appropriate adoption language. If not for our benefit, but then for the benefit of our child. Our child should never hear mean things said to them about their birth parents and the decision to place their child with us, because this was done purely out of love.  And while we recognize that the world isn’t perfect and our child may hear hurtful things from people at times, we want to actively work to ensure they do not hear such things from our family and friends.

So where does this leave us? We want our families to be part of our lives, and we want our child to feel welcomed and loved by everyone. We feel as though we are walking a fine line right now – we want to be careful to continue to encourage support and involvement from our families and friends. We do not want to push people out by attacking them every single time they say something wrong.

So, what are we going to do?

We bought a copy of this book for each one of our immediate family members. While everyone has been excited by our decision to adopt, clearly, some of our family members are doing better than others at understanding and accepting adoption. While we cannot force them to actually read the book, we hope the fact that we’ve purchased it for them will help encourage them to read it and help them understand more about open adoption.  Truthfully, I have not even read the book yet*, but we’ve had multiple people in the adoption world recommend it to us as a gift to our family members, so we took the plunge and bought multiple copies (amazon does not ship them immediately and I want them sooner rather then later).

Second, I will have to do a better job of stepping up and correcting comments like this one in a polite way. I will pick my battles based on the context of the comment, who is in the room, and how I’m feeling in the moment. Honestly, some days it is tiring to be constantly correcting people, and I will give myself space to have bad days because I do not have to be perfect, I just have to do my best. And, I guess the blessing of the convoluted adoption process is that we have time on our side and we can slowly indoctrinate our family and friends. We will use this time to continue to educate when appropriate and hopefully by the time a placement actually occurs, everyone in our family will have a deeper appreciation and understanding for open adoption.

* Note that I do plan to read the book myself before gifting it. If it’s good, then we’ll give them all away, if it doesn’t meet my standards (which is entirely possible) then we’ll simply return the extra copies.

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59 Comments on ““A Birth Mother Should Have No Rights”

  1. I may hurt a few people by saying this but I wouldnt be comfortable raising my child in constant scrutiny. I mean, the child is mine, I agree it I didnt givr birth, but I am giving life. I would want the birth mother to have visitation rights, get pictures and also when the child is old enough, explain the birth story in a calm manner and hope the child accepts it rationally. That is as much I can share with the birth mother. I would feel v uncomfortable letting the birth parents decide which school, what style of parenting etc for my child.
    Thinking about it, I wouldnt let my mom get involved to make decisions for my son, so in a complex situation I am not sure how much I can allow the birth parents to get involved beyond the basics.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hear you on all of this, and in fact one of the main reasons we have chosen international adoption is to have more control over what the relationship will look like. Yes, we want emails, pictures, care-packages, etc. We may want visits, depending on the health and stability of the birth parents. But, we do not want weekly visits and do not necessarily want unsolicited advice. We knew our boundaries because of how we’ve built our relationship with our parents and siblings already.
      Anyways, all of this is to say that I really get what you mean here – I actually 100% completely agree. Not everyone will agree with this approach, but it’s important to us to be true to who we are. I firmly believe that for an open adoption to work we need to be upfront and straight forward about this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People say things out of ignorance/a lack of understanding. And it’s not your job to be an open adoption champion (unless you want to be!), so don’t feel too bad about not correcting that person back when they said it.

    I’m a big proponent of open adoption. It’s a lot more emotionally involved and sometimes downright exhausting I would imagine, but it’s what is best for the child (provided the first family isn’t abusive/breaking the law, etc…)

    Adoptive and birth parents who choose open adoption are creating that “village” it takes to raise a child, and when it’s done right (and I know you’ll do it right!), they always put the child first.

    Surrogacy is not the same as adoption but there are some parallels. I had my own biological children for people, and we are still in each other’s lives (11 & 10 years later) because it’s important that the girls know me, know I love them and am here to answer questions, etc…A lot of people really discouraged my former IM from staying in touch with me. They thought I’d “get in the way” or “confuse” the daughter. They didn’t understand – or care to think – about the impact of cutting me out would have on the child (let alone me!).

    All of that to say…I think you’re doing the right thing by pursuing open adoption (not that my opinion counts, of course), and I am sure your child will know with confidence that you did everything with love, putting them first, and that matters a hell of a lot more than then opinion of someone who could “never do that” or thinks you should cut the first family out.

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    • First, your opinion does count. Not that it would single handedly change our minds, but it does give us more perspectives to consider which means it does count. 🙂
      Second, I agree with you about the similarities between surrogacy and adoption – I firmly believe a child should have knowledge about their roots, and a birth parent (or surrogate) should have knowledge about the child’s well being. Of course, the exact relationship varies between the families involved, but I believe it is so critical to the well being of everyone involved. I’m thrilled that you have these relationships today as i could not imagine how hard it would be for you not to.
      And thank you for the encouragement to not always be an adoption educator. I struggle with this – I feel that our child(ren) deserve to have their immediate family be knowledgeable (i.e. indoctrinated), but sometimes I really just don’t have the energy to hop up on a soap box.

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  3. One of the reasons I like to read your blog is because you offer a very different perspective from my own. Obviously I am willing to endure all I have endured on the treatment side rather than adopt, and that feeling remains strong considering everything I’m dealing with. It has less to do with the genetic piece as I have gone back and forth in considering egg/embryo donation. I just really take offense to the process and dynamic of adoption for the adoptive family, who is from my view so disempowered in the process. This isn’t to say I think the birth mother “should have no rights.” In fact, I guess I think they should, which is why I’m not willing to go this route. My big problem with it is the capitulating the adoptive parents must do, opening their wallet but walking on egg shells without asking questions for fear of some misstep that will hurt their chances. Here we are, financially stable, loving parents in a solid marriage with everything to offer a child we have planned to the enth degree, so to find ourselves putting together a glossy dossier and internet profile to appeal to some lady who hasn’t even figured out how to avoid an unplanned pregnancy – it just doesn’t work for us. I wonder if this misguided comment from your loved one is reacting to the inherent unfairness of that. Of course you’re right in your child-first approach to adoption, which is why you’re great candidates for this route. I just think the power dynamic of adoption stirs up a lot of raw feelings in a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree with you about the adoptive family being dis-empowered in the adoption process – the process is pure torture and you are right, we are walking on egg shells. We aren’t even matched with a birth mother yet and we feel like we are walking on egg shells trying to be “perfect” and also trying to just be “us”. And, I hear you about trying to put something together to attract a birth mother is beyond weird and uncomfortable.
      As you say, the misguided comment may very likely come from this, or at least comes from some combination of old stereotypes and confusion about the process and the inherit power relationships within adoption.
      Thank you so much for sharing this, I really appreciate your perspective and thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I applaud your decision to have an open adoption. I think that is probably the best option. I can understand the person’s opinion. Some people have posted about how heartbreaking it is for them to be involved with the birth mother for most of the pregnancy, be there at the hospital for the birth of the baby, take the baby home and then a couple weeks later the birth mom wants the baby back. It is really painful for the birth mother and the adoptive parents. Here is an article about someone that had a rough time with domestic adoption, but in the end I think they successfully adopted.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/the-dark-sad-side-of-domestic-adoption/275370/

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    • Thanks for sharing this article, and thanks for all your thoughts! I think you are right, I’m petrified of being matched during the pregnancy and then having the adoption fall through – it may happen, that’s a risk we have to take, but I’m soooo scared of it. But, unlike the mother in the article you shared, I refuse to live my entire life in fear that someday in the future when the child is older that someone will want their child “back” – that’s simply not how adoption law works and to be sane I cannot live in fear of it. (there is obviously a revocation period, but we have chosen a state where it is only a few days long, because we need to protect our hearts too).
      Thank you again for sharing this.

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  5. It’s kind of breathtaking how quickly you become an “educator” isn’t it? Even if it’s just to family and friends.

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  6. I often wonder what my life would have been like if my birth mother was involved in my life, but in the end I’m glad I wasn’t. As an adopted child, I grew up wondering who I looked like, and why my BM decided to give me up (I knew the story, but I couldn’t grasp the concepts). Maybe you remember when you were a little kid and life was unfair, how you used to fantisise about the fact that you were a princess and that your REAL family wouldn’t treat you this way?
    For me, it was my BM. I always thought she wouldn’t be strict and would let me have what I wanted. And you know what, I was right. She has no spine and did a terrible job of raising her own child. She indulged her and let her get away with things, because it was easier. If she had been involved, I think I might have turned out differently. Because when I said that things my parents were doing was unfair, she would have agreed with me.
    I don’t tell you this to scare you, but I do want you t know what you’re gettng into. Open adoption can be a good thing, but you’re going to have to be stronger than you imagine. Because if the birth family starts to try to interfere with your parenting decisions, you’re going to have to set the limits. You’re going to have to do your best to keep their involvement as such that your child does not turn to them when they don’t like your rules.
    In the end, meeting my birth family did one thing for me. It helped me appreciate how awesome my parents are and how lucky I am to be their child. But, I realized this as an adult. Birth parents definitely have rights, but as the adoptive parent, YOU decide how much involvement they get in YOUR child’s life, I would have your boundaries set well before you adopt, so you can discuss this with the family before your child is born.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, thank you so very much for sharing your perspective! I am so thankful to be able to learn from you, someone who gets the child’s perspective!! I know it’s not the same for everyone, but I so adore that you are willing to share and help me have a bit of insight.
      Second, everything you say here about boundaries and what that looks like is one of the main reasons we have chosen to do international adoption and are sticking with this route even – it is so much easier to control access when we are half a continent apart! We want our child to have access to their roots, but we also know our boundaries and we know that we don’t want weekly dinners or constant visits. Pictures, care-packages, emails, phone calls and some visits if it’s safe (i.e. healthy birth family), these all make sense in our minds, but the distance will really gives us a comfort level that we needed to proceed with open adoption.
      Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your future children are beyond lucky to have you and your husband as parents. When we chose our sperm donor we also purposely chose someone that would be open to contact when the kids are 18 (we did it through a cryobank) I think it is important for a child to know their “roots”. I am confident that I will love and be there for my children in a way that will never have them questioning biology, but I don’t think you will ever rid them of curiosity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Ashley. I’m with you, I think it’s so important that children have access to where they came from, at the age appropriate time and only in the safest of circumstances. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You have your head on so straight! I cannot wait until you are matched with your child.

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  9. Buying this book for your family is such a wonderful idea, I hope it is actually helpful and that they get a chance to understand the whole process, what you are both going through and what they can do to support you.
    I guess not everyone will have such an open heart as you when it comes to open adoption, that article linked above said 55% choose open adoption? I never realised this stat. Thanks Alicia for sharing the link 🙂

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    • Thanks!! I so hope that they will read it and it will help them be more supportive of us and our child.
      I find the stat of 55% choose open adoption interesting. I’m a bit skeptical of it, at least from the Canadian experience that I’m part of. Here, unless you adopt through foster care or choose international from any country other then the USA, your adoption will be open. What “open” means will depend on each specific circumstance. That said, I don’t know that percentage of people adopting from each category, but I just assumed that it would be higher then 55%. But maybe that’s because everyone I’m getting to know is part of the open adoption process, so my impression is skewed by who I know. Maybe I should actually look into that as it just seemed low to me. 🙂

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  10. I don’t have much to add to this conversation, except that I agree with everything you’ve said above. And some of the comments you’re getting are really fascinating and thought provoking! If we adopt, I will definitely want it to be open — I do think it is best for the child. Tim agrees, but he is definitely more nervous about it than me.

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    • His main worry is what libraryowl said above — that the child would want to run to their birth parents when they don’t like some of our rules. And I agree, that is a little scary to think about!

      Liked by 2 people

      • We have that same worry. And honestly, like I said to Libraryowl, that’s a large part of why we’ve chosen international open adoption. The distance gives us a greater level of comfort with that risk.

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    • Mr. MPB and I still have days where the whole open adoption thing scares us. I’d love to say that we are always okay with it, but that would be a lie.
      The bonus is that the more educated we become the less scary it seems. But, some days we are still nervous of what it really means.

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  11. Oy, you’ve hit on something here that has really picking at my brain for a few weeks. I’m on a few FB groups and I read/watch posts about open adoptions or adoptive parents venting about expectant mom’s or birth family. There’s often a LOT of judgment and privilege exhibited by waiting or adoptive parents, despite coming to adoption from a place of loss (which I keep mistakenly thinking might trigger compassion in more people). I watched a birth mom essentially get shouted down for having a strong opinion about a failed placement that occurred within the waiting period.

    This is incredibly tough stuff and deeply emotional. People have strong feelings and desires to live happily ever after while not being judged or troubled by remnants of the past, remnants that often never go away. My perspective has evolved on parents’ rights (all parents) a lot over the last two years. I adopted an older child who knows her family and still has a parent out there. I never thought of our situation as open or closed, but we kind of were “cracked open” last year when her paternal family found us. It is challenging to navigate those relationships, just as it is challenging for my daughter to reconcile her feelings about her birth mother. I have no idea what the future holds, but we take it as it comes. I might doubt a lot of things about my parenting but I don’t feel threatened by any of these folks–it’s not always comfortable, but I’m trying to do what’s best for my daughter. Having lots of people who love her is a good thing. Actively teaching her how to maintain boundaries is a good thing. Teaching her about grace, even at a distance, is a good thing. Teaching her how we protect our emotional being is a good thing. Teaching her about her people is a good thing.

    It ain’t easy and sometimes it hurts like hell, but it is a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing all of this ABM! You comment brought up so many different thoughts for me.
      First, I too am often surprised at the underlying sense of entitlement and lack of compassion within the adoption community. I have not had too much experience with it yet, but when I have, I’ve been just shocked. But, I guess like all situations in life, there are always a few people who tarnish the larger majority. (Or at least that my hope).
      Second, I love to hear that you are not threatened by your daughter’s extended family.
      Third, I also appreciate hearing that what matters most is doing what’s best for your daughter. I think if more people could think this way, adoption would be better for everyone involved. I know a lot of adoptive parents struggle with open adoption due to the involvement of the birth family and their own insecurities around that. I have these insecurities at this point in time and I have to remind myself that we will cross those bridges when the time comes not now.
      And you are right, it’s all a good thing. I have no doubt that it will be hard at times, but in the scheme of life, it will be good for us and for our future child, just as it is for you and Hope.

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  12. If I were to use a metaphor (I love metaphors), I would suggest (from experiencing transracial adoption within my immediate family in a south African context ie, at times racist)… Think of your and Mr mpb’s adoption-education as a 100m sprint, and educating your loved ones as a marathon…its a process and I love your book as the first step in the right direction!

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    • I love a good metaphor too, and I love this one! You are right, we have been sprinting through our education process, and our families (rightfully so) are still at the start of the marathon. One day at a time, and we’ll get there. 🙂

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  13. I think buying a book for each of your immediate family members is a lovely thing to do – I really hope they appreciate it and read it (if it is indeed a good book!). Open adoption sounds like a good thing to me. Children really do suffer from not knowing their roots. I think it is a very open-hearted and responsible way to approach it.

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    • Thanks Faye! I too hope our families see the book as a nice gesture and not us forcing something on them. But, we’ve decided it’s a risk worth taking, and we really hope they will read it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! That is about all I can say! You are going to be a great mom who supports and protects your little one. Keep your eyes focused on your goal and do not worry about others.

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  15. Ohhhh I agree with you – and I’m glad that you wrote this. We thought about adoption for awhile and there were so many things to consider. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. You know, a hugely important thing you have going for you here is time. Your family may not have done all the research or even all the thinking they need to do, because it’s not as immediate for them … but that’s okay. When you are able to tell them you have a match and a baby is on the way, that will get some of them thinking more deeply. And even when the baby comes, you will still have plenty of time – because it will be at least a couple years before your little one is able to understand negative or thoughtless comments. During that time, your close friends and family members will be forming their own bonds with your child. They will have time to observe the reality of how you interact with the birth family.

    You’ll see … there probably will always be a few who are clueless – that’s the nature of humans, right? Some of them just never “get it”. But most of the people who love you will love your child for YOUR sake first, and then – in time – for the child’s sake. You won’t be the child’s sole protector – these people will help with the process of education, protection and loving. And maybe a little bit of cluelessness up close, where you can manage it and help the child deal with it, will even be a blessing, because it will create opportunities to teach the child how to respond with grace and dignity, and how to protect themselves when you aren’t around.

    Bottom line … please, my dear, take a breath. Not to diminish your concerns, but … you’re going to be fine… 🙂

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    • Every single thing you said here is so very true! We do have time, and we have lots of it. And we will never educate everyone, we will always hear negative comments in life regardless of adoption. And as parents we get to help our child navigate the negativity with grace and dignity.
      Every single word you shared here was pure brilliance. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Can I be open and honest? When we first started looking at adoption I really had a hard time understanding why people would do an open adoption. I wasn’t educated on loss and trauma at the time. I get it now, and as a soon to be international adoptive mama I see that it is a gift, and honestly what should be a birth right, to know the person that gave birth to you. It fills in the holes and answers the questions that often plague international adoptees. I agree with you that all you can do with family is educate them as best you can. We have done the same, and it has helped but I still have family members who make comments that make me cringe a little. I just have to remember they haven’t read all the books, or taken all the classes, or spent so much time preparing to welcome a child that has been through so much already in their short lives.

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    • Thank you for sharing, I love openness and honesty. And thank you for sharing your understanding, I feel like you really get it, because we are the same way. When we started down the road of adoption the idea of an open adoption scared us, now we are educated. Our families are following at a slower pace. Hopefully with time we will hear less frequent insensitive comments, but as you say, they haven’t read the books or attended the classes.
      Thank you again for sharing! It’s nice to know all of these soon to be adoptive parent feels are normal. 🙂

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  18. I love this post – not because of the hurtful things that someone said to you, but how you’ve chosen to respond. I think it’s a fabulous idea to get your family on board with educating themselves about adoption, and open adoption in particular. I hope the book turns out to be a good one and that your relatives are receptive to it. You are going to be a wonderful parent! ❤

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    • Thanks so much for your support and kind words!! I too really hope that the book is a good one – we just spent a bunch of money on multiple copies so we are really hoping that its good. And, I would hate to have to return them, it’ll be such a pain in the butt. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. What a great idea! I love how you are already creating a protective, loving environment for your child. Sometimes though, it’s those moments when someone says something wrong that really becomes a learning experience for both child, parents and the speaker. I just hope that your family is receptive.

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    • Thanks! I think you are right about learning moments for the child, parents and the speaker – i think in life, regardless of adoption, it’s such a great experience to be able to have these moments with your children and help them navigate hard moments in life with a bit of grace and love. 🙂

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  20. We have come into the adoption world with two advantages. One being that my husband’s family is very familiar with adoption. He has two adopted aunts, two adopted brothers and multiple adopted step-cousins. That has been very helpful in feeling like adoption was just a natural way to grow a family. Secondly, my parents were 17 when they got pregnant for me so they have a soft spot for pregnant teens and know firsthand the road that lay ahead for them.

    That being said, I think one of the important things is being careful in the language and tone that you set (Which sounds like you are already doing a great job!). Our families feed off of the tone we set. We have also had the privilege of the birth mothers meeting our extended families. That gave them something more concrete when they imagine our children’s extended birth families. Our extended families are very respectful of the birth mothers. In setting the lead, others will usually follow suit.

    Unfortunately, you will always be a source of fascination. Open adoption is new on the pendulum so people don’t really understand what it is. Plus, it looks different for every family. You most likely will spend time answering questions. Keeping in mind that majority of people simply do not understand and that they are not trying to be hurtful helps me keep my sanity.

    I field a lot of questions about how we will handle if our kids want to go live with their birth families when they get older. The reality is that is going to happen whether we have a relationship or not. When Little-Flower is twelve and I tell her to go wash off the make-up and put some clothes on that cover her body, she will fantasize that her birth family would let her get away with that. It’s normal for them to build up their birth family in their mind into people who would let them get away with anything. Having the relationship in place I think will help our kids to have a reality check as to what life would really be like. Not to mention, legally, they cannot go live with their birth family as we are their parents.

    You are doing a great job in setting the tone from square one! That will only help your kids in the long run! You are being a great mother to them before they ever even enter your life! Yes, you will feel like you are the lucky ones when you bring your child home, but they will also be luck to have such a conscientious mom!

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    • Thank you for sharing all of this! I am so grateful for all the words of wisdom!
      It’s funny you mention the idea of children one day fantasizing about wanting to live with their birth families, because I’ve hear this a few times in the last week or two. I love your approach that by having a relationship in place the kids fantasies will be more realistic. And I also think regardless of adoption all kids fantasize this way – I remember begging my Dad to send me to a boarding school so I didn’t have to live with them – needless to say he didn’t send me away and in hindsight I’m sure boarding school wasn’t the solution, but in my 14 year old mind it was. I know it’s not the exact same, but I think it’s similar enough.
      And thank you so much for your encouragement to continue to set the tone from square one. We do hope our efforts now will help our child(ren) have a loving start in life from all of their family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I know that I keep repeating myself, but…you have to do what you feel is best for you and your family. I think if the book is good and will help, that’s awesome that you got a copy for so many people to help them understand. Maybe, to go along with the book, you could write out a letter to everyone as well? Just to explain that you’re giving them this gift as a way to better understand what you’re going through, and what you want for your child. Maybe things that you don’t want talked about or said in front of the child. I dunno, just a thought. It’s one thing to say those things to people, but if it’s written down and they read it, I feel it has a bigger impact.
    Good luck with all of this, and I hope the people in your lives will understand and accept what you are doing!

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