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Archive for open adoption relationship

4 Ways to Build a Quality Relationship With Your Child’s Adoptive Family

Learn about building a relationship With your child’s adoptive familyWhen you decide to make an open adoption plan, it doesn’t just mean having a relationship with your child. It also means having a relationship with your child’s adoptive family. And creating a bond with them can be a wonderful experience!
 
Today, we’re giving you 4 tips to help get you to begin the path towards a quality relationship with the adoptive family:
 

1. Get to Know Them

Getting to know your child’s adoptive parents before and after placement is important! So, ask them questions about things like their lives, jobs, church, vacations, and traditions. You could try chatting with them like you would to a friend.
 
“When I go to California to visit my daughter and her adoptive parents, I always update them on my life – school, dating, work, and stuff like that,” says Taylor, a birth mother. “I think that when we show interest in each other’s lives, it makes us all feel more comfortable.” Who knows, the adoptive couple may even become some of your closest friends!
 

2. Honor Boundaries

It’s crucial to respect their roles as parents, and yours as the birth mom. These roles are equally important but different. When you honor their boundaries and parenting decisions, the adoptive parents will feel respected and secure in their role. This security will make them feel more comfortable with you.
 

3. Notice Your Child’s Siblings

If your child has siblings, you’re important in their lives too. “My son’s brother is one of my favorite kids. When I visit, we all play together. He knows that I love him and his brother,” says Hailey, a birth mother. So if you get your child a gift, think about getting a gift for their brother or sister, as well. They need to know they are important to you too.
 

4. Don’t Worry

Adoptive parents are only humans, so they might act awkward and make mistakes. They might be worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, just like you. So try not to feel intimidated as you start your relationship. What’s helped some birth moms is to think of them like extended family members.
 
 
The bottom line is that any relationship requires work. We recommend that you find what works best for you, since every open adoption relationship is different. Your relationship with the adoptive couple will naturally change as time passes. It’s possible to have an incredible open adoption relationship if you put the child first and remember that adoption is about love!

How You Speak About Your Child’s Birth Mother Matters

learn how to speak to yoru child about your child's birth motherIt’s normal for adopted children to ask about their birth families. They may wonder things like ‘do they look like me?,’ ‘Why did they choose adoption?’ and ‘What do I have in common with them?’ What’s important is to be honest, open, and positive when you talk with your child about your child’s birth mother. After all, their birth parents are a major part of his or her adoption story.

Since it’s a delicate subject, many adoptive parents wonder how they should start the birth parent conversation with their child. Here are some tips about talking with your child about his or her birth parents:

1. Start Telling Their Adoption Story Early On
Begin talking with your child about their adoption from day one. That way, it’s not a shock to your child that they were adopted. Your child will know their adoption is special if you speak about it early and often. For very young children, you might share photos of their birth parents and explain that they helped create your family.

2. Keep in Touch
Many (if not most) birth mothers want an open adoption maintained. So, it’s important that you follow through on the amount of contact you agree to. Preserving a relationship with your child’s birth mother is benefiting all involved, particularly your child.

3. Plan Ahead
As your child matures, they’ll ask different questions and want to know more details about their birth parents. Speak with your spouse and come up with a plan of how you’ll address questions and when you want to share certain details. Ask your child’s birth mother for more info—it may help you answer some of these questions that’ll come up down the road. It’s ideal if she could write a letter to your child, describing her choice of adoption.

4. Celebrate Adoption
Consider having a yearly party for your child’s adoption day, and invite your child’s birth parents. Talk with your child about their birth story and birth family. Other adoption-related holidays that you can recognize include National Adoption Month, Birth Mother’s Day, and National Adoption Day.

5. Be Truthful

You don’t need to tell your child all of the information about their birth family all at once. Keep in mind that you should never fabricate stories about your child’s birth parents. If your child asks you a question that you don’t have the answer to, just tell them so. Saying “we don’t know” is better than telling them what you think they want to hear or making up a story.

6. Be Positive
Avoid speaking badly about your child’s birth mother, especially to others. It’s important to respect her privacy, while at the same time being understanding with her mistakes and lifestyle differences. Remember that it was your child’s birth parents who brought them into this world and made it possible for you to be parents. Make sure that your child knows that he or she is loved by the birth parents who chose to give them life. The birth mother will always love their child, even as they struggle to maintain stability or healthy choices. Remember, it’s out of loss and difficulties that you were blessed to adopt that child and to build your family!

Talking with your child about their birth parents doesn’t lessen your role as parents or change the relationship you have with your child. Just the opposite: it’ll bring your family closer, increase trust, and make your child proud of his or her origins.