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Birth Mother Who Still Seek Control Over Their Child's Upbringing?

A short while ago, in this section, there were numerous questions and answers from adoptive moms dealing with issues from their child's birth mothers. The biggest issue I noted was the birth mother's constant need to control how the child is being brought up. And I also noted that in these cases, the birth mothers were still rather young (late teens to twenty-ish). And with all the above mentioned cases, the adoptive parents were still working to keep the birth mother involved with the child's life, but were uncomfortable with the amount of control the birth mother was wanting/insisting on.

I understand wanting to keep your word if an open adoption was promised, but I don't understand how the birth mothers were able to continue to control the situation. I am a birth mom. I only recieve pics and updates. Had visits been included, I would never have dreamed of interfering in such a way. Cont:


Asked by randi1978 at 1:11 PM on Jan. 3, 2009 in Adoption

Level 4 (43 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • I believe that adoption facilitators and social workers are partially responsible for portraying open adoption in a way that makes it sound like co-parenting. Far too many adoptive and birth moms enter into an adoption not understanding how open adoptions function, and then are frustrated and upset over the situation. Preparing for an open adoption is tough work because there is so much misinformation floating around.

    However, I have wondered too why some adoptive parents are so afraid to take control. Some paps begin to control the situation even before the baby is born and they are entitled to do so. Others may complain about the birth mom and put up with her bad behavior until they have had enough and then they close the adoption. Wouldn't it be better for everyone if expectations and boundaries are clear before that point?

    Answer by Southernroots at 1:32 AM on Jan. 4, 2009

  • Cont: I guess the big question is " Why not put your foot down and limit the contact to what was agreed upon?" If the mother is trying to put you on a guilt trip, tell them that until they respect space and boundaries, this is how it is going to be.

    I would kill for a mere second to be in my daughter's presence. And when I hear about cases like the above mentioned, it makes those of us who are not at all like those birth mothers look bad.

    Answer by randi1978 at 1:15 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • I can only speak for my son's other mother: she has never once insisted that we raise our child a particular way nor has she criticized us. I did ask her for advice yesterday when she called. She has older children she has raised. She did feel more comfortable placing him with us when she found out we were of the same political party and had similar world views. But it has also been my experience with other friends who have adopted or with contact from other birthmothers that birthmothers do not want to dictate how that child is raised. They simply want contact - to know that the child they love and care for is being treated fairly, is still alive, is being raised be reassured. I don't think that is too much to ask for. It really is the very least that could be done.  I personally think that when adoptive parents get all in a wad - it is usually of their own self created drama.


    Answer by frogdawg at 1:29 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • cont...There are ways to nicely, firmly, and politely assist a birthmother in creating her role in that child's life - one that everyone can live with. On the other hand I am sure there are some birthparents who have crossed the line. But to characterize this as the rule instead of the acception is dangerous to future adoption situations. Simply because it discourages real and healthy open relationships by clouding it with fear.

    Answer by frogdawg at 1:31 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Frogdawg, you always give such wonderful and insightful answers.....I remember when I got the last batch of pics of my daughter back around her 1st birthday....and I saw that they cut her hair. I was a little mad because she had such thick, pretty hair.....but I got over it quickly. I would never have brought it up with them. They have the right to cut her hair, I don't have the right to say "NO". I know my example is petty, LOL, but it's the only example I could think of with my situation. I would have let her hair continue to grow....but she is not in my care. So, I can't make that decision and I would never have tried to interfere with their decision to cut her hair. Again, I know it's a petty example, but all I can think of at this point.

    Answer by randi1978 at 2:18 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Personally, I dont understand how it could get to a point where it's being considered a "co parent" situation to begin with. It's adoption. Not shared custody. Like OP said, I would be happy beyond belief to even get a few minutes in person with my daughter...heck at this point even some pictures would be nice! I always think of the people I gave her to in terms of them being "my daughter's parents" (sounds odd but that is how I think of it). I still think of her as "mine" in the sense she came from me & I love her & care about her yet they are the parents she is being raised by. I feel like I gave them that job, but I'm not at liberty to interfere with it.

    Answer by lisa89j at 2:54 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • if the kids are adopted older it gets hard because the kids want contact with the parents. sometimes birthparents especially young ones think that open adoption means she will be involved meaning controlling the life of the child.

    Answer by Lyndall at 5:40 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • We're getting ready to adopt a little one in February and it's a completely open adoption. The birthmom will get to see the baby as often as she wants and we really are just extending our family to include them in every way possible. But at the same time, our birthmom won't actually parent. And she knows her limits. I don't worry that she will ever overstep her boundaries.

    Answer by Jill42721 at 7:11 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • For me I have to remember that I need to respect my son's birthmother's privacy and her life. So while I want to ask certain questions I am not going to. It isn't my place. I don't want to try to force her to be close with us. I can keep the door open and she chooses what she is comfortable with. Its really one of the most trickiest relationships. Look, it isn't easy. I mean this woman, who provided my husband and I with a son we adore above anything else, is a stranger. She is from a different culture, ethnicity, social economic group, different type of educational level - we are as different as different can be. Yet we both try. And let me just acknowledge - it is awkward at times. I mean down right hard. But we keep plugging away her and I. I love this little boy and so does she. That is what we have in common. So if I or her make a few missteps along the way - I figure it is bound to happen.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:23 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • I was the OP of the "gifts" incident. I also believe I wrote a post about the excessive emails, txts and phone calls every single day.

    Boundaries WERE set before we brought dc home. I explained time and time again that we were not breaking any promises, but the birthmother did. Believe it or not, not all APS are devils and are out to hurt birthparents and are FINE with saying "Well, you're getting on my nerves, don't contact us again" and change their number, location, etc. We are not that way. Obviously, as other posters exxplained in my question, that her intentions are more than likely not meant to hurt or intrude. So it is very hard to come up with a "gentle" approach" to saying "hey, get off our jock"

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 AM on Jan. 4, 2009