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Are you having an open adoption because you were lucky?

I am a 2 time adoptive Mom. My older daughter's bmom is a sweetheart, we email alot, talk by phone occasionally and it is like talking to another Mom friend. After giving birth, she went on to finish school, get married and have children. She is normal, likable, rational, funny, well adjusted, etc.
We insisted on an open adoption the 2nd time around based on the first expereince and I am seeing the other side. This bmom is constantly asking for money, rides, favors. She keeps moving, she uses illegal drugs, had the mouth of a trucker, basically is the opposite of the first. I know that had we had her "first" we would have never had as open of an adoption the 2nd time.
I think it is easy to advocate really open adoptions in a "good" situation, but will you/are you keeping it open when the bmom is really difficult to deal with?


Asked by Anonymous at 2:00 PM on Apr. 7, 2009 in Adoption

This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • And to answer the Question.

    Yes, while open adoptions that work take "lots of work" on all sides, there is a HUGE element of luck involved as well. Think about how much each side is putting their faith in the other - there just isn't enough time to get to know the other person to equal the amount that is at risk (on both sides). Most of us wouldn't put ourselves out this far in any other life situation purely on faith (like marriage, etc.). However, this is the timeframe that is pushed on both sides to make a really huge decision.

    I would love to take some of the credit for how my adoption situation has evolved but LUCK is the higher factor.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 1:21 AM on Apr. 8, 2009

  • It sounds like ( and I know this is not easy) that you need to wait for another birthmother.
    If you are seeing stuff that you already do not like....what will it be like after the baby is born..
    Not to sound mean or anything but she sounds like she is in it for other reasons..
    My adoption is open, no money ever was asked for etc...
    Find a birthmother or she finds you with the qualities that you can trust and that will last.

    Answer by Dannee at 2:21 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I'm a birthmom and I cannot imagine how difficult that must be for you. Rest assured that most birthmoms are nothing like your second child's birthmom. They exist, and you hear about them a lot in this section of answers, but I think most of them just don't know what they want themselves. It's hard to say. The birthmoms I know here on CM and those in real life are all pretty grounded women. Sadly, I had the displeasure of knowing a birthmom who was a mess and her children were lucky they were adopted out. She has kids all over between the midwest and west coast...adopted out at birth or taken by CPS and adopted out. My cousin's daughter is one of them. She's a great kid. Hard to say what her life would have been like had my grandmother not taken her from my cousin and her biomom.

    Answer by randi1978 at 2:26 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I am sorry I miss read your question..
    I agree too with AllaboutKeeley

    Answer by Dannee at 2:45 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • In this case, as you describe it, I would agree with the others. Limit communications and in person meetings until she gets her act together.

    Answer by randi1978 at 4:14 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • OP,. I have t go along with some of the others. Type up some guidelines to send with her the next time, as well as discuss what is appropriate, and exceptable, and what is not. Making sure she understands these 'new rules"! I must ask WHY would you even give money, if you are aware she is using drugs????? Not being judgemental, but when your child grows older , your child may see this as enabling her habit, and send the wrong message. JMHO, I would probably have to add this to the" new rules",also adding thiese isues to the written list. Blessings, and thanks, from a firstmom, whom always appreciates the parents trying so hard to abide by their does mean alot;)..... Blessings...C.J.

    Answer by ceejay1 at 6:41 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • We have an open adoption with a birthparent who is nothing like me or my husband. She uses from time to time drugs....I have no idea what type of habbits she has developed as far as her use. But use is use and we don't use so that makes her very different from us. She is living with a mental illness, she has been homeless, she has been in jail. All things that occurred after our child was born. But we still have an open adoption. Despite her salty nature and interesting situations it is better for our child to know her than to not know her. I will explain, in an age appropriate way, why she does the things that she does. Her illness has a lot to do with the decisions she makes. As well as the access to resources is so limited for someone so marginalized like her. It is not easy to be her. It is very difficult and if I were in her shoes I might try to use my child's parents as a resource too in desparation. Some

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:33 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • may call it manipulation or take it that she doesn't love this child. That would be faulty thinking. She is surviving the only way she knows how. And we are as foreign to her as she is to us in terms of experiences and world view. But as long as she does not harm our child in any way then I am for a continued open adoption. It isn't easy and can be uncomfortable. In the end our child will decide what type of relationship is wanted/needed and what is healthiest as an adoptee. Hiding it would be more harmful for my child. Again, I don't say to our child that your birthmother is wanting money. But I don't paint a picture of saint or sinner. She is a person. A person who at least has not lost our number, who calls on our child's birthday, and asks how he is doing. I separate her need for resources/money from the love she has for this child. That helps me when interacting with her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:38 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I agree that it would be a good idea to lay out some ground rules. You can still keep the communication open, even if face to face visits are not a good idea due to circumstances.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 12:16 AM on Apr. 8, 2009

  • Anon 7:33 and 7:38, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I know it's hard, but if there is a way for an adoptee to know their birth family (despite whatever challenges may exist) it can make all the difference in the world to the self-identity of that child. I'm not advocating for putting children in harmful or hurtful positions but think about what you would have to do if for example, you had a family member that was a little "off". You know, that one aunt or uncle that seems to just make a scene or act outrageous at family get-togethers? What does family do? Most find ways to make it safe and appropriate for their children to be at those family get togethers and when things get odd, they explain it to the kids in an age appropriate way and confront the relative about their behavior for the sake of the child.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 1:12 AM on Apr. 8, 2009