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How do you define "in reunion"?

As I am trying to learn more about the birthparent and adoptee perspective, a question struck me? WHat does it mean to be "in reunion"? My husband and I are looking to adopt and have an open relationship (letters, emails, visits, etc) with the birthparents? As our child grows up knowing his/her birthfamily, are they considered "in reunion" or simply "in a relationship"? I read so much about the roller coaster of reunion, and wonder is that something that my child and his/her birthfamily might be spared?

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Asked by muptgirl at 12:53 PM on May. 15, 2009 in Adoption

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Answers (7)
  • AllAboutKeeley,

    I especially like how you phrased this, "contact between the ADOPTEE and the BFamily". Sometimes I think that people define open adoptions as contact between the adoptive parents and birth family alone and as an adoptee, that just doesn't fit my definition of an open adoption.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 3:01 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • wow I just learned something...
    I always say that I have an open adoption but from what you both said, I really don't.
    My DD is just 5 now and does not see her birthfamily anymore (last time was when she was 18 months) so i really do not have an open adoption.
    I speak with the birthfather atleast every month and I can not find the birthmother..
    Sorry to go off subject....

    Answer by Dannee at 3:09 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Your child and bfamily would be in a relationship. Reunion is when the adoptee and bfamily has had no contact and re-meet after a long period of separation. Yes, your child and birth family will be spared the roller-coaster of reunion. And, bless you for it :)


    Answer by onethentwins at 3:15 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I guess I just aways look at things from the adoptees perspective in how I define things related to adoption - and isn't that what's most important?

    I know of several adoptees who were informed when they became of age (approx 18) that their adoptive parents had been in contact with their birth family all along and then were presented with years worth of letters/cards that had been "held" for them.

    I know it needs to start with dialogue between the birth family and adoptive family, but ideally it should evolve to include the adoptee as well. After all, the triad is supposed to allow equal representation of all members.....if there are no safety issues, eventually the adoptee should have the option (before they become an adult) to build a relationship with their birth family.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 3:57 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Danee,

    What's important is that you are open to finding a way to maintain contact with birth family (which it totally sounds like you are doing). The hope is that those lines of adult communication can morph into a way for your daughter to develop a relationship with her birth family too.

    You are so early on in this journey and things can change over time when it comes to post-adoption communication and contact. Don't beat yourself up over the "now", it sounds like you are doing all you can and certainly you are not closing doors.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:50 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • OP, you are absolutely correct in your line of thinking on this. If there is a way for an open adoption to create the enviornment for a healthy relationship to be built first between the biological and adoptive parents/family, and then eventually to include the adoptee as well there is NO reason for reunion (in the typical definition of that word).

    It can be a tremendous amount of work to maintain those open lines of communication (on both sides) but I'm so hopeful that it really does make a difference for adoptees. It has when I compare my adoptee experience to that of my daughter whom I relinquished but have been in reunion with since she was 7 years old (she is now 19 and a mother herself).

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:54 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • "Contact between the adoptive parents and  birth parents that doesn't include the adoptee, is not open adoption, it's an adult relationship" Marlou Russell Phd.


    Answer by onethentwins at 12:24 AM on May. 16, 2009

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