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Do adoptive mom's have more fears in light of open adoption?

Do you think it's possible that "open" adoption has brought to the forefront more fears for adoptive parents than they may have had in the BSE era?
In the recent years of "Open" Adoption, every one typically meets and gets the opportunity to know each other before the adoption takes place. In the BSE era, aparents and bparents knew virtually nothing of each other.
So does the premise of "Open" Adoption conjur more fear or feeling of threat that that a bparent could come take a child back, or fears that the relationship with a bparent threaten the bond/relationship of the child with the aparents, thus causing adoptions to close over time.
Do you think it was possible that in the BSE aparents maybe weren't overly concerned with this because the bparents had no knowledge of them?
How can we work to overcome those fears together as bparent and aparent?
(I'm speaking specifically of DIA)


Asked by blessedwboysx3 at 10:51 AM on Nov. 19, 2009 in Adoption

Level 21 (10,897 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Good question! I think there is no doubt that the mere concept of an open adoption is intimidating to some aparents. For those who adopt after having biological children first, an open adoption is probably less of an issue. But, for new aparents adopting their first child, the idea of sharing their child must be very difficult in many cases.

    Sometimes I wonder if people really understand that in the BSE not only was there generally no contact between families after as adoption, but rarely did either family have any identifying info about the other family. Adoptive families felt more secure because they knew that records were sealed and that most birth mothers had no identifying information about them. Worries about a birth mom trying to reclaim her child were less of an issue.

    If you research the history of adoption, I think it is clear that records were sealed in the first place for the beneift of adoptive parents.

    Answer by Southernroots at 12:07 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • ....and agencies. Rarely was there any benefit to a birth mother, much less an adoptees in having records sealed. Despite all the claims that records were sealed for the benefit of birth parents, I am convinced that was NEVER the case. Many agencies liked having the records sealed because they were held less accountable for what they said and did.

    I think we can help alleviate the fears of adoptive parents about open adoptions through education. We need to keep chipping away to dispel many of the myths that surround open adoptions.....birth mothers trying to reclaim their children, open adoptions confusing children and open adoptions preventing the bonding of an afamily. No one benefits more from open adoptions than the children, they are not easy for either the adoptive or birth family. But, adoption is not about what is easy, but what is best for a child.

    Answer by Southernroots at 12:14 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • Actually, I wonder if it is the opposite: I have no fear of my children's bmoms because I know who they are, where they are, and I am in the drivers seat regarding contact and the relationship they have is something I am well aware of. I have no fear they are lurking behind bushes because I know exactly where they are and what is going on in their lives. My kids know who their Mom is, there would be absolutely no reason to be threatened.

    Personally, I am more fearful of their bdads because I dont really feel like I know them and they dont know me. I couldnt imagine what it would be like always wondering

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • HOLLYANNE31, THANK YOU for your oh so open and honest gut feelings...I do so appreciate it. I come to these forums, only for the hope of learning something from all involved. WE cannot envoke change, if we cannot admit our fears, our insecurities, our losses, and our hopes and dreams...we just can't:) Many times throughout the past 23 yrs., I have often asked myself, what it is that I am put here, on GODS green earth,and what is my purpose? Maybe it is to learn something from something so painful as having to relinquish my twin sons, having to imagine what other Moms surely must feel and go through,but more so, my twin sons' Mom, and Dad, what they too have feared, all these years...maybe. My oldest son(twins older brother I raised), simply says I was put here to be a Mom....his Mom:) Maybe even though it was not what I wanted, I was put here so the twins Mom could be a Mom...I do not know! Blessings, C.J.

    Answer by ceejay1 at 12:35 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • I think it important to note too that open adoptions were not created for the benefit ot the children. Not much research had been done when they started to indicate they were beneficial to children. They were created to increase the number of women relinquishing ti enlarge the "pool" of available babies.

    Answer by Southernroots at 12:41 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • "Not much research had been done when they started to indicate they were beneficial to children."

    Sorry, I meant to say that when open adoptions began, they was not much research at that time that indicated their benefits to children. NOW, there is research that indicates open adoptions can benefit children

    Answer by Southernroots at 12:48 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • I can only speak for myself. When we were first researching adoption and kept finding agencies whose policy was open adoption, we were very uncomfortable with it. We'd heard on tv about couples who had adopted a child, but never got to have him on the holidays. It sounded like co-parenting, and that was not what we wanted. After researching our options, it was unavoidable. We spent a lot of time with DD's bmom in the hospital and got to know each other well. We grew comfortable with each other and developed a level of trust. At this point, I think I had less fear than I would have had if we'd gone with a closed adoption. We all know who the other is and where we are, and we can contact each other. Our kids' bmoms know they are welcome to be a part of our lives/our kids' lives. We do not fear them.

    I'm not sure how we can help people overcome their fears. We overcame by living it.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 1:50 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • I share a lot of similar feelings as well. I think for some it is intimidating and for others it could bring a sense of control, security. Obviously each person is different.

    SR - I have learned so much from you since I've been here, you always provide me great "food for thought."

    Hollyanne - I agree - I think its important bparents continue to support aparents as they are raising our child, it should help provide trust. I honestly would never try to take the place of my son's aparents, however that doesn't mean I don't LOVE my son. I think its important to value and respect the parents raising our children, even if we don't agree sometimes. (Unless of course there are items that warrant disappoval - obviously if my son was being abused or harmed by his aparents it would be difficult to show them respect) My son's parents closed my adoption, but I still remain respectful and honor their role as my son's parents.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 1:54 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • "We do not fear them.

    I'm not sure how we can help people overcome their fears. We overcame by living it."

    It seems to be that raising your child/living it should decrease the fears. After some time passes, if things go well, you should be more secure knowing the bond between you and your child is strong. (Some amoms may tend to be insecure though and will never feel comfortable.)

    But, I think too if you find some positive information ahead of time about how to make open adoptions function well should also help. Those moms who have been able to make them work can help other moms by sharing with them what they have learned. Fear is a huge factor in adoption for both mothers.....mothers who feel they cannot parent who relinquish....and mothers who adopt and have their own fears....and adoptees have their fears too.

    Answer by Southernroots at 2:00 PM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • SR, yet another wise observation,"Fear is a huge factor in adoption, for both Mothers". This in my opinion, is LIFE, we fear what we cannot see, what we cannot control, what we see sometimes in our own eyes! My husband frequently makes his observation of me, "He says, that my insecurities about life are so great at times, yet he has watched me walk in the dark, without light, for miles". I tell him the dark is not what scares is what lies ahead in my path, that I fear the most. I, would summize, this may be exactly what all Moms fear, the unknown, and no ability to control it:) Blessings, I am loving these replies, C.J.

    Answer by ceejay1 at 2:30 PM on Nov. 19, 2009