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birth moms-how much is too much?

i'm planning on adopting and i'd like an open adoption. my question is, how much info is too much? i'd like the birth parents to be involved in as much as possible. and i think they should be recognized as the parents that they are-i'd like to send them mother's day and father's day cards, and invite them to christmas dinner with them. if they are stable, i'd like to be involved in our child to know that he had two biological parents that loved him enough to give him to a family that wanted him so badly. but would this be painful for the birth parents?


Asked by erinwhitt at 2:13 PM on Sep. 6, 2010 in Adoption

Level 17 (4,305 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • But my experience has been that sometimes it is easier to identify who is a family through adoption than it is to identify who has placed a child for adoption. Going on line to talk to mothers who have placed another option as well. "Open" means different things to different people. For us, my son's birth mother has not contacted us in almost two years. Even though we kept her informed when we knew where she was and how to contact her - it might have been too much. If I could go back and do things "simple" or simpler for her then I would.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:54 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • i would think if you are looking into an open adoption, the people placing their child would that would be matched with you would also be looking into an open adoption. how much involvement is a process that you and your husband would have to work out with the biological parents. i have seen where pictures and occasional emails are enough, but i have also seen where the parents become super close with the biological family and it turns into a shared raising. you need to decide what you want, and take into consideration what the biological parents want and are comfortable with!

    Answer by catngabsmom at 2:24 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • We are in an open adoption, and while we want our son to be aware of his biological family, we are careful to draw lines when it comes to actual parenting. We respect his birth parents, but we are the only ones who make parenting decisions. We text every 1-2 weeks (sometimes more, sometimes less frequently), send pictures monthly, and see each other every 2-3 months. We will be spending Thanksgiving together this year.

    I know that this has been difficult at times, but we are all still very glad to be in open communication. Our relationship is developing because of him, but at the same time, it is independent of him. We care for each other very much, and will maintain this as long as it's healthy.

    Remember that adoption does not occur without some degree of loss to all parties. What matters most is how you deal with it. Our goal is to always do whatever is best for him first and foremost. Good luck!

    Answer by DancinBear63 at 4:52 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • As a birth mother I would say the more contact the better. Here's where I want to caution you. Do not promise more than you are 100% certain you can deliver. Often it's not the lack of contact, but the broken promises that hurt the most. Even if a birth mother has only been promised bi-annual letters, if she doesn't get them it seems like a betrayal and a slap in the face. Start off by promising what you are sure of, then you can add, and subsequently subtract if it doesn't work out, on top of that. Never say "it's up to you" or "whatever you want", be specific when making your agreement. Be clear that she knows open adoption does not mean co-parenting.


    Answer by onethentwins at 5:49 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Gotta be honest with you. You are likely groping after forming a bond and a relationship that most birth parents would not be comfortable with. With an open adoption BOTH sides have to decide what is going to be comfortable for eachother and respect that. and open adoption can change over time to be more contact or less. Your best advice from me, as a birth mother. Is offer and CARRY THROUGH with update letters every 6 months with some pictures. Stay in writing contact and certainly have eachothers phone numbers in case of a medical situation where you might need more information from the birth parents. But Dont try to mold them in to your life. This is going to eb a very hard and painful time for them for years to come. I would take is easy and maybe someday the relationship will evolve in to something with more contact in person. but give it time

    Answer by sati769leigh at 2:34 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I agree that you'll need to figure out what you are comfortable with, and what they are comfortable with. I understood exactly what you meant when you said, "if they are stable". We had been very close with our DD's bmom, then she started using again and we're continuing the letters & pics (and phone calls would be welcome), but we're not having face-to-face visits at this time. We had a bad visit, so we're giving it some time and hopefully it will be a healthy situation again so we can resume face-to-face visits.

    You sound like your heart is in the right place for open adoption. DH and I were hard sells. We became convinced by actually living it. If you do have a close relationship, just keep in mind that it's not your place to be her counselor, and not her place to be your counselor. You can have a sort of "best friend" relationship, but it's still unique. Good luck!

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:13 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I send pictures, voice recordings, letters on his progress. The bio parents character is the biggest factor for us. I had big dreams of more involvement...I still believe when you adopt, you adopt the whole family too.

    Answer by surfcitymom at 9:31 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I have to say I may have done "too much." My son's birth mother was a very private person. Not shy. In fact very outgoing. But when it came to her information she was very protective and gave us very little to none. I sent looooong letters, tons of pictures, and was very careful to select a Mother's Day and birthday (her's) card for her. I wanted her to know she was still very important to him and to us. Let me just say this may have back fired. I did ask her if she wanted to be sent letters, pictures, and small items to know him by. She communicated she wanted that contact. Only through experience did I get, quite after the fact, that maybe less is more. Simple letters, a few pictures, and simple cards. Some other birth moms on this site have said they would love more. But not every one does in reality. I would say start simple and build your way into it. It takes time to build a relationship. And this is not

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:46 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • an easy road to navigate. You may be the parent of her child but you are not best buds. Maybe one day, if that is what you both want, but reality is you probably won't be best friends. More likely, if you both work at it, you can come to a place of mutual respect based on the fact you both love that child.  I don't love that adoption specialists try to sell you "open" adoptions (both adoptive parents and the family of origin) but don't really talk about what that looks like a year later, five years later, or when communication may be off.  They do not really tell you about how you might not hear from someone for a couple of years and then......suddenly they are back.  If I could give advice to perspective adoptive parents: sit down, in person, with other adoptive families who have open adoptions and see what their reality looks like.  If you can talk to birth parents that would be great too.


    Answer by frogdawg at 10:51 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • It depends on the birth parents. As well as you. Some might find that too much, & some might be thrilled. =) Best of luck to you which every way go you.

    Answer by lilmoosesmom at 2:30 PM on Sep. 6, 2010