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3 Bumps

Adoptive Parent or Babysitter?!?

Hi Everyone!

We are in the process of adopting a special needs child from out of state foster care. We have a semi open adoption with bio parents, pictures and updates. Our child spent the first 4 years of child life in a hospital because bio parents would not get neccesary training to take child home on a vent, during that time bio parents lived 30 min away and visited on average 4 times a year, bio parents also have one older child and younger children in the home. TPR was a year ago and child has been in our life for a year, and in our home 6 months, finalization is coming up very soon.

On occasion, the biofamily will send us an email thanking us for pictures and updates. In the messages bio family will often goes on and on thanking us for taking care of their child, and raising their child for them.... Often times, reading these messages, I get the impression that they basically think of us as babysitters,not parents for ''their child''. I'm getting more and more frustrating being thought of in that way and I'm starting to fear that I'm going to start looking at our child in that way, as a babysitter...

Has anyone else been through this? Am I overreacting?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:44 PM on Apr. 23, 2011 in Adoption

Answers (28)
  • Why don't you set them straight on this issue.

    Answer by louise2 at 9:49 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • I would tell them flat out that the child is yours and that you are RAISING him/her. Remind them that they abandon the child in a hospital.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:52 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • I have to say I thanked my child's adoptive parents many times in letters for sending me pictures & let them know how much it meant to me that they sent them & also told them how much it meant to me they let her know that i loved her. I NEVER thought of that as implying they were "babysitting" her! I would feel insulted if they thought I meant that. I guess adoptive parents dont want to know birth parents are grateful for the loving home their child is in? I guess they want us to just NOT say anything & disappear? Or be mad instead at you? OR...what? What do adoptive parents want us to do...exactly then? You know regardless of WHO is raising the child somewhere out there (usually anyway) there is another family who loves that child too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • OP here... I appreciate it when the bio family thanks us for sending the pictures and updates, that way I at least know they received them. I don't have a problem with them wanting us to tell the child that they love the child. I DO have a problem when they thank us for taking care of their child and raising their child, like the child has no connection to me...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:27 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • What would make *you* comfortable in their words of appreciation?  "thanks for raising our EX-child?" 

    I can't think of any other instance where someone thanks a parent for doing their job of raising the child under their roof.  only in adoption- where everything is turned upside down and sideways.  I'd say cut them some slack...they were showing appreciation towards you.  not 'dissing you as only a babysitter. 



    Answer by adopteeme at 3:49 AM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • I remember when I reunited with my adoptee son five years ago. After my son and my first face-to-face meeting I sent his adoptive parents a thank you note telling them how grateful I was to them for the way they raised him. If I knew then what I knew now I would never have sent that note because it basically said "thank you for raising your own son so well". oops.

    What I suggest you do is reply to them that while you appreciate their gratitude that you don't feel like you are raising their child and that when you adopted the child him/her that he/she became your child too and you don't need thanks for raising your own child. Please be nice because it sounds like they really are grateful and mean well.

    And, btw, well done for continuing to include them in your child's life.


    Answer by onethentwins at 4:12 AM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • Babysitter

    Answer by GlitteribonMom at 4:32 PM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • I do get what you are saying OP. This has nothing to do with a family of orgin saying a simple thank you for being there for this child. You get the sence this particular family, not ALL or SOME birth families, has a different way of viewing the situation. I can easily see how hard it would be to parent a child living with extensive medical issues and how visiting would be difficult when a child is in the hospital. It obviously was way more than they could handle. If this were me: I would say thank you for wanting to continue contact and there is no need to continuously thank us. We are the proud parents of such a beautiful child it is us who is appreciative we are her trusted parents and can provide for her needs. As her parents we will continue yo send you, her birth family, updates and pictures. Our family continues to do well - thank you and always kind regards.

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:27 PM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • Saying they abandoned a child - that would be being a giant bitch. No one can know how hard it is to feel or be responsible for bringing a child into this world with extensive medical needs. Possibly they may have an abundance of guilt. Whatever the case, make it clear you do not need a thank you to raise this child.

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:32 PM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • Saying they abandoned a child - that would be being a giant bitch. No one can know how hard it is to feel or be responsible for bringing a child into this world with extensive medical needs.

    Millions of people know what it is like to bring a child into this world with extensive medical needs. They made a choice to leave him in a hospital with rare visits and now that he has a mom and dad that love him/her and want to be his/her parents they are going to take every chance to remind the mother that she didn't give birth to him. If that makes me a giant bitch, so be it. There is a difference in telling an AP that you love your child and hope he is doing well or telling the AP "thanks for raising my kid."


    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:23 PM on Apr. 24, 2011

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