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Open Adoption Advice

Posted by on Aug. 9, 2013 at 7:44 AM
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My husband and I just adopted our first child. We opted to do an open adoption because of medical history and because we want our son to know who his birth parents are in time. We agreed to pictures, letters and visitation 1 or 2 times a year. The birth parents were in agreement with this. After my son was born and we came home, the birth parents have asked every week to see him. The first 2 weeks we agreed to it because I know that this was the hardest thing they will ever do. We have told them that we need some bonding time and yet they still ask to see him. They have even took it upon themselves to make appointments to have family pictures made of him and themselves before asking me if it was ok to do so. I have tried to be very respectful of their feelings but I feel like my husband and I feelings are not being considered. Am I wrong in my thinking? We have not finalized the adoption yet. We have custody of him. They have signed their rights away. I don't know if it is like this anywhere else, but here in SC you have to wait a minimum of 90 days (after the birth parents sign rights away) before you can go to court to finalize the adoption. The attorney told us that the only thing the judge would grant them is the letters and pictures. We have tried to explain to them numerous times that we just want some bonding time. When I do send them pictures, they end up on Facebook with comments like "isn't my son handsome." I love my son with everything in me and it makes me mad to know that they are not willing to work with us now and expect us to ignore everything that was agreed upon before he was born. I was just wondering what anybody else would do if they were in this situation because I honestly don't know what else to do. Thanks in advance for any advice! Congrats on all the new babies that everyone has adopted!

by on Aug. 9, 2013 at 7:44 AM
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raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 9, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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If the parental rights are terminated, you are not in danger of losing the baby, so hold them to their original agreement.  If they have already had a visit, then it's not unreasonable to wait another six months for another one.  Be kind, but be firm.  They have had the family pictures made and that's over.  Do what you need to do to make yourself, your husband and baby bond as a family.

I don't worry too much when birth parents put pictures of my children on their facebook page and call them their child.  That doesn't take anything away from me.  The birthmom of my last two adoptions did that.  My daughter is her "cover" picture.  I was surprised to see it, but then thought, oh, well, how does that hurt me?  The child doesn't see it, and thats what matters.

Here in Texas, you have to wait six months to finalize, but parental rights are already terminated, so there isn't a chance the birth parents can get the child back.  Stick with your agreement, and feel comfortable.

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



2Gs
by Wendy on Aug. 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM
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This is such a tough one.  

I would tell you that their desire to see the baby will fade.  It always does.  I wouldn't worry about the facebook comments.  BTW - you might want to create a site for them on shutterfly and only post pictures there.  You do not need to be facebook friends with them.  I know you don't want to break their hearts.  Make sure they are clear that you prefer communication via email vs. phone calls.  And NO drop ins.  If you do meet them, do it someplace outside of your home or theirs.  

And even though I agree with the poster above about your adoption being safe from disruption, you don't need any biological parents challenging the adoption.  Even if their rights are terminated - you don't need to spend additional money defending yourselves etc.  

I personally would try to slowly ween them.  You need that relationship to be solid.  Very dicey situation.

2Gs
by Wendy on Aug. 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM

By the way OP - that 90 day wait (ours was 6 months) is something I'd like to see changed in legislation.  There is no reason for it.  You already went through the background check, home study etc.  These people selected you and terminated rights.  I feel those waiting periods are unnecessary and hurt the bond between adoptive parents and baby.   There is really no point to it.  Adoptive families need to help legislate changes in these laws.

raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM
2 moms liked this



Quoting 2Gs:

By the way OP - that 90 day wait (ours was 6 months) is something I'd like to see changed in legislation.  There is no reason for it.  You already went through the background check, home study etc.  These people selected you and terminated rights.  I feel those waiting periods are unnecessary and hurt the bond between adoptive parents and baby.   There is really no point to it.  Adoptive families need to help legislate changes in these laws.

I don't know if you know our story, but we were asked to adopt our adopted sons sisters, who at the time were ages 14 and 5.  We said yes, we went through the whole process of getting licensed with foster care again, our home study was approved by the adoption agency, who took it to CPS - where we were turned down because I was too "religious" and CPS didn't think the older girl would adjust to our home.  Even though she already knew us from her first time in foster care.  Even though she had been getting to know us again, had stayed in our home.  Even though she cried and little sister cried, and we cried.  They said no, and put her in another adoptive home, who had to wait the six months to finalize.

By the time they had been in this home for six months, the new adoptive mom began to have doubts.  We were still seeing the girls under the name of "sibling visits" with their brother.  The older girl was angry, and she hits.  She kept hitting their 8 year old son.  The new foster/adopt mom kept telling me she didn't want to do this after all, and that she was depressed to the point of suicide.  She told CPS she wanted me to keep the girls for the summer.  They wouldn't let me, they would have us keep the girls two weeks, then they had to go back to the foster/adopt home for ten days, then they would come back to us for two weeks.  This went on all summer while CPS and the adoption agency tried desperately to work with the foster/adopt family and try to convince this new adoptive mom to keep the girls.  The process had gone all they way to signing the intent to adopt forms and getting the stipend worked out.  At the end of the summer, the new foster/adopt mom said, no, she would not adopt the girls.  They had been in her home 8 months by then.

Suddenly, we looked really good, and our homestudy was updated, take back to CPS, and everyone decided it was a good thing.  I was apoligized too, and we got the girls.  Still, they made us wait 6 months, too.  But they gave us a bit of credit for keeping them half the summer, and we finalized their adoption in January.

I realize had the girls been babies, this probably would not have happened.  But having to wait the six months kept the adoption by the other family from being disrupted.  Who knows, maybe if they had already adopted them, they would have worked harder?  I don't know.  But I'm glad they are ours!!


Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



Sissy-Hall
by New Member on Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Thanks so much for both of your advice. I got extremly close to the birth mom during this whole process and I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I have to do what is best for me and my husband and our child. I just don't want him to be confused. A litle bit more about our story. The birth mom called our attorney the day after we brough him home and told her that she wanted him back. Of course our attorney told her that she would have to take us to court. She has 3 other kids and can't really afford them. Raleyfamily we also tried to go thru CPS to foster/adopt. They rules and regulations are so far fetched that it makes it almost impossible for anyone to become a foster/adopt parent. We bought our home in February 2007. It was a brand new home. We started with them in August of 2007. We had DHEC come out and inspect our home and passed. When the fire marshall came out to do our inspectioin, they told us that 1 of our windows was not big enough. So we paid to have a window replaced with one of those roll out windows that they suggested. During our home study, our case worker was telling us oh yes no problem. You should pass with flying colors. 2 weeks after she came out she called me and told me that we had been denied because of a credit card that I had when I was 18. I am now 37 years old. I was like really? A credit card? I understand that the potential foster/adopt parents need to meet a certain standard, but I thought that was kind of crazy! I am so glad that things worked out for you.

raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:56 PM
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Yes, it worked out great for us.  The brother of these girls was our first adoption.  He was 18 months by the time it was finalized.  Then we adopted our foster daughter when she was four.  Two weeks after hers was final, they asked us to take her five month old baby brother, which we did, and adopted him when he was 18 months old.  Then three years later, they called us about our sons sisters.  By the time we adopted them, they were ages 16 and 6.  They are doing great with us!!


Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



confused969
by Member on Aug. 10, 2013 at 8:38 AM
1 mom liked this

 The other ladies who have replied have given you some great advice.  I just wanted to add a few thoughts on the picture posting by the bio parents.  I'm an adoptee and grew up in the time where all adoptions were closed with no information given and people did not really talk about it.  But there were times when I was young where other kids would ask me questions and sometimes say things if they discovered I was adopted.  You know how kids can be if they have see something that is "different."  I'm just thinking that when the kids reach a certain age either they will have access to the internet or their friends will and that raises the possibility of someone discovering the pictures that the bio parents have posted and this leading to lots of awkward questions and doubts.  Think about how it is when some random stranger asks you nosy questions about your kids but you can stop the conversation and walk away.  For the child it is not so simple and these kinds of questions will usually come up in a setting where they are forced to deal with it, such as at school or camp etc.  So unless they are willing to share all the personal details of their life story with everyone it can be awkward.  Maybe you could encourage the bio parents to post the pictures privately to their friends and family or maybe it is already private and you are on the list. 

Sissy-Hall
by New Member on Aug. 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM

<  I'm just thinking that when the kids reach a certain age either they will have access to the internet or their friends will and that raises the possibility of someone discovering the pictures that the bio parents have posted and this leading to lots of awkward questions and doubts. 


That is my concern. We are going to tell him he is adopted when we feel like he is old enough to understand. I just don't want him confused with seeing her posting pics of him too. I have talked with the bio mom about it and she says that she is gonna share pics with her family. I asked her to make them private and she is refusing to do that. Thanks for the advice





!

prettynikki40
by Member on Aug. 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM
We went through some rough patches with our birthmom. I kept reminding myself that she was grieving and she just needed to be sure of the decision she made. As time passed, we had less and less phone calls. And now we visit 1-2 times a year. Last year we didn't visit at all because we had a newborn and my husband's new job did not permit alot of time off. But I did keep her updated through letters and pics and an occasional text. You don't want to stop communication but you have to establish boundaries. I hate that their using FB to share pics. To me its such a violation of your baby's privacy. Good luck! Things will get better and work itself out. Nikki
Bluecalm
by Member on Aug. 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM
In your state are newborn surrenders irrevocable?


Quoting Sissy-Hall:

Thanks so much for both of your advice. I got extremly close to the birth mom during this whole process and I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I have to do what is best for me and my husband and our child. I just don't want him to be confused. A litle bit more about our story. The birth mom called our attorney the day after we brough him home and told her that she wanted him back. Of course our attorney told her that she would have to take us to court. She has 3 other kids and can't really afford them. Raleyfamily we also tried to go thru CPS to foster/adopt. They rules and regulations are so far fetched that it makes it almost impossible for anyone to become a foster/adopt parent. We bought our home in February 2007. It was a brand new home. We started with them in August of 2007. We had DHEC come out and inspect our home and passed. When the fire marshall came out to do our inspectioin, they told us that 1 of our windows was not big enough. So we paid to have a window replaced with one of those roll out windows that they suggested. During our home study, our case worker was telling us oh yes no problem. You should pass with flying colors. 2 weeks after she came out she called me and told me that we had been denied because of a credit card that I had when I was 18. I am now 37 years old. I was like really? A credit card? I understand that the potential foster/adopt parents need to meet a certain standard, but I thought that was kind of crazy! I am so glad that things worked out for you.


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