Monday, September 20, 2010

First Family and Forever Family?

I read a blog post today written by an adoptive mother, about adoption loss.  Her seven year old daughter is starting to realize the contradicting reasons given for her adoption, and is experiencing deep grief for her loss.  She doesn't understand why she can't be with her first family, as the reasons given to her don't make sense.  (This family has a completely open adoption.)  This adoptive mother goes on to tell of a recent experience, and tells of the great sadness she has for everyone because of their adoption loss.

If adoption is truly for the best interest of the child, wouldn't it be in her best interest to end this grief and loss that the daughter knows is unnecessary?  If this first family is now in a "better" place to raise a child, doesn't that make sense?  Why does the first mom & especially the child have to live forever with such deep loss and grief?  

Yes, it would be hard for the adoptive mom, but isn't it supposed to be what's best for the child??  The loss is acceptable if it's the first mom experiencing it, what's different if it's the adoptive mom?  If the adoptive mother was still able to be a part of the child's life, if it was a "reverse" open adoption of sorts...  

This little girl could grow up in her family of origin, she could grow up knowing her ancestry, she wouldn't have to live with the feelings of abandonment, the questions of why she wasn't good enough to "keep", etc. 

Just wondering...
Since adoption is supposed to be about the child...


  1. Because it's never REALLY about the child.

  2. I disagree & think that open adoption is a bad idea. The adoptive parents stepped in when the biological parents couldn't, have earned the titles 'Mom' & 'Dad' & deserve to keep them. It's good to eventually reunite with biological relatives, as I myself did last year at 28. But I think it should be after the adoptee turns 18. I wouldn't even want to think about the heartbreak my parents would have suffered if, after almost a decade, I had re-joined my biological family under their roof, brought them my report cards, had them watch my basketball games & host my birthday parties. Also, people would be less likely to adopt if they thought it would be undone later. I'm glad I know my biological parents now, but there's a time & place for everything - childhood is not it.

  3. I appreciate your opinion on open adoption Chris.

    This post however is about two families in a very open adoption from the beginning. The child is now old enough to question the reasons given for the adoption, and is heartbroken that she can't be with her natural family. If the child is experiencing tremendous grief and separation issues, wouldn't it be in her best interest if she was able to go live with her natural family? IF indeed adoption is for the best interest of the child? Which is what adoption is supposed to be about.

  4. I don't think it would be, no. I also don't think it was in her best interests to have an open adoption. She'll eventually learn not to take it personally (might even be easier in a closed adoption, I never had any trouble with it....) but I feel enough guilt for spending time with my biological family now, with my parents' blessing. To switch from one family to another is not a decision a 7-year old is equipped to make, she should not have had the option to consider it & is setting herself up for mad guilt later once she grasps it better. She's only 7!

  5. Who is "mom" and "dad" is up for the adoptee to decide, no one else. I have two mothers, and one father.

    Research shows that with adoption now, most expectant mothers will not surrender unless there is some level of openness. There is no shortage of people looking to adopt as a result. In fact, numbers are higher than ever.

  6. I was mostly responding to Chris, BTW

    (and not that I would want mothers to surrender, Susie. You know what I mean :-) Just quoting the research as it is).