I made a conscious, thought out choice to put my son up for adoption. I also made sure that I chose his parents wisely. That’s right, I chose my son’s parents. The family was not forced upon me, the decision was not made for me, I was actively engaged along every step of the way. I have an open adoption, and voluntarily placed my son up for adoption. My son’s parents know that I chose them. I know that they value that gift. I want to share some insight into that relationship and encourage adoptive parents to know they are valued, and respected for the gift that adoptive parents give to a birth mother.
I want to mention a few things about my son’s parents:
- They face stigma as well, and I believe that we should all be sensitive to that. Yet, we have had open conversations about the stigma that I face as well.
- We have a very open communication style and that was established at the beginning of our relationship.
- Our level of communication has been adjusted as time has gone by, and while they maintain openness with me, we still have boundaries set up. This has been a learning process on both ends. What works for one open relationship may not work for another.
In general, I have found many similar lessons that have been learned to be present in other open adoption relationships between birth parents and adoptive parents.
I Made a Choice
I know that there are many emotions tied to adoption, especially in the beginning of the process and the transition of a new life for all parties involved. However, no matter how hard it was for me, I never wanted my son “back”. I say this because I have heard that people ask these questions, and have experienced them personally. I have never seen my son as a piece of property that I was transferring in exchange for something else. In my eyes, his life is a blessing and a gift, and I never have nor will I ever take that lightly.
I know that there are insecurities about birth mothers until the adoption process is finalized, but please try not to feel insecure. If you have a bad experience with a mother who changed her mind, remember, the right child is out there for you and the right birth mother is out there for you too. Trust me when I tell you, once a birth mother, or any mother, has made up her mind for what is best for her child, nothing will stand in her way of taking care of it.
My son’s parents know this because we established transparency of all parties at the beginning of our relationship. I think this is so crucial in a birth mother choosing a family, and that family responding to that birth mother. Transparency will allow for a trust to be built in an open adoption relationship. Don’t hold anything back from that birth mother, and once she see’s who you really are, and has fallen in love with you, you have nothing to feel insecure about.
In my situation, I transferred custody of my son to his parents before the adoption was even close to being finalized. We had a transparent relationship that allowed for them to trust that I was firm in my decision. While I’m sure they were scared and felt insecure, they took a leap of faith, and it was worth it for all parties involved, especially for my son.
Listen to Your Heart
If you have concerns about the birth parent you are working with, please bring those concerns to the attention of the adoption agent that you are working with. They work closely with the birth mother, and will be able to help you. If your gut instinct tells you that something isn’t right about the situation, then don’t ignore it. While you may want to be parents, you may find that the fit you are in isn’t the best. And trust me when I tell you that waiting a little longer to find the perfect fit is better in the long run for all parties involved, especially that beautiful child.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for American Adoptions. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.