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What if your adopted child wanted to meet their birth parents?
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What if your adopted child wanted to meet their birth parents?

What would you do about it? Would you help them with it or encourage them not to?


Nana to TWO
If the child is underage, I'd explain that if they still had this desire when they become an adult, we'll look into it then. If the child is already an adult, I think I'd have to help. I'd be hurt of course, but I'd also understand their need to know their bio parents. I'm sort of in this situation myself. My husband adopted my daughter because her bio father wanted nothing to do with her from the time I told him I was pregnant. She's now 25 and only briefly mentioned it when she was a teen and nothing since. I'm grateful she hasn't asked, but am prepared to give her the necessary info to find him if she does ask. Good luck!

Trinity's Mommy
Depends how old they are but if the child is old enough I'd help them. If you don't your child is likely to run off and find their birth parents anyway. Its better to be ther with them incase they find out bad news.

bring your adopted child and setup a court date with the parents

There are a number of advantages to letting your adopted child meet his or her birth parents. For one, it gives the child a sense of his identity as he figures out who he is in the world. It also helps the child work through the feelings of abandonment that are completely normal for adopted children. Research shows that it's psychologically healthy for kids to have answers to these questions of "who am I?", "where did I come from?", and "why was I given up?" From a practical standpoint, it is helpful to know as much as possible about the birth parents, including medical history that may be extremely useful for your child's doctors. Finally, meeting birth parents often gives a dose of reality to the idealized fantasies that most adopted children have at some time or another about what their lives might have been like if their birth parents had decided to keep them. So usually, meeting their birth parents is a big win for adopted children.

As many have pointed out, this is not so if the birth parents are abusive or have problems with drug or alcohol abuse. Also, you might want to consult with a counselor or social worker about how to prepare for and set up the meeting in an age-appropriate way for your child.

Carol c
The ethical and honorable thing to do is help them as much as they want your help... some adoptees just want their information and want to do their own search and take it at their own pace.

Whatever you do, don't try to discourage them not to - that is insulting to who they are and will only drive a wedge between you. I help people search and am always surprised at how many adults tell me they don't want their adoptive parents to know. Somehow these adoptees got the message over the years when they asked questions that it was upsetting to their adoptive parents when questions about their first family were asked.

Intelligent people do not live well with mystery in their lives.

I might actually be the first AP to answer this question. Not a slight against the other answerers, just weird that more AP's haven't answered. Unless I've missed something. I'm very tired, so if so, I stand corrected. :-)

I would be fine with it. They are their parents, too.

It is what it is. My kids are adopted, and have another family. Not something I get my panties in a twist about, and if I did, I shouldn't be an adoptive parent.

However, my children cannot meet their family as children (since it is a "high risk" foster care situation), but as ADULTS, I would certainly help them to do that if they wanted my help, and if I had any resources with which to help them. They're not children forever, after all...

While I would personally not adopt privately, if I did, the adoption would be VERY open anyway, so there would be no "meeting". Their families would be known to them their whole lives, so this question would be moot.

How old is the "adopted child"?

Are you feeling threatened? How much of this question is about your own insecurities and wanting to keep "your child for yourself," and how much of it is REALLY considering your child's rights and needs?

Did you know that it is a basic human right to know your parents? That's right, and your child is human. If he/she wants to meet his/her natural parents, his/her roots and bond with the rest of the human race, then you have no grounds to stand in the way.

Yes, you are the substitute caregiver, but your needs come second to the needs of the child you are raising. On another note, you also have no right to make him/her feel guilty or uncomfortable about wanting to meet his/her natural parents. THAT is thinking solely of your needs and is VERY selfish. (It is also common for adoptive parents to act this way, unfortunately, as they want the child to serve THEIR need for a child, and not vice-versa).

Unless there is a clear and present danger to the child (impossible as all access for a minor would be supervised anyway), I can't see why you would even be asking this question., the answer is YES you should encourage them.

What if your adopted child wanted to meet their birth parents?

Help them meet their parents. It is a child's human right to know there own natural parent's.

Unless the natural parents were abusive there is no reason to keep a child from knowing them. It's disingenuous to sign up to take someone else's child and think lip servicing the child will suffice.

I am answering this as an ADULT adoptee. I was only an "adopted child" until I was 18 and I was never "theirs"... the only person who I have ever 'belonged to' is myself. My adoptive parents were given stewardship of my upbringing... but I am not and was never "theirs."

Now that I have said my peace on that subject... I'll give you something different to contemplate than what has been said already.

My adoptive parents discouraged me from searching. They filled my head with every possible 'worst case scenario' that I could find. They tried to bribe me, scare me, guilt me and even threaten me. All they ever succeeded in doing was reinforcing my resolve and excluding themselves from the reunion WHEN it happened. And, yes, it has happened. My natural mom and I have been reunited for almost 6 years. My dad and I, almost 5 years. My husband and I have vacationed with my natural family several times and I have vacationed with my mom and natural sister on my own. My sister has visited here (where I live, a different state more than 1,800 miles from where most of my natural family currently resides) and has met my in-laws, many of my friends and stayed with us. Total number of times she has met my adoptive family (staying with us fewer than 10 miles from where they live): 0 Total number of times my natural and adoptive parents have met: 0 Total number of times they have spoken: 0

Take that for what it is worth. I don't know what your relationship with your son or daughter is. I don't know how old s/he is. I don't know how strong s/he feels about finding/meeting his/her own family. But, if you had asked my adoptive parents 20 years ago what our relationship was, they would have said it was "great". If you asked them if I would share my reunion with them (despite their discouragement), they would have said, "Of course."

All that means is that I was a kick-a$$ 'actress' and pretender when it came to sharing with them. Yes, they knew I wanted to search. I made it clear to them that I would search until I found my family or died... whichever came first. They never knew the depth of my conviction to do so and they never knew how angry I was that they would keep something so basic, so natural, so AVAILABLE to everyone else (not adopted), from me. They never knew how offensive their jealousy and insecurity was or how their attempts to dissuade me only INFLAMED me to continue... and succeed. I still don't think they understand how pathetic they seem... they ARE... when they act so superior when, in fact, they are inferior to my natural family members in EVERY. POSSIBLE. WAY. It would be funny if it wasn't so pitiful.

As far as what *I* would "do about it" if my 'adopted' child (which would never happen because I would NOT adopt privately and would ONLY adopt through foster care in a situation that could remain open) wanted to meet his/her [NATURAL] family... I would do exactly what s/he asked me to do and NOTHING else. I would not take over. I would not interfere. I WOULD provide any/all information I had that would help and I would allow him/her to take the lead and be in charge. After all... it's not MY family s/he would be looking for, it's HIS or HERS. *I* would recognize that *I* am the "other mother"... not vice versa. She was the mother first... and still is. I would, at most, only share in that privilege.

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