With more and more open adoptions, chances are increasing that you may meet the birth mother and even continue a relationship with her. However, when it comes to being respectful, it doesn’t matter if she’s in your life or not. You should always show respect to the birth mom to enhance your child’s self-image and self-confidence. Here are a few ways to accomplish this goal.
Leave Adopted Out of Adopted Child
There’s no need to tell most people the details of your child’s history. Much of the time, acquaintances don’t need to know the child isn’t your biological offspring. For those times when the questions can’t be avoided, you should limit the details.
The story isn’t yours to tell of how or why your child was placed for adoption. You don’t want to create a stigma of the birth mother. If you do, it will haunt your child and cause them to doubt their own self-worth.
Don’t Play the Selfless Parent
It’s common for people to say what a big heart you must have or what an awesome person you are for rescuing an unwanted child and taking them into your home. This line of thinking is not only wrong, but it’s disrespectful to the biological mother who was the one who made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is important to understand the difficulty that went into her decision to give up her child. You can really never know what it’s like, but you do a disservice when you allow people to treat you like the rescuer. Instead, you can show respect for the birth mom by making sure you don’t get into that mindset.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Past
If you adopted your child as an infant, you may have limited the number of people who you told about the adoption. It becomes all too easy in these situations to pretend you’re the only family your child has ever had. However, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that your child has another set of parents, another history separate from yours.
When your child begins to ask questions, answer them honestly. Tell them the truth and don’t embellish. If you don’t know much about their biological family, admit it. But try to give as many details as you can. It will help them develop a stronger sense of self and be respectful of the other family in their lives.
Try to keep everything you tell your child on a positive note. While this doesn’t mean lying to them, it does mean finding a kind way to say anything that could be seen as negative. Remember that most people don’t start out in life hoping to have a child they cannot keep. No one is all good or all bad, and your child needs to feel that their biological mom has good qualities the same as you do.
Accept Emotions of the Biological Mom
If you do have contact with the birth mom, allow them to be open about their emotions. Don’t have any expectations about how they should feel. Don’t expect them to feel happy or grateful that you’re raising their child.
You can inadvertently be disrespectful by saving things like you were meant to be your child’s mom. While it’s understandable to feel that way, it can be disregarding of the suffering the biological mother went through if you were the person who was supposed to parent that child.