1. Avoid resentment.
Don’t stand in the way of what your children want once they become adults. You have spent their whole lives loving and supporting them. Don’t stop now. They will need you now more than ever. Deciding to search for birth family is not easy. If you are unapproving, they may wait until it’s too late. In these situations, time is and always will be the enemy. If they search and their birth parents have already passed or they come down with an illness that could have been prevented, they may never forgive you. Your selfishness or fear may cause them to resent you forever.
2. Don’t force your children to carry guilt.
If you’re not supportive of your children’s searches, you will cause them to carry guilt around with them, which is an unfair burden. You may be scared you will lose them, but that’s not the way it works. They are not replacing you. They are adding pieces of history to their lives and answering questions they’ve always had. In fact, your lack of support may cause so much guilt that they may wait to search until after you have passed. Then the chances are great that their birth parents may have passed as well.
3. Don’t keep them from possible siblings.
No matter how you feel about children meeting their birth parents, most adoptees end up having biological siblings they want to have a relationship with. It’s not always the case, but often birth siblings have similar personalities and interests and really enjoy each other’s company. Both sides usually want to play a role as aunts and uncles to each other’s children. That can also quickly cure the adoptee not knowing anyone who looks like them. Adoptees should not be denied the opportunity to have a relationship with siblings based on decisions made for them many years ago.
4. This was not their choice.
People often take for granted the simple things in families like having great Aunt Margaret’s nose or Grandpa’s chin. Non-adoptees don’t know what it’s like to not know a single person who is related to them by blood. In adoption, everything is decided for the child. The adoptee has no say in the most important decisions being made for his or her life. Parents make choices for their children all the time, and that’s okay. However, when the questions of why they are who they are or where they come from arise, they should be given the choice as adults with how to proceed.
5. Your children deserve to know their medical history.
With the advancements we have made, many illnesses can be stopped or cured if treated early enough. There may be something hereditary that your children need to be looking out for. They may have conditions that will be passed down to their children. Even if the child’s file said “no known illnesses” at the time of the adoption, that may no longer be the case. Sadly, new ailments are popping up at an alarming rate. Your children shouldn’t have to suffer unnecessarily just because they don’t have all the facts.