It’s simple, really. If my birth son’s parents owed me something, then the whole adoption would have been a transaction. Viewing adoption as a transaction is the very thing that many in the triad are fighting so hard to change.
At the very least, human trafficking is illegal. It is also immoral and unethical to treat adoption as a transaction. My son’s life has infinite value—I could never name a dollar sign or certain amount of contact to make his adoption placement “fair”.
When making my adoption plan, it was made clear to me that no amount of contact could be legally enforced. I had to go on trust and faith to believe I would have an open adoption. Thankfully, my couple has followed through on every promise that, really, they didn’t owe me.
I placed my son with his parents fully understanding that they would be making all parental decisions. Regardless of how I wanted him to be raised or how I felt about certain subjects, adoption is not co-parenting. I have zero say in how my birth son is raised; birth parents need to be fully informed of this before placement. Too often, shady agencies or attorneys give expectant parents unrealistic expectations of how involved they will be in their child’s life so that they will place.
Open adoption should be viewed as a gift, not something that MUST be done in exchange for a baby. A true gift is given without expectation of something in return. A true gift is given out of a loving and humble heart.
While I agree that cutting off contact with birth parents is morally wrong (unless it is for safety reasons), staying in contact and sending updates shouldn’t be obligatory. Adoptive parents don’t “owe” birth parents anything, just as expectant parents don’t “owe” a hopeful adoptive family their baby. Placement and openness come about as a result of respect and trust on both sides. Both are done in the best interest of the child.
Often times, birth parents will be upset about delayed or stopped contact, and exclaim, “But they OWE me!” and as unfair as it seems, that isn’t the truth. Contact is hoped for, but not owed. The adoptive family SHOULD keep in contact with the birth parents, but ultimately the person they will have to answer to is their child.
If you are an adoptive parent, please beware of agencies or attorneys who are not completely transparent with expectant parents. Ask them how openness is handled, enforced, and explained to expectant parents. Also, I beg of you, do not make any promises you cannot keep. If you are truly uncomfortable with openness, then be honest about it. There is a perfect adoption situation for everybody.
Expectant parents, if you feel at all uncomfortable or feel that your agency or attorney is making promises just to make you happy, they very likely are. Go somewhere that you feel has your best interest at heart.
Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime. Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.