Birth Mother Fear: Will My Open Adoption Close?

Learning to have faith in the face of uncertainty and fear.

Courtney Pierson July 25, 2014
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Recently I came across an article discussing the shift of power in adoption once the placement happens. I won’t go over it, but basically it discusses how suddenly once placement occurs, there is a perceived power that the adoptive parents have. The power to keep a birth mother in their child’s life, or the power to bring their world crumbling down and cut off contact. Birth mothers aren’t always rational in matters of the adoption triad. I know I can sometimes be downright irrational. Despite the honorable intentions of the adoptive parents, and whether or not they keep their word, the fear remains.

You find yourself wondering after a few days if something is wrong, if you have done something to damage your relationship with literally the most important people in your world. You cherish what you have, yet find yourself envious of others with additional closeness or openness. You love your couple, and the parents they are to your birth child, yet you still feel that pit in your stomach when they don’t respond to a call or a text. Logic tells you that life gets busy, they have a child to take care of, lives of their own to lead. But in the back of your mind, that fear is ever-present. It’s stressful, nerve wracking, and often can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I have always loved my son’s parents, from the day I met them. They have always been wonderful to me and kept their promises. I have seen my son on a regular basis, and they have maintained a relationship with me. But just like in most adoption triads, the fear creeps in when most unwelcome. I mess up, and I can feel it. I immediately wonder if that will be the mistake that ends my relationship. It’s not always fair, or deserved, but it is always there. It can reach a point where you are the one causing the gap, the distance. No, birth mothers are not at fault when a relationship goes south, but in some cases we create distance.

I often allow myself to push people away that I think will hurt me; my son’s parents are no exception. All I can do is understand my insecurities, and understand that just because I have those insecurities, doesn’t mean they are fact. My son’s parents keep their word, and that is all I can expect. Perhaps the fear will never go away, perhaps it will. But dwelling in that fear until they pull away because of it, or pushing them away to avoid what I think may happen, will never help me. So all I can do is have a little faith and believe that they are the people they have already proven to be.

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Courtney Pierson


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