we just took placement of our son on the 23rd...
the situation was definitely interesting... we had just met Bmom (and Bdad) a week before she delivered, and Bdad did NOT want to tell his family about the decision. In fact, his family did not even know she was pregnant.
They found out the night J was born and were not thrilled at all. They even tried to convince them that Bmom and Bdad were doing the wrong thing, etc. Both Bparents stated they were doing what they thought was best for J.
Going into the adoption process, we knew we wanted an open adoption... we're now being tested.
Since coming home, we have had a few phone calls from Bdad's parents... wanting to see J and meet with us to determine our openness.
They showed up at a meeting with a drawn up contract of sorts saying (in bullet form)
1. they want to visit with us every 4th monday at 630 for 2 hours.
2. they want unsupervised visits every 2 months (lasting 4-6 hours) so other family members can see him.
3. they want unsupervised visits in the summer to take him to parks and such
4. *we're military with the chance of being relocated...
if we move, they want to come visit him every 3 months.
we had always said yea we want to do visits and big holidays and celebrations, but for them to come out and demand a set day every month (our schedules are not set like that! I'm working on my masters and my H is not always home...) and then UNSUPERVISED visits... I don't think so. ESPECIALLY not when he's an infant. Maybe in a few years, but no way right now. I am not even comfortable leaving him with people who are close to us for an hour!
we now feel like they think this is joint custody.
they're overbearing and just make us feel really uncomfortable. We've decided we'll still do meetings here and there, but certainly not on a schedule that they dictate. We're not going to accomodate them more than anyone else. My own mom doesn't get to see him that often... I don't bend over backwards to accomodate her.
I just don't want them to feel like we promised openness (obviously our definition did not sink in with them) and get freaked out that we're changing that... they caused a lot of problems right after he was born because they didn't trust us to uphold our word.
We love spending time with Bmom, her family and Bdad. It's just Bdad's parents that are causing problems. :hissy:
Another complicating factor is that these people do NOT like Bmom... and Bmom doesn't like them. So anytime we want to get together (say, for Christmas,) we have to do two separate things because we're not going to do that to Bmom... we understand how she feels about them. We witnessed it firsthand how they treat Bmom.
I guess I'm looking for encouragement. I felt backed into a corner when they handed us that paper and then asked "what do you think?" how do we go about saying "no, thank you, we're going to dictate when and where" (within a reasonable timeframe since we did say we wanted to see them)???
OMG you are NOT being unreasonable - THEY ARE. I'm sorry I don't agree with one thing they are asking for. This should be a relationship that grows TO that, I'm sorry, but they need to earn that just as every other family member does. I wouldn't even let my MOM tell me I have to do these things.
Monthly visits? Wow...that can be so emotional...I would say no, and that in the future we might but at this point we don't want to set up a certain time, we want this relationship to grow and foster on it's own.
Unsupervised? NOOOOOO First of all, I wouldn't let ANYONE (again including my mom and dad) tell me that I had to do an unsupervised visit. These people have NO idea what an open adoption is! They ARE treating it like it's joint custody. As bad as it sounds, they have no right to your child, so they shouldn't be acting like you HAVE to do anything.
If you move, they can call you and see if you are up for a visit, like every other family member does.
It's good they want a relationship, but this IS backing you into a corner and not fair. Relationships can't be forced, and you will have so many things going on anyways with being a new mommy that this is going to get overwhelming!
Be honest. It is only fair. They may want to raise the baby themselves. I hate secrets and am stunned how much adoption still harbors so many secrets.
We had grandparent's considering raising our (now adopted) son, but they decided against it due to health and age. Maybe they will feel the same. Best wishes and hopefully you can resolve this.What branch?We were army for 23 years and adopted our son while at Knox;~))
I have to agree that does not sound like open adoption, it sounds more like joint custody. I would put my foot down and tell them no. Did you adopt through an agency who can help explain to them that they can not dictate the visits like this? That might help, if not I would just tell them up front the answer is no.
There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said. I just want you to know that I am another person who feels that they are being unreasonable and treating the OA as joint-custody, which is clearly is not. I would in NO way do unsupervised visits at this point. I also would not "schedule" visits. That's just ridiculous. Don't feel like the bad guy when you tell them "no".
Your agreement for an open adoption is with the bmom & bdad....that's it. Whether it is harsh or not, that's the reality of it. If the relationship grows over time then fine, but right out of the gate? No.
Don't let them take their anger towards their son out on you. They couldn't control what his decision was and I'm sure they are upset. has nothing to do with you and they shouldn't be allowed to bully you.
Imo....I'd stick to the agreement you have with the bparents, and tell the grandparents "You need to discuss visits with your son and work it out with him. If he would like you to be there or notify you of the visit, that is his choice, but I cannot be in the middle of that"
thanks everyone! I definitely needed to hear it from an unbiased opinion that they are overstepping their bounds.
They were "given" the chance to decide they wanted to raise him... kind of. Bdad and Bmom said heck no to his parents getting him. Although they didn't really make an attempt at that option. Bgrandfather DID show up at Bmoms house demanding she and Bdad raise the baby. It upset everyone involved.
And we've already gone to court to sign consent forms, their consent is now irrevocable.. so that's not even a matter anymore.
We're going to just see how things go and next time they call try to explain things to them. I wish I could explain this woman to you... she is such an anal retentive controlling person... she point blank told Bdad and Bmom to their faces that she thought they were wrong, and they didn't know what they were doing... they needed more time to think about it. Bparents had decided back in May they wanted to place for adoption!
so i guess we'll see how this goes... thanks for the ideas and support :) we appreciate it!
i've been around this forum a long time... mainly as a birthmom... (I relinquished 22 years ago)... but now we are in the process of adopting.... and after being around this forum for so long, one of the very first things i said to the caseworker at our first meeting was "I don't want to be involved with any birthgrandparents."
our caseworker has been doing this a long time, and she said "you can take it on a case by case basis"...
which, i am still not sure i'm willing to do... i agree with the other posts... you are responsible to your sons birthparents... not the grandparents...
good luck.
I think the best thing is to put in writeing a letter to them stateing what contact you are open set the time,how often,where etc.YOUR OPEN AGREEMENT IS WITH THE BPARENTS NOT THE GRANDPARENTS.if they are not supportive of the birthparents placeing the child for adoption,then this may always be a difficult have to do what you think is best for your child.they need to realize they really have no power in this situation.unless they change ,i would only consider limited contact,maybe pics and letters,a few times a year.only supervised have to decide what is comfortable for your family.and is contact with these bgrandparents going to be in the best interest of the child.if you adopted through a agency,contact your case worker for some advice on handling of luck to you.
I haven't read the other responses, so my apologies if I'm repeating others advice.
Your openness arrangements are with your son's birth parents, not your son's birth grandparents. They need to back off.
Did you give them your phone number and encourage them to use it? At this point, I would be keeping contact with the b-parents. Let the b-dad update his parents. If you're comfortable with him inviting his parents to visits that you set up with him, then so be it.
It's unfortunate that they don't realize that they could do some serious damage to your relationship with them, and their relationship with their birth grandson.
I realize that they're no doubt reeling with all that they've had to digest in the past couple of weeks, but that was b-dad's doing and is not your train wreck to fix.
Good luck!
This is ridiculous! This is between your family and the birthparents, as others have said. This isn't an OA, and hopefully this is resolved soon before it gets even further out of hand. Good Luck!!
As a birthmother, I am in total agreement with the other posters who have stated that your open adoption agreement is with your child's bmom and bdad, not the bgrandparents. What the bgrandparents want and demand is not only unreasonable but unrealistic as well. You are not sharing custody ~ you are this child's parents.
Some of us bmoms placed our children for adoption partly to ensure our parents wouldn't have access to them, to stop the family dysfunction from spreading to our kids. Stick to your guns, and set firm boundaries. I'm sure your child's birthparents will thank you for this.
I'm a first mom but I can tell you that my ex's parents are the same way with our son. Kiddo's mom and dad finally had to say, listen, we aren't part of your family and our agreement it with B and B, not you. My kiddo doesn't see me as often as he see's my ex's parents. I have an agreement to see kiddo four times a year, his first grandparents on first dad's side were insisting on at least once a month. They don't understand what an open adoption is, my parents on the other hand are adoptive parents as well, and so they stay out of things and let me update them and what not.
Good luck with this, it is a REALLY hard situation. I would set them up with a social worker or counselor that has some experience with open adoption AND has empathy for the loss that a first family experiences, because remember, they are grieving the loss of a family member as well and are probably coping with ALL kinds of shock, not that that excuses their behaviour.
First of all - they completely did the absolute right thing in saying you would not agree to their conditions.
I personally would not sign ANYTHING or really agree to anything with them (especially with their attitude). Your agreement is with bmom and bdad.
I also wanted to add I have been very blessed with my sons birthfamily. We have a really good relationship with his birthgrandparents, birthaunts/uncles and birthcousins on his bmom's side. I really enjoy our visits and I am pretty sure they do too!! That is because we are all respectful, kind and compassionate to each other - just like we would be with any relationship!!
If at any time they had been so demanding with me I know I would have shut down and our relationship would not have developed into a healthy caring one.
I also wanted to add - I would not be catering to them just because they do not like the bmom. I would tell them IF they are to be involved, they must be respectful to EVERYONE and that includes her. I would not be making my life harder to accomodate their childishness.
You might want to consider mediation with an experienced adoption counselor if you feel you need support in making your boundaries clear. You can contact a counselor, express your concerns and then request a meeting with your child's bgrandparents and bparents and whomever else you choose, so you can lay out the groundrules and make some guidelines for how to proceed in the future. You make attendance at this meeting "mandatory" beofre your next scheduled saying something like, "I think we all have different expectations of what our open adoption should look like, so I am arranging a meeting with a mediator so we can make sure we are all on the same page. We feel we need to do this before moving forward with any other meetings or communcations, so please conatct us and let us know what times would work for you."
I am only suggesting this if you are having a hard time making your boundaries clear. They sound quite oevrbearing, and if you are a "people pleaser" like I am it is helpful to have a professional guiding the conversation.
Good luck to you. You are in the right. Your committment is to the birthparents and try to focus on that. They have entrusted you with this child for a reason!