Bmom's parents warning against open adoption
We were matched with a wonderful bmom a few months ago and she has been great. She has been buying gifts for us and our older children and she generally seems like a really caring, stable young woman.

She has an older child who lives with her parents. I met the bmom's parents for the first time last week and had a slightly strange conversation. They basically said that I should be very careful because she can be quite manipulative. They said that their daughter regularly comes and tries to take the child back, saying she is going to parent. They said that they think an open adoption won't work and are trying to put more distance between them and her.

Bmom is very close to the end of the pregnancy and I am starting to feel concerned. We were hoping for an open adoption where she would become a part of the family. If she acts the same with us as with her parents then an open adoption would be very difficult.
But I don't really know if I can trust her parents or possibly she just acts differently with them because they are family etc. she has been nothing but kind towards us.

I a freaking out a bit right now, I really thought this was going to be a good match and starting to feel like I don't know bmom at all Unhappy
Any advice welcome x
Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Did the bmom's parents provide any specific examples? Is it possible they do not want an "outsider" adoption but rather would petition custody? Does your bmom speak of her parents or her other child(ren)?

If you are working with an agency or attorney, I would be dialing them so fast the keypad would have smoke coming off of it. If not, then I would think that you would have to speak very gently with the bmom regarding the matter. To protect you and your family, it seems like you have to investigate the comments more.

Is there someone else - a birth father, aunt, uncle cousin, neighbor - anyone else that you can think of that would be able to provide a neutral standpoint.

Take an honest look at the relationship you have had with bmom. Has there been any situations or experiences when you thought something but pushed it under the rug or found inconsistencies with situations?

I hope it turns out that the bmom parents were over-exaggerating but if they had nothing to gain from the experience, why would they provide such a comment?
All you can do at this point is set boundaries and abide by them. If the bmom does things after placement that bothers you or makes you uncomfortable you will have to re-establish the boundaries.

There could be a lot of things at play in this situation. As for now if you are comfortable that is really all you can go on unless you feel that the bmom's mom is a crediable source of information.

As with all open adoptions (legally enforceable or not) I suggest that everyone know the guidelines for contact ahead of time. Don't agree to things you are not comfortable with and make sure the agreement can change if needed.
allwhohope said...
Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Did the bmom's parents provide any specific examples? Is it possible they do not want an "outsider" adoption but rather would petition custody? Does your bmom speak of her parents or her other child(ren)?

If you are working with an agency or attorney, I would be dialing them so fast the keypad would have smoke coming off of it. If not, then I would think that you would have to speak very gently with the bmom regarding the matter. To protect you and your family, it seems like you have to investigate the comments more.

Is there someone else - a birth father, aunt, uncle cousin, neighbor - anyone else that you can think of that would be able to provide a neutral standpoint.

Take an honest look at the relationship you have had with bmom. Has there been any situations or experiences when you thought something but pushed it under the rug or found inconsistencies with situations?

I hope it turns out that the bmom parents were over-exaggerating but if they had nothing to gain from the experience, why would they provide such a comment?



I don't think that the grandparents want custody, initially the bmom hoped that they would parents but they said that they didn't want any more kids. Bmom speaks highly of her parents and how well they look after her child. She has brought her child to a couple of the visits and has seemed to have an ok relationship with them.

I have been thinking about all the meetings with her, but she always seems very genuine and honest about what she wants.

I really don't get why they would warn me against it, unless they did want to parent or it was really true.
Then I am with the other poster - all you can do is set boundaries and abide by them. Do you think it would be appropriate to inform her of her parents concern? Maybe open the conversation with "I spoke with your parents and they seem to have lots of questions about the openness of the adoption...." and see where it goes?

I certainly don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but I am glad that you are taking a step back to look both ways - your comment "unless they did want to parent or it was really true" is an honest comment.

Again, I would think that if you do have an open relationship - and hope for an open relationship - you need to somehow gently tap the conversation with bmom. If nothing else, speak about the expectations after birth. You will have all of this in writing, no?

Wish you the best as you go forward!
As a birthmom I would want you to take my actions with you at face value and leave other people out of our relationship. There could be so many things at play in the parent daughter dynamic that you don't know about. Heck ask my own mother about me. She will tell you I am on crack and that I sold my child (all things she has said to other family members, mean while begging for pictures).

Your relationship is with your birthmother not her parents. Her parents aren't the ones who are placing their child with you, she is. Perhaps she is all those things and you will later have to distance yourself from her but in the mean time doesn't she deserve the benefit of doubt until she does something wrong?
If it were me, I would have some more conversations with her parents and not dismiss what they say. They probably have real serious reasons for warning you, but you need more info from them and possibly others who know Mom as well. They have known her a lifetime, and you have known her a few months. Anybody can be who they want you to see for a short period of time. I know a Mom who sounds similar in that she seems ok on the surface, but hides a very serious mental illness that does not become apparent until many months after placement. She has two children she does not parent(we do not have either of them). Just do more research so you are prepared.
CaddoRose said...
If it were me, I would have some more conversations with her parents and not dismiss what they say. They probably have real serious reasons for warning you, but you need more info from them and possibly others who know Mom as well. They have known her a lifetime, and you have known her a few months. Anybody can be who they want you to see for a short period of time. I know a Mom who sounds similar in that she seems ok on the surface, but hides a very serious mental illness that does not become apparent until many months after placement. She has two children she does not parent(we do not have either of them). Just do more research so you are prepared.


FWIW, if I were your emom and found out that you were talking to my parents about me because of things they have said to you and you are looking to possibly close off the relationship because of it, I would want a different match. Trust goes both ways. Right now she is learning to trust you enough to place her child with you and you are learning to trust her to have her as part of your on going lives. I know plenty of people that have horrible messed up personal lives but maintain a very healthy open adoption. I am a mess and a crazy person half the time. Heck ask my ex how many times I have called from a blocked number and hung up. Does that mean I do it to aparents absolutely not!

I don't know the situation behind her other child's circumstances. I don't know how formal that adoption is. All things that I imagine would play a really big deal into the dynamic.
If I found out that my son's aparents had been checking me out with my folks before I placed him, I would have declined the match.

You need to focus on the relationship with the emom. I will say it was a curiousity to me that she is buying you and your children gifts. Does she think she needs to buy your affections?

I would highly recommend that you not think of this woman a birth mom, and not your birth mom, as she is simply an expectant mother at this time. It protects your heart and keeps some appropriate distance in your relationship should she decide to parent which is always a possibility.
I haven't got time to reply properly now but I just wanted to add that the bmom suggested I speak to her parents, seeing as they want to have continued contact in the future.
Momma-Emme said...
I haven't got time to reply properly now but I just wanted to add that the bmom suggested I speak to her parents, seeing as they want to have continued contact in the future.


I would express my concerns about this directly with the expectant mother. I did not have an OA with my aparents as OAs were not available at the time I placed. But had we been matched and in a similar situaiton, I'd want to know about your concerns so I could address them directly.
I agree. I'm not saying I would do full investigation or anything of that sort.. but if someone ESPECIALLY someone that is close to her offered information I would certainly give it serious consideration.

CaddoRose said...
If it were me, I would have some more conversations with her parents and not dismiss what they say. They probably have real serious reasons for warning you, but you need more info from them and possibly others who know Mom as well. They have known her a lifetime, and you have known her a few months. Anybody can be who they want you to see for a short period of time. I know a Mom who sounds similar in that she seems ok on the surface, but hides a very serious mental illness that does not become apparent until many months after placement. She has two children she does not parent(we do not have either of them). Just do more research so you are prepared.
Other members of J's birthfamily have bad-mouthed his birth parents to me. It ultimately didn't matter if what they said was true or not (and I won't go into details). What mattered to us was maintaining an open relationship for the sake of our son. We have had to set boundaries, but I think that is true in most OA relationships.
I am weighing in with the other parents of origin on here to urge against pursuing this further with her parents. Like others have stated, I would have been extremely offended by my sons parents taking the word of my parents over the prospective adoptive parentҒs experience with me. At the time I was going through my pregnancy, my parents view of who I was as a person was very different than who I really was. The family I was sent to live with were very concerned before they got to know me as they thought I would be a dangerous and disrespectful young woman. They found out differently almost immediately. To this day my mom will talk about me during that time with a venom and point-of-view that is erroneous.

In your shoes, I would address your concerns with her directly and leave her parents out of it. To do differently is a violation of trust, IMO.

Imagine how violated you would feel if the expectant mother in your case had conversations regarding you with a family member you might not be seeing eye-to-eye with at the time. Imagine if that conversation caused her to rethink the match? I would venture to guess it would be pretty damaging to your relationship moving forward.

If you dont think an open adoption will work with this person then communicate that now. That way she can reevaluate if you are the right match for her.
My own mother trashed me every chance she got. It didn't matter if it was with the neighbors, her friends, my friends' parents, extended family members, etc. If she discovered a chance to trash me, she'd do it. She was a mean woman....

If this is how this young woman's own parents are talking about her, no wonder she's placing the child for adoption...
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