I am an adoptive mother and want to know how valuable an open adoption would be from an adoptee's perspective. We adopted our now 1.5 year old from foster care after he was placed with us at 5 months. He has no pre-existing relationships with biological relatives. We send updates to the birth parents, but they are not safe at this point. When they are safe, we will consider a more open relationship. What we did not plan for was the large extended family that would like to be a part of our son's life. How important would it be for you as an adoptee for your adoptive families to build/maintain these relationships? I have concerns about a conflicting value system and potentially negative influence for my son, but I want to consider what is best for our son. You should also know that he is black/hispanic and we are white. I appreciate any opinions, thoughts, egg throwing, etc.
I'm a birth mother, not an adoptee, but I have done A LOT of research on this. It was very important both to me and the adoptive parents that we do what is best for the child.
Adoptees from closed adoptions, and especially transracial adoptees, frequently struggle with feelings of loss, isolation, and confusion. Not to mention all the unanswered questions- why was I adopted, where do I come from, didn't my birth parents love me, etc.
Open adoption does not completely solve all the problems, but it is statistically proven that adoptees from open adoptions do better emotionally. They can have their questions answered, and in some cases, see for themselves that they were raised in a more stable situation than they would have if they had been raised with their biological parents.
As far as a conflicting value system, your concerns are totally valid. However, there are things you can do to keep the relationship open. I suggest setting some ground rules that must be followed in order to continue visitation. For example, no smoking on your property, clean language must be used, etc. If they choose not to comply, that's their decision. If they do, your son will probably benefit from a relationship with his extended birth family.
These relationships are especially important to maintain his connection to his heritage- extended family is culturally very important among Hispanics. Feeling connected in that way, and being around racial mirrors is very important for transracial adoptees.
I have talked with a lot of adoptees, and I have only ever heard good things about adoptive parents fostering a relationship with their biological family. This way they do not have to choose, and can be loved by both sets of families.
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