Ever found yourself in an “After you!” “No, after you!” situation, where both people are trying to be polite, and the result is that no one gets to walk through the door? We see the same thing happen with birth parents and adoptive families when it comes to their annual updates or meetings! Many birth parents don’t ask about scheduling updates or meetings because they don’t want to be seen as pushy, and at the same time, a lot of adoptive parents aren’t sure if their child’s birth parents even want an update or meeting, so, not wanting to pressure anyone, they stay silent. As both parties waffle as to whether they should be the first to do something, time goes by and sometimes feelings get hurt.
The solution? Remember that it’s always okay to ask for your annual meeting or update! At Adoptions Together, we rely on birth parents to let us know when they are ready for an update or meeting, so don’t wait for us to contact you – give us a call! We’re always happy to hear from you. This applies not only to birth mothers but to birth fathers as well; a birth father can get updates and have meetings with his child and his child’s adoptive family whether or not he is in a relationship with his child’s birth mother and regardless of whether she has contact with their child. For all birth parents, even if we haven’t heard from you for a long time – even if you’ve never had a meeting or update – the door is always open. It takes some birth parents years to become emotionally ready to make contact with their child, and that’s okay.
If you placed your child through a different agency or through a lawyer or facilitator and you want to get in touch with your child and their adoptive family, call or e-mail the person who was your primary contact during the adoption process. Even if you do not have a written agreement, you have every right to ask for openness, and any ethical agency will do their best to get you, at the very least, a letter or picture update from your child’s adoptive family.
We know that asking for updates and scheduling meetings can be scary, especially the first time you do it. You may be worried that your child’s adoptive family will say no, or you might feel apprehensive about starting a relationship that will bring up a lot of different emotions for you. We can talk with you about those feelings, give you information about what your updates or meetings might be like, and walk you through the process. Opening this door can be a wonderful experience for you and for your child and their adoptive family – someone just has to be the first to walk through it.