Adoption/ Parent contact

Kelli - posted on 09/16/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a question that maybe some of you may have some experience with. We are fostering 2 children, whose birth mother will very likely not be able to regain custody of. She is actually considering relinquishing her parental rights, but wants to know if she could be allowed contact with the children. They are 2 and 3 years old. My husband and I are unsure how to respond, since we're so new at all of this. We don't know if we should or shouldn't. Does anybody have any advice? This could range from sending pictures once in a while, to visitations. We're not sure where to go on this, and the final hearing is in one week.

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I guess the answer to that would be if continued contact would be a positive for the children. Take the time to check out the mothers background and really get to know her and her behaviors. If there was abuse involved, I would have to say no. If there were drugs around, I would probably stay in touch with mom myself, but no contact with the children until they are adults. keep any and all pictures from bio mom in a place where you can share them with the kids when appropriate. I would not hesitate to send pics to mom, as long as she keeps whatever boundaries that you and your husband set up as the parents. remember, you're familys needs is more important than hers right now.

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Susan - posted on 09/28/2009

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My husband and I have adopted a few children through foster care and DHS. In our state, open adoption means my kids will not have problems getting their birth paretns information - nothing is sealed. But all contact is 100% up to us as the legal parents, and nothing had to be negotiated before adoption, as if we were divorcing. I hope you are not required to commit to anything, but I would suggest that perhaps via a PO Box, you maintain some contact. Most adopted kids want to know something about their biological parents one day, and they will honor you more for handing them the information, than just standing behind them and saying "go for it yourself". Hope that makes sense.



What you have done is save a child's (or children) life. Though God chose you to care for these children, He did choose someone else to bring them into this world. It's tough to think you may not be able to give this child everything he or she needs, that someday they will likely look for their birth parents, but if you accept it now, it will be much easier later on. Best of luck to you.



God Bless you for what you are doing!

Carol - posted on 09/28/2009

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With us...we adopted a child that came to us as a newborn....the bio mom was a prosititute and a crack addict....she lost custody....bio father..unknown so it was published in the local newspaper....when no one stepped forward the father rights were terminated and the adoption went forward to finalization! Yea! Then when our second son came to us as a newborn... (bio-half brother to the first) the bio-mom saw our first at the hospital and said OMG I know who his father is he looks just like him.....she proceeded to tell the man that he was possible father of our oldest son and he had bothered us to the point of us calling the police.....Alex was three at the time....this man left us alone for the past three years, when now he tracked me down at my job and said he wanted to talk to me.....I was advised by the police not to initiate contact so I haven't....it's been 2 1/2 weeks now....we'll see what happens....think long and hard before you share to much about YOUR child....you never know who's lurking around the corner or what they'll do.

Sondra - posted on 09/27/2009

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If you adopt, you should go through a mediated process whereby you hammer out the details of an open adoption. During this process, you are in control of what goes into the agreement. I agreed to six visits/year plus photos and monthly phone calls. I had know the birthmom for 3 years, and wanted to keep an eye on the younger sibling as well. BUT I put a clause in the agreement that I could revoke the entire agreement (or parts of it) at any time, if I felt it was not in my child's best interest. That clause essentially gave me all the power. Now, she could challenge if she wanted to, but she dropped out of the picture over a year ago. I expect to hear from her on my child's birthday, but because of her choices, she's not going to see him again.

Molly - posted on 09/26/2009

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We had visits with our daughter's bio family while she was our foster child. It was very stressful for me and our daughter who was one at the time was always upset afterward. After we finalized her adoption we decided that we would send pictures if bio family requested them through the social worker. I have saved lots of pictures and gifts from bio mom for our daughter. I would have no problem if our daughter wants to contact them when she is older but right now I think it would just be too confusing for her. In our situation I would never agree to or promise visitations and all social workers involved in our case feel the same. I would get advice from your social worker.

Heidi - posted on 09/25/2009

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Hi Kelli-

I adopted two children through washington state foster/adopt. They are not siblings and in both situations the parents gave up rights but wanted a "open adoption" which means they can write, send pictures, gifts ect and you send pictures and updates ect- but in the agreement it does say the birth parent MUST provide the adoptive parent a address within the first year and all communication is at the adoptive parents chose to give /share with the child.........well this agreement seemed to ease the birth mothers mind a little but they BOTH defaulted so we have never had to follow through. With my second son his birth mother and family do contact me and I am very up front with them that he does know about them but does not fully understand yet and for BOTH birth mom and child visitation would not be a good thing- so far she has agreed with me. My open adoptions have worked very well I know both my sons birth parents love them and easing their minds by knowing they were going to a family that was going to be open with the child seemed to help them move on. I hope this helps please feel free to contact me with anything youmay not understand in this little paragraph....



Take care

Lori - posted on 09/20/2009

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I come from a different situation. We addopted 3 of my stepsisters children. They are able to see the kids once they have formed a new relationship and have not been getting into trouble, have had no contact for 2 1/2 yrs. Mom and dad are now divorced and mom cannot handle coming into our house and seeing the kids so once again in their life she has becked out on them. After promissing me she wouldnt. Now dad is remaried and has been calling to build on their relationship.

We wornt really close as family but the way I look at it is, their bio family is always family, we still call them mom and dad but add their first names to it as to tell the difference. They are confused emotionally as to who is who, and this way they will get to know the bio parents and be comforrtable as they grow older, instead of confused about everything. Visits are done in our home with us present, as well as phone calls.

I would hate for them to be a teenager and want to try and find their parents and let that consume them instead of continuing on with their lives. Us being uncomfortable is something to accept with the job of being their parents.

We had them for 4 yrs before adoption was finally completed, twins 6, and a 9 yr old. They remembered going to the visit center and having visits, and their paternal grandparents have contact as well.



So please think of what you could handle, you never know how itll be later in life, you might need some information from them as well.

[deleted account]

If you are fostering thru DSS and they are handeling the adoption, hopefully you won't have mediation, and can state your desires right to DSS. But I agree with Monica, talk with your husband long and hard about what you both can and cannot put up with, and be overly clear with BM so there is no misunderstanding.

Monica - posted on 09/19/2009

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I currently have a 3 year old and 10 month old, same mom, different dads. Both parents relinquished rights to 3 year old in july and we are in the process of adopting. We have a mediated agreement for 3 visits per year and school photos. My problem is they have my phone number and are constantly asking for visits, and our agreement has even taken effect until the adoption is done. What the mediator told me is DO NOT offer anything you might regret later. You can always offer more, you can never offer less than what the agreement said. We were very careful in things we added to our agreement. No new criminal convictions, it will cancel agreement, dirty ua's, etc. I also made a clause in there that says they are NOT to refer to themselves as mom or dad. We have had the 3 yo for 2 years and have about a month to go before adoption done. We are hoping BM will relinquish on 10 month old that we have had since birth. BD of her has 5 terms prior to her being born. No good parents, arrested recently for stealing the clothes to bring to visits.

All I can say is think very carefully about it and get advice from others. I wish we could have not done the mediation because I am dreading the next 15 years.

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