Eric & Laura
We are so immensely thankful for ParentProfiles for bringing our sweet baby girl into our family. Our profile went up shortly before Christmas 2010. A dear friend of our birth mother found our profile in January 2011 and contacted us. By early February, we were told by our daughter's birth mother that she wanted us to be the parents. Our baby girl was born 2 months later, and is the absolute more ...
Post-adoption relationships can sometimes be difficult to create and maintain. It requires forgiveness, dedication, perseverance, and empathy from all sides of the adoption triad. Creating a successful semi-open adoption relationship is a process. It won't happen overnight and it won't maintain itself. The only way a semi-open adoption relationship will work is if both sides are completely dedicated to making it successful. Even though it does require ample effort, it is entirely possible to create a healthy post-adoption relationship--a relationship that can last a lifetime.
The first thing to create a successful semi-open adoption is to understand the specifics of your post-adoption agreement. Because every post-adoption agreement is unique, it's beneficial for everyone involved to have a firm understanding of the details, requirements, and expectations. Your semi-open adoption agreement may include how many letters or emails you'll receive per month, which types of contact are appropriate, and which personal information is exchanged--such as medical records or mailing addresses. If you don't agree with what's in your agreement, encourage the adoptive parents to meet with you and revisit the agreement. While compromise is necessary when drafting an agreement, remember that both involved parties should be happy and content with the end result.
The second step to creating a successful post-adoption relationship is to open the lines of communication. Healthy communication can resolve issues, heal hurt and offense, and provide a way for needs to be met. Communicating effectively requires both parties to make a substantial effort. It also requires ample upkeep. Proper communication is like a muscle. If you don't exercise it, you'll lose its strength. However, if there are communication problems and the situation can easily erupt, consider using a mediator. A mediator can encourage the situation to remain calm, cordial, and pleasant. When your mediator feels everyone is ready, s/he will step back and see how the meetings or conversations progress.
The third most crucial part of any post-adoption relationship is respect. Respect yourself, the adoptive parents, and the child. Just a little respect can go a long way in creating and maintaining a successful semi-open adoption. Throughout this journey, there will be times where you're offended, hurt, or angry. And there will be times the adoptive parents feel the same way. If you can respect each other, problems can be fixed and the relationship can continue to grow and progress. Even if you don't agree with the actions or opinions of the adoptive family, respect them. They should do the same for you.
While creating the perfect post-adoption relationship may not be possible, creating a successful one can be your immediate reality. It just takes teamwork, dedication, a clear view of your goals and the future, and empathy for the other side. Be consistent and reliable and you'll see a healthy, happy post-adoption relationship forming in your life, making for a happier future.