Birthmom rights after adoption?

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Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by tracyg on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 19:19

What type of rights does the BM have after adoption? Does it depend on the "type" of adoption?

Im a avid Facebook user and last night while online i came across a group on adoption. In this a birth mother says that she has managed to find her son (that she gave up for adoption as a baby) on FB, he is now 18 years old. She is his friend on FB (for those of you who know how FB works), but he doesnt know who she actually is, they're just online friends as far as he is concerned.

She has come to realise that he doesnt have a clue about her, maybe because his adoptive parents havent told him all the details. She feels that she must tell him as he has a right to know... blink

That thought scares me. How does one prevent the that situation of birthmom contacting your child "behind your back"? Dont you have certain rights or protection? :Unsure
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Sheena on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 7:45

Good question. Would be interesting to know.

I have a friend who was adopted as a baby. Her adoptive parents told her about the adoption when she was able to understand. She is 30 now and her birth mum has been trying to get back into her life over the past 2 or so years. She wants to be part of her life NOW.

My friend does not consider her birthmum to be her real mother and wants nothing to do with her (from the sounds of it she is a nasty piece of work). She does not even take her calls yet the birthmum pesters her all the time. Surely she would get the IDEA by now.

I know some people do want to know their birth parents which is their choice but surely if you want nothing to do with them that is a choice too.
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by tracyg on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 8:34

Cant your friend get a restraining order against her?!

The BM made her decision (especially if it was a closed adoption), she must live with it! Im sorry, im a bit pasionate about this. Im all open for letting the mom know how we are doing as a family and all that (if the child is not an orphan) But don't go behind my back, like as i said above and tell my child.

My child will kinow that they adopted, i will tell them on a need to know basis, but what that woman on FB is thinking of doing, i would freak out at.

I would allow BM (maybe) to make contact when the time is right on my own terms (as it is my child after all). But dont go behind my back, after 18 years and want to make contact with "your son". :angry

Do i have a right when saying that?
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Pandora on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 16:37

You are correct. At 18 an adopted child can find his birth parents with your consent. After 21, they can do it on their own. The birth mom has no rights ever. If the child wants nothing to do with her it is their right to say no. However, in the case of the BM pestering the grown child, it is hard to say. They may have no rights, but how do you keep them away? Someone I know was adopted, and chose to find her mom, who she met only once, and did not really like. She said that there was no connection there at all.

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Guest on Tue 19 Jan 2010 - 11:34

I am scheduled to donate eggs for a couple (if all turns out well) in September 2010. From the start I was very clear on the fact that I am more than willing to sign a contract that denounces any relationship with a child that might be a result of the donation. My opinion on this is that it is a gift, and you don't take something back you have given. It might be hard to understand for some people but for me donating these eggs will be like donatng blood. I will pray hard that it works for the couple, but the child will be theirs and theirs alone. They have offered to send pictures and updates but I have declined. If I was them I wouldn't want to share MY child with anyone, let alone someone that might want to take that child away from me. It will be THEIR BFP, and THEIR child. Maybe it's just easier for me to make the distinction, but I would feel the same if I had to surrogate too. Surrogace and egg donation for me is a way to someone else's means, however cvold that may sound?

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Hannah's Hope on Sun 24 Jan 2010 - 16:33

Hi Everyone,

I know this thread is probably 'cold' but I would like to add my 2 cents worth:

Honey: i completely agree with you but i honestly feel that being a surrogate or an egg donor is not the same as adoption. A surrogate or egg donor is selflessly giving of herself to enable someone to have a child but it was never 'her' child. A biological mother is placing her own child for adoption that she has carried for 9 months - obviously a much different situation.

With regards to the birthmom's 'rights'. The second the 60 days are up after the adoption papers have been signed, the birthparents do not have ANY rights AT ALL. In the eyes of the law the adoptive child is seen as being the child of the adoptive parents and not that of the bio parents. Even if their biological child turns 21 that CHILD has to make the first contact, the birthparents can't contact or see him without his consent.

That said, I will not bat an eyelid if Jaedin wants to meet his bio parents. And he would never need to 'search' for them as I will keep in contact with them (via the SW) until he's old enough to deal with the emotional consequences of meeting with them, should he so wish. We will also tell him his awesome adoption story from a very early age and make it 'normal' for him. I am not threatened by them at all and I'll never be. I have no reason to. The bio parents placed Jaedin with us because they wanted to give him a better life. They have no reason to 'steal' him from us!

I think the mindset of the adoptive parents need to be right from the start - preferably even before the baby is born. We were incredibly privileged to have an extremely hands-on SW that took a completely different angle than others do. My husband and I consider Jaedin God's child - not because he's adopted, but because he just is. Our children are not ours, they do not 'belong' to us therefore we can not 'lose' them to their birthmothers or to anyone else.

We will endeavour to bring up Jaedin as an emotionally mature, responsible man with integrity and spiritual maturity. If our upbringing is right and if we do our jobs as the parents God had given him, it will not be a problem for us should he wish to meet with the people that are genetically connected to him. It won't be a problem because our hearts are connected with him and nobody can ever take that away from him, or from us.

This said, I do NOT agree with the lady on FB wanting to make contact with her bio son. It should ALWAYS be the adoptive child's perogative to make contact with his bio parents, not the other way around. The right thing to do in my opinion would be for her to try and make contact with his adoptive mom and maybe discuss the issue with her? Otherwise she is obliged to wait until he is 21, which i feel is the right thing to do. I honestly hope that this adoptive mom in fact DID give him all the details as I think it's incredibly unfair to jump this on a child at ANY age.

Adoption is definitely not the easy option, but the rewards of moulding a new life into emotional, physical and spiritual maturity are endless. And we will always be so thankful to our son's bio parents for giving us this awesome gift!
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by tracyg on Sun 24 Jan 2010 - 19:18

Thanks for your 2c Hannah. Smiley

I agree with you. All children are in the end God's children.

If i may ask, how are you planning to tell Jaedin about his adoption? What are you gonna say to him right from the start?

Obviously it's gonna have to be according to "age appropriate-ness". :Unsure
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Telling your child he's adopted

Post by Hannah's Hope on Mon 25 Jan 2010 - 8:29

Hi Tracy,

Almost all the experts suggest that parents are better off telling their child they are adopted earlier rather than later. In some ways, this can make the question of how to go about telling your child they are adopted somewhat easier, as small children tend to ask simpler questions than older children.

It may be hard to know how to start telling your child they are adopted. Still, especially at a young age, it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Just like talking to small children about important but complex subjects such as religion, it is often best to introduce the idea slowly and over time. For example, if you are walking down the street with your little one, and he says, “Mommy! Look at the lady with the big tummy!” when you see a pregnant woman, you can explain that the woman has a baby growing up inside of her. You can then explain to your child that they did not grow up inside of your tummy, but that you are still his mommy, just as that woman will be that baby’s mommy. In this way, you don’t have to be deceptive to your child, and you don’t have to make a big deal about it either. This will also result in your child not 'overthinking' his adoption just as small children don't overthink their religion or values. If you don 't make a big deal of it, your child won't and he will grow up with the knowledge that he's adopted as a normal part of his life.

Telling your child they are adopted is an ongoing process though. As your child is more able to understand things as they get older, you can explain more and more. You can tell how full having them come into your life made it, and how much you are glad that you could have them as your child.

Children may only understand a very small fraction of what has been explained, but, as they age and are able to understand more detail, parents will be able to build on an existing foundationn. Obviously, a 1- or 2-year-old is not going to comprehend the complicated facts of adoption, but he or she can start becoming partially aware of their special identity.

Personally we are keeping a very special 'memory box' for Jaedin. It has photos of his birthparents, his original name tags from hospital, his birth certificate with his bio surname, his first outfit, first dummy, first tin of milk, letters from John and I whilst his birthmom was pregnant with him, a box full of momentos from his stork teas and the day he was born and the milestones as he's growing up etc. I also wrote him a loooooong letter explaining why he was placed for adoption and how we looked forward to his birth and all the emotions we went through before, during and after his birth. I asked the birthmom to write this but she declined and as I felt he SHOULD know his story, so I wrote everything down for him. We'll probably need a room for all his things by the time he's a teenager but I feel it's incredibly important for Jaedin to have a feeling of belonging as the 'not knowing' is what usual drives adopted teenagers away from their parents. If he has access to all the information and all his questions are answered there's no reason for him to feel insecure.

I honestly feel that as adoptive parents we should NOT make a big deal that our children are adopted. They are the same as all the other children they just came to us in a special way!!
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by tracyg on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 7:50

That memories box is a great idea!

I think i will definitely try my best to make one of those. :Yes
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by DJMommy on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 7:57

My brother and I were both adopted from birth (We are not biologically siblings). And we have both known ever since we can remember that we were adopted. We were 'extra special'. I think that made a huge difference to us. We have never wanted to meet our biological parents - our parents were the ones that raised us.

So I do think the earlier your children know the better!

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Kerryw on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 8:21

HI

I would like to add my two cents from a completely different angle. My dad was adopted. And his parents were good to him but he rew up with a lot of stress that he had to thank them by doing well in life and he pushed himself too hard sometimes as he felt they had done such a big thing for him that he had to repay them. Also because of this he never looked for his birth mom till his adoptive parents both died. which was just too late and it is a bit of sadness for us that we never got to meet her and hear her story even if she was nasty. But secondly it had a big health impact as my dad had a serious heart attack at 50. Adn when we learnt about her she had a heart condition which if my dad's doctors had known about they would have watched him more closely and sent him for more tests before the heart attack.

So I think some contact is NB perhaps even if the child thinks they are not interested. Also as the grandchildren we would like to know more about where we came from??? My mom has a long history in her family and on my dad's side we have a name. I think what did not help is my adoptive gran was dilly and did not stay in contact with her family and did not like children so there was no connection for us.

Finally I am just sad for my dad who will now never know his whole story and his biological mom who never knew that he was fine and successful.
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by DJMommy on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 8:33

I personally dont agree with having to make contact with my biological parents. I understand why my mom gave me up for adoption, but that is where it ends. My biological mom may have given birth to me, but my parents are my parents. Why must I put the family through all the stress etc of going out to find my biological ones? My adopted mom has passede away, but it will destroy my dad (even though he always said to us that he would help us find our boilogical parents if we wanted to look for them). Apart from the lack of medical info, I really have no desire to look for them!

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Hannah's Hope on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 8:48

The big advantage with adoption nowadays are that if you work through the right SW you can get all the medical info you need and then some!

Our SW compiled a loooooong questionnaire that she gave to the bio parents to fill out, so we are 100 % clued up with regards to Jaedin's biological medical history and therefore would never have to 'wonder' what might be lurking out there because we have all the info we need. And if you need more info we can get it with a touch of a button.

Kerry, I think in your dad's era things were just done differently and that's why he didn't have the information he should have had. Todays adoptions are really very 'open' even if it's a non-disclosure adoption like ours.

Eve, I love the fact that your parents made you feel 'extra special' - i will definitely remember that with Jaedin. I tell him that he's the smartest, cutest, most adorarable, gorgeous baby ever known to mankind anyway, but I will add 'extra special'. Thank you!!

xx
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Nix1407 on Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 9:22

Honey, 1stly I applaud you for your decision, and your attitude is one that helps put my mind at rest on the way donors feel towards their 'gift' to people. As far as a birth mother's rights to meet up with her offspring are concerned... I do not believe that they have the right, unless it is agreed upon from the start. Children deserve to know the truth about their circumstances, and I agree with Eve. I knew from the start that my Dad was not my biological father, and knowing this only served to strengthen my bond with my parents, and negated the need to know who my biological father was.

Good luck!

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Kerryw on Thu 28 Jan 2010 - 6:35

Eve and Nix I understand not needing an emotional connection but don't you want to know what they look like?

from my side my dad's biological mom was irish but we would have loved to know if she came here from Ireland or was a South African. ALso my dad was only given up for adoption at 3 and we have no idea why???? From the one small id photo we got from the authorities she looked a little like me. But I would have loved to know her story. Apparently she used to hang around the orphanage (so she really did not want to give him up). For my peace of mind I would have loved her to know that my dad had good adoptive parents and was happy.
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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Pandora on Thu 28 Jan 2010 - 19:21

My MIL was adopted, and she only looked for her bio parents after her adopted parents had passed away. She found her bio mother, but said she felt absolutely no connection, did not even like her. But she did find a bio brother through her, whom she has a good relationship with. I have heard of adopted children who were never interested in finding their bio parents until they were parents themselves.
Personally, if my LG wants to find her bio mother one day, I will help her. I have a picture for her in the meantime. And is she doesn't, that is also ok with me.

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Nix1407 on Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 6:38

Kerry, I think for a lot of people that may be true. My Mom kept photo's of my biological father for me, if I ever got curious to see. I guess my life was just very complete with the family I had, and I never had the need to know. In my mind my Dad has never been the man who conceived me, but rather the man that raised me.

I'm not disputing that some people would like to know, but I think there are quite a few of us out there who are indifferent to it.

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Re: Birthmom rights after adoption?

Post by Kerryw on Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 7:16

Nix

I think I am talking from the grandchilds point of view - you may not really need to know but J may want to know more. So I am just suggesting you have some pics and info that is all. I don't think you need to have a relationship just some facts and stories.

I think I also felt a little lost as my dad's adoptive parents never liked my mom much (she was africans and did not come from a prominent family) and they never liked small children. So I felt cheated on the grandparent stakes.

But also I think there is so much more info available these days.
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