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Holding Onto Relationships with the Child You Gave Up for Adoption

Giving a child up for adoption can be a painful and very emotional time in your life. While the pain may go away after some time, the memories of your child are something that you will have forever. To hold onto a relationship with your child, even if you are unable to raise them yourself, open adoption is a great solution. When you first place your child up for adoption, it is important to look for families wanting to adopt that are interested in open adoption as well. While an open adoption is the easiest way to hold onto a relationship in the future, all hope is not lost if you have already given up your child in a closed adoption.

Holding Onto Relationships with the Child You Gave Up for Adoption

Relationships in Closed Adoptions
Holding onto or forming a relationship with your child who you have given up in a closed adoption may be a bit of a tricky situation. If you are looking for your child, you may be able to speak with the adoption lawyer to see if there is any information that you are able to obtain on them, such as they adoptive name, pictures, or even their whereabouts. While this is not always a possibility, it is important to hold onto hope throughout the years until you are legally able to start looking for your birth child. Your search can begin when your child reaches 18 years of age, making them a legal adult.

Relationships in Open Adoptions
An open adoption is when you permanently place your child with another family who will become their legal parents, but you have the ability to keep ongoing contact over the years. The birth parents and adoptive parents will get to meet each other, you will be able to share complete identifying information, receive pictures of your child and may even get to meet them on occasion through the years. The main benefit to this means of adoption is that you are able to hold onto a real relationship with your child. They will always know who you are to them. To keep the relationship going, it is important to remember that the adoptive parents have all the rights to the child and that you should respect that. One day you may even be able to share your adoption story with your child, showing them just how much you care about them and allowing your relationship to flourish.

To stay close with your child when he or she has other parents, you may choose to keep in contact through letters. Write them letters over the years, telling them about your life and letting them know that you are always thinking about them. These letters will solidify your relationship with your child in the future when they are better able to understand who you are and what part you play in their life. Because you are not the child’s legal parent and they may not know you that well, it can be difficult to gain their trust. Patience is extremely important in forming a relationship and a bond with your birth child. You may let them know that you are always there for them while not coming on to them too strongly that could scare them away.

According to the Adoption Center of Illinois, many birth mothers actually elect to stay in counseling for up to 5 years after they give their child up just to be able to process the emotions of their situation. So while birth mothers may be able to try their best to cope on their own, most of the time, they need healthy emotional support.

It is also very important to maintain a good relationship with the adoptive parents of your child if you plan to have a relationship with him or her. Until the child is 18, the adoptive parents are able to make all decisions for the child and may not want you to contact them if you do not have a good relationship with each other. Although there may be a sense of jealousy between your relationship, it is important to remember that your child is in good hands and is being provided with the life that you were unable to give them

Before choosing adoption, it is important to weigh of all of your options in order to ensure that this is the right choice for you. Giving your child up when you can not take care of them is brave, selfless and truly puts your child’s best interested ahead of yours.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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