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The Relationship Between Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents

The Relationship Between Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents

In an open adoption that focuses on keeping the child the center of the relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents, it’s important to start with a close and trusting give and take between all parties. It’s a unique balance with mutual respect and a common love for the child allows both birth parents and adoptive parents to recognize and enjoy their separate and distinct roles. Working together can create a healthy foundation for the child, allowing them to naturally piece their identity together while receiving plenty of unconditional love, acceptance and support from adoptive parents and birth parents. It’s a great way to make sure that the child knows that these important people all believe in them and love them.

How Can Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents Create this Type of Affirming Relationship in an Open Adoption?

Be yourself and allow others to be themselves. Hiding who you are will only create a tense environment. If you have fears or insecurities, do everything you can to settle them. If you fear the other parties’ disapproval or grief or connection to the child, get it out in the open. Work through the issues so that you can relax and enjoy the relationship.

Be open and affectionate. Don’t hold back if you feel the need to express yourself. This will allow the atmosphere to become one of inclusion and belonging for all parties. If all are sincerely welcoming, there will be little standing in the way of the healthy relationship.

Acknowledge Shared Traits: As adoptive parents, acknowledge characteristics the child has that they share with their birth parents (i.e. eye color, talents, etc.) As birth parents, acknowledge the characteristics that the child got from their adoptive parents (i.e. mannerisms, values, hobbies, etc.)

Communicate Freely: Be direct and clear. If a conversation or visit is uncomfortable, advise the others involved of the problem and pinpoint exactly what happened that created the discomfort so it doesn’t occur again. While expressing concerns, be gracious. Then make a simple plan for the next contact including changes to make sure everyone feels comfortable.

If you are having difficulty keeping in touch with birth parents or adoptive parents, attempt to find a support group in your area or online where you could benefit from the advice of many others in similar situations. Often, the desire to have a healthy relationship is there, but differences in lifestyle, age and even location are causing efforts to break down before they succeed.

If you have questions about adoption in Arizona, the adoption process or open adoption in general, please get in touch with one of the experienced Arizona adoption lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.
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