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"Closed" Adoption Families

almost open, then silence

Hi everyone,

Our 4-month old son’s birth mother initially wanted a closed adoption, but before his birth she and I texted a bit and started a relationship. We were there for his birth and got to know her a bit, and told her we would love whatever level of openness she is comfortable with (and we would actually love an open relationship, for her healing and for our son’s benefit). Since his birth, our relationship has continued to grow, and she finally said she would like regular photos and updates. Before Christmas, she wrote to me and said she bought him some presents and would like a visit! We were so happy, and let her know we would love that (we live four hours apart, but she wanted to come to us). Since then, I’ve written to her for Christmas and for New Years, but haven’t gotten any response. I can’t imagine how an adoption placement feels and really have no idea what sort of pain she is carrying. I am planning on just giving her space for now (I’ll send her another monthly update in February, as I told her I would do monthly updates), but I was wondering if anyone has any similar experience? Is there anything else I should say to her, to let her know we’re always open whenever she wants/feels comfortable? We try to frame every email with no pressure and try to be very understanding. We’re thankful we’ve had any continued contact with her, but I’m scared things will wither away. I no I can’t control her side of things, but I just want to make sure we’ve given it our best shot. Thanks!


My daughter’s adoption was completely closed until we found her sister through Ancestry. We have not been fortunate enough to find her birth parents but from your description of how you are handling things, I would say you are doing a remarkable job.

I think the last part of your question, “Is there anything else I should say to her, to let her know we’re always open whenever she wants/feels comfortable?”, is exactly what you should say to her.  Best

Posted by Lucy2012 on Jan 10, 2020 at 9:39pm

The mother gave brith four months ago. With you, the PAPs, there. So you were already positioning yourself as parents and her as…what?

“I can’t imagine how an adoption placement feels and really have no idea what sort of pain she is carrying”

But obviously that doesn’t bother you. And what exactly do you think your agreement is going to do for her “healing?”
You’ve given it your best shot, but that shot is that you have her baby and she doesn’t.
Keep it open but don’t expect her after 4 months to be happy, happy to share with you.

Posted by NoraT on Jan 11, 2020 at 1:59am

Hi Nora,

You bring a lot of really valuable awareness of what adoptees and birth parents feel to AFC.

But in this case, you are assuming harshly that the adoptive parents did something presumptuous or reprehensible by adopting a child. And on top of that don’t care about the birth mom and her pain. 

You are forgetting that this birth parent made the choice to give up her child. And no one else is responsible for that choice.

Really this families first responsibility is and should be to the child and their own family, and their level of consideration for the birth mom is decent. And yes, they rightly say they don’t really know what her pain would be like.I don’t think that awareness is something to belittle given that they are doing their best to be considerate.

Posted by Happy Camper on Jan 19, 2020 at 7:21pm

Perhaps I let my emotions get carried away and I should have been more circumspect before I hit the submit button.
I was trying to suggest that this woman might be deep in hormones and grief, and maybe the reality (whether or not it was her choice) is setting in, and so she isn’t feeling up to a chummy relationship right now, whatever was envisioned before.
I do agree the OP has given it their “best shot” and should leave the door open, because things do, and probably will change.

Posted by NoraT on Jan 20, 2020 at 11:37pm

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