Many adoptive families fear relationships with their child’s birth family. They are unsure of how it will impact their relationship with their child. Patricia Dischler, author of Because I Loved You, helps adoptive parents understand what it means to have a relationship with their child’s birth family. Today, over 90% of domestic adoptions are open adoptions, with relationships between birth families and adoptive children.
It can be difficult to open your heart to a birth family when you are already going through the transition of adopting a child. That is why Patricia wrote her book, explaining the perspective of a birth mom in an open adoption. The book tells her personal story of placing her son, Joe with an adoptive family.
There was no personal contact between Patricia and Joe for the first 12 years of his life. The relationship started with photos and letters exchanged through the adoption agency. Over time the birth mother and the adoptive parents grew to know and trust each other, leading to a face to face relationship between birth mom and son.
A Successful Meeting
Patricia and her son’s adoptive family shared a touching moment at their first face-to-face meeting. They met at Patricia’s parents’ house. After a while, her father pulled out a dulcimer and Joe’s eyes lit up. He ran out to the car and came back with his guitar. His adoptive parents laughed, acknowledging that Joe inherited his love of music from his birth family.
The family spent a beautiful afternoon playing music together. At one point, Joe’s adoptive dad put his arm around Patricia’s shoulder saying to her, “look, a little boy making music with his Papa. How could anybody think that this is wrong?”
A child’s genetic background goes way beyond medical history. It includes talents, physical characteristics, and personality traits that they inherited from their biological parents. Adoptees from closed adoptions often go looking for answers about their birth families as they get older. Having those answers all along help adoptees understand where they came, giving them a stronger sense of self as they grow up.
How Birth Mothers See It
Adoptive parents often feel that they will be judged or treated as second-class parents because they are not genetically related to their child. This is a real fear, but it is important to understand that birth mothers have no desire to overshadow the role of their child’s adoptive parents.
Birth mothers choose to place their child when love is all they have to offer. They want to see their child in a home that provides everything they couldn’t and also loves the child as much as they do. Once birth mothers see how much the adoptive parents love their child, they are overcome with a sense of peace and often become very protective of the adoptive family’s relationship with the child.
When you look at the awesomeness of adoption, you can’t help but have compassion and respect for the birth mothers. They had other choices in their pregnancy, and they chose to place their child out of love. Birth mothers love the same child that you do.
There are considerable benefits to open adoption. Every person in the biological and adoptive family is there out of love for the child, and you can never have too many people love your child. If you are interested in adopting a baby or child, get started today by filling out Lifetime’s free application: