This letter is to you, whether you’re six months pregnant or six years post-placement. Here are some tips I’d like to share with you. Who am I, this person who feels like imparting knowledge to whomever casts a gaze upon this page? I’m a birthmom, a first mom, almost nine months post-placement with the sweetest boy I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. No matter where you are at in the process, here are five absolute truths in it all.
1. You probably aren’t the first person to ask a particular question.
When you’re starting out the placement process, you’ll start to ask questions, such as “What should I be looking for in a family?” “How much contact should I expect if we consider it an open adoption?” “Am I allowed to name my child?” All of these, and many more, are valid questions. And guess what? You are allowed to ask those questions and you should. Choosing a family to parent your child is a very special experience and no matter the reason for placing, you are still entitled to questioning and exploring certain options.
Post-placement, your questions will range in a multitude of areas. Some will be personal, such as: “How much or how little contact is okay?” “Will my child resent this decision when they are older?” Other questions are things that you would ask the child’s parents, such as: “Can I share pictures of the child with friends?” “Am I able to send letters on holidays or birthday presents?” While all of these are examples, they are very normal, logical things that if you feel you should ask, then do it.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be open and honest within this relationship, for the sake of the child, his adopted family, and even your own peace of mind. Also, while you can look up a million articles on adoption, for most of these questions there is not a single right answer. It all depends on the pieces of the puzzle involved, their lifestyle, and level of comfort.