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Old 08-11-2015, 10:28 PM
 
Location: NC
502 posts, read 895,825 times
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How common is this? My mother (a social worker) has worked with several families who raised children (say from age 7ish or up) who as soon as they turned 18, went back to their families of origin and cut ties with their adopted families. The children were often troubled, but the situations were generally happy and seemed successful.

My BIL and SIL adopted a child (see thread below)
https://www.city-data.com/forum/adopt...ew-issues.html

and my mother feels strongly he will return to his FOO as soon as he can. It breaks my heart to think of how heartbroken my BIL and SIL would be. THey still aren't speaking to us, but I still don't want them to be hurt like this.

I was wondering how often this happens or if anyone has any stories about it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,884 posts, read 3,031,845 times
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I think that it depends a lot on how the adoptive parents raise the child. If they are able the teach the child that it is ok to have both sets of parents, then as an adult they likely will remain a part of the adopted child's live. Often the bio parents are there for the fun and good times and the adoptive parents are the stability; the ones the child goes to for guidance.

So, can the adoptive parents have a visit occasionally with the bio family? Show them that both families love the child and want to be a part of the child's life? Send cards, call?

That should be part of the adoption training for those wanting to adopt older kids.

For my two girls adopted at age ten, we always sent Mother's day, Father's day, birthday and Christmas presents to the birth family, called every month or so and visited yearly (not close). As adults they see that they have many relatives. And neither birth family was great--they lost their kids to foster care for a reason, but they were still their birth families. And they learned to accept their birth families--the good, the bad, and the horrid (abuse).

Its the parents who need to teach the kids that they can have two families that love them and its not all or nothing.

Every parent I know that adopted older kids and cut off the birth family eventually lost the kids as adults.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:51 PM
 
Location: NC
502 posts, read 895,825 times
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Hmmm, that is really interesting. I would have never thought that keeping in contact with the birth family was such a good idea - especially in cases of severe abuse. It seems counter-intuitive.

I can see your point though. I can imagine that many of these kids go back because of a rose-colored belief that it wasn't as bad as they thought, that their FOO have changed, or in an attempt to fix the family they left. For instance, I know my nephew feels like he should have been able to stop his mother from doing drugs - when he was 3. I could see him going back to try to continue to "save" her.

I think the idea of remembering that place in their lives, with cards, etc. is an intriguing idea and could be really helpful as long as the parents are able to keep the boundaries firm (along with the help of therapists) and not allow the child to get sucked back in to the FOO's drama. I can see how this could do a lot of good.

Unfortunately, my BIL and SIL are completely lacking all insight and IMO are incapable of helping nephew have a healthy relationship with his birth family. They can't even have a healthy relationship with him. I worry this will happen to him in the future, and even though they blame me for all their problems and aren't speaking to us, I know their hearts would be broken if this happened and it makes me sad for them.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Kansas
25,940 posts, read 22,094,372 times
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I have heard of it in one case. The child was removed from the home. Despite efforts, the child never attached to the adoptive family and returned to the dysfunctional family when he turned 18. From what I understand, it was not the best thing to do. The child just dropped the adoptive family.

There was a case here a couple of years ago where an adopted child returned to his birthmother. The son and mother came back to rob the adoptive parents and ended up murdering both the adoptive mother and father. It was a sad story. Drugs were involved of course.

In cases of severe abuse where rights have been severed, I certainly would not have the child stay in contact with the birth parents and the court may very well spell out what contact would and would not be appropriate.

From the stories that I have read, many adult children that return to their birth families are disappointed in what they find.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Canada
6,141 posts, read 3,370,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojow View Post
How common is this? My mother (a social worker) has worked with several families who raised children (say from age 7ish or up) who as soon as they turned 18, went back to their families of origin and cut ties with their adopted families. The children were often troubled, but the situations were generally happy and seemed successful.

My BIL and SIL adopted a child (see thread below)
https://www.city-data.com/forum/adopt...ew-issues.html

and my mother feels strongly he will return to his FOO as soon as he can. It breaks my heart to think of how heartbroken my BIL and SIL would be. THey still aren't speaking to us, but I still don't want them to be hurt like this.

I was wondering how often this happens or if anyone has any stories about it.
It's a long story..as an adopted child..I not so much hated my parents..But as a kid..I used the leverage ( tho I didn't even understand that concept /too young)..But growing up in this family and their opens educated me all about adoption (have no recollection of NEVER knowing that)..The term was "I was a CHOSEN CHILD" which in short they went OUT OF THEIR way to have me....LOL I recall that aweful term I use to yell at my older brother ( natural) ..You just came..I was chosen..Yikes what i "B" I was..BUT the balance of my family sorted all out..and tho my parents have passed..still today my brother and I are so so close!!

After my father died..my mother actually offered adoption info to me..Birth Certificate etc..and said it was fine IF I felt a need to seek my roots...My reaction was..Good..yet because of how I was brought and nurtured so lovingly and guided with love..I found it "Unnecessary" at that point...Who needs to find out things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lae60 View Post
I think that it depends a lot on how the adoptive parents raise the child. If they are able the teach the child that it is ok to have both sets of parents, then as an adult they likely will remain a part of the adopted child's live. Often the bio parents are there for the fun and good times and the adoptive parents are the stability; the ones the child goes to for guidance.

So, can the adoptive parents have a visit occasionally with the bio family? Show them that both families love the child and want to be a part of the child's life? Send cards, call?

That should be part of the adoption training for those wanting to adopt older kids.

For my two girls adopted at age ten, we always sent Mother's day, Father's day, birthday and Christmas presents to the birth family, called every month or so and visited yearly (not close). As adults they see that they have many relatives. And neither birth family was great--they lost their kids to foster care for a reason, but they were still their birth families. And they learned to accept their birth families--the good, the bad, and the horrid (abuse).

Its the parents who need to teach the kids that they can have two families that love them and its not all or nothing.

Every parent I know that adopted older kids and cut off the birth family eventually lost the kids as adults.
Anybody who adopt, normally do it out of love and wanting to make a difference for children..While it is more difficult to adopt older kids as there may have been many bad lessons learned by that time..thus adopting babies for most is preferable....

Those who chose to adopt older kids have a special place in my heart..since I can only imagine what that task could entail!! Yikes!! I have a hard time dealing with my own kids in their adult years with what they are dealing with..never mind their kids??? Yikes!!
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:54 PM
 
Location: in my mind
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As someone who has worked with children in foster care, an adoptive parent who seeks to eliminate a child's bonds to his/her birth family is misguided, IMO. It is not for the adoptive parent to decide the nature of that bond. There is a reason for the saying "blood is thicker than water." Its because regardless of how abusive or neglectful a child's parents were/are they are still their parents. There is a connection there, and in all likelihood, a child will spend the rest of his/her life coming to terms with that connection and how they feel about it. Its not a "once and done" type thing. The way a child feels about being adopted at age thirteen will be quite different than how he/she feels at age 20, and age 30.

Each adopted child is going to be different. But with the internet now, and websites like 23andme, and kids being involved with technology at younger and younger ages.... it just gets easier and easier for kids to explore the curiosity about the parents they were born to (and all of the other biological relatives they may have). And even a child who may decide they don't want any contact with them will probably go through a phase where they do have curiosity. I think every adoptive parent needs to not only expect this, but plan for it, so that they can find a way to navigate it in a way that allows the child to maintain a relationship with both- if that is what the child wants.

I knew a woman who gave up her baby at birth back in the 60's when women were commonly pressured to do that. Over the years, she tried to search for her daughter. Thanks to the internet, she finally located her. By this time, the woman was in her 60's. They made contact and eventually became quite close. The daughter loved her adoptive mother, but when she had the opportunity to form a relationship with the woman who gave birth to her, she wanted that as well. Even though she had spent the first 40+ years of her life without a shred of info about her.

Should she have rejected her birth mother just because her adoptive mother raised her? Whose decision should that be? That is the real heart of the question here: who gets to decide who a child considers "family"?
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,884 posts, read 3,031,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I have heard of it in one case. The child was removed from the home. Despite efforts, the child never attached to the adoptive family and returned to the dysfunctional family when he turned 18. From what I understand, it was not the best thing to do. The child just dropped the adoptive family.

There was a case here a couple of years ago where an adopted child returned to his birthmother. The son and mother came back to rob the adoptive parents and ended up murdering both the adoptive mother and father. It was a sad story. Drugs were involved of course.

In cases of severe abuse where rights have been severed, I certainly would not have the child stay in contact with the birth parents and the court may very well spell out what contact would and would not be appropriate.

From the stories that I have read, many adult children that return to their birth families are disappointed in what they find.
In my one daughter's case (with the abuse) she was so close to her birth parents, the adoption social worker actually required that contact remain so that she could learn how to deal with the birth parents. At age ten, she was determined to have a relationship with them. She needed to learn HOW to have a proper relationship with them. If contact was cut she would just return to them without the skills in how to interact when she was 18.

So in her counseling she learned how to tell when someone is getting angry, how to read body language, how to reduce the anger (her's too) level in a room how to disagree without arguing, etc. She also learned appropriate physical boundaries to prevent sexual abuse--no lap sitting, no back rubs, saying hi and bye by a wave or handshake with certain folks, never being alone with some folks, etc.

The first visits were with the social worker present at the office, then some at public places - parks and ice cream parlor (with and with out the social worker), then we visited at the birth family's home, with the local Sheriff parked down the street (set up by the social worker) in case of any issues and without the social worker. The birth parents knew that they needed to follow THEIR counseling and rules if they wanted visits and they were always very well behaved!

And as adults, my daughters are less than thrilled with some of the things their birth families say and do, but they have learned to laugh it off, as that is just the way the birth parents are. One birth mom said that her boyfriend kicked her out of the house and asked if she could she move in with my daughter who had an extra bedroom. She said that she did not have any money but had some drugs she would share. MY daughter laughed and said that since the birth mom did not take care of her when she was a child, then why should she take care of her mom when the mom is homeless. And that she did not want drugs or druggies living in her house. My daughter was mad that the birth mom even asked! They were in a 'no talking' fight for over a year over that request.

It seems that often the adoptive homes are more stable emotionally and financially and that adds to the disappointment when these kids interact with the birth families. But its still their blood an they are drawn to them.

I also would not encourage interaction with an abusive birth family without guidance and counseling, and lots of information about the abuse.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
19,798 posts, read 9,341,315 times
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As an adoptive parent of two kids -- we adopted them when they were six and four years old -- I can tell you that from everything I have learned and experienced, there are no absolute rules or outcomes when it comes to adoption -- and especially so when it comes to adopting older kids. My kids (half-siblings) came from a SEVERELY dysfunctional background; their parents were both drug users and felons. We permitted the bio mom to write to the kids -- their fathers were not part of the picture -- and we wrote letters to her in return -- I would write to her FOR the kids until they were old enough to write letters to her themselves -- but that was all the contact we allowed.

Both my kids left our home at the age of 18, each saying they hated us and never wanted to see us again. My son wanted nothing to do with either us OR his bio family, and he tragically died a year later. My daughter, however, (the older of the two) went immediately back to her bio mom, with whom she had greatly attached as a little girl despite being severely neglected by her. This reunion lasted all of about three months and then she basically "couch surfed" for the next three years. What was interesting, though, is that every month, like clockwork, she would call us with the most lame excuse -- for example, to ask for a recipe, even though she was essentially homeless -- and she also kept in frequent contact with her bio mom, as well, despite the bio mom repeatedly stealing from her. Then, after she had the first of three kids when she was 20, she re-entered our lives and would stay a few nights at our home every few months.

Current status? Our daughter is now almost 24 and is married to a VERY nice man, she calls and/or e-mails us several times a week, and she says she now has only very limited contact with her bio mom. In fact, when she got married -- just a civil ceremony -- she invited only myself and my husband (her dad) to be there. (Of course, we were.) It took her about five years to find out that her bio mother was not the "victimized by the system" saint she had made herself out to be, but at least my daughter finally did realize that eventually.

P.S. If anyone had suggested five years ago that we would ever be reconciled to the point we are now, I would have laughed and laughed at what a ridiculous and hopeless suggestion that was. Point being -- never say never!

Last edited by katharsis; 08-16-2015 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:00 PM
 
3,644 posts, read 10,937,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenSparkles View Post
As someone who has worked with children in foster care, an adoptive parent who seeks to eliminate a child's bonds to his/her birth family is misguided, IMO. It is not for the adoptive parent to decide the nature of that bond. There is a reason for the saying "blood is thicker than water." Its because regardless of how abusive or neglectful a child's parents were/are they are still their parents.
You're right that there is a reason behind that saying. It's not what you think it is though.

It's actual meaning is that the blood/bond of a "blood brother" is stronger than that of the water of the womb (birthfamily).
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:14 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
24,096 posts, read 32,443,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojow View Post
How common is this? My mother (a social worker) has worked with several families who raised children (say from age 7ish or up) who as soon as they turned 18, went back to their families of origin and cut ties with their adopted families. The children were often troubled, but the situations were generally happy and seemed successful.

My BIL and SIL adopted a child (see thread below)
https://www.city-data.com/forum/adopt...ew-issues.html

and my mother feels strongly he will return to his FOO as soon as he can. It breaks my heart to think of how heartbroken my BIL and SIL would be. THey still aren't speaking to us, but I still don't want them to be hurt like this.

I was wondering how often this happens or if anyone has any stories about it.

It happens more often when -

1. adoptions occur from social services. (Fost-adopt)

2. parental rights were not terminated early enough. (Children are angry, older, and have been through many attempts at reunification, multiple faster homes, and abuse, with an outcome of RAD.

3. adoptions are open.

Tragic for the parents, confusing for the children. Why we adopted outside of the country.

I blame this on social workers who are under the false impression that children need contact with abusers,

Last edited by sheena12; 08-19-2015 at 12:30 AM..
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