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Thread: Dealing with BM Sensitively

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Dealing with BM Sensitively


    I have two adopted children. My DS was adopted through foster care. My DD's adoption is through a private agency and is an open adoption. Thus far we have had a very good relationship with the BM. The BM is 16 and is still with the BF, though I think that the relationship is a little rocky right now. She was abadonded by her mother at the age of 3 and therefore has some issues regarding that. She is being raised by her GM. Anyway, I received the following e-mail from her yesterday. I changed everyone's name in the e-mail. BTW I sent her chocolates on Valentine's Day.

    hi i just wanted to say thank you for the chocolates they are very good and also i was wondering if there was going to be a weekend when we could come pick Jane for the day and bring her up here so i can show her off to all my friends and take her to see sams mom house well write back thanks cassidy

    I came across BM's myspace page. It is entitled Proud Mommy. She gives the apperance that she is raising Jane. The BM visits Jane at our house once a month, she lives an hour away, and I'm constantly e-mailing her pictures. I do not think that it is appropriate for her to come and pick her up to show her off to her friends for a variety of reasons. I tend to be a blunt person so can anyone help me draw the line here in a graceful manner? Also, would you be a little upset over this e-mail or am I over reacting? I feel like maybe the visits should be changed to every other month at this point. Is it wrong for me to feel this way? I don't want to hurt the BM, but I feel we could use some breathing room. I know this sounds crazy, but at this point I'm almost afraid that she may try stealing her. She did not want to give Jane up for adoption. The GM didn't give her any other option. Also, she claimed to be pregnant at the age of 14 on a web site for moms. I wish I would have never run across that one. She became pregnant at the age of 15 with Jane. I believe that Jane is her first child.

    BTW Jane is 9 months old.

    Thanks in advance for your advice and words of wisdom,

  2. #2
    MelanieOH is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Well,...

    I was really hoping that you would get some good advice from Pat or someone who has BTDT.

    I practice juvenile law and do Guardian ad Litem work for cases involving abuse, dependency, and neglect. So, I'm familiar with adoptions from that perspective. My brother was adopted in a closed adoption forty years ago. So, feel free not to take my advice for what's it worth. I just know that I hate not getting an answer to a post, so I'm posting my opinion.

    First, you should absolutely feel free to say no.

    Second, what was the agreement with the BM? If it outlines the visits, remind her of that.

    Third, she is 16. She's only thinking of herself. That's what teenagers do. She hasn't thought this through. I'd be gentle, but firm.

    Fourth, does she act appropriately at visits? If so, I wouldn't change them yet, but I'd keep a close eye on what is happening. I would quit all of the e-mailing and sending pictures. I'd lessen contact gradually.

    If BM doesn't have a good sense of boudaries you may have to cut back on contact. However, this impetuous 16 year old hasn't really "done" anything yet. Your concerns are valid. However, you just kindly tell her what is and isn't going to happen.

    Dear Cassidy,

    I'm glad you like the chocolate. According to our calendar, your next visit with Jane is scheduled for March XX. DH and I agree that all visits should occur in our home. What time can we expect you on that day?


    As mentioned, this is just the opinion of a bystander. However, I waited for several days because no one else was answering. I hope you get some other responses from others. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    I think I would be reacting the same way that you are. We have an open adoption with our daughter's bio parents but it is a very different situation. We adopted her through foster care. We see them about once every couple of months and I would never allow them to take her anywhere. We meet on OUR terms and only for a couple of hours at a time. We do have a mediation agreement with them but it isn't legal in any way and we actually see them more than what we agreed to. I think the previous poster has excellent ideas for you. I would also lessen the contact with bmom if you can right now. I think both for your sake and hers. I'm sorry I don't have much for suggestions on what to do (besides take the advice from the poster above) but I wanted to post and tell you that I don't think you are overreacting at all and I think I would feel the same way. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Pat Johnston Guest


    Melanie, I answered her! This was cross posted to my board. I don't monitor boards other than theone I moderate.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Hi Melanie & Ally,

    Yes, I did cross post this message in order to get an answer. I mistakenly thought Pat moderated all the adoption boards. I guess I'm a slave driver. Sorry, Pat.

    Thank you so much for answering my post. It is so reassuring to know that I'm not overreacting. The infertility/adoption roller coaster ride does have one doubting their sanity now and then. It doesn't help that my husband is the calmest man on the planet. Sometimes a person just needs to have their feelings validated.

    I also appreciate the good advice as I want to do the right thing for everyone involved.

    Thanks again,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013


    I know that these posts are old, but the question was a very good one, and probably applies to a lot of situations today.

    1. You are your child's Mom, and you have every right to make decisions with regard to keeping her safe. While you should encourage visits and such if they can be done safely, you have every right to say no to anything that makes you uncomfortable. The birthmother does NOT have any legal rights, although you are doing the decent thing by having her visit, sending her photos, and so on.

    2. As far as this young woman and her boyfriend taking the baby to meet their friends, perhaps instead of saying "no", you should offer to bring the baby with you so she can introduce both of you to her friends. If she is lying to her friends about her relinquishment, your offer can introduce a note of reality, as she would have to say something like, "Here is my birthdaughter and her Mom." My guess is that she will say no to a visit under such circumstances. If, by some chance, she says yes, have the meeting in a place like a fast food restaurant, where there's no chance that you can be overpowered and have your child taken from you. Do not go into anyone's home.

    3. Remember that the birthmother is doing an unsafe thing by posting your child's pictures on-line. If the birthmother is basically a nice kid, just very immature, I'd make an effort to have a private chat with her during her next visit, while your spouse stays with your child. Tell her that any posting of pictures of your child must be done by you and your spouse, as the legal parents. If she does not agree to it, you will stop sending pictures. Then stick to it.

    4. You can also talk to her, during the visit, about why she is not telling her friends about the fact that she placed her birthchild with you, and encourage her to do so. If she is having a lot of feelings like grief, shame, and so on, you might ask her if she wants to talk with a social worker who can help her deal with her emotions, and then help her call the agency that arranged the adoption and schedule a meeting. NEVER give her any money, as it is unlikely to be used well, and can start a cycle of asking for money. However, if you have money to spare and there is a charge for a counseling session, you can give the fee to the agency.

    Mom to Becca
    adopted at 18.5 mo. of age
    Becca is now 20 years old.

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