Six of the Most Common Questions Adoptees Ask: For Birth Mothers in an Open Adoption
If you are a birth mother who has selected an open adoption plan with your child’s adoptive parents, chances are you could be sitting face-to-face with your child one day. It’s likely that they’ll have questions and that they’ll want to know a little bit about you. It’s important to be honest and open. Nerves are understandable, but if you’ve maintained a relationship with the adoptee’s family, you’ll likely have some idea of what you are walking into.
To help you be prepared, here are some of the most common questions your child may ask you one day:
- Why did You Place Me for Adoption?
This is a difficult question, but one that will most likely be asked. After all, adoptees want to know why they were put up for adoption in the first place. You can explain to them that this was a labor of love. That you wanted to do right by them, and that was the measure of your motherhood.
Birth mothers place their children for adoption because they want to give them a chance at a better life. The adoptee may ask about the circumstances surrounding his or her specific adoption. It is important to be as honest as possible. You don’t have to disclose details that are highly personal to you as an individual, or any that you are uncomfortable with at the time. However, it’s likely that an explanation will bring some semblance of peace and clarity to the adoptee.
- What was Your Relationship with My Birth Father? Where Is He?
If your child’s birth father has not pursued a relationship with the adoptee the way that you have, this is another difficult question to answer. Biologically, your child’s father is one half of the adoptee. It’s natural that he or she might have some curiosity about who he is, what your relationship with him was like and where he is now.
If the relationship with your child’s birth father is not positive, or nonexistent, this may be tricky to navigate. Again, it’s important to be honest. There is no need to overwhelm the adoptee with sad details if you don’t think it’s the appropriate time to do so.
- Who do I Look orAct Like in Our Family?
Another one of the common questions adoptees ask may regard the similarities between them and his or her biological family — aka. your family.. The adoptee will likely want to speak with you because they want to know more about what makes them who they are. A great deal of that has been developed with your child’s adoptive family, yet the adoptee will want to learn more about their biological roots and heritage as well.
They may want to know where they get their green eyes from, if anyone in the family plays soccer like they do, or if anyone is left-handed like them. These are great conversations to have with your child. It helps him or her feel a sense of kinship with you, and may satisfy some questions that have been plaguing them.
- What are Your Parents Like?
It is completely understandable that an adoptee would be curious about their biological grandparents. Depending on the age that you were when you placed the child for adoption, your parents could’ve been instrumental in that process. If the adoptee is curious about that, you can explain their role in the adoption process. It’s also a matter of wanting to find out more about their heritage and origin.
Biological grandparents play a big role in helping the adoptee understand more about you and where he or she came from. They may want to know what your parents did for a living, and what it was like growing up with them. If your parents are still alive, they can also provide answers to questions that you might not be able to. That is something else that you can offer your adoptee.
- What is Your Life Like Now?
Other common questions adoptees ask may be about your current life and what that entails. If you’ve kept contact with your child, it is likely that they have some idea of what your life is like now. However, if this is a first meeting, or an opportunity to go into greater detail, take advantage of it.
From the moment your child learns they were adopted, they will think about you — guaranteed. They want to know more about you, who you are as a person, what you do for a living, and the important relationships in your life. It can also be beneficial for you as a birth mother to share these things, as it can allow you to connect with your child on a deeper level.
- Do You have any Other Children?
When speaking about the important relationships in your life, you may get asked about whether or not you have other children. This can be a sensitive topic for adoptees, because they can be resentful or hurt that you found stability in life to raise other kids, but you couldn’t do it for them. It’s important to emphasize that you weren’t in a good place to raise him or her when you had them, and you placed them for adoption so that they would have a better life.
Yet, it’s natural for them to be curious about this. They may ask for pictures and want to see if they resemble your other children. They may want to meet them, if that is amenable to your situation. Again, all of these are perfectly natural curiosities, and they could bring happiness to you, the adoptee, and the other children in question.
It can be scary to answer questions from the child you placed for adoption. There’s a lot of emotion surrounding that situation from both parties. For that reason, Adoption Choices of Colorado offers support groups for birth mothers with other birth mothers. These are women that know your pain and have navigated these difficult questions before.
It is important to be open, but to also establish clear boundaries. The child you placed has a family, but you will always be their birth mother. With an open adoption, you can grow into a confidant or friend figure. You can help your adoptee develop a better understanding of themselves, which will encourage a healthy sense of self-esteem and identity. You may also bring some peace to your own heart by getting to provide answers to your child’s deep questions.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Katherine Burns is a journalism student at Loyola University Maryland with plans to pursue a career in the news and magazine industries. With over three years of experience writing for the Greyhound Newspaper at Loyola, Katherine specializes in Op-eds. However, she has recently branched out to cover a variety of topics, including education and sports journalism. She also has ample experience with travel blogging.
Katherine has conducted a variety of interviews in her time at Loyola and has displayed her stories through differing forms of media. In addition to her studies at Loyola, Katherine spent the fall of 2019 studying communications at the American University of Paris.To learn more about Katherine, be sure to check her out on social media.