Open Adoption: Handling Difficult Birth Parent Situations

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open adoption in difficult birth parent situations

Open adoption may be good for adopted children but it can present challenging situations and relationship dynamics that can be hard for kids to understand. Some difficult situations that adoptive parents may have to navigate are birth parents showing up high to meetings, not honoring their promises, differing levels of openness between multiple adopted children, or the birth parent parenting subsequent children. Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national adoption & foster care education and support nonprofit, interviews Susan Yobp, Mediation Coordinator for Consortium for Children’s Permanency Planning Mediation program. They assist families in developing post adoption contact plans for children being adopted through the foster care system.


+ Hit the Highlights

  • How to have an open adoption in difficult birth parent situations
  • How to have an open adoption when the birthparent is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
  • How to handle things when birth parent shows up for a meeting with a child high or stoned?
  • How to handle things when birth parents who are addicted fail to show up for meetings with adoptive family and child?
  • How to set healthy boundaries with birth parents who are addicted? How to set these boundaries when you have an open adoption with a birth parent dealing with addiction?
  • How to avoid becoming an enabler? Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, etc. are good places to get educated.
  • Suggestions for ways to maintain the spirit of openness even if you feel the need to reduce contact?
  • Don’t make changes written in stone. People heal.
  • Explaining drug addiction of birth parents to children. 
  • How to handle situations where the birth parent shows up late to scheduled meetings or doesn’t come at all?
  • How to handle situations where the birth parent makes promises to the child that they do not honor?
  • How should parents deal with the obvious difference between openness in multiple adoptions?
  • What should parents do when the birth family is reluctant to maintain contact?
  • What should parents do if the birth parents have another child who they do not place for adoption or is not removed by the state?
  • Should you remain in contact, and if so how, if the birth parents have abused the child?
  • Why should parents try to maintain relationships with the birth family in difficult situations?


Music credit: Michael Ashworth

09/08/2019 | by Radio Show | Categories: 2019 Shows, Adoption, Adoption Radio Shows, Radio Show | 0 Comments



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