It's the same old story. Told time and time again. Parents often choose to adopt internationally because of a desire for distance between the birth family and their own. And then the child comes home. And they find themselves desperately seeking the people of whom they were once afraid.
Having an open adoption is one thing. But trying to open one that was originally slosed is another. Add in differences in languages and customs across international
borders, and the situation becomes extraordinarily complex. And yet, growing numbers of U.S. families are making contact with their children's birth families.
In Searching for Birth Parents by Carrie Howard, she cautions:
The decision to search for birth family should not be made lightly. Often family
members, including spouses, question an adoptive parent’s desire to search. A
search may be difficult or unsuccessful, and a successful search may uncover
painful information. . . .
Initiating contact with the birthparents of a minor is also somewhat controversial. Many adult adoptees feel that initiating contact with birthparents is the child’s prerogative, not their parents’ decision. They note that the decision to search, and the searching itself, can be important to a child’s quest for identity. . . . “Not every
adoptee wants to search.”
At the same time, parents must consider that the window for a search may be open for only a short while. “The risk in not searching is that the trail will be cold when the child has a need to know one or two decades later,” says [an adoptive mom who searched]. “Dire poverty leads to transience. Both of my daughters’ birthmothers have moved several times in the last decade.”