While you are 100% your son’s real honest-to-goodness parents and will be for life, he also has two other sets of parents—birth and foster. This is both confusing and sometimes hard for us adoptive parents to accept. Even if we accept it on the intellectual level, it’s another matter entirely to accept on the emotional level.The whole thing is a must-read, including the suggestion that some of what is bothering the adoptive parents (naked baby pictures taken by the foster parents) may be merely cultural differences.
I sense an underlying concern in your question of the foster family’s attachment or “claim” on your son. While I completely understand how that can be unsettling, especially during the time you are trying to establish this sense of attachment and claim yourself, I do want to gently suggest that they indeed are, and have every right to be, attached to your son, and they do have a claim to him. That’s the nature of love. It is this very love that they felt for him that has given him such a healthy start in life and laid the foundation that your love will build on. Who would your son be if he wasn’t so thoroughly loved and claimed by his foster parents? It is possible to foster a child just for the money without forming that sense of attachment, but it
isn’t best for the child. Your son and you are blessed that this family chose the harder route of falling in love even though he wasn’t going to be theirs forever.
* * *
It is worth examining your feelings about his foster family because in addition to a foster family, your son has a first family, and many of the same feelings you have about his foster family are likely intensified in your feeling about his birth family. Working through your discomfort with the foster family’s love for your son and the “rights” they feel towards him will help pave the way for greater comfort towards his first family and acceptance of their “claim” on him and on his possible desire to have a relationship with them when he is older.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Rightful "Claims" on Adopted Kids
At Creating a Family, Dawn Davenport has a compassionate and forthright response to a query from an adoptive parent worried about attempts by their recently adopted son's Korean foster parents to contact them: