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Why My Son Has A Closed Adoption

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This is the twenty-fifth post of "30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days," a series designed to give a voice to people with widely varying experiences, including birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents, foster parents, waiting adoptive parents and others touched by adoption.

Why My Son Has A Closed Adoption
Written by Anonymous for Portrait of an Adoption

Picture that your little boy -- the light of your life -- has two relatives who might be politely described as "troubled." They dropped out of high school -- the male relative at 13 -- and they drink a lot. This is not good, because both their moms are alcoholics.

They both have tempers and the male relative has been arrested several times -- once for hitting his own mother. He might have sexually abused his little sister. The female relative has borderline personality disorder, which means she is extremely emotional, needy and insecure.

When your little boy was an infant, these relatives spent time with him. It didn't go well. One time, when they were supposed to be watching the little boy, they left him naked and lying in his own pee while they went outside for a smoke. Other times they fought with each other in front of the boy. They forgot to change him and feed him. He came home with his genitals bright red and you still don't know why.

These relatives -- this young man and young woman -- really love your little boy. They want to see him, spend time with him, get lots of pictures of him and be part of his life.

But you, as his mother, know they are not safe for him to be around. They are good people at heart, but they are deeply troubled and you fear they might hurt him. Either physically or psychologically. They say they "won't take him from you," which is horrifying for the very fact that they even brought it up. Their need for your son seems to have little to do with who he IS but instead, what he REPRESENTS to them as a relative.

Frankly, these relatives scare you. If they weren't related to him, if they were just neighbors down the street, there is no way in hell that you would let your son spend time with them.

Now picture that these are your son's birth parents.

This is why my son has a closed adoption and always will. His birth parents are not safe and I will do everything in my power to protect him.

I am the mom, the one who takes care of him and I know what's best. When he is 18 and he wants to seek them out, I won't stop him. But this is a CLOSED adoption and will remain so. Blood is one thing, anger and instability is another.

Child welfare workers took this little boy from his teen parents as an infant because they couldn't even handle the first few weeks of his life. They were charged with neglect. I won't go into all the specifics.

Child welfare workers kept him away from his birth parents because they couldn't get it together to even visit with him regularly. The judge favored them at first because they were such young teens -- they were given visitation of two times a week, for several hours at a time.

So in a one-year period, they could have seen this lovely little boy more than 100 times. Do you know how many times they showed up? In a whole year? Fourteen. And that was with social workers driving TO THEIR HOUSE to pick them up. Often, they just wouldn't get in the van. Even if the little boy was inside.

For several of those visits, I actually drove my son there and back. He was my foster baby, they were his birth parents. I knew I had no rights; I knew the score. He needed to visit with them; I would help make that happen, even though I loved him, too.

The birth parents met me four times. They knew I was adopting their son. After a year of these failed attempts to parent him, they decided not to fight his adoption. Since he was my foster baby, I got the first say in whether I wanted to adopt him. Of course I said yes. Since he was being adopted through foster care, they knew it would be a closed adoption -- no contact.

Next: He was supposed to have one final visit with them.

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Filed by Nina Zipkin  |