Thursday, 15 August 2013
Meet the Birth Parents, chapter 2
When we started our adoption journey, over a year ago now,we were asked if we would be willing to meet the birth parents of our adopted child. Initially my reaction was no way, but, after the process had been explained and I'd thought it through I felt that it would be a wonderful opportunity to gain some insight into where child 4 had come from and I also believe that it is really important for child 4 to know about his mums pregnancy, his birth, his heritage and what his parents were like growing up and if any of their traits, likes or dislikes have been passed to him.
We weren't sure if child 4's birth parents would meet with us and there is no guarantee that they will turn up to the meeting. Regardless a date has been set and questions ate being deliberated. For our security our social worker will take us to the meeting place and will remain with us throughout the meeting. The birth parents will be supported by a charity group who have been working with them since we were matched. Both sides will have the opportunity to ask questions (these will have been asked in advance and the answers prepared). The questions I hope to ask are, why did you choose his names, did you have cravings when you were pregnant, how long was your labour, who does he look like. What are your favourite colours, bands, books and movies. What did you like at school, were you sporty? They can ask us questions too and I honestly have no idea what they will ask but I will be honest in my answers. At the end of the meeting we will have a photo taken of the four of us and this will be put into child 4's life story book bringing together his two families.
I have found that birth parents are frequently demonised and this is so very sad and often unfair. I am not condoning any of their behaviours but often they are just people who have had a rough start in life, have no strong family support networks, are probably fairly uneducated, they may suffer mental health issues or they may well have been in care themselves so have no experience in how to raise their children. They do not understand that their child rearing behaviours are completely inappropriate so do not understand why their children have been removed, never to be returned.
Just imagine how you would feel if someone from the council said that you needed help with your parenting, then someone visited you frequently, questioning why you were doing something or not and then after a time they said that actually you couldn't look after your child so they were going to be taken away. I know that if someone took away my children I would hunt for them until I found them, it would break my heart. Why do people expect the birth parents of children in care to be any different. Empathy is one of the most important characteristics of human nature and I think it's a trait that we should rely on especially when dealing with people or situations we do not understand.