Our children’s birth mother has an extremely acrimonious relationship with our daughter’s birth father’s family. We actually only learned of it a few months ago after the adoption was finalized and are not certain exactly what has happened and why. But we do now know that the birth father’s mother & sister objected to the adoption. The sister actually wanted to raise her, but the birth father would not agree to it. We do not know why he did not wish his family to raise his daughter.
The birth mother has said several times that the birth father’s family wanted contact through the open adoption, but that she would never allow it because they were mean to her during the pregnancy and they do not deserve to know how the baby is. (Which surprised me as it really isn’t her decision!)
I have an issue with this for a couple of reasons.
First off, it’s not about her. It’s not about me. It’s not about the aunt or grandmother. It is about our daughter, who will likely want to know her birth father’s family. She is currently 8 months old and I think it is better to start now rather than wait until she is older if that is at all possible. Especially as they have indicated they would like to have contact.
Secondly, the birth father is in the military and is about to leave for Iraq. He’s in the Infantry. Not to be morbid, but that has a much higher risk of death. What if he doesn’t come back? We have never met any of his family and do not know their names. His last name is very common, so finding them if he is dead would be very difficult.
We have had no direct contact with him since the adoption was finalized, by his own wish. But we do have his e-mail address, or at least the e-mail address he used at that time. My thought was I could e-mail him and ask him if he wanted us to have contact with his family. Or, if not, if we could at least have their names to save until our daughter is older so she could locate them at that time.
Through a quirk of fate, we have just discovered we are being transferred from Europe, where we have been living for 4 years, back to the United States. Coincidentally, to the same city where the birth father is originally from. (And presumably where his family still lives.) So direct contact would be much easier than it currently is.
We would like to have more direct contact with our children’s birth families, but are treading carefully.
Part of the reason why the birth mother selected us originally when we adopted our son (our children have the same birth mother, different birth fathers) is that we lived in Europe and she was happy that would limit the contact simply due to the distance. I have already e-mailed her to inform her of the move and to ask if she would like to establish an agreement for regular visits. We have not heard back from her.
We are also concerned that if we develop contact with the birth father’s family it would alienate her and we would lose that contact, which we strongly feel is important for both of our children.
We aren’t certain how to proceed and would really like the advice of those who have “been there/done that.”