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Meeting Birth Mum

(16 Posts)
Laura25o6 Wed 01-Nov-17 16:01:09

Hi all

So 13 weeks since placement and Birth Mum wants to meet. I’m unsure what to say or how to act. I try and put myself in her shoes but sometimes it’s hard.
I have admiration ( if that’s the right wording) for her as she did what was best for the child at the time and will probably later down the line regret it but I’m worried.
People say ‘oh just be yourself’ and ‘don’t be fooled’ . My husband is struggling too. Any advice from Birth mums who have gone through this please. Just something to put my mind at ease xx

Kr1st1na Wed 01-Nov-17 17:38:09

I’m not a birth mum, I’m an adoptee and and adoptive parent.

I’ve met my child’s bio mum several times and know lots of other adopters who met at least once . Everyone has said that it was hard but very worthwhile and so helpful for them ( the adopters ). AFAIK most birth family members find it helpful too.

When we met, BM brought a relative with her, her SW was there and also ours. So it felt quite busy IYSWIM. Usually a SW will manage the meeting In some way, it won’t be a free for all.

You don’t have to say much, BM will probably come with some thing to say or questions to ask you.

If yours is a closed adoption, you need to decide in advance what identifying information you are willing to give ( Wasn’t an issue for us as it’s an open adoption ).

BM will often want to make sure that you get “ their side “ of the story that led to the child being adopted. They can understandably be upset or angry when retelling this, but their SW should deal with this. You don’t have to do anything but listen.

They might ask what you are going to tell the child about them / their background.

They might ask about your job , your religion etc. Anything that seems important for them to know about the People who will be bringing up who they see as their child.

Sometimes people ask questions that seem random - do you like sports because I was really good at x sport as a child and I want LO to play it.

I was asked “ you are not Y religion are you because I hate Y “ shock

Some BM prefer adopters without bio children because they think that the adoptee will be second best. If you have bio children you might want to assure her that you will treat them all the same, even if you are not asked this directly.

Some will ask you to promise you won’t change the child’s name. If you are going to do so, think carefully about what to say to this.

I know that most AP feel that the birth family are judging them to see if they are fit parents. But in fact most BM are worried that YOU will judge them for failing to care for their child.

So its best if you can try to be good listeners and let BM talk, rather than try to tell her how great parents you will be. Because she knows that, as you have been approved by SS. So you don’t need to rub it in IYSWIM. I’m sure you won’t, but it can come over that way when adopters try to reassure BM that they will raise the child well. It’s well intentioned I know .

You will come away exhausted but reassured I think . Most people are struck by how ordinary and normal everyone else is. BM are mostly not the bad people that social services reports have made then out to be . Adopters are not evil baby snatchers, just people wanting to parent.

Everyone comes to adoption from a place of loss, so you have a lot more in common than you think.

So in summary, just be kind and a good listener.

Once you get home, write down everything because you won’t remember later.

anxious123 Wed 01-Nov-17 17:50:48

I'm a birth mum who has met her child's forever mum.

It was incredibly difficult to think straight to be honest. The SW's supervised but didn't intervene much - I relinquished so less risk of me getting hostile etc.

We spoke about the music I'd listened to when I was pregnant, the book I gave him to take with him, our dogs turned out to share a name - we now can discuss the dogs in letterbox which is nice as I get to here how their relationship with animals is developing.

I deliberately didn't ask about their work etc as I personally didn't want to make her feel awkward.

I asked her to tell me a bit about how he'd settled and she did.

We discussed things I'd liked as a child so she could give him a sense of what I'd been like growing up.

We had a photo taken of the 2 of us together - be prepared as I think thats quite common.

I went in feeling like the shittest person in the world and left feeling like a human being. I felt like we'd connected in some way and that has certainly helped when writing letterbox.

My biggest regret is that I didn't give her a hug.

If there's anything specific you want to know, I'll do my best to answer

Laura25o6 Wed 01-Nov-17 18:13:09

@anxious123 wow that’s a great read coming from a Birth Mum. My child was relinquished also and have been told she won’t contest the adoption order. But I do feel for her.

Thanks for sharing your meeting xx

PoppyStellar Wed 01-Nov-17 20:58:24

Just to echo what kr1st1na says about writing things down afterwards. I wrote a letter to my DD after I had met her birth mum (this was before intros had started so hadn't actually met DD yet) and it was really helpful to put immediate thoughts and feelings about the meeting on paper. I haven't shared it with DD yet but it's been really helpful for me to be able to go back to this letter from time to time. There's lots of feelings, nuances I picked up at the time that would have been long forgotten if I'd not written them down.

It was stressful to meet DD's birth mum for all the reasons the others have said, and must have been really difficult for BM too. My DD wasn't relinquished so there were issues around not sharing personal info, signing the visitor book with a different name, dressing differently than I would normally, etc etc, to protect privacy but it sounds like these won't be concerns necessarily in your case.

It definitely helped with letterbox too for both me and birth mum I think.

I hope it goes well for you all

Hels20 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:11:43

We met our eldest DS’s birth Mum and haven’t been given the opportunity to meet youngest DS’s birth Mum.

The meeting was highly emotional. I gave her something of DS’s and showed her photos so she could see his bedroom (and made sure she could see that a couple of the things she had given him were visible as I didn’t want her to think we were air brushing her out).

She didn’t tell us much - her answers were often monosyllabic but I respected that. I asked her about what she liked as a child, what she enjoyed at school, what she hoped for our son.

We had our picture taken.

We both cried and at the end, she leaned in to give me a hug and I hugged her back. (Interested to see that Anxious wanted to hug.)

I came home and drank a very large glass of wine and went to bed as I was so drained.

But it definitely helped. I liked her, felt that things would have been different for her if life had been kinder/if she had made a couple of different choices. I think about her quite frequently and it has helped with the letterbox. She writes - not much - but enough and I am grateful.

I actually do think I will see her again and I have thought that if she asked to see a photo of Ds, I would agree to it.

TunnelofLove485 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:47:11

I am an adopter. We met both bp. It was literally 15mins long with 2 social workers present. We sat across a table and said hello in an awkward/friendly way and the social worker led our meeting thank god. I asked why they named our child that name and if they had any special dreams for them. They responded to my questions and asked for an update on how dc was. We had a picture taken, he shook dh hand and they left. No tears from either side, no roaring emotions on either side. I was glad, they were exactly as I imagined from their paperwork. My dh still regrets the meeting and felt pushed into it. I think he is entitled to feel that way, most adopters go out of their way to insist it is beneficial but it isn’t always. I wrote down my impressions on that day for our child.
It was a well controlled situation I think and sw said that they both felt better having met us so that’s positive anyway.

Battleax Thu 02-Nov-17 16:58:53

"Don't be fooled" seems an odd sentiment in the context of relinquishment.

Do you have any idea what was meant by that?

Laura25o6 Thu 02-Nov-17 19:48:54

@Battleax no didn’t and don’t know what that could mean. X

Battleax Thu 02-Nov-17 21:45:51

Hmm. Well good luck with it.

Italiangreyhound Thu 02-Nov-17 21:48:36

I have not yet, sadly, met either of our son's birth parents. However, I have heard that it might be possible for adopters and birth parents to submit questions in advance. So all can think about what they want to say and not be caught off guard.

OurMiracle1106 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:35:45

I’m a birth Mum and I wanted to and did meet my sons parents. For me it was in a way a form of closure. Before deciding not to contest the adoption order I needed to know that my son was loved and looked after. I wanted to know that they would give my son the very best they could and I felt that meeting me would hopefully strengthen our relationship so that contact was easier and they could if asked by our son tell him that yes his birth Mum did love him very much, they know because they met me. It also meant that he has a photo of me with his parents which in years to come I hope he will see that as me accepting them as his parents

It was very emotional for all involved. Definitely make sure social worker ensures there are plenty of tissues.

flowers

Laura25o6 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:50:56

Hi all

Today went so well, took advice from you all. We all shed some tears and laughed at some stories she told us. And most of all we hugged her. She was just as nervous as we were but it went as well as could be. So thank you all for everything you have said. Much love xx

Laura25o6 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:52:10

Oh and for the relinquished bit I said, it wasn’t the case. Our old sw had stayed this and we asked New sw and he said it wasn’t that. X

Italiangreyhound Fri 03-Nov-17 23:38:28

Glad it went well.

flapjackfairy Sat 04-Nov-17 09:32:05

Oh so glad it was a positive experience all round .

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