The New York Times Magazine published an interesting article last Sunday about adoptive parents who search for their child’s birth mother, even before their adopted child has requested any information, and in some cases, before the child is even old enough to understand adoption.
My initial thoughts after reading this article focused on the motivations of adoptive parents who choose to search on their own. Do they feel an obligation to the birth family? Is it out of curiosity, or a need to provide the child with an identity? And if the search is fruitful and the adoptive parents are able to track down the birth mom, what if it turns out that she never wanted to be found? How will the adoptive family handle that, and will they share that information with their child when they are old enough to understand? In many ways it seems like opening a Pandora’s Box to me.
From what I have learned about adoption in Taiwan, the process is more open than in other countries. There is a possibility we will meet the birth mother at the time of the adoption, and may have some family medical history for our child, at least from the birth mother’s side. Even if we do not meet her, I hope that I will have some information about her that I can provide to our child someday.
We are not planning to search for our child’s birth mother before our child is old enough to request more information. We plan to tell our child about his or her adoption from the start, and our child may have some questions that we cannot answer. But we would support our child’s decision to search for his birth family at the appropriate time in an effort to find the answers.