As a prospective birth mother, you simply want to find the right adoptive family for your baby. When you choose adoption, you are giving your child a chance at the best life possible. Part of this sacrifice is selecting the perfect adoptive parents, and you may already have someone in mind. For instance, maybe you want to pursue kinship adoption.
In kinship adoption, you place your baby with a trusted family member, hence its name. When you already know who the adoptive parents are, this may seem like the perfect option. You can continue chasing your dreams while seeing your child at family gatherings and other occasions. But, there’s no doubt that this type of adoption can change your family relationships, for better or worse.
To help you make the best decision for yourself and your child, we’ve assembled this list of six ways that kinship can change your family relationships.
1. Less Potential Conflict with Your Family
Unfortunately, not every family is supportive of adoption. They may be even more averse to a prospective birth mother choosing unrelated adoptive parents. In such a case, you may be able to avoid familial conflict by choosing kinship adoption instead. Still, you should choose only what is best for you, your child and your circumstances.
This is because you are the only person who ultimately knows what is best for both you and your baby. You should never base your adoption journey on someone else’s preferences and opinions. As you consider kinship adoption, think about whether you want to make this decision for yourself or your family. If it’s the latter, then it could cause conflict rather than resolve it.
2. A Renewed Sense of Trust
Although you may already trust the person you want to place your baby with, you can establish an even deeper trust with this family member. You’ll have a close relationship with your child’s adoptive parents before placement, so you might not have as many worries about your child’s safety and well-being. You can feel more assured knowing that your child is growing up happy and healthy with loving parents.
On top of this, you may discover that maintaining post-adoption contact is easier. You can feel more confident knowing that you’ll see your child on a regular basis and watch them grow up firsthand.
3. Possible Parenting Disagreements
It could be beneficial to have adoptive parents you already know, but there could be some tension now and then. For example, you may have some disagreements with the adoptive parents about how to parent the child. Because you will have your own idea of how to raise your child, it could be difficult to accept the adoptive parents’ style.
As a result of these disagreements, this could affect your relationship with not just the adoptive parents but other family members, too. If you all meet at holiday gatherings or birthday parties, then there might be some awkward tension. That’s why it is always important to have conversations with the adoptive parents about reaching a compromise and respecting one another’s opinions about parenting.
4. Confusing Roles in the Family
Depending on whom you choose as the adoptive parents in a kinship adoption, there can be some role confusion. For instance, maybe you want to choose your own parents as the adoptive family. Or, you could decide on one of your siblings as your child’s adoptive parent. In the first case, this means your child will now be your sibling. In the latter situation, your child would become your niece or nephew.
If this sounds like somewhat of a headache, then that is completely normal. This also speaks to the importance of discussing familial roles before the adoption takes place. As you discuss the adoption with the hopeful adoptive parents, make sure you also talk about how familial roles could shift as a result.
5. Your Relationship with Your Other Children
Some prospective birth mothers already have other children. Others may not have kids yet, but they are considering becoming parents in the future. While you contemplate kinship adoption, make sure that you also consider how it could affect your current or future children.
This factors into role confusion, too. If you pursue kinship adoption, then how should your children think of the adoptee? Will they think of them like a sibling, cousin or aunt? On top of this, you may also want to think about how this could affect the adoptee. When they watch you interact with your children, how will that make them feel? The adoption journey is a whirlwind of emotions, to say the least. Kinship adoption can create even higher highs and lower lows from an emotional standpoint.
6. Potential Judgment from Family Members
As we mentioned earlier, it’s possible that not all your family members will support the adoption. Even if you pursue a kinship adoption, there’s a chance that you may face judgment or even hostility from other family members. This can be challenging to experience, but we want you to remember that you should never feel ashamed of choosing what is best for your baby.
It doesn’t matter what others think. Deep down, you should be able to rest easy knowing that you’ve made a brave, heroic sacrifice. Following this line of thought, there is something else that we want to clarify. “Give up a baby for adoption” is one of the most common phrases that people use when they discuss the subject. But, this phrase completely misses the point by using negative adoption language. You are not “giving up” when you choose adoption. Rather, you are giving your child a life of love and opportunity, and that is nothing short of beautiful.
Kinship adoption can be a confusing topic. It can be a lot to wrap your head around. With that being said, you can always get free adoption information now by filling out our online contact form. We would be happy to help you in any way that we can, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!