Co-parenting — The Bump


I'm curious for those who have adopted and have a relationship with the birth parents and for those birthmoms on this board, do you consider your adoption a co-parenting situation? Or maybe how would you describe your relationship when it comes to being the parent or letting the adoptive family do the parenting? I've come across a few things that I have been uncomfortable with and need help handling the situation when it comes to different parenting views.

Re: Co-parenting

  • It's not co-parenting at all. We communicate sporadically via email and visit twice a year. She and her family treat us as DD's parents, period. Her mom sometimes gives motherly advice, but it's what you'd expect a grandmother to say she has other grandkids)
  • Definitely not co-parenting. We see each other once every few months, and send texts and messages more frequently- but it's not co-parenting.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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  • Do you have any examples? I feel like the #1 thing said about open adoptions is that it is not co-parenting. We have an open adoption (pictures at least 4 times a year, phone calls, a Facebook page for updates, and 2 visits a year) and I don't feel like it is a co-parentign situation. Our son's birth parents are older and have raised children so they sometimes give us advice and reminisce about their parenting experiences. Sometimes the advice is a little old-fashioned (sugar water in the bottle for hiccups, etc.) but I take it with a grain of salt (same as I would with my parents or in-laws who suggest the same sort of thing) and that is that. My husband and I are making the daily decisions in our son's life. 
  • We have a very open adoption but I would not by any means consider it coparenting- my role is much more of an aunt. My daughter's parents and I text and email regularly and see each other every couple of months as our schedules allow. Her mom, D, asks for my input often because I have been a nanny over 5 years and have a lot of kid stuff in my head and intuition. We have worked together to solve issues and on occasion I make suggestions, which have helped and she is thankful for. I could never imagine myself collaborating on any major decisions for A because I am not her parent. My suggestions are soft suggestions as I'd mention to any other friend. I imagine that D will have just as much input with my little one I will parent.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Thank you for the responses! I should probably take things with a grain of salt, but I'll admit I'm not good at that, even from direct relatives. I'm sure some of the things are absolutely nothing and I'm just being petty. I try my best to look past it and I never say anything, well I am on this board but that's the extent of it. I don't see this as a co-parenting situation, but I sometimes feel as if she does. She'll make comments like "I know you're adopting him but I'm his birthmother", okay that was never questioned and it hurts my feelings for her to say that. It's weird, and it comes out of nowhere. She is insistent on him getting tested for allergies, she needs to know if he has any allergies. I don't know why she "needs" to know this and I don't know why you would put a child through that unless necessary. Note...he had been tested, negative results, worst day of my life. The other day she tells me she wants his hair cut, he has beautiful curls, I have no intentions of cutting it, she seemed irritated. She keeps telling me she wants to take him to her church, I'm just not comfortable with this, and can't understand why she needs him to go there. If I mention he likes anything, her response is "just like his birthmommy". We talk weekly, I understand that's what she needs but sometimes it's a bit overwhelming. Is it bad to just want to go a week without being reminded that he's not my flesh and blood?! I'm not saying I want to forget about her, I never could, just talking out loud if that makes sense? And she will not call him by his name, she will say "how is my little guy doing" or "how is he" but will not say his name, should I say something, or is she just still grieving and trying to accept this? I know we are both still trying to navigate this journey. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm being negative towards her, she is a blessing in my life, he's a constant reminder of that! And I will always always be positive about her around him, I'm just putting that out there! Just seeking advise from those who are more experienced and have gotten thru the earlier stages of this journey:)
  • Lastly, you need to read birth parents blogs. Lots of them. I read many adoptive parent blogs to make me sensitive to their feelings, something you lack. I NEVER respond like this, except to trolls. But I've had enough of your insensitivity stabbing knives in my heart.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • You may hate being reminded once a week that you didn't give birth to him, but I guarantee it is on her mind 24/7 that he's not with her. It's this overwhelming grief that never leaves you. There's suddenly a huge hole in your heart and you don't know what to do now or how to fill it. The only time I feel whole anymore is on visits when I hold my son. I wait all day for the littlest text about him. Everything reminds me of the baby I trusted someone else to raise. I'm terrified that k and j are going to feel this way. It's my biggest fear. I can't bring myself to say his name most of the time either, and I'm the one that picked it. There aren't words to describe the loss a birth mother feels. I didn't realize how strong and consuming the pain would be until it happened. 

    maryoosa[Deleted User]KonaCoffeeBeanAmandaRose13
  • Alishakay, it seems like you are having one of those days, I am sorry and I hope you feel better. When I saw you post about how you felt about BM, I knew some BM would come here attacking you and I am sorry that happened. Although I think this should be a place where we should be safe to express some feelings and seek help without being judged, every time someone post anything about BMs we get attacked.
    I agree that you should sit down and talk to BM if there are issues, but also pick your battles. No one here can tell what is important for you and what is not, but if you look at every single detail, you will go crazy.
    It sounds like in your case BM is having a hard time with the facts. Does she have some support system that can help her? I tottally agree she gave you the greatest gift of life, but if wasnt for you adopting this child, what would have happened with the little one? BM should never be forgotten as it is important for a child to know about his or her past, but you are the mom now. Just know that you are the mom. You might not be connected genetically, but you are connected by heart and you will always be.
    I know some people will come after me, like it always happen here, but I dont think it is right to attack each other. It would be much nicer if we support each other and offer good advices. Hurtful words never help no matter what side you are.
  • I agree with Pinkie78, some professional help might be a good thing for you and BM. I thought all agencies had the same process when preparing both parties for adoption and offering support, but as I read posts here, it doesnt sound like...
  • A lot of my issues stem from lack of support from our agency, we are both left to handle things on our own. She does not have a support system, I became that support system after, our weekly calls used to be twice a day calls right after birth. It's getting easier for both of us! I don't not want to to talk to her on a weekly basis. Our conversations are not limited to once a week either that is just in our If something exciting happens I send her a text. I always share medical stuff with her, it wasn't that I wouldn't it was just about the pushing to do it. Our phone calls and visits and letters have all been worked out. And I know some of these things are small so I was just talking here, I don't do anything or say anything that would hurt her. Just talking it out with people who may have had feelings. I don't know why I'm not allowed to have feelings or be hurt by things. I've been a mother for over 19 years, I know what it's like to love your child more than life! This wasn't about the things she is going thru this was about the things I am feeling. I'm not trying to take anything away from her experience in this. And when it comes to religion, I should not be expected to attend her church where I may feel uncomfortable, I don't think I'm far off there am I? We will work this out just like we do everything else:)
  • To me, you are allowed to feel what you feel and to be honest, I believe many people have been through what you are going through, they just don't say anything here because it is a very sensitive topic as you can see. Your feelings are not to be invalidated and you shouldnt be her support system and just forget about what you feel. Adoption is a hard process for all sides and we all need help. I really do believe you both need someone who is professional in the topic and wont judge any of you two. I would think the agency would have that...
  • @oliv0026 I didn't attack. If her feelings deserve to validated don't mine? Or am I less of a person to you because I am a Birthmother?
    @bookworm92‌ absolutely did not attack so I'm sorry that her openness about our pain in this bursts your bubble. Should we pretend to be happy always so as to make your life easier?
    Did you ever consider that maybe we, too, need a safe place to speak openly? That our lives as birth mothers are not all rainbow and butterflies? Oh- now I remember. You believe we deserve it because we chose this.
    There was never ever any confrontation until you two joined. Thanks for ruining this site for all birth mothers. I'm done here because I'm obviously not wanted and deserve a safe place less than you do. I've been here for well over a year and a half-much longer than both of you and have had issues with no one else. This forum has been a safe place to get me through the darkest days when I was struggling the most. Thanks for taking that away from me.

    Everyone else, I'll miss you.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Of course your feelings are valid. Everyone's is, and that is exactly my point. If you want to share your feelings, start a new thread so people can help you too. This specific thread is about how Alishakay felt and im suppoting her in this threat that SHE started.
    If you feel sad or have questions, just start your own thread. Im sorry you feel the way you do.
  • @Carolina please do not leave this board. I know for a fact that others enjoy hearing your perspective. I do not want to be the reason you are no longer here!!!!! This was not my intent and had nothing specific to do with you as a birthmom or birthmoms in general. I was asking if some had a co-parenting situation or felt as if it was one, which was a question specific to my situation. I got some answers that will help me, rather than me try to handle a situation in the wrong way. I'm sorry I don't have a "perfect" adoption in your eyes, and I'm not a seasoned AP, maybe someday I'll look back and wonder why I even had a concern about these things, but for now this is what is going on and I'm talking it out. I will not apologize for having feelings throughout this journey, as everyone always says its a roller coaster of emotions. I had to make a decision at 17 years old to parent or not parent my daughter. I don't take her decision lightly but it in fact was her decision. I also had to make a decision after 18 years of not being able to conceive a second child about sharing motherhood with another human being, and believe me that decision was not made lightly either. There is grieving on both sides. I will leave this board of that means you will stay, I had no intentions of hurting anyone ever, that's not who I am I assure you.
  • @Captainserious thank you. I can only hope it gets better. Right now my life is full of grief and very little else. I'm probably going to step away for awhile. I can't deal with being told I'm attacking someone when I'm sharing very personal information in hopes that it will help someone else will understand. It's just not in me right now. 

  • @bookworm I am sorry. I did not mean to say YOU attacked someone. I agree, you didn't. You were sharing how you were feeling, which must be awful, im sorry. I hope you feel better too.
  • @CaptainSerious did an amazing job of articulating some of the challenges of this journey we all go through.  There are going to be highs and lows for each of us and I think for the most part we all respect one another and the trials and tribulations that we go through.  It sucks when we have folks in different roles that are both having challenging times.  Hugs to everyone! 

    If this were easy, so many more people would be doing it.  IT IS HARD...for everyone involved (even for the easiest of situations).  That said, it's also a blessing.  We will all find ways to cope with our sorrows and joys, let's just be patient with everyone in the meantime.  You are all in my heart.


    oliv0026CaptainSerious[Deleted User]
  • @Carolinah14, I'm sorry you felt the need to delete your post.  I truly hope you don't think I was trying to call you out.  I think there is room for all our perspectives here.

    @bookworm92 I'm saddened that you feel the need to step back, but I understand you have to do what is least painful right now.  There were definately times in my journey when I had to step away from adoption/special needs/parenting boards.  I hope you find your way back (here or in the new location) when you are in a better place.

  • @CaptainSerious you are absolutely right. If something I read upsets me I usually walk away, try to think of it from the other person's perspective, and comment when I feel I can properly do that. I didn't in this case. I got angry and hurt and spoke from those emotions. Thank you for lovingly pointing this out to me. Sometimes I need a break from the adoption world and I don't do a good job of recognizing that.

    @alishakay I'm sorry. I should not have responded to you in the manner that I did. I am ashamed of my lack of control. I let some difficulties in my own life sway the way that I dealt with others in this community that I treasure so much. I do want you to speak honestly and openly because then I can share my perspective from a point of love and hopefully help you, your child, and your child's birthmother. I don't have to like how you are feeling but I will make an effort to address it in a kind way so that maybe you can feel differently (as so many amazing people have done here on the adoptive parent side for me). 

    I think I got so worked up partly because this is one of the biggest fears of so many birthmothers. We hate asking for more, more more. We want to be this fun, easygoing, helpful part of the family happy to get an update or call when you have some down time. Then our grief gets in the way and we end up harassing an exhausted, overwhelmed, and frazzled new Mom to give us more when she has nothing left for herself at the moment. I was so aware of it and it made me hate myself for not being stronger. I know you would never say anything and can't help feeling the burden of it all, but she absolutely picks up on it. I did strongly with D but neither of us said anything and it almost destroyed our relationship at one point.  I don't want to see that happen to you. I don't want to be a reminder of D's lack of genetic connection to A, but in those early days when I looked at that little stranger I had created and lost it was all I had. Now it's not something I bring up because I don't need to.

    I do think that you need to have a conversation with your child's birthmom. I would avoid the phrase "coparenting" if you feel you can and absolutely do it over the phone so she can process. She may not respond much at all to begin but give her time. Get whatever you need to off your chest to fix these feelings but make sure that you end with how much you love and appreciate her. Let her her know how important it is to you that she be an important part of your life and your child's life forever. That never gets old and she probably needs to hear it. I hope this helps, and if you have any questions please comment or PM me.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Also, I did not delete my comment. I was flagged. Someone, I'm guessing @oliv0026 reported me. I didn't even break TOU but still got in trouble. I love most of you, but this is exactly why every birthmother leaves this board.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Carolina your words were very nice. This is support. and no, I didnt do anything.
  • And just for the record, I never said you deserve the pain you feel. No way!!! no one deserves that. What I said in the past is that placing a child to adoption is a choice. A painful choice, but is a choice. The same way is our choice to adopt.
    This is just so hard...
  • @Oliv0026 Thank you. I'm sorry for accusing you since you did not report me. It makes me angry that I got reported because while I will admit it did not come from a point of love, it was not against TOU. I didn't name-call and probably would have deleted it myself to be kind. You're right, it is so hard and full of lots of emotions. The changes around here surely haven't helped.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Apology accepted and thank you for the advice:)
  • Thank you for coming back and clarifying, @Carolinah14 .  Your response is the epitome of grace.

    I'm sorry that your post was reported and deleted.  If people can't respectfully disagree, then there is little hope for a forum like this to try to offer support and be a place where we can all learn from one another.  And that makes me sad.  It's also another reason I anticipate I'll be spending less time here and more on that other board where we can talk about painful things freely, in the hopes of more understanding and compassion across all of the members of the adoption triad.

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