Sunday, November 20, 2011

Important questions to consider in single parent adoption

As a single parent to be, adopting a child, have you  considered how family opinion and support or withdrawal of support may matter to the process of adoption?
Who in your family of origin will be supportive of you adopting a child?
Who in your family will have a negative reaction?
How will you begin  integrating your adopted child into your family?
Will she be accepted into your family of origin?  If not what are you going to say or do to help your child understand that it is not her or you that is at fault? How do you manage the rejection?

These were all questions I pondered before picking up the phone and making the call to my mother to tell her about my decision. It is not that I wanted her approval, but I did so want her blessing. Only then  would I know that my daughter would be accepted into the Jones family and I could breath more easily in the process of adopting. For single parents' to be, we are forced to review more fully our relationships in our family of origin and how those connections may impact the adoption process and our children in the future.

11 years ago I was in the position of being single and I knew that I wanted to adopt my daughter from China. I was at the beginning of this process and one of the difficult calls I made was to my mother to tell her about my decision. I was not sure how she would respond, even though her response would not effect my decision to adopt, it would certainly impact my daughter as she became part of our family together and part of the Jones family. 

When my mother responded with "I have always wanted a grand-daughter" I  was relieved.
I feel fortunate that even though my mother could not make the trip to China to bring my daughter home she did make the trip to America to meet my daughter 2 months after our return home. I am also grateful that they have grown to love eachother. And even though my mother has some fixed sterotypical ideas about how Chinese people should be, it does not get in the way of the love for her grand-daughter! 

Thankfully, my daughter has the support of our adoptive family together; our extended family of friends and community here in the US and then she has 'my' family which she considers 'her' family - a loving grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins, whom we see as often as we can.


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