A Guide to Bonding with Your Child’s Adoptive Father
Written By: Erin Jones
If you’re a birth parent who has opted for an open or semi-open adoption, then you’ve probably done your research and are open to the possibility that you may soon get to review, and even meet, potential adoptive families for your child! This might sound intimidating at first, but the beauty of choosing an open or semi-open adoption is the chance to build a positive, healthy relationship with your child’s adoptive parents, and maybe even with your child in the future!
More often than not, birth mothers are seen going through the adoption process alone. When a birth mother meets prospective adoptive families for her child, she may find it easier to connect with potential adoptive mothers, rather than potential adoptive fathers. Absence of her child’s birth father in the adoption process might lead to a birth mother feeling slightly wary of possible adoptive fathers. Though this feeling is valid, it’s important to keep in mind that the goal of both open and semi-open adoption is to encourage communication between the adoption triad: the child, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s).
For some birth mothers, it may be challenging to bond with your child’s adoptive father, however, it is extremely important in the interest of the child to make an effort to do so!
Bonding with Your Child’s Adoptive Father
Open Communication -
Maintaining open communication with your child’s adoptive father is an important part of creating a successful adoption triad. The more you communicate with each other, the more you’ll learn and understand about one another. Frequent communication with your child’s adoptive father may also help you to become more comfortable around him, which will make it easier for you to have serious or meaningful conversations together.
Active Listening and Positive Body Language -
In order for you and your child’s adoptive father to communicate successfully, you must both practice active listening and positive body language. For example, maintaining eye contact. These are other forms of communication that can help you to create a stronger bond with your child’s adoptive father as well -- like active listening. The purpose of this is to help you stay engaged in conversation with another person, usually by paraphrasing back to that person what they just said. This shows the other person that you are listening to them and that you understand what they’re saying to you.
Body language is a third way to show someone you’re listening to them. Maintaining eye contact, leaning forward or turning toward a person are all subtle signs to show that you’re actively listening and interested in the conversation.
Take Time to get to Know Each Other -
Another way to bond with your child’s adoptive father is by spending time with him. Again, the more you learn about him, the more you’ll come to understand him and the more comfortable you’ll become around him. You will benefit from this when it comes time to having important conversations throughout the adoption process, and in the future if you continue to be a part of each other’s lives. Even if you just go for a walk around the park, or meet for lunch at your favorite restaurant, spending a little more time together can really help you to connect and to get to know more about each other’s personalities, hobbies and interests!
Show Support, Be Reassuring -
As you and your child’s birth father become more comfortable with one another, feel free to support and ressaure each other throughout the adoption process. The process of adopting a child is filled with emotional ups and downs, so it’s OK, and even necessary at times, to give another person within the adoption triad a little comfort. Especially in open and semi-open adoption cases when communication is encouraged. Being emotional in front of each other can be difficult, but keep in mind that you’re both in this together and your emotional connection will only make your relationship stronger!
Your Bond with the Adoptive Father
Going through the adoption process alone can be hard. Every day is different, some are better than others. If you’ve chosen open or semi-open adoption and you feel anxious or unprepared to meet potential adoptive families, your feelings are valid. But keep in mind that the more open and willing you are to develop a positive and healthy relationship with them, the more confident you’ll feel in your decision to place your child for adoption.
It isn’t uncommon to feel like it’s easier to bond with potential adoptive mothers, but potential adoptive fathers are just as important! Remember, adoption is all about what is in the best interest of the child, and the key to achieving that is open and positive communication between all parties of the adoption triad. For the sake of your child’s best interest, it’s important to make an effort to develop a healthy, positive relationship with your child’s adoptive parents and his or her adoptive father.
Meet the Author: Erin is a journalist and soon-to-be esthetician with a passion for obsessing over mermaids, getting tattoos, and making Target runs! She studied journalism and criminal justice at Winona State University and esthiology at Aveda Institute Minneapolis. Her previous writing experience includes being a journalist and the copy editor for Winona State’s student-run newspaper, The Winonan.
She hopes to one day become an editor for a newspaper or magazine, travel the world, and write an article or a story worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. Erin looks forward to improving upon her writing and editing skills with her internship at Adoption Choices, as well as learning more about the adoption process.