Yesterday Toni left the following comment on my blog:
Love reading your blog,although I’m a granny of three.What amazes me is the relationship you have with the birth mother.I suppose it depends on the circumstances surrounding the birth and the reason for her giving up her child,the fact that she doesn’t mind you writing openly and putting photo’sup ect.ect.,?
Which once again reminded me of how little people know and understand about adoption, unless you’ve experienced adoption first hand, it may seem a little confusing, so I thought I’d explain.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction. Historically, some societies have enacted specific laws governing adoption; where others have tried to achieve adoption through less formal means, notably via contracts that specified inheritance rights and parental responsibilities without an accompanying transfer of filiation. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensivestatutes and regulations.
Practically, what this means is once the final adoption order has been issued (which states that the adoption is declared and the child shall, legally speaking, be recognized as if born from me, in other words, I am her birth mother & Walter her birth father), the adopted child is issued with a new birth certificate with our names as the biological parents and her records are sealed by the department of social services and will only be unsealed after her 18th birthday on request when/if she chooses to go in search of her birth parents.
What this literally means is that Walter and I are their parents in every sense of the word and do not need to ask anyone’s permission to write about or share information about our children. Our children are not “adopted” children, they simply are our children. We are not a family though adoption, we are simply a family. This means that I am a mother, as any other mother and Walter is a father as in any other father. We function as a family as any other family.
Because I choose to share Ava’s life with her birth mom is a testament to my great love & respect for her and has nothing to do with any legal or moral obligation. It is not required in any way.
Our path to family creation may have been different from the norm but we are still just a family like any other family, no different from your family at all.