Reunions usually occur at the request of the adoptee once he or she reaches adulthood. For adoptees, the excitement and anxiety over reaching out to a biological parent may cause them to want to run right out and show up at the parent’s house or place of work.
However, especially after such a long time between the decision to place one’s child and the initial contact is made, this news may be startling and potentially upsetting to some biological parents. Consequently, adoptees are advised to send a letter as something of a “heads-up” to their birth parent expressing their desire to meet.
As for the biological parent, though he or she might claim the adopted child is his/hers through a biological relationship, in terms of age the child is anything but and should not be treated as such.
Also, though a reunion between adoptees and biological parents might be completely amicable, birth parents should prepare for their children to be somewhat angry with them for giving them up for adoption and want an explanation. Above all, birth parents should also be up front with regard to their expectations and needs, and honest in response to direct questions from their children.
While an adoptive parent clearly is not a biological parent, he or she too may be involved in the reunification process, if nothing else as a system of support for the adoptee at his or her request. Nonetheless, adoptive parents should never be expected to take control of the situation. If anyone should take the lead, it should be the adoptee. Furthermore, adoptive parents – from a distance – should show their support for their child’s quest.
Adoption reunification is not guaranteed to work out perfectly. Biological parents may not wish to be a part of their child’s life and vice-versa. Just the same, there is all the potential in the world that a reunion may go well if all parties ease into this transitional moment and show due respect for one another.