This is how an open adoption can become really tricky. I read this morning about a situation where the biological child is allowed to sleepover at their original parents home every other weekend. What is happening is that at the end of the weekend, the child does not want to return to the legally adoptive parents.
Now the adoptive parents are mad and are blaming the biological parents for the situation. They are insisting that the child choose between the two sets of parents. If the child does not, they will sever the adoption.
After the adoptive parents insisted on the child being returned early, which the biological parents complied with, now the child is screaming and crying that their biological parents should come and get the child. That this child doesn’t want to be there anymore.
Not surprising, the adoptive parents are blaming the biological parents for causing the child to behave that way. They also blame them for now breaking up what had been in their own minds a happy home.
It is clear that they ALL need to go into therapy. The child should be seeing an adoption trauma competent therapist. The adoptive parents also need to see a therapist to help them understand the child’s behaviors and triggers. While in therapy, the adoptive parents should also work through their own fears and insecurities. And the biological parents should be in therapy as well. It is difficult to explain to their child why they cannot legally come and get her without the adoptive parents permission.
These are the kinds of wounds MOST adoptees are all too familiar with. Once the child is surrendered (not a decision that child made for their own self) and the adoption is finalized, then the living with this situation begins and for the adoptee, the processing of this reality will consume their entire lifetime.
That is why the adoption group I am a part of is always counseling mothers and/or their partner to try to raise their child before taking this permanent step (and as the case above reveals – can be terminated – which is how some children end up in second adoptions, which just compounds the trauma for the child).