“My fiancé and his ex gave up their children for adoption. The ex is saying the only way he can get updates and pictures are through her only. She has continuously caused problems with us as a couple, and he no longer wishes to go through her for these updates. Does he still have rights to get updated on the kids without his ex?”
Thanks for asking, and I’m so sorry you are going through this.
The best thing to do is to send a message (a nicely written letter, card, or email) to the adoptive parents. If your fiancé cannot contact the adoptive parents directly, he could send this through the attorney or agency that assisted in the adoption.
He can simply and kindly express his desire to receive the updates directly from the adoptive family, without saying anything negative about the ex. We don’t know the nature of the relationship between the birth mom and the adoptive parents and whether they’ve had a positive or negative experience with her. So, I recommend not involving her in this topic unless he’s asked.
If he is, he can briefly share that sometimes she chooses not to share the updates with him, so that is why he is asking. If needed, elicit the help of the agency or attorney to advocate on his behalf with the adoptive parents.
Most adoptive parents are happy to share updates and appreciate the ability to have the medical history and more information from the birth father’s side, as questions may arise through the years. In fact, some of the richest post-adoption contact experiences I’ve seen happen when the birth father is involved and active in the child’s life.
It helps the child know that both of their birth parents love them and that this truly was a decision made in love. Adoptive parents value the ability to keep in contact for the sake of their child.
I hope this goes well for you and your fiancé, and please be patient with the process of getting the ball rolling on receiving direct updates. It is such a blessing that your fiancé desires this connection, as birth fathers are scarcely in the picture with most adoptions.
Allow time for the adoptive parents to process their reaction, as they might not know what to expect or why the request is being made. I saw a really nice letter from a birth father to the adoptive parents years ago. He said he wanted to make sure that the parents knew he didn’t want to disturb the family but simply wanted to make his presence known and share a little about himself and his family background so that the child could have that.
Thank you for being supportive of your fiancé and the prior adoption. Whether it is the birth mother or the birth father, people don’t “just forget and move on.” These children are a part of him and will always be. Embracing the situation and working toward the most positive outcome for everyone is always a good foundation for the future.
Best wishes and blessings for your future together!
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.