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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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do I let my adopted son have a relationship with his birth-mother

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do I let my adopted son have a relationship with his birth-mother while he is young?
Hello Thank you for bringing your question on JustAnswer. Let me ask a few questions before I offer an answer. How old was he when adopted? Does he or his birth mother want to have a relationship with?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He was 3 1/2 years old when he came to be with us full time. He has not seen her since then. His adoption was final at age 4. Yes, she wants to have a relationship and he is mourning the loss of her at times. This emotion usually pops up at Christmas and his birthday. He mother is an addict, is in another state and has since had another son. His mother is a relative (my husband's cousin). We want to do the right thing for him but do not want to cause him more harm than good.
Your adopted son has memory of his mother since he was adopted on age three and half. Developmentally, it is difficult for 6 year old to understand why he was adopted, why his birth mother left him and what her illness (drug addiction) was etc. I am sure phone calls from birth mother may trigger his feelings. It is up to you as his parent as to whether he continues contact with her on a regular basis. I am not certain if his birth mother is able to keep promises or be consistent on communication. If you allow her to be in his life, it is best to have her only in special occasions such as Birthday and Christmas. I advise this because there has to be CONSISTENCY and PREDICTABILITY of her appearance for your son. He may be already confused about his birth mother. Any decision has to be made based on his ROUTINES, SCHEDULES, and FAMILY STRUCTURE. My point is, if you allow her in his life, limit her appearance to positive events such as his birthday and graduation only. If his anger is severe when receives phone calls from birth mother, he is showing psychological distress so he may not want to talk to her. Please feel free to ask me more questions if you have.

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 9/1/2010 at 5:28 PM EST
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