An introduction by Susan Romer
Today, most children in foster care and many of those adopted have an open relationship with their birth parents. Openness varies with each family, depending on how much, or what type of contact they have. Sometimes there are visits, but often it means texts, letters, FaceTime or now, Zoom. Equally, sometimes contact is just not possible or advisable.
Research has shown that birth parents as well as their children do better when they know as much as possible about each other. Children grow up knowing that they have a Mom that gave birth to them - their birth Mom (or tummy Mom), and a Mom and Dad / two Moms / two Dads / a Mom / a Dad that raises them.
Where contact is possible, birthparents can see that their child is loved and doing well with the foster or adoptive parents. This helps birth parents deal with their loss.
Openness is helpful as well for the child. Children wonder why their parents can’t get them back. Many children think that they did something wrong that led to their placement, for example, that they were an ugly baby, or cried too much. Parents can correct their erroneous thinking.
Start telling your child their story as soon as they are with you. You may feel awkward at first. Just practice so you gain confidence in the telling.
This book aims to encourage openness. Advice is, don’t wait for your child to ask questions. It’s very common for children not to ask questions, particularly about their birth parents. This can be because they don’t know to ask, or what to ask about, or because they don’t want to hurt their foster/adopting parents’ feelings. Each time you read this book with your child encourage them to ask you questions.