The Challenges of Post-Adoption


“Nittai of Arbel says: Keep far from a bad neighbor, do not become connected to an evil person and don’t ever give up on the notion of reward and punishment” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:7).

When someone is adopted they are sometimes blessed/cursed with the choice of staying connected to their biological family, and that decision can either be supported or denied by the new parents.

Choosing to stay connected can lead to many happy moments and many hard ones. The advice above is good advice, but hard to follow in these circumstances. Sometimes, the rest of the extended biological family has not been made aware of what transpired, leading to intense interactions for the adopted child.

Let me make it clear: When a child is removed from a parent, especially a mother in custody court, it is because that parent did some very bad things. Sometimes, the mother would even allow her friends to do some very bad things. There is always a good reason, whether you have been told it or not. (To be honest, how a person can think otherwise is a little mind-boggling to me.)

If the adopted child chooses to stay connected to their extended biological family, the child should not have to constantly repeat that they do not wish to talk to/see/hear about or have details of their life given to the abusive non-parent. It should not be on the child to constantly have to make this separation and to constantly be on edge if they are going to have to. No matter what the occasion, no matter what the intention– no justification is ever needed, The child made their decision and is trying to heal, and does not want any connection to the person they are trying to heal from. The child will wonder why you still have any connection to such an evil person and if you are a person worth connecting with.

People without intimate knowledge, people given false information, and even the removed parent will continue to say false things to others, to the child, and on social media. The child’s parents will do what they can to help the child, but there is only so much they can do and having to rehash everything time and again is tiresome.

So, maybe, we should all follow the wise advice in the first sentence. Let’s all stay away from bad people and not stay connected to evil people. In some cases, you might be missing out on a pretty great kid.

Leah

Leah is Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine. She's a special educator, former school director for Manheim Central School District in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and mother to Amelia and Nezzie. She's usually tolerant of her husband, Brian.

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About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Maine with three ladies and a dog.

About Leah

Leah Kresge

Leah Kresge

Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, special educator and former school board member, mother to Amelia and Nezzie.

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