Adoption, abandonment and communication

Today we had our third meeting with the psychologist for the adoption procedure. I found the meeting a bit long but still tried to respond with a positive attitude, especially having in mind that this would be our last meeting with her (she had told us that three three-hour meetings would be enough and according to the rules we are required to meet her 2-3 times). But – surprise, surprise – just at the end of the meeting she asked when we’d be available to meet again. Then – I guess she saw our faces –  she added: “whoops, did I forget to tell you there will be a fourth meeting?”.

Anyways, like the other time we talked a lot about abandonment and how the baby would feel about knowing he’s been abandoned. This time we focused on a 2-3 year old baby. What I like is that she makes you think a lot about what the baby would feel and think. She asked how we would tell the baby and explained that he’s been abandoned. Then went on to discuss possible reasons for abandonment at the national and international level, traumas that the child might have from the pre-adoption years and possible consequences. We also talked a lot about the birth mother, our possible feelings towards her, the child’s feelings towards her and how we would talk to the baby about the birth mother. The idea is we need to do our best to let the baby make up his own mind: avoid giving a bad feeling about her, but also making sure we do not encourage the child to idealize her.


We spent quite a bit of time talking about the case of a child being abandoned because he was the result of sexual violence. How and when would you tell the child about this? I noticed I always tend to protect this future child of mine and I did so in this case too. I said I would not tell him until he was old enough (probably past teen-age) but the psychologist said we could consider telling the child way earlier. Otherwise we risk causing a trauma or mistrust towards us, since we kept it secret. I’m still unsure about this and if we end up on a case of this sort, I may need some more help from professionals.

We talked about difficulties, such as the child refusing to come with us (he may feel like we are total strangers), the child hating us during teen-age years, or the look from other people when noticing the differences in physical appearance. She also asked how we would feel if the child asked about his birth parents or wanted to meet them. Neither of us would be upset about that, I find it’s quite natural to want to discover our past and origins.

Then we discussed the child’s health state and illnesses we’d be ready to accept. We actually did so rather superficially for now. We will get into more detail about this later on once we get to talk to adoption agencies.

Finally she asked about us. She asked us to describe each other. It was quite funny, as both of us ended up blushing and not knowing what to say. But luckily hubby took over and gave a super nice description of me. That made my day! She also asked how the arrival of a child would change our relationship. Once again hubby took over since I got completely stuck with the language. I could only think in my native language. It happens to me very rarely and I guess it happened this time because I was getting teary at imagining us finally having our baby.

Next meeting will all be about us so I better improve my skills at talking about us as a couple, as future parents and about each other..

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14 Responses to Adoption, abandonment and communication

  1. These meetings go really in depth. After a few readings about psychological assessments for adoption, I feel they try to discuss all circumstances you could have to deal with. And the fact is that if you come to need help (for that as for anything that can come up in your life), you will look for professionals to help you. Personally, I do not feel well when I think about all this “questioning”. I know I should not, but I see them as incursions in my personal life.
    Each time you talk about these meetings, I find you are doing very well! And it helps me to understand better why they ask all these questions.

  2. It’s hard to believe they expect people to be able to stay focused and articulate for three hours when discussing such an emotional and sensitive subject. It sounds like you two are doing great and working really well as a team during this whole process. My husband and I will probably start looking into adoption sometime in the spring if we are still battling with IVF. Thank you for sharing your experiences in relation to the adoption process in France, it’s helping me to mentally prepare for the long road to getting an “agrément”.

  3. Elisha says:

    The meeting sound so indepth and intense! I think you are doing a wonderful job and I can’t wait to read as you post the progress that is being made towards adopting your baby 🙂 I can’t wait!! It will be here before you know it!

  4. ecila69 says:

    Once again thanks for sharing with us this so intrusive but so called “necessary” interview… It’s so detailled and still so vague. Of course nobody can figure out from which “contextes” our baby will come to us but what’s the point of making you thinking of each of them….? Still wondering at this point. Whatever, congrat’s for your picking the good-one! I found also my husband’s speech regarding our relationship and our future parenthood so touching (and loving and perfect) that the psychologue find my reaction weird (my face was a mix between WTF and i’m so lucky to marry him – I’m so in love). Please let us know your fourth and last meeting I hope ! Take care

    • kiftsgate says:

      You are totally right, it’s so vague despite all the details. I guess at least that the moment you get a phone call with a certain situation you panic less, or know a bit more about it.
      Thanks, I did pick a good one! Glad you did too 🙂

  5. Little Wife says:

    I like reading your interviews, it is really useful to see what actually is the adoption process.
    Whouaou a fourth meeting! Three hours more! Really a long road… Good luck to get prepared to talk about your couple. I wouldn’t be able to talk about it without crying.

    • kiftsgate says:

      I know, it’s tough to talk about ourselves. It seems easy but I always manage to mess it up. But, looking at the bright side, only 2 more meetings to go!! And only one more with the psy.

  6. E v e l y n says:

    I think you’re husband’s reaction when you couldn’t find words says a lot about your relationship and how supportive it is.

    I think when you tell any child about their early situation really depends on the child, who at that point you will know very well after having raised him/her. I’m glad that the psychologist is providing some advice though. I trying to think of a word for opposite of abandonment and all I can come up with is adoption. Don’t you think discussing it along with the fact that the child was brought into your family will somehow balance the feelings of being given up? Yes the child was abandoned, and he/she was also loved by you and your husband who will never abandon him/her.

    • kiftsgate says:

      I totally agree with you that when you tell the child depends on the child. I guess the psychologist just makes us think about more counterintuitive ways.
      I like what you said about adoption being the opposite of abandonment. I guess we discuss more abadonment because it is harder for the child and for the parents. And it is what may cause problems in the child’s self esteem or self confidence.. but I really liked your view and will keep it in mind next time I need some positive thoughts 🙂

  7. Joanna Schwartz says:

    Wow! I don’t think I could ever talk about something this important in another language! Also, you should know that there is not a ‘right or wrong’ answer’ here. The field of psychology is full of differing perspectives on what is right for the child and what is wrong. I for one, totally agree with you in terms of not letting the child know about certain parts of their adoption until they are older. I think that there is a lot to be said for the responsibility to let the child have a safe psychological space to unfold for a little while…

    • kiftsgate says:

      Thanks Joanna! Loved hearing your perspective. In any case, if I ever find myself in a situation of this sort, I’ll make sure to go see the pedospychiatrists and other people and I’ll definitely bug you!! 🙂
      Hope all is well.besitos.

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