Lately there have been several conversations online talking about some morbid stuff. The question of what happens to the children of open adoption, if something happens to adoptive parents, as in, gulp… death. It is an important question to be sure. Some of those concerned were also birthparents, worried about how their connections with their child would be preserved in the event of the adoptive parents passing, also a valid concern.
Of course this is something that my husband and I have also talked about, although not enough. Unfortunately we have yet to put any of the decided details to paper. Our situation is complicated at best, with a serious tangle of birthparents, extended birthfamily, and our extended family to consider. Most of what we have decided, has been only done verbally between family members, and I know that is not really adequate. Yes I know, we are serious slackers!
The people we have chosen to be guardians in the event the unthinkable happens to us, have agreed to keep the children in contact with birth relatives, but I do feel like there probably would not be as much contact as there currently is with us. If my husband and I passed away before they are grown, so many things would change for the kids. The number one goal should be to keep them together, and then to keep contact and involvement with their birthfamilies.
Of course making preparations in the event that something would happen to a parent is very important, but even more complicated in situations that include adoption. I honestly do not believe there is a right or wrong to this, as every family is unique, and every adoption relationship calls for different needs to be met. The most important thing is that adoptive parents carefully consider what will be in the best interests of the children if they are suddenly taken out of the picture, and that they make those plans legal in order to be carried out (something we plan to do as soon as possible!)
Some of the birthparents who were wondering about the future of their placed children, if their adoptive parents were to die, also expressed a strong desire to be considered the first in line as a legal guardian. This sort of agreement may well work for some families in very open adoptions, but then of course the need would be for birthfamily to then keep the child in contact with the extended family of the adoptive parents. No matter what there are some complicated things to consider.
All the things I read were interesting, and thought provoking. Afterwards I know I was thinking about the things we have yet to put down on paper, and how we need to get things taken care of, because you never really do know what time you have on this earth. Talking with birthfamily about plans for our children was not really something I had thought about, but I can see the need for them to be informed and or involved on some levels in our preparations.
The main thing is that children should be assured of retaining as much familiarity and security as possible in the event of the death of their parents. With adoption, and especially open adoption there are just more family members to consider in this difficult decision making process.
For information/instructions on how to subscribe FREE to your favorite AdoptionBlogs, please visit this link.