Many people forget about the adoptive parents during the process of a child searching for a birth relative. I know I did. In fact, come to think of it my parents were great for the whole thing.
But I’ve never asked how they felt. I’m sure it’s something that was difficult for them.
Some children never tell their adoptive parents they are doing a search or only tell them once the search has begun. That is a mistake and could cause potential suffering and unnecessary pain. Most adoptees are insecure about how the parents will feel. Notice I used the words parents. The people that raised you are (and always will be) your parents.
During your adoption search you need all the support you can get. Your parents may be hurt but their love will provide you with the support to meet your needs. It could draw you closer to them.
This doesn’t mean adoptive parents won’t feel anxious. They might even be angry or feel betrayed but eventually these feelings will be subside. They don’t want to see you get hurt and certainly don’t want any pain themselves. Pretty normal, don’t you think?
Your adopted parents have invested highly in your life, so their emotions and participation is pretty important. Put yourself in their shoes and act accordingly. Finding a sensitive approach to discover their feelings may be worth the time spent. In my case, the sister I grew up with (also adopted but from a different family) had already broken the ice, so my search was easier to discuss with them.
Time heals all wounds. For most things it does if you let it. Planning in advance can help create a smoother transition. Your parents will understand. If they stand in your way, they risk hurting you and impeding your relationship. That is the last thing they want.
It is a difficult choice.
The initial phase of telling them is the hardest, usually for the child but it’s generally uphill from that moment on. The support they can offer is precious.
The most difficult time for the parent will probably be during a reunion. Remember, they raised you. They love you. They deserve your attention. Try to include them in the process and never let them forget you love them and they will always be your parents.