Apparently the letter-writer will be asked to go before a judge and make a public statement that his wife and Betsy's biological father are now the adoptive parents. He identifies himself as "No Prior Precedent" (NPP) feels uncomfortable about doing so. He asks if he is being "an oversensitive territorial man"?
Amy assures him he is not being oversensitive. She points out that state law might require him to consent to his wife adopting Betsy which is probably true, thus the need to publicly attest to the adoption by his wife. She advises him to see a lawyer about the legal ramifications, and suggests that he and his wife see a family counselor to discuss the impact on himself, and the collective family, including all the children the couple now share.
So far, so good but then Amy also casts a jaundiced eye adding that "if Betsy manipulates your wife or pressures her for the adoption to be done very quickly, you should be skeptical about her motives. Do not agree to this in haste."
That Betsy wants to restore legal ties with her first parents, broken soon after birth, is not evidence that something is amiss. It may be that she wants her desire (need?) to be a part of her biological family to be recognized legally. Besides, he and his wife have known Betsy for 10 years, and so any idea that this is being rushed is absurd. Rush might be considered 10 months.
Contrary to what No Prior Precedent (most likely, the name Amy gave him) assumes, there is precedent for individuals being adopted by their natural families. It's a strange legal way of restoring what was broken when the "termination of parental rights" papers were signed by the biological mother (and sometimes biological father). We know of adoptees who choose to live with their first parents. Rosie O'Donnell's adopted daughter, moved in with her first mother the day she turned 18. Joe Ezterhas, screenwriter and author, adopted his natural daughter, Suzanne Perryman. Florence Fisher, founder of Adoptees Liberty Movement Association (ALMA) and author of The Search for Anna Fisher, as well as others, changed their names back to their original names. We know of at least two cases where the natural mother adopted her daughter, thus reinstating parental rights The pull of the natural family is strong.
|Check out the physical resemblance!|
I would add to Amy's advice that NPP read some adoptee and first-mother memoirs, join a support group of adoptees and first parents, and include Betsy in the counseling. And we'd love to hear from anyone involved in this situation--the individual, first parents and adoptive parents.--jane
Ask Amy: Adult daughter wants birthparents to adopt her
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When adoptees change their names back to their birth names
The Search for Anna Fisher
By Florence Fisher
The Same Smile: The Triumph of a Mother's Love After Losing Two Daughters