In modern adoption, families create a relationship to be as close as both parties agree to.
Relationships take lots of work and ones created through adoption are unlike any other. There is a shared responsibility by each party to come together for the well-being of the adoptee. When connections are lost, or you get “ghosted” it can feel like you were just used as a way for a family to get your baby.
What typically happens is adoptive parents start to feel the burden of being the one who instigates texts and visits. When the biological mom does not return texts or cancels a visit, they take this as she does not want to get updates. Instead of communicating their thoughts, they “ghost” her. They say things like, she never responds to our texts or never takes us up on a visit, or we always must reach out to her first. Adoptive parents assume that their child’s birth mom is not interested in maintaining the relationship due to her lack of response. Which is usually the opposite of what is going on.
It’s important for adoptive parents to realize that some birth mothers cannot pretend all is great. It is too much to fake they are feeling ok or not suffering from depression or grief. They do not respond because they can’t match your excitement of your messages. If you offer a visit and she just cannot force herself to see the baby and walk away again, she cannot say no, but instead does not respond. Families then get complacent and stop offering and updating. She feels “ghosted”.
Adoption is a complex relationship with many layers… and sometimes that can be both beautiful and chaotic at the same time. If you find that you have been ghosted, and you are feeling like reconnecting, shoot that text message.
“I have not been able to make space for our relationship lately. I hope you continue to update me and offer visits like we discussed. If I do not respond, please know I care. I am reading them all and will take you up on the offer as soon as I feel ready.”