Why birth grandparents are the overlooked victims of adoption
Before beginning, it is important to understand that most adults look forward to grandchildren. Grandchildren are more fun than children because they are raised by their parents and not their grandparents. Grandparents are supposed to get the fun part. So what happens when the privilege of being a grandparent is snatched away by the children who made a “mistakes”? By the way, a child is never a mistake.
There are many reasons a child is adopted. The parents are too young and raising a child is not an option. Children are removed from abusive homes and placed for adoption. Whatever the reason, grandparents have little if any rights and virtually no say so in the process.
What this creates is a whole generation of adults who are essentially robbed of the chance to enjoy the time that should have been spent with the grandchild. The loss of a grandchild is heart wrenching. There is anger and grief. The anger is either directed towards the birth mother whose choice it was to give up the child or at the court system that deemed it better for the child to go to an adoptive family. Essentially, although the grandparents had no part in the decision, they are obligated to live with the consequences.
The birth parents get support through whatever system is in place for the adoption. The grandparents are not considered. They are just collateral damage in the process but no one seems to understand that they having feeling too.
Grieving grandparents go through life missing what might have been. Through no fault of their own, the grandchild that was to be theirs is gone and there is no way to make the loss better. They did not make bad choices, their children did.
Grandparents hope that one day, the grandchild will magically appear. Even if that happens, grandparents are the last people thought of in the process. Adopted children want to meet their parents, not their grandparents. These same grandparents are hoping that they will be considered for a meeting as well. If the meeting with the adopted child and the birth parents does not go well, there is a chance that the grandparents will never have the opportunity.
Children are supposed to grow up and provide the parents with grandchildren. The parents are supposed to raise that child. However, when things don’t go as planned, there are very real consequences. When a child is removed from the family it is the parent's choices that dictate the outcome. When the grandchild is lost through no fault of their own, grandparents become just as much the victims as the grandchild