DEAR ABBY: My husband and I adopted a beautiful baby girl in an open adoption 14 years ago. "Sara's" birth mother, "Chris," was trapped in an abusive relationship. We promised to exchange letters and pictures when Sara was able to communicate, and have done so since Sara turned 10. Sara and her birth mother talk on the phone four times a year.
Although the "open" agreement is not legally binding, we have kept our word. However, over the past year we have become concerned about the effect this is having on our daughter. Sara is sad and moody after contacts with Chris. Chris also sends poetry about the adoption, which upsets Sara. It's pretty heavy stuff for a 14-year-old.
Chris has rebuilt her life, obtained higher education, married and has two toddlers. Despite this, it seems she's still mourning the loss of her firstborn. We understand this, but feel it's unfair to unload this burden on Sara. Sara cried when she saw photos of Chris' two small sons.
Should we limit or sever the contact? -- NO NAMES PLEASE IN THE NORTHWEST
DEAR NO NAMES: From my perspective, the letters, photographs and the quarterly phone calls are excessive. And for the birth mother to send "heavy" poetry in an effort to offload her guilt and pain at placing her child for adoption is selfish. Because the contact with her birth mother is depressing your daughter instead of being uplifting, it's time to ask Sara what she thinks -- and take your cue from her.