Watching adoption reunions on TV may give you the impression that all reunions are full of happy tears and close connections. In reality, circumstances are often different. Sometimes the initial meeting with birth parents is less than stellar. Other times you might get off to a good start and then things fizzle out later. Maybe you have serious issues with details about the adoption, or it’s possible that you just don’t like them.

There is no law that dictates how much or how little contact with your biological family is acceptable. You don’t have to continue a relationship with them if that’s not what you want. As unfortunate as it is, not all reunions work out. At first, try to be understanding and patient with them. You are in a new, stressful situation, and everyone may need some time to adjust.

If you have given it time and you find you’re still not getting along with them, you have a few options. You can have a lengthy discussion with them about why things are not going well and see what, if anything, can be done to remedy them. Another option is to limit contact to whatever is best for you. Maybe you talk on the phone a few times a year or only mail birthday or Christmas cards. It depends on what you are in disagreement about and how much animosity is there.

Unfortunately, if you feel that your reunion has brought more negativity to your life than happiness, it may be time to cut ties entirely. That’s not something to be considered lightly, but it ends up being necessary in some cases. Just know that if you do end contact, at least you know who and where you came from, and hopefully you have your most important questions answered.

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at //