V is for Victim and Victory

"Just as in any regular kidnapping, the first victim – the first mother, is taken for a ride, in this case by an organized crime syndicate, overseen by the government and executed by its appointed agents. Adoption victims are told to get lost, made to get lost, banished into exile and rewarded with the approval of professional perpetrators, for keeping their mouths shut about what actually happened. " – Joss Shawyer, The Perpetrators of Adoption Crime, March 2003

"When you paint yourself as a victim it is only natural to assume her parents were the victimizers." she wrote.

I have paraphrased the above statement. It was recently said to me in an email.

I took this statement two ways.

One:
You were not a victim. You are over reacting and making a big deal out of nothing. Get over yourself, would you? (Note that was my interpretation and how the message was received. It is not necessarily how it was intended).

Two:
The individuals that benefited from your victimization (adoptive parents) were the victimizers.

I have to take this apart as each piece is meaty enough on its own.

I was not a victim?

For anyone to dismiss my experience, mock or minimize it causes me to foam at the mouth. My daughter made this reference recently. With all the challenging words she shared with me, this was the only one that hit a deep nerve. I did not mind the statements alluding to me not being her mother, my sons not being her brothers etc. I did mind the dismissal of an experience she knows nothing about. In my response to her, it was the only topic I commented on. I asked her to never mock or minimize that experience again. I asked her to please consider giving me the respect she would give a stranger who had been through a traumatic experience. For me, her statements were akin to telling a rape victim she "asked for it". I also suggested she consider reading Ann Fesslers’ book. I may not be a baby scoop era mom but I am absolutely a "girl who went away".

Her parents as victimizers?

Um,… no.

My position, and I hope I have communicated this clearly, is that I was victimized by the agency NOT her parents. I don’t believe I have ever blamed her parents or even hinted they victimized me.

My position is that her parents wanted ANY baby. They did not want MY baby, her, my [her original name]. I was the only person that wanted HER. They would have taken any child the agency gave them. It did not have to be mine. My friend Robin was born six days before my daughter and surrendered to the same network of agencies. They could have easily purchased Robin instead of my daughter. I was not part of their adoption equation as they began their contract negotiations with the Kurtz network. I might not have even been pregnant yet.

They did not victimize me. They did not know me. They did not launch a personal mission to get MY child. They wanted ANY child. They did not meet me. They did not know me. I suspect they were even told false information about me by the agency. I am fairly confident I was nothing but an amorphous blob to them that was making their dreams come true. I did not have a name. I did not have a face. I was not human to them. Therefore, it was likely easy to believe what the agency said. By dehumanizing me, they can easily accept all that is told to them.  I, as a human, don’t  matter. I am not their concern. I am the agencies concern, right? That is their role as middle man to the transaction? Why would they think of me if they had been assured by the agency I was fine. They likely ate up all the agency propaganda that I was a girl who did not want her child. I highly doubt the agency told them that they had my mother signed a promissory note, I never had legal counsel, or that I attempted to keep her and they threatened to sue me.  I am willing to bet good green American money they weren’t told I was incarcerated in a maternity "home" where I worked a full time job and had to pay rent to stay in the lovely "home".

While there are adoptive parents who do indeed knowingly victimize vulnerable expectant or new moms (ala Alison Quets), my experience to date with the families who purchased their children from Kurtz indicates they were equally used and abused. My friend Mo (and she can speak for herself here) was lead to believe the high fees she was paying to the agency were being given to support her daughters mother. Upon reunion, Mo learned her daughters’ mother never received a cent from the agency. My friend H? She had a full time job, benefits and housing on her own. Her child was adopted by a wealthy family that I am quite confident Kurtz took great care in emptying the wallet of.

Should they have asked more questions? Done more research on the agency? Yes, no doubt. But I tend to believe the reason they didn’t is that they, like many before them, believed the minions that worked for Kurtz were honest decent people. Blinded by their lust for a child and knee deep in all the warm fuzzy feelings that likely come with saving a " poor unwanted " child from her destitute mother, they turned the other cheek. I imagine it must be quite difficult to find out later that you were an accomplice to a crime or that the circumstances you adopted your child under were false. An extreme example of this is the Smolins learning their children had been kidnapped before they were made available for adoption.

I have said before I strongly doubt that my daughters parents woke up one morning in 1985 in their one bedroom apartment in northern NJ and planned how to take the child from the smart big boobed girl in CT that was recently pregnant. They weren’t thinking of ME, Suz, they were thinking of themselves, their own dreams, how they would be fulfilled and what a fabu thing they were doing by separating, ::cough:: , saving a mother and child.

Her parents are NOT responsible for my victimization and I would never suggest such. However, I will say, and I don’t think it is off base at all, I was a victim. It is for victims like me that I continue to fight.

It is the only way I know how to deal with the pain. I cannot do anything about the past.

I can influence the future.

4 Thoughts.

  1. “”When you paint yourself as a victim it is only natural to assume her parents were the victimizers.” she wrote.”
    sounds like yet another person blinded by the industry’s “triad-think”. much the same as “double-think” in the book 1984 to be certain. Pannor and the rest of his partners-in-crime (industry hacks) wrote “The Adoption Triangle” and everyone began speaking of “the triad.” Well guess, what? These industry know-it-alls DID know what they were doing: erase the presence, role, and responsibility of the broker who engineered and controlled the break-up of the natural family and purchase of the baby. They are the ones who obtained the baby (“freed it for adoption”) and then had the power to provide that baby to paying customers. But once one gets into “triad-think” then this broker is held blameless and is pushed out of the equation.
    “Triad-think” only has a purpose if you are happy to think of adoption as a happy-happy voluntary surrender (abandonment) of “a child no-one wanted” by a woman who doesn’t want her baby and deems herself unfit at the same time.
    Once you explore issues of power, coercion, exploitation and the REAL experience of a mother being harvested of a baby she loved and wanted, then triad-think no longer works. The role and responsibility of the broker must be acknowledged. And, if they are a social worker, then they be held responsible with the NASW for malfeasance and ethical breaches.

  2. Who the hell wrote you something like that? I ignorant bastard! Yes, I more than my husband, (who already had two children) wanted a child, after going through hell for years with tests and surgeries, only to miscarriage each time. Yes, we checked the agency out and found no complaints from others who had adopted before us.
    We were told that our daughters natural parents signed papers stating they were too young and just not ready to be parents – this turned out to be true. We were also told that the majority of the fee were being spent on the natural mother for
    housing, food, clothing, physiology help and setting up employment after delivery – this was all a lies.
    Due to NYS becoming suspicious of the extraordinary fees being charged, all final adoptions in our state were being investigated and were held up for nearly six months. Only due to this investigation did we find out that a tiny portion of the fees paid were spent on our daughter’s hospital care – a portion went towards the agencies salaries, office overhead, etc., and not a single penny went towards helping her natural mother. The rest we can all surmise, but only God knows who’s pocket it went into.
    So, yes we were lied to, but in no way are we the victims – the majority of natural mothers were and still are the victims here, (thank GOD our daughters wasn’t.) They were told they were dirt (not in those words) – that they weren’t good enough to raise the child that was growing inside of them – that the agencies would find them a decent, good and loving family to raise their un-born child.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not against adoption, I am not against anyone who feels they cannot support or are ready to be a parent and decide to put their child up for adoption, instead of having an abortion. I am not against any adoptive parent who with all the fibers of their souls were born to be parents and ache like hell not being able to.
    I am against LIES, down right fu-k’n underhanded LIES! Lies that affect the lives of many and for what? … ‘The almighty fu-k’n dollar!’
    To whomever sent that:
    Listen up and learn. We are talking about young naive young women, who were lacking in worldly wisdom and fell head over heels in love. And let’s not forget the innocent, precious child. They are the victims here, no one else! Educate yourself before saying, or putting anything down in writing that you know nothing of.
    Maureen

  3. Good post Suz! And how in the world did I know, after reading the first line, that the response before mine was Mo’s before I even saw her signature?? I do not consider myself a victim, I made my decision and live with that. I do despise the fact that I missed my daughters life, but I am so happy to be able to catch up with her now. I will always live with the decision that I made, just like each of us have to, good or bad. It’s the system that stinks with the lies and such that were told!

  4. Some people jump to the strangest conclusions. You are so right. Except in a few very rare cases, it is the social workers, agencies, attorneys, doctors that victimize (via coercion, threats or good old fashioned shame) mothers. Prospective a-parents just want a baby, as you said, ANY BABY.
    When I think of myself as a victim, I point to society as the victimizer. After all, that’s what caused my parents to react as they did, and everyone involved to believe adoption was the right, the only, choice.
    I try not to think of myself as a victim. That mentality gets one nowhere, IMHO. As you said, no point in dwelling in the past; instead look to the future.

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