Waivering Truth

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” – Adolf Hitler

My Magical Waiver is known to most as the Waiver of Confidentiality (“WOC”).

The WOC  is a document that mothers like myself are told to sign and  file with the state or private agency that handled our child’s adoption and is holding our adoption records. This document releases information to someone looking for us (ie. an adoptive parent, sibling, child, etc.) It releases information to them, even if we can’t get theirs. At least, that is the general concept.  Many, myself included, question the value of these waivers and how they are used against mothers during the surrender process.

In 1986, while I sat in my hospital bed, clad in a hospital johnny coat, minutes away from signing my single,  Final and Irrevocable Surrender for Adoption document, my caseworker Colleen told me about the Magical Waiver.

She told me that by signing and filing it, I was guaranteed that my daughter would be given my information when she came looking for me.

Read the hope in that statement?

Colleen did not state “if” she stated “when”. And thus my fantasy began to plant deep roots. I welcomed the Magical Waiver. I would sign the Magical Waiver. I would sign hundreds of copies if need be. For to me, at that time, it was the final hopeful promise to me that my daughter and I would be together again.

She would find me.

She would want to know me.

She would look for me, care about me, think about me.

The Magical Waiver confirmed it.

It was the Holy Grail.

I remember being so happy and glad to receive the Waiver. It felt like gold to me. Something precious. It was pure virginal hope etched on tree pulp. The print  cast a heavenly glow.

Caseworker also told me that prospective adopters were going to tell her she was adopted and somehow I inferred this meant they were going to tell her about me, they were going to support her finding me.

My trust and naivete ran deep.

Yes! Of course! I told Caseworker I would accept this Magical Waiver. Of course I would file it. Of course my daughter could have any and all information she wanted about me. When might that be? Now? Five years from now? How long do I have to wait before the Waiver works its magic?

It never occurred to me that if the adoption as promised (semi-open for her life) was going to be honored, there would be no need for a waiver. They would know who I am and how to reach me. (This now painfully obvious but then overlooked fact did not become clear to me until AFTER the promises of the semi-open adoption were proven to be false. THEN I started to connect the dumb dots in my head and the resulting picture was not attractive.)

The Magical Waiver was crap. Garbage. Useless. They were feeding me candy to get a baby. It was a bogus kicker to the deal. Yet another lie told to me.

My daughter did not try to find me. The adoption was never semi-open and while she was eventually told she was adopted, her adoptive parents were not at all open to my existence, at least not by that time. As I have said many times, unknown to me, I carried an expiration date. I was only valued and respected by the agency and the adoptive parents for nine months and three days. Once I had signed that single, not notarized, questionably legal, Surrender document (witnessed and signed by myself, my mother and the caseworker), I expired.

Unknown to me, the Waiver of Confidentially had an even shorter shelf life. It expired the instant it was presented to me.

It would take me years to figure that out.

5 Thoughts.

  1. Suz, your posts always speak to the very depths of my soul. So few can really understand and for so many years I knew no one who could.
    Thank you for this!

  2. not only does the waiver of confidentiality “expire” there is no legal recourse It’s worthless in the eyes of the court, although I believe my mother also signed one and my adoptive parents were told they could have her name at anytime… funny how that changed when they left the agency…funny how when i spoke with intermediaries they told me i was making things up, that no such document exisited.
    angry making…

  3. Jean – I believe I sitll have a copy of what I was given. If anyone wants to see proof of its existence, I am happy to send/share.

  4. “I was only valued and respected by the agency and the adoptive parents for nine months and three days.”
    Too true in a lot of cases.

  5. “The Magical Waiver was crap.” Just like a lot of other information presented during the adoption process.
    More and more what disturbs me most of all is that the mainstream doesn’t see the gross injustice of this. And if they don’t see it, the lawmakers who could stop it never will. It’s depressing.

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