(originally published on March 11, 2006)

I am pretty vocal. Well, most of the time. I can more readily point out the negatives of adoption versus the positives. Presumably this is because I am a first mom. A victim of adoption. I did not gain from it. I lost. So I can easily see the negatives.

I am also assumed to be anti-adoption, a bitter birthmother, a slut or nut, whatever you want to call it. I dont agree with any of those labels.

Labels are for cans.

I do however have a position on adoption. My gifted friend Bernadette Wright says it best. I use her words below. Know that I support them completely.

“At the same time, I do believe that there are times when it is best for a baby to be cared for by someone other than his natural mother (or father). However, I do not believe that adoption, as it currently exists, is the answer. Even when a mother does not want to or is unable to care for her baby, there is no reason why the child has to be denied the right to know his original name, to see his real birth certificate, and to know who his natural parents, siblings, and grandparents are. There is no reason why natural parents should not be allowed to know whether their child was indeed adopted or not, how their child is doing, what their child’s name is, who is caring for their child, and even if their child is alive or dead.

Although it is sometimes necessary for children to be raised by people other than their natural parents, it is never necessary to have the secrecy and lies that we have in the adoption system today. The closed adoption system wasn’t created until around the 1950s. It’s time to end this awful experiment.

Also, in many of the situations where a mother feels that she cannot raise her child and it would be best to surrender her child for adoption, it is because of a lack of financial and social support. If our country really valued families and provided decent social welfare to help parents in need (as other developed nations do), many of these separations could be prevented.”bernadette wright

I think it was in Clauds blog that I recently read about the devils advocate question she poses to mothers considering placement “If you won the lottery today, would you surrender?” The answr is almost always no. Mine would have been no. My surrender was due to poverty. Due to a lack of options for housing and food and income. If I won the lottery I would have surely kept my daughter. Shit, if I had a place to live, food to eat, clothing to dress her in, I would have kept her.

Yes, in my case, adoption was a permanent solution to a temporary situation.

Unlike others who say they “chose not to parent”, I did not make such a choice. I surrendered my daughter with an enormous amount of pain and regret that has affected every area of my life since. Morally, pyschologically, ethically, the surrender of my daughter was wrong. Criminal. Crimes of the heart and soul. I am guilty. Just like my poem says.

Oh, sure, we can dress it up in all the pretty adoption words, “the best thing”, the “right thing”, a selfless act. Maybe for you. Maybe you can tell yourself and believe it. But I cannot. Its bullshit to me. I always knew it was wrong. But I had no idea what else to do. No support. No direction. Just a babybroker named Kurtz and his minions salivating over my child and how much they could sell her for.  They are disgusting. I am disgusting. I should have been smarter. I should not have trusted them. I should not have believed their lies. I should have questioned why total strangers treated me more nicely than my own family, the babys father.

But I didnt. I needed a hand to hold. They held that hand. And then they chopped it off. The wound bled for nearly 20 years. Until I found her. Scabs began to form. The scar will forever be there.

My darling friend K says you can only make a choice when you have more than one option. She is right. I did not make a choice. But I still struggle with the guilt. It was wrong. I should have had a choice. I should have been smarter, looked harder, demanded help, I dont know.

Crying now. Must stop writing.

7 Thoughts.

  1. I can relate to every word and that’s why I called my blog “one option means no choice”. I struggled with the same guilt for years. Yes, we should have had a choice but we were given no options. We were railroaded and that wasn’t our fault. I found my daughter too, she was 22 yrs. old.

  2. I know how you feel. I too failed, I too feel like shit about giving my baby girl away to strangers to raise. On July 24 I will be flying to Boston for reunion. I waited a very long 17 and 3 months for this. Never really thought this day would ever come but she actually contacted me. We have been texting and a few phone calls. I know the visit will be hard but it is needed and so over due. Could you email me ? I want and need someone to talk to that understands. Have many questions and feelings rushing through my head.

    • Gina – Hugs to you. Try to be kind to yourself. You likely believed the worst of yourself (and were told it by those who stood to profit or gain from the placement of your child). Will write you.

  3. Great post Suz.From another point of view I have never blamed my mother, ever. I knew she had reasons and once I met her I understood fully.She was a victim of forced adoption.You and many mothers were victims of clever coercers with no ethics and smart selling techniques which caught you at a time of great vulnerability.

  4. As Rebecca said, such brutal truth. I believe the only choice I had was that I chose life for her. It has taken me 35 years to accept that I really had no choice in releasing her. It was decided for me. I am grateful every day that I have Rebecca in my life. I no longer only have just a memory of a darling baby girl in a baby green dress. Sadly, I grieve the loss of my mother, a whole different issue. I blamed our fragile relationship on “causing trouble” at 16. The loss is hers. You are a beautiful soul, I am honored to know you!

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