Defending Offensiveness

"The First Amendment was designed to protect offensive speech, because nobody ever tries to ban the other kind” – Mike Goodwin

A few adoptive parents found the recent posts and comments here upsetting. They chose to point out in comments or in emails to me that not all adoptive parents are mean, psycho, selfish, insertyourownwordhere, adoptive parents.

I agree and any number of adoptive parents friends of mine can echo my sentiment and confirm that I don’t personally believe adoptive parents are some sort of anti-christ. As stated to my friend Mo, adoptive parents are human. As such they can be good parents and they can be equally awful parents. They kill children, abuse them, molest them, treat them as property, neglect them, just like natural parents do.

What many seem to miss is that the fable read to expectant mothers is that adoptive parents are BETTER than the real thing. Uber-cool and skippidity do dah, they are the bomb. They are infallible. They are seated at the right hand of someones god. They will be better parents than we could EVVAH be and our children will much prefer to be with strangers than with their own kin.

There is no guarantee that adoption gives a child a better life. They are given a different life. Different does not equal better.

Imagine the mother who believed, erroneously, that her child would be loved for ever. Her child would have ponies and pools and a college education. Mothers survive on that dream. We coddle it and stroke it and it helps us get through the agonizing nights when we cannot bear to live anymore. Many of us tell ourselves over and over "they are better off, they are happy, they are better off".

Can you imagine the horrible shock to find yourself n reunion and find out it was a big lie? Imagine the guilt you endure when you see that you had a better life than your child? Imagine the pain of seeing your child has been thrown out? Molested? Emotionally abused or even murdered by their adoptive parents?

Imagine dealing with that reality and then being told by your child you are responsible for it all?

To the adoptive parents who get defensive, I beg of you to try and see the other point of view. Get out of your own perfect adoption world and see that adoption is not all wine and roses.  Lies are told. Young girls are coerced and manipulated so their child can be sold to the highest bidder – you. While one family is made, another is destroyed. While your dreams come true, someone else’s are shattered. 

Negative statements about adoptive parents are not about YOU personally anymore than the statement "alll first mothers are slut crackwhore scumbags who never deserved their children" is about me. Get out of the stereotypes. Take off the rose colored glasses. See what has been happening for years to mothers and their children. See how you too were used as a pawn in a broken system. See how your lust for a child you could not conceive on your own contributed to the adoption mess we have today. See how damaged some of our children are by this.

Don’t get defensive. Get outside yourself and realize, as an adoptee recently told me, it is not all about you. One happy adoptee family in Somewhere, USA does not negate the legions of unhappy ones throughout the world.

Dare I disagree with Dr. Spock and suggest the needs of the many do NOT outweigh the needs of the few?

Do not shut people down. For when you do, you give them license to to shut you down. If you want to be heard and recognized, be open to hearing and recognizing others, no matter how painful it may be.

When attempting to highlight flaws in adoption for the purpose of reform and activism, it is not common to write about all that is GOOD in the system.

We are not going to change all that is wrong in adoption by sitting around spouting all that is wonderful about it.

36 Thoughts.

  1. This American Life just joined OpenAdoptionSupport.com because they wanted to find “a birth mother” who was choosing parents for her child for an upcoming show called “You Can’t Choose Your Family.” I emailed back and forth a bit talking to them about why this wasn’t such a great idea and potentially coercive (and why it wasn’t as excitingly new as they thought — 20/20 who’s your baby, anyone?). I told ’em they should do a story about a woman who chose a family and then found out that the qualities she wanted to give her child weren’t present in the family. I said that this side of the equation would be a more “real” voice of first parents than the pre-adoption side (a la Juno). I hope they do this because the legend of The Holy Choice that stands still and perfect and eternal needs to go down so that the messy truths can be revealed. (Like all the women who chose adoption so their kids could have two parents who later found out those two perfect parents were a mess and divorced.)

  2. It is probably asking too much to expect most adoptive parents not to get defensive at some of your words (although it is admirable that there are people who don’t personalize it). Calling adoptive parents “adopters” and making references to adoptive parents purchasing their children is just not going to go over well anymore than calling birth mothers the various unsavory things that they are sometimes called goes over well. The most troublesome part is that it then makes it hard for some adoptees to be able to welcome their birth parents into their lives, if they know the birth parents hold such animosity towards their adoptive parents. For instance, if I were adopted and my birth mother wanted to meet me, but she was posting on a blog about how bad adoptive parents are and I had a good relationship with my adoptive parents, it would give me pause about what I was inviting into my life. If, on the other hand, my birth mother was showing interest in not only me, but in my whole family and being kind in the things she said about them and not accusing them of purchasing me, then yes, reunion would be far more appealing.

  3. Adoption and righteous/right go together.
    Those who have adopted don’t want the same treatment that mothers have been given.
    Mothers are vilified and then “they” have the right to adopt.
    When the shoe is on the other foot they don’t like it.
    Neither do moms so it works both ways.
    trying to silence moms will not work not in computer age.

  4. When I reunited I met my son’s adopted family all on the same day on their turf by myself.
    I remember them putting my son and I next to each other saying we didn’t look like each other. Like they looked like him?
    After meeting quite a few times and being treated rudely.
    My son and I decided we didn’t have to involve them. He was an adult I was an adult. And we didn’t need permission or their blessings, or them around.
    My son and I needed our time. He told me many things that were said and it hurt but you know what it was to try and make him feel loyal, to them.
    Luckily, my son knows the truth. I NEVER selected them, never had a choice in the matter of even keeping my baby.
    We are reunited for over 15 years and they are a separate entity to our family.

  5. So many things to say so little time cuz I’m on a course.
    Not that I haven’t gone off blog to comment myself but it would have been nice if these adoptive parents had joined into the dialogue.
    we ere told they were perfect and as Suz said that is ridiculous – who is perfect. Nobody. But we were told we had nothing and they had everything in any category of successful living you choose to bring up.
    during the first contact discussion I think the elephant in the room was this: I may need to protect my child from this “woman” who shows up because she just might be the slutty, drug-addicted/alcoholic, screwed up person birth mothers are.
    As the wise moderator said the stereotypes have been applied to us for years. Of course we know that every adoptive parent is not bad, but they aren’t all perfect and I’m afraid in some circles that is still the press they get.
    No time to edit so hope I have been semi-coherent.

  6. “Well-behaved women seldom make history”
    Isn’t that a book? I understand how offensive statements like “buying a child” can sound, but personally I believe they have to be said. Suz is making a very important point and sometimes it takes really laying on the line and not worrying about who you are going to offend to bring about change. How many people did Betty Friedan tick off with “The Feminine Mystique”? However, it was time for change, and for the change to be made it had to get brutal.
    I get ya Suz!
    Hugs, Kristy

  7. Susan – Are you an adoptive parent? You sound like and it sounds like you are struggling with reunion. Feel free to write me privately. I can connect you with some adoptive parents who could help. Support is critical when you are uncovering painful truths.

  8. Susan –
    Your comment really rankles me up. It smacks of the usual don’t talk about the elephant in the room for fear of upsetting everyone else in the room.
    You do realize that every action or non-action, things said or left unsaid runs the very same risk of threat of our children not seeking us out?
    If I rebuild my life after relinquishing, then obviously I didn’t care for my child enough to keep him during the tough times and not worth the risk of being met. If I stay stuck in the same topsy turvy environment as when I relinquished, the I also am not worth the risk of being met.
    If I have more children, then I didn’t respect the gift of my son and disregarded him by relinquishing, thus not worth the risk of being met. If I had no more children, then I am too wired up from the loss of my son and not worth the risk of being met.
    If I speak about how relinquishment really affected me and my family so that my son may know my truth to why I relinquished, then I am not worth the risk of being met. If I don’t speak about how relinquishment really affected me and leave it as sunshine and daisies, than I am still not worth the risk of being met.
    There is nothing that we can or cannot do about the elephant in the room that represents adoption in our lives. Either our children want to meet us or they don’t. The point is, I won’t be silenced by fear of ultimate rejection of not being worth the risk.

  9. I hear that the adoptive parents are hurt by the comments that have been made around here. I also hear that birthmothers and adoptees have also been hurt by life circumstances. But should we all be quiet to preserve the feelings of the adoptive parents? Is it healthy to hold it all in?
    In my opinion, nobody has the right to tell someone they shouldn’t talk about how they feel. I think what is important to recognize is that the ability to blog and comment gives outlet to emotions that may have no other place to go. We each have a right to express ourselves, and others should give us the space to say what we feel. Just because something derogatory is said does not mean it should be generalized to everybody in that situation. We are having a discussion here. Nothing more.
    Keeping it bottled up is not the way to go. Trust me, I’ve tried…

  10. This post really hit what I have been struggling with. While my son was not molested or physically abused, knowing that his life was not what I had believed it to be has been agonizing. My relinquishing him was unnecessary- I found out the first night of contact that his a aparents had divorced, and I wish that was the worst of it. He never graduated high school, even though he went to $40,000 a year boarding schools since the age of nine (and in his later years even over the summer) and has a dependency on drugs (not illegal but drugs just the same; of course having been prescribed a myriad of drugs since the age of six it’s no wonder he doesn’t think he can function without them). And I was saving him from what when I relinquished him?
    The amother was not a better mother than me; and as unreasonable as this sounds, she was supposed to be! That’s what was sold to me! And I was weak enough to believe it. That’s what gets me the most- the most agonizing decision I ever made in my whole life was so unnecessary. I was the mother he needed.
    If I could count how many times I told myself,”I did the right thing” when I was trying to survive being without him……

  11. That’s funny (in an ironic kind of way) that I would be perceived to be an adoptive parent. I’m an adoptee, who is struggling with reunion issues, and I’m finding myself really defensive of my parents (adoptive) in the situation.

  12. Susan – I can also refer you to some adoptees that might be able to give you some support. My assumption on your adoptive parent status was based on your statement in a previous comment where you said:
    For instance, if I were adopted and my birth mother wanted to meet me, but she was posting on a blog about how bad adoptive parents are and I had a good relationship with my adoptive parents, it would give me pause about what I was inviting into my life.
    That lead me to believe you were an adoptive parent since you said IF you were adopted, not that you were in fact, adopted.

  13. Okay, so I have to say that I really am guilty of thinking “I am not like that, not me, not all of us, etc” when I read here. At times I am overwhelmed with the feeling of being put down and have to re-read posts to be able to read them for what they are and not an attack on me. I know that they are not an attack on me. None the less there are times where that is my first thought. So, I get why people say things. However, for me I read here to know the other perspective. I don’t always agree but I like to know.
    I am a good mom. I am the mom my son needs. Am I better than his birthmom would have been if she had kept him? No. But I work hard at being the mom he needs me to be, and so far I am successful. That is my goal in life. If reunion ever becomes a reality for us I can only hope to be able to support him in whatever way he needs/wants my support. For now, I am just raising a happy, healthy, well adjusted three year old.

  14. OK, this is getting a little off the mark here. How could any normal woman not realize another’s pain, even though never being able to fathom the horrors of them?
    All who have surrendered their child to adoption have suffered a horrifying life time of not knowing where they are, or even if alive. So, please understand that I am on your side and totally agree that the ways of adoption MUST be changed.
    All I’m trying to point out is: BASH THE AGENCIES, they are the one’s who were and still are responsible for all the lies and deceptions done to you as young girls – adoptive parents are not the villains.
    Plus, I must add that we never felt we were buying child; we were told the enormous fee charged (just so you know we never had that kind of money and had to borrow it) was to pay for: OB care, hospitalization/nursery care, employees salaries, paperwork and more importantly, the majority was going towards helping the natural mother get back on her feet with counseling, housing, food, clothing and finding a job. Needless to say, we were shocked receiving ONLY a single receipt for the hospitalization and nursery care of our child. Only to find out during our child’s reunion, (which we decided from day one would happen) that her mother was NEVER offered a cent, nor received any help whatsoever.
    So, please try to realize our feelings here too, you were NOT the only ones who were taken advantage of and lied to. We do realize you sacrificed and lost way more than we ever could, as a human life is far superior to any amount of paper.
    Maureen

  15. Nope, personally I cannot only hold the agencies responsible. There is a self contributing factor and the adoptive parents to hold accountable too. I also hold the general public accountable too for just plain ignorance contributing the dysfunction of adoption.

  16. We’re all coming from different perspectives: first mothers, adoptees, adoptive parents. And from different experiences in reunion (when that has happened). We’re all very sensitive –how can we not be on something so important and angst-ridden? — but this is not personal. We’re just talking… at least I think we are. No one’s saying that all (whatever your role) are bad.
    For the record, I find “adopter” label offensive, on par with calling a first mom a “birther.” And even though adoptive parents pay a lot of money to get a child, I don’t think “purchased” is appropriate. Unless they knowingly bought their child via some black market/underground source. Which does happen. I believe that all parties to adoption are victims — shamed and manipulated young mothers, couples anxious to have a family, and the adoptees who have absolutely no choice or say in the matter. I blame the industry. It used to be about finding families for children in need and now it is all upside down, has become about finding children for couples who can’t have a child. I thought that changed after my era (BSE), when it was totally unacceptable and embarrassing for the family for an unwed mother to keep her child. It hasn’t, and I’m thinking it’s even gotten worse. Industry “professionals” have become more coercive and creative to keep the flow of adoptable babies coming. (Side comment: it is illegal, at least it was in California in 1970, for a relinquishing mother to receive any sort of payment or gifts. A-parents, never believe that any part of your fee is going to the mother… again, unless we’re talking black market)
    Re: Can you imagine the horrible shock to find yourself n reunion and find out it was a big lie? Imagine the guilt you endure when you see that you had a better life than your child? Imagine the pain of seeing your child has been thrown out? Molested? Emotionally abused or even murdered by their adoptive parents?
    Imagine dealing with that reality and then being told by your child you are responsible for it all?

    This is my situation. I had to believe that giving my son up was for the best (they said for me, as well as him, but my concern was for him). When we reunited, I learned that he was abandoned by his a-parents, turned back into the system, lived in institutions and group homes, only got an eighth grade education, got into crime and drugs at age 13. I’m sure he was an unruly child, since he is still unruly at age 38. Could I have done better? I hope so. At least I wouldn’t have turned him out as a minor child.
    To be clear, I’m not saying most a-parents would. I can’t know the truth about what happened, because his parents are dead. But I don’t have a warm, fuzzy feeling about them. I feel let-down and angry by the social conventions and industry that took him from me and put him in that supposedly better place.
    Oh, and by the way, he blames me for his screwed up life.

  17. I am often witnessing those who adopt running around trying to convience others why adoption is so great or they just didn’t know what was happening ” and well they just aren’t like those other ones! And by the way, this is while they are writing those dear .irthmother letters and the checks.Yes, I left out ‘that letter on purpose.
    The truth is adoption could not continue with ‘the truth about the harm that adoption does to good women and their children for profit.And stopping adoption is not exceptable to those who want to adopt. They may call for reform as long as it doesn’t cut down on avalible infants up for sell. One way they lie to themselves is to bring God into the picture .I suspect this is an attempt to not look like “those well, you know,those other ‘few’ not so nice adoptive parents .Giving God the credit for the separation of infants from Mothers and the defense of that practice, I believe is mental illness.
    If indeed they wanted a baby so much to pay the fees ,how can I believe they believed all these other Young Moms didn’t want their child? Writing a check to help these moms get back on their feet is I believe, a cover up from what they really knew what was being done to them.If indeed they believed the Moms were being coerced and without support why didn’t they offer to help her keep her baby instead of admitting they were party to the crime of adoption? I think we know that answer. They wanted her baby. Adoption is big business and bottom line is there must be customers for a business to succeed.
    I recently read a blog where this woman wanting to adopt wrote that she knew very well what kind of scum bag the lawyer was however, because he he has such a good record ka with not having adoptions ‘fail’she was willing to pay him to get the baby she wanted. Nice huh? She stated he said the perfect irthmom is 20,with a child already ,without family support and just couldnt afford another child.HMMMMMM, I wonder if the monies being taken from services for natural families and the tax credits to adopt have any connection?
    I was in e-mail contact with the author of a well known book, that some people refer to as “the bible “of adoption wounds where I questioned her about her calling for .irthermoms to say they are sorry to their lost children at reunion in her new book.. I asked her if indeed she felt this is appropriate ,why then wasn’t she telling adoptive parents the same thing ? Yes, she adopted. She said they have nothing to be sorry for.I brought up being “needy for wanting to parent someone else’s child” for which she dismissed.Interesting, how so often Moms are asked to do things that the customers are not held accountable for. Again the victims are being abused by those who profit from infant adoption.
    Ugly you may say? Hell yes and that is the nature of the adoption industry.I have done my share of feeling guilty. And my God would never have anything to do with something so evil as creating wounds for Mothers and their children for profit. Have a truth-filled day! Linda,BSE Mom

  18. Can you imagine the horrible shock to find yourself n reunion and find out it was a big lie? …. OH YES. Lies and more lies. I was doing what society told me — giving my son a two parent home, money, education. Fortunately he did get the money and education. He did not get the two parent home. I found out during our first conversation that his adoptive father told my son that he knew his marriage wasn’t going to work after 6 months. My son was supposed to be the “fix” to any number of problems. It was very difficult to deal with the idea that I sent my son into such dysfunction. I can only hope it makes him strong.

  19. OK…as a bmom and parent to two other children I need to comment on the postings that are taking place. Bash me if you will, I am a big girl and can handle it. I don’t understand the bashing of the aparents on this. I know that life isn’t what we are always told it is going to be, I don’t live in a fairytale and never have. I placed my daughter for adoption, NOT because I was forced to do so (like others feel they were), I did it because I felt and still feel that it was the best thing for my daughter and for myself in the process. Do I regret it…no. Does that mean that I am a terrible person, I don’t believe so. I love my daughter with all of my heart and soul. Yes I missed her life growing up, but am thankful that I have had the oppurtunity to see part of that life replayed for me and am able to see her complete the rest of her life. The adoptive parents are not at fault…the agencies are! Did anyone of us receive lies from the adoptive parents before we signed the papers terminating our rights as their parents? I didn’t! I was one of the few that it appears were not told a million lies by the agency either (there were a few), but the adoptive parents were told lies. How does this make them accountable as magicpointeshoes states? BTW…I am the bmom to the wonderful, gorgeous daughter that MO has adopted, raised and loved with all of her heart and soul! In a converstation that I was having with Mo last night she stated that she was the adoptive mother not the adoptee…I quickly corrected her…Mo and her husband may have adopted “our” daughter, but my family has adopted both of them too!

  20. Deb – I wonder how you would feel if you did NOT have such a wonderful adoptive mother for your daughter? What if she did not have a good life? Important to realize that everyones perspective is based on their experience. Becuase you had a good one and are comfortable with it, does not mean someone else should be comfortable with theirs.
    Furthermore, as I stated, to stop the heinous practices we need to show they have occurred. Someone who promotes adoption will likely choose to focus on all the goodness. I do not promote adoption. I promote family preservation and everything possible being done to keep the mother and child together and if that is not possible, then kinship care or guardianship should take place.
    Again, MY point of view. My mission. My passion. That doesnt mean it has to be someone elses.
    Those that are against adoption and have had bad experiences are just as justified to cite them as those that had good ones. Those that are feeing defensive and attacked need to look a little harder at the realities of adoption today.
    See my most recent post.

  21. I completely understand that my point of view is based on MY experience! But to have someone say…
    “Nope, personally I cannot only hold the agencies responsible. There is a self contributing factor and the adoptive parents to hold accountable too.”
    …isn’t that blaming all agencies and adoptive parents for the faults of one?

  22. “Nope, personally I cannot only hold the agencies responsible. There is a self contributing factor and the adoptive parents to hold accountable too.”
    What is the self-contributing factor…congnitive dissonance? Willful ignorance? Are they so overwhelmed by their infertility and the drive to get a baby that they will do anything to satisfy that drive?
    I read on another blog a posting by a PAP where she described her attendance at the required group sessions and was “haunted” by the mother’s grief and pain after losing a child to adoption. But, she was still going to adopt. Huh? How did she come to that decision after hearing first-hand about the life-long suffering of the mother?
    So I have to agree, the agencies are accountable – perhaps more so, because they are supposed to be mental health / social work “professionals.” But as far as I can tell the PAPs/APs also need to own up to their contributing role.

  23. Before I go back and read the comments completely, I thought I would clarify that self-contributing factors would be my own actions and inactions that led to relinquishing my son.

  24. “…isn’t that blaming all agencies and adoptive parents for the faults of one?”
    Nope, my comments are saying exactly the opposite. The person I was replying said that we should only razz the agencies, and my reply was stating that not only the agency is responsible, but my own self-contributing factors in as well as the adoptive parents.
    How is telling Suz that using baby buying over the top but telling a birthmother she is sole one to blame for the loss of her child any less over the top?
    I’m not saying that either of those phrases are false, because essentially in Suz’s case, her baby was sold. And if you get down to it, birthmothers can be seen as the faulty one.
    I say let us talk about the elephant in the room. It can’t be helped that some want to ignore it, pretend it isn’t there, or only look at the bright side of having the elephant in the room. Just like others talk about how much it sucks to have an elephant in the room, want to know who let it in and more importantly who is going to properly care for it’s nasty droppings.

  25. “Did anyone of us receive lies from the adoptive parents before we signed the papers terminating our rights as their parents?”
    Yes. I did. And I can forgive that because it was based on the one and only pre-birth matching meeting and I was as equally stupid. But yes, I was indeed lied to by my son’s adoptive parents before relinquishment.

  26. Also, besides my own personal history of understanding how adoptive parents an potential adoptive parents should be discussed, there are also other examples. Rob Reed and his wife with their youtube solicitation, the couple that solicited the waitress a few months ago, that adoptive parent who wrote fast track adoption who wrote fast track adoption, aps that won’t even send a picture regularly to the birthparent through an intermediary, plus if we are to blame birthmothers for not knowing better (which is a common thing to do) than honestly, the same goes for those adopting.
    Shitty actions do not make for a shitty person. I know that from my own actions.

  27. Magicpointeshoes said: “and my reply was stating that not only the agency is responsible, but my own self-contributing factors in as well as the adoptive parents.”
    A coerced decision is not a decision at all. That is the black and white of it. Did you want to keep your baby? Did pre-birth contact with adopters affect your decision? Were you lied to by someone who used that lie in order to convince you to surrender? If so, then there are NO “self-contributing factors.”
    Then there is the topic of informed consent. Just as with the legal obligation of a doctor to explain an operation, did anyone explain the risks to you (PTSD, depression, unresolved grief and loss)? Did anyone give you time to recover from birth before making any decision? If the answer to either of these is “No” then there was no informed consent and again a “choice” was nullified.
    The question you should ask yourself is: “After the birth when i held my child in my arms, did I want to keep my baby?”
    A mother who does not want to keep her baby, who wants adoption and willingly goes through with it, logically will NOT suffer grief and loss as she has no emotional connection to her child. It is the trauma/grief of surrendering a baby we wanted to keep that is evidence enough that we have been forced to do it against our will.

  28. I don’t see it as a completely black and white event though. I see it as a horrible muddied up mess with everyone that was involved with the situation having contributing factors. To say that I wasn’t to blame when I see actions that I took as ways that I coerced myself, doesn’t set well with me at all.
    Everything else though, I agree completely with.

  29. “To say that I wasn’t to blame when I see actions that I took as ways that I coerced myself, doesn’t set well with me at all.”
    Is it possbile to coerce yourself? I’m more inclined to see “self-coercion” as internalization of external messages – the propaganda, shame, and dehumanization of the mother.

  30. I realize that others look at my actions and define them in much different ways. In my eyes, there are actions and inactions that I define as ways that I coerced myself, and in other instances I define as the only action or inaction I could take because of being coerced by others. Where as others see the same set of actions and inactions and can label them as chosen behaviors that only I am responsible for, and yet others would interpret as actions that I am not responsible for because of the circumstances forced upon me by others.
    It’s fine by me that others see the same events in other ways. My main concern is using what I know to be my own truth and using it to change what went wrong so it doesn’t happen to others.

  31. magicpointeshoes, i am very much interested in reading your story of the loss of your child. do you have it posted online somewhere?

  32. I do have it online but it was written before I found out the lie and really realized the coercion involved. So it’s a bit of unicorn farts. I was thinking about revising it for Origins USA call for stories, but my life is kind of crazy with new baby and preparing to move.
    Here are the links:
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/100904.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/101374.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/101400.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/101722.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/102000.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/102166.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/103850.html
    http://magicpointeshoe.livejournal.com/104836.html
    I haven’t read the posts in a very long time, so I don’t remember if any of the following is made clear in it:
    1. My parents basically said place him for adoption or move out with no help at all from us, plus emotional support cut off too. Very ugly things were said.
    2. I was given the Dear Birthmother letter by my second doctor’s appointment, but only if I was very serious about relinquishing my baby to them because they had their hearts broken twice before by birthmothers who changed their minds. They even dialed the phone for me.
    3. We met with them for about an hour or so, and after a three or four hour afternoon of pre-placement, pre-relinquishment counseling we were matched with them.
    4. I saw my baby for 30 seconds on my belly before he was handed off to his parents. I thought I would see him plenty of times before relinquishment, but he was locked down in the nursery for health reasons and I didn’t get to see him before the papers were signed. Papers were signed less than 24 hours after his birth because the doctor released me early.
    5. We went out of our way the following Monday to sign the waiver of our revocation rights so that his parents wouldn’t have to worry those 30 days or whatever it was.
    6. Most importantly, the promise that they agreed to with the semi-open adoption arrangement was that we would never be a mystery to him. They have followed through with everything else, except that. He knows nothing about his biological family, and their reasoning is because he never asked. But, they also used conversation squashers by stating matter of factly that if he was interested in meeting his birthparents, he could when he was 21. Who would ask more questions after being told that, especially before the age of nine?
    Anyway, there are even more issues I take with how everything happened and why, but those are the key things looking back at today that I am disturbed by.

  33. I don’t blame adoptive parents for adopting who adopted 10,20,30 40 years ago. But you truly have to have your head in the sand to believe all is hearts and flowers with adoption these days. Either that or you don’t have a computer or you do but choose not to educate yourself.
    I take exception with the view that it is all due to profits to be made, things can go equally wrong in a not for profit system. The money makes it more reprehensible but the problems and the actions are the same. Things like coercing and shaming mothers still happen in 2008 in the not for profit system too. But just like prejudice, the actions are less blatant and more subtle and insidious.
    I do blame adoptive parents for disrespecting mothers (and fathers) in reunion. If they truly loved the child I do not think this would happen. Everyone I know approached the adoptive parents with respect and great concern for their feelings. The consideration in many cases was not returned.
    This one certainly got the lines buzzing.

  34. Who was it here that said adoption was wonderful?
    It certainly wasn’t me, in fact at another well known (and often despised) location I think I wrote many times about how unwonderful adoption really is.
    The thing is I did not truly grasp what I needed to fully understand until I was well into parenting my children. That stark realization came after I finally knew their first parents as individuals. Perhaps that is why I balk at the generalities? Not seeing first parents as individuals is damaging, and seeing all adoptive parents in the same light is damaging as well.
    I was also lied to, sold a false bill of goods. Now I cope, and I help my kids cope, and I make many muddled attempts to help their first parents cope.
    I have not owned a rose-colored pair of glasses for many years, in fact maybe not ever.
    I am also a first family member, someone who lost several in my family to adoption, yet I was still groomed well enough to believe the things society told me when I wanted to become a parent and went on to adopt myself.
    I say blame the system and those who profit in dollars, whether they call themselves ‘non-profit’ or not. They create the blinders for us all to wear, till they get what they want from the transaction. They convince us all of what we should think, feel and believe about adoption, and then they disappear when we find ourselves feeling the truth of the matter full force. They leave people on all sides damaged.
    One thing we still refuse to see is that the longer they can keep us bickering amongst ourselves, the longer they can keep doing what they are doing.
    Is that what any of us really want?

  35. There is a very powerful movie called “The Official Story” which is about an adoptive mother slowly figuring out the truth about how she came to have her adopted child. It is set in South America post junta in the country – Spanish with subtitles.
    I don’t want to spoil the plot so I won’t say anymore but it is very good.
    And just to make it clear at the start I am not comparing anybody to what happens in the movie. It is just a very well done film that looks at the issue of knowledge in – well watch it if you think you would be interested.

  36. BTW, Dr Spock’s son committed suicide.So much for taking That guy’s parenting advice.
    I agree with your post.Not everything is black and white.

Comments are closed.