What Would Happen?

“… people try to make sense of the world they encounter. But how? In effect,they do this by looking for some consistency among their own experiences and memories, and turning to other people for comparison and confirmation. If all checks out, then all well and good. But what if there is some inconsistency? ” Basic Psychology”, Henry Gleitman, Norton 1983 Cognitive Consistency

A commenter challenged my post on my friends experience of being ordered to perform community service cuz like you know, a mother WOULD make that up. Further implied was that well, I made it up, did not have my facts cuz like I do that, right?


I found the comment offensive to the mother in question and to all mothers in general. In accordance with my comment policy, I deleted it. Not only am I protective of this mother in question but it struck me as yet another example of the typical cognitive dissonance rampant in adoption circles.

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. Using my friends outrageous experience as an example, the idea of surrendering your child to adoption (doing something believed to good) conflicts with being sentenced to perform community service.

It makes no sense. Rather than believe that it truly happened and accept the discomfort that rides along with doing so, the reaction by some is to refute it, blame the victim, challenge it. Doing so allows the challenger to stay comfortable in their belief system no matter how flawed it may be.

Consider this.

A facebook friend shared Clauds contribution to the GIMH carnival on her facebook page. A friend of the friend commented on Clauds contribution with very negative, inflammatory and ignorant statements. I commented and attempted to educate the person on the darker side of adoption. Yes, there can be good in adoption but there is also a great deal of evil. Since the person admitted their own ignorance and asked for clarification, I offered up links, resources and books (Fessler, Verrier, Sollinger, etc.) they could read to understand the negatives of adoption and the traumatic effect it can have on mother and child. To give some credibility to my position, I shared bits of my own experience (maternity homes, baby brokers, promissory notes and such).

The persons response?

“Well, clearly you could not have been a good parent becuase you were not strong enough to fight for yourself and your child. Your child is better off.”


Person completely and utterly missed the point. They did not read any of the links I sent, they did not consider educating themselves on coercion, intimidation and more. They instead chose to lash out, blame the victim, to justify their own position.

Why? Because the truth made them uncomfortable?

I was not upset or offended. I actually chuckled. So typical.

Yet it makes me wonder what my commentor or friends facebook commenter fear.

What EXACTLY will happen to them if they admit they have been duped? What will happen if they acknowledge they have been lead down the wrong adoption path, the one labeled lies and untruths, and suddenly walk down the one that more accurately highlights the good and evil inherent in adoption?

10 Thoughts.

  1. I don’t know about the cognitive dissonance stuff but the longest river in the world is the Nile and it sure as heck sounds like some of these people live in DE-NIAL, ugh!!!

  2. “a mother WOULD make that up”

    Holy cow, that is so offensive. Reminds me of what you said in your post “Just Sit There” about how some people will totally invalidate others’ experience of adoption.

  3. I am somehow not surprised. Saddened, but not surprised that someone would have this attitude toward natural mothers. Thank you, Suz, for trying to educate this git.

  4. I have been through years of “yeah, but you did the right thing” and “what a wonderful gift you gave an infertile couple” and the like, in response to sharing that I lost my son to adoption (which I only did in any widespread way after we were reunited). Oh, how people need to be educated! But many will refuse, like your commenter. They cling to their comfy beliefs, I don’t know why except that they are… comfy. Keep rockin’ their boats, Suz. Some will get it, as a result.

  5. If they admit they’ve been duped on this topic then they’ll have to wonder what else they’ve been sold a bill of goods on. its easier to just not look too closely.

  6. Funny (not haha funny) that people have sometimes said the same thing to me: “Well *obviously* your mother wouldn’t have been a good mother if she didn’t try to keep you.”

    Sigh. Head, meet desk.

  7. Mei-Ling – As much I dislike their ignorant remarks, I can understand in a wierd way. WE know what it feels like to admit the horror of adoption. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could be like those in denial, sipping the adoption koolaid. It must be so nice there, in that land of make believe, dont you think?

  8. “Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could be like those in denial, sipping the adoption koolaid.”

    Yeah. I know what you mean.

    But the thing is, once you delve into, there’s no going back.

  9. Cognitive dissonance certainly nails the craziness I see in AP land. In trying to figure out just why APs are so totally unable to see through their rosy adoption glasses to the painful reality of it for so many people, I’ve decided it’s genetic.

    Genetic Adoptive Syndrome is what I’m calling it. GAS for short.


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