When I was in high school nine years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby whom I placed in an open adoption with a great family. I am now in my 20s.
I find that if I mention the adoption, the conversation sometimes becomes awkward. I don't like to mention it with acquaintances because it's something very personal and I am somewhat sensitive about it.
When people ask me if I have children, what would be the appropriate response? -- BIRTH MOTHER IN MINNESOTA
DEAR BIRTH MOTHER: You are under no obligation to give chapter and verse about your personal history to anyone who is only an acquaintance. If you are asked if you have children, just say no because you are not raising any.
One last thing about people knowing. Years ago, before I found my daughter, I had a roommate in Manhattan who was dating a rather prominent child psychologist and author. I do not remember what led to this comment but he once said to her: You don't want to end up like Lorraine.
Whoa! was my reaction when I heard that, and yes indeed, that was pity. No one wants to be a pathetic creature that others pity. So my advice is like Dear Abby's: sometimes choose your answer to give you the least grief.
But let me immediately add, sometimes we all need to speak up, and take the slings and arrows of poor fortune because unless we do, the laws are not going to change and adopted people are not going to be given their birth records in every state of the union. Speak up when you think speaking up just might do some good. Say: I gave my daughter up for adoption and I would like--fervently hope-- to meet her one day.
Or, I surrendered my daughter, or son, when she was an infant and we have been reunited. And I'm in favor of open records for all adoptees, and yes, if you want to know, for birth mothers too. I was not given a choice when I relinquished.
Or: I relinquished my son when he was an infant but he found me last year and it was the most rewarding day of my life, want to see his picture?
The ups and downs of the post reunion? Ah, that is another question indeed. --lorraine