Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Adoptees Who Say They Only Want Information Hurt Everyone
First Mother is feeling rather feisty this morning thinking about how many times she has heard adoptees say: I only want the information. I have a right to that, but, no, I don't intend to search for my birth mother.
And First Mother got to thinking, then of course if a legislator hears that...he can say, with a clean conscience, so, We'll give them "the information, the updated medical information, the cultural, social and medical history and since they say, they don't need more than that, why do they need the name? We have to protect all those birth mothers in the closet who have not talked about the child they gave up for years...and certainly don't want to be reminded...because they have never talked about it. So let's go with the "information."
Closed adoptions are built on such fictions of identity that the web they weave afterward is a skein of lies: adoptive parents having trouble with the truth of the child's adoption; adoptees growing up and saying--out of hurt, out of anger, out of a primal wound they can't even reach verbally, out of fear of causing discomfort for their adoptive parents--I only want the information. What does "only the information" do to birth mothers? It reduces them to mere "reproductive agents," as an acquaintance of mine once called me. (See link for an engaging story about what some think of birth mothers.) I am a whole lot more than "information," but to be able to have my daughter be adopted legally in New York State, I was forced to go along with a closed-adoption law so heinous, so unjust in its intent that it violates all tenets of human decency.
First Mother has some sympathy for adoptees who say they only want information; she believes it is said defensively, in order to stem any possible rejection from one's birth mother, or to please their adoptive parents who fear any contact with the woman who shares their adult child's DNA, or to take some control over a life-changing situation over which they had no control. But this attitude is what has confused legislators. Especially those legislators, we believe, who have some connection to birth mothers in hiding, or adoptive parents who feel any intrusion by the pesky woman who merely gave birth to the child they have taken to the dentist, stayed up all night with, had emergency room runs at 3 a.m., talked to teachers about his boisterous behavior that they do not understand.
First Mother believes that all adopted people unequivocally should have their original/real/non faked birth certificates. And adoptees should stop asking merely for "information," and go to the heart of the matter: the birth certificate, with the real name, the real date, real time and place of birth. And take it from there. Search/find/reunite and try to be kind and forgiving. Not everyone will be happy with what they find, but at least they will have the truth. You can't have peace until you have all the pieces.
Here at home, First Mother is updating her kitchen, replacing 60-year-old dark brown, wood-grained Formica and a counter that is disintegrating, so she is busy collecting information about green countertops made from recycled glass, as well as Corian, granite, quartz, with the clear plan that she is going to do something with that information. First Mother is not simply going to file the information she is collecting. It will be put to use. First Mother will eventually have a new counter top.
First Mother also woke up with the thought this morning that birth mothers should also get the information: the last known whereabouts and name of the children they gave up under arcane, cruel and unusual laws we had no choice over. We could say we only want the "information."
But who would believe us?--lorraine
From Author and Adoptee B. J.Lifton via FaceBook:
Lorraine, remember that adoptees are in process. They don't really know what they want at first, and gradually as they move on in the search, they realize they want more than they thought they did. Eventually, they want the whole enchilada -- which means of course, meeting the mother and having a relationship with her.