Sunday, March 6, 2011

When you find birth/first parents who have married

Lorraine
I heard something that other day that has been gnawing at me because it is the opposite of what I thought would be the case: biological parents who marry after relinquishing a child...are less likely to want a reunion, agree to contact and a reunion than birth mothers and birth fathers who do not.

Whew! that blew me away. My only experience with a couple who gave up a child and later married were three people I lobbied with several years ago in Albany: first /birth mother and father, and daughter who found them. The lobbied together, and I thought: how cool, how wonderful, it must be like this when a child finds her parents have married--she gets a whole family. I remember, however, that the couple said that they never talked about the child they relinquished, not when anything about adoption was on television or in the news. They said they just changed the channel. Ohhh....never talked about the missing child? But they were there that day lobbying so I put it out of my mind.

Fast forward to the present: I was talking to a confidential intermediary and searcher the other day, and she made the offhand comment that she had to call a couple who had married and she was dreading it...because about 90 percent of the married birth parents reject contact.

She said she had talked to other CIs about this, and they all had the same reaction: most of the birth parents who marry reject contact. I am still stunned. I guess it must be that they have had other children and never told them and cannot bring themselves to admit to them that there is a missing child: their firstborn.

But how selfish, how cruel, how utterly awful. Can they not find it in their hearts to let that other person know their origins, meet them, and bring them as much as possible back into the original family? What about the full siblings that person has? Surely the child who was adopted--you all know I am referring to adults here, but we are all the children of our parents all our lives--has a right to know his or her birth siblings. I believe this from every fiber in my being. If the first natural parents will not agree to contact, and you know you have siblings, you have the right to meet them and look another person in the face who looks like you.--lorraine
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The recent fire at the blog has left a huge distaste in my mind about blogging. Everyone gets so nasty, and nasty so quickly. Is dealing with this worth it? I wonder.

Lady Antebellum? Nothing to do with adoption. But I love 'em. Bought this album myself the other day.

35 comments :

  1. As an antidote to this "aberration," here's a link to my favorite story that apparently was recently reprieved in the NY Times.

    http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/12/27/one-coachs-sweetest-victory/?scp=1&sq=Coach's%20Sweetest%20Victory&st=cse

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  2. Linda, great seeing you drop in and thank you for sharing that story. I note with interest that in 1969 the mom still "went away" to a Catholic home for girls and the families still told no one. In fact, in the 1970s and '80s such homes were still operating in my community--one was in my neighbourhood. It's heartening to see this reunion taking place and being described in the NYT where, one hopes, it inspired a few more.

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  3. Lorraine - I disagree. First, there has to come a point when first parents rights come into play. While I think that it is wrong of them to withhold information, I also think that it is unfair to not be two-sided in the matter. Adoptees almost never seem to want first parents to be included in their adoptive family things, and some are quite militant about it. At the same time, first parents are obligated to simply allow the adoptee unfettered access to their families. Yes, I get the blood is blood stuff. But the fact is adoptees claim that they don't want their parents upset about the natural parent being around, some of us are never acknowledged at all, and they still feel it is okay to wreak the same havoc on the parents lives... to be hurtful - so, how is that right?

    I think parents need to and owe it to both the adoptee and themselves to meet the adoptee at least once... be honest about the situation with their families.... and I think that adoptees owe the same to their first parents.

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  4. As a birth mother/first mother of the 70's I looked at it differently. When I found and married the father of my child (29 years later) that was the first thing we wanted to do. Find our daughter. And we did in 5 months. Our daughter, however, had been looking for us for over 12 years.
    Imagine the joy she experienced when both of her parents found her?

    She eventually came to live with us for over a year as well as our 3 granddaughters. The last 3 years have been unbelievable. Not perfect by any means, as her adoption was not a good one, but we take it one day at a time.

    I find myself continually amazed at those birth parents who refuse contact whether married or not. After all, we relinquished our children for what we thought at the time was for their best interests, right? By denying contact today, (right or wrong)you are putting your interests first.

    If you are fortunate enough to be found by your child, do not deepen the wound by rejecting them again, no matter how hard it is. Give them the answers they seek.

    I know adoption is not a 'one size fits all' and as birth parents, we got the raw end of the deal. However, I did find that there is healing in facing the truth and speaking the truth and freedom is the ultimate result.

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  5. As someone who did marry, and is still married to, the father of the child we surrendered to adoption, I can't wrap my mind around this since, for us, it almost seemed the opposite. I was the one who first found our son on MySpace and it was my husband, when I was too terrified to, who made that first step to contact him.

    As for talking about our loss, in the beginning we spent many nights talking and crying but then I think we both slipped into denial for a very long time and so didn't talk about the loss though we did continue to talk about our son in wondering how he was and what he was doing.

    I just can't see married First Parents not wanting contact. For my family, since all four of my children are full blooded siblings, it was like finally making us 100% complete when our son came back into our life. And it actually, I think, brought my husband and I even closer together.

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  6. Answering this, from my personal point of view:

    You EXPECT them to face the past? To talk about it? Contact? They are exposed as "selfish, cruel, awful" enough to ditch a child, to steal the roots of a baby, maybe to avoid shame, maybe to do the "good" thing of an evil society, maybe fighting to minimize damage to their child, but if the A-parents failed to deliver, they would have failed their baby, certainly when their marriage seems to suggest they could have managed , this may well feel worse than high treason causing war or so, and the reveal may indeed rip their family to pieces. Maybe going fishing, or football or the theatre, or even putting the lost one in the will, would be acceptable, desired even, but not contact, not talking.

    Not being able to gather the courage to hear what the results of their gamble were, that is so understandable. It is too scary, does he hate them for it, does she hold him for it, are there grandchildren feeling robbed? Even nice ones would like to quietly reestablish everything, but the lies, the silence may have grown too strong. And if it was the secret and shame of two, it may even be stronger. I mean the child was gone forever!

    There is no contradiction between this behaviour, refusing contact, and relinquishing your child for adoption. Nothing at all. Some people will hold it against you with the same strength, and I can imagine that possibly facing that from your own lost child, may be just too much.
    I have the utmost admiration for mothers,whose lives were disrupted by relinquishment and who managed to overcome it, at least to a degree, but it is not hard to understand that there are people who only could "solve" this by ignoring it.

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  7. If that figure of 90% is anything like in the ballpark, it is because they are afraid they will get even shorter shrift than birth parents who were never married. From what's been going recently on at some places it looks as if they have good reason to be cautious.
    It also seems that although the fathers in these cases don't get an entirely free pass, they are not judged nearly as harshly as the mothers. Same old going on there. Actually I am not sure if you are talking about mothers who relinquish and then go on to marry the father, or already married couples who relinquish, or both. Now that single motherhood has become socially acceptable and abortion more accessible, the unmarried mother is no longer the satisfying target that she once was.
    I think angry spiteful people are always looking for a new scapegoat and looks as if they have found one.

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  8. Linda, thanks. Here's another reunion story that was in the paper today:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/illinois&id=7997654

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  9. Maybe it's guilt. Or maybe it's an issue of woulda, coulda, shoulda. Just a thought.

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  10. Lorraine, it would be nice to believe that every parent who brought a child in to this world felt the way you do. Sadly many folks who produce children are just incapable of self reflection or the ability to value another's needs over their own wants.

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  11. Cassi and Marcie, your stories are what I had expected, and thank you for adding them here.

    I still find it hard to wrap my mind around a couple who relinquish, and then later marry, but do not have the courage to welcome the individual lost to them back. Everybody loses.

    Lori, what happens after is up to the people involved. I don't like it either when adoptees can't/don't tell their adoptive parents about the reunion, but I can better understand that point of view.

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  12. My experience in support groups with mothers who married the natural father has been that often the mother wonders and searches, but the father will not talk about it and would rather sweep it under the rug. It is indeed rare for both parents to get involved in search and support together but usually the father goes along once a reunion happens. Men do tend to deal with things differently.

    I referred several mothers to searchers from that situation. Also quite a few who married the father and later divorced. Sometimes those marriages are very haunted and troubled with complex emotions on both sides, others manage to work it out. Some mothers who refuse contact may be under the thumb of an abusive domineering man, staying with him out of guilt and lack of self-esteem. And a few, sadly, just never wanted the child.

    I had not heard that mothers and fathers still married were less likely to want contact when found, and am surprised to hear that someone has had that result. I think that bears a closer look before declaring it a trend. 90% of how many was this person talking about?

    I've heard opposite reactions from adoptees about parents who married, from happiness about an intact family, to increased sadness on not being a part of that family, to outright anger. I have heard "I was the only one not kept" and no matter what the parents do, reunion does not make up for it.

    Like everything else in adoption, it is complicated and often heartbreaking. I have also heard adoptees angry that their parents were not together and that their sibs were only half. No matter what natural mothers do, sometimes we can't win.

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  13. Lorraine, again, I have to disagree. I have read over and over again how adoptees should be allowed, without any thought to their mothers wishes or life, to simply enter the siblings lives, or other extended family. While, as you know, I have no secrets and my family would have laughed themselves sick over some kind of secret meeting with my daughter - since they ALL knew her, heck some babysat for me, I know women whose children, even those that are still minors, have been contacted creating a massive amount of grief. Mothers are expected, not only by the adoptee but the community as a whole, to simply accept that they have to allow the adoptee a role in their lives - no matter what the situation is.... Adoptees, on the other hand, are expected to keep their mothers apart, keep the first mother out of their family and to basically put everyone else first. That includes the fathers that seem to move through this muck with impugnity. So, with all that in mind, at what point do the "parties" have real choices? I see adoptees having real choices, but not first mothers - we are supposed to suck it up and take what is given. I can't buy that as anything remotely realistic as a relationship.... it sounds more like a priest and supplicant to me.

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  14. Lorraine,

    When my son passed away the statistics stated that 90% of the married couples who lost a child would end in divorce...and my take on it is because each person grieves differently and at different times and the grieving process itself includes denial and anger...so if you apply those statistics which are based on loss of a child to death, it may correlate or provide some insight into why this seems to happen in adoption and reunion - the couple survived the loss but in order to do that dealt with it in such a manner that they cannot face reunion or risk shattering. I don't know but I can see it as a possiblity.

    Lori,

    I found your first paragraph to be a broad generalization. Quite often there are multiple complex reasons specific only to the individual family.

    Apparently I (and my sister and her other family as well) am your anomallies. I also consider both of my families to be my families...not simply the family of either of my mothers or fathers.

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  16. As an adoptee with no knowledge of who my parents are or whether or not they have married, I can say that the thought that they married and had other children has crossed my mind. For me, it might be worse than my search ending at the grave. How could I live knowing I have had, these 40 years, a blood family, celebrating holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations...all of those celebrations of life without me? I should have been there, the oldest sister, the firstborn child.

    Perhaps this is why so many birth parents who marry can't bear to meet that child who should have been there at every meal, whose hurts they could have kissed away, whose first steps would have been the first they witnessed, who would have taught them to laugh, cry and love.

    Selfish? Yes. Self-protective? Absolutely. Should we just "get over it"? Without a doubt. Can we?

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  17. Today is the first I've visited your blog. I was stunned to find the current post hits one of the most painful parts of my journey.

    I don't know where they get the 90% statistic. As with another reply - I'd be interested in understanding the #'s behind that %.

    When relating to other original moms, I try to keep in the forefront of my mind two things.
    Understanding with my heart
    and/or
    Understanding with my head

    Personally, I cannot relate to a mother who does not want reunion with her child. In those cases, I default to trying to undersand with my head, at the least she deserves that amount of respect.

    With my head, yes, I can understand why a mom, who married the father, might not want reunion. The guilt is overwhelming,it's not as easy as mustering up courage. How can I possibly look my child in the eye and answer the "why?" question?

    For me the guilt was not just about failing my child, it was also about me failing at the most important thing in life. But it is a tremendously heavy thing, every year to look into the eyes of my husband and 'accept' that I've robbed him of being a father.

    As far as not talking about it - that makes complete sense to me. Men and women are different. Men and women DO deal differently with things.

    At first I tried to talk with my husband, but quickly came to see that he 'moved on.' I thought we would help each other get through it. But I was left to try to figure it out by myself.
    At one point, this did become something I resented.

    Along the subject of not talking about it, it was not just the difference between how he dealt with the loss vs how I dealt with it. It was also his perspective and opinion about the actual affect the adoption had on me.
    Since no one talked about adoption, or losing a child, he thought there was something wrong with me that I was so torn up over it - he was not.
    There were no good counselors that understood the loss, let alone be able to help us navigate it.

    So, I can completely understand why some moms could not talk about it with the father! Completely understand.

    I am fortuante that I found a support grop on-line. They helped me tremendously as I stumbled out of the fog of denial. Unintentionally they helped my husband and I talk about 'it' - simply by me sharing with him their storeis, he came to realize the repeated theme of grief and loss and torment.
    We are lucky now to be working through this together. It was not always like that.

    I desperately long to see my son again. I desperately hope he will allow us to have some part in his adult life.

    My husband, not so much. It has only been recently that he is starting to show any kind of interest in reunion. I don't think that would be growing if he and I were not able to talk about it as we do now.

    It stings to wonder how it makes our son feel to know that we gave him up, and then got married after all.

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  18. The report of the searchers is certainly surprising and disappointing.

    When I became involved in learning about adoption 13 years ago, I was surprised at the many birth parents I met who married after giving up their child. I would estimate that at least 20 percent of birth parents married. When I was on the CUB board (2003-2007), three of the 12 mothers on the board had married the birth father. A fourth had had a continuing relationship with him and they had had another child. All of these mothers searched and found their child.

    These cases are so sad. With just a little help, these couples could have kept their baby. I am also sad to read at the present time about married couples giving up their child, often a third or fourth child, because they are poor.

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  19. Part I: As parents who lost our first child to adoption, I must tell you it has been painful beyond my means to express. We did not talk about our child, but that does not mean she was not ever present in our hearts. One look or gesture and we knew we were both thinking of her, as we did everyday. I also knew that my psyche was a delicate balance of shards of glass. If anything disturbed it, I would collapse into pits of despair, as did happen now and then. My husband knew this and I knew he was bearing the same burden. It broke our hearts to see our other daughter grow up, each milestone rejoiced over, and at the same time shadowed with thoughts of our first daughter. Where was she? Was she happy? What were her aparents like? How we longed to hold her.

    Yes, our firstborn should have been with us through all our life events, and it added a layer of sorrow to happy times, thinking that we were missing her, then later knowing that she was missing us at the same time. This was one of our greatest blows, everyone had told us she would never think about us, only a curiosity, and that her aparents would be the only parents she cared about, her life would be complete without us.

    I hold compassion for mothers and fathers who initially say they do not want contact. Keep in mind that this may and will likely and hopefully change over time. We all know how supremely complicated these relationships can be, so much to process in an unnatural and unholy situation. "...how selfish, how cruel, how utterly awful."? Please do not be using this judgment. You cannot know what is in their hearts and this judgment will not help to move them to change. Of course we would all hope for a peaceful smooth reunion for the family, but let's start with the positive, and not the negative. Let's educate those parents who lost a child to adoption, so that they will see the light.

    I sure could answer the 'why?' question for my daughter, why I could not keep her with us, why I was forced into allowing her to be adopted. I was 16, my boyfriend 18. His parents wouldn't let us marry, threatened to cut him off financially, which meant dropping out of school. To drop out of school meant he would be drafted and very likely sent to Vietnam. So that was out of the question. At my house, the situation was dangerous. My mother was violent, abusive physically and mentally. I was afraid of her, afraid what would happen to my baby and me if we stayed with her. I had an adopted friend who said everything would be fine if I let her be adopted, his life was great, he loved his aparents and I liked them too (he still says he never would have searched for his parents, did not desire contact with them). It was presented to me as a 0% risk for my baby daughter to be adopted. All the pain would be on our side, but she would be protected from my violent house and I stupidly trusted them. Nobody told me that I could go into foster care with her, all the other players in our drama pushed us to adoption.

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  20. @Cheerio,

    there are of course great differences between men, and between the same man in the same period of time, to paraphrase doctor Bob Banner "You wouldn't like me when I go from suffering, tough and silent, to sensitive, communicative and artistic." Nevertheless men are generally speaking, more action orientated, maybe that a short story can demonstrate what I mean.

    Suppose for sake of arguement that soldier boy and office girl are best of buds and one night drink too much and when soldier boy goes into war, love child has already found a warm spot in office girl, long story,communication error, office girl thinks soldier boy dead and gives love child up for closed adoption, what stupid things can a girl not do overwhelmed by emotions, mourns double, but 17 years later she meets a man in a wheelchair, turns out to be soldier boy, missing a couple of parts, both feet, left hand and so on, but still alive and pretty virile, office girl tells about love child, not too much, about her feelings, and wants to marry, but not before the truth about love child has been found.
    Soldier boy searches and discovers e-mail of somebody called Love Bird, with the Right Date of Birth. Love Bird(Child)even turns out to have a copy of an authentic Birth Thingie, and even the names are correct, Soldier Boy explains not being dead. Fortunately Love Bird just became adult yesterday, and for some reason this caused the A-parents to drop dead, so there is no time for much details. Soldier Boy and office girl are invited for the funeral and talk later... Soldier boy looks smug,and then, remembering that he will have to go to a funeral, fairly soon starts to go to the wardrobe and thinks about what to wear for the funeral, when office girl comes in with coffee. She asks "Status report?"
    "Agent Love Bird formerly Love Child, Located and Contacted, sir"
    "YOU HAVE FOUND HER!!!"
    "I did, but is sad, Sh...MY GOODNESS!!! I HAVE A DAUGHTER!"

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  21. Part II: My boyfriend and I clung to each other, and as soon as we could, left our abusive families and made a life for ourselves in another state, we married after college and have been continuously monogamous. After 12 years of marriage, our other daughter was born. It took us years of healing before we felt ready to be parents again.

    To describe reunion, I would say the first year you are in shock, you have to process all the emotions you had to bury to survive, re-examine all the relationships that failed you when you were pregnant, deal with the relationships that fall apart because they cannot understand your emotions in reunion. Next is a year or so of therapy if you are lucky enough to find a therapist who can work with you; it took me three tries to find one. This is difficult, deep, brave work. The next years are recovery and accommodation and assimilation, reorienting your life. Some days I am strong enough to work through an issue and talk about it, some days I can still barely get out of bed.

    Thank you for your columns and addressing the issues of adoption. But please go gently, we are fragile.

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  22. Thank you anonymous for sharing your story...we are first mothers to who have been through it all. Next time if you return and comment, would you please choose a name or yourself? It makes it so much easier when we do not have so many anonymous commenters, and you can still keep your identity hidden. If your choose. As we (Jane and I) have both been through this, not keeping this secret sends waves of relief to your heart. ♥

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  23. I found Kristi's comment the most relevant. How must it feel for one given up to adoption to learn that their parents married after their relinquishment, when they could have gotten married and kept their child? Not much different than if they were already married. A bigger WHY than learning that your mother was not married, deserted by your father, alone and scared, unable to keep you.

    I don't know about other adoptees, but my son resented that I was "okay" without him, that I had gone on to get a degree, build a career, marry and be happy. Of course he doesn't understand or believe the underlying unhappiness I had at having lost him. I'm sure he would have gone ballistic if he found out I'd married his father after the fact.

    I too doubt the 90% stat, and hope it's not true. But I do get how it could happen...

    Fear is a great motivator.

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  24. My previous comment wasn't clear. I did not marry my son's father after the fact. He left me and we no longer had contact. My point was that if we had married, my son would not have been happy that we didn't do so in time to keep him.

    I don't approve of denying contact — by any mother or father — but I get the fear they might have. In this or actually any situation.

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  25. I think the main thing is GUILT. I agree the thought of having to explain "WHY" and placing your child must be a heavy burden to carry. I also agree it's the same as the parents being married ,and having children already, and placing one of them for adoption. I can't imagine the feeling of worthlessness and guilt that must be on a parents mind ( especially if they were married already).

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  26. There is plenty of guilt to go around, whether married to the father or not. For some unlucky mothers, whatever they have done is "wrong", whether they had more kids or not (either scenario disappoints some adoptees), married the father or married someone else, never married, made a successful career or didn't.

    Guilt and fear of disapproval for whatever one has done in life post-surrender are strong motivators, even more so when in real life some mothers are judged so harshly by their children

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  27. "There is plenty of guilt to go around, whether married to the father or not. For some unlucky mothers, whatever they have done is "wrong", whether they had more kids or not (either scenario disappoints some adoptees), married the father or married someone else, never married, made a successful career or didn't."

    Maryanne:

    I know "I" would find it easier IF my bparents were yound teens who couldn't take care of me ( muchless themselves). Many of today's bmothers are mothers already "parenting" other children.

    If I found out my bmom kept them but not me I would be upset! My mindset would be: "if you can keep them, why not me?" And maybe, thats the reason for some bmothers refusing contact or want a closed adoption.

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  28. First, thanks for this post. It made me feel better. Next, I'm an adoptee who's parents got married. They've been married for 20 years now and have two other daughters who do not know about me.

    When I first got in contact with my family, I contacted my mother. I wasn't able to find my father online and I wasn't sure if they were still together or not. At first, she was really happy and excited to email back and forth with me, but as time wore on she started to feel like everyone was going to find out about the pregnancy she hide 23 years ago. Unfortunately we are no longer in contact because she cannot deal with the guilt anymore and needs to protect herself. I'm not happy about it, but I'm hoping that she gets help someday for herself. Her last few emails were heartbreaking because she was hurting so much.

    I got in touch with my father because my mother and I had a miscommunication. Serious miscommunciation because email is a horrible way to communicate important things. I thought she gave me permission to get in touch with him when she didn't want him to know.

    When I got in touch with him, I learned much more of the story. They never spoke about me. Ever. It was never brought up and they did their best to move on with their lives.

    Now I'm in a great reunion with my father and not in contact with my mother anymore. It's a weird situation to be in because they are married and have a life together but I'm not a part of it. Someday I hope to have the opportunity to get to know my sisters, especially as we share similar personalities and I've been told that we'd be best friends.

    I also wanted to comment on Lori's post. I know at least for myself, I would love to be a part of my first family. However, right now I'm not. If I cannot be a part of their family, then they are not going to be a part of my adoptive family. If things change in the future, then I would be more than willing to allow my first family access to my adoptive family. That's just me though.

    So thank you for this post. I know the comments are a bit intense, but it's posts like these that I look forward to every day. I'm glad I'm not alone and that others are gong through the same thing.

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  29. anon wrote:I know "I" would find it easier IF my bparents were yound teens who couldn't take care of me ( muchless themselves). Many of today's bmothers are mothers already "parenting" other children."

    Those of us who search, whether mothers or adoptees, do not get to choose what kind of people we find, or what the circumstances of their lives are and have been. All we can do is try to understand our relatives and our own story.

    An older mother already raising a child or children who has a crisis pregnancy can be in just as bad a place as a very young unwed mother. I know some mothers from that situation, and surrender was not something they really wanted to do, or did lightly. It was not a matter of liking this child better than that child. There can be many extenuating circumstances of spousal or boyfriend abuse, parents already helping with one kid refusing to help with another, severe poverty, substance abuse etc.

    I know this is a very hard concept for adoptees to grasp, but the reasons for surrender in any case have nothing to do with you as a person, even though you were the person surrendered. Nobody looks at a baby and says, well, I don't want this one, but I'll keep that one. I know it can feel that way, but that kind of thinking only makes a sad situation worse.

    With few exceptions, mothers give up their babies in desperation, sincerely believing they are giving the child a better chance at life. Many times that is not true, and many times they are coerced to feel that way. The fact that a surrendering mother is not extremely young, already has other kids she is raising, or even if she is married is not in and of itself reason to assume she did not and does not care about her child.

    Everyone has their own mother, their own story to deal with, and it is best to know that whole story, and try to understand and empathize, before making judgments.

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  30. While Maryanne's response to Anon was factualy correct, it was an intellectual interpretation. I sense that Anon's comment was about the underlying emotional response to being given away by parents who were able to parent. Adoptees realize that their first parents did not look at them and think "I don't want to parent THIS particular child but if he or she had been a different child I would want him or her (although some parents do this in the case of disability)."

    I also have a hard time with why women/couples who are already parenting as many children as they can, do not have a tubal ligation or vasectomy. I can certainly understand why an adoptee with siblings who were kept would be quite hurt and think that he or she could have been kept,too and wasn't.

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  31. I have found that intellectual interpretations of many situations, once one can stand back from the initial feeling and do that, can save a lot of grief and misunderstanding. Unlike many I do not consider personal feelings as the ultimate source of Truth with a capital "T".

    Indeed, there are some surrendering parents of all ages who simply do not want the child, but they are the minority. I feel terrible for those adoptees where this is the case, and wish it could be otherwise, and understand how an adoptee could feel unwanted and unloved because other siblings were raised and kept.

    All I am saying is that individuals who want a relationship with birth family need to look beyond this initial hurt and determine what really happened around their surrender, which may be different from what they are assuming from the bare facts. Or it may be as bad as it looks, but one should not just assume that and act on an initial feeling of hurt rather than looking deeper and more compassionately into the situation.

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    Maria Blanchard
    BlogFront.org
    Blog Revolucion

    ReplyDelete
  33. The fact that a surrendering mother is not extremely young, already has other kids she is raising, or even if she is married is not in and of itself reason to assume she did not and does not care about her child.

    Maryanne:

    The fact remains the bmother kept the older children and not the one she placed. To 'me". as an adoptee, what justification could the bmother give? It's obvious that she didn't want the "burden" of raising another child. I have read too many blogs where the bmom kept her first or second born and placed the last one because she "didn't want to do the hard work again". And although I feel it was "best" for the child to be placed, I don't think the bmother has the "right" to be in the child's life until he/she wants them to be. I can't imagine having an open adoption and my bmom comes to visit with my older sibling she kept..that's crazy and hurtful ( like rubbing salt in the wound).

    Again, many of todya's bmothers are raising children already and DON'T want to do the hard work. again.

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  34. I am an adoptee from the 60's. My birth parents married after my birth and they are still married. We found each other when I was in my 40's. I now have two families; my adoptive family and my birth family, of which I am the eldest with 2 birth siblings. I have met my birth siblings, who didn't know about me. I was welcomed with open arms! I'm doubly blessed and cherish each day!

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  35. That's wonderful, Fran. So good to hear.

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