Saturday, January 5, 2013

So few babies to adopt, so many who want them....

Lorraine
Channel surfing the other night reveals latest ploy to keep your lover: get a newborn.

On Scandal (TV show set in Washington DC among politicos) last week I come upon a gay Older Man who believes his younger lover and partner is cheating on him. Older Man checks the record of his lover's calls on his cellphone, and has him followed. When he learns Younger Man is not cheating, Older Man decides to do something that he knows Younger Man wants: acquire a baby. Younger Man comes home for dinner to a beautifully set table, candles in silver candelabra, etc., catered gourmet dinner. What's the occasion, asks Younger Man, now befuddled. What are they celebrating?

A WHITE NEWBORN IS THE GIFT
Older Man then pulls out a picture of a baby and says they can bring her home in a week, and isn't that what you wanted? YES AND YES AND YES. Much enthusiasm over the prize: a newborn! A white newborn! A girl! Younger Man will quit his job and stay home with the baby...(yeah, right)...and when he asks Older Man how he was able to get the head of the line, Older Man says because he is a "Republican overlord," a moniker I kinda like.

Later in program, cut to scene of Younger Man in baby store, meeting clandestinely with another guy. He hands him a flash drive. What is this? Younger Man is playing the Older Man in order to get information on what the Republican Overlord is doing illegally. Uh oh.  

Stay tuned. I will now definitely have to catch more Scandal to find out what happens. Thank god a real baby isn't involved.

Babies as barter to keep a lover....

Just before New Year's Eve I had my hair high lighted; my colorist has been doing my hair, off and on, for a couple of decades. She knew my daughter; she cut my daughter's hair; I remember when my stylist became engaged, when she got divorced, and now her oldest is a freshman in college. So we go back. She has a small cottage in the back of her house which she rents out, usually only during the summer, but she tells me she has it rented for these two weeks to a gay couple who came out to "get a baby" from Southampton Hospital. She is not quite saying, isn't that great! but she is implying how...er, interesting and cool this is. I do not react. My mind reaches to the mother somewhere, wondering if she has already had the baby, if she might change her mind. I say nothing. I am too stunned, and besides, what would I say? Start a tirade about how terrible adoption is, for the mother, for the adopted? There's more....

PITY THE POOR WHO ARE NOT REPUBLICAN OVERLORDS
Last Sunday's New York Times Modern Love column by Jennifer Hauseman was about two lesbians and the heartache and difficulty they have getting a baby who was born to someone else. First, oh, the heartbreak when a mother decides to keep her baby: "The next day we spent the morning in tears, telling only our immediate family that the grandchild they were so excited for was not coming. We told other friends via e-mail and asked them to tell anyone we had missed, as each time we said it out loud it felt like pushing on a deep, spreading bruise."

There is not a scintilla of understanding that maybe it was best for the baby to stay with her mother and the mother's extended family, as I have actually heard come from the mouths of some celebrities who adopt. (At least, I have read it). Nothing. But this, instead: "In the car, I gasped out loud, breaking the heavy silence. I remembered that our automatic e-mail replies for work were on, telling colleagues we had started maternity leave." Then there is the noxious problem that the agency is lax in returning the "small amount of the thousands we paid that we were entitled to as a refund." Because they are not a legally recognized couple, the writer's partner was the only one who had the burden of chasing down the refund due them. Poor woman, the writer is saying--so unfair! A baby gets to grow up with his natural family! Poor us, my partner had to do this alone while the writer had to stand idly by!

We hear more of their sad travail: As unmarried lesbians, there is no country from which an openly gay couple can legally adopt. Most states are against them too. While the couple is wallowing in pain over not getting someone else's baby, they have no clue of the pain the mother would have suffered, how long it will last. This baby is unique to the mother and cannot be replaced, but to adoptive parents, no matter how they write about how "god meant them to be together," they do move on, to the next baby. Babies are fungible to prospective adoptive parents; the baby not adopted can be replaced by the baby adopted. They are not concerned that the baby will not look like them, or have similar traits because neither baby would. The likelihood of similarities between the adopted individual and their adopted parents is statistically no greater than chance. Yes, nurture will create a bond, and common familiarities, but sharing the likelihood of having, say, flat feet, or an appreciation of playing with makeup and dressing up, is no greater than sharing those characteristics with a stranger on the street.

Our disappointed lesbian couple, the writer says, at least could comfort themselves with the thought that they had the resources to try again for someone else's baby. This time, they sensibly opt for an adoption that will be completely open: not only will they be out as a gay couple, but the adoption will be open. But again, the poor-me attitude: the average wait for a straight couple is 13 months. For gays: 16! While the writer Hauseman is going for outrage over the discrimination gays and lesbians face in the adoption process, she betrays a complete lack of sensitivity about what adoption means to the mother who has just given birth. There is no understanding or acknowledgement of the lifelong sorrow and distress, the cost to her self-esteem, the devastating blow to her ego as she now faces life without her baby. Furthermore, there is no recognition that being adopted is emotionally wrenching for an individual's lifetime; all she would have to do would be to read some blogs, or even just look at the comments at FMF left by adoptees in a recent blog musing why adoptees are not en masse demanding their rights. And I know this story has a "happy" ending for the writer, it's in the headline: "Three Mothers, One Bond."

Eventually they are chosen by "the kind of 20-year-old that worked the cash register at a trendy hair salon." Cool, right? They romance her with sushi, she likes them, they love her. "She said she had picked us, in part, because she had read that lesbians have the longest wait for adoptions of all, and she wanted to right that wrong. How could we not love her?" [Emphasis added.] They love her because she is giving them what they so desperately want--her product! Her baby. She is their glorious handmaid, the vessel who will deliver. A baby.

WASHINGTON LAW TITLED TO FAVOR ADOPTERS
The couple tell her of their previous failed adoption (from our point of view, a success story) and by doing so amp up the pressure to get her baby. "She knew our story, and our deep sadness. 'I won’t do that to you,' she would say. 'I won’t change my mind.'" She does not disappoint. In Washington State, birth parents have 48 hours after birth to change their minds, but because "our daughter" was born on a Thursday morning and courts are closed on weekends, they had to wait four whole days for the mother's rights to be terminated. Washington has one of the most "adoption-friendly" consent laws in the country. Mothers sign surrenders before the birth, and have only 48 hours after birth or the next business day after 48 hours to revoke the surrender.

Of course they are fearful that a mother's love and all those hormones to shelter and protect one's own  baby would not take hold over the weekend, and if that happens they will have to "burn" their lives down. Sleep is uneasy, they are distressed that they cannot get the word Monday morning, because judges don't like it when lawyers rush into terminate parental rights. At 10:15 p.m. Monday night, they do get word; the baby is theirs for keeps, a mere four days after she was born. Four days is an unreasonable amount of time for the birth mother to have after birth, when her body is flooded with hormones and milk, before she signs an irrevocable termination of her parental rights. Some states allow up to 30 days for her to withdraw her consent to termination. That at least is humane policy.

The writer texts the birth mother that they would like to see her soon; she texts back that they will. That first visit has to be the hardest of them all. One wonders how soon she will actually be able to visit.

I know the open adoption here is supposed to make this story better, but coming on the heels of these other examples of baby hunger for other people's babies, it was just too much. After all that we know about the unhappy effects of adoption on first mothers, and the adopted, and what the whole process does to the will and soul of the adopted--I am terminally sad. I am beyond being angry. It really is an era where young fertile handmaids are supplying babies to those who can afford them.--lorraine
____________________________
 FROM FMF  
OBC-ACCESS Petition fails while protest on Russian adoption ban flourishes 

The Handmaid's Tale  In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. A book by the brilliant and honored writer, Margaret Atwood. It was made into a 1990 film.  

Son "They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel (mother) at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product (a child) at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil."--Amazon. Oddly enough, I came across this at a local place where people leave books they no longer want and picked it up not knowing anything about it. It is a Handmaid's Tale for the young adult reader, but beautifully written and with an absorbing story on its own. I'd never heard of the series, but the cover and title intrigued me. I'm reading it now. It needs to be in the hands of more young women before they are seduced into giving up their babies. Those who do don't realize what adoption does to the mother, to the individual handed over to others. They just don't know, they don't want to know. Says The New York Times Book Review:

"A quiet, sorrowful, deeply moving exploration of the powers of empathy and the obligations of love."

105 comments :

  1. Some States have longer revocation periods than 30 days but in many cases the revocation can be opposed by the adoptive couple resulting in a "best interests" trial. Though 48 hours is rather short, in this case it seems unlikely that the birthmother was going to change her mind, she appears to have not even had a permanent home (which wouldn't help in a "best interests" situation).

    In a world where some people have money and no children and others have children and no money, a certain amount of adoption seems inevitable.

    You should at least be happy to hear that the Utah couple who were ordered to return a child to her legal father, were denied a motion to stay the order pending appeal.

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  2. Washington is one of only a handful of states that allow PRE-BIRTH consents. If the mother takes no action for 48 hours after birth, the PAPS may file the adoption petition and her consent becomes irrevocable. There's no allowance for the fact that the mother may be incapacitated or have had a caesarian and still be drugged.

    In most states mothers must take affirmative action AFTER birth to consent to the adoption and have a period after that to revoke consent. As Anon wrote though, in some states a court can deny a mother the right to revoke consent if the court finds it is the "best interests of the child" often pitting a low income single woman against affluent adopters.

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  3. A certain amount of adoption is inevitable but the US has an obscenely high rate of adoption, much higher than less affluent countries.

    England and Wales with a population of about 55 million have about 125 domestic infant adoptions each year. The US with a population of 315 million, about six times that of the England and Wales, has about 15,000 domestic infant adoptions each year,about 120 times the number of adoptions in England and Wales.

    The difference -- England and Wales have greater supports for mothers and haven't turned adoption into a money-making business.

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  4. Anonymous: thrilled to hear that the Utah couple were denied a stay. Has the transfer of The Archane baby happened yet?

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  5. It is so frustrating that our message does not seem to be getting across. Adoption is quite chic these days. What with Hollywood actresses waiting until their mid-forties to start a family and then deciding that they can 'just adopt'. And with gay rights gaining more acceptance, there comes a demand for more adoptable babies. After all, isn't everyone, gay, straight, single or coupled entitled to a baby?

    To the average American adoption is a beautiful, wonderful thing. They have no idea that most natural mothers do not WANT to give their child up and is only do so because she feels her back is against the wall. Nor do most people understand that the so-called "counseling" the expectant mother receives is biased toward relinquishment and does not paint a fair or accurate picture of how surrender is likely to affect her or her child in the long run. As for the adopted person, there is vehement disagreement as to whether or not adoption causes special problems. Or at least causes issues that can't be resolved with enough love from the adoptive parents. And now with so-called open adoption, supposedly most of the problems with the old, closed system have been solved. Ha!

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  6. Liberal, progressive Washington State has laws in effect to favor the wealthy adopters and one of the shortest revocation periods in the country? Very interesting. All the liberals claim to be for the "underdog" and the oppressed; unless it happens to be a young, vulnerable pregnant woman, then they are in favor or transferring the child of a less wealthy woman to entitled, better off adopters. Ahhhh, the irony.

    I was considering moving to Washington State. I may just reconsider.

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  7. Adopters are largely delusional. I had the pleasure of listening to adopter-dad talk about how his daughter was meant for them, it was a spiritual thing, yada, yada. BTW, adopted-daughter is beautiful, smart, same coloring as adopter-mom, so of course it was meant to be!

    On the other hand, adopted-son is mildly retarded and adopter-dad made no mention of him at all in his "ain't adoption grand" speech. Why wasn't that a spiritual match as well?

    Poor kid doesn't fit in but at least his limited IQ prevents him from being aware of how adopter-dad really sees him. (I take my silver linings where I find them).

    Prediction: if lesbian-purchased baby becomes perfect child the adoption was destiny....if baby becomes troubled child in any way at all (which includes not drinking the adoption kool-aid) it's due to birth mother alcohol use, bad genes, whatever.

    Adopters are so predictable.

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  8. "This baby is unique to the mother and cannot be replaced, but to adoptive parents, no matter how they write about how "god meant them to be together," they do move on, to the next baby."

    This is the difference between my relationship with my adoptive mother and my natural mother. To my n-mother I was not replaceable. She wanted me and only me. She did not want my sister or my cousin or my best friend. Whereas, my a-mother would have been happy with another child, if one had come along before me. And not only was I not replaceable for my n-mother, my natural parents were not replaceable for me either.

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  9. Maybe, what you say is so true...I have heard those "meant to be" speeches, but perhaps never like what you describe. But a friend of mine, Betty Friedan, once said that the adoptive parents think everything is fine, their brilliant child is the result of their perfect parenting...but when something is wrong with the child, they don't turn out the way "their" children would have, then it's--Not my blood. It was refreshing to hear someone not directly connected to adoption say it. I think my notoriety may spare me some of those conversations.

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  10. Beautifully put, Robin. My daughter was a handful emotionally, and your comment reminded me of the two times her amom said: If Jane and X get divorced, I'll take X.

    I thought, well, I don't have a choice like that, you know, because she is MY daughter. I take her. I choose her. It was weird to hear my daughter's adoptive mother say that, as you might imagine, but it really did demonstrate the difference between natural mother and adoptive mother. And yet the world freaks out when mothers such as us are spoken of as more than "birth" mothers. Screw that. When there is a problem is when we become "real."

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  11. Back in the day when queers were queer and not LGBTabc, the idea of living in a hetero-normative family was scoffed at--especially by men. Hardly anyone was interested in being part of breeder culture.

    With societal gay acceptance (which is good) came the idea of baybee entitlement. No sane straight person, imo, gets married and starts a family. Suddenly hordes of gay people want to run to the altar while hets run the other way from the failed institution of state marriage and famuly bondage. Nature abhors a vaccum, so...

    I've always maintained that to break the back of the adoption industry, the back of patriarchy must be broken. From the look of things, though, while that is essential, it won't stop the desire to breed or faux breed. The only long term solution then is to create a culture in which parenthood is seen as unattractive and a pain in the ass. I don't know how to do that.

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  12. I don't believe gays have any maternal or paternal instincts because they don't even want to MAKE a baby with a person they could with, someone of the opposite sex. I did read a while back that gay social workers have urged gay couples to adopt and I think they are only doing so to seem like they are equal to non-gay couples. The gay community is not helping us however and they have pushed us back even farther imo. I need to mention to that I do know gay men who told me that they never want kids and would never adopt! My point is however that adoptees and first mothers are just getting used in a new way in this modern age, which is of course very sad.

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  13. "I don't believe gays have any maternal or paternal instincts because they don't even want to MAKE a baby with a person they could with, someone of the opposite sex. "

    That's a stupid statement and I'm not even going to deign you with an argument against what you said.

    My best friend is gay and he wants to start a family. I foresee a lot of arguments in our future and told him that I couldn't really support him doing a private adoption.

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  14. I am for gay marriage, gay friends and acquaintances of which I have many, including favorite relatives, but they will increase the demand for babies, as popular culture is already showing us. Any increase in the number of people. couples, who wish to adopt will increase the push to provide more adoptable babies--that is, clean, nice, untroubled infants.

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  15. "But a friend of mine, Betty Friedan, once said that the adoptive parents think everything is fine, their brilliant child is the result of their perfect parenting...but when something is wrong with the child, they don't turn out the way "their" children would have, then it's--Not my blood. It was refreshing to hear someone not directly connected to adoption say it."

    "Betty Friedan Made me Give Up My Baby."
    http://unsignedmasterpiece.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/betty-friedan-made-me-give-up-my-baby/

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  16. Marley Griener

    Any culture that does not worship parenthood is dooms to extinction. Exhibit A. The Quakers.

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  17. Meant the Shakers.

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  18. The Shakers did make very nice chairs.

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  19. Lorraine, you wrote, "...her amom said: If Jane and X get divorced, I'll take X...I thought, well, I don't have a choice like that, you know, because she is MY daughter. I take her. I choose her...it really did demonstrate the difference between natural mother and adoptive mother."
    Lorraine, your daughter's adoptive mother's attitude was bizarre and it not typical of most adoptive mothers' views. I am a mother by adoption and I would never think, "If my son and his wife divorce, I'd choose his wife over my son." Further, any mothers by adoption who do think this way would have been equally lousy mothers to biological children. The idea that all or evn most women who adopt children never truly think of them as theirs is false and repugnant and you undermine your valid points about birthmothers by asserting such rubbish about adoptive mothers.

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  20. anon--
    I'd love to see the human race disappear.

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  21. @Ginger- "The idea that all or evn most women who adopt children never truly think of them as theirs is false and repugnant and you undermine your valid points about birthmothers by asserting such rubbish about adoptive mothers."

    They aren't THEIRS. Why are they THEIR'S, because they bought and paid for them? They are the child of another woman. My child came from my body. He is my child, not his adopters. I don't care what she bought for him.

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  22. Ginger: I recognize that my daughter's adoptive mother made a statement that most adoptive mothers would not make, but some would...My daughter had many social and psychological problems that created a lot of turmoil. The point is, no matter what, most natural mothers do not even entertain that thought, because it is beyond their understanding, that they could "choose" the divorced partner of "their" child.

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  23. "...most natural mothers do not even entertain that thought, because it is beyond their understanding, that they could "choose" the divorced partner of "their" child."

    Lorraine, my point was that most mothers by adoption also could not contemplate choosing their child's partner over their child. I understand birthmothers' anger at many adoptive parents, but the implication that mothers by adoption wouldn't be just as repelled by your daughter's adoptive mother's attitude as you are is offensive.

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  24. Lo you really hit the nail on the head and Robin summed it up so eloquently. No other person on this earth holds a candle to my daughter. Adoptive families love having a family. They love the person just like how I love my friends. But our flesh and blood are just that, they are a part of us. I agree with the amom who says your example of what the amom said about choosing the son-in-law was rubbish. I can hear many mothers saying that (if not truly believing it) about their kids. But what the amom doesn't know is what it's like to have a child of your flesh. Mothers that have both biological and adoptive children (that can be honest) will tell you it's different. Sorry Ginger, you can never truly understand what we have lost. We didn't lose your daughter, we lost our own.

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  25. It was an awful horrible thing for Lorraine's daughter's amom to say, but in my opinion it reveals much more about her than it does about adoptive parents in general.

    "...most natural mothers do not even entertain that thought," Most adoptive mothers wouldn't either, so I disagree that this demonstrates the difference between natural and adoptive moms.
    I could reel off more than a few examples of natural mothers who have expressed the same kind of sentiments, that, given the choice, they'd choose another person over their child.

    While I agree with Barbara that the adoptive parent/child relationship is fundamentally different from that of the natural child/mother relationship, it doesn't ipso facto mean the love of an adoptive parents is weaker or the commitment less.
    Nor is Barbara's comparison that "It is just like how she loves her friends" correct. The act of raising a child creates a different kind of bond from that of friendship.

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  26. "This baby is unique to the mother and cannot be replaced, but to adoptive parents, no matter how they write about how "god meant them to be together," they do move on, to the next baby."

    Wow! I just have to say, I've been reading this blog for a few years now, but I think the following has hit me more than anything else I've read here. So very true.

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  27. My daughter's adoptive parents had two adopted children; two biological children who came later. I can't for a moment believe I would have heard those words from her about one of her two sons. And I agree, it does not represent most adoptive parents, nor did I mean it that way. I'm just saying...that is what she said to me. Don't you think it's kinda unreal she said it to me, and twice, on two different occasions? And don't you think she knew exactly what she was saying and that she meant it? I do.

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  28. Barbara Thavis wrote:

    "Adoptive families love having a family. They love the person just like how I love my friends."

    WRONG. I don't love my son the way I love my friends.

    "Mothers that have both biological and adoptive children (that can be honest) will tell you it's different."

    So anyone who confirms your belief is "honest", but the women I know who have both adopted and biological children and say they love them exactly the same way are dishonest? How convenient.

    "Ginger, you can never truly understand what we have lost."

    I know birthmothers lose their children; I never said they don't. What I object to is your absurd assertion that mothers by adoption don't love the children they adopt raise as much as they would love them if they had given birth to them. Women I know who have borne and adopted children and who ARE "honest" would think you're nuts.

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  29. Lorraine, your daughter's adoptive mother sounds like a horrible person, both for saying what she said and for saying it to you. I am sorry you have had to deal with her, and I appreciate your acknowledgment that most adoptive parents don't feel that way.

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  30. I know this is a question that can't be answered, but if a father or a mother had to chose one child to be "sacrificed" as in the Biblical sense, would they chose the one of their blood, or the one who was not but they had raised as "one of their own?"

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  31. @Ginger Hayes- "I know birthmothers lose their children; I never said they don't. What I object to is your absurd assertion that mothers by adoption don't love the children they adopt raise as much as they would love them if they had given birth to them. Women I know who have borne and adopted children and who ARE "honest" would think you're nuts."

    In one breath you say you "know BIRTHmothers lose their children" (yet you seem to have no compassion whatsoever to that loss~ end of story) and in another breath you say "adoptive mothers love the children they adopt as if they had given birth to them".

    They did not give birth to them and know they did not.

    That is not your experience to claim; just as so many adoptive parents try to do. That is yet another way to minimize the natural mother and take away yet another bond between her and her child.

    My son recently made reference to when he was born and his adoptive father, like the man had something to do with him being born. It sickened me. He or his wife had nothing to do with that. They were the ones who swooped in like vultures to claim my child when I was under duress, medicated with morphine due to a C-section and vulnerable.

    "As if born to them" my a**.

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  32. Ginger wrote:
    WRONG. I don't love my son the way I love my friends.
    -----
    Yep, you are right and I am wrong. The love is totally different than the love for a friend and I was incorrect stating that.

    Ginger wrote:
    So anyone who confirms your belief is "honest", but the women I know who have both adopted and biological children and say they love them exactly the same way are dishonest? How convenient.
    ----

    Sure they love all of their children. But the bond of carrying a child makes it different.

    Ginger wrote:
    I know birthmothers lose their children; I never said they don't. What I object to is your absurd assertion that mothers by adoption don't love the children they adopt raise as much as they would love them if they had given birth to them. Women I know who have borne and adopted children and who ARE "honest" would think you're nuts.
    ------
    First off, I'm not a birthmother, Ginger. I am my daughter's mother. And I am not nuts. I may shoot my mouth off too quickly. I should have never equated an adoptive parents love to their child, as my love for my friends. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But when I was referring to adoptive and biological children in the same family I said it's different, not that they love bio kids more. The bonding that goes on in utero coupled with genetic similarities, makes the relationship different with kids you birth than when raising other women's children.

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  33. Kat said...

    "This baby is unique to the mother and cannot be replaced, but to adoptive parents, no matter how they write about how "god meant them to be together," they do move on, to the next baby."

    Wow! I just have to say, I've been reading this blog for a few years now, but I think the following has hit me more than anything else I've read here. So very true.
    -------
    I like you was bowled over by Lorraine's words.

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  34. Lorraine said "I agree, it does not represent most adoptive parents, nor did I mean it that way."
    Then I must have misunderstood you when you said that it really did demonstrate the difference between natural mother and adoptive mother. It sounded general, but perhaps you meant the difference between yourself and your daughter's a-mom. That would make sense.

    "I can't for a moment believe I would have heard those words from her about one of her two sons."
    Maybe *she* wouldn't have said those words about her sons, but other natural mothers do say things that are equally cruel and disavowing. I know someone whose mother used to say to her about other girls "I wish she was my daughter instead of you." And someone whose mother repeatedly told him that she couldn't stand him and wished she'd aborted him (Apparently she had tried early on, but the father/husband discovered the pregnancy and so she didn't get a chance to try again). These are just two examples among many.

    "And don't you think she knew exactly what she was saying and that she meant it? "
    I don't mean to imply that she didn't. I think she did. Just like when natural mothers repeatedly say horrible things to and about their children we have to assume they mean it too. Maybe they are mentally ill, but that doesn't make it any better for the child in their care, or in the case of adoption, for the adopted child and the natural mother who feels for her child's suffering. What these kinds of cruel remarks reveal is that the people who willfully make them have cruel and vindictive natures. I am truly sorry that you were not able to raise your daughter yourself and that she had such a spiteful a-mom.

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  35. Many contradictions throughout this thread of comments and while I can only speak for myself as both a NATURAL (birth ) Mother and an ADOPTIVE mother, I offer the following.

    The love is the SAME. Yes, it is. Carrying a child for 9 months in utero simply doesn't negate the love of another, not physically carried, nor does it guarantee a connection, instantaneous love or perfect motherhood.

    I think its interesting that commenters would say that Ginger can never know what it feels like to be a biological Mother but presume to judge & qualify her love as an adoptive mother when they themselves are not adoptive parents and thereby simply NOT KNOW. Cuts both ways!

    Love can be equal, even if the journey to get there is vastly different.

    I also see many of you proclaiming that adoptive mothers raise another person's child. At the risk of sounding insensitive, most of us are just busy with the day to day of actually Mothering and caring for both the physical and emotional needs (not to mention a whole slew of other joys!) to catolog our children into narrow genres. I certainly don't look at my two born to me and my 2 through adoption and think, 'ah yes, today I make breakfast for my 2 flesh and blood children and yes, for those two also, born to X & Y. (I prefer not to share the names of my children's first families for their privacy ~ NOT to diminish them in any way by assigning letters instead of names). AND yes, before the flames, OF COURSE we talk about those families, share letters, visits, VALUE them and understand these children we are blessed with are as much a part of them as us. BUT I certainly don't spend my days labeling my kids as mine and their's and I truly don't feel that way in my heart.

    Finally I see some folks making the leap that adoptive families would just as surely move on to the next baby or referral, happy with one or another as long as its a BABY; while biological parents take what they get, the child born to them. And somehow that fate of biology is more mystical.

    EXCEPT that many adoptive families don't move on when a referral is lost; they don't forget the child they had already fallen in love with and they NEVER consider a child a replacement of another ANY more than biological parents who lose a child to death or miscarriage consider their next child a replacement. Children are not handbags, interchangeable with seasons or fashions and frankly I think anyone making that claim speaks more to their own heart and morals than another's.

    I think it is easier to dismiss the commitment, the day to day parenting, the emotional bond & love and frankly the real hard work that adoptive or otherwise parents do, by presenting them as frauds. Again I must insist it goes both ways....if you have not parented through adoption, simply using anecdotal comments by one adoptive parent hardly is representative of all families or of unique experience of parenting.

    The notion that only adoptive parents shuffle blame to others when something goes awry with their child is ridiculous. How many times have heard someone blame bad behavior in a child on their spouse's side, a school teacher, etc. or comment said child is just like his mother/father! I think there is simply a tendency here to look with jaded eyes upon many innocent comments taken out of context as a tool for portraying adoption and AP's in a bad way.

    The very same thing so many First Mothers claim AP's do to them.



    Sue


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  36. Lorraine wrote: "My daughter was a handful emotionally, and your comment reminded me of the two times her amom said: If Jane and X get divorced, I'll take X."

    It is repugnant for any mother to say that she would choose a divorcing spouse over her own son or daughter whether that child is adopted or not. I don't think this was the best example of the difference between being a natural parent and an adoptive parent. I think it was more reflective of Jane's adoptive mother's personality than anything else.

    But I don't think this issue is about love either. I believe that APs can love their a-child as much as a bio-one but the connection is different. I really am special and unique to my n-mother in a way that I just couldn't be to my adoptive parents. My mother created me, she carried me for 9 months, I was a part of her, I share her ancestry.

    I agree with Barbara T, "The bonding that goes on in utero coupled with genetic similarities, makes the relationship different with kids you birth than when raising other women's children."

    Also, because of the greater likelihood of similarities stemming from the biological connection, some APs with both bio and adopted kids do love the bio-kids more or at least feel a stronger bond with them.

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  37. @Anonymous 3:09

    "EXCEPT that many adoptive families don't move on when a referral is lost; they don't forget the child they had already fallen in love with and they NEVER consider a child a replacement of another ANY more than biological parents who lose a child to death or miscarriage consider their next child a replacement. Children are not handbags, interchangeable with seasons or fashions and frankly I think anyone making that claim speaks more to their own heart and morals than another's."

    This truly sounds creepy. This is ANOTHER woman's infant. You fall in love with another woman's infant like it is your own and act like you "lost" a child when an *ahem* "referral" doesn't pan out for you and she keeps HER child?

    If you want to know what it is like to "lose" a child, carry, give birth to and "lose" them to adoption. Please feel free to come back here then and cry about how you "lost" something that is actually real and tangible that came from your very body and soul, instead of your fantasy.

    You are right. Children aren't handbags. Natural mother's aren't relinquishing their handbags, furniture or other possessions for a so called "better life." These are their children and so many of you act as if the natural families can be tossed aside like, let's say, a "handbag" once you get your hands on their infant and act as if the child was meant to be yours. Creepy and disturbing indeed.

    And ah yes, we know, all the HARD work you love to gloat that you get to do. Make no mistake. Most of us would give anything to have gone back and been able to do all the "hard work". Had my son's adopter ever called or contacted me to do something for my child I would have been there in a second (bogus open adoption fraud mother here). She wanted none of that. All the glory was and is for her and her only!

    Get over yourself. If not for the mother of the child you covet, they would not be calling you mom, now would they? I know it is extremely hard not not be be seen as saintly savior at all time, but please try, for once. We could have done all that "hard work" too. Probably better than you.

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  38. The bonding in utero is unique to every mother-infant couplet; it is something that they only share. But it is no guarantee of ongoing love later on.

    My first mother's pregnancy was troubled with shame and guilt. I was not the product of a love affair, or so I am told. She did not get prenatal care, talk to me, or acknowledge me as a person, such were her coping devices. I do not feel enveloped by love now, either, although she does her best.

    Some broken things cannot be mended. Such is our tragedy. As she has told me twice that she wishes she had aborted me. I used to agree with her, but now I am glad for my life. I have had some wonderful experiences.

    My amother would not choose my husband over me, but oddly enough, I married a man who is very, very much like her. Now I have to please both of them. LOL They are actually both kind very people who love me, faults and all.

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  39. Sue wrote:"The love is the SAME"

    We know that. But it is not about love. Being adopted is a totally different experience than being raised by one's biological parents. First of all, in order to be adopted, one has to be given up by their natural parents. There is a psychological component to this that is felt to a lesser or greater degree by different adoptees. Dealing with the issue of abandonment or rejection by one's own parents is not part of a child's experience if s/he is raised by her natural parents.

    Adopted children lose their entire family on both sides, they lose being raised with people who share their biology, they lose their genealogy and ancestry. And most lose their family medical history as well.

    Any prospective adoptive parent who thinks that love is all that matters and that love will conquer all is not fit to adopt. It does a terrible disservice to the child to paper over his enormous loss with the platitude that the love is the same. Actually, thinking that love is the only issue shows a self-centeredness that only considers the adoptive parents' perspective and not the child's. When it is the child who is actually living being adopted.

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  40. In another forum there was an adoptive mother who ADMITTED that she would jump in ront of a bus for her bio child but not her adoptive child. I objected and was told that everyone has a right to their feelings...hmmmm.

    I do beleive that aparents can love their achildren as mom and dad to that child but because there is a disconnect(the actual act of carrying and birthing) it is not jsut the same. Every adopted person knows deep in there heart that they came to their adoptive families because of dysfunction where ever that dysfunctions stemmed from its stills dysfunction to not keep your child, every adoptive person KNOWS that they are with their current families because of the luck of the draw..we just know it...The feelings of each family as are differnt as any family. some adopted children truly beleive that their adoptive families ARE their families(as do i), some had horrible experiances but we all KNOW and live with the insecurity that we are missing HUGE pieces of who we are because of adoption. I also beleive that EVERYONE deep in their hearts knows adoption is horribly sad for the child but have difficulty admitting it. After all if the child voices the sadness their are to many familes that might get hurt...never mind the industry losing money if the truth be told.

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  41. Any birth mother who is choosing a family to adopt their child and has any concerns about parents favoring their own biological children has a simple solution available to them, chose an infertile or gay couple.

    It might also be a good idea to pick a couple who do not attend church. They would be unlikely to be motivated by a savior complex.

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  42. I hesitate to post but I'd just like to point out a logical fallacy.

    My husband did not gestate our children. He did not carry or birth them but his love for them is equal to mine.

    That is not to dismiss or demean the bond I have or any parent has with their child but just to say that love and parenting is not characterised in its entirety by the process of pregnancy.

    There are many other valid points here but it's fallacious to suggest that adoptive parents don't love their children based on anaecdotal evidence just as it would be fallacious to suggest that natural mothers don't love their children based on stories of neglectful or abusive natural mothers. Love and bonding are processes. It is *always* luck of the draw.

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  43. Who loves a child more...their natural parents or their adopted parents? Isn't that answer probably different on a case by case basis? No two people are alike and no two experiences are the same. So saying that ALL first moms feel ONE way, or ALL adoptive parents feel ONE way or react one way isn't really probable.

    Looking at a "Test" Case it would still be almost impossible to make a determination of who loves whom more. How would such a thing be measured? And would it really matter? I am an adoptive mom and have been in a very open relationship for the past 11 1/2 years with both sides of my child's extended first family. She is our only child, however she has two younger biological siblings. There is no doubt in my mind that her first family loves her endlessly, as we do. Do they love her MORE? Do they love the two siblings who they "kept" more than the one who got away? It's never really crossed my mind. Isn't the important thing that she feels every day how much ALL OF US love her?

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  44. Robin said "I agree with Barbara T, "The bonding that goes on in utero ..."
    Technically, the term "bonding" refers to the positive emotions and concerns an adult feels for a child. As Anonymous January 8, 2013 7:29 PM indicated, because of the negative circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, her mother was unable to bond with her, either before or after birth. Bonding is not a given. You said you didn't think this issue was about love. Personally I think bonding is an important aspect of love, which does make love a part of the issue. Bonding and love are intrinsic to each other.

    "... coupled with genetic similarities, makes the relationship different with kids you birth than when raising other women's children."
    I believe that when it is not possible for a child to be known and cared for by its natural parents, it is the ancestral component, the personal history extending back over generations, that makes the fundamental difference - which is why denying adopted people access to their OBCs and records is an injustice that must be redressed.

    "Also, because of the greater likelihood of similarities stemming from the biological connection, some APs with both bio and adopted kids do love the bio-kids more or at least feel a stronger bond with them."
    "Some" is the operative word here. Similar situations arise in some biological families, such as when a narcissistic mother only fuses with children who resemble her and can be experienced as an extensions of herself. Mothers like this "take against" the kids who don't reflect them.

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  45. Barbara Thavis, thanks for the post that clarified your earlier remarks. I'll think about everything you wrote. I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely, Ginger Hayes

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  46. I am a middle-aged BSE adoptee. My birthmother was coerced. My adoptive mother probably shouldn't have been allowed to adopt. I have been in reunion for 20+ years. I have no children of my own (bio or adoptive), but have worked as a nanny for several years and have step-children and step-grandchildren.

    Just wanted to offer my observations:

    1) My n-mother looks at me and emanates a love for me that my a-mother has never shown. This is hard to express in words, but when I was younger, it would make me cry.

    2) Every parent I have known closely does have 'favorites'. I had a friend who felt her adoptive sister was preferred over her by her natural parents (she was the bio kid with one a-sibling). I think she was right. Even natural parents have favorites. My sister is clearly my a-parents favorite, but they were looking for a mini-me, and that is what she is by and large.

    3) I believe the support provided on an ongoing basis by parents to a high-maintenance/high-need child tends to be greater if the child is biological than adoptive. In an all-natural/biological family, it is more toward the favorite or shared child (in step-families). When kids are too much trouble, it is more likely to be the adoptive kid (or step-kid) that gets the "boot".

    4) I do not have kids but I believe honestly that if I had both adoptive and biological kids, my first instinct if I had to save one and not the other, would be to save the biological kid first ... UNLESS ... I felt much closer to the other / adoptive child than the birth child.

    5) If I were in the position of having to 'save' an employers' children from a fire, and had an equal opportunity to reach each child, but not sure I could get them all ... being totally honest here, I would go for their favorites first, then the rest (a sort of "job-security" triage).

    I believe that what is missing from these types of discussions is the "soul factor" ... some people/souls are closer to others. From what I have seen, you don't always feel close to your biological children, and you might feel closer to non-biological children, just like you do with siblings, relatives, friends. Some people get along better than others. You can be related to people who cause you a lot of grief (siblings and twins who "hate" each other / fight all the time, etc.) And you can really relate to / resonate with people who aren't blood related. A lot depends on the souls and their agreements / history ... but this is rarely mentioned and often shot down.

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  47. @ Robin,

    You took a piece of my comment and decided that I or others are unfit to adopt because we feel the love is the same? You would rather I say my love for my adopted children is lesser than that of my biological? Hmmmm.....

    Did you not read my entire comment. I never suggested that love is enough nor did I suggest it is a panacea to soothe all adoption related issues.

    I WAS in fact addressing several commenters who stated as fact that adoptive mothers simply could LOVE their children with the same depth as a child born to them naturally. One commenter even suggested it was more like the love shared with a "friend".

    You have no idea of the relationship we share with our children's First Families or our efforts to always put their needs (the children) first. Their voices will always be heard in our home and always validated. All the children.

    You also presume that I know nothing of being adopted, only being an adoptive parent. Wrong again.

    I too was adopted, along with a sibling at a young age. Not everyone shares their entire resume as it were in a comment nor did I find it relavant to the discussion at hand or as explanation for my comments.

    I stand by what I say. My experience - my feelings.

    Anon. 7:04, really? You think my comments were creepy? Our children were adopted from overseas; the break from their First Families had already occurred long before we saw our first photos of them. You don't think its possible we FELL IN LOVE with those children through the photos and videos we received MONTHS before our travel? Again, because you have not walked in those shoes, hard for you say I would presume. Clearly that didn't stop you however from judging. :)

    We lost 2 child referrals (yes another's woman's child) ALREADY placed in an orphanage for 10 plus months or more, before the referral of our two toddlers. Those children were deemed by overseas authorities not to be healthy enough for placement. We fought that vigorously knowing our medical system here could make a difference. They were lost to us nonetheless and we have never fogotten them AND continue to sponsor them in their native country. NOT REPLACEABLE despite what you would wish to believe and characterize us by. I think about those 2 every day and we support them in the limited fashion their government allows.

    Nor did I laud day to day parenting but rather offered this as a tool some folks use to degrade parents just doing privelege of parenting day to day.

    I think your comments are narrow minded and reek of a willingness to only spin comments negatively to suit your own agenda. IMOP

    Thanks for allowing me to clarify,

    Sue
    P.S. YES, we are blessed to also have ongoing communication with our children's overseas families and even visits. I guess that breaks the mold too as I should be wracked with self doubt and jealousy at the bond these first families share with the children we are blessed to raise...except there is that LOVE thing again and KNOWING it is right for them, makes it more than right with me and how!

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  48. I'm going back to...
    "This baby is unique to the mother and cannot be replaced, but to adoptive parents, no matter how they write about how "god meant them to be together," they do move on, to the next baby."
    -----
    This is it! This is the difference.
    I'm not saying that adoptive parents don't have an extreme loss when they are with a child for a matter of time and the child goes back to their natural parents. But are those same people going to go back to said child 18, 24, or 33 years later and start a relationship with the now adult? Will they divorce their husband if he's not supportive. Will they walk a tight rope trying to say just the right thing so the now adult child feels loved but not overpowered? Will they almost certainly go through a nervous breakdown of sorts, dealing with the grief that was never acknowledged?
    No, they will not. They moved on years and years ago. But (most) natural mothers do not move on. What does move on even mean when it is a child? These are our children. They are the fabric of our lives.

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  49. Except that many of you did move on; didn't stand up for that child, despite coercian, drugs,promises, etc.

    I was that young single Mom too but I DID stand up. I kept my child. Fought tooth and nail. I was lucky. I don't need to suggest that forging a relationship with them 20 or 30 years down the road is something more than parenting from infancy or as a way to qualify one person's love as more or lesser.

    I actually can say there is something special and important in doing the day to day raising and sharing those moments: biological or otherwise.

    Sorry Barbara, just doesn't ring true. Most of you didn't or couldn't do the things you claim when it mattered most. Harsh but accurate.

    And that is sad too.

    Flame away!

    BT

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  50. I hope people do not flame away at this mother who kept her child. She did what most of us did not. There are so many various points of view about this, but of course, giving birth creates a bond with the child; so does raising a child, whether that child carries your DNA or not.

    Doing both--birthing, raising--would be what we would wish for in a perfect world. We are all doing with best we can, all of us. I don't think Barbara was diminishing the adoptive parent bond, she was simply saying that say, the couple who do not get one baby end up with another, and they are not looking for that child 20 years later to see if they have a connection that went asunder.

    I have often thought that one reason there is such a high incidence of adoption among adopted mothers is that they receive little to no support for keeping their children. Their parents adopted them, and so...why not let this "untimely" pregnancy end the way they got their baby: adoption. Since it is not their "blood," they are not likely to feel that they are "losing" a grandchild, an heir, the next in the line, to the unknown. It wouldn't make that much difference to most, I think. The importance of bloodlines in Downton Abbey is exaggerated, but kin is kin, and feelings is feelings. This is not to denigrate adoptive parents but there is a difference in the kinship factor in families. Oddly enough, it is in that second generation where family looks and traits are much treasured and encouraged...You're just like...Uncle Charlie or Aunt Louise....or Grandma Jones rather than Grandma Brown.

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  51. I see this comment section veering into that age-old question... Does it matter if a child is given up for adoption and raised by strangers or is it the same and just as good as staying in one's bio-family? I think adoption is always a tragedy. When a child loses his original family, his ancestry, his genealogy, and in some cases his homeland and language, it is tragic.

    The reasons that children are given up for adoption now and in the past are all sad and difficult circumstances for the child. But I think one purpose of this blog and certainly of my sharing my story ( and my mother's story) is to bring attention to the fact that there are SO MANY UNNECESSARY ADOPTIONS. I live for the day when I know longer hear or read the words "I terribly regret placing my child for adoption. It has devastated me and it was not good for my child either."

    I have grown weary of the 'love' wars. Rebecca Hawkes expressed it best in her January 9, 2013 post "Quoting Myself" on her blog, "Love is not a Pie".

    http://www.rebeccahawkes.com/

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  52. Amen. I read the post too of Rebecca's and loved it.

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. Thanks Robin for telling us about Rebecca Hawkes' blog. We need more adoptive mothers like Rebecca!

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  55. "I hope people do not flame away at this mother who kept her child. She did what most of us did not. There are so many various points of view about this, but of course, giving birth creates a bond with the child; so does raising a child, whether that child carries your DNA or not."

    Flame away? Fantastic for her that she kept her child. I sincerely mean that, but why does she think we are all here, all these years later, because we KNOW the adoption of our children were unnecessary and we DID make a mistake? I didn't stand up for my child despite the coercion? Wrong. The law was not on my side once the adoption was finalized, as we all know. So good for her to gloat about "fighting tooth and nail" for her child, when most us only thought we were doing what was best at the time and realize that is was NOT what was best.

    Yes, there is everything to be said in day to day parenting. Why the heck are we all here in PAIN because we denied ourselves that, UNNECESSARILY!? What mother who posts here has "moved on" and does not care about her child? Tell me, because I have yet to read one comment from one mother here who has.

    Damned if we do, Damned if we don't.

    @anon 3:07pm

    Yes, I think your comments are creepy. As I stated, you don't lose something real and tangible when you lose a "placement", as natural families do when they lose their family member to adoption.

    Offer up one of your own children if adoption is so wonderful. Tell me it won't be creepy to read some strange woman saying she fell in love with your infant and mourns them. CREEPY and delusional indeed. You lose a fantasy of raising another families child "as your own" and infer that the pain of losing a "placement" is equated to a mother losing her child to adoption. There.Is.No.Comparison. I find that to be insulting and offensive. They are not "your own".

    My narrow mindedness and agenda? Sounds like you are presenting your very own right here and now. Thanks!:)

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  56. Actually, it was my adoptive parents who were replaceable. It was totally a crapshoot where I ended up. I could have been placed with a family anywhere from Portland, Maine to Seattle, Washington, or from San Diego to Miami, even overseas (although unlikely). But a child has only one set of biological parents.

    Jane,
    Rebecca is also an adoptee from the BSE.

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  57. Robin, it seems as if the 'love wars' are unavoidable, especially when the subject of love is frequently raised by first mothers on this forum, often in a way that is disparaging to adoptive parents. It is hardly surprising when some of them leap to their own defense.

    I even found a whole blog post on this forum about the subject. It's called "Loving an Adopted Child as Much as Your Own." Lorraine said she didn't buy it.

    The great thing about Rebecca's post is that it didn't make comparisons. She simply focused on the needs and rights of the child, particularly the right to be recognized as a member of more than one family.

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  58. Great comment from Barbara!

    RE: BT's "flame away" challenge(because she kept her baby and everyone elso who didn't is a loser):

    I've become thankful for these types of comments because they show women what the world really thinks of mothers who give up a child for adoption. Pre-adoption the birth mother is a saint for giving her baby a "better life," post adoption she is scum who just gave up on her baby. Thanks for illustrating this to women who are being courted by the adoption industry. (Catelynn, Tyler and Dawn take note).

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  59. I admit the assumption that the woman would be "flamed" here struck me as very odd; I wondered if she came from one of the blogs that has been writing about us lately, saying Jane and I are full of bitterness and vitriol. It actually did not make a lot of sense, did it?
    If she kept her baby, and that was it, why is she here...expecting to be flamed? She was hiding something in her comment. Lying by omission.

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  60. I thought BT's comment (4:07pm) was heartless. I read it as... "Na,na,na,na,na... I'm a stronger person than you. I kept my baby and you could have kept yours to". I can't imagine how any woman who faced a crisis pregnancy could say that to another. Talk about rubbing salt in a wound.

    I wonder when she had her baby?

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  61. My take is that BT expected "flames" because of her frankness.

    Some of her comments might be seen as insensitive or even cruel in a certain light.

    I don't think she was lying but maybe overstating or simplifying things?

    With all that being said and coming from a woman who did give up a child for adoption and then later parented 2, there is no question that the day to day parenting is vital and important. Perhaps as much as that biology; that is only my opinion and I know others disagree.

    I too am glad BT made these comments because I sometimes feel that way when I see comments glorifying a genetic bond as opposed to an adoptive/family bond.

    The child lost to me through adoption is well loved, cherished and cared for. I'm glad and not afraid to be okay with it. My love for her is big enough to want and insist on that for her. I know it can't replace everything (yes we have communication/open adoption) BUT I would never want her to have to choose between one family, one love, or even one bond or another.

    I do think that for First mothers who recognize their mistake there is a need to put down the bond between adoptive families and the children they love. I think that need goes deep and stems from a myriad of things including remorse, anger, great sadness, self pity and sometimes egocentric needs.

    We need to believe our DNA conquers all just the way some (not all!) APs need to believe their love can conquer all.

    Sadly its not that easy on any front.

    I also have no issue with Sue falling in love with children they were referred overseas and then adopting again when they were unable to adopt due to that government. I too went on to have children after giving up a child - is that so different? Good grief, I would hope and pray that love and commitment was there prior to an adoption and find it creepy that others would suggest its offensive.

    Just my take; I have been reading all of these comments and actually see more common ground among both sides than you might first imagine.

    Karen

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  62. Karen wrote:"The child lost to me through adoption is well loved, cherished and cared for."

    I wonder how she feels about being given up for adoption, especially since you parented two. I wonder if it is the same for her. Or if she feels an enormous loss because she was raised outside of her biological family.

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  63. I never planned adoption for my child , in the late 1960s. I had asked my parents for help that would allow me to raise him and they refused, again and again, expressing their disgust not only at me but towards my baby.

    My son's father had abandoned us, my parents sent me away to distant relatives, and arranged a legal guardianship for me in the relatives' home state(I was still underage in my late teens when I became pregnant in 1967).
    I sought help from a couple of social welfare agencies. A couple of caseworkers told me what was available to me,including foster care.

    I was denied welfare payments. I did place my son in foster care after his birth, and within days was harrassed by the caseworker with threats of termination. These were not empty threats. Termination of parental rights would soon follow if I did not sign the surrender because I had no way to support my son.

    I had tried to find some kind of help, but there was none for me..

    It should not be assumed that none of us "fought" or that we all thought that adoption was best and that only now we regret it.I know mothers who tried to keep and ended up in court fighting a losing battle against caseworkers and others in the 1960s.

    These stories are long. Can't write all of it here.

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  64. BT,

    A few questions about you "keeping" your baby?

    What year was this? What is your age?
    Circumstances and how you were able to
    tough it out when so many other moms
    weren't allowed to even see their babies
    much less hold them or keep them?

    I do believe you are not telling us the full
    truth.

    When did you adopt? I do NOT believe a
    mother would come here and flaunt that she
    did the hard thing and kept while we just
    didn't want to keep our babies.

    Gale

    Lorraine allows many adopters to post here
    but as a mother of loss we would be thrown
    off of any adopters group or hoping to adopt
    groups.

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  65. I am sorry I don't have time to read all the comments to see if this has already been said. First, the Scandal storyline DOES involve a "real" baby. According to the storyline the "younger" gay partner is being secretive. He is going to go behind his partners back about the political improprieties. But his character is also looking forward to getting a baby to raise. If you watched previous episodes you would know the younger gay male had previously quit his job to be a stay at home dad. It wasn't until he was tired of waiting on his older partner to agree to "get" a baby that he secretly got the job at the White House. When his older partner realized the younger partner was digging into illegal activity that he and a group of people were invoked in he THEN offered to "give" his husband a baby. By then the younger man wanted BOTH. An amazing coverup story about election rigging AND a baby. So yes, you will see a baby in the next few episodes if the storyline continues on the same path.

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  66. I mean a "real" baby in the sense that a woman was in a Washington hospital--not a fictional "real' baby.

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  67. I should clarify one thing about my last comment. I know you meant "real" as in no child is really being taken from their first mother. BUT many people who watch television see the storylines as reality. They think if it happens on Modern Family and Scandal this must be the new norm. Obviously tv shows would never put a disclaimer saying everything on the show is completely made up by some random writer who is spewing their imagination onto everyone else. I can guarantee you there are pregnant women who see these shows. They could placing their child for adoption as a good option since it worked out so well on the tv show.

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  68. I did not, as far as I am able, to "put down" the bond between my daughter and her adoptive parents. However, I was able to see it up close and hear about it from my daughter's point of view, and sometimes, as I have reported here, from her adoptive mother's. In some respects, she was very close to both her (adoptive) parents, in ways I believe I do not know, just as I know she did not talk to them about our relationship. She understood that I could not have raised her; I know that they provided with a stable, family-oriented home.

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  69. @ Robin,

    I don't really know its your information to ask but I do have a relationship with my first born and while I'm sure there are things she doesn't or can't share or maybe even hasn't processed, at this time she is happy, healthy and thriving.

    What more could I ask for? I won't apologize for making the best of a really bad situation. I placed one for adoption, yes. Are you implying that going on to keep and parent 2 others is wrong? That I should have been punished and forgone the joys of day to day parenting/Motherhood?

    You confuse me. I think maybe you are actually just trying to pick my comment apart and create strife. I only offered my own experiences and how I see things. Nothing more.

    Will my daughter one day feel different? Yes, she may. She may also be okay with how things turned out for you see had I kept her our first 6 or 7 years would have been he** on earth. I had to respect myself and demand more for me before I was fit to parent any child.

    Does that satisfy your judgement?....er....curiosity?

    Karen

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  70. Karen, I am also confused by Robin. Robin, you do not quite sound real to me wherever you post comments, and I know you post on quite a few blogs. Sorry for the judgment back at you, but it's something I've wondered about for a long time. Perhaps you are (real) but stick to a somewhat ideological script when talking about adoption because that is most comfortable for you.

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  71. Anonymous, I totally agree. By having so many story lines on tv about adoption--straight, gay, whatever--it makes it more acceptable for young impressionable women to think, Yeah, that's what I will do. Give my baby to nice people like that.

    It's a predicament,and it encourages more adoptions.

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  72. Re: Robin doesn't seem "real"

    Not sure what is unreal about her...I understand her to be opposed to the glorification of adoption with a desire to get people to see the potential downside (which most people prefer to pretend doesn't exist).

    I appreciate her comments on the blogs.

    RE: Media storylines about adoption

    We need to monitor and push back on these narratives due to their heavy promotion of adoption. That's why I continually go back to Catelynn and Tyler - they have undue influence that reinforeces stereotypes about adoption and makes reform difficult.

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  73. And in the inescapability of adoption, did you read William Trevor's story, "The Women," this week in "The New Yorker," about the adoptee watched from afar and then befriended by her first mother? So sad. The lies; the adoptee saying to her afather, "She didn't blame him for what he had withheld. She understood; he had explained." The distress of the lonely woman, the confusion of the adoptee in favor of the lie she lived. Cannot stand it. Written by someone who has. No. Clue.

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  74. Incidentally, Robin seems extremely real to me and I am always pleased to see a comment from her.

    I will look for the story. Right now I am reading Son by Lois Lowrey. A Handmaid's Tale for the young-adult reader.

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  75. @Karen,
    You are correct. I had no right to ask you for further details about our story. And I apologize for that.

    All of my questions and comments are from the POV of the adopted person. No matter what the circumstances or what anyone thinks about a particular adoption, I strongly believe that most children do not want to be given up by their natural parents. And I don't sugarcoat that message. I do, however, believe that there are many situations where the expectant mother had no choice.

    As for ideology, I'm sure everyone would agree that my ideology is far from the standard fare that is spewed forth about adoption in American culture. I have decided not to give specific names, dates, places, etc. when telling my story, out of respect for my own and my family's (both natural and adoptive) privacy.

    The 'eloquent' comment I left on January 6, 2013 12:54 PM was based on actual conversations with my mother.

    I can assure you, I am quite real :)

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  76. This was a fascinating post to read and I've also read through the comments, they are very thought provoking.

    It had never even occurred to me before, but it makes total sense, when you talk about how a birth mother can never replace that child. But for an adopting parent, they simply grieve the child that was NEVER their's and then move on (eventually, with time and grief, sure) to the child they will adopt. There is a huge difference, as a mother, this is an easily understood concept. I think it's a difficult one for adoptive mothers, however, because it's first difficult for (most of) them to accept their fertility issues, the loss of control over the situation, and now to be told they won't get the same experience even when they do adopt. That's hard. Unfortunately, it's true.

    I also understand this on a less dramatic scale, as I bonded with my two natural children very differently after giving birth. My first born refused to breastfeed, and was always my husband's BFF (really, she's very much like me, which i think is why she bonded so much to her daddy). My second born was very different, and I bonded over breastfeeding her for her first year of life. There is a difference there, and I hate to admit it.

    This is on a lesser scale, of course, but when my first was born and refused to nurse, I felt like a failure and rejected. I got angry when I heard how BFing was such a bonding experience, and I denied it vehemently--it wasn't true!

    Then I DID bond so much more strongly with my second, I realized there was a difference.

    Now, not to say I love them unequally. I'd jump in front of a bus for EITHER of them without a shred of hesitation. They are both precious to me. But the plain truth is, my relationships with them have been equally precious, but different!

    The bonding that goes on between a mother and her natural infant from pregnancy and beyond is complex. It is special, I bonded with my first born too, but not to the same intensity. My husband was bonded to our first more than our second. But he, too, bonded to both.

    The complexity of that early, natural, mother and child relationship at birth just can't be replicated in the same way by adoption. I KNOW amoms still love their adopted children fiercely, and I know they develop a bond. But--like with me until I had my second child--you just don't understand until you've BEEN there, what that mother/infant bond really means and how deep it runs.

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  77. IMO in the same way that women who may be considering relinquishment shouldn't be call "birth parents", people who haven't completed the process of adopting shouldn't be called "adoptive parents". Until the adoption has been legally finalized, they are only potential adoptive parents, and yes, no matter how disappointed and sad they are to have lost the opportunity to raise that child, they can move on. A child who has not yet become part of the family is replacable.

    Heather said, "The complexity of that early, natural, mother and child relationship at birth just can't be replicated in the same way by adoption."
    I completely agree. It's not the same experience, because carrying your child to term and then bonding with it after birth is all part of a continuum. It is indeed complex and precious, and deserves as far as possible to be preserved unbroken. But sometimes it can't be or isn't preserved, and the child becomes part of another family through adoption. And to assume, as some here seem to do, that an adopted child is replaceable to its adoptive parents, shows a misunderstanding of what bonding means. I'm not talking about replication of an experience. I'm talking about whether an adopted child is replacable to his or her adoptive mother. I contend that once most adoptive mothers have bonded, as far as they are concerned, that child IS, and will always be, irreplaceable.

    "you just don't understand until you've BEEN there,"
    Exactly. Have you raised a child you've adopted as well as one who was born to you?

    Here's an article about bonding that goes some way to explaining:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/tenth-month-post-partum/bonding-your-newborn/bonding-what-it-means
    "What about the baby who for some reason, such as prematurity or cesarean birth, is temporarily separated from his mother after birth? Is the baby permanently affected by the loss of this early contact period? Catch-up bonding is certainly possible, especially in the resilient human species. The conception of bonding as an absolute critical period or a now-or-never relationship is not true. From birth through infancy and childhood there are many steps that lead to a strong mother-infant attachment. As soon as mothers and babies are reunited, creating a strong mother-infant connection by practicing the attachment style of parenting can compensate for the loss of this early opportunity. We have seen adopting parents who, upon first contact with their one-week-old newborn, express feeling as deep and caring as those of biological parents in the delivery room."

    For those who are skeptical about that last sentence, their problem, not mine.

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  78. The premise that drives the adoption industry is the assumption that APs love and bond with their adopted children in the same way that natural parents do. If that is the case then why shouldn't more children be given up for adoption? After all, adoption is supposed to be about the child and most PAPs are in a more stable and financially secure position.

    I think there is way more to adoption than the love and bonding issues. Biology matters. I agree with Nancy Verrier who makes a distinction between attachment and bonding. Verrier believes that adopted children are able to attach to their adoptive parents but are less likely to bond with them.

    I was separated from my natural mother for decades. Yet, after I found her, I felt a very strong bond with her. Let's say that she had found a way to keep me as an infant. If decades later I had met the woman who was supposed to adopt me, I'm sure I would have felt no connection to her at all.

    Thank you, Lorraine for saying that you are always pleased to see a comment from me. I always look forward to reading a new post from you and Jane, too.

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  79. Thanks, Robin.

    I'm finishing up a draft of my memoir and I just can't write a new post right now, but I have two in mind. One I may be able to get out tomorrow, and Jane has one coming too.

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  80. And: The bond that I had with my daughter, despite our difficulties, was incredible. I know she is at peace, but I miss her terribly. I have many friends, and there is Jennifer, my alternate universe daughter, but Jane was ... born of me, was like me, was like Patrick. She was irreplaceable. I never thought about "God meant us to be together" now that I have found you because I did not have to. We just were.

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  81. There is a website set up by a natural father trying to get his son, Jack back from the adoptive parents. I am not sure of the particulars but they have a very informative website about their situation. Today they sent out a post asking for help. They have personally contacted politicians in Utah who are willing to propose a bill in Utah that would change how adoptions address natural fathers. It would require notice to any potential birth father of adoption proceedings. Please take a moment and look at their post. http://www.getbabyjackback.com/2013/01/we-need-your-help.html?m=1

    Thanks.

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  82. Manon, I feel you're missing the point. I would completely expect for an adoptive parent to bond with their child. But I'm specifically addressing the period immediately after birth--the biological mother and baby have literally had 10 months to get to know each other. The baby knows it's mothers voice, her scent, and even senses her feelings and emotions.

    An adopting parent will bond, true, but in the days before adoption papers are signed, it's absolutely impossible for these PAPs to bond to this infant the way a natural mom has.

    For an adopting family to walk away from a baby that was NEVER THEIRS is not the same heartbreak as it is for a biological mother to walk away from a baby that has BEEN HERS FOR 10 MONTHS!

    It's just not the same.

    And I'm sure bonding does occur eventually and maybe even quickly with adopting families. But anyone who has every been pregnant will completely agree: It's just NOT the same degree of bond you have with an infant who's life you literally brought into the world. I'm sorry. It's just not.

    Like I said, you can't understand it unless you've been there.

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  83. Robin I really enjoy your comments and even though we come at it from different perspectives I know we are like minded. I feel it insulting to not only you but to all online discourse to suggest you just are not "real". I say thank God you are real and get it!
    On another note it's pretty ridiculous that BT was shaming natural mothers for not fighting when we were shamed at the time for being selfish for wanting to parent. I can not go back. My baby was lost and as much or as little of a relationship we can have as adults the parent child bond is severed. We now have something unique and I don't think either one of us knows what it is. I still have the mother love that is for sure.
    But instead of accepting the belief that I wasn't good enough to parent (like I did for 29 years) or taking up BT's suggestion that I be ashamed of myself for not fighting for my daughter, I am making a difference in young mothers lives. I'm helping them realize how important parenting their own child is to them and to their child. Today belongs to the new mothers and I will do everything I can to support them. That's why Jane and Lo are so important. New mothers can come here and see another perspective than societies "all good" adoption cry.

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  84. @Manon

    "We have seen adopting parents who, upon first contact with their one-week-old newborn, express feeling as deep and caring as those of biological parents in the delivery room."

    It's still not THEIR baby. They did not create, carry and give birth to that child. IT IS NOT THEIRS and IT IS NOT THE SAME as if they did. To just swoop in after a woman has given birth to a newborn infant and act as if you have a greater bond with that child than the mother does is downright delusional and sick. Any mother who has given birth to a child knows this. Any adoptive parents who have gone on to have their own children after adopting know this.

    If anyone skeptical with that sentence, it's their problem, not mine.

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  85. @Barbara T,
    I look forward to your comments, too. I think we could be friends if we met IRL.

    The "not real" comment was meant to be insulting but actually it made me chuckle. IRL I am known for being a little too real. I tell it like it is, not rudely, I hope, but I am not one to mince words.

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  86. @Call me Karen--exactly! Thank you.

    Further more, Manon, how can one really measure an adopting parent's connection to a newborn? How can we say it's just like that of a natural mother's. We can't. We can't measure those things just by watching.

    Someone who's given birth to their own child, however, has FELT for themselves that bond, that deep connection. You just KNOW that level of a bond can NOT occur through adoption. They realize the difference because they've experienced giving birth themselves.

    But to simply watch an adopting parent overcome with joy in a delivery room and say it's the same thing--I'm sorry, but no. You can't measure that unless you've experienced the joy of giving birth yourself.

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  87. Call me Karen said...
    'It's still not THEIR baby. They did not create, carry and give birth to that child. IT IS NOT THEIRS and IT IS NOT THE SAME as if they did. To just swoop in after a woman has given birth to a newborn infant and act as if you have a greater bond with that child than the mother does is downright delusional and sick. Any mother who has given birth to a child knows this. Any adoptive parents who have gone on to have their own children after adopting know this."

    No need to shout, Call me Karen. In fact if you read my comments you will see that I have said essentially the same thing, although without shouting. That quote didn't say potential adopters had a *greater* bond than the mother. It said the feelings they expressed were as deep and caring as those of biological parents in the delivery room. Not quite the same thing, although I agree there's no way of actually "measuring" anyone's feelings, whether those of natural or adoptive parents.

    Even though you may not like to think so, there are newborns who, for whatever reason, are left without their biological mother or extended family to take care of them. They deserve to have the next best thing, which in my opinion, is a loving adoptive family and a primary caregiver who is as sensitive to their needs and losses as possible.

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  88. Heather, I believe I addressed that point when I wrote agreeing with you that it's not the same experience because carrying your child to term (which IMO implies bonding) and then bonding with it after birth, is all part of a continuum.
    I also said that the relationship is precious and complex and deserves to be preserved unbroken. But like I said to Call me Karen, sometimes that isn't possible.

    You said "An adopting parent will bond, true, but in the days before adoption papers are signed, it's absolutely impossible for these PAPs to bond to this infant the way a natural mom has." Well, it won't be exactly the same kind of connection *after* the papers are signed either, because it is built upon a different foundation. But I believe, based on my experiences. that the bond can be as strong even though its different.

    "For an adopting family to walk away from a baby that was NEVER THEIRS is not the same heartbreak as it is for a biological mother to walk away from a baby that has BEEN HERS FOR 10 MONTHS!" True. I have said as much.

    "But anyone who has every been pregnant will completely agree: It's just NOT the same degree of bond you have with an infant who's life you literally brought into the world. I'm sorry. It's just not. Like I said, you can't understand it unless you've been there."
    I have been there, and that is why I feel qualified to disagree. Even though the bond is not identical it can be as great.
    That I know.

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  89. Just a couple of random contributions.

    My adoptive mother said to me one day (during a post reunion discussion - oh what joy they are) that she found it difficult to accept that I wanted to continue my relationship with my n.mum. I added that I hadn't been prepared for the huge impact of it and she said "oh I knew...". I wondered about this for ages thinking how could she know? She had two children by adoption (no birth ones), how could she know? I could only conclude that she 'knew' from her relationship with her own mother, thus proving what adoptees have never known/felt until reunion.

    Also, whenever we have 'the talk' about how she got me from them good ol' nuns, there was a baby girl that was intended for my adoptive parents before me, but it didn't work out so they got me instead. Makes you think - second, third choice.

    And, this business of cutting off arms and jumping under Buses. I've had that thrown at me from time to time, "I'd die for you!" Meaning: how dare you oppose me, be grateful! I would do ANYthing for you, look we SAVED you once already. To me it is just another way of making us feel grateful. It's not something I have ever heard my friend's mothers' say. It might not be intended, but I do believe my adoptive mother has a lot of issues, I feel genuinely sorry for her a lot of the time because she knows that my n.mum and I have a very special relationship.

    @Robin, I love your posts too!

    Jo

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  90. @Manon-

    Not all people who type a statement in caps lock are "shouting" so no need to scold me for "shouting" at you. It was an integral part of my post that I was highlighting. Thanks. I will be more mindful of that in the future.

    You said:

    "It said the feelings they expressed were as deep and caring as those of biological parents in the delivery room."

    So adopters feelings for an infant that is not theirs, fresh out of the womb of his/ her mother are as deep and caring as the natural parents? Say's who? You?

    What gives adopters the right to swoop in and say they care about someone else's infant more than the natural family does, right after birth? That is absolutely preposterous and arrogant.

    Perhaps what you think gives you the right to declare yourself to care more about someone else's infant that they just gave birth to is entitlement. Many of us who have lost our children to adoption know that word and all it encompasses, in regards to their children all to well.

    Of course true ORPHANS (and I am not yelling, thanks) who truly have no other family to take them deserve a home and a family. No one is disputing that.

    Children born of a women who is perfectly capable of being a mother to her own infant are a whole different story. Adopters in the next room salivating and drooling at the mouth to get their hands on her baby because she is young and vulnerable can not stand there and declare they have the same feelings, love and bond for her infant, just because they want a baby. It is not the same.

    Going out of their way to break a bond between that mother and her infant is not "love". It is absolute obsession of breaking that bond; because they want it for themselves. In truth, that same bond will never be theirs. Ever. That belongs to the mother and the infant she just gave birth to.

    So you "have been there?" Are you and adoptive mother and the mother of a child you had after you adopted? Don't you think it a bit dehumanizing of the natural mother of the child you are raising to dismiss the bond she had with her infant and claim your feelings for her child after birth were "just as deep and caring?" As a mother who states you have given birth, I believe you know better.

    I am qualified, as well because the woman who adopted my son had her very own son a few years after she adopted mine. I wonder how she would have felt if I had shown up at the hospital and said I "loved her infant just as much as she did" and my feelings were just "as deep and caring". We can all be rest assured that she would have called the cops and had me arrested. Of course, that would have never happened or never will because I have no obsessive desire to covet someone else's infant, even if I would not have been able to have "my own".

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  91. I have read this blog for several years now, but am a first time commenter. Before I introduce myself and my own experiences, can I just say that the hurt and raw emotion spilled out on these pages has moved me to tears more than once. I have the greatest respect for so many of you who articulate the despair and pain you struggle with on a daily basis. The reason I felt compelled to write today because I have read many of the comments and I am struck by the 'I love them the most because...' type of comments. I hope that what I share is not offensive and should I offend please know that I am always open to learn and be corrected.
    Okay, so here's me. I have carried 10 children in my womb to various stages of gestation. Of that, I have been blessed to parent 4 healthy children, aged 10-20. I love them with everthing in me, my hubby teases me that I love them more than him, and he would not be completely wrong. :) We are also foster parent, and have had 9 (still have 2)babies come through our home, ranging in length from 9 months to 2 1/2 years in our care. Here's the thing. I have loved all of 'our' kids, but the reality is, that for my bio children I love them with lifelong hopes and dreams. I think in terms of college, weddings and grandchildren. Not so for my foster children. For them, I think in terms of next birthdays, Christmas and other milestones like walking, talking etc. I don't mentally 'dream' for them, like I do for my own children. Of course I wonder what their life will hold, but I do not dare to include myself in that mental picture. I am not sure if that is a survival mechanism or simply the reality of how I think, but it is what it is.
    Now for the gut honest truth. I love all of my darling children with every fibre in my body. I sometimes WISH that I didn't love them so deeply, so that when the inevitable happens, and they move on, I am not left with such a gaping wound. I have often talked with my husband of the (horrific) possibility of having a house fire, and needing to run in and rescue my children...which ones would I rescue first, my foster children or those of my womb? The truth? It would be a horrendously impossible choice, and I would think that it would be like having to choose between becoming deaf and blind or becoming a quadriplegic that needed complete care for even the most basic things. How to choose? I simply could not. When I think of the oft sad beginnings of our foster children, in some ways I love them more than my own children. Some might say that my love for them is pity-based, and that is true initially. However, there is no doubt in my mind that once we have locked eyes over many a bottle, and snuggled through many a cozy afternoon and their arms are outstretched for ME to pick them up...my heart bursts with love for them. Do I love them more than their bio moms? I can only imagine that I do not...I ache for the hurt that an apprehension must bring, and similar to how one only remembers good about someone that has died, I assume that to play a small role for birth parents when they miss their child and the inevitable effort that is required in raising them. Having said that though, I would never want to offend one of 'my' children's parents by complaining about lack of sleep or heavy work load, that would be insensitive in the extreme in my opinion. Putting myself in their shoes, I know that I would welcome bags under my eyes from sleep deprivation if it meant that my child was in my care.

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  92. I struggle so with guilt when I enjoy the little toes, little grunts and grimaces,happy shrieks and enthusiastic playing...of someone else's child. Having given birth, I simply cannot fathom that having your child taken away from you is ever met with anything but resistance and sadness-even as perhaps there is an element of relief that the worst has happened, and that you are now forced to clean up your life/get help. So much hurt inflicted on children, yet these parent too have sad stories that I cannot help but have tug on my heart strings. As much as I understand the reason behind the child being removed (temporarily or permanently)I never get used to the sorrow that must be felt on all sides.
    For me, as the days and weeks go by, I fall completely and totally under the child's spell, and this process is often hastened by the fact that my heart is bruised and broken by the previous child's leaving. When you lose your child, replacing them with another one seems dishonourable, yet when a foster child moves out, I find myself intentionally immersing myself in the challenges and back story of the next child that is placed in our home, and though the grief is very real, my conscience does not prick at me for 'replacing' the child of my heart. (sadly, the need is such that rarely are we a full week without the new addition)
    My point in all of this is this. I hurt for those who are almost competitive in their need to proclaim the love they have for a child.

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  93. I am convinced as a birth mother, that a child from my womb is deeply loved from the moment I know they exist. I know firsthand that a child that I receive a phone call about and have placed in my arms by a social worker can also be so deeply loved that even 10 years after they have left it is still painful to look at pictures of them, I miss them so badly.
    That is why breaking up a mother/child relationship is horrific to me and everything should be done to keep that relationship intact. I know that this is not always easy, but in my opinion, every avenue needs to have been exhausted before an alternative such as adoption be sought. And should an adoption become the only option? I have first hand knowledge that you CAN love someone else's child with every fibre and breath, just as much as one that you carried in your womb. Yet I fear that the overflowing heart of the AP is the mirrored opposite in terms of the pain for the one who has lost their child forever. The first mother's pain is gut wrenchingly real and when pain is mingled with even a hint of guilt there is a level of hurt that must be indescribably difficult to live under. There truly are no winners when families are broken apart, even when done out of necessity. Although I personally will never adopt..I can only imagine that like my 'guilty' love (as described above) for a child I have had in my care, AP deal with a similar guilt that comes from enjoying the very child that someone else quite likely aches for. As for the child...oh the conflict in loyalty must be unimaginable in it's agony. Sigh. What a broken world this is, and I wish that empathy for others be ingrained in all of our DNA, we simply cannot assume that we have the monopoly on pain...or that our love is bigger or deeper than another. Showing respect to one another is especially critical when dealing with such painful and complex issues as splitting apart what was designed to belong together forever.
    Thank you for allowing me to share what has laid on my heart for a long time. I wish all those affected by the broken realities of this life much strength and wisdom and hope that your journey brings joy and peace and acceptance to all those involved.
    Much love sent to hurting and heavy hearts...from Suzanne

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  94. "Someone who's given birth to their own child, however, has FELT for themselves that bond, that deep connection. You just KNOW that level of a bond can NOT occur through adoption. They realize the difference because they've experienced giving birth themselves."


    So where does that leave fathers?

    It seems like you're negating paternal attachment as much as adoptive attachment by that reasoning.

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  95. Fathers don't bond in the same way mothers do but they do bond differently than adoptive parents.

    Fathers connect with their child initially because they see themselves in the baby. As the baby gets older and his appearance is more distinctive and his behavior suggests "chip off the old block," the bond with his father strengthens.

    Adoptive parents, on the other hand, never have that physical familiarity to tie them to the child. Their bonding is more learned than natural.

    As for adoptive parents who claim they loved the child at first sight -- or even before the child was born -- I think this is a sort of romantic fantasy not grounded in reality.

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  96. @ Ginger, the hell what Jane's adoptive mother said isn't typical. I have see many adoptive mothers treat the kids they adopted like shit and the woman that adopted me abused me my whole life. She was the epitome of the entitled mother and this attitude affected EVERY aspect of her behavior. The adoption industry spoils these women and women who are already horrible get even worse. They get all the sympathy, have all the laws on their side and the end result is a bunch of raving spoiled brats. Adoption itself prevents people from acting like grownups and acting in a moral. humane way. This is just another reason why adoption has to change.

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  97. What I AM saying:

    Birth mothers and their infants have a well developed bond already at birth. Not just a head start, but an intensity that cannot be replicated by adopting that infant. This cannot scientifically be disagreed with either, may I say. Because when a woman gives birth she produced STRONG hormones--oxytocin being on, known as the "love hormone"--which helps strengthen that bond. It is also produced by breastfeeding.

    What I AM NOT saying: Adopting parents don't bond to their children. Adopting parents don't love their children. <<---Never said any of that, nor do I believe it. I feel a few other commenters are taking words out of context here and misunderstanding the point.

    My point is referring to the original one made in this blog post: it's a much bigger deal to break the bond between birthmother and infant than it will ever be to break a "bond" between propspective adopting parents and the infant that was never theirs to begin with.

    That's all. There is so much to giving birth, the emotions, the hormones, the nature of it. It can not be replicated 100% by the adoption process. Impossible!

    I'm not saying adopting parents don't LOVE their children as much! How can we measure love?

    It is simply a much less tragic thing for an adopting parent to lose a baby after meeting it for a few hours/days than it is for a birthmother--who possibly conceived that baby in love, who nurtured it in her body, who is connected to it on a physiological level.

    How can anyone possibly deny the difference?

    And of COURSE it is better for a child to have adoptive parents than to be orphans or abused by their natural parents. No one ever said it wasn't.

    Finally--my husband is the first person to admit, he can see it for himself, that my children (especially my 2nd born) are bonded to me in a special way. Fathers DO bond to their children and of course they love their children. Never said they didn't. Still--my husband didn't get the rush of oxytocin while giving birth and breastfeeding our children. He didn't feel them kicking in his womb. He is not less valuable to them because of this, but the bond is DIFFERENT.

    Same thing for adopting parents, YES they bond! I never said they didn't! But it is not to the same degree at such a crucial time.

    Anonymous, I'm not referring to 10-15 years down the road. I'm referring to the bond especially at birth, when the difference between natural and adopting mother is dramatic.

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  98. Call me Karen said "So adopters feelings for an infant that is not theirs, fresh out of the womb of his/ her mother are as deep and caring as the natural parents? Say's who? You? "
    No, actually. It was Dr. Sears who said that.

    ' " Don't you think it a bit dehumanizing of the natural mother of the child you are raising to dismiss the bond she had with her infant and claim your feelings for her child after birth were "just as deep and caring?" '
    What I said is that the bond an adoptive can feel for the child she has adopted, *although different*, can be as great. As in "as strong". There is nothing dehumanizing or dismissive about that - quite the opposite, in fact. It's no more than a loving mother would wish for if she couldn't raise her child. Of course, it doesn't compensate the child or the first mother for the severance of the original bond, but if adoption needs to be, as sometimes happens, it sure is important.

    "As a mother who states you have given birth, I believe you know better."
    As someone whose personal experience (unlike yours) enables her to make the comparison for herself, I know better than you whereof I speak.
    As far as I'm concerned, this discussion is at an end. Take the floor. It's all yours.

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  99. Heather makes the same point that the original piece makes. Amen to that. Manon, aren't you tired of dissing the bond of mother and child? Mother as in having given birth to that child?

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  100. Manon said...
    "No, actually. It was Dr. Sears who said that."

    Oh, ok, so Dr. Sears is an expert on every woman's bonding experience with the child she carried and gave birth to. I will live by every word Dr. Sears say's in the future. NOT.

    "What I said is that the bond an adoptive can feel for the child she has adopted, *although different*, can be as great. As in "as strong". There is nothing dehumanizing or dismissive about that - quite the opposite, in fact. It's no more than a loving mother would wish for if she couldn't raise her child. Of course, it doesn't compensate the child or the first mother for the severance of the original bond, but if adoption needs to be, as sometimes happens, it sure is important."

    We all now what you said and what you mean. Believe me.

    "As someone whose personal experience (unlike yours) enables her to make the comparison for herself, I know better than you whereof I speak."

    You know my experience better than me, do you? Mighty arrogant of ya, but no surprise here. Since you are an adopter you know it all, right?Hardly. You know nothing of how I feel about the bond with both of my children and I know for a fact that some adopter would not and does not have the same feelings toward my children that I do. I don't care what you think you know, how many babies you adopted and how much you think you love them "just the same" as their mother's. As a natural mother, I am telling you that you do not. Get over yourself, please.

    "As far as I'm concerned, this discussion is at an end. Take the floor. It's all yours."

    I'll hold you to that, Manon. This is not discussion. This is one woman negating the birthing and bonding experiences of natural mothers the world over and quite frankly, I find it appalling. As a woman who has seen regularly the cold malice and drivel that comes from adopters, no big surprise here.


    @Sarah 8:59
    "Manon, aren't you tired of dissing the bond of mother and child? Mother as in having given birth to that child?"

    Oh no, she will never get tired of dissing the bond of mother and child. For that just may negate oh so special and entitled Manon and the "bond" she has with someone else's child because she the love she feels for them is "just as great". We can't have that, now can we? It is all about her and her adopter sensibilities.


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  101. From Anonymous above somewhere who wrote a understanding post about both her relationship with her biological children and her foster children:

    "I have loved all of 'our' kids, but the reality is, that for my bio children I love them with lifelong hopes and dreams. I think in terms of college, weddings and grandchildren.
    Not so for my foster children. For them, I think in terms of next birthdays, Christmas and other milestones like walking, talking etc. I don't mentally 'dream' for them, like I do for my own children. Of course I wonder what their life will hold, but I do not dare to include myself in that mental picture. I am not sure if that is a survival mechanism or simply the reality of how I think, but it is what it is."

    She has hit the core of the issue with that comment. Your own flesh-and-blood child carries your DNA into the next generation, and you see yourself "living" through them. I don't doubt that the adoptive parents I know love their children, but the relationship with their future progeny, is different than the connection with a whole family tree, of which each of us is a mere branch. We see our own biological children as part of that tree.

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  102. The relationship between a natural mother and her child and an adoptive mother and her adopted child can never be the same. That is not to say that there cannot be love and closeness in the adoptive relationship, but lacking the shared DNA and shared ancestry does make the relationship different.

    Being raised in a loving biological family is best. A loving adoptive family is second-best. When I think of people I know who were raised in their own loving biological families and people who were raised in good adoptive families, the bios had it better and easier.

    I know there are people who say they were raised in their bio-families and it was the pits. They were abused and wish they had been adopted. I wonder if what they really wish is that they had been BORN into a loving family rather than be an adoptee. I think it's hard to really understand what being adopted means if you aren't an adoptee.

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  103. Robin says: "I think it's hard to really understand what being adopted means if you aren't an adoptee."


    And...it's hard to really understand what being relinquishing a child means if you haven't done it.

    The best we can do is try.

    On another note, the White House petition site has just raised the number of signatures petitions need before the White House will consider them to 100,000 in 30 days. If we couldn't get 25,000, we are never going to reach 100,000. Ain't going to happen.

    ReplyDelete

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