' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Doctor tricks natural mother
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Doctor tricks natural mother

Lorraine 
Nearly three decades ago, an infertile couple who wanted to adopt wrote up a resume about themselves and sent it to several obstetricians through friends of friends. Though they were not from New York, they got a call from a doctor in Brooklyn. His patient was an 18-year-old about to go to college, and she and her boyfriend were planning to give up their baby.

The mother-to-be chose the couple--from their letter--but though they wanted to meet her, she did not. She did agree to let the prospective parents have a photograph of her. But the prospective adoptive father wanted to meet her.


Without telling his patient, the obstetrician told the man exactly when the teenager and her boyfriend (that father of the child-to-be) would be coming to an appointment, and allowed the prospective adoptive father to be in the office at that time pretending to be a drug rep. A pleasant enough guy, he was able to engage both the pregnant teen and her boyfriend in conversation. He did not reveal who he was.

DOESN'T WANT TO 'OPEN PANDORA'S BOX'
The child, a girl, was born. The mother asked not be kept in the maternity ward but the regular surgical ward instead The adoption went ahead. Years pass.

The adoptee is now in her late twenties. According to the individual who told me the story the other night, the parents say they have told the adoptee it was perfectly all right with them if she was interested in contacting her natural mother--though I doubt they used those two words. They offered to show her the woman's photograph. She declined. As far as the woman telling me the story knew, the adoptee (her niece)is a teacher and has never expressed any interest in finding out anything about her other mother or her origins. What I heard was, she told her parents "didn't want to open that Pandora's box."

By the time my friend (and she is a friend) was done talking, all I could think about was how reprehensible was the natural mother's doctor! for arranging this trickery to allow the prospective adoptive father--against his patient's stated request not to meet either parent. The doctor surely violated a code of ethics, if not written down, surely such confidentiality or trust between patient and doctor is understood. His responsibility was to his patient, not the adopting couple! No matter that he thought it harmless, for christ's sake, the woman is not a brood mare to be inspected to see if she is fit--unless she agrees to it herself.

Then the next step: Once again I found myself trying to explain about the fog of adoption--I didn't use that word--that makes adoptees "not interested" in knowing their natural parents or heritage. I said that adoptees often feel that searching or even being curious is being disloyal to the parents who raised them, that often adoptees who swear they aren't interested wake up one morning and find they are desperate to know who they really are, and who they came from, that the secrecy that was built into the adoption as we know it today--and in her particular adoption--carried over to the message that the girl/teen/woman got as she was growing up.

DOCTOR LIED TO MOTHER TO BE
I also wondered if the adoptive father told his daughter about fooling his daughter's natural mother--against her explicit wishes. Kinda sleazy, huh? Somehow I have a feeling he might have omitted this from what he told her. If the adoptee ever met the mother--or even if they all eventually met--it's likely that the mother would not remember the chatty drug rep she met one day at her doctor's office nearly 30 years ago.

The woman telling me the story understood as she was telling the story that the pregnant young woman had been tricked by her relative. She got my negative reaction to what had taken place. Today with all the emphasis on non-disclosure in medical records, the doctor's action seems doubly reprehensible.

I thought about that adoptive father, if he did that--what subtle messages did he impart to the adoptee that turned her off from finding her actual biological birth natural mother?  (This language business continues to erupt--as it did recently on Facebook.) Curiosity in every other venue is considered a sign of intelligence; in adoption it is considered pathological. In other words, adoptees who search are ...maladjusted. Not happy with being adopted in the first place. (To that I can only say--why should they be?  The situation, no matter how good, is abnormal to begin with.)

What to say to "not open that Pandora's box"? Let's say the adoptee has been told the story about her natural mother not wanting to meet or know who the adoptive parents are; it would sound as if she doesn't want to know her daughter today. By not searching, the daughter spares herself from a second possible rejection, right?

But if my daughter had only heard my story--that I tried to abort her, that I did not see her in the hospital--she wouldn't know that until I found her I spent years of agony thinking about her and trying to figure out how I might meet her one day and ask for her understanding and forgiveness for letting her be adopted. But it she only heard the cold facts, she would assume the worst: that I would reject her.

NO MORE CLOSED ADOPTIONS
I write this today, I fully understand that everything about a closed adoption and sealed birth records and outright lying (as this adoptive father did) is wrong. WRONG. It has wrecked lives and caused innumerable pain and suffering to both natural mothers and the adopted.

There should be NO CLOSED ADOPTIONS. Period. No altered birth records. Period.

Mothers should understand that if they give birth, they have great responsibility to that child--no matter how bloodless or how slick an "adoption plan" unthinking social workers make it sound. If a mother can't or won't raise her child, she owes him or her honest information and the ability to be contacted by them at all times. Whenever possible, mothers need to be available for medical updates, and on call for emotional crises. Parenting should be a co-parenting agreement and arrangement, even though the adoptive parents, as the legal parents, will have the final say in making medical and social decisions.

I realize this is radical. I realize that some natural mothers will not or can not or would not agree to those terms--and many people thinking about adopting would not go forward. I realize that this is in the best of all possible worlds, and we do not live in the best of all possible worlds. We live in the real world. But we must do what we can to stop further heartache.

We can't undo the limitations of adoption that have become the reality of today for so many. But we can try. That is what Jane and I hope to accomplish with our blog. That is what I hope my new memoir, Hole In My Heart, with all the ups and downs of my personal story, has a small piece of accomplishing And to every mother or adoptee who is able to speak up today I salute you. In time, there will be no more otherwise intelligent people who "aren't curious" about where they came from or who their natural parents are, or why they were adopted in the first place. Those are the most normal of questions everyone wants answers to. Everyone.--lorraine 
__________________________
FROM FMF

Open or closed: Losing a child to adoption is painful

Open adoption--does it really solve all the problems?


TO READ
The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child
By Nancy Verrier
Somewhat controversial with some, but an intelligent, sensitive look at the meaning of adoption from a therapist and a mother, both biological and adoptive. As a mother who found a daughter troubled by being adopted, I found Verrier's work helpful in navigating our relationship and understanding my daughter.

"I have read many books on adoption. This is my favorite. Upfront, smart, insightful work. I admire this book for not being afraid of the criticism it may receive for being too accurate, too honest, too exposing of our society's slow pulling up of it's socks with regards to acknowledging adoption as a period of trauma for the infant and not simply a time of celebration for infertile couples wanting children.

"It felt as though Verrier took the hand of my young adopted self and walked me through my entire life. My copy is severely highlighted with "yes", "yes" written at least once in each margin. If that weren't enough, Verrier then guides us through the search and reunion process, which was the area I had been looking for help with. It seemed as though she had witnessed the intricacies of my own reunion process...for there it was spelled out on the page. The book also provides some great insight into the delicacies of the triad relationships (adoptee/birth parents/adoptive parents) during the reunion process, suggesting ways to move toward solid relationships. Finally, Verrier offers the adoptee real usable tools for mourning his/her deep loss so that he/she can slowly remove adoption related roadblocks in his/her adult life.

"To the non-adopted eye, the book may seem repetitive in places, but this book was built for the adoptee. The repetition is reassuring and appropriate." --A review at Amazon

THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH AMAZON, either the books here or...Egyptian cotton sheets!

104 comments :

  1. There were a lot of nefarious and even some well-intentioned lies told, but this particular lie is not within the parameters of the ethics expected of a doctor. Well-written, Lorraine, as usual. Even if what we find is not what we would want, that curiosity and need on both ends is the most natural thing in the world.

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  2. As an adoptee, I really really hate that you use the phrase "who they really are" so freely. As many know, my bio mom and I had have had a forced, disastrous reunion that I will not pursue further. But besides that, even if I felt some sort of connection to her, who I "really" am is not defined by conception and birth. To pigeonhole adoptees to being merely the Sim of parts from bio parents is dismissive and hurtful. Who I really am doesn't have all that much to do with adoption, and hardly anything to do with my bio roots. Who I really am is someone who loves loud rock music, going to concerts, cries over baby birds who fell out of nests, drives way too fast and has sky high car insurance rates as a result, someone who graduated college with honor last month, an aunt who spoils her niece mercilessly, someone who loves to jump in puddles still and laughs at horror movies. That is who I really am. Nowhere in there was defined by adoption, or my bio parents. Thank you for letting me rant on a pet peeve.

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    1. Are you delusional? Who you really are has everything to do with your natural parents--your DNA, genes, genealogy, physical attributes, and even your personality traits, likes, and dislikes, and attributes come from your REAL parents--not from the strangers who raised you. From the strangers who raised you, you might get your sense of unfailing loyalty and your mistrust and dislike for your first parent(s). You sound like you are 100% adoptee-indoctrinated and a faithful, devoted, happy, and LOYAL adoptee. Bless your little heart. Why do you keep stirring the pot here? We get it: you don't think too highly of your first mother, okay, okay. So what exactly is your point? Some day, you will realize who you REALLY are is your first mother's daughter, with her DNA and much more. Do you see your loyal adoptive mother's face when you look in the mirror? You have been so indoctrinated you don't even realize. You will realize it someday.

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    2. Sweet Darling, you are anything but sweet to Mashka who is writing her own opinion of her own life, not yours, not all adoptees. Genetics and heredity are much more complex than just being a clone of your parents or other near relatives. People are born into biological families where they do not resemble any living members, because the genetic mix has made them a throwback to someone nobody remembers. Mashka has told us in detail that she had an awful experience with her biological mother, and I can understand why she would not want to identify with or be anything like that woman. She is describing the individual person she is here, which could certainly have hereditary components, but most of all, like everyone, she is uniquely herself and she is satisfied with that. I don't understand why you are so upset by someone living a different life and having a different viewpoint than you.

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    3. Wow, Sweet, your concept of genes is way out of date. Genes are not fixed--they are constantly modified by the environment, Studies with birds, bees, fish, and humans have demonstrated the environmental impact on genetic make-up, including the profound influence of the social environment. So even heredity is a mixture of nature and nurture. Here's an article:
      The Social Life of Genes
      Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings.
      http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/the-social-life-of-genes-64616

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    4. Thank you, maryanne, for saying what needed to be said. Mashka brings up a good point, that we are not solely biology, and it's not exclusively "nature" that makes us who we are. It's some part nature/genetics, some part nurture/environment, and some part what we decide to make of the talents, proclivities, and environment we find ourselves in.

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    5. While the article Jess cites is comforting to adoptive parents who want to minimize or deny the effect of genes on behavior, it's important to note that the author David Dodds is nor a scientist but a writer. And according to Jerry Coyne, a University of Chicago biology professor, Dodds gets stuff wrong. https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/david-dobbs-mucks-up-evolution-part-i/.

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    6. I think Jess's point is still valid. Both articles state that the environment interacts with genes. Jerry Coyne's issue was with the fact that Dodd mispresented the mechanism at work and subsequent conclusions that Dodd seems to have drawn. Coyne clarifies that the observational differences that Dodd cited occurred due to changes in genetic expression and not in the DNA itself. Genes are in conversation with the environment.

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    7. Actually, Jane, I did make one error. Genes themselves don't change--gene expression changes and affects what happens in the cells. But the changes are still profound. (Had to read my daughter's paper on epigenetics for AP Bio one more time to get that straightened out. ;-)

      I certainly didn't cite the piece to please adoptive parents. In fact, the very first time I heard the term “epigenetics,” it was being used by a few adoption reformers to talk about how trauma (of mother or adoptee) could be passed on to the next generation—assuming nothing in those assertions, just reporting what I heard. For those who doubt the veracity of the article, you might enjoy going to Robinson's lab at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana http://www.life.illinois.edu/robinson/ or reading the Op-Ed he wrote in the New York Times. http://www.life.illinois.edu/robinson/Research/Pdf/behavior%20of%20genesOpEd1.pdf

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  3. Lorraine, I can't blame the prospective father or mother for wanting to see the natural mother before the adoption. Some motives were no doubt selfish, he wanted to see if she was on drugs, or a numbskull maybe. Some motives may have been to ensure that the woman was of sound mind. I have read so many times that first mothers here wished that the adoptive parents would have seen them and their situation before adopting, so that they would know just exactly from whom the baby was being taken. It seems to me that is what this father was doing.

    Unethical? Unprofessional? Yes, on both parts of the men. So is arranging for an adoption via obstetricians who are friends of friends of friends. Perhaps because of this the father did not believe the doctor was a man to be trusted at his word, either. Maybe he wanted to know for himself a few things, that he asked the mother directly. About her, and the natural father too.

    This event occurred because the afather wanted to meet the natural mother and she did not want to meet him or the amother. It seems the question was asked, or brokered, informally by the doctor. So was the solution. (As was the origin of the adoption?) If the natural mother did not wish to see the parents, how is making all adoptions open going to solve that?

    Unless the action is explicit, I don't think you can judge what an aparent does at one point in time as an indication of how they were, or might be, against the introduction of the natural parents at another point in time. This action by itself seems interpretable either way or totally irrelevant.

    Only the adoptee knows how all of the actions of the parents were interpreted, how it was felt, by the adoptee. Even if the adoptee misinterprets motives completely, those interpretations become reality to the adoptee. Short of empathizing with the adoptee's plight, i don't see how there is really much you can do about it.

    I am reading your book ! :) which I received yesterday evening.. wow ! i know it is mostly your story but i can't help but put my parents into the story as Ann and Gary, and wonder how i would have felt as Jane. Brings up a lot to think about, a lot of questions too, talk about Pandora's box !! I haven't read it all yet and i'm sure even after i have i will be thinking about it for a while. So good to finally see it :) and you must be so relieved, too. Congratulations, Lorraine :) <3

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    1. hahahaha i just realized i wrote, on both parts of the men ! hahahah what parts of the men exactly i wonder? hahaha

      should read, on the part of both men. now even that sounds hilarious to me. :P i'm so juvenile

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    2. Why else would an adoptive father want to scrutinize the merchandise he is buying? He wanted to see weight, height, hair and eye color, etc....somewhat similar to the slaves who put on display for prospective buyers. I hope there is a special place somewhere "south" for flesh buyers such as that.

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    3. Sweet Darling have you read Lorraine's book? I read the part where Lorraine speaks to her child on the phone, and her supportive husband is right there with her, while she is speaking to Jane. Both are so excited and happy. He scribbles down, what is her height, her eye color, her hair color? What subjects is she taking in school?

      Do you consider him to be in the same boat as this prospective father you're so quick to condemn? He has no relation to Lorraine's child... yet through Lorraine may suddenly gain a daughter...

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    4. Lorraine's husband didn't buy her child. No way is he is the same boat as the "slave buyer".

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    5. Kiasa: I am so crazy right now I just saw that you are reading the book! Thank you for being...an early reader. Now it's late and I'm wiped and I have a big day ahead of me tomorrow.

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    6. Sweet Darling, please learn about the awful suffering of African Americans under slavery before you make the insulting comparison again of adoptive parents with slave owners. Tell us about your own life and problems as an adoptee or natural mother, rather than making insulting generalizations about others. Nothing you say about your own life and your perceptions of it, no matter how terrible, can be seen as wrong, but calling adoption identical to slavery is not helpful.

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    7. The doctor and the father behaved unethically. But there is no implication here that the mother was actively coerced. Lorraine said that she and her boyfriend were planning to give up their baby. If the adoption was voluntarily decided upon by the natural mother and father, would you describe them as "slave sellers"? What did they get from giving up their baby, if it wasn't money? Medical care during the pregnancy? The freedom to finish their educations without the responsibilty of a child? And if money was passed, where did it go? To an agency who might have transacted the adoption? Or was the doctor the only middle man?

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    8. SD - who is the slave? the first mother or the child? Im confused... and what about the bio father? Is he just a sperm donor?

      Lorraine - hope all is going well :) yes you're welcome, of course i had to get it and read it ! :)

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    9. SD - the mother let the parents have a photograph of her, so, i dont think the interest was about hair or eye color anyway... maybe something a little less superficial was going on? We can only speculate what he said to her and the father. Maybe he tried to comfort them, who knows?

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    10. Sweet Darling is right on. Before my daughter Rebecca was born, a social worker referred me to a Dr. Cheek who did adoptions. He took some Polaroid pictures of me. He explained the picture would be for prospective adoptive parents. The only reason I can think for the pictures was to reassure PAPS that I wasn't super ugly. The better looking the mother, the easier to peddle her baby. I did not have Dr. Cheek place my baby.

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    11. Jane, SD is 'right on' in what regard? Why would the father in the story Lorraine relayed need to meet the first mother to determine her appearance when she already sent a photograph? If the only reason you can fathom that a prospective parent would want to meet a biological mother is to judge her appearance, that is a reflection of your thinking and perhaps a failing in your self-esteem or estimation of the other person, and not proof of the motives of that person. The story also says he spoke with her and the natural father. He could have judged both natural parents by appearance without having engaged in conversation at all. More evidence favors the likelihood that this particular prospective father was there to find out something more than skin deep.

      Many philanthropic groups show the pictures of the charitable recipients of aid through personalized letters to each donor, matching a donor with a recipient, and allow a vehicle for communication between the donors and recipients. Some organizations share recipient photos through newsletters highlighting individual stories without as much communication. Why bother with these photos? Do you believe it is to ensure that the recipients are not ugly? Could it be that those with a charitable soul enjoy the process of giving of themselves, their time and money, and wish bond with the other humans in the equation, and perhaps to communicate with them on some level, too?


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    12. Kasia, The people Dr. Cheek was planning to show my photos to were not going to make me a recipient of their largess. They wanted to see if the baby would have qualities they desired. It was nothing more than marketing. Adoption agencies do the same thing today -- pepper their ads with attractive "birth mothers" to let PAPS know the agency can provide attractive children.

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    13. There was definitely a scrutiny of the "merchandise" underway.

      The attorney in my situation made a point of telling me how "pretty" I was, complimenting me on my thick and wavy hair. He was, at the very least, doing a visual assessment of my physical attributes, probably ticking them off on a mental checklist. Is that a reflection of my thinking at the time or a sign of my low self-esteem? No. The encounter was straight out of "Little Red Riding Hood."

      "Why, Grandmother, what big eyes you have! Why are you looking at me so?" said Red. "The better to see your very straight and finely-shaped teeth, my dear," replied the wolf. "You have never had the need for expensive orthodontia, have you?"

      "Red Riding Hood" is a kind comparison, because the reality was more of a flesh market. No, he didn't walk around me and yank at my lower lip to get a better look, or ask me to bite on a stick, but the frank appraisal was dehumanizing. His message was clear: I was livestock. Very "Roots."

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  4. Can we get away from the idea that curiosity about one's background indicates intelligence, with the implication that those who lack that curiosity are stupid? It is NOT pathological either to want to know one's origins, or to not want to know. It is choice adoptees should have, their heritage should not be withheld from them, but it should be their own choice whether to pursue it or not. That's just people being different, having different wants, needs, tastes,and personalities Some people really don't care. Some people love raw onion and smelly cheese and pickle sandwiches. I don't get it because that is not my preference, but it is not for me to judge the brilliance or stupidity of what another person likes, wants, or is curious about or not.

    Yes, the way this adoption was set up is sleazy, as private adoptions often are. But if what was recounted here was told to the adoptee, I could see why she would not want to pursue it further. The mother's inner feelings might be different, but her actions were those of a mother who did not want to be found. The adoptee is going on what she knows, only she can decide if at some point she wants to know more.

    I doubt that there are any questions that "everyone" wants answers to, no matter how many people actually do.

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    1. i disagree in that i don't think there is any reason to believe that the mother not wanting to see the adoptee's parents would necessarily be interpreted that way. not wanting to see the parents, doesn't mean anything. just as not wanting to keep the baby doesnt indicate not wanting to be found. they are totally separate.

      if i read you right, maryanne, i assume that you are saying that the adoptee might make the assumption that the mother wouldnt have wanted to have been recognized later from having met the parents the one time, or that she might have feared being talked into ongoing contact? but there is no reason to think that an adoptee would think about it to that degree, that they would try to put themselves into everyone else's shoes and try to second guess their motives. as interested as i am in the subject, i'm having difficulty in fathoming the reasons why she didnt want to meet and from that point extrapolating anything meaningful myself. of course some people do just jump to conclusions but i don't see why an otherwise happy adoptee would have any reason to jump to a negative conclusion. Lorraine, is the adoptee a happy person?

      i guess if the parents had said, we adopted you through a sleazy agency, that might have an impact, but i can't imagine that they would have said that, it would implicate them, not the mother.

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    2. K--I said that if my daughter had heard the bare bones of my story she might think...a certain thing and she would not know...and I didn't actually relate the adoptee's feelings to any interpretation of the bare facts of the adoptive father's misrepresentation to the young woman's actions. So I did not actually what you say you are disagreeing with.

      I have no idea if the adoptee is happy or not. I do not know her, or her adoptive parents.

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    3. Lorraine, i'm not sure i'm following your reply here. I think i was unclear. My post at 8 pm was to what maryanne was saying, not to anything you said, with the exception of the direct question, if the adoptee a happy person? i didn't know if you would know that or not, so i thought i'd ask.

      Lorraine my post at 3:51 addresses this paragraph of yours:
      "What to say to "not open that Pandora's box"? Let's say the adoptee has been told the story about her natural mother not wanting to meet or know who the adoptive parents are; it would sound as if she doesn't want to know her daughter today. By not searching, the daughter spares herself from a second possible rejection, right?"

      Since above that paragraph you wrote a direct quote about the adoptee, "What I heard was, she told her parents "didn't want to open that Pandora's box."" i assumed that you were still talking about the hypotheticals as apply to that same adoptee's actual situation. If I understand your comment now from 9:40 i take it that you were only somehow talking about Jane's situation, and not this adoptee's, but it was not at all clear to me before.

      If I instead ignore that Pandora paragraph completely and read the following paragraph and evaluate it according to its own context only, then yes, i agree with the conclusion that you state (knowing the bare bones details that i now know - from your book!)

      "(But) if my daughter had only heard my story--that I tried to abort her, that I did not see her in the hospital--she wouldn't know that until I found her I spent years of agony thinking about her and trying to figure out how I might meet her one day and ask for her understanding and forgiveness for letting her be adopted. But it she only heard the cold facts, she would assume the worst: that I would reject her."

      I think I now understand but if i don't, then please explain it to me :) thanks :)

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    4. Kaisa, my point was that the adoptee, on being told that her mother did not want to see her in the hospital and did not want to meet the adoptive parents, might assume from those facts that a contact would "open pandora's box". But the truth is that is just a conjecture on my part since none of us really know anything about the people in this story told at least third hand. I can also see Lorraine's point, that her daughter, if all she heard was that she tried to abort her, might not want to pursue it further, even though it turned out Lorraine did want to meet her and say she was sorry.

      The story itself sounds like something that would have happened many years ago, not as recently as 22 years ago, but I am sure there are some adoptive parents even today who raise their kids not to search and not to talk about adoption. Private adoptions arranged by doctors between their maternity and infertility patients were never a good idea, too open to all kinds of abuse and pressure and coverups. I believe most adoptive parents today who deal with reputable agencies are told that it is normal for adoptees to be curious and want to search, but whether they take that advice is another matter. Insecurity can and does overcome rationality sometimes.

      Most people I have met with no connection to adoption take it as a matter of course that most adoptees will want to search and will do so. The societal pressure for secrecy as the norm is not what it was when I surrendered, which is a good thing, some small progress in societal attitudes is better than none, and forums like this are helping it along.

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  5. :p I am juvenile too. Hot parts and cold hearts.

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  6. Oh please--as long as adoptees are brought up in a culture where it "proves" you love your adoptive parents if you are not curious about your roots, where curiosity about one's roots is generally accepted to mean that your relationship with them was not all that is should be--otherwise why would you be curious--we can't get away from that.

    Adoptive parents should be told that they should expect their child to be curious, and that it is normal, but they might be afraid to bring it up (out of fear of hurting them) and so they, the adoptive parents ought to treat that curiosity as normal and tell their children that it is normal. I've heard of young children asking about "that other woman" but adoptive parents who squelch that question.

    Scientists are supposed to be curious. Intelligent people are curious. The inquiring mind is considered the more intelligent than the mind that accepts everything that is. Society has distorted that for adoptees.

    I'm not saying that adoptees who don't search or question aren't smart; I am talking about how society has warped the idea that searching for answers in your adoption means something is wrong with you. But far too many adoptees get the message that to search is wrong, or...pathological. Rueben Pannor, one of the authors of The Adoption Triangle is the author of that idea, as far as I know, and I am pretty sure that BJ would agree, if she were still here.

    This is the statement: Curiosity in every other venue is considered a sign of intelligence; in adoption it is considered pathological.

    So no, I'm afraid we can't get away from it.

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    1. This comment sums the issue up perfectly. It is still necessary to bring home the poin that it is not now, and never was, a sign of a bad adoptive experience if an adoptee shows an interest in knowing his or her biological roots. Wanting to know such information about oneself is, well, simply being human.

      Loved this comment, Lorraine.

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  7. Without the mother herself telling what truly was or was not, all else is supposition and speculation. This is not being relayed by the mother or anyone who truly knows what feelings or motives she had. This is -apparently- being told by and from adoptive parent through family member of adoptive parents and adoptee. How many of us are tired of having our voices appropriated by others? How many of us are tired of having others tell our stories without any knowledge or understanding of what we were ACTUALLY going through and feeling?

    I was asked by an s.s. worker if I wanted to ''look at possible adoptive parent photos", I could have died right there. All I could choke out was a tearful- no. Like she cared. The rest was, I DON"T WANT ADOPTION. I WANT MY CHILD. Why are you all doing this? Why is it only adoption? Why don't you HELP ME? ... This can't happen. Something will change. I still believed, hoped somehow.. somehow. I don't remember or possibly don't want to remember the rest of our conversation. I know she happily let it drop. (One closed adoption coming right up!) I know she quickly closed and put the 'mug shot' album away. I know I said something.. she knew I wanted my child. They all did. Sad thing was they wanted him themselves and others wanted him to disappear from .......me. Getting around my pity-party, the point I'm hoping to make is that if someone had asked me if I WANTED TO MEET THE PAPS... I would have said NO. Same as I did with the picture and for good reason. I didn't want to surrender my son to ANYONE. I know this situation **sounds** different. But what do ANY of us really know about it? Only the mother and father can say for certain. Like adoptive parents often say, "they were only going by what they were told".

    Doctor man was deceitful, unethical, and wrong. I don't care if the paps wanted to view (and interview) the ''''''''''''merchandise'''''''''''''''. "That's like ''let me see the COW AND BULL SO I KNOW WHAT KIND OF CALF I'M/WE'RE GETTING". Viewing the parents as egg and sperm and the offspring as you would livestock.... don't want nuthin' ''defective'' huh! SICK! What a huge betrayal for the mother! But then... yes, your honor, I'm speculating.

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  8. All this talk about "adoption", ironic, though, without the adopters, there would be no adoption industry. It would, hopefully, wither up, dry up, and blow or go away. But as long as adopters are part and parcel of this beast that operates on trickery, secrets, lies, manipulation, and coercion, the industry will continue to function. Adoptive parents are the fuel that feeds the raging greedy baby-trafficking trade. Adoptees are fed a boatload of BS for umpteen years regarding the scandalous girl/woman that gave her baby away. It's no wonder these adoptees are skeptical about a human being that would do such a wretched thing. Indoctrination is alive and well with the trickery, secrets, and lies. It's about time adopters are called up for their horrendous involvement in the buying of human flesh and then their adopted kids are actually "theirs", as the amended birth certificate confirms to the world.

    Cindy, you are so right, and many (most) first mothers didn't want to lose their precious babies to STRANGERS. The system took our babies. We can still smile 'cause we are still their mother and will be for eternity (sweet solace ?). Many first mothers have been tainted as whores, sluts, promiscuous gat-abouts who got pregnant and then gave our babies away. Wrong. Our babies were stolen, snatched, taken, and the injustices are still coming to light from the darkness of the world of secrecy and lies (mainly the BSE), although the scandalous open adoption scams will soon be exposed as well. If adoptees don't want to meet their first mother and hear her story, so be it. The truth will come out eventually in this day and age, and their first mothers may be dead or alive. Adoptees must realize they have been indoctrinated in order to maintain adoptee loyalty and gratefulness. The strangers "saved" them. That adopters are out for themselves and themselves ONlY is not so hard to figure out to anyone with half a brain. If an adoptee doesn't want to meet their REAL mother, it is their loss, too bad, so sad. They are only hurting themselves.

    Adoptees have been conditioned and indoctrinated that searching for their REAL mother is an act of betrayal to the saintly adopters. Adoptees have an innate need to seek their origins, but they have been taped that doing so is an act of betrayal to the infertile, insecure strangers. Looks like adoptees these days are saying to hell with that and searching anyway. More adoptees are beginning to see through the BS and searching anyway. Those who don't, well, their loss.


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    1. Sweet Darling, your logic makes about as much sense as saying without alcoholics there would be no alcohol. Without smokers there would be no cigarettes. Without drug addicts there would be no drugs. Perhaps worse, without sick people there would be no drugs. Without fat unhealthy people there would be no fast food.

      Granted the companies who make these products resort to reprehensible practices and in some cases they should be held accountable. But to blame the consumer makes no sense.

      Having children and experiencing parenthood is a biological imperative, and instinctual need, for many if not most people. That need is not servient to other desires, hopes and dreams we have, nor is it to our abilities, biological or financial. In any case, we are not relegate as mere consumers of children and they are not a product. I agree that adoption agencies need reform but you can never erase the human need to parent a child whether the child is biological or not.

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    2. The biological urge to parent should not include the coveting and taking of another woman's baby. Those infertile women need to adopt a pet or talk to their Creator about their pathetic plot. Why are they involved on the taking of another woman's child?! I would like to be a millionaire, so should I make plans to take someone else's million? Again, without the demand, the supply would stop. Adopters have taken other children, claimed them as their own, as if they birthed them, and get their tail feathers ruffled when their "as if" children want to seek their origins. Makes a lot of sense.There are lots of foster children out there. Why do adopters want the newborns? Hmmmm, telling...

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    3. Without smokers there wouldn't be any cigarettes made. There would be -no- market for them. Would there? Yes, I smoke so I know of what I speak. Without the other things you mention like alcohol, or drugs... yeah. If there wasn't any NEED or demand for them. They would not be manufactured .... or harvested. Would they?

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    4. You state that, "having children and experiencing parenthood is a biological imperative, and instinctual need, for many if not most people." Well, uh, yeah! It is a most natural thing especially for many mothers who's children were removed for adoption. ...and many of us never had another child... and most (I know not all) ''dealt'' with it. It- being infertility. Because how, by any stretch of the imagination, could we do this to another woman? To take, keep, claim and raise her child and say 'mine now, not yours' even after the mother finds her circumstances improved OR her coping skills and independent strength returned or found for the first time. I could not EVER do that. I know the heartache that dwells on this side.

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    5. I agree with you Cindy. They took my baby when I was 16, I wanted to keep her but my family had other plans for me! I never could have another baby.....but I NEVER wanted to adopt, HOW could I do that to another girl? I hurt all my life and they took my heart! I would never do that to any woman....I lived a hell.

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    6. SD @ June 11 7:22 - the biological imperative to eat shouldn't include fast food but it does. the biological imperative to raise a daughter shouldn't include pressuring her to give away her child when she is young and unmarried but it does. maybe the biological imperative to parent shouldn't include the ability to give into social pressures to give up a baby at a young age but it does. perhaps you're right, we would all do better to talk to our Creator about our patheitc plots. maybe the women who cannot afford to go it alone against the financial support of their family and everyone in their town should have instead consulted their Creator about their need for money. I don't really feel that way, but i'm pointing out that your harsh judgment can go either way.

      should society and/or family have help unwed mothers financially so that they can keep their babies? if the answer is yes, then that answer supports taking someone else's money, absolutely. perhaps from anyone, anywhere, indiscriminately, and not only from flush millionaires.

      i think i already explained that some parents want to parent children whether the bio tie is there or not, due to a biological imperative in our makeup. for some this means an infant. for others it does not.

      i agree with you that mothers should keep their babies. i think they should be given help in order to do so. attacking one group as if they are the only party making a mistake is not only unfair, it will ultimately be ineffective. better to work on several fronts and encourage a percentage of sympathetic adopters to join your cause for reform. if this idea at all sounds appealing to you, rather than reading my watered-down explanation of conflict resolution, i recommend reading the writings of peace activist Paul K Chappell. someone like you with a strong passion and real connection to the subject matter may be able to use his techniques to effect a real change through their words, if you are interested in activism of course. if not, that is cool too, just thought i would mention him because he is really helpful.

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    7. Cindy, June 11 at 9:05 - i guess i don't understand why you smoke, then. quit. come to think of it, why don't drug addicts just quit? could it be, that they have a biological and/or psychological need? i guess it is a cruel joke we are made this way, with these damned inconvenient needs, without being able to choose which needs we want and which ones we don't.

      i suppose if there were no rock-throwers, glass houses would go away. i suppose if there were no politicians and soldiers, war would go away. maybe Nazis believed if there had been no Jews, there would have been no concentration camps. if there were no children, there would be no Santa Claus. oh wait, there is no Santa. *brain fart*

      i don't think who we are (humans) and our motivations, needs and desires can be solved so easily. i think it is correct to recognize the influence of adopters and the adoption industry, but wishing them away will not solve anything, and you can't round them up and shoot them. why not work with them? perhaps your needs and theirs are not so different, and if each group supports the other then they can each serve their needs with more success.

      Cindy, June 11 9:17 - I share your plight in that i never had a child, due to fertility issues and migraine issues - impossible to try for kids while taking depakote for migraines. my husband and i agreed, ethically, we could foster but never adopt. fostering would not fulfill that parenting need, however, so we did not foster - did you foster? or did you want an infant? a child of your own from your own biology? for me that would have been best.

      i could never adopt for a different but similar reason as you. i couldnt do that to another adoptee. i couldnt do that to my own child, treat my child who was to be the love of my life, as if he or she were shared genetically from conception. and as i was a bit more ignorant of the subject having never really considered it seriously, i continued to think of adoption in the terms i experienced it - that the adoptee would not necessarily know the bio family, and that they would not necessarily be a part of his or her life. i could not do that to the child i was to love so much who did not even exist yet.

      i did think of the needs of the first mother, some, but only abstractly, how she suffered in losing a child, how i was suffering to have lost the child i was dreaming of... i had been given up so i assumed, there were and still are women who are going to do that. when you told yourself, that you could never adopt because you could never take another woman's baby, did you consider the adoptee's needs? did you consider the father's needs? did the mother's needs take precedence? What about you Rhonda?

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    8. You can't "erase the human need" to raise children but life is complex and isn't fair, not everyone has a child or gets to have children, and while there will always be some children who need to be taken in by people they are not related to, no one has the right to another child simply because they want one. The adoption industry has for so long subverted the need for real adoption--and not insisted on the reforms that would make adoption humane--that today we have a skewed system operating largely for the customer, the person who has a "need" that cannot otherwise be fulfilled other than with someone else's child.

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    9. Rhonda Bartall-Dye Sending you lots of hugs. It's hard I know. We'll make it through.

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    10. Kaisa, I'd say you take a pretty rough approach with your ''round 'em up and shoot 'em'' comment. I do not see things that way. Nor did I say or nor imply anything of the kind. Do not put words in my mouth. Especially when that apparently applies more to your mindset than mine.

      As to your saying, "why not work with them?'' .... When we all work toward the same goals then -no problem- I will be happy to ''work with them''.

      You say, "perhaps your needs and theirs are not so different.." The only context I can see in ''similar needs'' is in regard to everyone wanting the same child. Mine (any mother's child). Would you please inform me of the similarities to which you are referring. Please explain to me what, this side of: 1). completely open records-no strings attached. 2)No fees for baby buying allowed. 3) family preservation 1st. 4). a change in practice to a permanent guardianship (WITH) option for adoption to be determined BY THE CHILD with FULLY informed consent (have explained ALL the ramifications of adoption/closed records adoption if all states have not opened records by that point in time). I could go on but there is absolutely no 'needs' that I can think of that I 'share' in common with adoptive parents or adoption agencies. Perhaps you will be so kind as to enlighten me.

      I feel great empathy for those who cannot bear children of their own. BUT Being addicted (as you compare it) /craving a baby does not give one the right to another woman's child. Never has, never will.

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    11. Kaisa. You do not ''share my plight''. Are you implying, as certain adoptive parents and agencies do, that I have no child at all? I have a child, lost him to adoption, lost two more before birth... and never had another child. It's called secondary infertility. My son will always be, my son. Though I did not parent him.

      Your comment of "I did think of the needs of the first mother, some, but only abstractly, how she suffered in losing a child, how I was suffering to have lost the child I was dreaming of... " Well, right there, with your own experience of having lost a [dreamed for] child should have nailed it down with understanding and empathy, not to create that kind of suffering for another mother, another woman.. the pain, the longing, the grief is -not AT ALL- dissimilar but for the fact that there is a living, breathing child for the mother who loses a child to adoption. and that adds a whole other dimension of agony of where are they? How are they? and so on.

      Yes, the mother's needs -did- take ''precedence''. It is the place I knew from experience. But I also knew the child needed their mother... their real mother. (I know the term -real- annoys the whey out of some. I use the term. That is how I speak of -my- mother who died when I was young. Someone called her my (birth) mother once not long ago, nope sorry to put knickers in a knot but she is my real mother. Children need their mother. I knew THAT well too, from my own experience. I'm not saying others have to use that term. My son can use whatever term he chooses. Not the issue. This is where I stand and what I use. The main thing is/was family should stay together, the whole family if at all possible! It's best. Even with ..... well, .... an angry adoptee for a Dad. One of the things on his list of hard stuff in life... loss of parents, up at the top. The ''abandonment'' messed him up for decades.. and in many ways we all paid the price too. so yes! I did consider the 'potential' adoptee as well. I considered adoptive parents cruel and inhumane in taking a child from a mother who loved and wanted her child.... I did not want to be ''one of those''. I grieved for the child when a family member adopted. ..and the child's mother. So, in considering your question about fathers, no, I did not consider the father much in the sense of his (potential) loss. Mainly because the one I knew/had known, didn't act like it was a big deal. .. (though oh, wrong I was!)

      I have never understood how anyone could say "fostering would not fulfill that parenting need". When my friends kids were with us ..it was and IS a ''parenting'' role. Any time kids are in your care or presence ... come on! Really? Teachers parent. Parenting is nurturing, caring for and teaching..... it's not ownership or claim to title. It truly isn't. Besides, I thought adoption was *supposed to be* about the child in need of a home/ someone to parent them..... NOT the man, woman, or couple in need of a child (to parent). So, are you saying adoption really IS about the adoptive parents and title claim/ownership of the child? Could 'splain why most adoption records are still closed.

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    12. Cindy, i didn't put words in your mouth. i asked you a lot of questions. you call your child MINE so many times i wonder if it is you who see a child as something to own, and not only parent. why couldnt your need to parent your own child have been fulfilled by becoming a teacher and teaching/parenting other kids, since teaching, is as you say, the same thing? you mention that the children need their biological mothers, but you do not specifically say that biological mothers need their children. since you didn't understand what i was saying before what with the biological imperative analogies, i will go that far and say it: biological mothers need their biological children. biological fathers need their biological children too. that is what biological imperative means.

      that is why parenting other children would not fulfill my parenting needs. not all parents feel the same, but the majority do. i was trying to explain that the need is so strong in humans (and in many other animals, especially mammals) that it cannot be erased.

      i was honest explaining my thinking process and what i felt when i couldnt have a biological kid of my own. i'm sorry that the story didn't meet with your approval. i asked you questions about your experience, in order to gain insight into yours. i am not surprised that your own needs took precedence, that would be normal. and i believe that it is normal because biological parents need their biological children. they want to raise them. i don't think there is a mystery here.

      as an adoptee i also was very aware of the fact that i had never shared my life with anyone i was related to, and i thought that it would be very satisfying as well, i craved that. i'm not ashamed i have that feeling.

      i dont believe adopting is about claiming or owning a child and i never said that. when i said i share your plight i was saying that i never got to have and raise a biological related child. yes, being pregnant and giving birth is part of that. but we also tried with another woman's egg and my husband's sperm. i wanted my husband's biological child as well. i wanted to see a baby that had a miniature version of his feet and i wanted to see those feet grow and change however they would. i wanted that experience even if i could not have a child related to me. so no, being a teacher couldnt have fulfilled those needs.

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    13. Cindy, continued

      we tried to have a child in my womb with another woman's egg but that wasnt going to work either; i would have been happy to have had another woman's egg mixed with my husband's sperm in order to have a bio child of his, but i wasn't going to rent a womb. i know a woman who offered to surrogate (not with her egg), she had already given birth to and raised her own children and had been a surrogate for two other moms. i couldnt make that leap. not because i wanted to insist on being pregnant, but because i did not want the life of my child to become so complex even before birth. i had a friend who offered to carry a baby with her egg and my husband's sperm and i could not do that either, because i felt that she would be the mother and not me.

      i don't feel ashamed that i went through this thinking process. but i do feel a certain superiority coming from many women who were able to have kids, when they say to me, well not everyone was meant to have kids ! that is cruel. i suppose i could say to those first mothers, well not everyone gets to raise their biological kid ! equally cruel.

      saying not everyone is meant to have a kids among other things is as if saying, i don't deserve them as much as anyone else. it is a judgement on me and a harsh one at that. i think it is especially strange coming from women who were told as young unwed mothers that they couldn't / shouldn't keep their kids because they weren't ready to be a mother, and who went through the process of shame and guilt maybe thinking that they themselves were not fit to be a mother, or that society didnt see them that way. i do feel that many first mothers project this attitude onto infertile women. instead of being understanding, they say, oh come on ! get over it ! get a cat ! when they themselves can never say that their wounds were healed completely by a cat. different? yes, but very similar, both set of women experience a loss of being able to raise a biological child. if you don't understand my need or my loss then no, i don't think you are truly sympathetic or empathetic to me.

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  9. Sweet Darling, we will agree to disagree. From what I have seen, heard and experienced with my bio mother, I don't see anything of me. And if I look like either of them, it must be the bio dad so no I don't see my face in either my real mom's face or my bio mom's face. Why did I come here? I've posted on many posts before but long story short my bio mother forced a reunion and acted all nutty before, during and after (I say acting because I don't know if she is really mentally ill or she brought it to town just for me). I came looking for perspective, advice and knowledge and found the best bunch of ladies I could ever have hoped for. I've stuck around because Lorraine and Jane are incredible writers and most of the respondents are smart, witty and wise. I've continued to comment because I hope I can add something to perspective of adoptees. We're not all angry, damaged and lost. I owe that to my parents, the ones that raised me and instilled me with values that talked me into giving my bio mom a chance she quickly blew through her own actions. I am more than the sum of genes inherited from bio parents. That allows children who are raised by their bio parents to still turn out completely different. I am the sum of my experiences, my journeys and my education. I love lilacs like my mother, crave a good paella like my brother and was a star on the track team, like my father. These "adopters" who malign are the ones that raised your child when you couldn't. While that may not rate respect or compassion or anything slightly positive, it should grant them at least a little vitriol if they weren't awful parents. Also, PS, I wasn't given directly to my parents, bio mom confirmed that in between diatribes and harassment. She had no "adoption plan," She didn't interview with an agency. I was given to social services and lingered in foster care until I was adopted.

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    1. Mashka, okay, okay, okay, so you're first mom is a nut job, and you are hopelessly devoted to your adopters. Just WHAT is your point?!?!?

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    2. Mashka: I was also relinquished to a foster care facility. My mother signed away her rights to me for "purposes of adoption." The very few papers I do have state this very clearly. She terminated her rights. She is deceased, but had she ever appeared and tried to have a relationship, she would have had no right to do so. SHE herself terminated that right.

      And, although I am not happy having been adopted, and I never did connect with my adoptive family like you did: they are the only family I have ever known. As miserable as the situation is, I never had anyone else. My first mother gave birth and left. So, at this late stage of my life, what am I to do? Unless one is in this God-awful position, they can not understand it. I am very tired of people speaking for adoptees without knowing how it really is to be one.

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    3. You started it, Sweet. You were the one who called Mashka "delusional" because she did not like the phrase "who they really are" being 100% associated with genetics and here she has described herself as made up of biological and adoptive influences. I believe that was her point.

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    4. Julia Emily, I have heard you say a few times that your 1st mother is dead. How do you know that? Did you come across new information?

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  10. I sense some anger being directed at mothers who 'left' their babies in foster care. This was actually standard operating procedure for decades, and it may still be in use now. The purpose was/is to separate mother and baby while the adoption procedures are moving through the court. They don't want that baby to go home with mama before the legal process is completed, otherwise she might keep the baby. It also helps build a case for abandonment or lack of fitness in case she demands her baby be returned.

    Appears to also have an off-label use for keeping adult adoptees angry at their mothers for 'abandoning' them to foster care.

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  11. Of course slavery is not "identical" to adoption. But if you look purely at the law and what it does, there is a logical connection. In both instances, the party about which the law was written has absolutely NOTHING TO SAY about its lifelong and binding parameters. Nor can that person simply say, I did not agree, set me free, give me knowledge of my original identity. No other instance in law can be found that so binds one person forever with an agreement that the state makes with the tacit understanding of the individual handing over the person.

    The argument has been included when briefs are written in court cases involving adoption, so it is not unreal to bring it up here.

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    1. Lorraine, it sounds like the slavery / adoption discussion started long ago and i'm seeing the dregs of it. I wanna understand. Are you saying, that the comparison between the two has been made in the legal context of the legal status of adoptees, and their right or lack thereof to access OBC's? is that the correct way to put it?

      So, my understanding of the details about the history of slavery is incomplete. I remember learning that slaves could not keep their kids, that the kids they bore were the property of the slave owner. Their birthdays and parents were not necessarily recorded. Nor could they marry, generally, unless for some reason the slave owner granted them that right. Nor were their wishes for burial, and record-keeping involving gravesites or death certificates respected. Of course many things about slaves were not respected, as they were not seen as people, but i'm focusing on the places where that lack of respect intersected with the law, and how the two reinforced each other.

      So what is the argument? is it that, denying adoptees access to their records is as disrespectful as those practices were? and therefore despicable? I agree. Is there an analogy that i'm missing? Is there are further comparison of the bio mother, and/or the baby, and also maybe the bio father, to the plight of slaves that i am missing? I'm asking from the point of view of the BSE in particular, but if there are arguments considering broader issues please present them too if you like. i'm catching the tale end of this stuff and i'd like to know what's going on.

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  12. Steve: there is no information. My first mother disappears from every record in this country as soon as I was born. I don't have the money to search for her ( or her death certificate ) in another country.... I don't even know where she went. She would be very old by now, and DNA has yielded nothing, so no one is looking for me. The whole crowd of people that were involved, except my AP's, is gone. I've been at this brick wall for a while now.

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    1. Julia Emily: I am sorry that you have hit this brick wall. I know that you gave your DNA to one of the testing companies. There are three big ones: Ancestry, 23andme and FamilytreeDNA. Maybe, when you have the money, you can use the other two sites, since it is possible that the one you used did not contain a relative, while the other two do.

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  13. The concept of slavery and adoption as legal constructs may have been compared in legal briefs, and may be a legitimate legal argument in court, but that is not the same as calling adoptive parents "slave buyers" which is the issue about a comment here. An insult is an insult. Context matters.

    As to the issue of children "abandoned" foster care, I was told by the state agency to place my child in foster care while I "made up my mind" because I would not consider adoption during the counseling I got while pregnant. My son never went home with me, but right out of the hospital to a place I do not know about to this day. I was never allowed to know anything about the foster home, even years later to "protect" the foster parents. The more time I was without my child, the less able I felt to raise him, which was exactly what the agency intended. Eventually I gave up and signed the surrender. Once he was gone away in car marked "property of the state" I had lost him for good, it was just a matter of wearing me down to complete the formalities.

    But today, he sent me an email about an event we are attending tomorrow related to his fight against the Penn East Pipeline, and included were some emails to other people involved in the event with the words "My Mom is coming down to help". I guess I am official. Hallelujah:-)

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    1. Maryanne wrote:""My Mom is coming down to help". I guess I am official."

      That makes my day! :)

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    2. "Property of the state,"--hmmm, sounds suspiciously like a legal construct.

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    3. Lorraine,Nope, "property of the state" is a line from a poem I wrote in 1976.:-) Ironic, not legalese but satirizing legalese terminology.

      Robin, thanks! It was a perfect day. Not only am I mom, but I got an "I love you too" in response to mine when I left. Much more about that and other news later.

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  14. There are many striking similarities between the slavery and adoption trades. Both were/are big businesses in which human beings were bought and sold and imported and exported. Victims from both groups had their human rights and dignity taken from them. Slave moms and first moms had their babies taken in barbaric, inhumane, and unethical ways. Many mothers in both groups were young, poor, and unwed. Perhaps the slave mothers were also told that handing their kids over would be the "loving, selfless thing to do". Both these big businesses sold children on the backs of vulnerable, helpless, oppressed, scared, and poor mothers.

    Both groups include mothers who had to live the rest of their lives not knowing where their babies were, or if their children were dead or alive. Both businesses have victimized, marginalized, ostracized, and traumatized these mothers. Both groups have mothers who lost their children through trickery, force, manipulation, and coercion. Both groups of mothers were viewed as unworthy, unfit, subhuman, expendable, and disposable. Both businesses have operated on the basis of greed and selfishness through trickery, secrets, and lies.Both groups of mothers suffered a lifetime of heartache, pain, and misery after being separated from their children. Both businesses have sold babies out of an "auction house of sorts", with babies going to the highest paying bidders. Both businesses were controlled by men in a patriarchal society. Both groups included women who kept silence about their injustices and human rights violations. Both groups had to relinquish any and all contact with their child, as if the child had died or vanished into thin air. Both groups had mothers who tenaciously hung onto a sliver of hope that someday her child would try to find her.

    Slave mothers and first mothers were/are never "set free". Both were/are forever held in their bondage of guilt, grief, loss, and sadness. Women in both groups were/are never allowed to grieve over the loss of their children. Women in both groups had to suppress their grief and "go on", while still trapped in their chains of despair and misery. Some slave mothers had physical chains; first mothers have invisible chains.

    The children of mothers in both groups had their identities, origins, genealogies, and birth documentation stripped and hidden away. The children of both groups have suffered immensely as a result of being separated.

    Slavery and adoption were/are both crimes against humanity. Both have left a stinking trail of misery and damage behind the businesses involved in the buying and selling of humans. Babies are still being bought and sold and imported and exported, many years after the slave traders did just that. Not until adoption is seen as a crime against humanity will the injustices ever stop. Maybe when 2015 America views adoption practices as insulting as some view slavery issues will people begin to question the ethics and morality of the billion-dollar flesh-selling adoption industry.

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    1. Sweet Darling, I think you must be Australian.

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  15. SD this is in response to your characterization of the first mothers as the poor, vulnerable, helpless, oppressed segment of society. how do you account for the fact that adoption in the usa is a largely middle class phenomenon? that the majority of adoptees are born to middle class women? saying something is so, doesnt make it so... please explain. thank you. :)

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  16. If I were a descendant of slaves I think I would either laugh or be furious at ANY attempt to compare any other situation to slavery-which isn't to say that the mental torture and repercussions for the rest of our lives and even into future generations to us firstmothers isn't real It is almost inexplicable except to those of us who have experienced it.

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    1. I have experienced it and I wouldn't presume to compare it to the legacy of slavery.
      But there you go. Diff stokes for diff folks.

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    2. Were you allowed to have your birth certificate when you asked for it? Were you consulted about the condition of being adult without access to her records?

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  17. Sweet --the whole "adopters are slave-buying demons going straight to hell" really does not add any credence to your argument. I am from Canada, and here it is illegal for any money to exchange hands between potential adoptive parents and mothers. A mother must wait 48 hours before signing consent, and adoptive parents are told not to go to the hospital as it could be seen as coercive. There is a 10-30 day revocation period depending on the province and the adoption can take up to 6 months to be finalized. We have free health care, universal childcare benefits, welfare, subsidized housing and daycare (in some high schools no less)! Please explain to me how this type of adoption is "stealing a baby". Now I realize that many women who comment on this site lost their children during the Baby Scoop Era. I cannot image anything more horrifying... However, in this day and age, mothers who want to keep their babies, can. Will it always be easy, of course not! But it is possible. Not all biological parents want to parent, and not all should. Please google Pheonix Sinclair if you need an example.

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    1. "Please google Phoenix Sinclair if you need an example."
      Or Angelica-Leslie, who was more fortunate, although her brother was not.

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  18. I still do not like this comparison and your further explanation does not help.I do not feel I have any sort of "chains" today, 47 years after my son was born. I have grieved deep and plenty, but now the grief is over. I was never beaten, I never had to watch helplessly while my man or my children were beaten or sold away, I was not forbidden to marry, I was not raped by a slave master, I was not worked to death in the cotton fields. All of these were the common lot of women slaves. Of course I speak for myself as a natural mother, not for you or anyone else, but as someone with a pretty racially mixed family, including an African American soon to be daughter in law, and an Asian American daughter in law ( I will have gorgeous grandkids someday, I hope:-) I take offense at this comparison of adoption to slavery as far as the suffering and destruction of dignity of the people affected and the scope of harm it has done.

    What happened to mothers who surrendered children to adoption was awful, painful and wrong and is still awful and a disgrace where there is corruption and abuse, but no, it is not comparable to slavery, the Holocaust, death, or any number of catastrophically worse fates that human beings have suffered throughout history.That is not to say adoption has not been very bad and hurt many of us, but there has to be a sense of proportion. My opinion of course, yours may differ, but I still find the comparison offensive.

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  19. It is rather difficult to give some people's opinions serious consideration because of the amount of venom being spewed in their posts, the entire point that they were trying to make gets lost in the vitriol. As an adoptee of the BSE, I can relate to a lot of the issues being presented here but I have to agree to disagree on many others.
    First, the use of the word "infertile" or groups of people being referred to simply as "infertiles". While many of the parents adopting children during the BSE and in present day do so due to their own infertility issues, this is not always so and I find this to be thin ice indeed when the similarly offensive term "breeders" is bandied about and attacked so vehemently here and elsewhere. I find that it is very juvenile, just plain low or simply ignorant to employ these terms. For my own situation, my Amom had both biological children and adopted ones and to her credit, she shows no favoritism, in truth she shows equality amongst all her children, no easy feat for anyone. I would say that she breaks the "mold" that many natural mothers employ when attempting to pigeonhole an Amom, sometimes it seems to be an attempt to make her an enemy in order to soothe their own souls.
    I too went into fostercare at birth until my mother signed the relinquishment papers, my mother held me a couple of times, her family was there but I guess it was not enough to give them the strength to face the shame and embarrassment that they felt a bastard child would bring to their family. Thankfully, I went to a family that accepted and provided for me when my own family would not, I do not like being adopted but I had no say in the matter; now as an adult and a parent myself I honestly feel that if my natural family did not have the strength to stand up for me then as a helpless newborn, how bad would it have been to be raised by people who considered me a source of shame, something to be hidden and never spoken of. They had their chance and they passed and yes, absolutely, some decisions we make have consequences that last the rest of our lives. My natural family had no intention to keep me or raise me, my mother was simply too young and her parents abandoned her and their grandchild in their most desperate time of need. They severed an entire branch of their family tree for their backwards50's ideology, my mother sadly defends them to this day though they were the instruments of her lifelong despair to follow, talk about messed up loyalty.
    I am not cattle, or a product or merchandise. I find the term "slave'" to be highly offensive and insulting to those peoples who have truly suffered the true meaning of that term, it is a very powerful word with very powerful connotations. I have never been treated as any of these things by my aparents.
    Neither am I a "happy, well-adjusted adoptee". Unless your own mother, your own family gave you up for adoption you have no idea what it is like to live like this. I never chose this, but I have to live it and make the best out of an extremely abnormal, unnatural family situation.
    Finally, I am the child of two people yes, unintended and accidental but that is not all I simply or solely am, it is so much more complicated than that. When we are raised in a different value system and environment than that of our natural family it is complex and multi-layered in ways you simply cannot fathom. I never met an actual blood relative till I was in my 30's, even then it was always equal parts exhilarating and devastating. As I get older and find out more , as I come to understand the intentions and consequences that were the choices of my natural family, I find things to be more devastating. If you have not lived it, you simply have no idea, nor will you ever, be thankful for that.

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    1. Wow, Anon 4:25pm. What a powerful comment. Although some of my situation is different than yours, I can relate to so much of what you say. Thank you from my heart for leaving this comment, especially the last line.

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    2. I agree, Robin. It is an excellent comment.
      Thank you, Anon 4:25 PM

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  20. SD - June 12 3:21

    regarding your "set-free" description. it seems as though you've made a personal choice to identify with slave mothers, supposing you knew how they felt and ascribing your very true feelings to them. there certainly is reason to believe that they would feel such emotions over the loss of their children, too, and i recognize and understand the sympathy of pain and suffering.

    i do not choose to identify as a slave or as a child of a slave. rather, for me, i prefer to be the result of a happy but strange and somewhat painful science fiction (artificial) circumstance. i watch a lot of sci-fi as do all my close friends. the Dr who series in particular has a lot of fantasy in it surrounding the separation of children at birth, and a continuing, indefatigable connection through time and space between family and loved ones. the causes of these situations are the result of who the people involved are, of their histories, and the circumstances and people that they are up against, many of which are portrayed as unapologetically evil. through it all the characters are able to focus on their human connection. this is how i choose to see myself and the characters in my life. i don't deny i have emotions to the contrary but i try to focus on our common empathy, compassion and love for one another. the amazing trappings of sci-fi fascinate me as well - right now i feel as though i'm connecting to you and others through space and time via one of these fantastical sci-fi creations right now called the internet.

    a friend of mine follows Islam and when my husband and i were trying for a child, she gently encouraged me to pursue an overseas adoption of any one child identified as an orphan, or more than one, from the middle east, even if that meant raising the child as a non-Muslim. i asked her, what if the child isnt even an orphan, but instead is just temporarily separated from the parents due to the confusion over there? that made no difference. according to her belief system, she told me that all of humanity is a family, and that while it is not ideal for the child to be removed from his or her culture, religion, and environment, that the process of dealing with that pain and suffering, on the part of the child, and any surviving family members, was part of being human. that pains caused due to the sins of others in this world are the way that our souls are cleansed for the next world. the pain separates us from those who feel no pain at doing evil, for we all commit sins. that it was selfish of me to not intervene and share my good fortune, my relative wealth and stable lifestyle, with another human elsewhere that was in need. that even if it also caused me pain through my understanding of adoption or from anything else unknown that might happen after said adoption regarding the child or situation, it was selfish of me to withhold. that i should trust Allah and allow the pain that it caused me to clean the sins of others and of my own. (part one of two)

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    1. I do not identify with slave mothers--who are you talking about? I am talking about the state deciding what adoptees are allowed, and never asking the adult child adoptee if he chooses to be ruled by the state's decision. But full vetoes in those states that allow them as they give some adoptees their records and not others--that could be compared with the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves in some states set free; others....not so much. Not at all.

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    2. Lorraine, the post is addressed to SD - Sweet Darling, regarding her post about slavery and the bondage of being a first mother. I posted SD and the date and time stamp from her post at the beginning of my post in an effort to avoid confusing anyone else.

      In her post she states the following paragraph which i can only interpret as her meaning that she identifies with slave mothers. I am really relieved that you do not identify with slave mothers and i appreciated the information you provided regarding the "badges and incidents" and their use in a legal argument for OBCs

      "Slave mothers and first mothers were/are never "set free". Both were/are forever held in their bondage of guilt, grief, loss, and sadness. Women in both groups were/are never allowed to grieve over the loss of their children. Women in both groups had to suppress their grief and "go on", while still trapped in their chains of despair and misery. Some slave mothers had physical chains; first mothers have invisible chains."

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    3. Yes,Kaisa, that is the piece I objected to as well, not the abstract legal arguments in court cases. I can appreciate what the lawyer was trying to do in comparing sealed records with badges of slavery under the law. It is too bad it did not work and the ALMA suit in the 70s never made it to a higher federal court. It was a brave legal tactic to try at the time.

      However, I do not see the emotional comparison between slavery and adoption as valid, and that is what Sweet Darling is talking about. I just learned this weekend that my family is about to become even more racially diverse, and my son Mike and his wife are adopting two African-American kids from foster care!! They had been trying to have a baby for some years, but did not want to go the expensive and potentially harmful fertility treatment route, for which I cannot blame them as the daughter of a friend went through hell with a failed in vitro and ended up with no baby anyhow.

      The children are a boy and girl, ages seven and three, who have the same biological mother but different fathers. They were removed from the mother for neglect, she has numerous long-standing problems including substance abuse, and were bouncing around in the foster care system. Mike and his wife did not want to go to international adoption when there are kids here who need homes, and wanted nothing to do with the lucrative healthy white newborn market. Good for them! So I will be an adoptive grandma soon, they hope to get the kids permanently in early July.

      I never expected this, but am so happy for them, and for the children, and for me who always wanted to be a grandma:-) I am already thinking of things I want to get and do for my grandchildren. Mike and his wife are very aware of adoption issues and will make great parents. Given the mother's issues this will not be an open adoption at the start, but they have all the information and will see what the children want to do when they are older. Mike's wife said they will invite me and my husband down for a barbeque in August to meet the kids. He showed me a picture and they are really cute and healthy. They are scrambling to get their home ready. My head is spinning, but I am excited and ready for this new chapter in life.

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    4. Maryanne,

      Congratulations on becoming a first time grandmother. It sounds like your soon-to-be grandson and granddaughter are two children who really are in need of a family. I can tell just by your one comment that you will probably spoil them rotten. lol. Enjoy!

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    5. Lovely news :)

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  21. part two of two to SD, regarding the idea of being set-free

    I don't subscribe to this point of view, i can't, i'm otherwise a happy middle-class woman and i don't want to take on any pain myself, let alone be character in another's tragedy, but to her i was turning a blind eye, and ignoring Allah. who am i to do that? i guess when consulting the Creator we must be careful to do so in the proper context? i would rather live in the usa where my mind can rationalize my situation with pop-culture references that give me relief, than to force it to withstand the very strict confines of any one religious interpretation of Allah or the Creator's plans for solving the problems that arise when families are torn apart. But I do agree with her that humans are one big family and that we must try to treat each other in that way, according to our own consciences which the Creator seems to have instilled within each of us.

    What do you think, SD ? Specifically, do you think humans are one big family? Am I crazy for comparing myself to sci-fi characters? Can I choose to see it that way in order to heal myself or am I wrong to do so? I'm not asking you to condemn any religion, but do you agree that the situation of adoption can be legitimately characterized differently according to a different morality or belief system? Does the legitimacy of the belief matter? Are we each entitled to deal with our pains the best we can? Should we be granted the grace and/or on the flip side, should we be empowered, to solve our own problems as humans the best we can?

    I'm not advocating for the supremacy of any one institution or belief. i'm curious as to your thoughts as far as the individuals concerned. are we truly free to choose our paths (in this context, regarding the trauma of adoption) and to free ourselves from pain? or are we locked in, all of us? what would or could set us free? I respect any thoughts you have on this matter and thanks for sharing them.

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  22. ....Finally, appellants argue that the Thirteenth Amendment also applies to this case because the statutes that require sealing of the adoption records as to adults constitute the second of the five incidents of slavery namely, the abolition of the parental relation listed by Senator James Harlan of Iowa in a speech made during the deliberations on the Thirteenth Amendment. See 1 B. Schwartz, Statutory History of the United States: Civil Rights 71, 72

    --601 F. 2d 1225 - Alma Society Incorporated v. Mellon

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  23. Steve: I used my friend's credit card ( hubby can't see the point of this ) and did all three sites. I have been dragged around in circles by search angels. There is no info out there. She's gone, or she's still hiding.

    Lawmakers keep saying how we must keep records sealed to prevent adoptees from knocking on Mom's door and possibly divulging her secret. But I don't even want to meet. I just want and need info to put my life back together. And here I am, still fighting this antiquated system.

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    1. People should understand JE has done all she can to find her mother under very difficult circumstances--including a spouse and children who do not understand her need. And she has come up with nothing.

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  24. When it comes to search and reunion, adoptees and first parents engage in all kinds of deception in order to find each other. We sometimes applaud their initiative. My then-fiance and I were deceptive when we contacted the alumni association of my first mother's alma mater, which is how I found her identity. I also believed at the time that I was going against my first mother's wishes by trying to find her, but that did not curtail my actions. I think that if posing as a drug rep would have somehow allowed me to meet my first mother I would have done that too.

    The greater lesson of the story of the adoptive father's drug rep hoax is that all sorts of things about adoption beg for shadiness.

    People yearn for connections in all sorts of ways.

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    1. wonderful point abc :) i really like this. thank you :)

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  25. Maryann,the comparison of adoption with slavery is not about how you feel, this is about the theoretical rationalization that allows a state to impose such strictures on an individual. This is not about how you-- or anyone--feels.

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    1. Definitely there is a comparison to be made with sealed records, which is why records should be restored - NO vetoes - to ALL adoptees, because they are the victims of this legal injustice.
      It doesn't make adoptees slaves though, nor adoptive parents slaver owners.
      It is sometimes useful to make comparisons as long as the exercise reveals differences as well as similarities.

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    2. A few months ago I went to vital records in the hopes of acquiring my Dad's OBC. Was told, "No. We'll have someone come out and 'explain' it to you.''... Another woman came out and rattled off what I felt was the 'standard issue, I'm sorry, you'll have to go to court to attempt to get that record." The minute I was told no, there is no other way to describe how I felt than one word, OWNED. I felt like a piece of property. A possession.

      Hey dear adoptive parents/ grandparents.. is this what you intended? To own us for the rest of our generations? Your memory fades. The succeeding generations may not have any awareness or memory of you. The succeeding generations may desperately want to know who they are and who they CAME from. How many generations have to live with these lies? Please work to open these records if you do not wish your children or succeeding generations to feel like they are owned by you like a piece of property. Love is one thing. Ownership is quite another. It doesn't matter if _you_ don't look at it as ownership. It DOES matter how those adopted and their descendants feel about it. It matters HOW it affects them. Lorraine I don't mean to but I guess I disagree with you. It IS about how some 'feel'.

      A bit off topic but on a similar note, Has anyone else noticed that census records of parents AND adoptive parents vanish into thin air (can't be found/don't exist?). I looked for 1940's census records for my Dad 7 years PRE adoption. He would have been around 2 years old AND with his parents. There is absolutely nothing. It's like everyone vanished into thin air. Before anyone calls that a 'fluke'. One of my adoptive grandparents ALSO vanished into thin air that year. I have yet to search for his adoptive mother. He was not adopted until the mid 1940's. Of course my adoption beaten mind is wondering if they really go that far and deep in removing any trace of lineage or connection. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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  26. "If you have not lived it, you simply have no idea, nor will you ever, be thankful for that." Great comment by anon. that applies to first mothers as well, and something to keep in mind when tempted to offer unsolicited advice to others. All of us have crosses to bear and we make choices every day about how to deal with them. Like Lorraine says, everybody has something. Personally, I work hard at making every single day a great day.

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  27. Sad to say, the idea of "ownership" isn't unique to adoptive parents either. My birth mother seems to think I'm some possession to be taken back, and from an adoptee stand point, being seen that way is dehumanizing and is a big part of the failed reunion. I think some (certainly not all) birth mothers see their relinquished children as belongings or property they have a right to reclaim and their proof of ownership is childbirth. Much like some (not all) adoptive parents view adoption papers in the same vein as a title to the car. I have also heard that adoption is supposed to be about the children. Sometimes people forget that, even after the child in question is grown.

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    1. Mashka, I totally agree. The attitude of ownership of the adoptee as a possession to be fought over can come from both sides, natural parents or adoptive parents, with the adoptee caught in the middle and reduced to an object. Whichever parents behave that way, the adoptee loses.

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  28. Maryanne:
    Sealed records are a form of emotional and psychological slavery. Dr. L. Havens of Harvard likened it to "a psychological possession of a human being". Closed adoption adoptees were robbed of their mothers, origins, heritage, original birth names, as well as the names of their first parents. Children bought and sold in slavery suffered the same psychological and emotional trauma as adoptees in America.

    Maryanne, you don't think the legal argument about the "abolition of the parental relation" didn't have emotional or psychological effects for both the children and their first moms in both adoption AND slavery? Sealed records (for first mothers) and no records (for slave mothers) had gut-wrenching emotional and psychological effects for mothers and their children. Do you not think slave mothers also had emotions and were devastated when their children were taken from them? Do you not see the eerie similarities for both these groups of mothers and especially, their children?

    Maybe when the general public becomes informed and, as insulted as you about slavery, about the human rights violations will reform begin to take place. I don't give a flying flip if you don't see the emotional comparison or not, or if you don't like the comparison. Maybe you wouldn't be so insulted if you took "race" out of the comparison. IT'S NOT ABOUT RACE !!!!!!! Maybe that's why you felt compelled to tell us about your African-American DIL... Take the race card out. It's NOT about race but about the bondage someone else held/holds over other human beings (regardless of their color).

    Orlando Patterson of Harvard, who studied the effects of slavery, said, ..."The root of slavery's evil was not racism or even economic exploitation of people as property....but the ritual dehumanization that deprives people of their natal identity in family and society". Patterson sees the stamp of slavery in those who suffer natal alienation (whether they are black, brown, yellow, purple or white). It has NOTHING to do with race!!!

    It is the injustice of preventing an individual from knowing where, who, and from whence they came--their original identity, name, culture, heritage, genealogy, etc. It is a type of emotional and psychological bondage akin to slavery.

    Maryanne, you're the one who (your words): "tends to get upset by someone having a different viewpoint from you".

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  29. I did not feel "compelled" to share family information here, which I am now sorry I did, and I fail to see how one can discuss slavery and not talk about race. You can compare anything to anything, but that does not make it so. You are welcome to your point of view and your cherry-picked quotes to support it, but yes, I do get upset, not so much by a different point of view but by being personally attacked.

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  30. Most adoptees I have known are not interested in meeting their birth parents. Those who have, have done so out of curiousity, but kept an arms length relationship with them thereafter. Curiousity to meet the parent fulfilled, all but one that I know, then continue on with their lives, with just perfunctionary cards at holidays and birthdays, less than a handful a year is the only exchange. Most just do not integrate birth mom into their lives, and practically none, the birth dad. Fact of life. And it's just fine with them.

    I have a half brother in that sort of situation. He's done well, so have my full siblings and I. We met, curiousity assuaged, and now we send an email once in a while. And that's after a great reunion and we are very similar. Just very busy in our lives and not wanting to add yet another obligation, more family.

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  31. "Sealed records are a form of emotional and psychological slavery. Dr. L. Havens of Harvard likened it to "a psychological possession of a human being". "
    Dr. Havens was employing a metaphor. Slavery in America was not metaphorical. Slaves belonged physically not just "psychologically" to their owners and were denied ALL the rights accorded to free men and women.

    "It's not about race". No need to shout. I hear you but disagree. Of course race has a place in this comparison. For sure you are not a Black American. Perhaps you aren't even American at all. Certainly you do not seem to have any understanding of how truly horrific things really were back then, or how different things are now. You cannot talk about slavery in America without there being some connection with race. Like I have already said, comparisons can be useful but only when they can consider differences as well as similarities. Yes, closed adoption and sealed records bear comparison with certain aspects of slavery, such as the severance of family ties and loss of ancestry, and natural mothers (as well as many fathers) and children suffer the consequences of that. I know for certain that Maryanne would agree that closed adoption needs to be abolished, except in rare cases, and that access to their OBCs and records must be restored to all adopted people. Heaven knows, unlike a slave (who, as a chattel and not a person, would not have the legal right to *anything*, let alone fighting for changing the law), Maryanne has worked long and hard for adoption reform. I guess that's one very good reason why she doesn't get the "emotional comparison". I don't either. And if you don't give a "flying flip" whether Maryanne sees the emotional comparison or not, why are you getting so het up about it? It seems to me you are flipping out like a frog on steroids.

    As Lorraine has very sensibly pointed out, similarities do not make things identical. To reiterate what I said on June 13 at 8:43 AM, sealed records and closed adoptions do not make adoptees into slaves, nor do they make adoptive parents into slave owners, or first mothers into "slave mothers". These are injustices that bear some comparison to certain aspects of slavery but they do not make adoption the same as slavery.

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  32. This discussion of slavery is about specific USA laws related to slavery, and to adoption. The ALMA case from the 70s that Lorraine has referenced was in Federal Court and part of the defense was based on the anti-slavery amendment in the US Constitution. You cannot discuss slavery and slavery law in the USA without referencing race. Of course slavery has existed in other countries and involves all races, but to compare slavery legally to adoption in reference to US law, you are talking about a specific time and place, and the race of human beings who were formally enslaved under US law, as adoptees are now forbidden in some states to obtain their original birth certificates. Certainly there are some legal parallels. Indeed, I would like to see sealed records abolished, and adoptees given the same access to their vital records that other citizens have. But I am very uneasy with trying to make emotional parallels with slavery and adoption. I do not know what it was like to be a slave mother. I do not know what it is like to be black and have my skin color put me and my family in constant danger. I am trying to respect the experience of others, living and dead, that I cannot know, not co-opt that onto my own different experience.

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  33. Cindy, in response to your attempt to get your father's birth certificate, I don't know where you are, but in New York State, a child can only get her parents' birth certificate with a court order.....that's the law and adoption doesn't play into that law at least. It doesn't matter if your father was adopted, or consented to your adoption, or you were raised with him and he was raised with his bio parents...it can't be obtained without a court order.

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  34. Mashka, I was able to get his birth certificate.... the amended/falsified one. It is the original birth certificate that I was told I had to get a court order to receive it.

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  35. maryanne, I am simply BEAMING at the prospect of your becoming a grandma to two little kids who need one and (as yet) have no idea how lucky they'll be to have YOU! Not to mention a grandpa and all those uncles!

    I can just picture the upcoming barbecue, and perhaps you shopping for the Super-Soakers and hot dog relish...

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  36. Thanks Mrs TB:-) I have already been out buying stuff for them, and my daughter in law sent me more pictures. This will be fun! I even found a Black Disney Princess doll. My son is going to have a really special Father's Day.

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  37. maryanne:
    Congratulations on your great news! I'm fairly new to FMF, but have been following your posts; you have hung in there, and not become discouraged or given up; yet you allowed your son the space and much time for him to come to his own conclusion - that knowing his birth mother will add to his life, make it happier and give him peace of mind. I know it has taken years and a lot of well-thought-out efforts on your part, using your conscience, kindness and sensitivity.

    You inspire and give hope to those of us who have many miles (or I should say years, which is more factual) to go, knowing that we may never get there. Have a wonderful time with your son and his family - your grandchildren! They will have so many reasons to smile and be happy, which children should be. Life is a series of "chapters", it sounds like they have walked out of a sad chapter and are starting a new chapter in their lives, with happy experiences replacing the sad ones, at least making them recede.

    That is the experience of my two children. I have been in reunion with one of them since last year, the other one - It is not knowable yet. The jury's still out on me, as a birth mother. But I am hanging on (which is all any of us can do), and time will tell. Your story gives me hope for the future.

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  38. Oh, believe me, New and Old, there were many years when I was ready to give up hope, and I truly felt permanently rejected. I resented being told it would turn around, because I knew some rejections never did, and I never felt like I was lucky. One of the things that helped me hang in there was a beautiful quote from Vaclav Havel about hope, that it meant doing the right thing without knowing how it would turn out, rather than knowing you would have a good outcome. I have tried to do that. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled by the turn things have taken, something I could never have imagined.

    How old are your children? Were they surrendered together,or one at a time? I know many moms who gave up two, and many more who were just fortunate the second pregnancy did not go the same as the first.

    Thanks again for your kind words. It is gratifying to know my story has helped someone. I wish good things for you in the long future.

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  39. Here is the quote on Hope. Thanks to Dr. Randolph Severson for sending me this many years ago.

    " Hope is not a prognostication — it's an orientation of the spirit. Each of us must find real, fundamental hope within himself. You can't delegate that to anyone else.

    Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy when things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something to succeed. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It's not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out."---Vaclav Havel

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  40. Thanks, maryanne.
    It has taken me a long time to answer your post. I didn't realize how extremely sad it would make me to talk about it. My children were 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 when I placed them for adoption, with friends of a friend of mine. My oldest son remembers the circumstances, and wants nothing to do with me. At least I have a relationship now with my younger son, it isn't substantial, but I hope with time it can be.

    Things were very bad and getting worse, and were not going to improve. I had to be decisive, and do something soon to remove them from danger. I didn't want them to go into the foster care system, and my friend recommended this couple; I knew the adoptive father from school. As it happens, they had a very happy childhood with this couple. We were all very lucky. I just wish there wasn't so much paralyzing, ever-present sadness, but it is what it is.

    I hope that things went wonderfully for you, your son and his new children :)

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