' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: "Thank you for not aborting me"
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Friday, June 17, 2016

"Thank you for not aborting me"

Lorraine
"Thank you for not aborting me" are words that apparently are greeting some first mothers when they reunite with their children. How to react, what to say?  We are delving into the philosophical here because the remark at bottom is: thank you for giving me life.

The bald statement of fact--with a thank you!--does cut to the core of one's existence, but in the immediacy of the moment, the statement surely puts a reuniting first mother off guard. I'm afraid I would be temporarily stunned and not say anything, but feel more overwrought (and possibly waiting for attack) than I would otherwise.


Second summer of reunion, 1982

As I have written elsewhere, I did try to have an abortion. My daughter was 15 when I found her, and soon after not only did she read my first memoir, Birthmarkimmediately--she wrote a book report on it for her high school English class. In the book I write about how she went "it" from a blob to a baby that I was carrying as the weeks moved toward her birth. I wrote about how I came to love and want to keep my baby, and any thoughts I had about abortion fled in the process. I was sad, depressed, and hoped her father would be free to claim us, and we could keep her. But that was not happening. I thought about suicide a lot in those last months, but time went forward and she was born. When she came out of me I howled in pain and grief, knowing how much I would miss my baby for the whole of my life. Love was not questioned; it was instinctive, automatic, complete. I was a homo sapiens female who understood my job was to love and protect my offspring.

So having read what happened, my daughter Jane knew all that, and I didn't have to explain anything. If we talked about my not keeping her, she said she understood, adding that her adoptive father's excellent medical insurance had been useful due to her epilepsy, and I surely wouldn't have had that. She was right.

Truth: I never liked the cover.
But a big name designer did it
 and I was reluctant to say so.
If I had not written Birthmark, I would have told her what I said above. Knowing me as she would come to know, she would have wondered why I had not tried to have an abortion. She knew I was a lapsed Catholic and pro-choice, so she might have suspected I were lying if I said I never thought of abortion. And if I had lied in the beginning, it surely would have been hard to fess up--admit I'd lied--and tell the truth later.

While it would seem as if there is no way she could have found out--her father was not ready to meet her then, or later, but I probably would have told my husband, and he would know...and then everybody would always have to be on guard to not let it slip. My god, just writing about it like that makes it clear how hard it is to keep such a major secret and then, actually lie about it. No, I wouldn't have been able to do that. It would have bothered me too much to hide behind this lie.

ALL IN DUE TIME
My advice to all first mothers when confronted with this statement would be to take a deep breath, and say either--Let's talk about that later; or, I did try, but once I had you my feelings changed completely and I am so glad you are here today, with me. Let's go from there. I'll tell you the rest of the story some other time. And then: Do it. Don't be someone who never brings it up, just as some adoptive parents never bring up one's adoption. Then the adoptee gets the message that all  discussion about adoption is off limits, when in reality the adoptee is dying to have that talk. Dealt with honestly, the abortion issue should not be a pall over a relationship; lying would be the relationship killer.

But I wonder, is the statement itself--thank you for not aborting me--a kind of accusation? It seems to be, no matter how it is said, it comes across as somehow aggressive and confrontational, for the statement begs the question: Did you try to abort me? Come on--tell me the truth! Maybe in someone raised in a faith that condemns abortion, the speaker might not think of it that way, but that is what I hear in the statement. Don't ask about abortion in the beginning. Let it emerge slowly. If you must ask, do so after a relationship has been established. Don't let it be one of the first things out of your mouth.

And I'd suggest no mention of "thanking" your mother for giving you up. You may not mean it, but many of us hear: Thank god you gave me up so I was raised by other, more well-off people, for heaven's sake! A thank you for letting you be adopted is full of that inane "positive adoption language" malarkey that agencies like to use, diluting what giving up a child means to the child--and the mother. Please don't thank your mother for giving you up! Even if that is how you feel.

Some adoptees talk about abortion in the Sixties as if it were illegal but readily available, like marijuana in most states today. Not true! Unless you know the right people--abortions were scarce, secretive, hard to obtain, and doctors were prosecuted for doing them. Women attempted various at-home methods, which often led to a perforated uterus. Many were left sterile due to complications, others died. Women who admitted they were seeking hospital help after something went wrong in a doctor's office were hounded by police to give up the name of the doctor. It was not easy to get a hospital abortion. You had to have two shrinks sign off on your mental condition, and even then, that guaranteed nothing.  A furtive hysteria surrounded the mere mention of abortion, at least in the world I operated in. So please, no thanks here.--lorraine

AND IN NEW YORK...
In other news today, we in New York are waiting to find out if a cockamamie bill is going to pass the Senate. We've heard that it might be voted on, then that it won't, then that it has been referred to some committee, and maybe it still will come up for a vote. It's a bad bill, full of regulations, but it will allow some adoptees to get their original birth certificates after going through various hoops. I gave up reading all the fine print and amendments tacked onto a once-clean bill. However, the legislators feel that this is at least a first step.

Florence Fisher refused to compromise back in the late Seventies when a prospective bill was offered--people born from a certain day forward would get their OBCs at the age of majority--but she said, No, took the battle to the courts, and lost. Today, that action haunts her still. What if she had said Yes? She wonders--would we still be at this stalemate three decades later? Or would the lack of trouble and unequal status of earlier-born adoptees have torn down the wall that keeps OBCs from their rightful owners? She has no answer.
___________________________
Birthmark
From the rear cover: "Birthmark'explodes the myth of the natural mother who would condemn her child to a lifetime of anonymity to protect her own privacy. It is a courageous statement of a mother who acknowledges that her responsibility to her child begins with birth and does not end with adoption. Lorraine Dusky is a mother who honors her child's right to the truth." Florence Anna Fisher, president of Adoptees' Liberty Movement Association

45 comments :

  1. Being a young woman wanting our child and hoping that the father would come to his senses I never considered aborting our child. My son, at reunion, did say "Thank you for not getting an abortion". It comes from his family (staunch Catholics) probably always telling him that he should be grateful that I gave birth to him and gave him to them. In fact, the adoptive sister even told me, "thank you for the gift of my brother to our family" as if it were something I tried to do on purpose. I never considered him a gift to anyone. If anything, I felt that the adoptive family was my gift to him although I couldn't even think about them at that point. All I could feel was the engulfment of the loss.

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  2. I think abortion is a topic that can used as a weapon in reunion, by both parties, maybe without even thinking. During my brief face to face with my bio mom, because I hadn't responded they way she expected, or wanted or envisioned, she told me I was ungrateful and she should have aborted me. Not something one wants to hear during an already disastrous set up. Given that, if an adoptee feels that the first mother is blaming him or her for however her life hadn't turned out perfect (I said feels he's being blamed, not that he was actually blamed by the first mother) in a defensive moment he might say "then why didn't you abort me then?!"

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  3. Adoptive parents brainwash their adopted child with this. They tell their adopted child to be grateful for life. That they could've been aborted. But they weren't. It's sick and disgusting. My daughter was taken from me after so many promises were being made to me. Once her adoptive parents got what they wanted they didn't need me anymore. I'm sure they're going to tell her to thank me for choosing life. Which is gross. Birth children don't thank their mothers for choosing life.

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    1. Recently I have been in contact with my daughter. One of the things she said to me was "thank you for not aborting me." (I think, really, meaning she was grateful for her life.) In all honesty, I was saddened by that statement and also a bit angry, (not at her) because of the circumstances of the adoption...(I never really intended to surrender her but was more or less forced due to some evil "authority figures" and their lies...plus I never intended to abort her at any time to begin with)and I assumed the statement was based on her religious upbringing and what they may have been told/told her growing up. Some religious people tend to equate any abortion with the killing of an already-born child, and I had been accused of wanting to harm my daughter before and after she was even born...like I said, I had no intention of either. I did tell her that I never intended to abort her, and always loved and wanted her. I am not judging anyone who may have sought abortion, but I was just saddened by this since it was not true in my case.

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  4. Heartbroken - Birth children?

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    1. That caught my attention too. Not sure but I think Heartbroken means children kept and raised in their natural families.

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  5. I've heard the phrase before. After my daughter died and my husband was talking to a friend about it at a Christmas cocktail party I did not attend, and adoptive mother joined their conversation. When my friend referred to "Lorraine's daughter," AM interrupted and corrected her: "Birth daughter." I've never thought of that woman in the same way again. When I see her my first thought is: She said, birth daughter. How would she like it when she spoke of her daughter, I said, "adoptive daughter."

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    1. Uggg. Why do we get all the sub-titles? I believe it's a way of making less than them.

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    2. I prefer to think of my son as "birth son." It keeps things in perspective. I'm "birth mother," so why shouldn't he be "birth son." I did not raise him. After 30+ years, for me to insist that he is my son only leads to hurt. The fact is: he is the legal son and the recognized son of the A-parents. He is my "birth son." Shortly after his birth, I was no longer recognized as his mother. It doesn't mean there can't be a relationship now, but everyone has to be realistic.

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  6. First time I met my natural father, within 30 minutes of our initial greeting, he said to me, "You should have been an abortion. If you had been born after 1973, you would have been aborted." The way he shook his head, his frustration, it was if he were saying, "My life would have been less messy if you were aborted. I wouldn't have to deal with you sitting here in front of me if you were aborted." He is not the only birth parent confronted with reunion who had that thought. I do not know today, many years later, whether or not he has come to terms with me taking up space and breathing air on this planet.

    I have thanked my birth mother for not aborting me, and I may do it again in the future if I feel so moved. This feeling of gratitude was not planted in me by adoptive parents or religious community. I am grateful that I exist in this body, in this time and place -- not being aborted is key to that. I know what it is to feel suicidal, to feel that I don't deserve to exist because my birth messed other people up and caused unhappiness. To feel that my life isn't worth the pain it inflicts on others. The pain is just because I'm here, and not for anything I do or say. I would sometimes wish I were aborted. The key to conquering these thoughts, for me, was to learn gratitude. Not the gratitude taught to me by my religious community, where I keep a tally sheet of things I'm supposed to appreciate. This gratitude is something deeper that allows me peace. I'd have to write a very long essay to describe it. Gratitude precedes miracles. It's a beautiful world. If we know how to look, we can see so much human kindness woven into our lives. If I can do anything to lift up another person, to help them see beauty, then I am grateful to be here in the world. And I am grateful to the parents who made that possible.

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  7. It strikes me as an odd phrase is all. I guess we are all born or Caesareans! I have heard people referring to babies according to how they were conceived: test-tube babies, ivf babies, donor babies, etc. Especially as speculation behind the mother's back. It's just odd and unnecessary.

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  8. Anon--Your father is an asshole for saying that, but actually reminding your mother that she might have aborted you is not the way to a happy relationship! What an awful reminder! why not just build on any relationship you have instead of saying that? I doubt any children raised by bio parents would have the bright idea one day to say that. So why say it to your natural mother?

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  9. It grieves me to say that when I was reunited 30 years ago, I said this to my mother, along with a whole lot of other stuff that I thought I was supposed to say. Not only did I think I was supposed to thank her for not aborting me, I thought I was supposed to thank her for her selfless act in giving me up. Catholicism and the so-called "pro-life" movement were an influence for me, along with the institution of adoption itself and its expectation that I be always grateful, even when it didn't make sense. My role as an adoptee was to fulfill the needs of other people, and I didn't think I was allowed to tell my mother how much I'd longed for her my whole life. The truth was, I didn't know how to speak from my heart and I believed I wasn't supposed to anyway. And my mother was doing the same thing - saying and doing what she thought was expected of her. For years we danced around and around with a superficial, artificial script. How I wish I knew then what I came to know, and could have a do-over! I never had the close relationship that I dreamed of with my mother, but toward the end of her life we did have some tentatively honest conversations. Another lifetime would've been needed to undo the damage done to us by the adoption system.

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    1. SarahM--Yes, many mothers and certainly adoptees are were given certain ideas that unfortunately became a framework for a relationship. In so many ways, I think I was fortunate because I at least felt fully authentic in dealing with my daughter; however, though we did have honest conversations, emotionally tip-toeing through two parental connections has got to be difficult.

      I hadn't thought of the "thank you for not aborting me" as part of the interior conversation of an adoptee that says: you should be grateful. And I've certainly heard from adoptees who have been told by others--be grateful for your (adoptive) parents and what you have--you could have been aborted. Although those words have to come as a shock and seem only designed to be nasty, that might be where some of the opposite comment comes from.

      Adoptees and first/birth mothers need to be as honest as possible (without hurting the other one) in their relationship. When my daughter said, I feel like a magnet torn between two poles, I knew what she meant. Whenever she and I became close and her adoptive mother became aware of it, she lashed out and became angry. What her adoptive mother did not know, however, is that Jane my daughter would then tell me that.

      We can't put aside all our expectations and learned behaviors when we meet each other, but we should try. And act as naturally as possible.

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  10. Anon, I agree with susie q. Your father's statements say a tremendous amount his character, i.e., he has none. Yes, he is an asshole and not worth your thoughts.

    You don't have to thank anyone for not aborting you. Your birth was a happy thing, not messing up people's lives. Anyone who suggests that to you, they are wrong to do so - they are wrong, they are wrong, and are not worth much as people. Do you have a relationship with your birth mother, is she happy to know you?

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  11. When my mother took me to the Doctor he said "well its too late for an abortion", and I responded "what's an abortion?" In retrospect, knowing what I know now, and if I could go back to the moment of that first missed period, I would have had an abortion in a New York minute if I had known such a thing existed. However, also knowing what I know now, and having met my son and been able to be with him before he died, I wouldn't. It's complicated.

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  12. In one of my first communications with my daughter, she said she thought I was very brave and strong to have given birth to her, and that if she had been in the same situation, she would have chosen abortion. Maybe I would have as well IF it had been an option. In 1965, it wasn't an option in my world. I had enough sense not to seek an illegal one, and legal meant a trip to Puerto Rico or Sweden. If I'd had enough money to do that, I would have had enough money to keep my daughter.

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    1. Despite what the common thinking is, a legal abortion was not available in Puerto Rico at that time. I don't believe they were until after Roe v. Wade, or 1973. Anyone who thinks getting an abortion was easy before Roe v Wade in 1973 is deluded and all they need to do is look at the continued fight today to keep clinics open. Doctors have been shot because they perform them. A great many adoptees seem to think abortions, illegal or legal, were easily available--when they weren't!

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  13. Hello everyone!
    Been gone from here for quite awhile and catching. My beautiful husband and soul mate passed away 2 weeks with prostate cancer that metastasized to his bone marrow. He is no longer in pain that he was in his last week of living.

    I tried to "find" someone to give me an abortion, but couldn't find anyone to set me up; I would have had to go to fly to El Paso, and cross the border to Juarez, Mexico. I knew about this from a friend of mine that went thru that. My daughter did "Thank me for giving birth to her, and for giving her up. She knows I did a great sacrifice for giving her up. I wanted to run away with her after she was born; but "where" would have I gone? No money, no nothing.

    Great discussions too in the past threads! Sorry I missed posting in them.

    Take care everyone!

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    1. Lee2, I am so sorry to hear that, but when someone you love is in pain, all you want for them is the pain to end. Many condolences.

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  14. Had my daughter ever thanked me for not aborting my pregnancy, I would have not hesitated for a split second to reply: "It was never an option or a thought!" That's not entirely true, but it is what I would want her to hear and FEEL. My inner thought and fears finding myself pregnant after leaving a very abusive drug addicted husband are irrelevant to my love for my daughter and her having a healthy sense of herself. Those brief thoughts are about ME and my problems and troubled life and not about her.

    My fears - my PANIC- of the ramifications if a MISSED PERIOD were just that and NOT about a baby, MY baby, my daughter, my child. I would never have wanted her to feel SHE had been unwanted! That is an unfair burden to put on a human being. Honesty is not always kind - or necessary - in my opinion, if it has the possibility of being hurtful, especially to loved one. (I can only write this now because my daughter will never see it.)

    I would never have wanted to confirm for her what too many people say to adoptees: "You're lucky not to have bene aborted" - a retort I find extremely cruel and unfair due to the fact that many happily married couples with no thoughts EVER of adoption, consider terminating an untimely pregnancy. Thus no adoptee should be burdened with societal assumptions and having to feel "grateful" for having not been aborted....not any more than any non-adoptee person.

    Had my daughter every said to me: "Thank for placing me for adoption" I would have taken a bit more thought in replying but I would have told her not to thank me because it was NOT my choice or desire. I had tried to keep her. Didn't sign any papers unit she was 6 mos. old.

    I would have told her that it was something I did with my back against the wall and given no other options or help, and something I regret.

    If she inferred how glad she was to have been adopted by wonderful people, I would have told her I was glad that they were good to her; I had PRAYED they would be! But, I would add that I was equally capable of having provided her an equivalently good life.

    I would have hugged her and said that I am glad she now had TWO sets of parents who loved her, and that I ALWAYS did!!

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  15. My son said that to me during our first conversation. I suspected that ISRR instructed him to say that, because they advised me what to say as well: I never forgot you, I thought of you everyday. Which was true. Is "thank you for not aborting me" something they think will make a mother think she did the right thing by relinquishing to adoption?! What the hell? Abortion wasn't an option when I got pregnant, but even if it had been, I couldn't have/wouldn't have. My parents wished I'd told them in time for them to send me to Japan for an abortion, the closest place to Hawaii where I could have gotten one. If that plan had been feasible, I would have run away. Why didn't I run away when they began to engineer the adoption? I cannot say, but I have deep regrets that I didn't.

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  16. Beautifully and powerfully said, Mirah.

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  17. I'm finding this unexpectedly difficult to respond to this post. Yes, a safe legal abortion was not an option. I did try to have an illegal one, but as the conditions weren't sanitary, and it was so painful, fearing a perforated uterus, I stopped the procedure...the adoption was highly coerced, absolutely no support whatsoever...but I did love my child with all my heart and soul!

    I would not welcome hearing such words, and I'd probably become quite furious to hear them. I've cried a river of tears over being forced to relinquished her. I still have nightmares over it! The pain never stops!

    As far as the adopters are concerned, the adoption was forced for their benefit not mine or my daughters! I most certainly am not grateful to them! They had better darn well be PERFECT, flawless people was I was told they would be compared to my sinful imperfect self.

    Wow! This stirs up so many negative emotions. I hate adoption! It stinks to high heaven especially as practiced in America. I have lived lifetime of pain and suffering because of it! My daughter is 51 years old now.

    Recently the state legislature passed a law to make OBCs available to adoptees. I hope she takes advantage of it to find me. I've tried every way I know of to find her without success. Even so, I doubt I will ever fully heal from being forced to relinquish. Thank you so much!

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  18. I can't believe that any bastard would thank their mother for not aborting her or him. Abortion is the first line of defense for women. To have a baby is to give in to reproductive culture and adds a spoke to the wheel of misery.Parenthood = slavery. I know this is an unpopular idea.

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    1. Marley, many of us are pro-choice. But that is a SEPARATE issue from adoption.

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    2. Marley, you are my favourite ever misanthrope :-)

      Although I have say that I agree. I do think it is peculiar for anyone, bastard or otherwise, to actually *thank* their mother for not aborting them. It seems redundant.

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    3. It's too bad people--women in particular--can't be truly honest about the toll it takes. Most women want to do something other than raise children but parenthood for women usually works out to be something quite different than parenthood for men.

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    4. You really can't separate adoption from abortion. If an unwanted pregnacy is aborted there is no child to adopt. I am sure if abortion had been an option my mother would have had me in the doctors office in a flash.
      I do agree that there is no connection between having access to ones OBC and abortion. Obsolutely none.

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  19. Marley, I don't think that your ideas are that unpopular. Women must bear all the sadness of pregnancy and birth, shame and humiliation, men do not. Men are lionized, women are ostracized. Yet men seek to limit a woman's choice. I would go even farther than your statement, and say that becoming pregnant is being poisoned. That is how I feel, based on my experiences. I would never advise any young woman to have children, based on my life experience.

    However, I chose not to abort my second baby, although I was given advice to do so. I'm glad I didn't. It looks like it's a consensus here, that it is not the kind of thing an adoptee (or non-adopted person) needs to say "thank you" for. On the mother's part, the decision to abort or have the baby is a combination of emotions and perhaps some dumb luck. But I certainly am pro-choice, I wouldn't want any young woman to go through what I did, and I would like women to have the freedom that men have, to be thought of as people, and not just - substandard mothers and therefore substandard people.

    I think that the issues of abortion and adoption do intertwine, at least these days they do. But I think you are right, society does put too much emphasis on reproducing, and not enough on becoming a fully-developed person in our own right - if we are women.

    If you have more to say, would love to hear it, since we learn from all perspectives.

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  20. The issues of abortion and adoption only appear to be intertwined because the religious right has gone to great pains to make them appear that way. Properly speaking, reproductive choice is between carrying to term or ending the pregnancy by abortion. Adoption has nothing to do with either of these two options. A fetus is a physical part of the body of the pregnant woman, and she alone is entitled to decide whether to continue the pregnancy to birth. It is birth that transforms the relationship.

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  21. I personally do not like mixing or intertwining the topics of the two "A" words and thereby giving more credence to the hackneyed cliche "adoption not abortion" that foster the still popular albeit invalid myth that adoption and abortion are interchangeable "choices" while omittin the choice of parenthood.

    I feel that bringing abortion into the conversation hurts ALL adoptees and serves no purpose whatsoever in moving the real issues of adoption reform forward.

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    1. Mirah, this blog is about what some adoptees are now saying to their natural mothers upon reunion. And why it is offensive.

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  22. To my mind, if a person specifically asks a difficult question, it means they sincerely want an answer. They deserve an honest one. But if they don't ask, why even bother to make a big deal of it? It may be they just don't care - or even don't want to know. In the latter case, a gratuitous unasked-for truth might be just heaping on coals of fire.

    If an adoptee thanks their mother for not aborting them and the mother never wanted to or tried, the mother only has to say that. I don't see it as a problem. Not something to get all cut up about. JMO of course.

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    1. Exactly! The post was written however because it does happen and some people don't know what to say or do. And because I obviously couldn't respond with simply a nod...

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  23. Just to clarify. The particular "difficult question" I meant was that of an adopted adult asking their mother if she had tried or wanted to abort them. I don't think anyone would ask such a weighted and delicate question unless they sincerely wanted an honest answer.
    So my feeling is, if they ask, tell, and let it be with the truth, whatever that may be.
    If they don't ask, then there is no question to answer.

    I agree with those who have said that gratuitously burdening people with heavy information they haven't asked for - and very likely don't want or need - is neither kind nor necessary. I don't understand why any mother would do this, unless it is because she feels compelled to unburden her own conscience.

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  24. The first card I received from my first son was thanking me for choosing life instead of abortion. Because of the 'Crisis Pregnancy Center' that I had gone to, the women who was Director at the time told the aparents that I almost had an abortion and so my son became their 'miracle baby'. I was stunned that anyone would tell a child that their mother almost aborted them & then take them to anti-abortion rallies from a very young age. Our reunion was 'set-up' from the get-go. Its incredibly cruel to burden a child with that kind of information whether there was an 'almost' abortion or not. I was told in letters by the aparents they were only going to say kind things about me, and I believed it because they were such 'Godly-Christian' people. Right? Abortion is legal (thank goodness for the mother's health sake) and I had the right to choose. Obviously I chose to give birth to him, so the abortion issue should have ended there.

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  25. Good Christian folk, eh? I've heard that story from so many people. They probably couldn't help themselves because the fact impressed on him how "lucky" he was to live and furthermore be their "chosen" son. It would add to the "you should be grateful" mantra.

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  26. Could I summarize the consensus that if a pre-contact adopted person is grateful that he (to be understood as having both the English and Hebrew meaning)has not been forced to leave the mother's womb before viability, he could and should do so, but by stating such in a positive way, i.e. giving life, carrying to term. Of course, taking into account that some adopted people, would have chosen abortion if they had been giving the choice, this grateful for being saved from abortion-statement, seems like a potential launching platform for the unleashing of the hate, anger, sorrow, pain for being delivered into adoption, even if that launch is aborted, so maybe the best way for a first mother to deal with an expression of gratitude about avoidance of abortion, would be to ask "But how do you feel about the adoption?",with her warned that THAT could be something completely unlike gratitude.

    By the way, the adoptionresourcecenter link at the bottom of the page is not functional anymore.

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    1. I like your suggestion, Theodore, about turning the question around...but as you say, mothers should be forewarned about what the response might be. Could be anything from--I had wonderful parents, thank you for letting me be adopted (with the unintended subtext of: Thank God you didn't raise me!) or...an unleashing of pentup fury. For many adoptees, that would be a hard question to answer. David Smolin has written about the necessary love and attachment that comes with adoption by good people, and how that complicates a reunion. Everybody has to realize that the relinquishment and adoption comes with the consequences created by time and new relationships. What I felt about my own daughter was that she would have spent the rest of her life trying to prove to her adoptive mother that she was worthy of her love and affection. It was a losing battle. As many of you know...she died of her own hand in 2007. Adoption was one of many crosses she had to bear.

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    2. I've been thinking about it, it might be possible to understand this as the only possible thing to say, if we assume that the adopted one is a) either kind or trying to be kind, b) sufficiently adoption savvy to know that there is little truth in adoption, and c) a rational being. The kindness forces the adopted one to start with something positive to say early, but what could you say to somebody who might either be a callous child abandoner or the mother who would not have stopped fighting your abduction, if she had not been tricked in believing you were dead. Expression of gratitude seems a much better, safer option than telling her how much you missed her, as a way to be kind. Given that adoption agencies and adoptive parents are not really trustworthy sources, you do not know whether the relinquishment was according to, or utterly against her wishes, you do not know whether she loved you or hated you during the pregnancy, IF you are the FOUND one, you can thank for the reestablishment of contact and you know that your mother desires some degree of contact, but if you are the finder all you are likely to really, absolutely, know is that you are the result of a successful pregnancy of the person you are talking to, so taking gratitude for that pregnancy as starter, should be seen as a result of the lack of alternatives, and could be considered a plea for anything (stories, demonstrations of love, maternal affection, offers to return the stolen birth rights...) by demonstration of poverty, "This is the only reason I have to love you, give me more, please!". Of course, the wording of that as "not aborting" should be assumed to be merely the use of the expression the adopted is most confronted with... So if used in reunion, a mother should try and offer better reasons for gratitude (More in line of telling about the pregnancy and all, rather than a Porsche or so).
      Of course, that does not mean that outside of a reunion context, the mother thanked should not go full Apocalypse on the thanker.

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  27. @Theodore, You make an excellent point. I have yet to receive a 'thank you' from my son about being adopted. I view abortion and adoption as completely separate and different issues. Abortion is whether to carry to term. Once a child is born it becomes a question of 'can I parent my child' or 'do I let strangers parent my child'? But also, now that we know so much more about the effects of adoption on our children the question should be, 'where can I find resources to adequately parent my child' - this is possible today, when it really wasn't not so long ago. In the 50's thru early 70's the only choice was adoption. In the mid 70's thru 2000's or until the internet the choices were abortion or adoption, but today with the internet and parenting support groups and real resources, parenting is actually a 'Choice'. Adoption is still happening unfortunately, but with time and education, Family Preservation will become the mainstream. This is the opposite of 'Positive Adoption Language'.

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  28. I told my mother that i wished I had been aborted. She was not happy.

    She told me early in our reunion that she had an illegal abortion when she was 16. I'm not sure if the age is right, because she swore that she had me when she was 17,when in reality she was 19. I have both of our birth certificates, mine amended of course.

    In her mind, if she was 17, and dad only 20 it was easier to understand why they gave me away.I've realized that Mom's story makes me 2 years older though, and I don't like that either!

    I still wish I had been aborted,and I am a pretty happy person. I just would rather not have had to live without my family. This offended mom,and maybe was part of why our reunion did not go well. She has passed on, so there will be no second chance for us.

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  29. I think it's a reasonable thing for an adoptee to say. Of course I considered abortion, and that's okay. I was only 19 and NOBODY carried a pregnancy to term in the '80s and chose adoption unless they carried the burden of religiosity like I did. I don't think it's wrong for A-parents to try to instill in their adopted children an appreciation for the life that they have. My birth son knew that abortion was legal when I was pregnant. He knew that I didn't really need to go through the physical and emotional pain. I could have had it all over with with one trip to the clinic. This comment from adoptees is meant in a respectful way, in my opinion.

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  30. I am an adoptee out of the adoption fog, I have had one child, two early term abortions and over 10 years of birth control.

    I am not grateful for adoption. It never would occur to me to thank my mother for not aborting me. If I was aborted (or birth controlled) I would not know now would I?

    Actually, I feel bad that abortion wasn't legal in 63. No woman should have to go through giving up their child. Early term abortion is easier than a root canal. I wish my mother had choices because I love her that much.

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