' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: How giving up a child affects you in the long-term

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How giving up a child affects you in the long-term

Grief and anger are two emotions that we first mothers know plenty about. Often only when the grief can turn to anger are we often able to make a positive step in working toward changing attitudes and reforming adoption, but so much in the culture comes at us day after day that it feels as if we are taking two steps backward. The bliss of adoption is everywhere.

Some Mormon singer has a song about carrying a baby for another woman, as if this is a wonderful thing, something to celebrate. We read about the corruption in interntional adoption--particularly now in Ethiopia--but I also read a profile of Connie Britton, an actress who's making it big at forty, but right there on the second page is "her son Eyob, a 2-year-old she adopted from Ethiopia in 2011." My elderly neighbor, temporarily forgetting because she disagrees with me, says that the couple next door, in their late thirties, early forties, are thinking about
adoption and she holds up crossed fingers, wishing them luck. At an adoptive mother's blog of the Mormon persuasion (and we know how pro-adoption Mormons are), a mother cries and moans and posts pictures of her teary self because after three days, the natural father is opposing the adoption--her third--of a newborn, and while I don't remember the details and won't go back to read the blog to be further repulsed, the father is a a junkie or a thief or maybe both. On Facebook, you can get into arguments on pages such as The Skeptical Mother, where I did, or BraveLove, that advertises itself as "A Movement to Increase Adoption in America." There you can read a post that says:

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: 100% of all birth mothers have the right to choose the amount of openness in the adoptive relationship.

(according to the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents)
This is because more adoption workers do not tell unsuspecting prospects, that is, a scared young pregnant teen, that she can. We read somewhere in the ongoing saga of "Sixteen and Pregnant" TV teenthrobs, Tyler and Catelynn, that Dawn, their social worker at Bethany, chided Catelynn, saying, if you wanted a more open adoption, you should have asked. When you are not given choices, when you do now know the impact of giving a baby up, what are you supposed to ask when you are sixteen and dealing with an adult whom you think has your best interests at heart? 

Adoption today is trumpeted today as a universal good thing. For infertile couples who wish to have a family, it is a solution. For religious organizations and fellow-travelers, agencies that use the cover of religion, it is a business. For liberals who want to do good and keep the sense of family about them, it is a way to keep population growth down. Celebrities adopt and get on the cover of magazines, thus encouraging ever more people to raise other people’s children. A liberal think-tank, the Center for American Progress, encourages women to surrender their babies in order for the mothers to have a better life in a research paper called The Adoption Option. What is rarely talked about--except at blogs like First Mother Forum--is the long-term mental and physical effect of surrendering a baby to others for adoption. One expects short-term grief in the aftermath of signing away one’s rights a child one has borne, but what of the long-term lasting impact, four, five—twenty—years later?

We are not doing so well. While there are millions of us out there, we are hard to study and pin down—we do go on and have lives and get swallowed up by a code of silence that many families and friends adopt. Our previous post, When a first mother hears people talk about adoption, reveals that even for first mothers as public as Jane and myself, speaking up is fraught with anxiety in most circumstances, even after it would seem that she and I, two of the most public first mothers, would sail through such chatter. Though those in the business of adoption do not want to hear about it, the toxic aftermath of the decision to relinquish shows up in all the research that does exist.

A British study of 93 birth mothers found that while only an insignificant proportion of these women had been diagnosed with a mental health problem before adoption  (3 percent), in the time between the parting and contact, 24 percent had a psychiatric diagnosis mainly for depression, with half of them having had inpatient treatment. [1] Not surprisingly, mothers who felt compelled to search for their children were those who fared the worst.

An Australian study of over two hundred first mothers[2] found that more than a quarter of them (28 percent) reported below-average adjustment at the time they were questioned, many up to twenty years later, and half reported an increasing sense of loss since placing their children. A comparison group of women who had not given up children were found to be in sounder mental health than the women who had. Authors of the study identified three risk factors that exacerbated the difficulty of “adjustment,” for want of a better word: lack of opportunities to talk about their feelings related to surrender; no social support; and ongoing sense of loss. Yes, support groups and friends who allow first mothers to talk about their sorrow may help, but they do not alleviate the overall sadness that permeates their lives. 

A survey of more than 300 birth parents, most of them members of Concerned United Birthparents, found that surrendering a child was perceived by them as having a profound negative effect on their later lives, particularly in the area of marriage, fertility and parenting.[3] One could argue that they were self-selected to be skewed towards pathology, as they were largely members of an organization devoted to the issues surrounding surrender and its impact on the surrendering parent, but nonetheless, the results are the same as other studies.

In one of the earliest books to investigate the effect of adoption on birth mothers, The Adoption Triangle,[4]the authors (a psychiatrist and two social workers) found that in numerous letters from first mothers collected years after surrender, “there was still the intensity of feeling and the need to describe the pain, still carried within…. Even if the birth parents had become comfortable with the decision [to relinquish] because there were no viable alternatives, they nevertheless felt loss, pain, mourning and a continuing sense of caring for that long vanished child.”

Another study available on line, the Birthmother Research Project,[5] found that on average that women who surrender children are more likely to have hysterectomies than women who do not. Researcher J. Kelly, M.A. writes: "The survey results supported other research findings…that birthmothers experience difficulties with unresolved grief, traumatic stress symptoms, self-punishment, low self-esteem, arrested emotional development, living at extremes, difficulty forgiving oneself/others, being out of touch with feelings, difficulty giving/receiving love, relationship problems, self-hatred and dysfunctional sexual problems. Unresolved grief, self-punishment, and low self-esteem ranked highest among the difficulties identified as extreme, often or severe."

One often quoted study[6] that is used to promote adoption suggests that women who give up their babies are better off than similarly situated women who kept their babies. However, read farther into the study and you learn that a full third of the women who had relinquished were not at peace with their decision—but a third of the original participants--nearly 600—could not be located to complete the survey four years after relinquishment. Many were young women (21 and under) who had been residents in a home for pregnant teens, or recruited for the study because they were considering adoption for their unborn babies.

Ten percent of the women who surrendered their babies reported a great deal of regret, while 90 percent of the women who kept their babies reported no regret. Now it is true that mothers are not likely to say they regret keeping their children, but still, the findings show a marked negative impact on the mothers who surrendered. Yet this study has been used to show that giving up a child can have a positive effect on the birth mothers because they are more likely to finish their education and less likely to be receiving public assistance. Furthermore, the mothers in this study were surveyed four years after relinquishment, and for many surrendering mothers the full extent of their grief is not realized until years later. For some, the grief is suppressed for years, and then comes out in a heated rush. They write of the emotional devastation that the surrender of their children has wrought throughout their lives in memoirs and various social networks, and comments left at blogs such as this one.

This study was done in the Nineties when open adoptions began to be more available, and two-thirds of the participants did help choose the adoptive parents, and more than half of the respondents had received follow up pictures and letters. But four years later, only 12 percent said they had phoned or visited since the child had been placed with a new family, so fully open adoptions were not typical. The one positive note is that those who did help choose the parents, and were not coerced into surrender, reported less grief and worry, and more relief and peace, then mothers who did not have this opportunity. The cohort that had the least regret and sadness were those who had continuing contact with the adoptive family. How great or small this number actually is remains a large mystery. According the Donaldson Institute, mothers who believe their adoptions will be open, but find them later closed, suffer the greatest.
While writing about this, I am reminded what a well-known Manhattan psychologist, Lee Salk, brother of Jonas, once said to a close friend of mine he was dating: “You don’t want to end up like Lorraine, do you?” The comment stung—what kind of vibe did I give off? I wondered, I’d only met the man briefly, I was an editor at Town and Country magazine at the time, I was in a relationship, I did not think of myself as some pathetic creature—but whatever aura I emanated at the time was inconsequential to the larger mosaic of my life: he knew my story and innately understood that giving up a child would always leave a hole.

Life did go on, but not without my daughter, a secret I carried in my pocket. That saying about time healing all wounds depends on whose time it is. You don’t want to end up like Lorraine, do you?

(Copyright, 2013, Lorraine Dusky, from a memoir-in-progress, soon to be released. None of this may be copied or used without written permission of the author.)

[1] *The Adoption Triangle Revisited: A Study of adoption, search and reunion experiences by John Triseliotis, Julia Feast and Fiona Kyle, 2005; The British Association for Adoption & Fostering.
[2] Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process, Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2006, revised 2007, pps. 46-50. The Australian study is one of several included in the Donaldson report.
[3] Eva Y. Deykin, Dr. P .H., Lee Campbell, M.Ed., Patricia Patti, B.S.N., The Post Adoption Experience of Surrendering Parents, American Orthopsychiatric Association, 1984, pps. 271-280.
[5] J. Kelly, M.A., Birthmother Research Project
[6] Pearila Brickner Namerow, Debra Kalmus, and Linda Cushman,“The Consequences of Placing versus Parenting Among Unmarried Women,  Families and Adoption (The Haworth Press) pps. 175-197.

From FMF 
When a first mother hears people talk about adoption
How shame keeps birth mothers from embracing reunion
Response to The Adoption Option 

The Adoption Triangle (above left)  "A classic and the first to deal with how sealed and open records affect adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents. Originally published in 1978," ... it is as true and open as the changes advocated ... comprehensive, factual, forward looking, totally honest, readable and thoughtful ..." Los Angeles Times.

Adoption Triangle Revisited  (above right) This is an amazing book. Although many books that document the search and reunion, this one revisits those involved in the adoption triangle, at least 10 years after reunion, through a comprehensive questionnaire and review. The statistics are there, but the qualitative insights and stories make the reading experience enriching and sympathetic. The summary at each section under review relates the findings to known psychology of adoption and pulls the whole set of stories into perspective. Worthwhile new insights here. I see that it is currently unavailable at Amazon; I got mine shortly after it came out. Try ABE Books if you are determined to get this.

On a computer note: I have lost the ability to transfer scanned photos to my computer and I don't know why. I have a new (old) picture of my daughter and myself that I want to show you, but though I scan it, it doesn't seem to move to my computer, as such photos did in the past. What did I do? Grrrrr. Any ideas out there? Please email me at forumfirstmother@gmail.com.


  1. This website makes my blood boil. All I see on this page is about the mothers, the mothers, the mothers. You are forgetting one very key factor in the adoption process, the children. I was adopted when I was seven. The reason was; my "first mother" was a severe drug addict. Whilst living with her I was beaten, raped, and often went without food. My adoptive parents, aka my real parents provided me with love, support, shelter, food, one of the best educations in the country and more of a life then I ever could have dreamt of having if I had stayed with my birth mother. I have recently reconnected with my bmom and, thankfully she is clean and sober now, but it took her 30+years to get her life on track. I know it was very hard for her to sign those papers but it was the best thing she ever did in her life. I have a great life and I am thankful to her for that. To negate the positive impact that adoption has on kids is so selfish and isn't that the point of being a mom, to be selfless? To provide the best care for your child? My story is not an anomaly. There are many kids like me who have benefited greatly from the selfless act of their parent/s giving them up for adoption. I hope that you do not only post the comments agreeing with you and that my voice is heard.

    1. Actually you don't know and sad to say can't know how much better life for you, and your real mother(birth mother) could have been, or would have been had she stayed and people worked to help her overcome her struggles. You and your real mother(birth mother) were denied the wonderful experience of having a mother daughter life together just so someone who was selfish and had a better life going for them could feed their own needs regardless of the harm it would do to you and your real mom(birth mother).

      If you have to tear someone else apart to get what you want then that tells you right away that it is wrong.

    2. I am with you mother. I was talked into giving to state and also claimed that I would get them back, but that was a lie. It has been 19 years, I too experience the endless pain, loss, grief, emptiness, hole in my heart so deep, not able to forgive myself it is so difficult to do and what the most hard part is my children are back in my life. I have been writing, calling, buying expensive gifts over the years to get their approval and their forgiveness. They have not shown me that they forgiven me, but they all have shown me they are ashamed and embarassed of me through their behaviors and actions. They lie to me a lot and bad mouth about me to each other. They do nottshare their true feelings about what they really feel and think of me. They visit me only 2 hours while they tell me they were in town for 1 week and visit me for 2 hours, later I have found out they were in fact in town for 3 weeks. I was not important enough to visit longer instead they visited others whom had kicked them out after the states money was gone. These are the foster and adoptive parents whom cared about the states government money more. Heartbroken Anna Barricuda5050@gmail.com

    3. I am with you mother. I was talked into giving to state and also claimed that I would get them back, but that was a lie. It has been 19 years, I too experience the endless pain, loss, grief, emptiness, hole in my heart so deep, not able to forgive myself it is so difficult to do and what the most hard part is my children are back in my life. I have been writing, calling, buying expensive gifts over the years to get their approval and their forgiveness. They have not shown me that they forgiven me, but they all have shown me they are ashamed and embarassed of me through their behaviors and actions. They lie to me a lot and bad mouth about me to each other. They do nottshare their true feelings about what they really feel and think of me. They visit me only 2 hours while they tell me they were in town for 1 week and visit me for 2 hours, later I have found out they were in fact in town for 3 weeks. I was not important enough to visit longer instead they visited others whom had kicked them out after the states money was gone. These are the foster and adoptive parents whom cared about the states government money more. Heartbroken Anna Barricuda5050@gmail.com

  2. Anon: Obviously we post all kinds of comments--it we did not we would not have so many arguments going on. This is a website for mothers who relinquish their children, and did not go on to make lives for themselves without a big hole in their hearts. Certainly some mothers were drug addicts and other lowlifes whose children are best raised by other people, but to come here and say we make your blood boil is absurd.

    Please read FMF's tag line:
    A place where first/birth/natural/real mothers share news and opinions. And vent.

    We do not pretend to talk about the adoptee experience except as it relates to first mothers. Most of us were not addicted abusers. As are not most adoptive parents.

    You are an adoptee who had a horrible beginning but it appears that you had a good life after being rescued by good people. Why denigrate all mothers because your natural mother was who she was?

  3. Anonymous, I'm sorry you feel that first moms don't focus on the adoptees too much. For many of us, it's hard to talk about it. But, I can see your point. You know, it would be a refreshing change to see how many positive things we as first mothers can say about adoption. Because as much as we rail and cry, there have been some small good things (at least for me).

    I was able to finish my education which was really important to me. I was also able to travel to Asia and Europe with my job. I was able to spend a lot of time with my thoughts and write them down. While those don't compare to the negatives I experienced, it helps to sometimes say them out loud.

    We come here so often to cry and rant, but perhaps we should also take a moment to try to think of what was good. At lease for me, I don't think anything is ever a mistake and some learning comes from every experience.

  4. Adoption has brought me pain, everyday pain, some mornings I wake up sobbing, some nights I can't sleep. Yes, I do think about my daughter, constantly, I am happy to see her loved, healthy, and happy...OF COURSE I am, I love her so much...but for me, there is nothing personally positive about the choice I made. I finished school, I have more freedom, but who cares? I would trade all those things to be with my daughter everyday in a heartbeat. I used to think I would "heal", now I just accept the fact I will always be in pain.

  5. The day FMF starts posting "positive" adoption stories is the day I stop reading. America is in love with adoption, and FMF is one place where I can escape the pro-adopt propaganda.

    To suggest that FMF talk about supposedly "positive" aspects of adoption is absurd and I have to choke back the vomit contemplating such a horrid idea.

    As someone who lost my entire family and identity shortly after birth, I find your anon comment both offensive and short sighted.

    There are thousands of places on the interwebs where one can peruse happy adoption stories, yet very few places, like FMF, where a person who was traumatized by adoption such as myself can read about adoption without gagging.

    Perhaps anon you are new to the adoption blogosphere and do not realize there are legions of happy beemommy bloggers who are thrilled to let someone else raise their children? Perhaps those blogs would be more to your liking. Or perhaps anon can start her own blog, joining the chorus of the moronic masses who sing adoption's praises.

    G's daughter

  6. Sandi, (birthmom buds) they can offer more positives than I

    Really, let's see...

    I carried my baby for ten months, gave birth, had him taken from me in delivery room, never held him or even saw his face.

    Positive: I didn't have to raise him someone else did

    I. Spent 26 years wondering if he was alive or dead.

    Positive: It gave me time to enjoy my life. Freed me up!

    Suffered grieve that was driven inside.

    Positive: helped mental health profession

    Really are you for real????

  7. Another brilliant post I wish the whole world would read.

    My grandmother died last year, but I only just discovered in her last few years of life that she had a second baby, after giving birth to my mother. She had a daughter and for some unknown reason, she gave her up. We believe she was coerced or felt forced because she later showed signs of regret to my mother--though it was a topic she almost NEVER would speak of (my mother didn't even find out she had a sister until she was an adult). Since finding sites such as this, and educating myself on the darker side of adoption, I feel I've begun to finally understand my grandmother, whom I loved, but had a strained relationship with. She was sometimes a difficult person to be around...and for a long time we've wondered if something had "happened" to her when she was young, that made made her the way she was. Don't get me wrong, I loved her very much, but I've recently come to believe that my grandmother was the way she was in part because she gave up a daughter she loved. I feel it affected her and also us more than we've ever realized.


    I also have an acquaintance (prior "friend" but our relationship is also strained) who has been waiting to adopt for two years after suffering from infertility. She has recently been making statements about their long wait, meeting with their adoption counselor, wondering why "it's taking so long" and has been "a wait longer than expected". She's very outspoken about being pro-adoption and feels it gets treated unfairly by society, she has also blogged about how she has to be careful about what she said because birth mothers are "angry", she is very much the victim, you see. But hearing her speak about how much longer this wait is going to be--frankly I want to punch her in the face!

    Does she not realize that she is basically wishing for some woman to be put in the horrible position of feeling she has no choice but to give up her baby for life? The sense of entitlement, the feeling of "I'm infertile and so I'm entitled to someone else's baby and HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO TAKE!?"

    It makes me want to vomit. It makes me think of my grandmother, and how I saw that hurt--I think--affect her for years.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment, but thank you for this post. As you can see, it has hit home for me in a lot of ways.

  8. Yes I'm for real. I'm not some blissfully happy first mom, but I think it's stupid to only focus on the negative in any given situation. For instance, last year I got in a fairly bad car wreck. While I wasn't badly hurt, my car was totaled. It was awful. But even in the midst of that, I tried to focus on the positives: finding a new car, upgrading my insurance, working from home for a few weeks, and pampering myself with a few massages.

    Do I miss my daughter? YES! Do I spend every waking moment wondering about what she's doing? No, not really. There are things that remind me of her, and then I get really sad. Am I angry? No. I'm sad and disappointed with myself and the system. I don't think that being angry at her amoms will do anything but make me a worse person. I don't blame them for my sadness or my disappointment. I don't blame them for anything other than being naive. They didn't forcibly take my daughter, I was all too willing to give her up. I was enticed by a life that didn't have responsibilities (ha!).

    I don't expect the world to give me a fair shake, because no one does. Everyone has grief, pain, suffering, and sadness. Mine pain isn't unique or something I need to make more of.

    I do have days where it's harder than others. I have days when I feel like I make the worst mistake of my life. But, most days, I'm just a typical 32 year old, enjoying a Starbucks in my office.

  9. It seems absurd to me that in adoption circles statistics need to be proffered to show that women suffer from relingquishing babies.


    What the hell do they think happens when a child is removed from their Mother? Willingly or unwillingly.

    Willful disingenuous ignorance at its best.

  10. FMF's readers are amazing. It's weird how something that seems perfectly all right one moment, the next hits you like a flying meteor and the next thing you know you have tears in your eyes. I cry a lot, as most of you know. This is the sentence that got to me, Heather, I feel it affected her and also us more than we've ever realized.

    Damn straight.

    And G's Daughter thanks for the perspective.

  11. Sandi: Life does go on, doesn't it? It's just different.

  12. Anonymous (2/19/2013 @ 11:50 PM),

    The vast majority of women on this site would agree that your biological mother should not have raised you.

    Blood ties are not more important than a child's welfare. I'm so glad that you found a good, loving home. All children deserve to be loved, cared for, and safe.

    However, I am wondering what Lorraine said that made your "blood boil". I, too, am an adoptee, so I cannot know for certain, but it would seem to me that giving up a child would have long-term effects for many (most) women.

    In my mother's first communication to me, she wrote that she felt relief, relief in knowing that I was alive and well. That still chokes me up. Can you imagine what that's like? She lived decades of her life without knowing whether I was alive or dead.

    Just living with the weight of not knowing what happened to your child must have terribly deleterious effects.

    And, as an adoptee, I know that I am a tolerated visitor here. The focus of this site is mothers, so if it comes across as "the mothers, the mothers, the mothers" to you, well, it should. This site is for them.

    These are women who were typically shamed by society, shamed by their parents into silence. They now have a voice. Do I always agree with what they say? No. But, I certainly respect their world views, especially since this is their turf.

  13. I force myself to see something good sometimes(literally-go to the park or better,yet,some place where I can see the horizon like an ocean or some open space) just to calm down all the mental chaos giving up my child has caused. Today I woke up crying,which I can't ever remember doing, and beats me if I know why I read something in the news which was just too sad to hear and also it's just a few days from the anniversary of signing the surrender papers. So,while some of us have fights and disagree sometimes, I am very thankful that this blog exists. There are few places where people can be honest and still get published. Ginny

  14. I wonder if Mindy McCready's suicide was precipitated by the fact that she was about to lose her sons?

  15. HDW, Thank You! Thank you for your kind words. Having a day fraught with sadness, anger and grief as my daughters birthday approaches, it's nice to know that there are others out there, other than us first moms, that have the grace and compassion you have given in your post.

  16. I've never been a drug addict; I eschew OTC meds, FFS. I've never prostituted myself, although I did have sex with a man I fell in love with during the two years I was living 1,000 miles away from my husband who went underground running drugs between Philly and DC, while awaiting our divorce to finalize. I was on the BCP; it failed. I WANTED my second son. I looked for solutions for three months, gulped down my pride to feed my then-toddler and got food stamps, but that doesn't give protection from "do-gooders" with clout and cash. My son has a Mom, a mother. I get it. I concede. Goddammit, I concede! What more do you want?! What the fuck more do you want? I have nothing left to give; don't you get it? It's ALWAYS been about my sons. Always!

  17. How outrageous that mothers mothers mothers should wish to speak their truth. How dare they!

    It's a big internet, anon. I am sure you can find a place that caters to adopted people with boiling blood.

    Be well.

  18. I feel like I am in good company with the likes of you, Lorraine. We all ended up like Lorraine! LOL!

  19. "I wonder if Mindy McCready's suicide was precipitated by the fact that she was about to lose her sons?"

    While she was no doubt distraught about her children being in foster care (understatement,) I think the reasons she took her life were a lot more complicated than that.

    Mindy McCready unfortunately had a history of multiple suicide attempts, beginning even before her children were born.

    So sadly, it seems like her mental health problems were long-term.

    The suicide death of her boyfriend recently actually seems to have been the catalyst for the whole situation, and seems to have caused the depression that led to the children's removal. Concern that she might be a danger to herself and them in that emotional state was the reason the children were taken into care in the first place - the emotional state didn't just start as a response.

    Her parental rights were not being terminated as of the time of her death, the children were just in care and being placed with her mother as a foster home.

    I'm not saying having her children in foster care was not a factor. I'm sure it was.

    I'm just saying that with her history of depression, substance abuse, and unsuccessful past suicide attempts, it's likely that her tragic decision to end her own life was not a direct response to a single circumstance, but was the sad culmination of years of inner turmoil.

  20. @ G's daughter, come on, here are quite some positive adoption stories too, think about Teleah Achane and Betty Lub. We are talking here in the corner of the misnamed triad in which adopton is, at least legally, only loss. Loss of recognition of filial relation, loss of duties, loss of rights. From this position, positive concepts connected with are Failed, Ban, Annulment, Back, Decrease...

  21. I understand that this is a forum for mothers that have placed the children up for adoption, but the reason I say "the mothers, the mothers, the mothers" is; you seem to have lost sight of the children. While it is true that not all adopted children came from as tragic of situations as mine, I venture a guess that most benefit greatly from being placed in better circumstances. The point of my argument, that you all seem to be missing, is that, as mothers, it isn't about you, it is about the child. Sure maybe some 15, 16, 17 year olds can make great parents, but if you look at statistics, their children tend to also have kids at that age. The mother and child BOTH tend not to obtain college degrees. Mother and child both tend to be less well of financially throughout the course of their lives. Of course this is not every case, but most cases. The issue should always be the BEST INTEREST of the child. My parents went through so much to adopt me, screening, time, money, etc. It is not the easy process that a lot of people on this site like to claim. I really do understand how hard it must be to not have your child anymore, but please understand that for so many of us, it is probably for the best. The reason my blood boils is the selfishness i see on this website. When I see comments on other threads about how children in Russian orphanages should just "wait it out" and I am appalled. You want people to have sympathy for you, well all I see are a bunch of selfish people.

  22. Also, don't think that I adoptive kids don't care about my bio mom. I have spent the last 25 years wondering about my bio mom and whether or not she was clean, dead, happy, etc. I have met her now and we have a good relationship and I will always care for her.

  23. ""Sandi said...

    Anonymous, I'm sorry you feel that first moms don't focus on the adoptees too much. For many of us, it's hard to talk about it. But, I can see your point. You know, it would be a refreshing change to see how many positive things we as first mothers can say about adoption. Because as much as we rail and cry, there have been some small good things (at least for me).""

    Good for you that you finished your education minus your child, if that's what you perceive to be a 'positive' for you. YOU can only speak for yourself. As a natural mother who was given no other choice, other than to surrender her newborn for adoption, I have no 'positive' comments to make. Not for one minute, one second in my life (since 1964) can I find one 'positive' thing about losing my firstborn, newborn to adoption.

  24. @anonymous 2:21am

    "The reason my blood boils is the selfishness i see on this website. When I see comments on other threads about how children in Russian orphanages should just "wait it out" and I am appalled. You want people to have sympathy for you, well all I see are a bunch of selfish people."

    You have got to be kidding me. You come to a site called First Mother Forum where women speak of the anguish of losing their children to adoption and call US selfish; when many of us have been conned out of our own children via lies, false promises and coercion by selfish liars who only cared about themselves? Selfish liars who claim to care so much for the children they covet; yet all they care about is possessing these children and having all the love and loyalty all to themselves while mothers suffer without their children. These people treat the mothers of the children they covet despicably and you call us selfish? I guess that is okay in your eyes, huh?

    You have some effing nerve to talk about your "blood a boilin'" when this is a site for First Mothers to vent and speak their truths. There are plenty of rainbows, sunshine and unicorn sites out there to cater to the likes of you; sites that make my blood boil so I just STAY AWAY and come to a place where there are others who understand exactly what I am going through.

    Your "blood is boiling" because people like you don't want to hear the truth. Tough. Most of us gave up living our lives for the comfort of others many moons ago. It started with taking back the power that was stolen from us and our own motherhood.

    Who the hell are you to declare that we don't care about our own children? If we did not care do you think we would be here speaking of our anguish? Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Why don't you get a life and stop trying to dictate someones grieving process to them. What nerve. WOW.

  25. Anonymous 2:21 am,

    "I venture a guess that most benefit greatly from being placed in better circumstances"

    That is all it is, your guess. What do you consider better circumstances? More money? Less DNA? What exactly is better? Most of our children would have done just fine had they stayed with their natural mothers/family. Most of us were not teenaged drug addicts and prostitutes. Most of us, given some support and resources, may have struggled temporarily, mostly financially, but not permanently. And that is exactly what adoption is, a permanent solution to a temporary situation.

    " The issue should always be the BEST INTEREST of the child. "

    The best interest of any child is to be raised by their biological family with the exception of abuse or neglect. Limited financial means is no reason for a child to be handed off to strangers. Financial situations are temporary, adoption isn't.

    "My parents went through so much to adopt me, screening, time, money, etc."

    Most of us empathize with people who for whatever reason can not have children biologically. No matter how "hard" it is to fill out all that paperwork and go through all the background checks, it does not entitle anyone to someone's child.

    " When I see comments on other threads about how children in Russian orphanages should just "wait it out" and I am appalled"

    Yet another Russian child was murdered by his adoptive mother this past month. His first mother is pleading for her other child, who was also in their custody, to be returned to her. Is that not appalling? Would you want the U.S. to send our foster children to another country only to be murdered or abused? There is obviously something very wrong with our international adoption system when these cases are becoming more and more common.

    Your personal, subjective experience with adoption is what adoption should be about. It should be about children finding homes that actually need them. It should not be about finding children for homes that want them.

  26. Anonymous (2/21/2013 @ 2:21 AM),

    That phrase, "the best interest of the child," seems to be sitting on a very slippery slope.

    I fully agree that children who are physically or emotionally abused or neglected do deserve better homes, and adoption is one possible solution for those children.

    I also agree that orphans should not grow up in orphanages, and again adoption is one possible solution for those children.

    But, then, you speak of degrees and finances. This is where the slope becomes slippery.

    You mentioned the following as negative consequences of keeping a child: "if you look at statistics, their children tend to also have kids at that age. The mother and child BOTH tend not to obtain college degrees. Mother and child both tend to be less well of financially throughout the course of their lives."

    Well, then, we are on a very steep, slippery slope. Should we take babies away from blue collar parents? Their children tend not to attend college, and they tend not be as well off financially as the typical college graduate.

    I get really uneasy when someone believes that elevation within the American caste system is a solid reason for adoption.

  27. Lorraine,

    I'm a mother by adoption -- I've posted before -- and I've learned a great deal from BMFM. When friends and acquaintances seek advice about adoption (because I adopted my child when he was three years old), I am discouraged by how adamant most of them are about not adopting a baby who is born addicted to drugs. THESE babies are the ones whose mothers often really cannot and should not raise them, as opposed to the babies of college students who are afraid to tell their parents they are pregnant and therefore hide out for months and give their babies up. While I understand the desire for a healthy baby, I think my friends are being rigid in refusing even to read about how some drugs don't have long-term side effects on babies after they've gone through withdrawal. They just say, "No. No drug use." I know some who aren't interested in birthmothers who have smoked cigarettes while pregnant! I think this is why there are so many birthmothers who post on BMFM: because nice, middle class white girls who eat well and don't even smoke pot and have high IQs are sought after by adoption agencies in a way flawed, high school dropout pregnant women aren't. Again, I understand my friends' desire to have as healthy a baby as possible, but there are birthmothers and babies out there who need middle class would-be adoptive parents to let go of their extreme class prejudice and outright ignorance (when it comes to the drug part).

    Sorry to rant, but there's no one I can complain about this to.

  28. This is a place for mothers who lost their children to adoption to express their views and opinions, something we cannot do to most people in our society. That is not selfish, I love my daughter and know she is loved and she seems happy, but I don't have really anyone I can talk to about how I feel. When, recently I was talking to my pregnancy/adoption counselor about how I had such a mix of emotions with my daughters birthday coming up, she said to me, "I thought you were fine last year...don't covet what someone else has." Even my therapist doesn't totally get it, and one of my friends told me she doesn't want me talking about my feelings with her. My family has said things to me like "well, if you are going to be upset and can't move on...why don't you just go kidnap her back". Of course they weren't serious, its just there way of telling me to shut up. People really do expect a first/birth/natural mom to just get over it, move on, and never talk about how it is for you. So, I am thankful for other moms out there that know what it is like! I don't think anyone on this forum is selfish for wanting to speak their truth.


  29. '"The issue should always be the BEST INTEREST of the child"

    Well, then..by your logic...anonymous adopted person from Russia..all children would be better served in a system that did not recognize any biological parental rights.

    In your world, children would go to the persons who could offer the most advantages....money, education, opportunities, etc.

    However,there would be some problems..for example.Who would be the "breeders" of these children and how would they learn to "relate" as sold objects in your brave new world...

    And what about those young non-college educated women who might actually be good mothers and good workers as well. Not everyone needs or wants a college education.

    As you can already see, there are people who do not like being separated from their kin because of money money money.

  30. As some of our readers have noted, it is not FMF's duty to tell the other side of the adoption story.

    I thought of this when I read a recent article in The New Yorker about Galileo. According to the article, the Catholic Church endorsed-view is that if Galileo had just been a little nicer, said that the earth went around the sun was just a thought but it could be the other way around, he would have avoided all that nastiness.

    Instead, Galileo made needless trouble for himself by rejecting the Church's position outright.

    Fortunately no one is threatening Lorraine and me with torture and we can continue to write about the dark side of adoption.

  31. In my opinion (just mine) blood boiling adoptee, you, like so many other adoptees have yet to come to terms with your own inner turmoil over losing your mother and family. So you come here and lash out in a cruel and derogatory manner, at complete Strangers because in your heart you are still hurting greatly over the terrible circumstances surrounding your birth and relinquishment.

    If you were truly happy with your circumstances you would not feel the need to attack these poor grieving women who have already been subjected too so much.
    I can understand you being angry at your mother for failing you through her addictions. But these women here are NOT YOUR MOTHER.

    Just my opinion.

  32. I don't understand why the experience of the mother outweighs the future of the child. You can give birth to more children, that child does not get to choose who their parents are or how they live. They have absolutely no agency. They did not choose to be born.

    This website is absolutely amazing to me. First mothers, you are all incredibly self centered. Whether or not you regret giving up your child is less important than the quality of life that YOU brought into the world. As a mother, you are responsible for giving your child the best life it can have. SOMETIMES that life is *not* with you. Perhaps you are not really fit to be a mother. Have you ever thought about that?

    I want you to stop and think, "If I had not given up this child, how would the *child* feel right now? How would they live? Would they be happy with me? Would I have the money to support the child? Do I have the time and patience to dedicate to a child? Would I ever be a fit mother?"

    I try not to be accusatory in my comments, but my god, ladies. Think about someone other than yourself for just a minute. Think about the kid who doesn't have the agency or power you have.

  33. No one is saying that the experience of a mother outweighs the future of a child. I am fit to be a mother, that has nothing to do with the adoption of my child. I believe I did put my child ahead of myself, in fact, I KNOW I did. I still, at times, should be able to talk about how it is for me...giving a child up is tragic.

  34. I fear I must keep bringing the discussion back to the facts: this is a place for mothers who have lost children to adoption to tell their side. Nobody ever wants to hear our side. Not our families, or our spouses, or our children, and most especially, not our lost children. We are called selfish if we discuss the grief or describe our feelings. We are continually expected to "move on," which effectively means to stuff it. Don't talk about it. This is one place where Lorraine and Jane DO discuss it, and thank the Universe, there is a place.
    If you think we are selfish, or only talk about ourselves here, then you are right. That's what the blog is for. Go somewhere else if you want to talk about adoptee pain. We don't want to compare pain and loss with adoptees. We all lost something with adoption, adoptees and mothers. We try to understand your loss and try to give extra allowance for that. Why can't we have the same?
    I love my daughter and I know she loves her adopters. She says she had a good life, and I believe her. I was not on drugs or a prostitute. I was a good Catholic girl who got pregnant. Her life living with me would have been JUST FINE.

  35. When is this blog going to become a safe place for mothers of loss? Meaning, a place where none of us suffering in our grief, so easily triggered into fits of anger and crying, will have to worry about seeing comments from those on the other side, whether it be adopters or adoptees, who are against us. Who spew hate. Who tell us we had a choice, so suck it up. Who tell us to moveo n. Who tell us we don't have a right to grieve. Who tells us we're selfish/self centered. And on and on and on. Why are they being granted a right to be heard here? Seriously, why?! We know they exist, so why do they get to be entertained here. All they are doing is causing more grief. There are other places on the internet they can collectively express their hatred.

    It should be enough that they read what we say by this being open. If they refuse to believe us, oh well. They then can "move on", and find some place else to bash us, so that it's not right here in our face!

    If this site doesn't want to make this place anti haters, can someone tell me of a site that is safe, and active, because for grieving mothers like myself, who just want to learn and share and encourage other mothers of loss. Not to have to see such hateful comments of which the person responsible's goal is to invalidate us, and shame us, as we don't face that enough already from those in our offline lives, especially from the ones who robbed us of our children, from the ones who claim our children as theirs.

  36. @ Ranger Bangel

    "I want you to stop and think, "If I had not given up this child, how would the *child* feel right now? How would they live? Would they be happy with me? Would I have the money to support the child? Do I have the time and patience to dedicate to a child? Would I ever be a fit mother?"

    Ask my second son that I did not lose to adoption those questions, you arrogant thing you. He is happy, healthy and thriving and does not for one second wish some other woman was calling him her son and he calling some strange woman his mother. Who the hell are YOU to dictate who is not fit or not fit to be a mother? Does your money make you more "fit" to be a mother? Does your barren womb if you are infertile and desperation to be a mother make you more "fit" to be a mother? No, it does not.

    There is not one doubt in my mind the child I lost to con artist liars would be the man he was born to be, not some shell of a human being who is some robot to make his adopters happy. This I know for a fact. Get over yourself, please. At least I didn't and don't have to brainwash my child to be loyal to me because I am threatened by the fact I know I am not his natural mother. That is hardly "fit" motherhood. More like pathetic...

    These types of comments on a blog called FIRST MOTHER FORUM are starting to piss me off, royally. Where do these people get off. Get out of our lives and by all means, get the hell out of our wombs. The fact that you can't is so very creepy.

  37. Continued....

    Those whom deny us not just a relationship, not just no contact, deny we are even our child's mother, they are the selfish, and frankly, evil ones, that should make other's "blood boil", with righteous rage.

    My son at 4 years old was told he had an "other mother", but that I'm dead. To which he, a child who hadn't previously been told of my existence, who hadn't been fostered to have a sense of relation to me as his mother, or even a person that exists, fell to the floor wailing, in grief, crying "I want my other mommy", over and over, to which he was just left, alone, grieving. For those adoptees who clearly ended up with parents of means, who clearly spoiled them (and I mean spoiled, as in made rotten, not as in overly pampered) you think money and material possession and options are superior. You have no idea. Love is what matters most. If you assume poor people are so miserable, for what they lack monetarily/materially, how bout you put on your swaztika, and throw them in the gas chamber, since clearly according to your logic, they have no right to live! Seriously! You and your adopters are clearly demented, yay you! Do you want a medal?!

    The ones who kidnapped my son are wealthy, but that doesn't make them better. And when I say kidnapped, I mean that in the actual meaning of the word, because I didn't give my child up, adoption was never considered by me, and guess what, I'm not nor never haven been a drug addict, I never ever tried any illegal drugs. I have only ever taken prescribed medicine from doctors for conditions, and short term I might add! I never was a smoker, not an alcoholic. Not a criminal. I have a very high i.q., could have gone to university and gotten some high position if money was available and if I had the desire to. I am not mentally unstable either, despite the ptsd and grief. I'm actually extremely high functioning. It all came down to things that happened to me, abuses, that I had no control over, combined with my poverty and outright lies, and people with money who wanted my son. They are wealthy, so he is surely not in want materially. They are older, work from home, running their own successful business, so he's not lacking for attention either. They claim to be Christian. By their family and friends and outside sources only looking in at outside appearances, they appear as decent, good, loving people. So tell me then, why did my son grieve for me, why did he cry out for me?! I'll you nitwits why, BECAUSE HE'S MY SON, I'M HIS MOM, AND CHILDREN NEED THEIR MOTHERS, NOT THE WOMEN WHO THINK THEY'RE THE MOMS WHO GET POSSESSION OF THEM! My son didn't fall from a chicken's arse, I didn't find him in a nest and go sit on him, keeping him warm til he hatched for some other selfish mentally unfit woman to claim as hers! He was made in me, from me, he grew inside me, was nourished by me, for 9 and a half months! A bond is made in that, just because it's not visible to the human eye, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You cannot just cut the umbilical cord acting as though it's the only matter connecting a mother and her child, because it's not. And if you think children are just blank slates with no memories, you show how uneducated you are, BY CHOICE, because the information is out there that proves you wrong.

  38. J.L,

    I'm sorry that you feel this site is not safe for mothers of adoption loss. We usually get accused the other way -- that it is not safe for adoptive mothers.

    I wouldn't characterize those who disagree with us as haters. They are just ignorant for the most part, unable to see the other side of adoption or even aware that there is another side. Our readers do a fine job of responding to them, tearing the wool from their eyes.

    I hope you will continue to participate here. We want to be a place where first mothers are comfortable sharing news and opinions. And venting.

  39. My son was placed in my arms at 4 days old. His birth mother said, "take him, I can't stand that squealing". That was the only thing she said to me.

    At the time she was a college professor at a well known college, married, and drove away from the hospital in a shiny new Lexus. Our son was her third child and the second that she'd given up for adoption.

    She wanted nothing to do with him. No updates, no pictures, no contact whatsoever.

    When my husband asked her how we could contact her if we had questions, she said "don't".

    Can someone explain that mentality? I found this site through another adoptive mom. I would like nothing more than to know about his birth mother, but she's made her expectations very clear. How do I explain this to my son?

    1. So confused, seeing how it's Friday I will briefly entertain the notion that your, ahem, story is true.
      Do you remember the color of the Lexus ;)

      There are probably 2 maybe three billion mothers in the world? I'm guessing. 99.9 percent of them would crawl over broken glass to love hold and protect their infant child.

      If your "professor" really acted as you described then these are the actions of someone who is obviously deeply and profoundly troubled.

      You seem to know all about this mother, if you really wanted to know why she acted this way surely you could ask her?

      I was born at night So confused, but not last night. ;)

  40. "First mothers, you are all incredibly self centered." as quoted by Ranger Bagel. Hmmm...that's weird because normally, we are heralded as "selfless angels" who "made the ultimate sacrifice for our children" by giving them to others to raise. Then Heaven forbid we should discuss the hell of its aftermath, and what it has done to us. I *know* we're supposed to keep quiet...I learned that lesson the hard way. But don't ever doubt the love we feel for our children...because that's why we are the way we are. It was because we were so unselfish that we gave our children to others to raise...most of the time against our better judgment and the feeling of wrongness in our hearts...but we were told it was best FOR THEM.

    Beware because there is always someone down the street, or across town who can give a child "more." What is the measurable level of "enough" and therefore qualifies us to be a parent to our own child? My daughter was spoiled rotten materialistically. When she didn't want to do something, she was bribed with something...be it a toy or a new Jeep Cherokee. What she didn't have is her people...her siblings...her FAMILY. Just 2 short years after I was made to give up my daughter, I married her bfather and we had a son. He is a very successful young man in the Air Force. He followed in the footsteps of his father. I have another son who is very successfully serving overseas in the Navy, and a daughter that will graduate 4th out of her high school class of almost 400. We've dealt with no teen-aged pregnancies, drug problems, or time in jail. I did go to college for a bit after I lost my daughter, but I never got a degree (yet, anyway!). My heart was with my baby and I couldn't concentrate on school.

    So, chalk my "first-mom" life up to failure I guess. Certainly my daughter fared much better without our horrible parenting abilities.

    Personally, I'm sick of trying to prove I'm "good enough" to people. We'll never be allowed to live it down...no matter what successes we have.

  41. "First mothers, you are all incredibly self centered"

    Ranger Bagel..in reading your comments, I am incredibly astonished. You know nothing about the mothers here. Most of us have already found or been found by our adopted-away "children." We do not have to wonder what they think or how they grew up.

    Many of us have raised other children. Many of us have grandchildren.

    My son and I were reunited in the late 1980s. He told me then that he,"grew up lonely and full of hate." He did not react well to being adopted and he said that he thought the I "must have hated him to have given him up for adoption."

    He was only a little boy and he thought his mother who gave birth to him hated him.

    I had a relationship with him for 18 years until his death in 2007 , from cancer. He was 39.

    I still have a close relationship with his daughter, my granddaughter. She is in her 20s and I have always known her. My husband and I helped her with her college expenses. We also helped my son with his education expenses.

    There is no question that I could have raised him if I had gotten the support and help I needed at the time of his birth. I was well-educated and came from a "good" family.

    The "babies have no choices" argument does not carry weight. Babies are always choiceless and that means that mothers must act for and on their behalf.. This does not mean that mothers are somehow selfish.

    For 20 years, when I didn't know where my son was, I felt constant anxiety over my son's welfare and my feelings were correct. And I have no doubt he would have been better off with me.

  42. Ladies, why are you letting trolls in here now? Can you not see the ridiculous comments are people making fun? A bit of discretion please!

  43. Actually, while I'm at it So confused, an apt monikker if I've ever heard one. If the good denizens of FMF would permit me to speak on their behalf. ....
    This forum is made up of Normal Mothers who are having a Normal reaction to an unimaginably terrible event. I would imagine most mothers here experienced sometimes physical and most definitely varying degrees of emotional and psychological coercion in order to pressure them to relinquish. In fact it is only in societies where there are the mechanisms in place to support this active coercion that we see large numbers of mothers relinquishing their children. But I digress.

    Given the above, S. Confused, what would make you think you would find answears to your highly questionable story, here?

  44. @Ranger Bagel

    How I feel about adoption has no bearing on how my son will/does feel. It is my sincere hope and wish that he is growing up loved and cared for without any issues, but because he is adopted, I no longer have any control over that. He would have been loved and cared for with me, no question.

    "You can give birth to more children, that child does not get to choose who their parents are or how they live."

    I have given birth to 3 more children. None of them replace the son that I lost to adoption. Children are not interchangeable. They are not replaceable. The 3 children I am raising only make me realize how wrong it is that my oldest son is not with us, because we have a fantastic life as a family.

    As far as being a fit mother, yes I am. In fact, I am a stellar mother. The one and only thing my son's parents had on me was money. Guess what, they still have more money than me, but that has no bearing on what kind of parents they are or what kind of mother I am. The children I am raising are perfectly happy. Just as my oldest son would have been.

  45. Nice try, SoConfused. Do you think one natural on this board would have said such a thing? Go to one of the many natural mother bashing sites. You will get your answers there, I am sure.

  46. JL wrote:"When is this blog going to become a safe place for mothers of loss? Meaning, a place where none of us suffering in our grief, so easily triggered into fits of anger and crying, will have to worry about seeing comments from those on the other side, whether it be adopters or adoptees, who are against us."

    What you want is not a blog with open comments, but a strictly moderated closed private list, mothers only and any comment deemed not appropriate not allowed up or removed. Such lists do exist. An open blog such as this is going to have all kinds of opinions and can't strictly be a safe place to vent with nobody disagreeing because it is public, not private. The blog owners have repeatedly said that they post all kinds of comments and welcome other points of view, even when vehemently disagreeing with some. There is a lot of controversy here, and in my opinion nastiness on all sides at times. Find a closed, all mothers list where the participants are in agreement about their adoption experience and viewpoint and other ideas are not allowed, then you will be safe to vent and only get agreement.

  47. Ranger Dingbat wrote:
    ""You can give birth to more children""
    And you know this...how??? For those of us who were capable (not all of us were) of having more children...is that how you really believe...that it's just Okey-Dokey to give one's newborn to strangers...because one can have more? Did you give birth to your own children? If you did and you "can give birth to more children"...have you given one of your babies up to the Adoption Machine?? Because you can always "give birth to more children".

    I simply cannot believe the amount of horseshit I'm reading in some of these comments.

  48. Reading some of these comments broke me out of my firstmother flashback depression. I'm sorry if I'm not supposed to laugh. But that comment from SoConfused is perfect"Take him I can't stand the squealing!" And hopping up from her bed and driving off in a shiny new Lexus. I could barely move after giving birth, although I hear they kick the new mothers out of the hospital pretty fast nowadays. They kept me for almost a week.

  49. Ranger Bagel and Soconfused are typical of those adopting. Sadly, with parents like that the kids they adopt will suffer never knowing the truth.

    Before adopting one should be required to take a mental
    health test.

  50. I, for one, like the comments I do not agree with. It allows for conversation. If nothing else it reminds me how much needs to change and how far we still have to go in educating the public about natural mothers and adoption issues.

  51. Lorraine - I am so very sorry you are dealing with this and your members as well.


    To Anyonymous Feb 19 11:50 pm.

    Please take the time to educate yourself about the difference between foster care adoption and domestic infant adoption.

    Next you might want to educate yourself on what FMF's position on adoption is (they have a page about it) and from that you will see that they don't believe children should be raised in abusive homes either...

    Finally you Feb 21 2:21 am comment (BTW: why are you on the internet in the middle of the night anyway?)

    What gives you the right to assume that any of the mothers here would not have been just as good of parents as the parents their child was assigned too? AP's divorce just like anyone else, they go bankrupt, they have affairs, they lose their jobs, heck some even abuse their children and become drug addicts.

    And regarding this comment...
    "My parents went through so much to adopt me, screening, time, money, etc."

    Of all the insane comments to make - you do recognise that pregnancy is 40 weeks long, childbirth hurts like hell and can last days, recovery is another 6 weeks. But you think filling out paperwork and opening your wallet is harder?

    P.s. both my families were middle class families...not different at all.

  52. Ranger Bagel,

    Words escape me - just wow...

    If you are an adoptive parent then your comment is dispicable.

    How dare you even ask if these ladies would be fit mothers? I am deeply offended on their behalf.

    Shocked and appalled.

  53. To the adoptive mothers that come here and THINK you know what your talking about I say get over yourselves! I am fuming right now at the horrible things being said towards the first mothers here. Trust me I have had my issues with some first mothers as an adoptee, because I feel sometimes they don't(speaking generally here...totally understand how some first mothers do) understand or want to here the why and the true experience of an adoptee and will take it out on their child...but the viscousness that i am hearing from adoptive parents here is ridiculous. I truly wish my adoptive parents were still alive to teach you clods a thing or two. NEVER would they have spoken to or about my mother or father(first) the way you are. Why??? BECause they KNEW I would be hurt, they KNEW that they were my mother and father just as much as they were. They respected ME enough to get that...why can't you folks. They adopted because they were infertile, not ONCE did I hear their woes, not once did I ever get any derogatory remark about my mother....and conversely neither did my first mother about my adoptive aparents. So it sounds like I had the ideal situation does it? Yes, i did and i still wish I was not adopted. My birthmother did hurt because she could not keep me and i understood. My mom understood, my dad understood. When she died he gave me the money to go to the services...His comment "Of course you need to go, she is your MOTHER" He got it and it was more then validating to me. To speak to all birth mothers that are trying to vent on their site really is horrible...I hope you all do better with the child you are lucky to have and understand the pain the mother might be feeling. To the woman that was so proud to say what the child's mother said ...hope your child does't see that because it will only cause pain...pain that the woman that gave birth disregarded him so much, pain that his adoptive mother just might be gloating over it because it makes him "ALL mine. pain because he might have difficulty assimilating who he is and pain because he might not be able to discuss it with you rationally because it might "hurt" you... pain because the biofamily does't care enough to give him what he needs developmentally to grow and pain that the truth is that as good as some adoptive mothers are and how much they love them they might not be enough because they can't give everything they need...
    So if you truly and unconditionally love "your" child then you won't be threatened when a birth mother vents her frustration and pain. You both might want to figure out how to come together for the good of the main point of adoption...the child...not the mothers.

  54. I so agree with you, Lorraine. I am kind of 'shocked' to see these kind of comments - maybe that's why I never came out of this closet! Whoa!! But I love the comments made by the other first mothers that do come here and vent (like me sometimes), cause we can!!

    The people I have told are very sympathic and understanding - meaning my family, 3 close lady-friends, and my husband. That is all that knows that I searched for my daughter and found her, but alas, she does not want contact at this time. Unfortunately, I believe it's because of her a-mom - now SHE was quite upset that I even had the nerve to search for the child that I gave up 43 years ago... so, I guess I'll just have to wait until she dies, and maybe THEN my daughter will contact me... Sounds bad - but HEY! I sure would like to 'know' my own daughter.

    Unfortunately, I didn't have any more children, and it was BEST for her when I gave here up - with a LOT of coercion (dictionary definition: the act of compelling by force of authority) - back in 1969.

    At least I know that she had a great childhood and is healthy and is still having a 'good' life - married with a son! Yes, I am a gradmother, but can only look at pictures... oh well - life goes on, eh?!

  55. Oh my word....

    Please know that not all (or most, I hope!) adoptive parents feel the same as RangerBagel.

    I am horrified by those comments and need to state emphatically that is NOT how I feel.

    Please remember a few attention seeking Anons do not represent us all.

    I often think some of what is written in Anon is false and meant to inflame.

    Its not always easy to read what is shared here but I always appreciate it as someone's truth and journey.


  56. Phantom Mom says "Nobody ever wants to hear our side. Not our families, or our spouses, or our children, and most especially, not our lost children."

    That is very sad for those whom it is true like PM, and I know it is true for some. The internet can be a cruel place to try and seek understanding and compassion from strangers.

    But it has not been true for me. All of the above in my real life have heard my side as a mother with a horrendous surrender experience, and been sympathetic, as well as most friends and acquaintances. Yes, it took time and patience with some like my surrendered son, but those close to me have been my biggest support and comfort. IN recent years I have had only good and supportive reactions when telling people I gave up a child and have reunited.

    Giving up a child had a terrible and long-lasting impact on my life, as for most of us here. But finally getting to know him, know his life, know he is OK now, has taken away some of the pain and I no longer feel he is lost. Not that it fixed everything, but it has been a blessing and something positive in a sea of sadness and negative outcomes.

    This is just me adding one more experience, not to dispute any other mother's feelings or experience. We are all different and react and cope in many ways, not just one.

  57. Anonymous February 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM,

    Are you purposely pretending to not understand and be insensitive or are you truly just that lacking in intelligence and the ability to empathize and to have compassion?

    First of all, in what world do you live in, in which people want to throw their selves into a lion's den, so they can be mauled/devoured?! Safe places have a purpose, they are needed! It's not about wanting a place to encourage some false belief that the only belief expressed in that setting is the only belief there is.

    We know there are people who are pro-adoption. We know people want to talk positively about adoption. We know there are people who are grateful they were adopted. That's not what I take issue with and I suspect you knew that but were just wanting to be dismissive, disrespectful, and snide.

    What I take offense at, (other than snideness from the likes of you and others like you) that I know I made clear, is the the bashing done to us mothers of loss here that serves to do nothing but spew hate meant to attack, to hurt, us mothers of loss. It is completely unwarranted and invalid. Why is it invalid? Because it offers nothing constructive, nor interesting, nor new to the forum. As if most of us haven't been verbally abused already. As if we haven't had our loss dismissed, and unvalidated before. Dissenting opinions are one thing, hateful, attacking comments that clearly have no other purpose but to inflame, to hurt, are another. I've read plenty of opinions that I don't agree with, but that aren't hateful and attacking.

    But I'm sure you will carry on twisting what someone else says so that you can give a false interpretation to validate your foolish response to try to justify you and any further attempts at discrediting, invalidating, belittling, or otherwise insulting that you apparently receive satisfaction in doing.

  58. Who exactly are you addressing, J.L?. I agree that people sometimes need safe places, but this place isn't called a forum for no reason.
    Anon 22, 9:04 AM's comment has good advice for people whose need is solely for emotional support.

  59. "My god, ladies" Ranger Bagel is so obviously pathetic he's not worth the time of day. K. Is right. He's making fun.
    Don't feed the trolls.

  60. FMF... as a fellow adoptee who used to comment frequenty in defence of first mothers, why are you letting the let's-bash-first-mothers comments through?

    I've almost forgotten the vitrol spewed here. What I don't understand is, why are you letting it continue?

    I guess you could argue that you want everyone to feel free to post, but honestly, looking at the comments, those who complain that you are censoring them wouldn't be open to reading what you have to say anyway.

    Don't waste your time.

  61. @ Lorraine- "Certainly some mothers were drug addicts and other lowlifes...". I am an addict & also suffer from several mental illnesses; do the illnesses I suffer from place me, in your mind, in the category of 'lowlife'? if you have compassion for those who suffer from mental illness, you should understand that drug addiction is also a disease (http://tinyurl.com/cganmu5).

    I had been clean from heroin almost 2 years to the day that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was stable on my medications, had long term employment (which I then lost due to extreme & unrelenting morning sickness & an angry, vengeful boss with untreated issues of his own), an excellent relationships with my family & a boyfriend of over a year whom had been a close friend for most of my life. I also happened to be managing my addiction with, in addition to regular 12 step meetings & a sponsor, a final stint in rehab and sober living facilities, suboxone.

    The first person who knew I was pregnant was my suboxone dr. Not a second after the words "you're pregnant" had come out of her mouth, the word "termination" quickly followed. But based on how sick I was, it was determined I was already at least 6 to 8 weeks into the pregnancy. "Termination", as she put it, was not an option to me at that time.

    But raising a child seemed, to almost everyone in my life except myself, to be no more of an option than becoming president of the united states.

    But I digress.

    I scored a 32 on my ACT. I was in gifted and talented programs my whole life, up until the point of my drug addiction. I was a painfully shy child who was also moved around numerous times in her short life; this made it even more difficult to make & keep friends. I was an oversensitive child, which made all the moving & changing of schools even more difficult than it might have been for a normal child. I was a child who suffered from severe migraines as well as painful & unexplained chronic infections & inflammations of lymph nodes, & for whom the traditional medications were difficult to tolerate & often ineffective. Then one day, at 15, the first day of school at my 3rd high school in fact, I was offered a mystery powder by a friendly & engaging girl in my gym class locker room. Desperate to impress, to fit in, I snorted it & fell in love, nodding out through a school-wide anti-drug presentation, & hopping in my car with my new friends to get more as soon as it wore off. Heroin gave me a feeling of calm, a relief from pain, a confidence that I had never experiences before in my life. The rest is a long & painful story that I'm sure you can fill in yourselves.

    My point being, every drug addict is someone's child. They are a person with feelings & likes & wants & needs just like any other. They deserve love & understanding just as anyone else does.

    And they do not deserve to be called "low-lifes" & cast aside like so much garbage. Everyone here is asking for understanding. Many of us are filled with anger for not being judged 'fit' for motherhood by society at large because of reasons such age or income level. All i'm asking is that you at least consider what I am saying, which is that every woman has a right to parent her child. The fact that so many of these comments/commenters seem to be making distinctions like "look, I never took a drug that wasn't prescribed to me, I never prostituted myself...", implying that someone who did isn't fit to be a mother is just...ignorant.

    Thank you for reading. I wish peace for anyone out there (no matter where they are in the 'triad') who is still suffering, like I know I am.


  62. Ranger Bagel:
    "I want you to stop and think, "If I had not given up this child, how would the *child* feel right now?..."

    He would feel loved, secure, deeply understood, and that the world felt like it should. His words.

    "...How would they live? Would they be happy with me?..."

    He would've lived as my son; seen faces he instinctively related to; expressed himself in ways that would've been regarded as entirely natural rather than as odd; and been treasured by me, my sister, his great aunts and uncles, his future cousin etc and eventually by my parents once they'd woken up to the reality of him; he would've been understood by me, even during difficult times and arguments, rather than being discarded and made homeless as a 15 year old.
    He would've been very happy with me, as I would've been with him. He would've been 'got' because we have the same inner engine, as do my dad and I/him. It's our family engine. It makes our family sound. We understand it.

    "...Would I have the money to support the child? Do I have the time and patience to dedicate to a child?..."

    I would've had the money to support my child if I had been told that money existed to help me for the short time I needed to grow a little older myself. And in turn, as I grew up more and paid my taxes, I would've been very happy for some of those taxes to be allocated to helping young people who needed it, as I once did.
    But that information was concealed from me by my social workers. The tears of the waiting prospective adoptive parents were repeatedly reported to me, but somehow the information that would've supported me to keep my son was never given.

    As for time and patience? I would have found or made both, as all parents do. Or even failed at those and found myself frantically rushing about and a little short-tempered...as many mothers are. Whatever, my son would've been where he belonged. His words.

    "...Would I ever be a fit mother?"

    I was the right mother for my son. We both know that, and that's what hurts.

    So, now I'd like YOU to stop and think. Think about how on earth you got to be so condescending. So patronising. So sanctimonious.
    Think about what on earth made you believe that you were entitled to wax lyrical on an experience of life you seem to have so little understanding of.
    Off you pop.

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