' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: When a first mother hears people talk about adoption

Friday, February 15, 2013

When a first mother hears people talk about adoption

"I don't know if I want children or not," said a woman in her late thirties, an ardent feminist. "If I decide I do, and it's too late to have them naturally, I'll just adopt." I cringe and say "It's not that simple; adoption can cause a lot of heartbreak for mothers who lose their children." She gives me a blank stare, and the conversation turns to other topics.

I tell my bridge partner I can't play next week because I'll be in Salem (Oregon's capitol). "What am I going to Salem for?" she asks. I hesitate, "I'm working on legislation to require that mothers considering adoption have time after delivering their child to make the decision." She looks concerned: "What about the adoptive parents? It wouldn't be fair to them if the mother changes her mind."

Another bridge partner tells me her daughter's two adopted sons, ages 12 and 14, are holy-terrors. I suggest that being adopted may have something to do with their behavior. Perhaps, if her daughter could contact the birth parents, and allow them into her sons' lives life, that might help. She tells me that yes, her daughter could contact the birth parents through the agency, but shakes her head. "I don't understand how that would help. Their parents are kind and loving; adoption has nothing to do with their behavior."

I push harder. Her daughter might read about adoption from an adoptee's point of view and recommend Journey of the Adopted Self by B. J. Lifton. The following week, I ask my partner "Did you tell your daughter about the book I recommended?" No, she forgot. But it doesn't matter anyway, her daughter is sending the boys to a wilderness camp.

I'm having dinner with a neighbor from my condo. "Now that you're retired, what do you do to keep busy?" she asks. "Oh," I say casually, "I spend time with my grandchildren, I play bridge, I write on a blog, I go to movies with my husband." I sandwich the blog in with my other activities, all typical for an older woman, hoping my neighbor doesn't ask about the blog. She doesn't.

In these conversations, and in many, many more, I bypassed opportunities to educate someone on the hard truths about adoption. I could have told the first woman, the one in her her late 30's, "Adopting a child is not like having your own child. And it's painful for a mother to give up her child; I know because I gave up a child. We still live in a patriarchy, a society that looks down on single mothers, doesn't give them enough help. The demand for infants has created a market where mothers-to-be are coerced or misled into giving up their babies."

I could have told my first bridge partner, "What's important is what's best for the child, not the needs of the prospective adoptive parents. Children generally do better raised in their natural families. I know a lot of people who were adopted who struggle with being raised by people who do not share their looks, talents, or interests." Saying this, however, might have led to "how do you happen to know a lot of adopted people?" I would have had to say "I'm a birth mother and I've gone to a lot of adoption-related conferences, and been involved with adoptee rights organizations."

I could have laid my cards on the table with my second bridge partner, told her I gave up a child, and since my reunion with her, I've educated myself about the impact of adoption on both child and mother. Adoptive parents may be the most loving parents in the world, but the children have to deal with the fact that their first mother did not want them. They to live with people who may be very different from them, who share none of their inherited traits and physical characteristics. Her daughter should try to deal with the adoption issues.

I could have told my dinner companion "I write on a blog about adoption. I'm interested in the subject because I gave up a child."

I did seize an opportunity in a recent conversation.  When my husband and I were out to dinner with a lawyer and her husband, Susan and John, I told them, when asked what do I do to keep busy, that I wrote on a blog. The lawyer asked what the blog was about. "Adoption," I answered. Then, "How did you get interested in adoption?"  I sucked in my breath. "I gave up a baby."

Without waiting for a response, I launched into a description--I hope it did not come across as a diatribe-- about the lifelong impact of adoption for mother and child. John was puzzled, "I though a child was a blank slate, as long as he was placed as a newborn, there were no problems."

"There are still issues," I assured him.

Susan mentioned that she had learned recently that Judy, a legal secretary we both knew but whom I had not see in many years, had reunited with the son she had given up years before. "It was hard on Judy, losing her son," said Susan. "When you see her again, ask her to call me," I offered.

I like to think that my telling my story led Susan and John to understand that Judy was not unique in her feelings; perhaps Susan and John would speak up when they heard someone glibly describe adoption as "just another way to form a family." At the very least, I gave them something to think about.

I wish I had had the courage to seize the opportunity in countless previous conversations to educate my listeners. The myths about adoption--that selfless mothers make adoption plans because they are not ready to parent, that the fathers are scoundrels or unknown, that children meld seamlessly into their adoptive families, that openness prevents angst for both first mother and child. The institutions who make their money off adoption, the media, Hollywood, politicians, religious authorities--the folks who influence public opinion--spread this false scenario. If we want to adoption to change, it's up to us, those who have lived adoption, to take our message to as wide an audience as possible .

I tell myself, I need to walk out of the closet for good.--jane
From FMF:
Adoptive parents say the darnedest things. To us.
Can the media get adoption right?
As a first mother it's better to speak up than suffer in silence
Telling the family, and the world: I am a First Mother 

Journey Of The Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness "Betty Jean Lifton, whose Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience has become a bible to adoptees and to those who would understand the adoption experience, explores further the inner world of the adopted person. She breaks new ground as she traces the adopted child’s lifelong struggle to form an authentic sense of self. And she shows how both the symbolic and the literal search for roots becomes a crucial part of the journey toward wholeness."--Amazon

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self "This book was extremely helpful in allowing me to see and feel how other adoptees have experienced the same sense of loss I have coped with since childhood. As an adoptee, adopted as an infant, and finding my birth parents after 30+ years, it was amazing to have a book which so clearly outlines the stages of my life, and allowed me to understand the feelings I have had for so long. The book is a quick read, but has depth in the way it will touch any adoptees soul." --Bill Sawyer, an adoptee review at Amazon. Lorraine found this book especially useful in understanding her daughter and her emotional issues revolving around being adopted, and lent it to a neighbor, an adopted girl in high school, who devoured it and immediately lent it to her best friend, also adopted. 


  1. More than ever, especially after the week I have had, I recognize that our voices are silenced because it's hard to comprehend the hurt that a mother feels when she loses her child to adoption. Instead, we focus on the AP's- what good fortune for them. No one wants to learn about how they are doing it wrong, and when someone, like you or me, step and say, "No, it's not like that", we're essentially shattering their idea of what our culture has presented adoption to be.

    Coming out of that closet fully is hard. My son's family has now labelled me ungrateful, angry and sad. I am angry, and I am sad. I should be those things because I was violated, and I continue to be exploited. But those labels aren't meant to be helpful- they are meant to be hurtful, condemning, and that's why so many of us step back into the comfort of that closet. It's warm in there, there are no harsh words. We understand our adoption grief, mostly.

    Here's to finally coming out and talking openly about adoption grief, and the impact it has on mothers, and adoptees alike.

  2. "I though a child was a blank slate, as long as he was placed as a newborn, there were no problems."

    --It is so frustrating to hear that people still believe this.

  3. I like this post. I think it's a powerful thing when we stop worrying about what others will say. It's courageous and liberating. I wish you the best.

    I also hope that you will continue to remind yourself and others that adoption can be a positive union, one that brings families together...not just tearing them apart. Adoption is dynamic and does not just look like our own experience (as I am always reminding myself).

  4. There are so many times in my life since the adoption that people have said things to me and I so wish I had used the opportunity to educate.

    I actually worked for a female doctor who had adopted her oldest and then had 2 biological children. She was telling me a story about her oldest and showing me a picture of her and said to me, "Oh can't you just tell she comes from white trash?" and then giggled. Needless to say, I did not think the statement was funny, but I felt so ashamed that I could not find my voice to speak out.

    I have just started the process of "coming out of the closet". Recently, I had an old friend who I adore request that I "like" his family adoption marketing page on facebook. In the past, I would have just not liked it and moved on. On this occasion, I decided to use it and explained to him why I couldn't "like" his page. I felt empowered and finally the veil of shame I carry was lifted ever so slightly.

    I am glad I am not the only one that feels like they missed so many opportunities to speak out. Although I wish that none of us would have to.

  5. @Rainsthoughts

    "I also hope that you will continue to remind yourself and others that adoption can be a positive union, one that brings families together...not just tearing them apart. Adoption is dynamic and does not just look like our own experience (as I am always reminding myself)."

    How condescending. There is NOTHING positive about losing your child to adoption for those of us who lose while others gain from that loss; so I for one don't need you tell tell me to "remind myself" of anything, thanks.

  6. Rain,

    I for one won't stroke your Ego. I think you coming here and posting on a blog that talks about a mother's fears of finally speaking out after 40 some years is truely telling about you. I am not going to say anymore about you. This post isn't about you so pat yourself on the back somewhere else. You truely don't understand, sadly it
    isn't you who will suffer.

    Adoption tears families apart or you wouldn't have a child. For every "positive union" there are tons that aren't
    positive. The dynamic that you speak of I have no clue what you are talking about but I do know the dynamic of a mother and baby a dyad starts in utero. They were made for each other.

    I get sick of "happy" adopters preaching to the mother's here.

    I also find society itself so brainwashed thinking an adoption is the best thing since sliced bread. I have been speaking out for 20 years since finding my son. He did not benefit from adoption. He was placed in that two parent home soon to be single woman home. Just like
    he was born into only he would have been with his blood instead of strangers.


  7. Rainthougthoughts:

    What does this sentence mean?

    "Adoption is dynamic and does not just look like our own experience (as I am always reminding myself)."

    I find it puzzling. In the best of spirits, can we assume you are not speaking for your adopted child, or children?

  8. Leenburke: Good going! It's baby steps in the beginning, and you took a small one that turned into a big ones, once you explained why you couldn't "like" his adoption-promotion.

    But we do need to be prepared for the back lash, for it will come sometimes.

  9. Without knowing the full facts, I will play the devils advocate:

    I don't know for sure but will give the benefit of doubt that rainsthought might be a firstmother who has made peace with her decision to place a child for adoption?

    As an adult adoptee, I have just begun to comment to this forum and I was thinking something along the lines of rainsthoughts....

    I see now that had I voiced that it would have been seen as hurtful and self focused on this forum. Perhaps there is no room for other voices? I ask that not as a rhetorical, but rather with sincere consideration.

    My desire is not to raise old and constant hurts but rather to understand my own place in this life of adoption. I live it everyday but only from one lens as that of an adoptee. My own family (adoptive) has been very open but my slightly estranged first family more closed. Just trying to gain insights into why that might be.

    I also think it takes great courage to share your stories and while I understand that this blog author might feel she missed opportunities, I would offer comfort that given the audience and the circumstances, her message may have fallen on deaf ears.

    I think there is certain sense in picking and choosing your battles and I daresay this blog provides an ideal forum. It would seem your audience is quite varied.


  10. Wow. I'm sorry. I was honestly quite moved by Jane's post and I wanted to praise her for her bravery. I guess this proves that even when I am honestly trying to understand and support another side of adoption, that it seems I am not welcome to do so.


    Catherine: I didn't say that losing a child was a positive thing. I don't feel that at all. I meant that for some, adoption can lead to positive unions. Ms J (our son's first mother) is now part of our lives, and I am thankful for that. And while she's been in jail, we have been her ONLY support system, sending money, books, and weekly letters/pictures. It's through Cadet that she's been able to have that connection to the outside world.

    Mother: I don't know why you think it's egotistical of me to comment here. I, as an adoptive mother, am doing what I can to understand all aspects of adoption. Would you honestly rather that I didn't? Would you rather that I don't try to understand the heart and mind of first mothers so that I can better communicate with Cadet's first mother? I'm sorry you and your son have been so harmed by adoption. It wasn't my intention to belittle your experience.

    Lorraine: What I meant to say was that adoption isn't just one set of experiences. Everyone who is touched by adoption will have a different view of it, a different feeling about it. And I can't let my (positive) view of it prevent me from trying to understand someone else's view. Of course I don't speak for Cadet. But, when he comes to me with questions about adoption, I want to be able to share with him the whole spectrum of adoption...not just my opinions.

    I'm really not trying to convert anyone to my way of seeing things. I am here trying to understand the whole universe of adoption....not just the happier bits.

  11. My thoughts as a mum.....it has taken me nearly 40 years to come to grips with who I am......when people ask what is my connection with adoption I now answer I am a mum whose child was taken for adoption......not that I gave or surrendered or relinquished because I didn't do any of those things.....

    I staunchly defend mums who are not yet at this junction of their lives and hope that one day they may be. Of course they may not......which is heartbreaking to me...

    I will not defend children who stubbornly believe their their mother threw them away, or abandoned the in some way.....without researching the facts....without standing up for them selves.....

    I will not defend Aparents who believe they are right....because they are not.....I dont care how many children you have.....or what you believe in.....nor how big or how vengeful your god is......you have not walked in my shoes nor in an adopted childs shoes.....

    I will speak to all and sundry about this now.....I have become old enough to trust myself....I now know I only get one go at this life....there is no trial run.....and I want the world to recognise me as some one's mum.....

    I dont care that aparents call me twisted and bitter....if it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't be...but as it stands I am glad to wear my wounds openly...

  12. Rain---Your posts do come across as somewhat condescending. We get it...you are a positive influence to your child's original mother. She's in jail...you are currently at a better place than she. Ask yourself how you would feel if she turns out to achieve more than you in life. Will you still try so hard to understand her and the hardships that forced her to give away her child or will you become threatened by her?

    Out of the first mothers that I personally know are a former state Supreme Court justice, a state senator, a former chief clerk of the Senate, an assistant Attorney General, an Administrative Law Judge and a doctor. All of us have fully raised or are raising children who are successful members of society.

    If you were sincere about about liking Jane's post, you could have just said so, without the BS about positive unions. My son and his descendants have been forever severed from our family tree. His loss is felt by me and my children and the loss of his branch will nag like a phantom limb after amputation for generations. While I'm sure that some people have no regrets, I believe from the people I know who have suffered adoption loss that they are few and far between.

    Beth---there are all sorts of views at this forum, hope you stick around.

    Lo---I apologize to you, I just found your email in my spam folder. I will respond tomorrow.

  13. "I though a child was a blank slate, as long as he was placed as a newborn, there were no problems."

    Nothing about how it traumatises the mother.....

  14. Rainsthoughts writes here because she wants people to read her blog. If she is so balanced and in great shape then why does she feel this attraction to a blog that is written by first mothers? She's not a first mother. She's just a woman with too much time on her hands.

  15. Though we all have a set of our own hurt and anger that relate to the adoption of our children, I am going to take Raine's comments at face value, and not impugn what she says.

    Adoptive parents (and brothers of adoptees, as we just learned) do come her to learn the other side of the story. If Raine is the only support system for her child's other mother, I am going to assume that the woman and the child needs Raine and her family. How much better it is for the the mother and the child to be in a open adoption like that than a closed one, one with a mother who isn't learning about the other side of adoption. I now suppose that is what Raine means, even though her way of stating it at first seems offensive.

    If FMF is the first time she has really heard unvarnished truths about the other side of adoption--from mothers who grieve and never forget, from adoptees who would rather not be "adopted," from adoptees struggling with the conflicts within--she will probably be a better mother to her son, and a better friend and support to his other mother. It certainly sounds as if the mother's first mother needs what Raine has to offer.

    When I first read her comments and her blog, I was offended too--and mad! We know how many open adoptions not only close, but we also know how hard they are on the mothers too, as we have been told. But maybe this adoption situation is the best for the mother, and the child. There will always be adoption, and as Jane and I have said, we are not against all of them. Raine's may be one of those making the best of a very difficult situation.

    But Raine, please be very careful how you phrase things, if you want to comment here. I am not doing to block you, but think about how your words will be read to someone who does not know your back story, or who is in deep grieving about losing a child to adoption--last month or several decades ago. For us, adoption was the "solution," but it scarred us forever.

  16. Jan: I know I have been called "bitter." But that is just a way to make us seem different and unusual from all the "well-adjusted" first mothers out there. Of whom they undoubtedly know none.

    As first I was taken aback when I heard what people said about me, now I just shrug.

    Paige: Wow, your list of first mothers is impressive! I think I know some of them.

  17. @Rainsthoughts

    The first part of your original comment comes across as supportive and understanding. The rest, not so much.

    I don't think any first mothers should have to or need to remind ourselves that adoption can be a positive union. However positive adoption may be for some, it always begins with loss of some nature. Any positives that come from adoption certainly do not cancel out the negatives.

    I realize that you are presenting a small portion of your adoption story to illustrate what you call a positive union, but it doesn't translate well. It reads as if you believe yourself to be a savior to Ms. J. If anything it is a sad commentary that a woman needs to give away (or have taken away, I'm not sure of your story) her child in order to gain access to those things you describe. I don't see a positive union there.

    I agree with Anonymous. I think you saw a big surge in traffic to your blog from FMF last time you were mentioned and are hoping to generate that traffic again.

    Most people who are seeking to understand another perspective simply read and ask questions. They don't interject their ideas or beliefs if they are only seeking knowledge.

  18. As a first mother, I'm appalled at how adoptees and adoptive parents are treated here. I don't think Rain's comments were offensive, just uneducated. If she's here to learn about the grief and sadness of being a first mother, why can't she? Why are we second-guessing her motives?

  19. I get why people reacted the way they did to Rains comments. She was telling others how to think about their lifes and hurts and pains. That is condensing. Many of these woman have been first mothers for a long time. I am sure they are smart enough to think and ponder on all the angles of their situation. When someone comes in and makes a comment like that its as if they "know" better and need to "educate" the other. Its demeaning.

    How do i know? Because it happens to we adoptees all the time from every aspect of soceity...first mothers, adoptive mothers and everyone else in between. It assumes "I" don't know how I should feel about my adoption and life. Of course many that do it are really trying to make it better for themselves, make it easier on themselves if they can get the other person to feel as they feel they "should".

    Its horribly fustrating because I do know better and have thought of all the angles regarding MY life..but their will alswys be someone that just knows better and will tell me....to make themselves feel better.

    Maybe just listening to the other side and trying to understand works better then assuming the others are wrong and uneducatd about what actually happended to them and the effect it had on them.

  20. Coming out of the closet is hard but so empowering. Just like other closeted groups, you come out to close family and friends because of the fear of condemnation and rejection. Slowly your voice grows and your range expands.

    Hearing the ignorant/uneducated can be very offensive. Not just regarding adoption but all topics. Yes, positive things can come out of negative but for an outsider to say that is truly ignorant and offensive. Many cancer surviors have said they have gained such an appreciation for life that they may never have had if they weren't diagnosed. Would that make it ok for me to say to any cancer fighter - hey! look on the bright side, there is a positive, stop thinking of just your situation and realize how wonderful cancer can be? Sounds pretty offensive, doesn't it? I think that cancer fighter would have every right to set me straight and I would not blame them if they didn't show me compassion that I clearly was incapable of showing them.

    And just a side note on a comment about feelings being challenged. So many people get feelings and beliefs mixed up. They are two very seperate things and it helps any discussion when you can understand that. If an adoptee says to me "I 'feel' like I was abandoned/unwanted" I will absolutely question them about that because that isn't a feeling at all - it is a belief. Beliefs, imo, are up for debate. Feelings aren't.

    I'm angry that the adoption industry has successfully brainwashed society. We can debate my 'belief' on brainwashing but not my anger.

  21. My frustration with Rain's comments here is that she attempts to show empathy in saying that this post touched her in some way. But she then turns around and shows her outright lack of compassion by chiding and reminding that adoption has some kind of a silver lining. Adoption is dynamic! First mothers just need to see it like Rain does and they will feel the same way!
    And furthermore, according to Rain, children's whose mothers are in jail have a chance to be adopted by fine upstanding people and that makes adoption wonderful!!!
    Well, Rain, the mothers who read and comment here are mostly NOT incarcerated and have fine productive lives. For them, adoption doesn't have a silver lining. And these mothers have empty arms and broken hearts. I know that you and your husband have the buck up mentality and think that the mothers here need to put on a happy face and "take responsibility for their own actions" but the truth is you don't know what any of these women have been through. You seem to think that relinquishing a child is an easy thing. Easily done, easily forgotten. It isn't.
    It is sad that you are offended by the pain of first mothers instead of having empathy and compassion for those who simply have a vastly different experience than your own.
    I suppose it is very easy to see the silver lining to adoption when you are the one with the baby in your arms.
    Perhaps for awhile, you should just read here and not comment.

  22. I would also like to point out as a reader of Rain's blogs that when Cadet was first born, Rain feared that he had special needs and was hesitant to take legal custody of him until her fears were resolved. Luckily for Cadet, Rain's fears were disproved by a doctor and Rain then felt comfortable proceeding with the placement.
    So there was a silver-lining adoption for Cadet but only because he was deemed fit by a medical professional. Had he been found lacking, Rain would not be bragging about silver linings and the winders of adoption, at least not in Cadet's case.
    Adoption sure is dynamic that way. Yes it certainly is dynamic.

  23. @Sarah:

    "I'm appalled at how adoptees and adoptive parents are treated here."

    You are appalled? Is this not a forum called FIRST MOTHER forum? Awww, poor Rainsthoughts. My heart bleeds for her.

    Are we not allowed to talk about our experiences and how we feel about them? If a natural mother goes to an adoptee or adoptive parent blog and dared tell someone else how to feel about THEIR life and the single most traumatic thing that has ever happened to them, we would be shut down in a heartbeat and called all kinds of vile names (I have seen it first hand), but it is okay for people to do that here? How about how natural mothers are treated every day of their lives after they lose their child to adoption? How about this woman making condescending statements for us to "remind" ourselves of whatever, when she is one who gained from the loss of another woman. What gall. I read her blog and on her blog roll there is not one first parent blog. She doesn't want to be "educated" about first mother OR adoptee grief. What is said her makes her uncomfortable so she thought she'd come here to "remind" us of a few things. I don't need reminding of anything from the likes of adopters, thanks.

    We know, natural mothers are treated with such respect and humanity, not dehumanized or degraded at all, right? Bullshit. So sick of the double standard and people trying to put me in my place. No one is forcing anyone to read what is written here and I for one will no longer live my life for the comfort of others.

  24. I read Sarah's comment a couple of times and wondered why she would leave that kind of comment at FMF.

    Housekeeping note: Because of the mechanics of this blog, I publish (long) comments without being able to read them in entirety until they are published. Oddly enough, I read the first line of Raine's [so close to my name, right?] comment, and thought, cool. Sometimes I pull them down afterward.

    Thank you everyone for filling in the details about Raine's adoption, as I have not followed her blog.

    As for being shut out of other blogs? My IP Address is blocked at Adoption.com. And I never used words that would be bleeped on TV.

  25. I think Rain has posted here before that name sounds familiar to me.
    Needless, to say Rain that post was about you and your wonderfulness as a savior, an adoptor who is better than Cadet's mom who is in jail. Its an ego thing if you adopt you are better than the b mother. I have read to many post by adopters that feel this way. I saw it first hand in my own family with a cousin and a married into the
    family aunt who gave my uncle divorce if he followed through with their adoption. That proved to be disaster she coddled adopted son and my uncle wasnike a good "dad" to say the least. Divorce freedom for going through with an adoption into a broken home?
    Sarah, Rain came here on her own and expressed her opinion. We have every right to respond it's too bad you feel we don't have that right.

  26. From Buck..'And just a side note on a comment about feelings being challenged. So many people get feelings and beliefs mixed up. They are two very separate things and it helps any discussion when you can understand that. If an adoptee says to me "I 'feel' like I was abandoned/unwanted" I will absolutely question them about that because that isn't a feeling at all - it is a belief. Beliefs, imo, are up for debate. Feelings aren't. "

    Have to disagree with this comment and again you are doing the same thing as rain....Feeling abandoned is most certainly a "feeling". Ask the so many adoptees that have felt it. Even if they were not "abandoned...or unwanted as you may perceive it the feeling is till there and very strong. Why do you think so many adoptees have self esteems in the toilet. NOT because it was anyone mothers fault, no attempt to make anyone feel guilty. It a byproduct of adoption for the adoptee. It just is.

  27. The rainsthoughts woman also adopted a child from a woman who is in prison and goes on in her blog how she doesn't support giving pregnant women any assistance because that won't help them to raise their children.

    It's a bit stupid to compare us to a woman who is in prison. It's like comparing us to the drug addicted mothers who were in no fit state to raise a child due to serious addiction problems.

    It's very ignorant and nasty to say that pregnant women should NOT be given any resources, financial assistance or support.

    I'm sorry but giving a single mother some support is helpful. Not all of us are criminals and most of us would have been fine with a bit of support RATHER THAN BEING TOLD WE MUST RELINQUISH.


    It's abusive. It's getting a bit tiring the amount of times abusive people are given a voice here. Time for you ladies who run this blog to get some self esteem!

  28. K,

    I agree. Its another way to minimize the first mothers and in the long run the child too. It makes there situation look better.

    AS many have said time and time again removing a child from a bad situation...like drug addiction, abuse, and neglect is what an innocent child needs. They also need to be respected for the position they are in. NO sealing records, total understanding on how a child may feel about their blood being in prison, how they may twist that and take it upon themselves to feel as if they are bad too etc.....they need to be respecting for who they are. NOT be treated as someones gift of a family. These are the situations that we a re talking about...one of a last resort to remove a child from a bad place.

    What most of you mothers are saying is that most of you are NOT crack addicted, abusing, neglectful people and don't want to be treated as such. Its NOT ok to take a young vulnerable woman and twist their minds to believe that they are not good enough for their own child. In the long run it hurts the child. There is not a soul born thats says please put me up for adoption...I want to be raised by strangers!

    So I agree with short term help to get a young woman to keep her baby, also programs to keep them in school, and jobs. I don't understand how people can disagree with that. How many adoptive parents end up collecting and getting help for their child...I bet more then we know. Financial situations change, divorces happen, aparents can have issues too. so if this rain woman really feels that then it should be applied to ALL mothers not just unwed mothers. So no help for any mothers...if you need help then just give the babies away.. even adoptive mothers who might have a bio...just give them away...give a gift of a family to someones else. Wonder how fast that would happen?

    I know of tree situations just in my close circle of friends whose daughters got pregnant and one with Three, they had help from the state and their families and have gone on to finish degrees and support their families. 2 of them children that could have been given to strangers are in college and having the support of their families that kept them. It was hard and difficult but they did it. The difference is that adoption never came into they minds...they did not get trapped in the adoption machine...and it worked. Thats the way it should be.

  29. Rain does not believe in government support of single mothers but she loves the Adoption Tax Credit. Why should single Mom's get help when there are needy adopters out there looking to cash in?

  30. It absolutely amazes me how the non-adopted. PAP's and adoptive parents just CANNOT connect the dots. It is almost like some black magic spell has been cast over everyone concerning the truth about adoption. A wilderness camp huh? Well, if that form of abuse does not work then there are always psych wards which is what abusive/control freak immature and selfish adoptive parents run to when they don't want to see the truth about how closed adoption (and even open) hurts a child or teen when they begin to act out. Yes, destroy the child even more! As long as adoptive parents don't have to see the truth about how WRONG closed adoption really is. I tell people outright about how I feel about adoption. I have had big fights with people about to, even in stores, lol. I don't care anymore. We all need to get bumper stickers made that simply read "closed adoption is child abuse" (as a friend of mine says). I want to see them on millions of cars. Maybe THEN they'll begin to get the fucking message.

  31. @rain,
    Please remember that infertility is dynamic and does not just look like our own experience.

  32. Paige said "Out of the first mothers that I personally know are a former state Supreme Court justice, a state senator, a former chief clerk of the Senate, an assistant Attorney General, an Administrative Law Judge and a doctor. All of us have fully raised or are raising children who are successful members of society. "
    I too know quite a few first mothers who have shone, both in their careers and as parents. However, one crucially important feature they were fortunate enough to have in common was a strong family and/or social support system. Without that, the chances of them achieving success would have been low to zero.

    The greatest enemy of adult single mothers in America is poverty:
    "It’s interesting to look at why single motherhood is on the rise, particularly among new demographics. But the solution can’t be to hope that the trend reverses and all children are raised in dual parent households. This is our new reality – and it doesn’t have to be a devastating one. If we were making progress, instead of moving backward, on policies like childcare support, paid sick days, and ending occupational segregation, it wouldn’t have to be so difficult for women to raise children on their own. That might go a long way toward decoupling the rise in single parenthood from the rise in income inequality."

    “The reason we have these high poverty rates for single mother families—despite their comparatively high employment rates and high share of full-time workers—is because our income support system is terribly inadequate and there’s a very high rate of low-wage work,” says Casey."

  33. Okay...let me trying to reverse the damage here.

    First of all, I wrote the original comment while being pretty distracted. I didn't go back and read the full comment before I posted. And that was a mistake. One that I hope you all can forgive me for.

    I meant what I said. I think Jane's post is courageous and wonderful!

    I don't come here for people to view my blog. I don't care about blog views. I write my blog to vent, find support, and find a community. I link back to my blog, because I like people knowing who is making a comment. Nothing more, nothing less.

    To the anonymous poster who commented about Cadet's birth story. You're right. It was a scary time. I knew that parenting a child with special needs was going to fall largely on me, and I didn't know if I was ready for that. We had already fostered children with special needs, and it wasn't something I was sure I wanted to do again. I was terrified. I've shared all of this with Ms J, and she had the same fears. In fact, she still is worrying if he has special needs. I wasn't my best self. I was tired, anxious, and trying hard to make sense of all the medical implications of what we were being told. But, it wouldn't have changed one iota of the love I have for Cadet. What would you have done in a similar situation? Hindsight is 20/20, and if I could go back and be "zen" and composed about the whole thing, I would love to. Sadly, I don't have that choice.

    To those who commented about my not believing in giving Ms J money to help her raise Cadet. You're right, I know that wouldn't have solved this particular situation. If you knew the full situation (which I don't post out of respect for Ms J), you'd feel the same thing. There are aspects of this adoption that I won't share, this is one of them.

    As for giving monetary support for pregnant women, I'm not against it at all. But, I don't think that money solves all problems.

    Another anonymous poster said that I think children who are adopted from prison situations makes adoption wonderful. No. I don't think that. I think that in our case, yes, adoption was the best of all possible outcomes for Cadet. Ms J, is in prison and I can't change that. Neither could money or all the resources in the world. I know that Ms J is a wonderful woman and mother. I don't think I'm better than her. I do think that because of our choices in life, I have access to more resources than she does (because she's in jail)…and ultimately that will make a positive difference in Cadet's life (rather than being in foster care).

    Of course there are amazing first mothers out there…all of them are. I know that there are first mothers out there who are smarter, more beautiful, brilliant, and athletic than I am. I have never said differently. I am not offended to think that Ms J might make something wonderful of her life. We are giving her support so might be able to do just that. But, again, I won't post specifics.

    Besides the thoughtless half of comment I made, I hope that some of you will understand that I'm not trying to belittle, crush, educate, preach to, or make fun of any of you. I truly wish that I could invite you over to my house, serve you some tea and cookies, and we could all just talk.

  34. Actually Rain, one of my children was born with several special needs. Spent time in the NICU. And we have been dealing with a lifetime of complications ever since. Never once did I ever consider not caring for him. Because I am his mother. Period.
    What would I DO in your situation?
    Umm...yeah. I know exactly what I would have done. Because I have lived it with no regrets. I looked at him, he looked at me and that. was. it.
    That is beside the point.
    The reality is that you have a great deal of nerve telling everyone to look at the bright side and value your experience, when the reality of your experience is that you were ready to walk away from that baby in a heartbeat. Don't sit here and talk about adoption being dynamic when you played baby store with that child.
    You are telling us that if you had walked away from Cadet, that you and MissJ would be buddies? You think she would have admired you for turning your back on your commitment to her child? You were willing to leave Cadet's fate to the powers that be were he to have presented an illness or handicap, so don't come here chiding first mothers and others for not seeing the beauty in adoption. Because even your so-called beautiful, happy story has an ugly side. You almost turned your back on your son for having a handicap and I can tell you first hand, that is something I would never dream of doing. Not ever.

  35. QUOTE: And that’s what missing from FMF’s post…a call for a dialogue, an understanding that adoption sometimes can be the best choice, and an awareness that being defensive and lashing out may not win the support that is sought. UNQUOTE

    Yes rainsthoughts who is "weathering the storm" over at her blog full of posts about pain olympics, comments how supporting single mothers isn't a great idea and all about how stupid the FMF is....

    A cup of tea and some cookies you say?

    "would you like another cookie?" "yes I'm so glad you came over, let me tell you how adoption can be the best choice, don't you agree?" So glad we can be friends.

  36. @rain
    Who the HELL are you to cut down another woman's child? (on your stupid blog, maybe he can't sleep because you are creepy and he wants his real mother). Someone of ANOTHER bloodline, ie: Cadet. You know my abusive, self-centered and immature adoptive mother did the same thing to me the whole (and still) time when I was growing up. She laughed at me, called me stupid, sabotaged everything good about me and what could of happened in my life. YOU adoptive mother's are the ungrateful ones. The unappreciative ones. You are so spoiled, so overly catered to, by the evil adoption industry, you never grow up. You instead go around like pompous tyrannical queens, not caring about anyone but yourselves, still, reveling in your infantile pity party. (I couldn't have a baby, oh boo hoo). You have a lot of nerve to even talk about this child, for you are exploiting him online, which really makes me sick. Adoption IS child abuse, and just the attitude you pay to be mothers exhibit IS proof of that dearie. So don't ever forget that drama queen. Goodness knows adoptees can't. And I'll tell you something else from an adoptee's perspective. There are many of us who just can't wait until our AM's croak off so we are finally free of their bondage. I bet Cadet will be one of them someday, snottyface.


  37. My husband is adopted. He felt and still feels strongly his adoption was such a blessing to his life that we adopted several children from foster care after our birth kids were older.
    He offers a different perspective on our children's feelings and I really need that. Many people ask him about adoption because he can speak on the grief and loss that occurs from experience and the guilt and shame his first mom deals with from talking to her. Is it a perfect life? No not at all, yet he is very grateful for it.

  38. Lorraine... as an adult adoptee who might not have had the courage to search in the 90's if pioneers like you, jane, Lee Campbell and Florence Fisher hadn't paved the road for me, I am so grateful that you did come out of the closet.

    dpen- I never thought my firstmom abandoned me... I truly believed that she always loved me and somehow always knew that she had been forced to give me up. Yet, I've always had abandonment feelings... it may have been the primal wound or attaching to the first family that I was given to for adoption who gave me back because they didn't like how I looked...or maybe I attached to a fostermom and felt abandoned ...whatever it is... I know my feelings are real and the feelings of love I always felt from my firstmom were real too.

    We're all entitled to our feelings and beliefs....I am just grateful that there are blogs and courageous people who do feel brave enough to speak their heart so we can all learn from each other.

    Thank you all!

  39. Comments like anon 9:53 make us all look bad. This is what draws the kind of dismissal of adoption pain as "bitterness" and bile. The pain is real for many of us, but expressions like this one that are just general attacks on all adoptive parents turn people away from our cause, and do not lead to understanding or sympathy.

    1. I do not believe for one minute adoptive parents care about "our" cause.

      It's all about their needs not the adoptee.
      Certainly, not the mother of the baby. My
      sons adopter was hoping I would never
      appear in fact she was insured I could not
      find my son sealed records.

      Ps adoptee's have every right to express themselves as anon has 9:53

  40. Anonymous said...
    "I do not believe for one minute adoptive parents care about "our" cause."

    You're wrong. Entitled to your beliefs but not entitled to paint all adoptive parents in that light.

    How do I know? Because my Mom(adoptive) started a local foundation to assist struggling young women wishng to parent their children but without other resources WAY before it was vogue or talked about.

    How do I know? Because it was my Mom (adoptive) who was always honest and forthright with me about our beginnings as a family. I wish I could say the same of my first Mom. (though I do try to understand her pain and coming here helps). That why I come.

    How do I know? It was my Mom & Dad (adoptive) who always kept the lines of communication open with my first family even when there was resistance. They have invited them into our home, offered emotional support, etc.

    How do I know? Because they respect me enough to let me lead in the relationship as the adult. They well understand its not about them.

    How do I know? Because they gave me the wings and courage to seek out my first family as the adult I am today, with hopes that they (my first family ) might accept me for who I am right now. I'm still waiting but ever hopeful.

    Is this representative of all AP's? Of course not. Nor am I representative of all adult adoptees.

    BUT please be careful not to paint in such broad strokes; it only lessens your argument and opens the door to comments like my own.

    Thank you,


  41. So Beth where can I send young women who need help
    post the state, the address where young women can get help. I would think if your adopter did this wonderful thing we could all know. Please, respond.

  42. creepy
    catered to
    drama queen

    And those were broad generalizations--not comments directed to a specific person. And they want to know how come APs don't get involved with adoptee rights. Hey, it's not the anger. Anger is good, especially when constructive. But this is just rancid. What would be the impression of someone reading this thread, just to take an example? They'd run away. I believe many have already.

  43. Anon 9:53 here.
    I'm adopted. I am not a "bitter" first mother. A bitter adoptee, yeah. One that has a right to be. This forum is for venting, or so they say. To express our true feelings. MY feelings. I don't make anyone look bad, especially when the founders of this blog have said many times that they think adoptive parents wish that first mothers would just die and get out of their hair. All abused kids wish their abusive parent or parents would just croak. NORMAL feeling. Kids abused by an adoptive parent or parents feel the same. Or should that be taken away from us to?

  44. Anonymous,

    I agree with you. I can't wait for my a mom to be gone.

  45. All I can say is that until it became my own experience, the attitudes I grew up with formed my early mindset. Either/Or thinking. All my childhood stories of orphans painted a rosy picture. Heck, I even had times when I wished someone would adopt me. Now, I've read so many books, attended adoption issues meetings, talked with so many people, rediscovered my grief and memories, and reconnected with my son. It is the sum of all that I have done, my commitment to find him, and persistence in the face of laws the United Nations say are in violation of human rights. Adam Pertman's wriring has raised my awareness. Let's face it, we will always need loving adoptive parents. However, there are newer and better ideas on how to go about this so that it is truly in the best interest of the whole family.

  46. So Beth where can I send young women who need help
    post the state, the address where young women can get help. I would think if your adopter did this wonderful thing we could all know. Please, respond.

    In response to the above:

    Go to www.writingmywrongs.com and support first mother Suz and her baubles for babes.

    We can fight unnecessary adoption by supporting today's young women.

    In my opinion education and prevention are the best ways to stamp out this heinous crime against women and children.

  47. If I wasn't already satisfactorily reunited (with all relevant documents and information), and I happened to read some of the sentiments expressed by many of the first mothers and adoptees on this blog, I'd probably give reunion a wide berth. I think I would decide there were too many other important things and people to care about in my life to risk the kinds of divisiveness and disruption I see here.

  48. I too get depressed reading the comments because some of the stories are sad, the anger so palpable. Reunion is hard but I do hope people coming here are not discouraged from searching and reunion. The greatest anger is directed at Adoptive parents, and prospective adopters who do not even attempt to understand the trauma that adoption is for most women who bear the babies, and the children who are cut off from their natural parents and end up feeling abandoned.

    And yes, Baubles for Babes (at Writing my Wrongs) that Jasmine suggests is a cool site. The money goes to support young women and their babies.

    But I just read something that is making me get all teary.

    YES, THRE IS A LOT OF ANGER, AND YES, I know this is generic, and I don't know most of you in person, but hugs to everyone out there today who needs a hug.

    Let's all just take a breath and try to let some of the anger go.

    (And Jane, I hope you don't think I'm getting too sappy, but then...I can be that way.)

  49. Jane, I loved your post. I wish I had read this about 25 years ago. It took me a long time to "fess up" to being a first mom.

    But commenters, you make me ashamed to call myself a first mother.

    It's threads like this that give first mother's a bad name.

    Does it make you feel big and strong to beat up anonymously on an AP? Does it give you some sort of perverse sense of pride that you have shunned them into silence? Do you feel like you're behaving how your child(ren) would want you to? Do you think that somehow pissing people off is going to get you your child(ren) back?

    Shame on all of you for being so petty and juvenile.

  50. Thank you Jasmine for providing a link in my stead. That sounds like a very worthy cause.

    To Anon: who asked for direction to my Mom's site/link: I can't simply share a link without outing my full name, city and in tandem sharing personal information about my parents, of which I am loathe to do without their direct consent. Its local and very locale specific. She didn't start it to gain glory or attention but rather she has been quietly helping young mothers for close to 2 decades now.

    Frankly I would be frigthened to share that kind of information on a public blog. If my reasons for not sharing lead you to believe her efforts are fictional, so then so be it.

    Fact is, I know the truth.

    That's good enough for me.


    P.S. Does anyone else sometimes think that maybe the Anon.'s just say things to ratchet up the anger and feelings on all sides? Seems like this was a real dialogue before a few expressed some really heinous crud. That's a shame.

  51. Ok Beth so you can't share your parents site because if privacy but you claimed your a mom helps moms and kids. I just wanted to see if she actually had a place and your response proved to me she doesn't.
    I know Suz she is a mom who lost her baby she is not an adopter.
    Also, I am not all anonys here. One is an adoptee some are other mothers not adopters although they like to come here and rachet it up here a lot.
    Seems they can never get enough of that good feeling of how wonderful they are and how horrible we moms are
    I had my son's adopter who did just that till she passed away. Also, there are a few adoptees here that can't wait for a moms to pas.

  52. Beth, I've wondered the same thing. I have even wondered if certain Anons really are just venting or actually trying to prevent or manipulate discussion by fostering enmity. Whichever it is, "heinous crud" is a good way to describe their comments.

    Excuse me for going anon too. I don't feel this is a safe place to leave an identifier.

  53. I am going to try to get back to the original topic of this post. Some of the comments seem to have drifted far afield.

    People have often said to me that my n-mother gave me up for adoption because she wanted to do what was best for me. I always tell them that my n-mother never thought adoption would be good for me and that she never CHOSE adoption, that society forced her to give me up because she was unmarried. The person I am talking to always looks taken aback. It amazes me how many people, even in this day and age, still have no idea of the pressure first mothers were under in the BSE, and are under even today, to surrender their children. And that only a small number of natural mothers are doing it willingly.

  54. You know what "anonymous", it's pretty easy to sit back and ask others to "out" their families when you don't even have the courage to give us a first name.

    This site is for first moms like me. Adult adoptees have their own forums, so vent there.

    And honestly if your that angry at your amom, do something about it. Or find some therapy. Your not helpless, right? Maybe finding something else to do with your time rather than throwing around threats and hate.

  55. Well I'm a first time ever putting the business on any blog. My found me the birthmom. We went to therapy together then 11 months into reunion she called and said I don't want a relationship with u. I said ok bye. I'm going to give her space,I pray she will call. May God Bless U All


  56. Afirstmom said...
    "This site is for first moms like me. Adult adoptees have their own forums, so vent there.And honestly if your that angry at your amom, do something about it. Or find some therapy. Your not helpless, right? Maybe finding something else to do with your time rather than throwing around threats and hate".
    No adoptee should have to take that crap from any first mother, anymore than we should take crap from any aparent. I don't why some of you think you are more victimized then your kids are but you are NOT. You're just not.

  57. Anonymous (February 18, 2013 at 2:51 PM)said: "I do not believe for one minute adoptive parents care about "our" cause."

    If that's really the case, then isn't it up to you to help enlighten them? And do you think calling them names and scaring them is going to help? If you honestly believe what you said, then how about helping to educate them?

    No one has answered how beating up on APs will accomplish the goal of first mother/adoptee rights and change how adoption is run. Even Jane and Loraine occasionally gang up on the APs.

    Seriously, how will it do anything more than just make APs more think that adoptees and first mothers are a bunch of loonies.

    1. Freida,

      I have tried enlightening adopters. There is no way it can be done. Spent 20 plus years doing this have gone to conferences and believe me they don't care about it. They got what they wanted and of course adoption NEVER hurt them.
      Even if the child they adopted feels or was hurt they weren't bottom line.

      In all the years that I have been enlightening I have never heard an adoptee say that adoption hurts a mom and her baby.

      Why should they benefitted at their expense and they know it!

      I personally don't care to enlightened those types adopters anyone it is useless. I did not call anyone a name adopter is a term like bmom or adoptee.

  58. Afirstmom,

    Uhh hello is Afirstmom your name? You don't have any courage to give a name either. So before you criitize me look at yourself.
    What are you talking "outing" I asked how Beth's adoptive mom helped mothers and babies. I wanted name of her organization or whatever she did to help.

    Then Jasmine posted addy that helped mothers who needed help ran by a mother of loss not an adopter! I know Suz.
    My point is and was is that adopter's don't help moms.
    It's about them not the baby and certainly not the mom.


    Asking Beth the question about her a mom and where
    she helped was trying to prove my point the help isn't there a least from her a mom. Outing, her I have no desire to do anything but to prove a point. Period

    As far as the crud oh there is plenty to go around. Not to
    many places like this where adopters can come and say
    whatever they want along with adoptees and get their crud heard but go to those pro adopter sites and they block you in a heart beat. So crud comes from all.

  59. "find some therapy" the cure all for adoption anger! If I had a dime for every time I was told that. How do you know that angry people aren't in therapy?

    Do you believe that sometimes therapy can't help us? Maybe you should get therapy to deal with angry people. Why does what how someone else feels bother you so much? It it true concern for their well being?

    You are so concerned with those fragile adopters being frightened away! They should be frightened, far away from adoption agencies, who sell babies who turn into adults like us.

  60. The sniping is over.

    Comments from all--mothers, first and adoptive, and adoptees--that are not simply arguing with one another in a nasty way are still welcome.

    The nasties, not so much.

  61. Good comment, however, from adoptomuss. That is very real.

  62. Afirstmom said...
    "This site is for first moms like me. Adult adoptees have their own forums, so vent there."

    I have to agree with Anon 5:32pm that Afirstmom's comment was disrespectful. This is Lorraine and Jane's blog and they decide who they will allow to comment here. Personally, Lorraine has asked me to stay a couple of times because she values the adoptee perspective.

  63. I gave up my daughter for adoption. When my daughter was 21 she found me it was really scary for me. I said to my daughter if you want a relationship we can have one but as time pass not even one year into our reunion my daughter decided to end the relationship. What should I do? I miss her a lot.

  64. Robin: Yes, we value your input here. It is always calm and sane.

    And BTW, on a whole different note Robin, I missed the visit to adoptee AshLee's aparents last night, hoping to catch it later On Demand. But how did it go? Your take? We ought to set up a different place where we fms and adoptees could talk about this because I am sure that others find it ... er, silly. But do tell, please, if you saw it.

  65. When I was eight months pregnant with my relinquished daughter Rebecca, I went to San Francisco where I knew no one. I rented a room near the "tenderloin," where prostitutes plied their trade.

    As I was walking home from dinner one evening, a sailor came up to me and asked if I wanted a date. I kept on walking and he followed me, asking repeatedly if I wanted a date. Finally I turned to him and said loudly "Go Away!" He gave me a disgusted look and said "well you don't have to be so mean about it."

    I'm always reminded of this event when I read complaints about nasty comments on FMF. Sometimes you have to hit people over the head (figuratively, of course) before they get it.

    Lorraine and I urge our readers to be respectful to others Don't call people with whom you disagree names or make gross generalizations about them or others similarly situated. However, I understand when the comments bend to the nasty side. You can allow a horny sailor to follow you only so long.

  66. While I understand what youre saying Jane about this discussion, I don't think that ultimately that's what I want to do with my story. Beating people over the head (even metaphorically) tends to get people to shut down, not open up. I think I've had enough beating over the head to last a lifetime. I find that when people hear my story, and don't get bashed with it, they are much more willing to listen.

  67. Bachelor Update! AshLee's hometown visit.

    I agree many think the show is silly but with an audience of over 9 million on Monday night, it's one of the top shows on tv.

    AshLee's APs seem like wonderful people and it was obvious that they love her deeply and are incredibly caring and protective parents. They talked about how they had taken in several foster children. AshLee's dad had tears in his eyes when he said that the first time he met AshLee, he told the social worker that he didn't think he would ever be able to give her back. It was love at first sight for him and he said that AshLee deserves a husband who feels that way about her, too. It was touching, but it did give me a bit of discomfort that other foster children might wonder what is wrong with them that no foster parents felt that way about them.

    Sean and AshLee seem like they would make a great couple. I think with the security of his love that she would lighten up and show her more playful side. And boy oh boy, would they have good looking kids.

    The most interesting part of her story to me is that despite ending up in a seemingly wonderful family, AshLee is still devastated by the abandonment/rejection of her original parents. Because this is how much our natural parents mean to most of us. They can't really be replaced. If they don't want us (or we think they don't want us) the pain doesn't go away. I have been really p.o-ed that there are many blog comments about how it's been 27 years and she really needs to get over her abandonment issues already. Obviously, these clueless comments are written by non-adoptees who just don't understand how deep the hurt can go.

  68. Anon asked what she could do about her surrendered daughter who decided to end the relationship.

    Sadly, not much. I'd suggest you send her birthday and Christmas cards unless she has made clear that she doesn't want you to send them. Sending cards lets her know you care about her and you'll be there in case she wants to resume contact.

    Sometimes it takes many years but often our children do come back. In the mean time, live your life to the fullest. Join a support group. Counseling with a first mother therapist might help.

  69. Robin, I am so glad that you have brought the discussion back round to the original topic. It is wonderful how you are able to enter into the natural mother experience with such empathy and ease. If you don't mind me asking (because I know you would not want to speak for your mother) but, from your observation, how does she deal with the subject of adoption when it is brought up by others?

    As an older first mother, I talk about all my children, reunited and raised, when the subject of adoption comes up, not because I specially want to "educate" anyone, but because my kids are important to me and I want to talk about them. I agree with Anon 3:01 PM. that people don't take kindly to being "beaten over the head" with ideas that challenge their preconceptions but I do find they are usually open to personal stories so long as no judgments about them are implied. I find the majority of people to be sympathetic, and given a little leeway, willing to discuss adoption related issues quite broadly. In my experience the biggest hurdle to get over is that of restoring rights to adoptees. although when it is presented as a rights argument and explained that it is a right that has been been abrogated, most people seem to "get" it, especially when presented with the "imagine that *you* were being denied your OBC and information when everybody else gets to take it for granted as their right" scenario.

    Actually, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine did a complete turn-about around on unsealing records. Because, like so many others he'd bought into "the poor traumatized birthmother has a right to her privacy" spiel, he'd never thought about how the closed records deprive adopted people of a right once recognized as belonging to everyone. He didn't know that records used to be open, or that in Alaska and Kansas adoptees' original birth certificates had never been sealed. He'd also never thought about the distinction between privacy and anonymity in adoption. As soon as he was able to see it as the rights issue it is, he completely "got" it.

  70. @Anon 8:02am,
    I can't really speak for my first mother, but I can tell you that for the life of her she cannot understand the beemommie/birthmom buds types at all. She sees nothing to be happy about or to feel proud of for giving one's child to strangers. And she is certainly direct about feeling that way.

  71. Jane,
    I'm glad you're getting the courage to share your story and thoughts with others when you feel safe. Hopefully it will become easier and easier, and as more people "come out", we all learn more and get closer to the truth.

    I'm a transracial, international adoptee who likely will never be able to find any truthful information about my background. I'm now in my birth country where I don't speak the language waiting to regain my original passport. Not having my own info bothers me for many reasons, but it's a blow when friends/a family feel that adopted people shouldn't need to know; that I'm overreacting about adoption. Fortunately, due to places like FMF and many other adoptees speaking out and my adoptee communities, I've gained the courage, confidence, validation, and permission to feel what I feel and speak out when I feel bold enough. I've learned too much this past year about the adoption industry for me to remain silent. I also find that if I don't speak, others will gladly speak "on my behalf" and "on behalf of all the poor children".

    I hope you continue to find your voice and strength from those you trust. My dad came out of the closet decades ago and has found his community. I'm finding mine (at my pace), and hopefully you and FMF will find yours. Although society tries to shame people like you, me, my dad, etc. into silence, we all have nothing to be ashamed of. We are all human beings, doing the best we can.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us and keep chugging! As someone who will probably never be able to reunite, I'm glad that you're willing to share with people like me. It helps me heal.

  72. Thanks for you kind words, Kym, and to the rest of our readers who are supportive of FMF. It makes the work in keeping this blog going all worth while.

    I'm so sorry you cannot get truthful information about your background. I know that some of those who failed to collect or destroyed information meant well, believing that the child's life began when she came to these hallowed shores. At the same time, I'm sure much of the obliteration of the child's past was done to assuage the fears of adoptive parents and cover up corruption.

    I commend you for speaking out and encouraging others to do so. As you note, that's the only way change will happen.

  73. Thank you, Jane, for your kind words. It's not right, but it is what it is. Life must go on.

    I agree with what you said about lack of background/records. However, irrespective of well-meaning, fear-driven, and/or corrupt intentions, there's much room for improvement.

    Please continue to speak honestly, truthfully, the good, the bad, and the ugly about whatever you want to include on your blog. This is your space and should be your sanctuary.

  74. @ Robin, although I am very open about my experience, unlike your mother I am fortunate never to have never talked to anyone in real life, i.e. face-to-face and not on the internet, who believes that any woman would feel happy or proud to give away her child to strangers. If I did I would certainly put them right on the matter.

    Without exception the people I speak with acknowledge it as a tragic loss. I have seen some web blogs where women seem to celebrate relinquishment as a selfless act, and others where mothers say that although at the time they believed they were doing a noble thing, they now recognize that they were acting under the influence of powerful persuasive techniques that took advantage of their youth and vulnerability.

    Since I never felt that way (happy, proud, selfless, noble) myself, I find it hard to identify with these mothers, but I have no doubt that such psychologically manipulative techniques are employed and can be effective. One only has to read the National Council for Adoption's publication "BIrthmother, Good Mother: Her Story of Heroic Redemption" by Charles Kenny to be convinced.

  75. Anon 7:02am,
    I agree with you. Cassi at Adoption-truth.com wrote a great blog post about the publication "Birthmother, Good Mother".



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