' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: When an adoptive mother says...My daughter isn't interested in searching

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

When an adoptive mother says...My daughter isn't interested in searching

What do you say to someone you meet at a luncheon who says that she has an adopted daughter who "isn't interested in searching" as soon as she hears the subject of your recent book. Daughter is in her late twenties.

I said that many adoptees don't search until their parents are much older or dead, because then they feel that are free to do so. I said that adoptees don't search because unconsciously you [adoptive mother] have made it clear that doing so would hurt you very much. She understood. And she added that she always thought her daughter would search one day. I realized that my new acquaintance instinctively understood that the desire to know one's history and reconnect with kin on some level was instinctual, and not unusual. She wasn't being aggressive; I think she was simply surprised to meet a birth mother in real life, at a New Year's luncheon in an artist's studio.

What I was thinking is that no matter how much we try to make our reality--that is, that of adoptees and natural mothers--known, our voices aren't reaching enough people to make the difference they need to make. The occasional movie on Lifetime--or even the film Philomena--hasn't fully penetrated our social consciousness. They are seen as "women's stories," though boys are adopted and birth and adoptive fathers are everywhere. I've tried to break through with my writing, but I stood there thinking how far we have to go.

My daughter and me, first summer
after reunion, in Sag Harbor. 
Adoption for everybody concerned--including grandparents of adopting people--is such a hot button issue. Rationality goes out the window, in flies emotion, strong, passionate feelings. Even friends can get all worked up when a natural mother changes her mind and decides to keep her baby. Instead of understanding for the woman who is even considering adoption for her baby, you are likely to hear how horrible it is for the adopting mother-in-waiting. How's she struggled with fertility, how much time, money and emotion this has cost to get to this point--what is wrong with that birth mother!?! Or say you are an editor that entered into a closed adoption when an open adoption was possible; probably you are not going to be eager to publish a story about why closed adoptions aren't good, how conflicted many adoptees feel, or what happens to natural mothers, maybe like the one who bore your son....You don't really want to think about her because....what can you do anyway? 

Conversation continues: I quickly learn that the woman talking to me over the quiche selection on the buffet table knew about open adoption in 1989 when she adopted--and knew they were becoming popular--but decided against openness because "she didn't feel she couldn't handle it." She said she might get too involved with the natural mother. The woman is not aggressive or nasty, simply honest. I like her honesty but I thought: she couldn't deal with the thought of sharing her daughter with another mother, because that is what a true open adoption is--and should be. She had to write out the chapter of the natural mother in her adoption story.

I was tactful but forthright, but I did not point out the obvious, that when she adopted she thought of what she could handle, not what her daughter was losing, and the impact of being cut off from her natural mother and family. Though she was obviously intelligent and well read, she was oblivious to these issues; they had not entered her thinking when she adopted. I knew that if we kept on talking, no matter how I framed my words, they would seem confrontational as I challenged her thinking. It's the rare situation where I can discuss adoption and its myriad problems--especially with an adoptive parent--without an emotional reaction and surely this was not one of them. There was too much I wanted to say. I ended the conversation before my heart rate went up like crazy. I could already feel it pounding.

As she was leaving, she gave me her card, and said she was going to get my book. We have to educate, one by one, wherever and whenever we can. Speaking up helps all of us.--lorraine

Afterthought: Next time someone says, My son/daughter isn't interested in searching... (often preceded by, I asked her/him..supposedly telegraphing the idea that asking at whatever point exonerates them) I am going to say--Don't you think that's unusual?

Because people not adopted understand why the normal reaction is to be interested in one's own story of birth and kin, as in Who? Where? Why was I not raised by my mother???  Adoptive parents must recognize that expressed lack of interest in one's own history as atypical, but don't want to acknowledge that. The "not interested" answer does not challenge their position as Only Parent Who Deserves Love and Interest.

The person who's "not interested" in their paternity/maternity has learned that the appropriate response to their wonderment is to express that non-interest, and thus they have made that non-interest their own. Knowing that expressing interest in their own birth story is going to be read as "Aren't I alone good enough for you?" and thus hurt their parents, whom presumably they love. Ultimately, that squelches desire. If you know you never can have something, why keep yearning for it? Especially when expressing that curiosity will hurt someone you love?

Yep, the next time I hear "not interested" from anyone,. I'm going to say: Isn't that weird? Why do you think that is? Can you imagine not being interested in who you are, or where you came from? 
It is actually the most honest response, and put the ball back in the speaker's court. In the past, I've felt somewhat defensive when someone tells me of their son's or daughter's non-interest in people like me, but maybe this will turn that around for me emotionally.

Adoptive parents should be defensive about their children expressing no interest in their own lives. What did they, the adoptive parents, or the system, do to shut down normal curiosity about one's roots? As others have said, Curiosity in every other area is seen as a sign of intelligence. In adoption, however, that curiosity has been seen as pathology. Time to turn the tables and make non-interest a sign not of pathology, but at least suspect.
ORDERING FROM AMAZON? Anything at all? Do it through the book jacket picture at left or in sidebar and help support FMF.  A BIG thanks to all those who do!

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child
by Nancy Verrier
on December 10, 2016
This book was highly recommended by another adoptive mom. It basically makes the point that adopted kids carry 
with them an unfillable loss. I think this is more true or more keenly felt by some than others. Unfortunately the book
doesn't have a lot of advice on how to assuage this hurt; it just raises the awareness of the problem and provides
lots of examples of how it manifests. As a result, the book left me feeling a little depressed and hopeless, even
though my kids don't even seem to feel much of the loss described.


  1. My daughter's adopters acted supportive of her idea of searching because they thought she would never find me. They were told by the social worker that it would be impossible. When she found me, they were hostile, appalled and seemed terrified. I guess they didn't count on the fact that her need was greater than their fantasy.

    1. How ungrateful a comment. We put our love, blood, sweat and tears into these kids when you could not. I love my kids birth parents and they love and respect me.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. As an adoptee we tell adopted family what they wantto hear we are masters at acting happy as thats what adoptees do we pretend to fit in and act gratful . I never told my adopters about meeting my real family as I knew what would happen . If i was made to choose bio would always come before adopters . Such a relief when adopters die like a huge weight of your shoulders you are finally free .

    2. Didnt lose a single tear when abusive adoptive parents died. And yes, adoption UTTERLY DESTROYED my life. www.elanasong.blogspot.com

  3. I was so afraid to search. I waited until I was 48. I was waiting for A-mom to die, but she didn't. Good thing I looked, because my mother died 4 years after I found her, and A-mom is still alive and kicking!
    I was also waiting to be found. It was my greatest wish.

    I hid the fact that I found my family, but A-mom figured it out. She said, "you found your mother". Not birth mother or anything, just mother. Then she said she was surprised that I waited so long. I wanted to punch her in the face.
    Adoption talk was a major no no in our family. We never talked about it at all, so I had no idea that I could ever search.

    It's hard to explain how brainwashed I was.

    It's such a sick cruel thing to do to a child. Take their family, and then make them pretend you are their mother. Torture, really.

    1. I understand how brainwashed you might have been. Too well.

    2. I don't get it...they raised you and you wanted to punch her in the face? What is wrong with you?

      Did they sexually/physically abuse you or something?

      Why the hatred towards those who were your parents all those years?

    3. I hate her because she raised me, instead of my own mother. Why did that have to happen to me? Why did I have to lose my family, and be taken in by total strangers?
      Why did I have to be treated like property? Why did I have to be denied any contact with my entire family?
      Why did this woman think she was better than my own mother? She lied to me, and told me to my fact that she was my only mother. She did not think I deserved to even know my own name.
      She took me.

      I might have been put up for adoption, but it was not for my own good. I had, and still have an entire family.

      The woman who adopted me did not know my family either. It was a time of secrets. Infertile women went to "agencies" to see if they could purchase the child they desperately craved. Many times, they could. Babies were easier to come by.
      That does not make it right. The woman who adopted me has said some horrifying things to me over the years, starting with I am your only mother, and more recently, she kindly informed me that she could love HER mother, because HER mother did not give her away.

      There are other horrors besides physical/sexual abuse, unbelievably.

      Being forced to live a crazy lie is one of them. It does something to some people, and grateful is not part of how I feel.

    4. God forbid an adoptee feel ANYTHING but gratful towards an adoptive mother. All social logic goes out the window!!

      ::eye roll::

      The above reply sums up everything wrong with adoption today and the responder completely missed the point. Oh, the irony.

    5. Thanks for that. Speaking, or writing my real feelings does not always go over well, but I can't help myself.
      What happened to me was very painful and wrong, and I suffer from it everyday.
      Thanks for understanding!

  4. I lost my first daughter to adoption. We have been reunited now for 18 years. My current dilemma is that my second daughter is seeking a baby to adopt. She has known about her older sister since she was about 12. So she knows what the first mother goes through. Now I cringe when I hear her talk about getting a baby through adoption. Twice now, the mother has changed her mind and kept her child. Inside I cheered the mother. Outside, I am consoling my own baby girl through her tears. She wants to be a mother so badly. My daughter is gay, so not only is she almost 40 and unable to get pregnant (she had 5 intrauterine inseminations), but she has no ready supply of sperm. My daughter would be a wonderful mother. But I cannot bring myself to be upset with those mothers who decided to keep their babies. Everyone around us was upset with those mothers though. I am so conflicted. I don't know what to say or do. I just want her to be happy, as all moms would.

    1. Kathy, I need to ask. Has your daughter looked into adopting a child from foster care? I would encourage her to go to informational sessions held by her state's Child Welfare Department. The child will not be a newborn but will more likely be a child who needs a family.

    2. Jane, I agree that it is better to adopt through foster care. But that avenue is not without its own perils. Even in foster care there can be CPS workers who are determined to push through an adoption, especially with younger children and babies. Mothers can be threatened and lied to. And some CPS workers can be vindictive and arrogant. They can recommend a TPR even when family preservation is possible. Sometimes they are just convinced that they know what is best. UK Social Services is known for being particularly egregious in their behavior.

    3. Yes, but no matter what, adopting from foster care is generally better than shopping for a newborn. KathyMom your story made my heart leap when I heard it because though I have no reasons to suspect it will happen to my granddaughters, I fear that it could. Adoption is seen as quite normal way to have children--if the biological ones aren't handy. KathyMom, I hope that your daughter does not adopt a newborn because I know how extremely difficult that will be for you, for all time. Because of the technology, no one wants to accept that a child is not always available for them. I wish you could talk to her but it seems beyond that.

      Or maybe there is a way. Does she understand at all the pain that you went through? Maybe she needs to know more. Try it if you can.

    4. stand up for yourself. Stand up for another mother. stand up for another daughter who will live her life in this turmoil. Life is difficult. Being gay is not a reason to take another persons child.

    5. TPR: Termination of Parental Rights.

    6. Steve, yes, I absolutely agree. Some CPS workers push through adoptions of children who could be raised by their own families or close kin. There are financial incentives to do this as well as racial and economic biases in the system. Still, as you suggest, the odds are better that a foster child is a child who needs a home than the odds for a newborn adopted through what is essentially a profit-making organization.

    7. Jane, but then KathyMom's daughter would have to ask for a child that fits the "difficult to place" criteria - older, best around the teenage years because those truly need families, and physical as well as psychological difficulties.

      It's not just "some CPS workers" who force adoptions. It's most.

      KathyMom, have you suggested to your daughter to look for a gay man who wants to be a father? That way, she could avoid a sperm donation (and the ethical difficulties there) and two people who otherwise might not have had a child might have a chance to have one.
      It's likely not the easiest option, maybe not even the best, but it might be a better solution for her.

      Aside from that, I think your daughter needs some therapy. I understand that her wish for a child would take it's toll, and I don't think that if she adopted now, she would do so objectively, even if she does it ethically. She can't neglect her own mental health in her pursuit of motherhood.

    8. Walburg--But at this point the daughter is placing her own mental health over that of the child, as she imagines there are loads of babies to be adopted. She already knows there isn't but won't let go of the dream of a newborn. She would rather change diapers than deal with a troubled teenager who really needs help; she doesn't see herself in the role of that kind of caregiver; her child is going to grow up and with all the love she has to give, that individual will not have serious problems.

    9. @Lorraine, in that case, she really better look for a gay man to supply her with sperm.
      But truthfully, where she places her own mental health is one thing, how she treats it is quite another. If she pursues a child, any child, without taking a step back and looking at her own feelings, she will damage not only a child, she will damage herself, and quite likely permanently.

      If she gets help, professional help, she may be able to come to terms with her lot. And that wouldn't be easy in any way, but far more beneficial long-term, for herself as well as for any child she otherwise would have adopted.
      I am putting that argument out mainly because I think her own mental health may be a heavy point for her, heavier than others. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't, but I'd like to try.

  5. A message that needs to be sent over and over. Folks won't know about the realities of adoption unless we tell them. It's so hard to do, both because we're uncomfortable discussing a sad and yes, shameful part of our life. They're uncomfortable hearing something unpleasant when they expect a happy story.

    1. Right. Too many people want "a happy story." I am convinced there are no more happy stories. This is how I feel about all of this:
      %$#@!@#$%^&^&&*&^%$#@!####!!!!!n the most vile of expletives all together.
      My son will not accept contact because his amother has threatened to disown him if he does. Plus I have heard that most boys/men feel no need to search.
      I am at the point that I do not care to be polite to anyone who thinks adoption is great anymore. They say honey will attract more than a stick. Sorry I have nothing left but sticks, and very sharp ones at that. No happy story here.

  6. Good for you, Lorraine. I hope that a-mother reads your book. As you know, an a-mom friend of mine finally got it after reading it. At least I hope she did. At least she understands her adopted daughter's pain now.

    You're right about editors and publishers, who sometimes have an adoption connection and even those who don't who still believe adoption is all good. I sensed that a few turned my book down because it didn't support that notion. Which is why it took me many years to get Second-Chance Mother published (and by a small publisher at that, who simply thought it was a powerful, important story).

    So much more education and speaking out is necessary to curb this crazy, adored industry of taking children from their mothers to hand them over to those who cannot otherwise have. And I know a lot of great adoptive parents. But too many are clueless.

    1. Denise! Actually my book was in the beginning part of the pipeline at a major New York publisher when two women editors who were part of the big meeting where final decisions are made came with ammo from First Mother Forum. They apparently had a conniption over the blog--said it was TOO STRIDENT--and convinced others that anything I wrote should not be published. My husband said: They want to feel that adoption will always be available to them--should they need it.

      And adoption makes adoptees silent and se we do not hear more from them, and so we have the woman saying: My daughter has no interest in searching....and first mothers also are not shouting from the tree tops because so many are still in hiding...and thus you have the reasons why change in unsealing records has taken to long, and why adoption is still the institution that it is.

      And why KathyMom's daughter wants to adopt a newborn.

    2. Oh Lorraine, the picture I have in my mind after reading, "first mothers also are not shouting from the tree tops". I can actually see every one of us going out on a set day and time and climbing into the nearest reasonable tree in a prominent area and shouting 'adoption hurts' at the top of our lungs. Maybe get the adoptees and (first) fathers to join us... wouldn't that make for some news coverage!? and to see the looks on the faces of those shocked spectators. Too funny.

      You have given me quite a chuckle. Thank you.

  7. About your comment, "What I was thinking is that no matter how much we try to make our reality--that is, that of adoptees and natural mothers--known, our voices aren't reaching enough people to make the difference they need to make...I stood there thinking how far we have to go." This problem concerns me also. I keep wondering how could this issue be fixed or improved? Partly it is us - so many birthmothers still believe in the shaming that they can't form a group with a consistent purpose of changing what is really a moral wrong. The other thing I think - and I have to differ with some people on this site -is I don't think anti-unnecessary adoption should be associated with pro-abortion rights. I think associating the two retards the solution. The reason I believe this to be true is because on the matter of the mother keeping and raising her own child and it being wrong for other people to pressure her to give up her child and all the things that go into coercing or influencing someone to do that or to trick people or take children from foreign countries, or take huge fees for this - all the things we talk about here as immoral - we have the high ground. People will agree to that - church people, people at Catholic Charities I have talked to, evangelicals even. But then if it appears that they have to agree also to abortion rights, they won't, and I think the attitude is, well if I have to support abortion rights if I agree that adoption has problems, then I can't. You can't appeal to people's moral rightness about the immorality of the adoption mess and present them with an alternative that they see as less moral. If you do, you stay on the level of "this is my personal feelings of hurt" and that is pretty much where it is staying at this time. I'm not saying that we can't believe in pro-choice if that is what we believe, but that linking the two together is counterproductive to getting support to change the way people see adoption. I think that changing the myth of the unwanted child would do the most good.

  8. Over the holidays my first son came home to Kentucky from KC and we were able to get together at our usual coffee place and catch up for several hours. Since September I have been in contact with my son's biological father. My son called him and they had a 'good' conversation but nothing to indicate that either of them would have an ongoing relationship.

    My son & I talk about his biological father often and he is interested in knowing about him. He told me he has not told his adoptive parents about this. I said is it because you don't want to worry them? He just said he didn't think there was much to say about it at this time. I could sense that this was very private for him, and also he is very close to his adoptive dad so I'm sure he doesn't want to hurt him. I told him his relationship with his biological father was not any of my business either and that what goes on between the two of them was their business. He thanked me for that. He loves his adoptive family, but he needs time to come to terms with it all, and as an adult he has that 'right' without worrying about his adoptive parents 'feelings'. Over the last 7 yrs. of our reunion/relationship I realize he spends a lot of time trying to make his parents proud even at his own expense. The one thing that I took away from this was how important my sons biological roots are to him, because he wrote me a letter and expressed that to me. This is one area that adoptive parents need to get more education on before they even adopt, because biological parents are important, with or without their approval, the searching is happening.

  9. My adoptive mom of 46 years would say the same thing - "she isn't interested in searching" but it would have been a whopper of a lie. I was adopted from foster care when I was 2 years old and I've always known that I was adopted but I was told one sentence about my adoption - the same one sentence - until I was 14 when I pressured my adad to tell me something about my mother and he delivered sentence number two (to my amom's horror). The message was loud and clear "talking about your adoption is bad, hurtful, wrong, etc." I pushed a couple of times during my life, but it was always over within seconds when my aparents got up and left the room. It's hard to have a discussion when you are the only one sitting there. I knew it hurt them, I assumed that they knew nothing, and I deduced from the two sentences that I wasn't wanted by my bios. If I wasn't wanted, why would I spend a lot of time and money to find the people that didn't want me? That's how I justified it all my life, though I have always been curious, always looking at others to see someone that looks like me, secretly hoping that I'd been wanted after all. When I was 46 my dad found me and I learned that what I had believed was all wrong, terribly wrong, I had been wanted since the beginning. We now have a great reunion and we are all slowly healing from a lifetime of hurt. My aparents will not be told about the reunion though as it would devastate them and cause a lot of pressure on me to not see my nfamily, so I will leave them in the dark. It's a complicated web we weave!

  10. Mothers..are a mix of saint and sinner ..if we speak up we are 'strident' , bitter and have regrets. If we don't speak up we are guilty of letting this happen into continuum . I for one will go to my grave being strident and bitter but with no regrets regarding my ability to speak up.

    1. I'm with you.

      Though it is demoralizing to find that you can't tell/sell your story because big publishing blocks you from the getgo--because they don't like the message. So they kill the messenger.

  11. Changing the public's thinking requires more than cocktail party conversations although these are important. It requires a concerted effort by experts in shaping public opinion. This means having a committed organization with the ability to raise money, gobs of it.

    1. I agree that a committed organization is needed. What can we learn from the UK's adoption apology and awareness of the wrongs done in the past? It seems they have made progress that we have not. The opening of birth certificates is slowly happening, but is too slow, I think due to public confusion over the adoption message (is it human rights, anger, loss, child protection, etc?) Is there an organization that is established that would take on a bigger mission and gain the donors needed?

      A good thing to consider as we start a new year.

    2. And under what rock are we going to find gobs of money? Adoptive parents in general are the ones with the money, not the birth mothers (who would most likely keep their children if they could) or the adoptees (who if wealthy may have an incentive NOT to search). I've met some of them. To search or not search should be immaterial, as all people should be able to have their stories and the names of their parents as soon as they reach the age of reason. That would give them updated medical histories, and answer questions before they were even formed.

    3. There are wealthy natural mothers -- Roseanne Barr -- or at least she was wealthy, but none of the wealthy natural mothers have showed any interest in adoption reform. There are also wealthy adoptees, many entertainers, but again except for DMC, none have given more than lip service to the open records effort, to my knowledge. Is it because they are afraid of bad, PR, suffering a backlash like African Americans received in the past when they stood up for civil rights? Or because they really don't care?

    4. I don't know the answer to that question.
      I do know that speaking out against adoption, as an adoptee is daunting. Both my natural and adoptive families have told me how very wrong I am about the whole thing.

      Adoption is a sacred cow in our culture. Putting it down is frowned upon, especially if you are seen to have benefited from the experience.
      It's downright bizarre, how people react to anything negative about adoption.

      My coworker, an older lady said, "I think your mother is the one who raised you". I said, "Well, what if she died when I was born, would she still be my mother then?". No answer, but the conversation was closed.

      Sometimes, it's just not worth it. Why should I stick up for the woman who abandoned me anyway? All I get is anger and disapproval.

      People say I had a good life. My pain does not show, I'm not mentally ill. Even my own father said I should just be happy with my life, and let go of the past. But I can't, because the past is the present, and I'm still alone.

    5. Joni Mitchell said in an interview--as I recall to the best of my ability--that she was not happy her story of being a birth mother came out it the press, even though her song Magdalene Laundries is about the situation of natural mothers in Ireland.

      I googled and find this site but understand, the step-parent adoptees are in the mix (which is somewhat different as the individual is likely to know his biological parents. And everyone no matter who or what are is called "adopted child," including Bill Clinton.

      The list of adoptees is long; as is the list of adoptive parents. Not so for birth mothers


    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Christina -

      What UK adoption apology are you referring to? I live in the UK and am not aware of one, although I know there are movements towards this.

      Re: Changing the public's view of adoption -

      If 1% of Teen Mom's Facebook page followers read a comment you write there, you will have reached nearly 74,000 people.
      Create a protective pseudonym and join in on the conversations there about adoption. Add your experience, your perspective. Loads of the entitled adoptive mothers do, I'm sure of it - you can spot their manipulative drivel a mile off, among the general, unenlightened extolling of adoption as (barf) 'beautiful'.
      You won't be alone - the more of us who express our truth and viewpoint there, the easier it is for the rest of us. It's the only way to reach so many people, and it may just stop someone giving up their child for adoption. And even if it's like wading through a lake of utter ignorance, you never know whose mind will suddenly light up with a new thought, a new realisation, as mine once did by something someone said that was different to the usual unquestioned adoption myth.

      I think it's really worth speaking out anywhere online where the topic is adoption and there's a large potential audience. If we want to disturb the pervasive common adoption narrative which has doubtless been psychologically crafted to be as effective as possible, we have to make sure we are heard too. That means speaking up despite the deluge of rubbish that will inevitably be thrown our way.

      (Sorry – had to edit previous post as my maths went haywire!)

  12. Adoption "reform" is multi-faceted and there is no consensus of opinion on what should be done to fix the system. There are many people working. They are not all working on the same issues.
    Fixing one issue does not necessarily lead to improvement in other areas. Open records for adoptees does not mean that pregnant women will be treated better by agencies or adoption attorneys or prospective adoption parents. And there are no laws that require adoptive parents to tell their adoptive sons and daughters that they are adopted and that their OBCs are available to them.

    I have worked for open records and family preservation/parents rights laws...for many years. The adoption industry is always looking for ways to fight back.
    But the industry doesn't have to look far for support, because there is still plenty of support for adoption in the general American public. And I agree that there is still something of a belief in an awful lot of American women that says, they want to be able to have the option of adoption of a child available to them "if they need it."'
    And, it follows that belief, that the shaming/coercing of the mother of the child will follow, in order to justify the taking of said child...in order to justify that action...whether the child is in need...or not.

  13. A few years back when I was a court-appointed CI, I had an adoptive mom tell me her daughter had never expressed an interest in searching. I had a dickens of a time keeping a straight face, because her daughter had already petitioned the court for my CI services to find her mother. All I could say to her was that adoptees often don't share their yearnings with their parents for fear of hurting them. To this day, I don't know whether her daughter told her about the reunion that resulted.

    1. Thanks for this. Since I've never been a searcher or a CI I've never known the two sides of the coin. But I've been at enough adoptee meetings to know that this is so true. My husband's good friend searched more earnestly after his adoptive mother died; he asked his aunts, and they knew who both the mother and the father were. Clearly he could have done this years earlier. Now both parents were dead. Both were married when he was conceived--married to other people.

  14. Sharing what I just read on Facebook at the Adoption Truth and Transparency page, where this blog has been posted:
    My amom told everyone who asked I wasn't interested in searching, up until I informed her I was already in reunion.....

  15. Just reading all whats here ... all I can say is A parents are not clueless they know exactly what they have done. They just have the sympathy vote from society which was well managed by catholic organisations.. it's painful to realise how so many many people are completely ignorant about adoption.. it's horrific and yesthe only way is the truth of how adoptees actually feel and birth mothers coming out and telling the truth of what realm happened and how much they love their child .. xx ❤ love to you all

  16. Lorraine, Jane and the openness from mothers in these discussions, i.e., using the term "lost" my baby to adoption, clearly an advancement from 1969 adoption lingo. Our cup is full because published mothers like yourselves allow us to pour out our heart blood on these pages, as well as regularly remind us that challenges for change, healing and helping other mothers is what also make our own lives of sorrow worthwhile. I wish health and gifts of love for the new year to surround you both.

  17. I've read through all the comments and I think what we don't want to happen is exactly what is going to happen. Baby Scoop era II. And this one may be even worse and more traumatic (if that's even possible) than the first one. The new congress is quickly moving to defund Planned Parenthood. Since the organization is already barred from using federal funds for abortion, this will eliminate the availability of birth control and preventative care for women of limited means and/or those living in areas with few providers. So what will this add up to? More children being born to women and families who will struggle to provide for them, and adoption will start looking like a good, or even the only, option. I don't think the sexual revolution will go backwards, even though the right wing would like it to. That bird has already flown the coop. So what I predict happening is a lot less access to birth control and a lot more unplanned pregnancies. Since the GOP doesn't believe in assistance to single mothers, I believe the adoption industry will boom once again, with an explosion of its concomitant damage.

  18. I was just home for the holidays, staying with a dear friend who is basically family. She is an adoptive/foster mom and is one of my in-real-life sanctuaries because she gets it. We talked about our worries and concerns for our children who are adopted. One thing that came up is how adoption is always perceived as positive. We are both told by people that our children are better off with us. And in her situation, where her son was not being cared for properly, she says that it would have been better had the parents been able and willing to accept the help to become better parents so that her son could have stayed with them. But people just do not want to hear that. Children need their family of birth. Where we come from is important to us as human beings, and it is not easily erased into nothingness. It's infuriating to us when people are dismissive of our children's families of birth- they absolutely do matter. But this is what we always (yes, always- the only exception is some of my friends who are adoptees) experience from others when they mention our kids' adoptions.

    For me, my daughter is more frequently speaking of her adoption and her other parents as she gets older. I shared my sadness with my friend that they are not an active part of our lives right now. My daughter has asked if she can go live with them, and it broke my heart and left me at a loss for a compassionate explanation as to why my answer was a no. How do you explain that in a way that isn't a knife to the heart? And they do love her, but it is very complicated. But to her, love is presence, not something from a distance. So many hard questions that do not have easy explanations for a young child. And the questions will only get harder with more life situations that I forsee coming up for her other parents, and our daughter getting older and more aware of her adoption. How could it not have been better for her to be able to stay with her family when I hear these questions? (Before anyone asks, no, it was not possible for her to do so, and I will not publicly share the reasons as to why. I am trying to share that when adoption does occur, we need to acknowledge as a society that it was not the best thing to happen to the child and that it comes with loss and pain and should be avoided when possible. The fallacy that adoption is always a beautiful thing needs to be stopped.)

    Lorraine, I really hope that adoptive mom reads your book and tries to understand her daughter's perspective. As an adoptive mom, I would say that it truly isn't about us. It's not about our feelings or our needs or our insecurities- those are on us to work out behind the scenes. It is about our kids' feelings because our love for them as mothers is supposed to transcend our own needs to put them first. Her daughter may not want to search (now)- I do know adoptees with understanding parents who have not searched. But that doesn't mean her daughter isn't without emotions on the situation.

    It may be that her daughter fears her response because the mom has created this situation with her responses. I actively tell my young daughter who is adopted that her feelings are ok. When she says she misses her other parents and she wishes she could go live with them, I make sure, in that moment, she knows I'm absolutely ok with her feelings. It's my chance to let her know that forging a relationship with her parents, when she has the opportunity, is ok with me and I love her completely and wholly aside from that decision. It's my chance to give active positive acknowledgement to her feelings. It's not enough for this adoptive mom to simply feel that it's ok if her daughter someday searches- she needs to say the words to her daughter. She decided she couldn't handle open adoption because of her own needs, but she doesn't understand how this is a flag for her daughter now that adoptive mom's needs are more important than the daughter's and always have been. I hope she is able to learn from what you shared.

    1. Tiffany, thanks for this response, becauses your thought at the end is exactly what I was thinking--You couldn't handle an open adoption, obviously your daughter picked up on this, and now...what did you expect? That she would be sharing with you her search? That should would even search? There's more that I won't share here, just as you can't share your whole story. It was be so good if she read what you had to say. Thanks again for adding your perspective, Tiffany.

    2. Tiffany, you sound like a very understanding person.
      The way my adoptive mother behaved throughout my life only served to alienate her to me.
      One of my earliest memories is of me, 3 or 4 years old, looking into the full length mirror in our apartment, talking about my other mother, and hearing her scream that I did not have another mother, she was my only mother. I knew it was a lie, and my little heart hated her for saying that. It never got any better.

      I was sent to stay with her relatives when I was 6. I could never understand what I did to deserve being sent away, first by my true mother, and then again by this new one. I made my heart hard, like a stone, so it would not hurt anymore.

      It would have been so wonderful for someone to acknowledge my pain, and my right to feel it! But there was nothing like that in my world.

      When she had the power, she wielded it over me. I longed for escape.

      When I finally found my parents, we had some hard conversations. I asked my adoptive mother if she loved her mother, she replied, "yes, but my mother didn't give me away". Can you imagine that crap. YES, BUT MY MOTHER DIDN'T GIVE ME AWAY. This from a woman who was trusted with raising an adopted child. The cruelty and heartlessness in that remark infuriates me.
      I told her, I loved my mother too. I said, "why do you think it's any different for me?". I still hate her, very much.

      The callousness with which some adoptive parents speak of natural families astounds me. These people created these children, which you claim to love so much. How can you run them down so.

      So many adoptive parents, and society as a whole do not see adopted children as whole people, only babies, who cannot protest, or feel sadness. They do not want to face what they have done to us. They do not want to see what we have lost.
      They do not want to hear from us. Our voices are silenced and derided. Unhappy adoptees are aberrations, the fault is not in adoption, but in ourselves.

      A compassionate adoptive parent is a rare thing indeed. I'm afraid that the type of person who would consider infant adoption, is not a very kind person. If you thought about what you were doing, how could you? It seems infertility causes madness in some women, and desire for infant flesh overrides all reason.

      Enough for tonight! Goodnight all.

    3. Adoptomuss, I am so sorry to read your story. I am so glad we had a chance to meet. I don't usually hear what adoptive parents say about birth mothers, but I know that it is often not pretty. And even if it is only slightly derogatory, or if the adoptive parent gives off the slightest vibe of how she is the only mother, only parent you are entitled to know, that cuts off communication and leads to saying: I am not at all interested in searching for my ...[what to say, they adoptee wonders?]...that woman.

    4. Adoptomuss- "YES, BUT MY MOTHER DIDN'T GIVE ME AWAY". During my "coming out of the fog as an adoptive person, I came across this concept several times. I truly believe that the adoptive parent/family can only get us to cleave to them and not LOVE them. When I shared my adoption story on a forum that had nothing to do with adoption, the general feeling from the general public was "how could you not hate your mother for abandoning you"? We adoptees are angry. We are angry as (bad word) and our adoptive parents count on that anger to keep us with them. I think my Amom thinks she rescued me as well.

      How different it would be if we were told "your mother loved you and wanted to keep you but did not have the resource to keep you and we sure the heck were not going to give resources to her and lose the chance to be called mommy". What if we got counseling from the get go because adoption is just so vile. What if the Afamily was not allowed to normalize losing our family?

      I was raised by the choral music director of a large university. How the hell do you make that kind of music which must come from the heart, when you have someone else's child in your house? Lorraine, its not what my AMom said about my mom, its what she didn't say about her that was so loud and clear.

    5. Lorraine, maybe since she and you talked, she will read here. I hope she is open to what she learns. I agree that adoptees, like any child, internalize non verbal messaging so much.

      Adoptomuss, I can't even imagine. That is so incredibly and horrendously cruel. Your adoptive mother sounds like a person who shouldn't have ever been able to adopt, let alone be a mother in general. I'm a proponent of PAPs having to go through therapy as part of the home study as at least a partial mechanism of ensuring they do not have major issues that should prohibit them from parenting.

      On another forum, when I expressed that given an opportunity to do so, I would have fixed (and still would) my daughter's family situation if I had the power so that she would not have had to leave them. A PAP got after me quite a bit for saying that and stated that I didn't really love my daughter and only viewed myself as her "temporary mom" and not as a real part of our family. This was a person seeking to adopt who truly could not understand how to switch off her view (I want a child) to move to the child's view (I lost my family and it hurt). Even when I explained, she still insisted that I am not a "real mother" not because I an adoptive mother but because I viewed my daughter's family of birth as equal in importance (and at birth, I view them as single in importance- I was a stranger). She had some terrible things to say which I shrugged off personally- I mean, really, what do I care what a stranger on the internet thinks of me as a mother?- but really nagged at me in terms of concern over this person being allowed to adopt. How was she going to treat her child if this was her view of me? I persisted only because I couldn't stop thinking about that, but she was absolutely certain in her dismissal of first families. They are of zero importance, and there would be only one mother to her child. Period.

      I can only think that your mother also was like this. That she wasn't capable of putting you first and understanding your pain and loss instead of focusing on her own... and that is very sad (and upsetting) because you didn't ask for any of it. I can't disagree with you that infertility causes issues, and I really do believe this needs to be examined and addressed in mandatory therapy sessions before adoption. I did not have infertility issues, but I would have welcomed sessions where we discussed in greater depth how we would parent a child who was adopted in a manner that would be best for them. I was surprised, actually, that there was nothing like that.

  19. Writing here as one adoptive mother only. My children are 14 and 12; we searched for and found each of their mothers in Guatemala when the kids were seven. In our community of adoptive parents with children born in Guatemala, many hundreds (thousands?) maintain contact and visit, ourselves included.
    I realize international adoption is a fraught subject--Adoptions in Guatemala closed nine years ago, in December 2007--and am not seeking to debate the issue. But I feel I must state that in my community at least, many adoptive parents have heard and embraced the message of reunion and openness. Thanks for continuing to spread the word, and for listening.
    Jessica O'Dwyer

    1. Reunion and openness sound great, but the best situation for the children involved, is no adoption at all. Not leaving their countries and their mothers.

      Family preservation should always be the goal.

      The message is not reunion and openness, it's helping children remain with their mothers.

    2. agree with you Autumn. the general acknowledgment and consensus that adoption should not be the rue du jour for infertile people. that adoptions are for kids who don't have families - that long-term fostering with a single committed family might be a better way to go for some of these kids (and later if they want to be adopted as adults, fine.) that adoption isn't the answer/option to an unwanted or inconvenient pregnancy. that human children cannot be grafted into any family that comes along, their needs might just be a little more complicated than that in our complex society, where many of use are living well beyond the daily struggle for food and shelter. that food and shelter struggles for many upwardly young people are temporary and assistance for those things can be provided so that families can stay together, mothers and fathers can parent their own kids.

      thinking along those lines would natural lead one to respect the ideas of open contact, searching, reunions. such a person would not see themselves as having the right to take children from other parents, other cultures (complicating openness and reunion, btw) and would not see themselves as an adventuresome heroine having face insurmountable odds for having done so. strikes of over-compensation from guilt, to me, and i can't applaud it, or condone it.

  20. I appreciate this discussion, particularly the honesty in everyone's post. While it seems we can agree things should change, I don't know that we'll get agreement on what that change should be. The problem is that there is no "one size fits all" answer. I know women who could have chosen adoption but found family support to parent and regret that now. I know women who chose adoption and it caused them tremendous pain. I know women who chose adoption and stand by this decision, happy with the outcomes. I know adoptees that are bitter and adoptees that are happy. I know families that are connected, respectful and loving (adoptive and birth together) and I know families torn apart. ALL of them have the right to their feelings. But somehow, along the way, we need to start listening to each other, working to understand all these points of view, and create a system that supports the most hope for all to have a happy outcome. Lorraine is right on track with this because it starts with individuals simply sharing their stories. As a birthmother, I take every opportunity to talk about adoption (yes, even at holiday parties!) I did have a positive experience and outcome, but I'm acutely aware that there are specifics in my story that, had they not happened, would have changed it completely. So as I share it, I always point these out. It's not enough to say "adoption is good" or "adoption is bad" - you have to say WHY. It's in understanding the why's that we'll start to get others to change.

    1. As an adoptee, I couldn't care less how a woman feels that forces adoption on their child as they do not have to go through it. No human wants to lose their mother...period. Go ask even the poorest person and they do not want to lose their family. There are no "happy adoptees", there are adoptees in the fog or processing out of the fog. There are those who are going forward the best they can. You are only wishing you could force adoption on someone and that they are grateful and happy.

    2. You really know women who regret keeping their children, and wish that they gave them away? How many? That is hard for me to believe.

      Can you share more about this?

    3. Patricia, I'm stunned by your statement that you "know women who could have chosen adoption but found family support to parent and regret that now." I've met a number of mothers who wished they had waited to have children but I have never met a woman who wished she had given up her child for adoption. I join Autumn in asking for more information.

    4. I find it impossible to believe that many women wanted to give away their babies and regret that they did not. I can believe that they wished they were better mothers, or wished that they did things differently - it is not uncommon for people to wish that they'd done better by the people they love, whether that's their kids, their parents, their spouses, or close friends.

      Patricia, i notice that you are an expert in early childhood development. were you motivated by your experience of giving your child up for adoption and can you shed some light on that? it's interesting to me. i'm thinking of the timeline, how that might have happened. did you have more kids after the child you gave to adoption? did they benefit from your profession? i don't see any professional training or certification on your website, did you study early childhood development in school?

      i agree with you that sharing stories is a great thing, please indulge us and share some of yours, including the WHYs. thanks

    5. Growing up, I never wanted to marry or have kids; I wanted to do something special with my life, something great. Wouldn’t you just know that preacher’s daughters (adopted or not) don’t get put on birth control. They get hung out to dry, so I got knocked up my senior year. I married a man who was one of eight kids, all raised on welfare, whose dad died of alcoholism by the time he was 35.

      When my child was born, there was no bonding. The nurses forced him on my 10 hrs after his birth. I did not want this. I blew it and ruined my life right at the get go.I wanted it all to end. I begged my newly minted husband to place our son for adoption. He would not do it. I stayed because I could not stand that thought of my child being raised only by my ex and in that type of environment.

      Staying, there seemed to be very little joy with my choice. Would I have actually signed the papers and placed my child? I have no idea. Would I have regretted my choice? I Don't know.

      Honestly, I could see women wanting to place their child. Are they some of the women saying that they did not want to place? Probably. Are there regrets if they do? I am sure there are. Are there some that did place and hold firm to their choice? Yes, and if they don't hold firm, then what happens?

    6. yose mite, how is your relationship with your kid? do you regret having kept him?

    7. @Kaisa
      I have not seen my child since 97 (I think). I divorced my ex. My son at the age of 33, still lives with my ex. My son and I have exchanged a few emails and I have sent him most of the info I have on finding his grandmother. That is about it.

    8. @Kaisa
      I forgot to address the regret part.

      What I regret for sure is wasting 14 years of my life with a man that took me from an upper middle class neighborhood to welfare apartments. I regret having to try to be less than the man I married. I regret choosing an alcoholic for my child's father. I regret losing all of that time I could have spent on a successful career.

      If I could have separated "having a child" from the rest of the nasty stuff that came with the chid's father, then I might be able to give a firm yes or no on the regret.

      Would I have done it the same way again? No. Have I ever wanted more children? No.

    9. Yose mite, i understand and thanks for sharing. i have seen bad situations in my family particularly concerning alcohol so i can only imagine the gist of what you say. i'm sorry that things didn't turn out right.

      it doesn't sound as if you regret having your child, which, is none of my business but not like any of this is - we're just talking. anyway, although i'm pro-choice, personally/emotionally i am pro-life and so that makes me happy, i hope in this regard you are happy too. i'm sorry that one bad choice (in a man) seems to have snowballed into a very bad 14 year period for you, and seemingly with ongoing collateral damages.

      also none of my business but i'll ask as you are also of course completely unobliged to answer: do you find a way to share your experience, or lessons learned, in a positive way? paying it forward, so to speak. do you have any influence on the young people in your family, for instance, and, for example, if they are the right age have you mentioned family planning and birth control? directly or indirectly either way. can they come to you with questions of this gravity and subject, and do they know that they can?

      i guess i'm wondering if you've been able to in some way take your own regrets and use them in a way that gives yourself a positive meaning to it? it wouldn't have to be through family members it could be many different ways but family immediately comes to my mind. or maybe there is no positive meaning to give it, and it is what it is, and that is the way to look at it. i suppose i'm inserting my own hopes for you or anyone to feel something positive like i always wish that i can, ultimately, about bad things that happen. it's meant as a good wish toward you, nothing more or less...

      anyway it does not sound to me that you clearly regret having kept your child, even though it was something that you had thought about at the time. by contrast many of the women here who did give up their children very clearly express regret over it. maybe i'm wrong and maybe it is a very private thing and if so i apologize. i will endeavor to keep an open mind about it, as you've felt compelled to speak up, thanks for the very frank discussion.

    10. @Kaisa
      "do you find a way to share your experience, or lessons learned, in a positive way?"

      I am pro choice. I encourage abortion over adoption. I am adopted and I have had two abortions, and kept a child. The least damaging of the three is early term abortion. I am very vocal about this and pay it forward whenever I can to whomever might need/want to hear it.

      "anyway it does not sound to me that you clearly regret having kept your child"

      I wish to god that it never happened. The person that my son is I have no regret. I just wish I was not involved. My ex could have 30 kids and I would not have minded as long as I was not involved. Is that regret? I do not know.

    11. First of all, I truly appreciate all the passionate replies to my post. Having everyone speak out about their personal experiences is the only way for us to gather all the points of view and find solutions for moving forward. To answer some specific questions/comments... I do not know "many" women with regrets for choosing parenting, but I have met some. My point was that we should stop making generalized statements and instead accept that there are a range of experiences. Yose mite - I am very sad to hear your story and pain, I hope that by voicing it and advocating for what you feel is right helps you to heal. However, my son is adopted and will tell anyone that will listen that it was a positive experience for him. I fully believe the only reason this is true is because we had a fully open adoption experience, where he did have relationships with ALL the mothers in his life. To answer other questions, yes I have a BA in Early Childhood Development (sorry it's not posted on my website, didn't see a need to), and I've been working in this field for 30 years as a teacher, administrator, trainer and author. I was not in this field at the time of my choice for adoption, so it wasn't a factor. And no, my adoption experience had nothing to do with why I'm in the field now. Yes, I have 2 other children and they are extremely close to their brother due to our open adoption. I share my entire story in my memoir, "Because I Loved You." My story is just that - my story. I know each of us has our own story, and each is important to share. My goal is that by sharing - positive or negative stories - we will find the lessons within to guide us in moving forward. I write a column for Adoption Today magazine called Birthmother's Perspective (Lorraine is featured in my article next month!) and I am always looking for birthmothers to share their stories with me for the column. Anyone interested can contact me through my website or find me on Facebook. Again, I welcome ALL points of view.

    12. @Patricia
      " However, my son is adopted and will tell anyone that will listen that it was a positive experience for him."

      At least at this time. I was 48 when I came out of the fog. Even at 45 I would have said what your son said. Now, never and I will not go back to saying how wonderful adoption is. I hope to god that NOBODY I talked to put their child up for adoption or became adopted parents while I was spewing what your son is spewing, because I was wrong to spew it. Dead wrong.

  21. I posted on Youtube under the Paul Simon Mother and child reunion. I started my own post, I did not respond to someone else's post. All these adoptive parents came along and started being mean to me. I was using the name Carol Armstrong and Yose mite

    Mine is the 27th main post from the top. It shows the adoptive parent at their finest.


    1. Yose Mite, I've scrolled through a few times and cannot find your comment or the replies. But I hate to see you spinning your wheels on YouTube, which I think is not a forum for a meaningful conversation on anything of substance. And there are a lot of people on YouTube who like to rattle people's chains because it is fun. Don't put yourself out there, I think the level of conversation here is pretty high, no matter what. Stay away from the jerks!

      I don't care if they are adoptive parents, or whoever they might be, or say they are. People do not go to YouTube because they are sensitive and care deeply about the situation of others.

    2. -new and old.
      Its there right next to my image of the waterfall. No, I am not using it as a place of substance. It was my own post on a song. It was the adoptive parents that tried to make it a place of substance. I simply threw their words back at them.

      I think that adoptive parents go through the process of adoption thinking that it is all good and that we want to be adopted. It is not until they have already done the deed and have someone else's child in their house, that they are slapped in the face with reality. Now they are the evil adoptive parent and they cannot get away from that. I think they thought they were going to get high fives and pats on their back for their actions.

    3. I had trouble finding it but eventually did - at about 2 years ago.

      Your comments were so clear and I applaud your bravery. Some of the responses exposed extremely ugly hearts.

    4. @Cherry. It exposes the fear that the adoptive parent lives in. They don't give a crap about me, they give a crap that "their child" is going to feel like I do. I have a feeling that more adoptive parents are of this ilk than not.

      An adoptive person should not have to be considered "brave" to say how they feel. It is amazing just how dam ugly this adoption thing is. Screw the adoptive parent. I have no admiration of them.

  22. This thought came into my mind this morning: Next time someone says, My son/daughter isn't interested in searching... (often preceded by, I asked her/him..supposedly telegraphing the idea that asking at whatever point makes everything all right, and I get vibe from the person) I am going to say--Don't you think that's unusual?

    Because people not adopted can't fully understand people who are not interested in their own stories of birth as in Who? Where? Why was I not raised by my mother??? We recognize their non-interest as bizarre. But the person who's "not interested" in their paternity/maternity has learned that the appropriate response to their wonderment is to express non-interest and thus they have made that non-interest their own. Knowing that expressing interest is going to be read as "Aren't I alone good enough for you?" and thus hurt their parents, whom presumably they love, ultimately squelches desire.

    Yep, the next time I hear "not interested" I'm going to say: Isn't that weird? It is actually the most honest response, and put the ball back in the speaker's court.

    Since I am so pleased myself with this response, I am going to add it to the post itself. People googling subjects come upon old posts and probably don't read all the comments.

    1. excellent technique and excellent idea ! :) flip the script :)

    2. You also could seperate interest in "searching" (finding ways to look behind falsehoods and artificial constructions, which may be a soul devouring undertaking), with actual interest in their biological identity, and point out that searching has been made harder than it has to be to serve the adoption industry and its customers, or interest in reaching out to their family, once it is certain that said family exists.
      The justified fear of the unknown (or better said, cautiously avoiding emotional overinvestment in the unknown)might be of greater importance than you assign to it. Maybe you should ask, "And if they got a letter that a family is looking for an adoptee, and that with circumstances, age and jurisdiction of the adoption is all they know, would they cooperate to find out whether they are the one that family is looking for, even if it is (a bit) inconvenient to them?".

    3. Theodore, I wanted to be found so badly! It was me greatest wish. Unfortunately, they never looked.
      I did not search until I was 48, because I was waiting, for my adoptive parents to die, but mostly for my real parents to show up.
      The whole dynamic would have been different.
      Instead I found a lot of guilty people who were ashamed to be caught.

      My father actually said, "the way we did it, we thought you'd never be able to find us".

      A great welcome home...

  23. @Lorraine,

    your message reminds me of an interview that Barbara Walters did with someone, cannot remember the person, sorry, but the subject of adoption reunions came up.
    Walters was asked if her daughter, an adoptee, had ever searched for biological relatives.
    Walters' answer, quick as a flash, "oh, no, she loves me too much...to do that."

    1. Wow, I never heard that before. But that thought--she loves me to much to search--sums it all up: I love you but it is conditional on your not searching for your own people. Your history. It's one of the worst things that adoptive parents can do to their children. And it happens all the time, including today.

  24. It's not unusual. But I would say, it's nice to put the possibility out there in case s/he becomes interested. A lot of my peers adopted. Kids now in their 20s and 30s. Most not interested in looking for birth parents. Those who were, tend to have a close ended meeting.

    1. Me and my son are approaching our seventh year of reunion, and have a rich and close relationship with each other.
      My friend has been in reunion with her beloved son for fifteen years and they, like us, have a deeply emotionally connection.
      My friend and I are acknowledged as grandparents to our sons' sons. We go on holidays as reunited families. Both our sons have said how much happier they are since they found us.

      Just a little something to counteract the birth-families-are-irrelevant messages.

    2. @Rebbeca
      I was not interested in my mother in my 20's and 30's because I was in the fog. I wish to god I was not in the fog, but I was. The adoptive family could not have a "family" made from other people's children if it wasn't for that damn fog.

    3. On the other hand, it might just be that if you look at reunion stories FOUND adoptees seem, as a group, a lot happier than the HAVING FOUND ones. Searching may seem like self-inflicted torture, depending on circumstances. That one has no interest in searching, without knowing whether there is any living soul to be found, the possibility of secondary rejection and so on, does not mean that one is not dreaming of being found.

    4. Interesting insight, Theodore. And it makes sense--though I have heard from many adoptees who searched and were glad to be found and it worked out for them. I can understand the fear of searching for an adoptee, and the mental barriers one would erect.

    5. Of course 100% of the found adoptees have to have at least one relative who knows about them, and is willing to look for them and communicate with them... So the comparison is a bit biased.

  25. Hi Lorraine,
    I started reading your blog and here I am 2 hours later! If you ever think about coming to Australia please let me know. :)
    I am the secretary of ARMS(Vic) - the Association Representing Mothers Separated by adoption (Victoria) formerly known as the Association of Relinquishing Mothers (Vic). We recently voted unanimously to change the name as most of us didn't relinquish our babies - they were taken from us. We in Australia have moved so much further than it seems the rest of the world as far as accepting that what was done to (mostly) young women during the Baby Scoop Era of the '50s - '80s was wrong, immoral and often illegal. ARMS was founded in 1982 and by 1984 had lobbied the Government to legislate changes to the Adoption Act so that adoptions were now to be "open". Unfortunately where the wants and needs of adults are concerned the rights of the child seem to take second place.
    Open adoption has not worked as well as we had hoped - it was actually to be a stepping stone to abolishing adoption all together: something we are still working on 35 years later! And as you are aware, the "rights" of the infertile seem to come before the rights of the child, no matter how is it written into legislation - locally and globally. So often, adopters claim that an open adoption isn't working for whatever reason so contact is terminated.
    We have run a support group in Melbourne every month for 35 years and in 4 regional areas for the past 5 years.
    Our language here is different too - we are mothers, not birth mothers, natural mothers, biological mothers, "tummy mummies" (yuk!) or relinquishing mothers.
    And we did not relinquish (for the most part) our babies - they were taken from us.
    Sorry - I didn't mean this to be an essay! I just wanted to say how interesting I found your blog and if you ever decide to come to Australia we would love to talk with you!
    kind regards, Jo Fraser

    1. Thank you Jo!
      I would love to come to Australia and you can be certain if I do, I will look you and the organization up and meet you! I hope you'll check in now and then and leave a comment when the blog tempts. We have readers all over the world.



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