Adoptee Suicide

The author of this blog post, Elle Cuardaigh, states: “I never felt my mother abandoned me. I never felt abandoned. But I have felt keenly alone.

Enough to kill myself.”
It is the alone-ness that eats at me. Adoption did not provide for me a better life. Sure, during my childhood, I had it good. But I was raised as an only child. I was alone. Meanwhile, my adoptive parents and all of my extended adoptive family knew I was not alone. I was really the youngest of five children. I was intentionally kept apart from my full blood siblings. And then they found me. And the bickering between me and my adoptive parents began. And me being attacked by the rest of my adoptive family, save but a few. And then the attacks upon me by the very siblings who found me. I was different, not like them, spoiled, they said. I should shut up, do not write about my adoption-reunion. Too bad. I am. Because I stand up for myself, I am alone.
I promised my cousin a few nights ago that I would not kill myself. With a handful of relatives who love me, I realize I am not alone. They know what adoption did to me.

elle cuardaigh


When L’wren Scott took her own life, those of us in the adoption community said, “Another.”

It was so recent that Charlotte Dawson had done the same:

These two celebrity deaths made us take notice of a recent study, although many of us did not need “proof”:

Adoptees are four times more likely than the non-adopted to attempt suicide. And those who attempt suicide are much more likely to actually die that way.

We are the lucky ones, aren’t we. The fortunate. The chosen. The ones who weren’t aborted, as we are so often reminded. So we’d better be grateful. By the same line of reasoning, we were thrown away. Abandoned. And to even think about “those people” is betrayal to the ones who raised us, our real parents.

So why are we killing ourselves?

L’wren Scott and Charlotte Dawson should have been Successful Adoption poster children…

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4 thoughts on “Adoptee Suicide

  1. tresieme

    Tried to access the link on Medscape but it says it doesn’t exist. I hesitate to comment further regarding all of this….mainly due to the overwhelming emotional recognition of all that’s been already written. Suffice to say, I’m an adoptee…had a very difficult time with adopted family….was ‘held out’ as ‘fortunate and ungrateful’ and frequently told how different I was from them.

    An effort to have my file opened was denied by the Court for a remarkable and illegal reason. The Judge determined that since the doctor who delivered me entered a deliberately ‘false’ name for my birth mother on the birth certificate that he must not allow me to know her true identity. Essentially, he cited an act that is/was considered a felony as a reason for refusal and re-sealed the file. I’m 71 and the likelihood that my birth mother is still alive is slim.

    In addition, the child welfare agency that conducted the research for the court indicated that they had most likely discovered my birth mother’s identity. The knowledge that my only chance at knowing my origins has been secreted away permanently is a very heavy weight to carry.

    We, adopted people, are an inconvenience and an annoyance to many who see us as troublesome and undeserving individuals who should just ‘get over it’.

    1. I could not access the Medscape site either.

      We, as adoptees, do have good reason for our overwhelming emotional recognition and responses.

      For all that I hear that adoptees are supposed to have that “better” life, I hear from adoptees like yourself who have not had that “better” life.

      I am sorry that you have spent your 71 years alive on this earth to go through such pain.

      I find it ironic that the Judge determined that it was a felony for the doctor to deliberately use a false name on your birth certificate for your mother of birth. He should have known that maternity homes forced pregnant inmates to use false names so as to not be identified in the general population and to the children born in shame. Women and children treated with such twisted logic… by men who were in control.

      Also, didn’t the Judge realize that Family Court and Surrogate Court Judges, when signing the Final Order of Adoption, give orders to seal and then amend the adoptee’s birth certificate?

      Think about this: the State Director of Vital Statistics, by Order of the Court, creates false facts upon the new birth certificate. The child’s new name is not the name given at birth. The child’s new parents named on the new birth certificate are not parents by conception and birth, but that is what the new birth certificate states. The Registrar is guilty, or should be, of fraud and perjury because he not only creates these false facts, but hen signs his name and affixes the state raised seal on the new birth certificate, knowingly setting forth false facts under oath. In reality, he is not considered to be breaking the law because the law was written to make such name changes legal.

      And then, when you, the adoptee, tries to legally unseal your file, you are told some brain-dead legality that the doctor who created your actual birth certificate was guilty of a felony because he used the false name of your mother because she was told to use a false name by the agency directors who ran the maternity home she was housed in.

      This twisted logic, this pain, all because of society’s hatred for girls and women who have sex outside of marriage, and because society hates bastards.

      My dear, tresieme, I can only give you a virtual hug in empathy. I can also give your story justice by exposing the human crimes against you.

      1. tresieme

        There’s been a slight miscommunication. There are a few details that may explain this better.

        There was no agency involved…it was a ‘gray market’ adoption…via a lawyer (uncle of adoptive parent) and either my birth mother’s Obgyn or someone associated with her.

        Because of this…many, many legal issues were either finessed or just not addressed. There was no ‘home visit/inspection’…they were not interviewed or psychologically tested…it was all done ‘sub rosa’. I suspect that if they had to use the legitimate agency route that they would not have been able to adopt. They told me they’d been refused prior to adopting me.

        As for the Judge…and the false info…lots of false info..the doctor who signed the ‘ammended certificate’ as the delivering physician was not the doctor who delivered me…most likely, he literally ‘delivered’ me to the private hospital where my adoptive parents then received me.

        I learned, many years after the fact that the private hospital where they ‘claimed’ I was born had no maternity ward; the doctor who was listed on the birth certificate was not an Obgyn and did not attend births anywhere. So….the parents, the doctor and the location of birth were all bogus….it’s possible/likely that I wasn’t even born in the state that claims me. According to the Judicial Code of this state, names, location, date of birth, attending physician and even state can be ammended.

        My point was that the Judge who decided against my petition used the ‘false name’ as the reason for denial. Citing an act of felony as a reason for denial is….what? How can a judicial official use an illegal act as the basis for denial of a petition?

        Granted, in those days, if not now, it was apparently standard practice to use false names as an accepted practice for ‘protecting’ the rights of the birth mother. That was the point of ‘ammending’ the birth certificate no matter what they claim. But, my ‘original’ birth certificate should have my birth mother’s actual, legal name as well as the name of the doctor who delivered me and…for that matter, the true location of my birth.

        The fact that all of the information on the ammended certificate is apparently bogus has made it utterly impossible for me to attempt to use the various methods of ‘searching’ since there’s likely not one item of truthful information on the document and there are no records in any adoption agency.

        Last; if, as the Judge claimed, the original birth certificate also carries a false name for my birth mother then the fact that the child welfare agency filed a statement that they had discovered my birth mother’s identity should have caused the Judge to approve my petition.

        I have an onionskin copy of the “Order Legalizing Adoption”. In it, my birth mother’s name has been ‘XXXXXXXXX’d out. It’s apparent that there was an actual name typed in that remains on the original but the copy given to me, by my adoptive parent, does not.

        So, it’s reasonable to conclude that within my original adoption file, my birth mother’s name is provided….if not on the birth certificate, it’s definitely on the original Adoption Order.

        I’ve researched this and learned that I have the right to file an Appeal of this decision. Aside from having limited funds for this, I haven’t been able to locate an attorney who represents those of us who wish to appeal this sort of decision.

        Thanks for your kind thoughts and for all of your efforts for all of us.

        1. Oh my, this is quite the story.

          Yes, very interesting that the onionskin copy is different from the copy given to you by your adoptive parent. Copies should be photocopies and then the XXX’d out part would still be seen.

          Filing an appeal should not cost you money, unless you are in a state that requires high fees for an appeal. When I petitioned Surrogate Court for my sealed adoption files, in 1985 in Buffalo, New York, all I had to do was fill out the paperwork. I represented myself. The Judge was pleasant. But of course, I already had a reunion so I was asking for paperwork that would not reveal anything new to me. I did, however, receive sealed files that gave me added information on my adoption, such as the reason for my relinquishment, financial assessments of both sets of parents.

          I do know a legal Search Angel. Would you like me to put you in touch with her? She could possibly help you in this appeal.

          You are very welcome. I do what I do so that we can be free. And so that no other child needs to go through wheat we’ve gone through.

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