Dear Adoption, I’m Hurting

Have courage, Jerry. You are not alone in this suffering due to adoption. Moving through it all to see some shred of self, some hope, and some happiness is what we survivors do. One step at a time.

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Dear Adoption, I’m Hurting

You took me away to make me better,
you said it’s the only way,
but I never recovered who I am,
it’s like this, still today.

I am supposed to thank you for this,
I’m supposed to be grateful,
my mum I lost and do so miss,
adoption, you are sinful.

I’ll never forget and not forgive,
what you did to me,
I am, with help, beginning to live,
but this, at fifty three.

Jerry Meehan. Lives in NY; originally from Sligo Ireland. Born in 1963. Adopted in 1965. Found birth family, but it didn’t work out. Mum had already passed. Moving on gradually.

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Dear Adoption, What Can I Do?

Re-blogged at Forbidden Family… My comment:

While these sad words of an 11 year old girl are painful, I’m glad that she was able to be a part of an adoptee-centric workshop. Something like this was not available to me or my adoptive family when I was 11 back in the 1960s. I had similar feelings to that of this 11 year old author, but could not express them.

I was told at a young age that I was adopted, but was given no information, other than my mother died. Forbidden to talk about my adoption or to ask questions, I had no choice but to stuff my feelings down. I was raised an only child and loved being a part of my large adopted family. (My adoptive father had 9 other siblings who each had spouses and children. My adoptive mother had 4 siblings.)

My adoptive parents bought into the secrecy and shame surrounding adoption, and so did my aunts, uncles and cousins. As a child, I could sense the fear, anger, and suspicion directed at me because I might find out the terrible secret someday. I heard adults in the kitchen talking loudly, throwing out names of people I didn’t know. When I came in the room, the adults stopped talking, glared at me with their heads down. Something was wrong.

When I was found by my 4 older siblings at my age of 18, it all made sense. The names I heard as a child were the names of my natural mother’s brothers and sister. My extended adoptive family spent an incredible amount of energy preventing me from knowing anything about my family of origin, yet, these adults deemed themselves worthy to socialize with my own blood kin. My adoptive parents were not the ones who regularly visited with my natural mother’s family, but they knew what was going on. When the truth came out, I felt my adoptive parents and my adopted aunts and uncles and cousins betrayed me. Some aunts and uncles and cousins were empathetic to me, but they kept quiet, bowing to the others who believed the myth that “adoptees should never know”. All except one adoptive aunt who told me 10 years into my reunion that she advocated for me to know the truth, but my adoptive mother took the defensive, “No, she’s mine!” attitude.

The deep dark secret I was never supposed to know? My 4 older siblings and our father lived just a few miles away. Our deceased mother’s grave was across town.

I’m tired of people telling me that mine is not the stereotypical teenage mother and unknown father scenario. So what? That does not negate my feelings.

I hope that this 11 year old child is encouraged to further explore her feelings, to continue to be a part of the larger adoptee-rights movement in which she can express herself without being judged. I hope, when the time is right, she can move into a search and reunion with her natural family with maturity and guidance from her adoptive parents and relatives in a loving and caring manner.

The feelings expressed by this 11 year old adoptee should never be a burden on any child. Coping with this during childhood is not a childhood. Waiting to grow up to be able to deal with these unresolved feelings and issues is mental and emotional cruelty; it is abuse.

Search and reunion should not be the goal. What do I mean by this? Children should never be permanently separated from their blood kin, nor should our identities be stolen by our state governments and federal governments. These are immense burdens to place upon a newborn or an older child who learns to cope by stuffing their feelings inside, even when an adoptee seems to be “happy”. When is society going to realize that adoptees are not free to make their own choices?

How to prevent a child from suffering adoption trauma? By preventing adoption in the first place; help parents keep their children. Help the father whose wife died leaving behind five children. Give him the tools and resources needed to keep his family intact by not insisting that “the baby needs two parents” and that a married couple “needs” his child because they have been childless for 18 years (my natural father’s and adoptive parents’ situations). Help the 16 year old girl to improve her own self-image. Give her the tools and resources needed to acknowledge and sustain her own motherhood. This is Family Preservation.

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Dear Adoption, What Can I Do?

I picked these words because they are how I feel about being adopted and about my birth family. I don’t understand why I didn’t get to stay with them. I have half brothers who got to stay.

Lost – If you are born in one family I think you are supposed to be there but I got lost in a different family.

Confused – Am I supposed to find my family when I’m grown up so I can join the family again? Do I only have to stay away while I’m a kid? I don’t know how long I have to stay away.

Worried – I am worried about if I can find them and if they want me to find them. I am worried they want me to stay away except I’m also worried they don’t want me to. I feel bad that…

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Exposing “Mothers Against Anti Adoption”

I had never heard of the Facebook page, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption,” so when an adoptee posted a link to one of their posts, I was surprised.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption” added two new photos, each a meme:

 

A discussion followed. Some anti-adoption people commented. Some of their comments were deleted.

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption” posted this comment:

“There are literally THOUSANDS of success stories that I’m sure our members are willing to share. It’s not that we don’t think there are also bad experiences – that is the case with virtually everything in this world. But again, disparaging people who have had positive experiences is counterproductive to your underlying message. That being one of awareness and education about the POSSIBILITY of trauma resulting from adoption and perhaps how to avoid it by openly discussing these issues with your child/children.”

To which I say, as with other pro-adoption groups and individuals, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” uses either/or thinking and black/white thinking when pointing out the “success stories” in adoption to compare with the “bad experiences” of anti-adoptionists. They gloss over the trauma every adoptee experiences at separation from mother at birth, claiming that there is “the POSSIBILITY of trauma resulting from adoption”. They do not want to deal with the real issues.

After reading the back and forth dialogue, I added my comment on Thursday Oct 5, 2017:

My mother died when I was 3 months old. A priest convinced my father that “the baby needs two parents” so, when a woman he did not know approached him at his wife’s wake, he followed up with her offer. She said to my father, “I know someone who will take your baby”. This woman’s brother became my adoptive father. I grew up an only child, loved, and loved back; until the truth was made known to me at age 18 (in 1974) when I was found by 4 older full blood siblings who lived 6 miles from me. My birth certificate was voided and sealed, a new one falsely states that I (in my adopted name) was born to the two people named, in the hospital in which no medical birth records would be found under these names. There is no reason why I lost my identity, lost my entire family, and then was (and still am) ridiculed and harassed for over 40 years because I rebelled against adoption. Before her death in 2011 at age 95, my adoptive mother understood that adoptees’ birth certificates should never be annulled and replaced. But she has never apologized for removing me from my family. No, open adoption is not the answer. Why? Because adopters still want to replace the child’s real parents. You can’t. Nature provided us life and inheritance. My real mother died at age 30, fully believing she was my mother. How cruel to remove her as my legal mother. I will fight every day of my life to end this horrible global institution of modern adoption. All you want is to have the experience of parenting – and while you gloat, you leave a trail of destruction in your wake. I am not harassing you; rather, I am educating you on the realities of adoption.

A day later, my comment was removed. So I re-posted it. “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” deleted it immediately and blocked me. They could not be bothered addressing the trauma and issues I brought to their attention.

This is a group of legally-appointed guardians of other people’s children who want to “combat online harassment of eMoms [expectant mothers], HAPs [hopeful adoptive parents] & adoptees targeted by anti-adoption”.  See their “About” page here.

Their goal is to report Anti-Adoption Facebook groups that they claim harass “hopeful adoptive parents” (HAPs) and adoptive parents, eMoms (expectant mothers), and “happy” adoptees. The truth is that they simply do not like what we have to say.

So, in writing this blog post, it is my goal to expose “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” and their faulty beliefs.

I’ll begin by addressing new eMoms who are proud to be “birthmoms” after agreeing to pre-birth matching and then gave away their newborns to waiting PAPs (pre adoptive parents). Your decision is not brave, nor is it loving. If adoption is so wonderful, then all parents should give away their children at birth so that better parents can be found as replacements. Your child will certainly be confused by your loving decision to give away your baby out of “love”.

 

For all of you “happy” and “well-adjusted” adoptees who criticize those of us who are “not happy” and “angry”, I have news for you. While you hide behind your cozy façade of happiness, of financial security, and of denial of the truth, those of us who are aware of the issues can see how very fragile you really are. One of these days you will realize what adoption took from you, and the cold, hard reality will hit you like it hit us.

 

Anti-adoption adoptees are angry at the system, and at the policies, and at the attitudes and ignorance of those who glorify adoption. Adoptees who have come out of the fog are the experts who have survived displacement from our families. We survived government-enforced identity erasure and replacement due to the revocation and falsification of our birth certificates.

I’ve written extensively on adoptees’ birth certificates and identity theft, and so have other people who are referenced these articles here, here, and here. I present my own medical record of live birth and my amended birth certificate in this blog post.

Adoptees continue our fight to access our now-sealed birth certificates. (AAC – American Adoption Congress and Bastard Nation, to name two proactive organizations). Many more people, adoptees, natural parents, some adoptive parents, and professionals advocate for the legal practice of erasing our identities to stop altogether.

 

Despite the growing numbers of adoptees who are rising up against these inhumane practices, we are continually beaten down by those who do not approve that we are speaking out against the institution of adoption. We are seen as ungrateful brats who must be silenced.

 

On Sunday October 8, 2017, I returned from a church service in which the speaker wrote and delivered a sermon on “Invisible People.” John Snodgrass spoke on

“…people who have long been forced into ‘social invisibility’ because of their race, gender or sexuality. In recent years, many of these people have been emerging into social visibility, inspiring a heated cultural debate about who gets to be socially and politically visible.”

John Snodgrass addressed the separate but equal social practices that segregated American black people from white people. He highlighted how women struggled for the right to vote, and even now we struggle to gain wage equality with men. The plight of gays and lesbians to gain marriage equality is now the law of the land. Native Americans have recently lost their fight against an oil pipeline through their land.

 

I will add here that Native peoples fought for hundreds of years against white supremacy that not only took away their lands, but also took away their children. We whites bullied our way throughout the Americas, slaughtered Native people, and enslaved African natives.

 

The ending message of Sunday’s sermon was one of unity, of how we can start to see ourselves in people we might see as “other”, to see their humanity, and they, in turn, can begin to see themselves in us. We are all one people, one human race. We ought to be seeing each other with open eyes, treating each other with dignity and respect, instead of derision and oppression.

 

Though the gist of the sermon was meant to bring about a consciousness-raising awareness of invisible people who are traditionally thought of as invisible, I, being an adopted person, saw two classes of people who have been continually invisible for generations: mothers and fathers who have lost their children to adoption, and adoptees.

 

When the service was over and we broke into small groups for discussion, I sat with two women. One said she was worried about a 16 year old girl who came to Canada as a refugee, moved to New York State across the Niagara River separating Canada and United States. This woman’s daughter is now in the process of adopting this 16 year old girl. While she hoped, for the girl’s sake, that she would be protected from deportation along with her family, she was concerned that her daughter will be breaking up an existing family if and when the adoption goes through. She said,

“I don’t’ approve of this adoption. Yes, of course, I will love her as my granddaughter should it happen, but I would rather that this teenager stay with her family. The family stands a chance of being deported, but at least they will continue to be a family, parents with their 16 year old daughter.”

This is a humanist approach to adoption.

The other woman disclosed to me that her partner had completed suicide some time ago. She did so because she couldn’t cope with the guilt she felt all these years. At the age of 16, she had been forced by her parents to give up her first born child, a boy, at birth. He was adopted away from his mother. Her parents disowned her; they shammed her for getting pregnant. Even though it was not her fault, this mother never forgave herself.

 

That son and grandson is now a grown man, an adoptee.

 

If you are a man who was born on June 16, 1966 in the Buffalo, New York area, please contact me via my website contact form. There is a woman who loved your mother who would like to meet you and tell you about your mother.

 

But this adoptee may not know he is adopted. And that is another tragedy that many adoptees face – to be told about their adoption late in life. Some may never know they are adopted.

 

It is for people like this invisible mother and son, and that 16 year old girl who may be adopted to stay in America with a new adoptive mother while her parents face deportation, that I continue my fight against the multi-billion adoption industry.

 

This is not an isolated mother and son. Sometimes, mothers of adoption loss do complete suicide because, well, they lost their child. Forces out of their control told them that they are too young or not worthy to raise their own children.

 

In just one example, the mother of a child relinquished to an open adoption killed herself when she found out that the adoptive mother of her child wrote a book instructing other pre-adoptive parents to follow her advice. The book, Fast Track Adoption: The Faster, Safer Way to Privately Adopt a Baby; How to Quickly Adopt a Child-and at Less Expense, was written by Susan Burns, Psy.D., and was published in 2003.

 

Among the appalling advice given in this book, on page 220, is author Susan Burns’ advice for worried HAPs (Hopeful Adoptive Parents):

 

“Before your birth mother is discharged from the hospital she will be asked to complete the baby’s birth certificate. Don’t worry if she records a name different from the one you have selected. A new birth certificate will be issued once the adoption is approved by the court. The new certificate will replace the original one and will indicate your choice of names.”

Does anyone else see that this is totally negating the actual facts of birth? To knowingly and willingly re-name the child is to obliterate the child’s true name. This is a direct attack upon the person-hood of that individual who has the natural right to be who she or he was born to be. To knowingly and willingly erase the child’s true parentage, is not only re-writing actual facts, it is creating false-facts that are demeaning to both the child and the actual mother. The actual mother is stricken from the official record of birth in favor the woman who is adopting her infant. The mother and father become invisible. By intent, the child’s true natural-born identity becomes invisible.

Many adoptees complete suicide as well because the pain of being adopted is too great. Adoptees belong to two families, but many adoptees are shunned, ridiculed, bullied, misunderstood, harassed, betrayed, snubbed, told we should be grateful we were not aborted, told we should feel this way or that way, told what we should or should not do. Many adoptees are held as domestic slaves, taking care of menial tasks and laughed at like Cinderella. Some of us were orphaned and made to feel we owe our very lives to those who took us in. If our adoptive parents didn’t drive in the point, then our extended adoptive relatives took turns verbally reprimanding us. Some adoptees are brutally murdered by their adopters.

 

Yes, “Mothers Against Anti Adoption” will throw it in my face that natural parents torture and murder their children. Yes, that is true. But it is even more barbaric to seek out vulnerable children to prey upon, knowing that the very reason you want to adopt someone else’s child is to sexually molest or rape them, impregnate them, or torture and murder them.

 

In addressing you who are admins of the Facebook page “Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, I say this: You do not like what we anti-adoptionists have to say about adoption so you try to shut us down by reporting our pages to Facebook in an effort to silence us. Do you think you can shut down or censor a growing global movement? You think you can silence us when we are gathering strength in numbers in many countries. We are changing the landscape of adoption. We are reclaiming our names of birth. We are annulling our adoptions. We are standing up for our human and civil rights.

 

Being anti-adoption is pro-family, pro-woman, pro-child and pro-equality. We support pregnant mothers, educate them on the one-sided approach to adoption you advocate, and give them safe alternatives to help them keep their babies. We also support fathers whose babies have been given up for adoption without their knowledge or consent.

 

We are the victims of adoption. You are the benefactors of adoption.

 

You claim that love equals parenthood, that your adoption decree, new birth certificate, and your love for a stranger’s child supersedes the natural love a mother has for her child, that the fathers are naturally devoid of love for the children they sired. You claim that the love you feel for someone else’s child replaces the child’s natural parents, that you have the right to behave and believe as if you are that child’s ONLY mother. You believe that the babies and older children you covet do not have a natural connection to their parents of conception and birth.

 

These beliefs are signs that you live in a fantasy world. Adoption creates a delusional world. You don’t see it because you want to believe that adoption is salvation. As adopters, adoption is beneficial for you; you’ve got the baby.

 

So that you may know what the victims and survivors of adoption experience, and that you may know a little bit of the delusional cognitive distortion and cognitive dissonance created by adoption, I will re-post something that the Facebook group, “Is Adoption Trauma”, posted. The organization, Origins Inc., is credited as the source of this quote:

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, your Facebook group targets “Is Adoption Trauma” in your fight against those of us who have been traumatized by adoption.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, you dismiss our trauma. Go ahead, demean us. Your adoptlings will eventually see what you truly are and judge you by your character and your selfish intent. You can try to silence us, to humiliate us, but you will not win.

 

You will be, or are, social and legal parents to the children of mothers and fathers who, for whatever reason, gave up those children. For the duration of their childhood, you will be entrusted to take care of the children of others. If you do not tell the truth, if you belittle the natural parents of the children in your care, if you lie and deceive, if your names are on a new, amended birth certificate, if you renamed the child, then you are guilty of some of the atrocities we anti-adoptionists fight against. Be careful, your little adoptling may grow up to resent adoption, just like we do.

 

If your adoptees adore adoption and they continue to drink the Kool-Aid, that does not make it alright. Adoptees who have not yet come out of the fog to their own self-realization will continue to spout adoption’s platitudes. Or, they may be too afraid to come out of the closet to personally and publicly stand up for themselves.

 

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, shame on you. The shame belongs solely upon you for destroying families so that you can create your “own” through selfish means and by legally erasing reality. You are the ones who want a baby to call your “own” by means of legal kidnapping and by revocation and replacing the facts of birth of the child you claim to love. No loving parent would do such cruel things to an innocent child. You are the ones who are inhumane. You are the ones who are bullying us by not listening to us or seeing the evidence we place in front of you.

In a very timely article published October 1, 2017 on Huffington Post, author and natural mother, Mirah Riben, writes in “Predatory Adoption Practices: What is an Adotoraptor?” that

“Predatory adoptions are generally those arranged through “baby brokers.” These can be adoption agencies – both for and not-for profit – or attorneys or adoption facilitators who find loopholes in the patchwork of state laws and encourage practices such as advising mothers-to-be to move out of state – often to Utah – and/or to lie to the baby’s father or withhold information about the mother’s plans to place their child for adoption.

Those who pay for and agree to such services are predatory adopters and prospective adopters. …

… With eyes glazed over, focused on the brass ring, the prize, the “desperate to adopt” (as many define themselves, sharing their “painful journey” through infertility treatments) – along with the adoption practitioners who profit from the transfer of children, as well as society at large – justify “gray” and “black” adoption practices by making themselves believe that the end justifies the means. They perpetuate the myth that adoption is a win-win and that the children will be “better off” with their newly created families than with those they were born into, no matter how obviously loving and capable the actual parents are.”

“Mothers Against Anti Adoption”, I urge you to broaden your own personal understanding of adoption. You are uninformed and as such, you attack those of us who are anti-adoption without comprehending why we are opposed to adoption. Once you open your eyes, you might begin to see the personal pain of adoptions’ victims, you might see the moral and ethical problems in adoption, and the legal contradictions that adoption’s invisible people endure.

By your own words, you paint yourselves as obsessed baby-grabbers. So are these HAPs, Jeremy and Jenny, and this adopter who sent me a private message on Facebook pleading with me to take down the post I wrote about Jeremy and Jenny advertising to adopt.

I recommend that you read An open letter to APs, PAPs, and anyone who has even considered adoption”

In closing, modern adoption is a punishing and corrupt institution that should be replaced with family preservation, kinship care, and legal guardianship.