An Open-Adoption Adoptive Mother Tries to Explain the Anti-Adoption Movement – Here is What I Said to Her

In April of 2018, an adopter named Amey wrote a blog post – The Anti-Adoption Movement – What Does It Look Like?

I will open this post with a hats-off to adoptee Marilynn Huff who made an extraordinary comment to Amey’s post in that blog post’s comment section on adoptees’ birth certificates. Marilynn’s comment is one of the best I’ve ever read, including my own writings.

I will break down Amey’s blog post one phrase at a time.

Under the heading “Adoptees” Amey said:

Adoptees often resent the idea that they were “given up” for adoption. I hate that phrase. We say “placed’ or “made a plan.”

It doesn’t matter what YOU say – that you hate the phrase “given up” – that “We” (meaning infertile people, or adopters) say “placed” or “made a plan” – what matters is how adoptees experience the permanent separation that adoption actually is. The adoptee, as a newborn or an infant too young to have verbal and mental cognition, experiences the sudden loss of Mother as a terrifying break. This Primal Wound is internalized as the infant cries out for Mother. (Read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier). The Primal Wound creates brain damage in certain areas of the brains of infants who are taken at birth from their Mothers. On this basis alone, adoption should be seen as extreme child abuse. With new studies being done, hopefully, it will be, and we will see a stranger movement to end adoption as we know it on a global scale.

Be sure to read this blog post and be sure to read the comments for links to scientific studies.

Amey said,

Maybe the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent. It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone.

Again, it does not matter what the parental circumstances are at the time of birth, the newborn is traumatized by sudden removal of the nurturing mother within whom the infant lived for nine months. The pre-born infant hears mother’s voice and knows her emotions, and is influenced by her emotions. The pre-born infant is happy when mother is happy and feels anxiety and distress when she is nervous or angry. These are proven facts.

The pre-born infant feeds by mother’s food intake – both mother and baby share a symbiotic relationship. The unborn infant needs mother for sustenance, nutrients (in addition to feeling her love), and even receives her bacterial microbiome as she passes through the birth canal during birth. There is now evidence that the infant and mother exchange body and brain cells. The mother’s cells live on inside her offspring’s body and brain, and conversely, the infant’s cells also live on inside the mother. Scientists believe that these cells aid in immune functions.

Such phrases as

the birth parents had a problem with substance abuse or were young and not ready to parent

are a form of distancing the natural parents from their child. This is dissociating, detaching, and distracting from the primary relationship. These words are weapons meant to evoke emotions in observers who then internalize the message that adopters are then “better than” the child’s natural parents. This psychological twisting is then passed down to the adoptee who grows up feeling indebted for being saved from a life of hell with unfit parents. This distorted message permeates society’s belief that adoption saves infants and children.

I hope you, Amey, can now see that your last two sentences in that first paragraph:

It doesn’t matter. The adoptee still feels unwanted and alone

are quite true of the facts of life as experienced by a newborn or an older baby.

The first sentence in Amey’s next paragraph states:

Adoptees sometimes feel that everyone who makes this decision is selfish, while everyone says that they are selfless.

This reflects upon adoption as it happens in today’s society. Adoption has been warping and changing over the last 9 decades. When I first joined the Adoptees Rights Movement in 1975, nearly a year into my reunion with my natural family, I met mothers from the Baby Scoop Era. Here is a blog post I wrote about honoring their contributions.

I might add that you, Amey, should try to avoid words such as “everyone.” There are many adoptees out there who do not see relinquishment, or surrendering, a newborn or older child as selfish. Many adoptees understand that many mothers and fathers of adoption loss are not given proper counseling of all options available, and this includes ways to sustain keeping their child.

As a social worker, I worked in homeless shelters where our clients where homeless mothers with children or were entire families. We had a checklist of goals that we helped our clients obtain one by one – including parenting classes, finding apartments, finding employment and child care – so that the young mother and/or father could raise their own infant and older children.

Still, I have seen just the opposite – where certain social workers are hell-bent on removing children from their parents just to fill their monthly quota of “placing” children for foster care and adoption.

By using your words of “selfish” and “selfless,” I can only guess you are part of the Brave Love Movement. This Christian movement is deleterious and demoralizing to the expectant mother and the mother who has just given birth. It goes against natural to feel obligated to strangers to “make an adoption plan”- specifically because a pregnant woman or teen is already a mother. Her first and foremost obligation is to the infant she is carrying. Pre-birth adoption plans are immoral and ought to be illegal.

It is sad that modern adoption practices, even those that promote and practice open adoption, make it a point and a goal to instill unnatural feelings and beliefs in the minds of pregnant teens and young women. The idea that it is “unselfish” to give your infant to strangers is brainwashing. Many of the women who now boast that they, too, are proud mothers whom selfishly made an adoption plan for their baby, will one day wake up to the horror of what they’ve done. When they do wake up to realize that they were tricked and coerced into giving their babies to strangers, we will see them in the Anti Adoption Movement.

I’ve seen the jewelry line for Brave Love. I’ve seen T-shirts for pre-adoptive-parent- wanna-bees that state “Paper Pregnant” or “My baby is in Nepal” (for those who are waiting for a baby who will be born to a poor woman in a baby farm who will get paid to gestate a baby for strangers so she can use that money to sustain herself and her family).

Such baby farms exist so that wealthy gay men, lesbian women, heterosexual couples, or even single men and women can make a baby through buying sperm and eggs via contract and then rent the womb of a poor woman for their selfish motives of making a baby at extreme means for the pleasure of experiencing parenting.

Buying and wearing a t-shirt that state the words “paper pregnant” with the drawing of a pregnant belly is an advertisement of the absurd ego-mania that exists in today’s wanna-be-adoptive-parents. Only narcissistic, selfish women with too much money to spend would demean themselves to the point of walking around wearing such a t-shirt, let alone actually using a vulnerable young pregnant woman for the sole purpose of taking her baby upon birth.

Amey, your next sentence:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent; the adoptive parents only want a baby.

seems to accept the myths that are out there today. Most unexpectedly pregnant girls and women actually do want to keep their babies and to parent their child. True, there are some mothers who are, indeed, drug addictions, or are involved in crime, or are completely detached to their pre-born infant. I saw a few of these mothers in the homeless shelters I once worked at. There are mental illnesses that won’t allow a mother to be a mother. There are addictions and criminal behaviors that warrant the removal of newborns or older children from such parents.

Children born to these mothers and raised in foster care in safety carry with them their own birth certificate. They may be raised together with their own siblings. One or two of those siblings may eventually be adopted. However, the one who ages out of foster care maintains the birth certificate created upon her birth, even when her parents are dead beats, drug addicts, in prison, or do not want to have anything to do with their children. Meanwhile, the siblings who were then adopted are given new names, new birth certificates, and new parents. The siblings are still full-blood siblings but are not legally siblings.

Amey, I must challenge you to re-examine your words:

The Expectant or Birth Parents don’t want to parent

How do you know that? According to the natural mothers I communicate daily with on Facebook  and on their websites say that they wanted to parent their baby, but many were coerced and many were de-babied during birth by harsh birthing methods of the attending physician and by nurses who took the baby immediately upon birth.

Amey, your next words:

 the adoptive parents only want a baby.

say it all. Wanting a baby and then using a pregnant girl or young woman to meet your desires is the worst form of anti-woman, anti-feminist beliefs and behavior. Rich and powerful women should not abuse and use disadvantaged pregnant women to satisfy cravings to be a parent. Coveting another woman’s baby and actually going through with the plan to obtain her baby for your benefit is a very selfish act.

And your next words, Amey:

In an infant or young child adoption, they are the only people in the triad who don’t get a choice. Other people make it for them, decide what is best because they’re too young to understand. They resent that, too.

Of course adoptees resent the actions of adults who made life-altering choices and made legally-binding contracts over them when they were too young to say no. The world is now facing a great uprising. Adoptees are gathering together to not only voice opposition to what was done to them, but to end adoption altogether.

Then your next paragraph, Amey, is about adoptees:

And it doesn’t matter if they had a wonderful home life with an adoptive family. Often, they’ll say that they love their adoptive parents, but that they resent them for taking them away from their birth family. They recognize that they were given opportunities that they might never have had, yet they feel incomplete, never whole.

Yes, many adoptees do feel this way. It is a burden to walk through life knowing that you may have had “a wonderful life” and that you do love your adoptive parents, and at the same time feel that loss, feel that resentment. While many adoptees have been raised in economically superior adoptive homes, adoptees are split in half feeling guilty for wanting to know their natural parents and to know why they were not kept. Yes, many adoptees know that they were bought at a high price – thousands of dollars – $25,000 or $50,000 or $75,000. When the realization sets in as to the truth of baby-selling, baby-trafficking, and that adoption agencies make their living this way, many adoptees are disgusted as to the means they became adopted.

And yes:

For them, the loss is more powerful than the gain.

Amey, your next section is about Expectant Parents. I will only say this – that pressuring expectant mothers and fathers into a pre-birth matching contract with adoptive-parent-wanna-bees is just that – unwanted and unhealthy pressure for both the pregnant mother and her unborn child.

Your next section, Amey, is about Birth Parents is actually correct in your assessments of the situation for many natural parents.

You are correct in assessing that many Adoptive Parents are:

Adoptive parents are affected by the anti-adoption movement, but I find that they are more often Anti-Open Adoption. I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t me, but I understand the sentiment.

This “Anti-Open-Adoption sentiment exists because many adopters feel that they are the adoptees ONLY parents. Many adoptive parents do not want to know that there is another set of parents who has more than genetic ties to the adoptees in their care. They believe that the adoptee owes them loyalty and elegance. Often times, these types of adoptive parents are very possessive over their adoptees. Some actually believe the false-facts stated on the amended birth certificate – they are living in a delusional fantasy, believing that they gave birth to someone else’s child.

Amey, now I will tell you what happened to me.

My mother was dying of cancer while pregnant with me. During her 7th month of pregnancy, my father took his wife to the hospital. She was very sick. It was two days after Christmas 1955. The doctors x-rayed my mother’s abdomen. There they saw me and a cancerous tumor the same size as I was. Two weeks later, in early January 1956, I was born at 8 weeks gestation – two months premature. My mother died on March 28, 1956, at age 30.

My 31 year old father was left with a deceased wife and five children. His parents were old and sick. He was an only child, so he had no family to lean on. His wife’s siblings were married with several young children, and a few had newborns of their own.

At my mother’s funeral, two things happened very close to one another. The parish priest came up to my father and said, “The baby needs two parents.” A few minutes later, a woman approached my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” My father was given no options. No one offered help to keep his family together. My father was a deeply religious man so he followed the priest’s suggestion. He contacted that woman and arranged for her brother and his wife to come and get me. When he gave me to my future adoptive parents, he also gave them my birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and my clothes. I was 4 months old.

My father married his second wife very soon after. His second wife helped take care of my four older siblings. Meanwhile, my adopting parents lived just one block over and three blocks up away. About nine months later, they moved six miles to the north.

By the closed adoption practices of the time, my father was told to never contact my adoptive parents. He was to stay away from me. My adoption became final when I was one year and one week old. My name was changed. My birth certificate was revoked,  sealed, and replaced by one that states my new name, and my new parents – as if I was born to them in that hospital. The Catholic Church even changed my baptismal certificate.

It is these lies and cover-ups that I resent.

I also resent my adoptive parents’ possessiveness.

In 1974, at my age of 18, I was found by siblings I did not know I had. My adoptive parents knew I had siblings, but they did not tell me. They knew where my mother was buried but never told me. Why? Because I belonged to them. I was theirs.

There is much more to my adoption/reunion story; too much for this blog post. That is why I wrote a memoir: Forbidden Family: An Adoptee’s Struggle for Identity.

There are many reasons why I am anti-adoption. I did not need a new home. I already had a home. I had parents. I should have been allowed to grow up knowing my Mom died and visiting her grave. I should have had my siblings and my father with me. Adoption took all of that away from me.

What did I gain from adoption? I was raised an only and lonely child. I had my independence. I had material middle-class things that my siblings did not have. This created resentment in them when we were reunited. While I loved my adoptive parents, I mistrusted them ever since 1974 when I learned that they lied to me for the first 18 years of my life. I spent the next few decades as the adoptee who belonged to two families, who had the burden of integrating two identities, and the burden of taken the brunt of everyone else’s opinions as to what I should feel and what I should do. It was bad for me to be an anti-adoption activist.

All four of my parents are dead now. I have no contact with any abusive relatives – that means my siblings as well as extended family by blood or by adoption. I do have close relatives on both sides…

My life was ruined because of adoption. I am very resentful, and I will fight to my dying breath to end the revocation, sealing and replacement of adoptees’ birth certificates. I join thousands of adoptees around the world who say that adoption should end.

I will close with this thought:

Amey, your last token of a misguided message is this meme:

death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life.png

I don’t know who this person “Tupac Shakur” is, or was, but that meme is extremely hurtful. My mother died when I was three months old. That loss was the single most devastating event in my life. My mother’s death led to my adoption. I am not grateful for this.

On the other hand, maybe the meme is right. I lost my name, my family, and my birth certificate all because of adoption. I am supposed to be grateful and happy. I am not.

Adoption has left me fighting for my civil rights to my factual birth certificate. I fight not only for myself, but for millions of adoptees worldwide. I fight for the humanity of all pregnant girls and women, and for all mothers, and fathers, of adoption loss.

As for adoptive parents – you reap the benefits of adoption. I don’t see any of you running to legislators to turn in those amended birth certificates to demand adoption certificates instead, nor do I see any adoptive parents demanding that the revoked and sealed birth certificate of the child in your care is reinstated. I don’t see any adoptive parents willing to, and actually, returning the child back to the natural parents after they rebuild their lives.

Why? The answer is because you now have what you want: someone else’s child.

That just about sums up the anti-adoption movement.

 

 

 

From Adoptee Ferera Swan: On Adoptee Psychological and Physiological Trauma Caused by Adoption Separation

Quoting my new friend, Ferera Swan:

When discussing the fact that neurons are not only found in the brain but also the heart as well as every organ, the question of why so many adoptees actually suffer from ‘unexplained, random’ ailments and illnesses must be explored. Four different medical doctors and five therapists later, I had no answers for my personal experience until the trauma of relinquishment was delved into. Many don’t realize the magnitude of affects the removal of an infant from its mother has on an adoptee – and birth mother – for a lifetime not just psychologically, but physiologically.
Stay curious.

#naam18 #neuropeptide #trauma #heartintelligence #emotionalintelligence #adoptee #adoption #adoptionstory #reunionstory #universalstory #ptsd #grief #fereraswan

Ferea Swan 2018

2018 NAAM Adoptees’ Poll – Can you Hear Us Now? By Adoptees Connect

⚡️ National Adoption Awareness Month⚡️

On behalf of Adoptees Connect we asked a series of questions via How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? taking advantage of the poll feature. Our campaign is called “CAN YOU HEAR US NOW” We’ve encourage adoptees to participate so we could share the results for #NAAM18

Thousands of Adoptees have participated in these polls, and our hope is these questions validate the experiences of so many adoptees who’ve always felt isolated and alone regarding their adoption journeys. They are also to help raise awareness on how adoptees feel regarding different topics that might have a direct impact on us in multiple ways.

For those who don’t agree or can’t relate to these polls, or results please know while you are entitled to your opinions, our main focus is reaching the adoptees who are struggling with abandonment, rejection, grief, loss and all the other complexities many adoptees face today. If you are one of the adoptees who can’t relate, great but please allow the space for those who have different journeys than you do.

Experiencing connections over the years with Adoptees who are hurting and hurting deeply, it’s obvious these adoptees have come across my path because I’ve opened my life up to receiving ALL ADOPTEE STORIES, not just the ones that are happy, positive and well adjusted with the adoptees experience which are the stories everyone wants to hear. Adoptees are dying out here, being heard is life or death for many of us.

Let me challenge you to the fact that there is another side of adoption and I ask you consider opening your heart to learning what you might have never known before. Once we learn and know something, we can’t unlearn and unknow it. I know there is another side to adoption because I’ve been dedicating my life to adoptee advocacy for many years and I’ve invested in building hundreds of real relationships with Adoptees all over the world.

All we’re asking for #NAAM18 is that you have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees and understand not all adoptees share the same experiences. Our mission is reaching the hurting and broken adoptees, who have felt helpless regarding their journeys. Let’s consider having compassion for them, while gaining the willingness to understand different adoptee perspectives and viewpoints.

Every poll and every poll vote matters. Each of them is making a difference. Everyone that shares this is making a difference. Please consider sharing these poll results to help us raise awareness on the adoptee perspectives.

Below are some adoption/adoptee resources for all.

www.adopteesconnect.com
www.howdoesitfeeltobeadopted.com
www.adopteeinrecovery.com
www.adopteeson.com
www.dearadoption.com
www.iamadopted.net
https://adoptionsurveysblog.wordpress.com/

We’re focused on raising Adoptee Voices. Help me raise Adoptee Voices by sharing this information and participating in helpful dialogue of discussions should arise with those who have the willingness to listen and learn from adoptees. Pamela Karanova 💝

#NAAM18 #naam #adoptee #adoption #adopted #justlisten #adopteevoices

Can You Hear US Now 2018

Anti-Abortion-Pro-Adoption Woman and Her Adoption ‘Splaining to An Adoptee

To unwind from the stresses of life, I enjoy live music whenever I can. On Thursday Nov 1, I arrived a bit late for a performance by an Irish rock band that I know. Then, on Friday Nov 2, I attended a show by a local boy who made it “kinda-big,” as he would say.

Now, I made my way through the front door, paid for my ticket, and walked by people sitting at the bar to find a seat. A woman called out to me saying that she recognized me from the previous night. “If the violin player had a sister, it would be you! You look just like her!” she said.

At first, I took that as a compliment. I don’t think I look like the young woman who plays the violin, but, okay, I’ll accept that perhaps I do! Thank you! Must be the Irish in me!

But that compliment also stung. I’m adopted. I met my natural family already. No more surprises, please.

As this woman and I talked, it was light, fun, and filled in some blanks for me about the table full of people at the previous night’s show.

As it always happens, conversation led to, “And what do you do?”

Well, I answered that I’m a writer.

“Oh,” the woman said. “And what do you write?”

“I write about adoption. I’m adopted.”

The woman immediately drew conclusions. “Well, you should be grateful your mother didn’t have an abortion.”

I cringed. This correlation, again, by someone who knows nothing of the topic. It was obvious she wanted to tell me how to think and how to feel.

I stopped her dead in her tracks.  “My mother died. And I’m not grateful.”

The woman looked stunned. “She did? When?”

“When I was three months old,” I said. “My mother was dying from cancer while pregnant with me.”

“Well, then. She could have had an abortion to save her life! She didn’t! And you are here!” This woman was so confident in her answer, she was beaming with delight.

Now my blood boiled. “Abortion was not even discussed. My parents were married. You seem to know a lot about my mother that I don’t know!”

I fumbled in my wallet and gave her my card – my business card that not only advertises my memoir, but also explains that my mother died and her death led to my adoption. My card also addresses identity theft inherent in adoption.

“Here,” I said. “Read this when you get home. By the way, adoption is baby-trafficking, baby-selling. I don’t think you want to keep going on the topic of adoption or abortion.”

The woman threw her head back in disbelief. She didn’t say it, but the words were written all over her face, “What? How could you possible think that adoption is child trafficking?”

“Just read my card when you get home. There’s much to adoption that you don’t understand or even know about.”

I moved away from the bar and took a seat to be nearer the stage.

I love it when people who know nothing about adoption explain their misconceptions to an experienced adoptee.

And please, don’t ever compare me to an abortion. You don’t know the circumstances of my mother’s pregnancy, my mother’s illness, or my birth. I do. I met my father in 1974. He told me everything.

Stop Adoption ‘Splaining to Adoptees. We are the experts, not you.

Adoption is Not an alternative to Abortion. We are not grateful to be alive because adoption took us away from our families. Adoption took away my birth certificate and gave me a fake one.

I’d like to abort anyone who feels the need for Adoption ‘Splaining to me. Ask questions. That’s how you learn.

 

#AdoptionSplaining

#Ignorance

#AbortionVSAdoption

#NAAM2018

#NationalAdopteeAwarenessMonth2018

My Take on “Runs in the Family”

It is a tragedy that a mother felt helpless when she was pregnant and 16 years old. It is a tragedy that she made the decision not to tell the father of her child that he was the child’s father. It is a tragedy that their son grew up without either one of his natural parents.

It is important to know that there should never be a need to separate a baby from his parents. A mother and her baby should never be separated. Not even when the mother is 16 years old. And the father should always be told he is a father.

When adoption separation does happen, the mother, father, and son live life without one another; until one of them begins a search and discovers the others.

What follows is a well-balanced reunion story. This adoption, and this reunion, was handled in the best possible way.

But keep in mind, the point is: the goal is to never be separated in the first place.

But since adoption separation happened, everyone involved here had the sincerity, the maturity, and the humanity to handle this reunion with grace and love.

In July, a huge family reunion in Youngstown brought McCullough, Briggs, Smith and Comer together for the first time. All of McCullough’s parents in one place, reflecting on nurture versus nature, what is inherited versus what is taught and the many different forms of parenthood. It was both the culmination of a journey and the start of something new for the families that the journey had introduced. A man found his parents, a mother found her child, and a father discovered a son he never knew he was missing. There is no jealousy, no resentment and no regret. There is just gratitude for the winding paths that brought them all together.

You can read the whole story at this link.

 

 

 

Three Identical Strangers – An Experienced Adoptee’s Review – Questions and Insights that Others Have Missed

Three Identical Strangers – An Experienced Adoptee’s Review – Questions and Insights that Others Have Missed

Spoiler Alert: This Review contains some details of the documentary and the lives of Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman, so if you don’t want to know details before you see the movie, please avoid reading this now.

 

Background

The three identical triplets – Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellmanwere intentionally separated at birth in 1961 and raised by three different adoptive families. Louise Wise Adoption Agency not only arranged adoptions for children “in need” and people looking to adopt, the agency went a step further to team up with a psychologist for a study on identical twins who were purposefully separated at birth to determine whether nature or nurture shapes personality. The adoptive parents were not told that the baby they received had an identical sibling, or, in this case, had two other identical brothers. Additionally, the separated twins and triplets were never told the truth. Furthermore, the natural parents who relinquished their twins and triplets at birth were not told that their infants would be split up by adoption (more on this later). When the truth comes out, the devastating effects of this manipulation becomes clear.

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Triggering For Adopted People and Mothers of Adoption Loss

For adopted people, and mothers of adoption loss, this documentary is more than a shock that reveals the truth. It is downright triggering, reminding us of the trauma we survived.

I remember when this story broke in 1980. I had been reunited with my natural family for six years at the time and attended my very first adoption conference that same year. I devoured anything and everything on adoption, so, yes, when these triplets were in the beginning stages of their reunion, and made a splash on TV, I cheered them on. Like most of the country, I saw their successes as a positive in the bleak world of adoption.

Watching this documentary today, some of that joy came back. As the truth unfolds on screen, however, I became uneasy, twitching in my seat, turning away from the screen and curling my legs in a fetal position in the reclining theater seat. As an adoptee, I knew how it feels to be given up, to be raised adopted, to wonder, to reunite, and to face the joys of finding the similarities in my own siblings and our father. I also knew how it feels to be the target of watching eyes.

I was not part of a psychological study, but I was definitely the adopted one who was secretly watched by two families as I grew up. When the secret was revealed, I was devastated to be the unsuspecting target of spies. I had no privacy. Photos and stories of my childhood were passed back and forth between my adoptive family – aunts and uncles and cousins – who socialized with my natural mother’s siblings and their children (my mother died when I was an infant) – my flesh and blood aunts, uncles and cousins, and my own siblings. I was intentionally kept apart from my own blood kin, my own full blood siblings, my own cousins and aunts and uncles related to my deceased natural mother – all because I was adopted. When I found out the truth at age 18, that my siblings and our father and my extended family lived less than 6 miles from where I was raised, I was devastated.

Being adopted in the 1950s and 1960s means that you are never supposed to know the truth, you are never supposed to ask questions, you are there for the sheer entertainment of those who deem themselves more important to study your every move, your every mistake, and your every success. Being adopted means everyone else can scrutinize you, compare how you walk with this relative or that one, compare your physical features with this separated sibling or that one, and then analyze your emotions, your psychology in their own layman’s terms. That means – without the benefit of a real education into psychology.

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Controlled By the Adoption Agency and Psychologist

As viewers will see in “Three Identical Strangers,” even real psychology can turn its ugly head upon unsuspecting adoptees, and in this case, even using adoptive parents. Each couple had been carefully chosen by the agency who had previously arranged adoptions of girls who were the same age, and each was then chosen by the agency to receive one of the three identical triplet boys. The agency then came by year after year, studying the boys as they grew to determine what shaped their personalities, their genes, or their environment. However, no one told the adoptive parents, or the boys, that there were two other identical brothers involved in the secret study. The adoption agency and the psychologist controlled the lives of children and their adoptive parents.

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Experiments by a Jewish Adoption Agency Raises Questions

As the ugly truth unfolded on the screen, I cringed as I realized something else. This experiment was conducted upon Jewish triplets, their Jewish mothers and fathers, and their Jewish adopters, by a Jewish adoption agency (Louise Wise Services) twenty years after the holocaust. What? Jews experimenting upon Jews? Hadn’t we all learned from the horrors of medical and psychological experiments during World War II? Jews were the victims then, so how could they turn around to victimize their own people in the name of a cruel psychological study in adoption?

As often is stated – that was then, this is now. The dark days of the 50s and 60s, and earlier, paved the way for understanding today.

I hope.

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Mild Interest in Finding Their Mother

The triplets said that they had a mild interest in finding their mother, and for them, searching for her was simple. Because they were born in New York City, birth books were available at that time. They found a reference for their births and paid their mother a visit. They “weren’t particularly impressed,” so she was a one-time visit.

Yet, their mother had been following their story in newspapers, magazines, and TV.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, in general, males who were adopted typically were not interested in finding their natural parents. Today, though, both men and women who were adopted as children have a healthy interest in where they came from and who their parents are, as well as the hope of finding siblings.

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Natural Mother and Father

Getting back to the natural mother who relinquished her newborn identical sons to adoption in 1961, I’d like to know how she feels now after seeing this documentary. Did she give her permission to use her high school photo for this production? The father was mentioned as “a prom date knock-up.” Does he know the truth? Showing that high school year book photo could spark gossip and talk between the former students who could recognize the mother from that photo and deduce who the father is. What about the extended families of the two natural parents? Are the triplet brothers interested in knowing any other siblings they may have?

Their mother felt she couldn’t keep them. Why? The mother’s full story needs to be told. And the father’s story need to be told as well. Did the triplet’s grandparents had a hand in their relinquishment?

Since it has been adoption policy to tell young and naïve single mothers that adoption would provide “a better life” for their children than they can provide, if this mother had known that her identical sons would be separated at birth for the purpose of a psychological study on the development of personality, would she have consented to sign surrender papers? If the other mothers and fathers of the twins that were also separated at birth to be subjects in this study were told what would happen to their twins, would they have consented to sign surrender papers?

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Issues Not Covered in This Documentary

Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman have wives and children of their own. There are generational effects of the trauma of separation and adoption.

What about the stress levels of the mother during pregnancy and birth? We know now that stress epigenetically affects unborn babies. Stress impacts gene expression in the developing fetus during pregnancy. The mother’s hormones, emotional state, nutrition, and drug or alcohol use all affect an unborn baby for life and even effect future generations. We now know that nutrition and stress levels in the father also affects sperm quality.

The bond these unborn babies had with their mother is vital to their survival and development. We know now that unborn babies also feel the mother’s emotions. When infants are removed from their mothers immediately after birth, the mother-infant bond is broken. The triplets, too, bonded with each other in utero. No doubt that these triplets suffered profound separation anxiety when they lost their mother, and each other, due to the forces of society that told this mother she could not parent her sons, and the controlling manipulations of the adoption agency as well as the psychiatrist who invented the secret study of identical twins/triplets separated at birth.

We now know that all adoptees suffer from pre-verbal trauma at the separation of our mothers. Even in the face of evidence, adoptees and our mothers are shot down by pro-adoptionists.

Another factor not covered in this documentary is that reunions between adoptees and their blood kin are increasing with the use of DNA testing in Ancestry dot com, 23 and Me, and other websites. The triplets say they have no interest, but their parents may want to connect now. They may have other siblings. Like everyone else, extended family is out there. None of us exists in a vacuum; we are connected to thousands of people through our DNA.

I understand the limitations of time constraints on making a documentary. In keeping with the premise that nothing else matters but their upbringing, and the separate, staged, environments they were deliberately placed into, I can see the necessity of narrowing the focus.

Still, the more I think about this, the more there is to discuss – and to question.

What about the triplet’s microbiomes? Where did they get their microbiomes from? Their mother, of course, as they passed through the birth cannel. Were these triplets born naturally, or by cesarean section? A sterile birth does not provide the infant to pass through the birth canal and therefor, the infant does not pick up the mother’s microbiome. Then where did these triplets receive their microbiome? They picked up microorganisms from the people who handled them – from nurses and doctors to the adoption agency workers and then, finally, each of their adoptive parents and adopted siblings. This created a vastly different microbiome in each of the separated identical brothers.

With what we are now learning, our guts hold microorganisms that influence our physical and mental health. The bio genomes of the gut bacteria growing in the mouths and intestines and bowels of these triplets as little boys, and as adults, play a big role in the physical and mental health of each one of these triplets. Isn’t it interesting that physical environments play a part in biology?

Life itself is a complex mix of biology and environment. Through the psychology of adoption and different parenting styles, and the individual’s inherited predisposition to personality types, it becomes clear that no one can say with certainty which is more important, nature or nurture.

In the end, though, what is medical history? Is medical history our environment or is medical history our biology? Did your parents die of heart disease or cancer? What you eat and drink influences your body. That’s biochemistry. Where does mental illness come from? Environment or heredity? Or both?

We know now that depression, anxiety, panic, and PTSD are due to stresses in home life, abuse, and socio-economic struggles. We also know that certain types of mental illness are inborn, genetically based. Personal choices can influence our mental and physical health; drugs, alcohol, diet, exercise, and clean living.

As I previously stated, for the purposes of time constraints, I see why the important factors in this documentary are the adopters who were deceived, and these triplets – and other identical twins – who were subjects of an unethical psychological study. This psycho-social experiment was cruel and inhumane.

The lesson learned here is one I hope psychologists and social workers will never repeat. Deceiving people is unethical. Separating identical siblings for the purpose of an unethical study is cruel. This should never happen again. Taking this further, separating a sibling group is unethical – something that is not routinely done in adoption today. Why, then, do we still consider separating newborns from their mothers at birth so the infants can have a “better life” in adoption?

Childhood trauma (Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACE) is now known to be the cause of varying degrees of emotional trauma responses in adoptees – and in our mothers and fathers. Separation from mother at birth is the single most detrimental aspect of relinquishment and adoption. Babies need their mothers – their real mothers. Nothing was said about the trauma these triplets suffered due to separation from their mother at birth.

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Birth Certificates

Something else was not discussed. Their birth certificates. This point can never be brought up too much. In fact, it must be brought up in every single discussion of adoption. Why? Because it is part of the entire scope of lies, manipulations, and intentional deceit that continues in every single adoption – then and now.

New York State revoked and sealed and replaced Robert Shafran’s, Edward Galland’s, and David Kellman’s accurate birth certificates – the ones that were signed by the attending physician who verified their births.

On their accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate) is a line with the question, “Is this birth a single birth, a twin, or a triplet?” and a check box “Single,” “Twin,” or “Triplet.” On each triplet’s birth certificate, is the question, “If Twin or Triplet, is this child born, “1st, 2nd or 3rd”? A check is placed for the corresponding answer.

This is a detail close up of my accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate):

There is also a line with the question, “Children previously born to this mother – How many OTHER children are now living?”

This is a detail close up of my accurate birth certificate (Original Birth Certificate):

On my amended birth certificate, it is easy to answer simply, “This is a single birth” (Ignoring that fact that I was not born in my adoptive name to my adoptive parents. It is all a lie. All except my birth date, time, and place.)

This is a detail close up of my falsified birth certificate (Amended Birth Certificate):

Did the New York State Department of Health’s Vital Statistics Bureau in Albany intentionally check the “Single Birth” box for each of these triplets on their new, amended birth certificates created after they were adopted?

I can guess that the State did not want to indicate their true birth order, so the adoption agency lied and so did New York State by stating that each birth was a single birth. I’m speculating, of course, but remember, amended birth certificates issued after an adoption contain false-facts, so information is made up to suit the facts of the adoption, with the toss-in of the date and place of birth. Yes, for some, even the birth date and place are falsified. Add all of this up and the end result is a sea of disaster.

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Suicide

I am very sad to hear about Eddy Galland’s suicide in June of 1995. He’s another adoptee statistic.

In this article, Eddy’s “wife says that he was never able to get over the separation and the loss. … Nineteen years that he didn’t have with his brothers.”

As an adoptee who was separated from my four older siblings (not identical) for eighteen years, I can attest to the pain of that loss.

This article states that sometime in 1995, Texas Pulitzer-prize winning writer Lawrence Wright began writing an article on twins when he came upon an article on twins separated at birth. He eventually found that Doctor Peter Neubauer, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, started this study. An assistant, not the doctor himself, told Wright of the “size and complexity [of the study], and told him there was a set of triplets, which lead him to Kellman, Shafran and Galland.”

Another article (which I cannot find now – I know, a big mistake to lose information on source material) stated “At the time of his death, Eddy Galland was not aware that the three brothers were intentionally separated as part of a psychological study to determine how personalities are formed.”

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Identical Quadruplets

Just when this story can’t get any worse, it gets worse. In this snippet from Edward “Eddy” Galland’s obituary published online at Find a Grave, a 1980 New York Times article revealed that the “Louise Wise Adoption Services reportedly confirmed that David Kellman, adopted by another family, is 3d sibling, 4th identical boy reportedly died at birth. (S) S 23, III.10:1.”

The documentary Three Identical Strangers did not mention this sad fact. They were four identical brothers – quadruplets – a natural miracle of conception in which one egg splits into four separate embryos. This unique wonder of nature would have been celebrated had these identical quadruplets been born to married parents. Tragically, they were born to a high school girl who was under society’s pressure to relinquish them to a closed and secret adoption. Her grief must have been overwhelming, particularly since one of them died at birth.

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Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

One more not-so-tiny detail that certainly stuck out was Billy Joel’s 1977 song, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” that highlighted a fictitious story about “Brenda and Eddy.” The documentary suggests that Billy Joel wrote that song about the real Brenda and Eddy, but the names, in fact, were coincidental. A quick check on the Internet proves that the song was released in 1977. The identical brothers did not meet until 1980.

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No One Should Be Faced With Integrating Nature vs. Nurture

Non-adopted people can walk away from this documentary; they’ll recover in a few hours. But it didn’t happen to them. This particular situation didn’t happen to me, either, but adoption did. The effects of adoption on adoptees is life-long. No one should be faced with the daunting task of integrating two identities – the one of nature and the one of nurture. The one in which you have a name and one set of parents and could have been raised with your siblings – and the other in which you have a new name and a new set of parents who were hand-picked by agency workers according to their wishes and the luck of the draw.

None of this is a feel good story.

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Will society ever learn not to let this happen again?

Nope. Not a chance.

The same thing will happen again, and again, and again.

The Dionne Quintuplets – five identical girls – were born to married parents on May 28, 1934 in a small village in Ontario, Canada. The Canadian government took the five girls away from their parents and made a spectacle of them for show and tell, speculative and comparative analysis of their appearance and personalities, and circus-side-show gawking profit. What happened to them should never have happened. The parents and siblings left behind suffered. The quintuplets suffered; all for greed, profit, and curiosity of what these five identical girls would grow up to be. Yes, the world watched, like in the movie “The Truman Show.”

It happened to Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman, their parents, and their adoptive parents.

It happened to the sets of identical twins who were also subjects of this study.

We now have children being ripped away from their parents at our USA/Mexican border as punishment for their parents entering our country illegally.

But what of their humanity?

Every day, infants are stolen at birth from their mothers because of coercive tactics used by adoption agencies and adoptive parent wanna-bees who gloat as they wear T-shirts proclaiming “I’m paper pregnant” or “My son is in Nepal” (a slogan for gays who buy the rent-a-womb services of poor women in Nepal as surrogate mothers to bear their children).

Stupid people will come along again, and again, and decide what is best for parents and their children who are seen as lesser-than. It happened before, and it will happen again.

Damn it.

 

 

My Take on Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

I’ll let the title and opening paragraphs of this story give you your first impressions:

Texas woman who sexually abused adopted daughter, forced her to be surrogate gets 33 years in prison

Laura Castillo, 33, left, was sentenced to 33 years in prison for forcing her adopted daughter to carry husband Eusebio Castillo’s children. Eusebio is awaiting trial in Bexar County. (Bexar County Jail)

A Texas woman arrested with her husband for subjecting their adopted daughter to more than decade of sexual and emotional abuse has been sentenced to 33 years behind bars.

And this

Alvarado, now 28, told police the couple had been abusing her since she 9 years old. Around that time, she’d been taken away form her alcoholic mother to live with her relatives on an Army base in Hawaii. The Castillos would go on to legally adopt her.

In an interview with San Antonio-Express News, Alvarado recalled how Eusebio would climb into her bed and molest her in the middle of the night. When she turned 13, he started to rape her, she said.

Castillo initially dismissed the girl’s abuse allegations and would go to participate in forced threesomes with Alvarado and her husband, the victim recalled. The ongoing assaults resulted in three children, all of who were raised to believe Alvarado was their older sister, not their mother.

 

You can read the full article for the other details.

Now for what’s missing.

How were the births handled? Did Abigail Alvarado go in to the hospital alone to give birth? Did she name the father? Did she insist that the father is unknown? Was the young mother threatened by her adopters, Laura and Eusebio Castillo, to tell lies to the doctors as she gave birth, and on the children’s birth certificates?

The birth certificates of these three children should state the truth, if not naming the father, then the mother – the real birthing mother. If those children continued to believe the story that the older woman was their mother, by the time they become young adults and their birth certificates become known to them, they would discover the truth of who is their real mother.

And then there is DNA and medical necessity.

Then there is the age factor. Laura Castillo is 33 years old. Her adopted niece is now 28. That’s a close age range for someone so young to adopt a 9 year old child. That would have made Laura Castillo 15 years old when she and her older husband, Eusebio, adopted the niece of one of them. Which one is the biological aunt or uncle – Laura or Eusebio? How old is Eusebio?

But back to DNA. This case proves my idea that DNA testing of an infant at birth should become mandatory law – not mere hospital policy – but State and Federal law. If mandatory DNA testing is done on every infant born, then the identities of the mother, and father, will be confirmed.

But hold on. As I wrote this blog post earlier this morning, a friend in adoption reform called me about something else. I brought this situation to her attention. She told me that pharmaceutical companies own the DNA people willing give to online companies to trace DNA to provide information on from where a person’s ancestors originated, and to provide connections to close genetic relatives.

I did not know that our private DNA is not our own. I did not know that Big Pharma claims they own the DNA of individuals.

While I’m trying to settle that shock, I’d like to know the rest of this story.

Is the mother still the mother of her children, or did the State remove these children into foster care?

Are the victims (Abigail Alvarado and her three children) of these two master-minds of depravity (Laura and Eusebio Castillo) provided with therapy free of charge? Are the therapists competent?

The young mother, Abigail Alvarado, certainly needs help to cope, but her three children do as well. They will have to deal with this for the rest of their lives.

This will affect future generations, too – medically, socially, psychologically, emotionally and perhaps financially.

Another thought: Gotta love the role religion played in this. How ignorant people must be to believe such ridiculous crap as the dribble coming from the mouths of two people who started a church in their back yard? Who would believe that the first-born child is a healer? And who would be stupid enough to donate thousands of dollars to this church who uses a child in this way?

The family moved to Texas in 2001 before settling in San Antonio, where they established the St. Peregrine Chapel behind their home. They solicited thousands in donations from those who believed Alvarado’s first-born was a healer. … They duped dozens of people into believing the little girl was a “Miracle Child” with the power to cure cancer.

Obviously not much education, or common sense, in this community at all.

Is this entire situation the result of uneducated people, and/or the result of mental illness?

To me, this tragic situation is more evidence that adoption distorts people’s already twisted minds. If their niece at age 9 needed a home to be safe from her alcoholic mother, then there should have been safeguards to allow only temporary legal custodial guardianship. This would also include visitation with and knowledge of her mother.

It is unclear from the scant details if 28 year old Abigail Alvarado’s mother was able to become sober from alcohol and if she is in contact with her now adult daughter and her three grandchildren.

The whole thing is a sham from the start.

On that note, I’m wondering about the now-28 year old adopted daughter’s real birth certificate. Her name appears to not have been changed upon adoption. This is unusual. Was her birth certificate confiscated and revoked, sealed, and then replaced to name her adopters as if they actually conceived and birthed her? This is what happens, by law, in adoption. Did the adopters allow her to keep her own name while the State carried out the law to replace her birth certificate with a false one? That is what happens in adoption. The new, amended – falsified – birth certificate is proof that these court-appointed guardians are assigned as legal parents. But you wouldn’t know they were legally signed because the falsified birth certificate names them as parents by birth.

What does this lie do to the minds of people who adopt – especially ones with already twisted minds? These lies on a false-fact amended birth certificate perpetuates the belief that someone else’s daughter magically became their own child. The adopted niece not only has a false identity as the biological daughter of her adopters, this was an in-family adoption, so this means that her three children also have false identities as well. This is  because their mother’s identity was officially falsified. If she were allowed to keep her full original name (and that seems to be the case), her parents’ names are falsified on the amended birth certificate issued after adoption. Therefore, the father of the children is factually Eusebio Castillo, but legally he is their grandfather. And, depending on who is the blood relative (Laura or Eusebio, the aunt or uncle by blood, one of the pair is the biological aunt or biological uncle of the adopted daughter/niece. This makes one of them the biological great aunt and uncle of the three young children.

If you are having trouble following this, so am I. If I somehow have managed to incorrectly map-out the relationships, will someone from my readership correct me?

I think you can see my point. Adoption distorted this family’s perception as to who is who in their rightful place on the family tree. A therapist will need to help them diagram this out on paper.

Problems started in this extended family long before this adoption and before its twisted forced rape and surrogacy occurred. Treatment for alcoholism in the 28 year old’s mother, temporary separation of mother and child may or may not have been warranted (not enough information here), but certainly, family reunification should have been the first priority.

The second priority should have been to prevent compounding the problem by allowing this adoption.

Then, if legal custodial guardianship was, in fact, needed, then safeguards should have been put into place to protect the now-28 year old niece from further harm. Did anyone conduct a home study on these two adopters before finalizing this adoption?

There is no remedy here. Prison time will only remedy the crimes. The victims will be addressing these issues imposed upon them for the rest of their lives.

The situation provides more evidence that Adoption Must Be Prevented.

They Used Instagram to Adopt And So Can You, OR, Naw, This Isn’t Child Snatching, It’s Adoption

Earlier this morning I saw this on Yahoo News under a different title. But you know Yahoo, they allow you to read a snippet and then send you to another link. The yahoo title (which I forgot the exact wording) sent me to this on the New York Post:

We used Instagram to adopt our baby

By Rachelle Bergstein

Here is the beginning of this article:

Jaimie and Brian Dorn used social media to find a baby to adopt.

Last June, high-school English teacher Jaimie Dorn found herself facing down an unexpected challenge: how to make an Instagram profile that would convince a pregnant stranger that she and her husband, Brian, would make good parents.

The 39-year-old from West Islip, NY, created the account, @JaimieAndBrianAdopt, then began uploading cheery photos of herself, Brian and her two stepchildren (from her husband’s previous marriage) engaged in fun, family-friendly activities such as fishing and celebrating the Fourth of July.

“We were told [by friends in the adoption community] to post every day, because that’s what would keep you active and out there,” says Dorn. “And then I would just hashtag like crazy, things like #adoption, #adoptionrocks, #hopetoadopt.”

Just six weeks after she created the page, Dorn received an email from a 21-year-old woman in Kansas, who was then in her first trimester and wanted to place the baby with a loving family. After months of close communication, their son Christian was born in December 2017, and the adoption was formalized five days later. “Social media is amazing in this sense,” she says. “We completed our family because of it.”

Since the New York Post doesn’t have a comment section, I went back to the Yahoo article to post this comment:

In view of the forced separation of infants and children from their parents at the border, and the outrage over this, WHY is this adoption story, and the methods used to pry infants from their mothers, considered to be happy, normal and encouraged? I am beyond disgusted.

It is now about 4 or 5 hours after my discovery of this article. I can’t find the Yahoo article at all. My guess is that Yahoo realized their mistake and removed the article completely. But you never know. It could resurface there.

Maybe my complaint resonated with a Yahoo editor. I hope so.

Still, this piece on How to Advertise on Instagram and Other Social Media to Adopt exists over at the New York Post.

And stupid people will fall for it. They will think, “Oh yeah! I want to adopt! So, of course Social Media is the way to go to avoid the expensive traps of agency adoptions! Gee, private adoption can’t get any easier! Yeah! I DO want a child to raise! This’ll be so much fun!”

And these same people will later read the News, or watch videos, or hear it on the radio that thousands of infants, toddlers, and teens are separated from their parents at the border and shipped thousands of miles away. These are the same people who want to troll the Internet for pregnant women so that they, too, can “make an Instagram profile that would convince a pregnant stranger” that they will “make good parents” will be, or are already, outraged by this forced separation of immigrant children from their parents.

These are the same people who think adoption is so great and wonderful. And these are the people who expect adoptees to be grateful for losing their families because, damn it, adoption IS wonderful!

Cant’ you people think? Do you NOT SEE that border separation of children from their parents and trolling for pregnant girls and women on Instagram to adopt their infants at birth are exactly the same thing?

No, adoption is not wonderful. It is not fun. Advertising to adopt may be your game so that you can build your family on the pain and suffering of those less fortunate than you, but to the mother and her infant, relinquishment and permanent adoption separation will result in a lifetime of emotional and physiological trauma for them both. It will also be identity theft for the child.

Absolute stupidity is out there. And these people are out to get your unborn baby. Don’t be as stupid as these predators are. Don’t give your baby away. Seek help to keep your baby.

As for you baby snatchers – your time in hell will come.

 

Father’s Day Remembrance of 2 Fathers and an ignorant, arrogant ass of an adoptive cousin

My adoptive father died in Roswell Park Cancer Hospital in 1982. At age 67. At that point, I was in a reunion with my natural father, 4 older siblings, 2 step brothers, 2 step sisters, a younger half brother, lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. The reunion began in 1974, when I was 18 and still in high school. By the time Dad died, we had 8 years of reunion behind us. Unlike most of his family, Dad was not only apologetic for lying to me, but he readily accepted my natural family back into my life. He spoke with my natural father with joy in his eyes and voice and a smile on his face. My two fathers had mutual respect for one another.

I had been worn thin, not much time to devote to all of those people, plus, resolving my internal identity struggles, plus coping with anger and rage I felt at the entire adoption system, not to mention the constant bickering I faced from relatives and strangers who didn’t approve of my reunion or my activism. I barely scratched the surface to develop relationships with the key people in my life and reshape relationships with my adoptive parents. I was just a kid myself. I had no guidance, no real support systems to carry me through the adoption stress. I sent away for ALMA (Adoptees Liberty Movement Association) newsletters, joined a local adoption support group in 1976, attended my first adoption conference in 1980, and began writing about adoption in 1975 in newspapers.

When my adoptive father died of brain cancer in 1982, I lost my Daddy. I was raised an only child. I wasn’t living at home when he died, so Mom drove by herself to the funeral home. I drove myself there on the day we buried him.

As I stepped out of my car in the funeral home’s parking lot, I was dry-heaving, choking at saying goodbye to Daddy.

One of my adoptive cousins, DA, waddled her fat body up to me and snorted, “You OPENLY declare you have two fathers, therefore, you must not love this father. Your other cousins and I don’t want you here.”

I don’t recall if I said anything to her. All I remember is feeling shocked that this fat thing I shared a childhood with could be so cruel to me. And,who were those other cousins who hated me so much? They never identified themselves.

I sat next to my adoptive mother, feeling unwanted.

My natural father stayed away as he held in his own grief; funerals were tough for him. He buried his wife of 10 years, my mother, three months after she gave birth to me in 1956. He died in 2011. Three months later, my adoptive mother died.

And, for the record – my natural father IS/WAS my father, and my adoptive father IS/WAS my father, too. Just because certain people can’t understand my reality, does not give them power over me. Go to hell DA!

My hope for all adoptees is that you can feel love for two mothers and for two fathers, and step parents, too, if you have them. Don’t listen to the cruel remarks of ignorant souls who don’t know your feelings, your life, or your truths.