Part 5: Response to The Buffalo News 3-Part Series Search for Yesterday: Adoptive, Birth Parents See Reunion Problems: My Natural Father Speaks Out 1984

Appearances are deceiving, or are they?

 1984A,BParentsReunionProblems

I honestly don’t know where to begin.

Right from the start there are the two adoptive mothers who are defending their rights to someone else’s child:

“I don’t want to sound unsympathetic to birth parents”

She just did by dismissing their loss of their child.

“I wouldn’t want someone else to say ‘she’s my daughter’.”

Wow, such denial of the facts of life coming from an adoptive mother who probably was infertile so she thought adopting (taking) someone else’s child as her own was the best choice for herself and the child. Guess what? Her Korean girl IS some else’s daughter!

This “all or nothing” thinking is what causes problems in adoption.

“…chances for a reunion with her biological family are lessened. We didn’t adopt internationally because of that, but it’s a fringe benefit of adopting from another country…That’s one problem you’d almost never have to deal with.”

Really? This adoptive mother contradicted herself. She told me, via a phone call back in 1984, that the only reason she adopted foreign children is make sure her children would never have contact from their birth families.

So, the adoptee’s right to know her own natural parents and siblings and country of origin is seen by her adoptive mother as a problem that is avoided because the chances of reunion are next to nill because the birth family is in Korea? How convenient for the adoptiveparents, or at least this adoptivemother. Notice that adoptive fathers are absent from this article, and even in the series presented in my previous post. Also note that natural fathers are absent from discussion involving illegitimate births.

How am I able to write about this now, nearly 26 years later? Because I took notes.

I’d like to know what that cute Korean toddler of 1984 has to say now in 2010 when she realizes that (by the will of her loving, forever, real adoptive parents) she was held in captivity because her adoptive parents didn’t love her enough to give her the freedom necessary to build her own self identity.

There are so many blogs out there now written by adoptees of color who were adopted by white people and brought to America. These adoptees do not like what was done to them.

I sure do hope that this family has done quite a bit of healing for the adoptee’s sake, if not for the sake of the misguided adoptive parents.

“I think it would be difficult for any child to have two real mothers and two real fathers…”

Yes, it is a difficult path, but all adoptees DO have two mothers and two fathers and they are most certainly REAL. Both sets are real in the adoptee’s life. To deny that is to warp the adoptee’s sense of self.

The other adoptive mother said:

“But I’m not in favor of my daughter finding her mother and forming a relationship…I think it would take away from our relationship, and I feel there would be a strain on our relationship.”

I still meet adoptive parents today who feel this way. It’s that “All or Nothing” thinking again. The shades of grey are there in real life, but not in adoption. Or that’s just the way adoptive parents want it. The  adoptee needs both sets of parents, with or without a relationship, because, whether or not adoptive parents realize it, the adoptee already HAS a relationship with her natural parents. It is the bonds of biology, of genetics, of being hard-wired to haveinherent qualities of temperament and talents and allergies and muscle structure and facial features. With such selfishness of these adoptive parents, it is hard to see any real love there. I see possessiveness and desperate attempts to claim “mine, all mine!”, but this does not speak well of adoptive parent attitudes of 1984.

Like I said, this attitude is still alive in adoptive parents today.

“The birth parents don’t seem to realize the relationship has ended once the papers have been signed. I think it’s a real invasion of privacy when they attempt to meet the child.”

No, it’s the adoptive parents who don’t realize that the relationship between the adoptee and her natural parents continues throughout her lifetime, even if there is no contact. The adoptee feels the loss. The natural parents feel the loss. And we’ve seen natural parents coming out by the thousands, in America and in Korea and elsewhere, to put an end to “taking someone else’s child as your own.”

“Giving birth doesn’t make the parents. It’s the caring and loving and growing with the child that does.”

And natural parents have been coerced into giving up their children to adoption out of shame. They were prevented from the actual parenting of their own children because of that permanent separation. We know from organizations such as Origins and Concerned United Birthparents that these mothers desperately wanted to do the natural acts of parenting, but were forced out of the their child’s lives.

Being pregnant and giving birth are natural events and are most certainly the very essence of life itself. It is the adoptive mother in this article who berates pregnancy and birth because she was deprived of experiencing the very events she puts down.

Hurray for Dr. David Brodzinsky — a former Buffalonian! — for his professional statements. Dr. Brodzinskihas gone on to be a prolific writer on the psychology of adoption. He is the co-author or co-editor of five influential books on adoption,  including The Psychology of Adoption (1990); Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (1992); Children’s Adjustment to Adoption: Developmental and Clinical Issues (1998); Adoption and Prenatal Drug Exposure: Research, Policy, and Practice (2000), and Psychological Issues in Adoption: Research and Practice (2005).

Still, Dr. Brodzinsky’s statement in this 1984 article raises concern:

“He doesn’t see the issue in terms of ‘rights’. Adoptive parents have the same rights or lack of rights as all parents have…”

Auh, what about the adoptee’s rights?

The International Adoption Reform Movement has made great progress since 1984: Bastard Nation, the American Adoption Congress, Council on Equal Rights in Adoption, Adoption Crossroads, Origins, Concerned United Birthparents, Senior Mothers and hundreds of adoptees’ blogs, mothers of loss blogs, oh, and The Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute, to name a few entities out there promoting adoptees’ rights.

Now, about my natural father’s photo in the paper and his statements.

First thing that must be said: He did not want to be identified in my book, so I changed his name and any other identifications that could lead to him today. BUT, he chose to go public in 1984. He called the newspaper to defend himself. For what? I have always had respect and love for him, and especially his third and present wife, my loving step mother. Nothing I ever wrote put him  down in any way.

As a result of this article, at that time in 1984, my natural father and I healed a five-year period of silence between us. We continued in a growing and loving father-daughter relationship. He was actively involved with my two children, two of his many grandchildren, and we shared tender moments. My father tearfully relayed to me what happened when my mother died — a story he had not been able to tell me in detail until after 1984. He cried when he told me that he “gave the baby — you — up, up, … up for adoption.” I could see remorse in his face and in his heart.

Since the printing of this article, my father and I talked of how newspaper reporters make situations worse by exaggerating points. He wanted to be sure the public knew he “abided by the law” and stayed away from me while I was growing up.

My father and I talked of how the articles did not accurately portray how the adoptee and her adoptive family and natural family are effected by a reunion that went out of control. Too many people butting in, saying harsh words, trying to interfere with the adoptee adjusting to her reunion.

When this article was written, there were unspoken words between my father and I. In 1979, he thought that all I wanted was to get my hands on my sealed records, to talk about the past, to ask about my deceased mother. His worst fear was that I’d hate him for what he had done. After the publishing of this article, we came together to discuss our sore spots, coming away with a greater understanding of each other. We have spent an immense amount of personal energy since then in building a personal relationship that is much different from the relationships he had with his other children from his first wife and the children he has with his present wife. We accepted each other and what the past has done to us.

One summer night in 1987, just shortly before midnight, I knocked on my father’s door. I was despondent because my adoptive mother had just been diagnosed with cancer. I told my father I can’t bear to lose another parent to cancer. My first mother died of cancer, my adoptive father died of cancer. Slowly, my adoptive mother’s cancer went into remission, only to resurface in recent years, but that night my natural father said to me:

“I will always be here for you. We may not have the legal binds, but we have something stronger. We not only have the ties of blood, but we have the emotions in our hearts.”

Sadly, through the passage of time, and the realization that I went full steam ahead, completed and published the memoir I said I was going to write since 1976, those old fears and resentment rose up again. When asked to, my father read a rough draft of my book in 2004. He clarified points. I made corrections he asked me to make and said I represented him in a clear manner. He read another draft of the book again in 2008. This time he said it all could have been avoided if he had gotten some help. I agree. He was alone in his decision to split up his family.

Then, in 2009, I added a Social Work Assessment, of which, my father did not understand. He reacted out of emotion and fear that I do not love and respect him. That is not true. I do love him and respect him. The Social Work Assessment of my adoption was written in analytical style and encompasses all parties to my adoption. My natural father did not understand it. There were other aspects that entered into why we are again not speaking to each other: a disagreement between my natural father, my adoptive mother, and myself; so, my natural father and I parted ways again.

I went ahead with my goals. The book is out now. My adoptive mother doesn’t like it. My natural father doesn’t like it. No one looks good in this book, including me. The true destruction of adoption in my life had to be told, with or without the approval of others.

I wrote it to prevent another family from being permanently separated by adoption.

I wrote my book to make sense of my life with the facts as they were presented to me.

 

~ ~ ~ Joan M Wheeler, BA, BSW, born Doris M Sippel, author of Forbidden Family: A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism, Trafford Publishing, Nov 2009.

 

 

Guest Post – Kinship Bonds, Adoption and Discrimination

Kinship bonds cannot be diluted by the sealed original birth certificate. States began passing laws forbidding marriage between those males and females who were bound by close family ties such as father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister, and first cousin/first cousin. The reason  given was that it was more likely that undesirable traits would be passed on to the resulting offspring between closely related parents. While the genes were not always recessive, these inherited DNA traits were not to be desired…. Any adopted persons, now adult age, have no evidence of existing kinship bonds to anyone whom they  would meet and could marry – – if their adoption was finalized in a state whose adoption records, including the original birth certificate, is sealed for life. Thus, it is legal for any of them to marry kin even though the law of the land forbids this – – for good reason (to protect the offspring). Adopted persons who live under this condition of the sealed record/original birth certificate, for a lifetime, are defined by the law, by implication,  of having a separate status. The blood tie is simply not in existance for them. Separated from the rest of the non-adopted population, these adults suffer discrimination.
 
Mary L. Foess
AAC, CUB, ORIGINS,Am-FOR, A.I.M, Truths in Adoption Triad, and Bonding by Blood, Unlimited

Birthday Vandalism, President Millard Fillmore, and Adoptees

I just got back from a very unusual birthday celebration at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York: US President Millard Fillmore was born this day 210 years ago. I attended a memorial service at his gravesite to honor him.

There was a wreath presented by the current US President’s Representative, and other government officials, as well as dignitaries from educational institutions that owe their beginnings to Millard Fillmore. Since Millard Fillmore was a Unitarian, the minister of the Buffalo Unitarian Universalist Church gives the invocation prayer. Today’s service was not as cold as in other years. There was no bitter wind or snow falling. TAPS was played by a lone trumpeter and a military flag guard opened and closed the ceremony.

The first year I attended was 21 years ago. I brought my toddler daughter. A TV camera took her picture as she played in the snow. Then, the TV reporter asked the guests why they were there. The usual important people gave their usual official comments on this President’s contributions to end slavery and start hospitals and the University of Buffalo just 13 years after the British burned the village of Buffalo to the ground in 1813. In 1989, I was trying to duck the reporter, but he caught me and asked me why I was there. I said, “I share Millard Fillmore’s birthday and I was born in the hospital named after him. I am also a member of the church he belonged to. I came here to honor a man who became the 13th President of the United States”. The reporter thanked me.

I went home and watched the News at dinner time. Less than 5 minutes later, the phone rang.

“Hello, Joan. You pig! What the hell are you doing, talking to a News Reporter and plastering your face on TV?! You are an ego-maniac and have no business showing off!”

That call came in from an adoptive cousin. She and her sisters and their mother have hated me for “OPENLY declaring you have two fathers” since 1974.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to die. Because THEY out number me, they have the power. I am alone. Can I not celebrate my birthday in the way I choose? Who are THEY to judge me? What harm have I done to THEM? THEY do not approve of my reunion with my father — a man THEY have never met — a man THEY hate because, according to THEM, he gave me away so he does not qualify to be honored by me as my father. BUT HE IS MY FATHER. Without him, I would not be alive.

So much for family values – so much for adoptive family values. The adoptee only has value if she honors and obeys the adoptive family’s rules and ignores from whence she came.

My MOTHER gave birth to me today 54 years ago in Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York. Her name, and that of my FATHER, is on my hospital records, my hospital birth certificate, and my true birth certificate. But the State of New York seized that birth certificate in January of 1957 and by March of 1957, the State of New York BASTARDIZED my legitimate birth by issuing a falsified, certified as true, Certificate of Live Birth with a raised State seal and a stamped signature of a City of Buffalo Registrar of Vital Statistics. This fraudulent piece of paper is my legal birth certificate. It desecrates the honor of the woman who gave her life so that I may live.

Thank you, New York State, for dis-honoring my birthday.

I will fight till my dying breathe to avenge the violation of my MOTHER’s honor as the woman who nurtured me in her body and then died so that I may live. I will fight to my dying breath to win back my birthright and re-build after the destruction by State-sanctioned vandalism of my true birth certificate — the official documentation of my actual birth.

HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER, so says a Catholic Commandment.

Where is the honor befitting my father and mother of conception and birth?

A Catholic nun in my Junior High School used to say, “Look ashamed!” when she caught some unruly student misbehaving.

I say to all who violate adoptees’ sacred bonds of birth: Shame on all of you who mock adoptees and our natural parents!

Thanks for a wonderful life, you lousy relatives. I am ashamed to have been adopted into YOUR clan. Family values, indeed. The values you proliferate certainly are not Christian values of love. Only a few of you are worthy of my love.

I take away valuable lessons from President Millard Fillmore. He had the tenacity, strength and the personal integrity to stand for honor and justice, to stave off the American Civil War for a few more years, and to stand up to end slavery.

There is a quiet civil war going on right now: the US and State governments are imprisoning all adoptees by seizing our birthrights and birth certificates by forcing us to live lies every time we are forced to present fraudulent birth certificates as the real documentation of our births. Stop the vandalsim of adoptees’ true birth certifcates.

Poll Started by Mara – Should Kids Given Up for Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court?

WOW! Best Birthday Present EVER! Thanks, Mara!

First, take the poll:

Should Kids Given Up For Adoption Have Their Rights Defended in Court? (CASA)

Then, leave a comment.

I was the first to do so on my BIRTHDAY, thanks to Mara!

Here’s my answer: YES!!!

And my Comments, spelling mistakes and all:

If my rights had been defended in court by an independant attorney who was looking out for my true “best interest of the child”, my adoption might have been handled diffeerently. One solution to my pre-adoptive parents’ petition to adopt me could have been to totally negate their petition on the grounds that it would be illegal and immoral to remove an infant from an existing sibling group and change her name and her identity to conform to what the adoptive parents want for “their” adopted child. Another solution could have been was to modify the petition to adopt by restricting the pre-adoptive parents to Legal Guardians. That would have kept my legal and my birth name one and the same (thereby preserving my Birth Certificate), and at the same time, given my Guardians the joy of raising a child with the knowledge of and visitation with that child’s one remaining parent (mother died) and visitation with her older siblings. The third option — which is what actually happened — to sever the ties completely with the father and siblings of the adoptee and raise the child 100% as the “only child” of the adopting parents which completely cut off my ties to my natural father, wiped out my chance for a timely and appropriate grieving of my MOTHER’s death, and wiped out any relationship that could have developed with my full blood siblings. It is a crime what happened to me! NO CHILD SHOULD BE PERMENTENTLY SEPARATED BY ADOPTION. This is cruel and is child abuse!!!! I blame the adoptive parents and the adotpive family for lying, manipulating the system and lying to the relinquishing natural father who was vulnerable at age 31 because he was grieiving the loss of his 30 year old wife who was the mother of five children.

Oh, yes, another solution would have been to compelety restore my father AS my father, restore my siblings AS my siblings, negate 100% the Petition to Adopt by my pre-adotpive parents and provide emotional and financial support for this FAMILY to stay together.

Still another solution would have been to give me back to my father, but, since my pre-adoptive parents had taken care of me for 10 months prior to the Final Court Date securing my closed and sealed adoption, that would have been cruel to them. This last option would have validated those legal guardians’ rights to have contact with the child they had grown to love.

These situations happen all the time. Played out quite well in extended family within my adoptive family: my adoptive parents took care of a number of sinling groups who did not have a father (he ran off). But, my adoptive parents (years before I was born and adopted) had respect for the remaining parent, knew their own boundaries and limitations as Parent Figures, and loved the children anyway.

Love is best when it is honest and respectful. Closed and sealed adoption destroys family relationships for generations.

Children who are Relinquised for adoption and who are being Petioned to be be Adopted, SHOULD have legal cousel to prertect their best interests.

Had my legal rights been protected from the very beginning, I would have had a happier life.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Joan M Wheeler of http://forbiddenfamily.com .

………

Now, all you good little adoptees, go raise some hell on this fabulous poll started by MARA!!!!

Some Thoughts on Adoptive Family Kinship

In the lifespan of an adoptee, it is necessary to look at the whole picture. The adoptee grows up within an adoptive family. That includes the adoptive parents’ sisters and brothers who are the adoptee’s aunts and uncles. There are cousins who are older and cousins who are younger. There are children of the older cousins, who are second cousins to the adoptee. These children grow up together and form emotional attachments. Such is family life. (See the book: Adoption and the Family System, 1992, by Miriam Reitz and Kenneth W. Watson.)

Those attachments are not broken when an adoptee is reunited with their biological kin. If there is genuine caring and understanding, those adoptive kinship feelings do not change. The adoptee does not swap feelings for the adoptive over to the reunited family of birth. Rather, the adoptee somehow integrates the “new” people into her life. And integrates the new “self”, which is also her biological self and family of origin. There are more relatives to reunite with than the parents of birth and siblings. Aunts, uncles, cousins — the usual extended family.

When one looks at the lifespan of an adoptee, it is necessary to look at the family developments and development of self though the life span. Young adulthood, marriage, children, aging and dying parents, middle age complications of divorce, changing or ending jobs, and aging of oneself. There is also the ebb and flow of relationships. Reunion does not happen with one event. It is a process that continues throughout the adoptee’s life. Relationships may end with some relatives, but there are continuing relationships, and surprising new ones as well.

I have found biological kin  that I have had long-time relationships with that no one else knows about within other reunited relationships. I have social circles that are separate from my natural father, my adoptive mother, my step siblings, my three sisters whom I do not want involved in my life. I enjoy close emotional ties to blood kin distant cousins for over 20 years.

In my extended adoptive family, there are relatives who have not been aware of the drama that has been going on. These relatives have not caused pain and have not been involved in spreading rumors.  

From my childhood cousinship relationships, I have learned:

Step families can and do flourish with love and open communication and laughter.

New Step families bring in new children to play with. There was no distinction. We added the new cousins right in with the old ones. Because we were kids.

Families who broke off and went their own directions for decades and who have touched base again, are renewing childhood emotional bonds. Some of us have not seen each other since childhood and are brought together in middle age due to parents dying. We are re-discovering what we meant to each other as children. We are forming continued relationships as middle aged adults.

So, adoption  kinship does not end when there is a reunion between an adoptee and her natural family. I have said this since 1974 when I was 18 years and newly reunited,  and I continue to say it: every adoptee has two sets of real parents. Deal with it. Adoptees must deal with it or live in denial. How other relatives deal with it is their own choice. An adoptee who searches for natural parents must conduct a search with responsibility and caring. Biological kin who search for and find an adoptee must do the same.

I was found by siblings I knew nothing about. Adding my reunited biological kin back into my life, and adding new biological kin in the decades that followed the initial stages of reunion, in no way destroys adoptive family kinship. The adoptee is in the middle and struggles with dual identity. It is a life process.

Adoption Gone Bad – Not Reunion

I do wish people would understand this about my adoption: it is not my reunion that “went bad” because there is much more to reunion than just a few relationships. My sisters are unto themselves, yet I had a reunion with multple people and still do. Reunion and adoption is about telling the truth to the adoptee. For the complete story, as it unfolded, read my book!

The real issue in my adoption is this: my natural father relinquished me under duress. He did not know he gave me to an adoptive family that made up their own rules about contact, what would be allowed to the older generations and other certain select relatives, and not to the father who relinquished his daughter to them, nor to his daughter, the adoptee, herself. My father’s rights were violated by adoptive relatives who deemed themselves to have control over my adoption and my life.

Meanwhile, my father was not aware that meddling relatives from his deceased wife’s family would spread filty lies about him killing his wife and that he “could not stand the sight of me” that’s why he “got rid of me”. THAT was the content of hate mail sent to me for decades from anonymous letters whom I suspect are members of my extended adoptive family who listened to these lies and beleived them.

My natural father was told by the court to stay away from me during the 18 years of my childhood. He did. He did not want me to be confused. But the inference of meddling extended family cause plenty of rumors and hate. I was hunted down like an animal (by adopted realtives) because I dared to accept my father back into my life in 1974. And I dared to  write articles in the paper defending adoptees’ right to know the truth. Hunted down, tracked down, by adoptive relatives who did not like the fact that I was in reunion with a father that they hated, but I was not ever supposed to know him or like him or love him. Nor was I supposed to know any of my blood relatives, but certain members of my adoptive family deemed themselves worthy of socializing with  my blood kin, while keeping me away from my own blood kin.

Why? Because the myth of adoption says that the adoptee must never be told the truth, or must never know the parents who gave them life.

That is what happened in my life: My adoptive relatives broke the adoption contract signed between my natural father and my adoptive parents. My father relinquished me to their care, firmly believing that I would be protected from a confusing life. It is not his fault that other relatives prevented him form knowing what was really going on for 18 years to his daughter that they were keeping a close eye on. Keep the father away from his daughter. Keep the adoptee away from her father and her siblings, but we will watch the adoptee and take notes on her as she grows into an adult.

Family secrets. Violation of a confidential and private adoption court proceeding between two sets of parents over the relinquishment and adoption of an unsuspecting adoptee.

Reunion  gone bad? Adoption not right from the start. Whose privacy violated? Mime. And my father’s privacy.

My reunion is still going on folks…I still have relationships with other relatives. The adoptee is in the middle and suffers because of the prejudice against adoptees in the larger society.

It is Not Reunion I Resent — It is Being LIED to and Harassed

I was checking my trackers when someone’s search words caught my eye: “adoption reunion resentment”.

Let me make this clear: I will not be the Poster Girl for Bad Reunions. You will have to read my book to know the whole story.

I was lied to be my adoptive parents for the first 18 years of my life. They did not EVER want me to know my own siblings. Siblings that they knew I had! Siblings who lived just a 20 minute drive away! When those siblings called me on the phone and shocked the living hell out of me when I was 18 years old, I was not mad at them. I was in deep, profound, emotional shock! My adoptive parents lied to me and prevented me from having meaningful relationships with my own siblings and my blood cousins, but it was alright for other members of my adoptive family to socialize with my own blood kin!

I was happy to meet my siblings, my niece and nephew, my father, and I was grieving the loss of my dead mother for the first time in my life. Do not for one second label me as against reunions!!!!

My reunion turned sour because I was getting abuse from my adoptive mother who never wanted me to know the truth. I was getting abuse from adoptive relatives who believed I was disloyal to my adoptive parents for accepting a phone call from my own siblings! I was seen as the villain by my many of my adoptive relatives.

A few of my adoptive aunts took me kindly aside to explain what they knew. The point is: if THEY knew, I should have known all along. Not only that, but my natural father was completely unaware that the adoption contract was broken. He put his trust into the couple he chose to adopt me, but he was not told that there would be socializing going on with his deceased wife’s family. If my adoptive father’s family and my deceased mother’s family allowed themselves to socialize, but left my father out of it, then his rights were violated. He was also unaware that rumors were spread about him, rumors that affected how I was treated by my extended adopted family.

In my beginning stages of my reunion, and for decades after, I could not be everything to everyone. I was expected to learn my family history, learn names, dates, go here, go there, finish high school, go to college, and be OKAY. No one was concerned for my emotional or mental health. I was alone, until I went to a support group for adoptees. The group met once a month. Then, I went to an Adoption Forum of Philadelphia Day – long adoption conference. I met authors, natural mothers, and adoptees who felt just like I did. I found friends. Back home, I was criticized for being in a reunion, and ridiculed by natural family and adoptive family for writing Letters to the Editor about adoptees rights. This was in the 1970s.

I have been ridiculed for being an adoption activist, for standing up for what I believe in.

I am not against adoption reunions!!! I am against the lies, the deception of entire family groups, I am against being discriminated against for being an adoptee writing about my life.

My reunion went sour for many, many reasons. Too many for a blog to explain.

Message to adoptive parents: do not ever lie to your adoptees. THAT abuse destroys the parent-child relationship. To prevent an adoptee to live as a “only” child, knowing that there are siblings nearby, is child abuse. Divorced parents would face charges if they did that.

Reunions with blood kin can only work if all people work at it. My father worked at it, but could not handle me going public. He did not understand the politics of me being adopted. He felt guilty for giving me away and I have told him repeatedly that I never blamed him. I have a lovely step mother. My adoptive parents and my natural parents visited with each other. It was hardest on my adoptive mother since she did not want me to ever know my father. And my siblings and I had wonderful times together. I had a hard times adjusting. I was one person. They were many. I was overwhelmed. I was alone in my suffering.

Reunions between families separated by adoption are positive, natural events, that, if handled with respect and dignity and honesty, can and do, work.

Reunions happen with and without open birth and adoption records.

DO NOT pin negativity upon me and blame “bad” reunions on me! Many relationships ebb and flow and some end. It is part of life. Not all families get along even without adoption separation and reunion. It is now nearly 36 years after my initial reunion. There are many relatives that have sustained relationships with me, and many who have not. The younger generations now are asking questions. Adoption, just like marriage, grows and changes as we all grow and age and die.

My adoptive mother is dying. She has faced some difficult issues. She has accepted that the falsified birth certificate must end, and in its place, an adoption certificate must tell the truth.

My natural father read my book as I wrote it, twice, in these last few years. He gave his own input as to what happened. He also answered questions about the relinquishment, and, no, he was never promised confidentiality. He was told by the judge: “you must not interfere with your daughter’s life. She now is the adopted daughter in this new family. When she turns 18, you may find her again.”

Ahh, but single mothers who give up their babies, or rather, who are coerced into giving up their babies, are, and have been, told that they will never see their baby again.

There is so much that is wrong about adoption itself.  We need to focus on fixing those issues, which will then fix the reasons why relationships break down. There is much in adoption psychology of the entire family systems that cannot be explained in a blog. Read some adoption psychology books. They apply to family systems, and not just finger-pointing at the adoptee.

Society always must have scapegoats. That’s why illegitimates are called bastards. Cuss words. I resent it. Especially since I am a half orphan who should have been given respect, dignity, and honesty right from the very beginning of my adoption. Too many rumors. Too many untruths. Too much confusion for the adoptee.