Dear Adoption, If We Both Have Lost

Dear East Indian Adoptee –

No, you won’t be a mother when you finalize an adoption of a foster child. You will be a foster mother and then you will be an adoptive mother. The only mother is the mother who conceives and gives birth.

Don’t trick yourself into believing that the court, by declaring that you are an adoptive mother, will automatically and magically wipe away your infertility. It won’t. The court will not magically make you a mother.

You must accept the fact that you are infertile. Accept it. As you plead in your essay, do not place the burden of your infertility upon the foster child you want to make “your own” via a legal court order. A court order will make you a legally appointed guardian acting as mother, meaning that you will have legal authority over the child, but you will not be the child’s true mother. You will have the privilege of legal, social, emotional and psychological parenting, complete with love and affection (if all goes well), but you will never replace that child’s mother.

Yes, of course you will call your foster-adopted child “daughter” or “son” out of affection and love. And the child may even call you “mother,” but those are terms of endearment, not fact.

Acquiesce to your lot in life. Forcing a foster child to lose her identity because you want to adopt is repeating the same that was done to you.

These are your own words: “Your grief from not being able to have biological children should never be carried by an adopted child. Your intentions don’t matter. I am telling you, as an adopted child and as a woman who is infertile, this loss and grief is not a child’s to bear but bear it, they will.”

Your foster-adopted child will bear the grief of your infertility should you go ahead with your plan because it will be your own intent to steal that child’s identity to make her “your own.”

Now I ask you to rethink your plan.

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Dear Adoption, If We Both Have Lost

Isn’t loss what led many of our (adoptive) mothers to adoption? So frequently many of us heard about infertility and hopes for biological children prior to defeat, acceptance, and then adoption.

I was a last resort.

As an adoptee who grew up hearing about my adoptive mother’s infertility, here are my suggestions and insights:

  • Infertility is none of your adopted children’s business.
  • Please don’t ask your child to bear the weight of what you lost in addition to what they lost.
  • Please be careful and avoid saying things such as, “we hoped for our own children, but God had a different plan”. In most cases this is not comforting. There isn’t really a conversation in which your infertility doesn’t make us feel bad or less than or like a last resort.
  • Please don’t ask adoptees to acknowledge your losses (especially if you…

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Dear Adoption, We Don’t Have Adoption Issues, We Have an Issue With Adoption

Thank you for writing this.

In addition to the global trafficking of children from country to country, it is very important to add here that the Adoption Industry also maintains dominance on domestic adoptions in the United States and other developed countries. Religious organizations and their people see themselves as “saving” children from a life of poverty and deprivation should these children stay in the care of their natural-born parents. Government agencies such as Child Protective Services routinely grab up children to maintain their monthly quotas of children who are then “freed” for adoption, even when cause for removal is not warranted. Private adoption agencies organize around religious fundamental ideologies, or cater to specific recipient clients such as gay men and lesbian women. Many agencies promote themselves as specializing in open adoption, knowing full well that no socially-open adoption can be legally enforced. An open adoption agreement allowing for visitation from the natural mother and father can be, and often is, closed once the adopters decide they no longer want the natural parents to be involved.

It is also important to force the adoption industry to acknowledge the damage done to the adopted person by the continual practice of revoking and sealing the adoptee’s birth certificate – the medical record of live birth. This is identity theft, yet, it is expected to be just one step in the finalization of adoption, in both domestic and intercountry adoption. Once an adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate is created by the Registrar of Vital Statistics office of each state’s capital city, replacing the names of the actual parents with the names of the adopters and replacing the child’s actual name with a name chosen by the adopters. This false-fact amended birth certificate replaces the child’s true birth certificate. It becomes the adoptee’s first document proving identity and parentage, yet the facts presented are fictitious. Adoption is based upon lies.

If a child is truly in danger of harm by living with abusive parents, then yes, remove the child from the home. Provide a safe home for abused children, but identity theft via adoption is not necessary.

Adoption claims identity theft is necessary, but adoption does not admit that the process of revoking, sealing and replacing adoptees’ birth certificates is, in fact, identity theft. Most adopters have the opinion that they are entitled to the new birth certificate as they believe that they need it to prove their legal parentage and they need to prove that they ARE parents.

The perfect answer is reality-based documentation which delineates the split that adoption creates. The facts of life cannot be scientifically denied. The mother who actually carried the pregnancy and who actually gave birth is the mother whose name should be on the medical record of live birth. DNA can and should be tested to prove who the genetic parents are and whose names belong on the child’s medical record of birth.

An adoption certificate would then spell out who the legal parents are, and the facts of adoption (date, time, place, and names of adopters). Adoption and birth are two separate events.

Better yet, Legal Guardianship provides the child with legal guardians while maintaining the validation of the child’s actual birth and identity. Kinship care provides the child continued contact with natural family.
Supervised visitation with abusive parents can be arranged via court order, or completely barred.

Siblings should never be separated. The child who is adopted has a natural and human right to know full and half siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Adoption destroys these relationships.
Many domestic adoption agencies seek out pregnant girls and women to guilt them into believing that they are inferior to the waiting adoptive-parent-wanna-bees. Coercive methods are used to take the infant from vulnerable pregnant mothers, even allowing adopters in the delivery room. Many adopters bypass the child’s actual birth record directly by insisting that their names be recorded on the child’s birth certificate from birth.

The adoption industry promotes delusional beliefs. The victims of adoption, however, live the truth of the negative consequences of adoption.

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Dear Adoption, We Don’t Have Adoption Issues, We Have an Issue with Adoption

“For every family created by adoption, another family exists that has been forever torn apart, either across the street or across the globe.”

–Janine Myung Ja, Compiler of Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists

To the profitable industry: we, “orphans,” do not have adoption issues, we have an issue with adoption. As a global member of the adoption community since my adoption in 1972 and founder of Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Network, I am writing on behalf of adopted people and human rights advocates who have been abused by your system.

The reason I am writing is because of an urgent need to inform indigenous families of your aftermath should they buy into your system. I have recently learned of the problem within the last decade but have been researching since 2004. The issue has to do with…

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Dear Adoption, I’m Hurting

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

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Dear Adoption, I’m Hurting

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

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

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

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

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Dear Adoption, What Can I Do?

Re-blogged at Forbidden Family… My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dear Adoption, What Can I Do?

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

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

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

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

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America, You Have An Adoption Problem.

Yes, America, you have a problem. You are addicted to adoption.

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Dear America,

I spent the first 16 years of my adoption experience as a “birth” mother in complete isolation. It was preceded by the nearly 10 months of family-conducted isolation during my pregnancy. Such is the life of a shamed pregnant teenager. I had personally never known either an adopted person or a natural mother. I thought my mother and the adoption agent, with whom she colluded, sounded like they were full of shite, but how was I to know any different? By the time I delivered my precious girl, my efforts to keep her via parenting classes at a local pregnancy center and accumulation of baby necessities (all returned by my mother) only proved my selfishness. I would be selfish having only love to offer a child. Ultimately, it was the threat of homelessness by my parents that definitively made my adoption “choice”. My greatest fear at the time was my daughter being placed in foster care due…

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My Second Letter to Governor Cuomo to Veto A5036-B / S4845-B

This is my response to the efforts of Tim Monti-Wohlpart and company, Friends of “CLEAN” adoption reform, dated Jul 9, 2017.

I am pleased with the petition update and the sound arguments presented in this petition (which you can read here).

I stand by my fellow adoptees in promoting the veto of New York State’s Mother-May-I bills and the advance of the “clean” bills.

However, as my following letter to Governor Cuomo indicates, I do not think that the alternative Adoptee Rights Bills S5169-A / A6821-A are completely “clean” bills.

 

 

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo,

While I applaud, support and defend this effort by “Friends of “CLEAN” adoption reform”, I disagree with it in part. Here is why:

Tim Monti-Wohlpart of Brooklyn, New York and “Friends of “Clean” adoption reform” promote the alternative bills S5169-A / A6821-A as “Clean” reform that “will allow all adult adoptees to gain unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.”

While it is true that the bills that have passed the Senate and Assembly and await your signature (A5036-B / S4845-B) will indeed, if passed into law, further erode adoptees’ civil rights by giving rights to parents who either willingly signed surrender papers that removed their parental rights or their rights were terminated, it is NOT true that moving forward the alternate bills S5169-A / A6821-A will be “clean reform” that “will allow all adult adoptees to gain unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.”

I must be very clear. Unrestrictive access-bills, while significantly better than restrictive access bills and laws, really do not restore any civil rights to adoptees at all. The only right that will be granted is the right to obtain an uncertified copy of the sealed birth certificate. That released document will be issued with some sort of stamped declaration on the front, such as “For Genealogical Purposes Only”, or “VOID Not For Official Use”, or “Pre-Adoption Birth Certificate”, or some other statement which will prevent the adopted person from ever using the document as identification. All amended birth certificates issued to adoptees upon adoption will still remain as the operable birth certificate. That means that the identity theft perpetrated upon adoptees at the signing of the finalization of adoption will still be in effect.

In order for all identity civil rights to be 100% restored to all New York State adopted people, the 1935 law that binds us now must be repealed and replaced with reality-based documentation of birth for all New York State citizens. Non-adopted and adopted alike must have equal rights protecting the civil right to own and use as identification their own medical record of live birth.

No access bill will accomplish this.

If the 1935 law would be repealed and replaced by reality-based documentation of live birth, then, prospectively, no adopter (straight or gay or lesbian) would have the right to overwrite the medical record of live birth with an amended birth certificate that swaps out the name of the child at birth, swaps out the names of the parents of conception and birth, and replaces these names with the new name of the child and the names of the strangers who adopt the child.

The system of recording “births” for adoptees is based upon lies. This must end with the solid conviction that every single human being has the inalienable – absolute – right to the truth of their own birth and to be who they were named at birth.

Reality-based documentation of birth would also mean that, retroactively, all New York State adopted citizens would have the right to obtain a certified copy of their now-sealed medical record of live birth, annul their current birth certificate that was created upon their adoption, change their name back to their name of birth, or, choose to receive an uncertified copy of their medical record of live birth (birth certificate) with words stamped across it indicating that the document is not to be used as identification, and that the amended birth certificate issued upon adoption would remain as the adopted person’s legal identity.

Because adoption changes verifiable reality on paper, we must face facts. Non-adopted people are issued a medical record of live birth which is the record of the facts of their birth. Adoptees are issued this document, too. It is only upon adoption that the medical record of live birth is revoked, and sealed, and a new, amended, birth certificate issued with the new adoption facts replacing the realities of birth. The only statements of truth that remain on the falsified birth certificate are the Registered Number assigned to the child at birth, the birth date (maybe, adopters in some states are allowed to change the birth date), perhaps the hospital in which the birth took place, and the town or city of birth (in some states the adopters are allowed to change this as well).

If mere access is all you want, then, by all means, promote only the “clean” bills S5169-A / A6821-A that “will allow all adult adoptees to gain unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.”

What does “Unrestricted access” mean? It means that the adopted person has the right to obtain an uncertified copy of their now-revoked and now-sealed medical record of live birth without begging permission from the very parents who signed away their parental rights, or to be subjected to the decisions of a judge.

Unrestricted access does not make adoptees completely equal to non-adopted American citizens.

In order for all adoptees to be completely equal to non-adopted people, our birth certificates must be restored to their original intent: to be the official record of our births. We must be free to obtain and use this document without interference from adopters, parents who relinquished their rights, and state governments that would remove our rights to the truth of our births.

These have been my views since March of 1974 when I first laid eyes on my two different birth certificates. I KNEW at age 18 that this theft of my identity was morally, ethically, and legally wrong. I will fight till my dying breath for the return of my birth rights and that of all adoptees in New York State, in America, and the world – because adoptees’ true identities have been legally erased.

Governor Cuomo, yes, please veto and reject A5036-B / S4845-B. Please support and advance S5169-A / A6821-A, the New York Bill of Adoptee Rights. Please continue to advance the partially clean alternative bills as they promote the civil right of adoptees to act on our own behalf as competent adults. But please know and understand the gravity of the present system of identity theft that is built into New York State adoption since 1935. True equality cannot happen without proper examination of the history behind the present system, the consequences of the present system, and the proper action from our lawmakers.

Governor Cuomo, I was born January 7, 1956 and adopted as Joan Mary Wheeler January 14, 1957. I legally reclaimed my name of birth June 13, 2016, but my medical record of live birth is still locked up by New York State.

I lost my mother at my age of three months due to her early death. I lost my entire family due to adoption. I lost my identity due to adoption. Haven’t I lost enough?

Governor Cuomo, I hope you realize what all adoptees lost because of adoption. Please establish a committee to begin to dismantle the 1935 law that forever strips all New York adoptees of our birthrights.

Please restore adoptees’ civil rights to be who we were born to be.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Most sincerely,

Doris Michol Sippel

New York adoptee born, adopted, reunited, and currently living in Buffalo, New York

 

You’re adopted! The Ultimate April Fools

Even though this was written for April Fools Day 2015, this is still an excellent blog from Elle Cuardaigh.

Back in 1974, when I answered a phone call from a woman I did not know, I was a high school senior. I was 18 years old. This woman said she was my sister.

I knew I was adopted, but I was never allowed to speak of my feelings or my questions. I buried it all deep inside. So when this woman said she was my sister, I knew immediately that she really was my sister.

And at the same time, I knew that all I had lived for those 18 years of my life, was not real. I felt like a fool. How many people knew? Why was I the last to know? I wasn’t the person I thought I was.

Imagine being a high school student with final exams and the prom and picking out a college and making life-altering decisions, well, I went through the motions of all of that, but I was in deep, psychological trauma.

My parents KNEW and chose not to tell me! How could I trust them again? And then there were the rest of my relatives who all knew…

So, for me, I am not the total unsuspecting person who finds out late in life that she or he is adopted. I knew that I was adopted. I knew there were unknowns about me that were somehow going to be revealed. But that did not soften the blow as to how I felt that day in 1974, and for years later, and even now.

The shock of finding out the truth, and not from the adoptive parents who ought to have had the guts and maturity to tell me themselves, is something that I never recovered from, Betrayal, lies, fear, mistrust, radical acceptance… yes, this is being A Late Discovery Adoptee.

elle cuardaigh

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Imagine everything you thought you knew to be true was a lie. Imagine the parents you loved (or hated, or both) had deceived you your entire life, either with outright untruths, or lies of omission. And not about some small thing that can be compartmentalized, but something that permeates everything: Your origin.

This is what some adoptees must deal with. They find out when they’re a teen, or going into the service, or parents themselves, or at the funeral of their mother or father, that their identities have been based upon a lie. And let me stop you right there if you are objecting to your computer screen. Systematic lying, even with silence, is still lying. No matter how “noble” the reasons for doing it, it is still wrong. It is a betrayal that many can never recover from.

The lengths people will go to to “protect” the adoptee from…

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Pro-Adoption Terminology

So good to read what all wannna-be-adopters and adopters should comprehend. But they never will.

One that you forgot, Elle Cuardaigh, is “Gotcha.” As in “Gotcha Day.”

Many years before that term became popular by adopters, my adoptive mother used to say,”Well, that happened years before we got you.” She was referring to family events that were important for me to learn because I became part of the larger family and I should know the family history. Which I did learn because I was the innocent child growing up the only child of parents who were old enough to be my grandparents when they adopted me. It was their history being imparted to me. It was their memories, their culture, their happiness, their wants and dreams. And there I was, soaking it all in. I had no choice. It felt real enough to me because I did not know my own history. I was the captive audience.

Even as a very young child, I recoiled when I heard my adoptive mother say those words, “when we got you…”. I knew I was adopted, but did not know the details of the mother and father and anyone else I lost, but I felt that loss. It was like a punch in the gut to hear those words. My life, my history, began when they got me.

Yeah, so this newer, modern version that has morphed into “Gotcha Day” is a slur upon the only way adopters know how to tell their version of events that took place that led up to the main event of how each and every one of us came to be adopted.

Oddly, my adoptive mother was not aware that this term developed in the early 1980s and is now full blown, nor was she aware that the special day could have been celebrated as it is today. In that regard, I’m happy that the day I arrived in their care, or the day I was legally adopted, has never been set aside as a special celebration. My birthdays were hard enough as I always wondered who birthed me.

elle cuardaigh

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If you find yourself somehow involved in adoption, you will need to learn a new language: Pro-Adoption Language. These same words in the rest of society have completely different meanings. It is very important to know the correct terms, or people get their feelings hurt and the Culture of Adoption suffers.

Adoption: The act of legally severing ties to biological parents and replacing them with strangers who become the Real Parents.

Abortion: 1) Terminating what would have been the perfect child that the Adoptive Parent always wanted. 2) The thing all Adopted Children have been saved from.

*Adopted Child: Baby who was placed in the Wrong Tummy and was saved from Abortion by the Real Parents.

Adoptee: Newer, discouraged term for an Adopted Child.

Adopted Adult: ….what?

Birthmother or Birth Mother: A lesser mother, inferior to an Adoptive or Real Mother.

Birth Father: The man who gave birth to the…

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