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.
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.
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:
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.