What it was like for an adoptee who searched while following the rules…

Longing to know – having a right to know!

The adopted ones blog

By TAO

I read a couple of the posts on the blog I linked to yesterday, posts that tell about searching following the rules laid out by the state, and then by the adoption agency.  Two posts that detail the timeline, run-around, pay-a-lot of money with zero guarantees because you have no rights as an adoptee, the endless wait, being put off, the emotions evoked knowing strangers have access to your information that you don’t have the right to see.  The toll on you from all the emotions felt in a search over so many years.  To be asked by many who know who they were born to be, why is this so important, and told, to just move on.  Unless you have done it, you can’t even begin to understand how wrong it is that adoptees in sealed states must do this, JUST to answer the age-old question of “Who AM I?”…

Go read these posts to get…

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4 thoughts on “What it was like for an adoptee who searched while following the rules…

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have helped people with searches and quite a few recently for no charge because it just didn’t seem right to do, but I understand that most agencies don’t have the resources to do this for free. Yet it is the attitude which is unacceptable..just as you describe it. Still, I have been upset and even shocked when several birth mothers refused any contact with their adult children. I understand they have their reasons and am compassionate about them, but it surprises me. We also recently found my husband’s birth sister, two years older, but so far, she doesn’t seem to want to have any contact.

    • It is not uncommon despite what we are told. The myth states that all our mothers loved and wanted us, but I know so very many adoptees who have experienced the double whammy. We can show all the compassion we can but it changes little when a mother wishes to protect herself, her past and her story.

  2. I hear you. I also know a number of people who found their birth families and sorely wished they hadn’t. The problems that existed at the time of the adoption still existed and there was serious dysfunction and attempts to draw the family member who had been adopted into it. It all boils down to the fact that some people still have a need (and right) to know as much as possible about their roots as they can, and others don’t. In the end, regardless of the outcomes, we all have to accept ourselves, learn to love ourselves and live as well and as positively as we can in the here and now. I have worked with many birthmothers in the past, though, and I can’t say I ever met one who didn’t care about the child, or who made the decision easily or lightly. However,many women who are older grew up with a whole different mindset and lived their lives with societally imposed shame and secrecy. As much as someone who wants to search and meet his or her birth family needs to do this, it is impossible to change another person who is so set and entrenched in such attitudes. Just in the past couple of months I have encountered three situations where the birth mothers had told their other kids that the baby from an unplanned pregnancy had died. When asked for contact with the adult they had once placed for adoption, they were adamant that they wanted to be left alone. They were highly concerned about being seen as liars and not trustworthy by their other kids, and somehow could not understand how this affected their child who was adopted. It made me very sad. Yet, my mother-in-law took her own secret to her grave too. I can’t imagine what it might be like to live with such secrets.

    • Adoptees live with secrets all their lives, no matter how ‘open’ their adoption. In my experience with hundreds and hundreds of adoptees within the world-wide adoptee community those who lie to adoptees usually go on doing so because they have a greater need to protect themselves than they do to provide honesty and truth. It is tragic, but often the adoptee, once they have come to terms with it, will find they are much better off without the biological parents and often without the adopters who have been lied to or been complicit in the untruths. Finding our biological families may be difficult, challenging and have a different outcome from the one we hope, for but it should never be a source of regret. Our learning about adoption and the adoption journey is life-long, it is never finished and no-one ever becomes ‘an expert’ or has a right to claim they are.

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