Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anonymous adopted person?

There's an anonymous person commenting on my blog. From what I read of these comments, my guess is that this is an adopted person, but I cannot be sure.

I'm not really sure how to react to this anonymous person. From the comments I am assuming that this person has had a difficult time with the situation he or she has lived in. It seems to me this person was adopted and was never comfortable with it. Of course I do not know this and I am making huge assumptions and leaps.

Now that I am ready to become an adoptive parent, I have been trying to educate myself as much as I can about adoptive parenthood. This is why we've opened ourselves to more than just sending a picture an letter once a year to our child's birthparent if that's what that birth parent wants. I have heard the stories of many adopted people and birth parents and adoptive parents and the only thing that I have learned is that the story of each member of the triad is as varied as the people in the world.

Mostly this person has been telling me that I am selfish and that I'm not ready to be an adoptive parent. These comments don't make me feel bad, which is how I am sure that I am ready to be an adoptive parent. I get the feeling that this person feels abandoned. I don't want our child to feel that way, and that is why I want to maintain communications with our child's birthparents so that when we have questions we can ask them and have answers. Also, when the child is old enough, if both sides want it, there can be communication or visits, if it is appropriate.

I am sorry that this person has had a bad adoptive experience, if that is the case. I hope that he or she can find peace in the life that they lead. I am not sure why, but of the several (teen/adult) adopted people I have spoken to, they have not expressed the level of bitterness in losing their biological family as this person seems to have. Yes, they have all had some curiosity and some feelings of loss, isolation and loneliness -- some more than others. From all of the people I talk to, ever person reacts in a different way to their lives. This would be true for biological children as well. I am hoping that the openness we maintain in our triad will alleviate these feelings and give our children some answers.

No, anonymous poster, we are not going to 'seal' any records (unless that's what the law does) and we hope to always have a way to get in touch with our child's birth parents, so we can communicate with them if the need arises.

We just hope our child will grow up knowing how much of a loving choice their birthparents made by finding them a loving home where they were wanted and cherished and cared for and loved more than anything.


I just realized that my anonymous poster could be a birth parent. If so, perhaps their triad is not as open as he or she had hoped. If that is the case, I am terribly sorry. I can't imagine the difficulty of that situation, and I just know it takes a truly loving parent to make that choice for their child to know that being raised in another home is what would be best for him or her. I know adoption didn't always work that way, but I am glad that adoption has moved forward in that respect in these more modern times. If adoption is done legally, morally and ethically, it can be a good thing for all members of the triad.


Samantha said...

I think you are ready to be an adoptive mother. There are a lot of ways in which adoption is more complicated than giving birth yourself and these are choices that can be hard for everyone involved. I think you are right in that each adoption story is different and different people will have different issues. I know that you will work with the birth family and consider the needs of the child in making any adoption plan.

I also know from reading other people's blogs that there are trolls out there who seem to have a lot of unhappiness or perhaps get their joy from trying to put other people down. I don't know if Anonymous falls into this category, but how could I know? He or she is not willing to provide any context or information about him/herself, but is quite willing to judge you on your own blog where you have been honest about your own hopes and fears (which is an admirable trait). So take any Anonymous comments like that with a grain of salt!

Nancy said...

It's hard to say who your anonymous poster is - adopted child or birth-parent. I do know there are a lot of emotions tied up in adoption - on all sides. My sister was adopted more than 40 years ago. In those days, adoptions were all closed and records were sealed. My sister never showed signs of unhappiness that she never knew her birthparents, but I do know that it was a link she always felt was lacking. When she was in her 20s, she tracked down her birthparents, and still keeps in touch with her birthmother today.

Now that I'm adopting, I am a big proponent of open adoption. Not because my sister had a bad experience in her closed adoption (she didn't), but because she has a greater understanding of herself and who she is now that she has built that connection with her birthmother.

Curious said...

Why do you naturally assume that if your anonymous poster is an adoptee, they had a 'bad adoption experience'?

Do you realize that one day, people will say the same thing to your adoptive child - that he or she had bad adoptive parents?

It's very insulting to the adoptees to automatically dismiss their voices and experiences, and chalk it all up to a bad experience.

You really need to educate yourself much, much, much more. There is only one group of people who know what adoption feels like. There's a wealth of first hand experience out there, if you take the time to read.

DrSpouse said...

My understanding is that in most countries, adopted children now have two birth certificates - a full one with birth parent names (if they are both know, both of those) and adoptive parent names, and then a short one with adoptive parent names. It's certainly children's human right to see the full form, though perhaps in some place it's not their legal right, or not till they are 18 (I'm sure there can't be anywhere left where it's not their legal right once they are 18).

I'm assuming that in the past, it was possible for adoptive parents to not allow their child to see the full certificate - I assume this is what is meant by "seal" the record. My understanding is that the reasoning behind having a short form certificate is for everyday use, so the child does not have to explain to everyone that they come across that they are adopted - they can tell the people they want to tell.

From hearing other people's adoption stories, I know that some adoptive parents do not want frequent contact, but want their child to have information about their biological parents, and this is the level of contact that some birth parents want - other sets of parents want frequent in-person contact, others don't want contact or information at all.

I'm sure you will find the family that is right for you, and I think the anonymous poster perhaps needs to take into account that when a birth parent makes a decision about who will bring up their baby (or in some cases when they become unable to care for their child), that it's the best thing for that child to find a loving family that will be able to bring them up.

Adoption is all about the child. But if you count the adopted child, the birth parents and the adoptive parents as three groups, then all three understand something of adoption.

My Reality said...

I am an adoptee and I do not harbour resentment, anger or frustration at my situation. I accept it as a part of who I am and couldn't have had a more wonderful family growing up.

I get frustrated when I hear adoptee's knocking adoption as being bad, unnatural, wrong, etc. Because for many adoptees, it is entirely opposite.

You are thinking of your child first and no child can ask for more.

Natalie said...

It's always interesting to me when someone thinks that their experience is the same as everyone else's. My best friend was adopted at birth, and she has never had ANY desire to find her birth parents. She has children now, is married. We've talked about it before. She says her parents are the people who raised her - she knows a little from medical records about the woman who gave birth to her and gave her up, but she really has no desire for any information, photos, or anything of the like. So you really just don't know what that child is going to want. I think leaving the door open, if they want to later, is a very nice option.

It is sad that Anonymous sounds so angry and bitter.

luna said...

every experience is different, every person and every adoption is different. I think educating yourself as much as possible about all aspects of the adoption triad is the best preparation. empathy for the child and his or her first parents is important.

our counselor talks a lot about how understanding the grief and loss for everyone involved is critical. she also talks about how adoptive parents need to be prepared and to feel "entitled" to parent the child they are chosen to parent. if you are confident in that role, your child should be too, which theoretically may make it easier to be open to greater openness for the child's benefit.

it could be that the commenter is responding to your statement that you were not ready to share full identifying information?

antiadoption said...

44 states in the United States will NOT, i repeat NOT give the adoptee access to their original unaltered birth certificate, ever.
That means only 6 in the United States treat adoptees as equal citizens to the non adopted.

Please read Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton. I don't have the energy to take on the rest of your post that strikes me as judgmental to adoptees and how it feels to be adopted.

Michelle said...

What's interesting is how people try to conceive a child naturally, can't, then choose the adoption route. Why do people want a bio child? An extention of themselves -to pass on their genes? A human that comes from you and your partner - will look like you? Many reasons, right? And they're all normal, and wantng a child in your home is normal too.

As an adopted person I wanted the same things: to be with the people who created me - to be with those that share my genetic appearance and personality. Like those who want a biological child, I wished for my biological parents. Adoption didn't erase my needs. Just as many adopters do not lose the desire for a biological child after they adopt.

The difference though was that I had no voice, no choice. If an adoption must take place (as in families being legally separated)then the child should have continual contact with their mother, father and family. If you cut off contact between a child and their family, the adoptee will adjust, of course, any child, (mostly) will adapt to any situation, but from a humanistic perspective, why would anybody expect a person to live without their own parents if they didn't have to? That's why adoption should never be viewed as creating a new family. Those adopted already have a family.

Reuniting with a family when the adopted person is 30, 40 etc. is not fair. And I can't imagine only having pictures of my mother, but not allowed to know her. When you say you don't not want to share full-identifying information, is that really your information to withhold? Wouldn't someone's birth information and the names of their parents belong to the person born?

On searching later in life: Can you imagine what it's like to meet your own mother and father when you're 40? Or not be able to meet them because your identity is a secret and the government won't tell you? Search for them and find a grave? Please tell me how to form a relationship with parents you haven't seen for 40 years.

Who adopts is irrelevant. I am talking about the loss of idenity and family (purposely not telling a child who their parents are) and what that can mean for many adopted people.


Why is it that if an adoptee searches or if they say adoption is not all its cracked up to be, we are bitter and had bad experiences? I can tell you that I love my adoptive parents. I can tell you that it was good. Adoption went south for me when my adoptive mother asked me to search. I went to search and I was blocked at every turn. I was intentionally lied to about MY information. My adoptive mother is angry at this situation too. She wishes that I could find as badly as I want to find. Adoption should be about the child. It is sad that it is about the adoption industry and the money that they make.

beagle said...

Adoption has changed A LOT in the last 30/40 years.

And there are as many stories as there are people. Not all good, not all bad.

It sure gets to be a heated discussion though.

Only you can know if you are ready not a passing reader.

Jane said...

I cant stand anonymous comments - Ive stopped them.
No matter what the subject matter anonymous comments are crap