A Question

Lately I have been thinking about a subject I would like some feedback on. It has to do with the whole statistical percentage of birthmothers who deny contact vs those who choose reunion. I know that the 90% figure E threw out there is just BS with no scientific evidence to back it up, but as Cookie said I don’t necessarily think the numbers are as good in favor of reunion as people would have us believe.

When I first started searching I heard case after case of positive response to reunion. I think this is why I was so completely caught off guard when E denied contact. I love to hear stories of positive reunions but there is a part of me, if I am to be completely honest, that hurts when I see a mom embrace the opportunity to reunite and accept it like the gift that it is. What sets these moms apart? How do we reach the moms who would choose to deny contact, to help them understand this process?

Lately, like over the last year or so I have seen a frightening increase in the number of moms who deny contact. The pendulum (sp?) seems to be swinging in a different direction these days. So my question is what do you think this turning of the tides has to do with? Is it bad press? Not enough press? Need for education? Was I looking at life through rose colored glasses? I really don’t think so, I mean I have so many moms praying for reunion in my personal circle of experience it seems unlikely. Although I suppose I wouldn’t gravitate toward a mom with any other perspective. ;o)

So what do you think? Are the tides turning? Are the statistics I have seen just wishful thinking on our part? Or is this just a brief downhill ride on the rollercoaster? What can we do to educate the public? How can we convince those in control of our records that change needs to be made when we can’t even get our own mothers to understand? I know open records and reunion need to remain seperate issues but for those opposed to open records they are one and the same so I think it needs to be addressed.

Any thoughts on this?



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9 responses to “A Question

  1. There is an article on this, I will find it and e-mail it to you. It tries to give answers as to why a mother would deny contact.
    I don’t think there have been studies or questionaires to see what percentage of mothers refuse or don’t refuse contact.

  2. Mia

    There seems to be a great deal of information on studies of this kind here.


    Shea says; “While the number of birthmothers who reject contact is something that is difficult to pin down, most agree that it is less than 1/4, and the number of birthmothers who favor open records is consistently in the majority (See Arthur Sorosky, Annette Baran, and Reuben Pannor in “The Adoption Triangle:The Effects of the Sealed Record on Adoptees Birth Parents, and Adoptive Parents” New York; Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1978, as well as “The Changing Face of Adoption”, a report research project from Children’s Home Society of California, and contact Children’s Home Society of Washington State for their newest survey). In addition, in New Zealand, which just over 10 years ago instituted a ‘reverse registry’ which opened records except in the case of a birthparent or adoptee filing a veto, only a small percetage of birthparents and an even smaller percentage of adoptees did so, and even fewer were expected to renew the veto. Nonetheless birthfathers are far less likely to be welcoming, and the actual reaction from a birthmother who may support contact in theory, is seldom predictable.”

    It doesn’t make any sort of scientific study seem possible if in THEORY a birthmother is for it but when push comes to shove she chooses no contact. I guess we have to use the history of open record states as our basis for truth.

  3. Mia

    Actually I think truth is the wrong word. Using open records states as a basis for statistical evidence is more like it. Truth is too definate and I don’t think there can ever be any sort of definative answers here.

  4. Boy, I’ve wondered lately the same thoughts.

    I do think there has been more persuasive counseling (especially in Christian circles in the last 20+ years) of absolutely convincing nmothers of their child being *destined*, *meant to be*, in adoption. That is a tough nut to crack, who is going to argue with “god’s will”?

    It grieves my heart whenever I read of nmom’s refusing contact. Somehow, I believe most of them have been in denial for so long they really don’t feel any connection to their child. In fact I believe many of them never claimed their child as their own even while pregnant but instead had already made the transition to, BIRTHmother before they ever gave birth.

    It’s all so sad and frustrating….


  5. I think a huge baring on wether or not a mom denys contact has to do with what she was told at the time, and how she has come to view the whole adoption…I have the article, I think Kim is speaking of, here:

    It says it better than I can.

  6. inmyheart

    I am on the exact opposite side of the spectrum. I gave my son up for adoption. I would love a reunion. I have only contacted him via email, his response: “If you contact me again, I will NOT hesitate to place legal action against you, and it will be in terms even you can understand”. Don’t know what the stats are on that kind of response, but to sum it up: IT PLAIN SUCKS !!!

  7. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought of denying contact. I never denied my child and in fact went out of my way to plan a life that would include her. I picked partners, friends, jobs that would allow me to keep the memory of her in my life until the time she was there forever.

    I would guess that some deny contact because they have kept their child a secret from the entire world, the pain of acknowledging their child – even to themslves – is just to great. It is easier to live in lala land than acknowledge it.

    I find it cruel, heartless and I dont understand it.

  8. Mia,

    This is one issue that drives me, as a reunited birth mom who totally embraced reunion bonkers. I have heard of two many adoptees being rejected. When I was in early reunion, those around me said and what I read said rejecting birth moms were nearly non-existent.

    So, why am I seeing so many now? I think educating birth moms is a part of it. After years of being told to disconnect from our babies, being told that we were not their mothers, many of us began to believe it. So at reunion, we felt we did not deserve to be their mothers, weren’t really their mothers, etc.

    I may do a blog on this myself. It is a subject that I have thought alot about.

  9. Yes that is a question that I have. As you know, my birthmother denied contact in January. All I know about her is the transcripts that I received from the phone calls and what is in my adoption file. Neither is a pretty site. She was an immature person then and is now. Whatever happened I hope to find out but I no longer hold an hope of finding out. I will continue to fight for open records and adoption reform all the same. I am now at a point where I am going to finish up my search and then call it quits. I for now have to just accept her choices are more important than mine, my brothers, and my extended families.–>

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