What aspects of adoption should be common knowledge but aren’t widely known? This question is for everyone.



Filed under Adoption Politics

37 responses to “Question

  1. It shouldn’t take a family breakup to create a family makeup.

  2. From Amy-

    That all adoptees are curious. They may not search. I think all adoptees want that original birth certificate. Even the ones who don’t want to search.

    That a majority of our mothers were not whores, sluts, crackheads and such. Many were just women with no options. A majority also want contact from us. They want to know about us.

    That adoption today and yesterday is about money. That adoptive parents and first parents aren’t the bad guys. They shouldn’t be at each others throats. It is the adoption agencies that are the true villians.

    From Kelly-
    AD ISO Birth Family 8/27/1966 Anne Arundel, Maryland CC

    1.) Not only do the adoptive parents pay to get the child, but when the child grows up and would like to begin a search they have to pay the same agency to start it. The Birth family would also be charged a locating fee.

    2.) Adoptee’s feel invisible when it comes to medical background. We are not given any viable information, and no way to find it out.

    3.) A large majority of the adoption triad are in therapy Feelings of loss, frustration, unloved, unwanted, punished ect…

    4.) I can’t speak for all adoptee’s, but from my own experience. I had a very abusive adopted Mother that continually reminded me that my own Birth Mother did not even want me. I suffered a lot of emotional pain from her.

    From Carolyn-

    People who are not familiar with adoption issues have no idea that we are issued false legal documents (birth certificates) that say that our aparents gave birth to us. Even some birthmothers don’t know this!
    Also I get the question a lot “Don’t your aparents know anything about your birthmother?” In my case, if they knew the information I would also know the information (my aparents are cool about that stuff).

  3. That I wish people would think twice before throwing the “What if’s” at me when I talk about searching (what if she doesn’t want to meet you, what if this hurts your adoptive mother’s feelings). Give me the positives, because I’ve already been through all the negatives in my mind.

    Also, ASK me how I feel, don’t tell me how I should feel.

    That some of us (me! me!) don’t know our nationalities.

    That even though we’re entitled to at least our non-id by state laws, some county judges still refuse or make us retain lawers to get it.

    That loving one mom doesn’t mean we don’t love the other. That it’s perfectly natural and normal to love two moms.

  4. m

    Well, I can speak for myself on this. Before I knew I would adopt, I essentially believed what society tells us about adoptees and first families.

    One thing I never comprehended was the depth of the pain experienced by other members of the triad. The losses are more significant than I had imagined.

    I didn’t know that in many states the revocation period for mother’s is very very short. So short, that a rash, irrevocable decision can easily be made and deeply regretted.

    I didn’t know that adoptees couldn’t even expect to get non-identifying info about their family of origin…like ethnic background, medical history.

    I had zero comprehension of the fact that many adoptions are downright forced and many agencies resort to unethical practices in order to obtain babies for clients.

    I had no comprehension of just how unregulated adoption agencies are.

    I didn’t fully realize that adopting a child of a different race would have so many challenges.

    I’ll probably think of more after I post this….but this is what I can think of now.

  5. One mother’s gain is another mother’s loss…or something along those lines.

    I always here how great adoption is but I think it’s because people don’t consider the loss. I need to think about this awhile.

    Hugs, Rebecca

  6. private adoption agencies profit off of adoption, children are used as commodoties ( sp? )

    many people don’t know that I have a fake certificate as my legal one.

    adoptees are not in the witness protection program

    that I need my aparents signature to get my non id, no matter my age. i’m not a child.

    many mothers don’t make an informed decision

    poverty shouldn’t be a binding factor in surrendering your child to adoption, money doesn’t make someone a better parent than the next.

  7. i just read “the secret” i’d like to change my above post….

    Love ALL of me.

    Theres enough love for all of my parents.

    I wanted to share this too…let me know what you think….

    When i found my mom and we had our first face to face her local news station covered it. When i saw her, she stepped out, opened her arms and we hugged for a REALLY long time as the camera circles us, coming full circle. Its a powerful moment on film. If you’d like to use it in the video you can. We look just alike, theres no question who we are, we’re both crying and holding on for all of the years we were apart. Its beautiful. BUT it may not be the message you’re wanting to convey, but i had to offer it just incase.

  8. Jamie

    – that birth mothers do not have to name the father

    – that Adoption agencies exist to find babies for people who want to be parents, not to find parents for babies who need homes.

  9. Amy

    That while raising your adopted child you will influence them to a certain degree but, much of their personality, likes and dislikes are genetic.

  10. Everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness according to our constitution. Life includes identity and wholeness; liberty includes liberty to know who you came from and where you went.

  11. Kevin229

    hello all….these are incredible to say the least…I have so many also but my life has been filled with expressing them in other ways (hence the creative ideas). Thank you for posting…this gives us so much feedback but also I/we need to think about the right way. I tend to need to let creative ideas simmer for a bit and my mind sifts through to find the right answer.

    I feel so honored that so many would respond to this idea with such passion and interest. Mia and I have yet to meet face to face but I feel as if we’ve known eachother for quite some time. As I’m sure many of you understand, we have our ups and downs. Since learning this new approach to “thinking” I’ve remained very positive….but there’s always the crash time. It’s very difficult to balance life right now as there is so may creative ideas bouncing around, thoughts to do this and that, as well as things outside of adoption and this video….I’m a musician at heart and am working to get back to “the stage” as that is where my “everything in the world is just fine” place is…and I miss it so.

    Anyhow, thanks again for all this…please keep them coming. I/we DO read them all and they are VERY important. I want to include as many people as possible and then even more. I have visions of a larger project developing out of this. And the interesting thing is I merely tossed an idea out in a blog comment…but look where it’s going. Mia is superb-ulous! This is exciting, fun and I look forward to when it’s completed.

    It WILL be HUGE!

    Between Myself – we would be honored to include your video…thank you! Your “adoptees are not in the witness protection program” was incredibly profound!

    Theresa – i will be sending you an email shortly.

    Leroy – don’t be afraid to speak your mind….we appreciate it!

    Nina – thank you…at least for me, you helped clarify some thoughts.

    ….Mia had an idea to hold a “meet-up” or live video shoot in the city of Independence…..Philadelphia. I think it’s a fantastic idea…all we need is a video crew…we may create such a gathering that the local media and who knows who else would be forced to take notice. Of course, it would be peaceful and positive…but they’ll think otherwise. IMO, perfect plot for the story.

    I have a song that I’m really leaning towards. I try not to worry but I can’t help but realize that the song isn’t going to please everyone…but we’re wanting to do just that. I wrote a post about this song on my blog…rather than take up more space here check out

    Now all I need to do is demo it and line up the recording session. This may or may not be “the” song but it’s one of those things where I just “felt” something was right about it and I’m learning to just go with what I feel.

    I’m ramblin…or babblin…should get some sleep….thanks to you all once again. I must admit reading the comments many of you have left here or sent has been uncomfortable…though it has made me feel great and that’s greatly appreciated.

    We will change this once and for all. Believe. I am dreaming big…I hope you do too because it WILL happen if you believe.


  12. Kevin229

    Excellent post there LeRoy…I would like to add that “the pursuit of happiness” is totally up to ourselves. Perspective is everything. I would hope we all agree that “fighting” has not worked. I’ve been down the anger, etc road….I’m tired and beaten from being on it. I believe this is the other road….and it leads to riches.

  13. Natural moms don’t “move on,” they “live with.”


    If the large chunk of this is going to be in Philly, I’m there. I only live two hours away, and I’ll take off work or whatever to help.

  14. I’m on the west coast, i can video here with my digital camcorder and if anyone else is nearby I can take some video of them too!! Southern California anyone?

  15. I also just wanted to say….HI ITS ME Gershom aka Between Myself. ( wink )

  16. Kevin…thanks for the feedback and all your help in putting this together! I look forward to the video..and thanks for putting the ending thought on the constitutional comment. You are absolutely right about the pursuit of happiness being up to each individual. If I am not mistaken, the constitution refers to these rights as our God-given, “inalienable” rights. From what I understand many adoptees feel like aliens within the families they grew up in….so being allowed to find one’s own family could be an inalienable right .

  17. Many seem to think that adoptees should just shut up, quit our bitching and whining, and be grateful that we were adopted (because our birthmothers didn’t want us obviously).

    I want people to know that there is REAL loss and REAL pain involved.

  18. so i have this idea of wearing layers of clothing that says something on a shirt like “secrecy” and I can take it off and under that shirt it can say “love ALL of me” or “dont be afriad of ME” either on my belly or another shirt. To show a visual on “shedding the layers” or something….. just a thought.

    what do you think?

  19. Mia

    All of these ideas are exactly what we are looking for.

    Hey Gershom! Good to see you here. I love the shedding of layers idea.

    I am knee deep in tasks today but wanted to let everyone know we are listening. We are in the process of working out another forum in which to communicate about the project that will be easier to interact than a blog. We will let you know as soon as it is up and running.

    Keep em’ coming! The ideas are ALL being noted.

  20. People whose mothers died in childbirth (or soon after) get sympathy, get their loss acknowledged – but adopted people don’t. People think that, as infants, we won’t notice the swap. But we do, and we are truly grieving.

    Also, everyone should know this: When infants are separated from their mothers, their brains do not get wired they way they should. Yes, there is all kinds of scientific data to support this fact. Because of this, adoption should be absolutely the LAST resort. Unfortunately, it’s usually the first.

  21. Anonymous

    We adoptees should be allowed to trace our roots just like non-adoptees do. Why is it that adopted family ignore our needs to know our roots? How can they expect us to pretend our roots is theirs when it isn’t. Why does our identity have to completely change when we are adopted? It is ridiculous. It just doesn’t make sense.

  22. Mia

    Absolutely Julie. Acknowledge loss is a big one.
    Of course identity is as well anon.

    I know this is all seriously redundant for everyone but by simplifying the question and the response, we are making a check list of facts that need to be presented. The goal is making it common knowledge. We tend to air this stuff to others in the triad. Those who get it say “amen sister/brother!” and those who don’t want to get it fight with us. Moving our message beyond the triad to objective and rational members of society may be more productive for us. When society as a whole views adoption differently it will be much more difficult for people to hide behind their As If mentality. Just one of the many benefits we are hoping to accomplish.

  23. Kevin229

    “Amen sister!”


  24. libby

    That adoption is about loss.

    That the decisions one makes while in a crisis pregnancy may not hold up after the pregnancy is over and the baby is actually a little person in the world, that you can see and touch and love.

    That first mothers don’t actually “move on” with their lives, carefree now that the child is gone.

  25. Mia

    Thanks (((Libby)))

  26. To expand on what Theresa and Gershom said. . . That often we carry the burden of having to reconcile, justify and negotiate our love, affection and loyalty we have for both sets of parents in order to assuage the discomfort of others. (Not of course that we have to or should for the benefit of others, but the messages from society and even those affected by adoption impart boundaries on what is deemed an “acceptable” amount of expressed emotion, especially for our first parents.)

  27. DS-L

    From an a-mom — that it does take time no matter how old the child (infant) is when you adopt him or her to bond. It is different from giving birth. Not better or worse, but different, and the bonding and relationship must be respected on it’s own terms.

    That even very small children (my daughter is 2 1/2) ask about, wonder about, want to talk about their first moms and you HAVE to respect that and them on their terms, and meet their needs and be honest, truthful and open always.

    That your a-child will have two moms, two dads, two sets of families — you shouldn’t just accept it, you should integrate it fully into your mindset before you bring your child home.

  28. Seems to me you need to take it from one party’s perspective (whether it be the adoptee, the mother or the aparents) before you can formulate a message to convey cuz it could be a very different message depending on that unless of course you focus on a common theme to all – which appears to be “loss”. I agree with Libby fully.

    The public believes everyone gains through adoption. Who gains? Adoption agencies? Attorneys? Infertile couples?

    So in a four minute video, it will need to compare and contrast the loss experienced by the adoptee and the mother because those are the viewpoints of the most vulnerable in this process and the least known or acknowledged by the public – at least that is what it seems to me.

  29. 1. That adoptees have life-long issues with trust and many of us cannot function in marriages and relationships, because we are afraid of being abandoned and cannot come to trust our partners.

    3. Adoptive parents may divorce, end up single, bankrupt, poor, and have substance abuse problems, and be abusive No home study will ever predict this. Money does not equate to stability. This basically nullifies the arguments used to coerce a woman to relinquish.

  30. Adoptive parents NEED to know that their adoptee is an ADOPTED child! It is not their child, they cannot MAKE that child their child. They cannot force that child to be like them just because they want them to be like them.

    Medical records should be available to the adoptee. If there is something that the mother has a problem with the child knowing, that should be omitted. But family medical history should be known to the child.

    Basic information on the bio mother should be available to the child as well. Such as hair color, eye color, height, some likes and dislikes. Anything the bio mom might want the child to know.

    A parents, and people in the family of the adopted child need to understand that adopted children are different from ‘real’ children. They are going to have separate issues, they are going to have issues with trust. They may possibly have issues with identity and people in their lives should allow them to be the person they are.

    That the adoptee is GOING to be curious about their bfamily. And they should be allowed to be curious, and upon reunion, can love BOTH of their mothers.

  31. I second this:
    “That your a-child will have two moms, two dads, two sets of families โ€” you shouldnโ€™t just accept it, you should integrate it fully into your mindset before you bring your child home.”

    And would add a sort of “Love me, love my mother” kind of thing — that is, in order to love children who come to us by adoption, we must love their parents. That might mean anything from embracing openness to turning down a “match” when a mother can/should parent to feeling the absent presence of her other parents.

    I would also add that paparents should be counseled to think of their child not as a child but as a someday grown-up to whom they will be accountable. Can’t say it clearly but we need to get past this thought pattern that separates “babies” from real people.

    I’ll add more on my blog, because I think I’m rambling and these are probably the only ones useful to your project . . .

  32. That adoption does NOT take away the pain of infertility and if you are infertile you are NOT entitled to a child.

  33. Polly

    I agree with most of the above. I am an adoptive parent and from the beginning, I have told my two children that they are adopted, that their birth mothers loved them but couldn’t parent them for various reasons (they are too young go go into the details now but I will tell them later), their birth mother’s names and what info I know about them that is age appropriate. And I am in communication with their birth parents. When they are older and if they wish to contact them or meet them, I would welcome it and facilitate it. I think it would be healthy for everyone involved. If they do not, I will respect their wishes and not force that on them. I suspect they will be curious though. That curiosity will not undermine my relationship with them.

    However, some comments are really off the wall. According to bijousodyssey , who said that adoptees have life-long issues with trust and many cannot function in marriages and relationships because of fear of abandonment, I say hogwash. My brother, who is adopted, has been married for almost 30 years and seems to function very well. I think he would disagree. That’s a blanket statement that she’s using to create fear, and is crafted in the same spirit as the adoption brochure cited above. Many children living with abusive natural parents also have issues with trust. My friend who lived with her natural parents has been married and divorced 3 times, going on #4. How does that fit into your analysis?

    I also think that Jesse seems very hostile when she states that “adoptive parents NEED to know that their adoptee is an ADOPTED child! It is not their child, they cannot MAKE that child their child. They cannot force that child to be like them just because they want them to be like them.” Wow. My adopted children are indeed my children. It is as if she wants me to stop trying to parent them. I don’t force my children to do anything. I do, however, try to influence them in ways that I think will help them survive and thrive in life. They don’t cross the street without holding my hand. They eat like me, sardines, artichoke hearts, and fennel root, among other weird things that I am sure their birth mothers did not eat. They like opera music and nature programs on TV because of me. They speak two languages because of me. It is a natural result of parenting that children learn to appreciate that to which they are exposed. To make it into some nefarious plot to undermine birth mothers is just plain weird. I am sure many things are inherent, and that’s part of the delight of seeing your child develop and grow into an independent person, separate from you.

    Thank you, Mia, for this dialogue. It’s very helpful to see that so many people care about opening up the adoption industry. Most adoptions are much more open these days, and I am hopeful that the trend will continue.

  34. Mia

    Sure Polly, there are exceptions to every rule. The thing is MANY adoptees DO have trust issues. To ignore that fact is not at all healthy. From an overall social perspective it has to be examined truthfully regardless of our own personal experiences.

    As for Jessies comment I can say in MY experience MANY adoptees are forced to pretend they are their adoptive parents natural chidren in every possible way. They are forced into unnatural roles they cannot possibly fill. The things you instill in your children create emotional/environmental learning and growth and I don’t think you would find many of us questioning that. It is adoptive parents who pretend our genetic make up does not ALSO play an important role in who we are, that messes MANY of us up. Can you see the difference? It is honoring ALL of us, not just the parts that adoptive parents have influinced.

    The concept of Open Adoption is just the tip of the iceburg. Openness and honesty in adoption reaches FAR beyond continued contact with the natural parent.

  35. Mia,
    Thank you for compiling our thoughts! It has become apparent that issues which are well known to us are not known to the general public.

    For anyone doubting the trust and abandonment issue, it is one of the most researched and documented issues in adoption. Have I statistically tested this hypothesis myself to determine the exact correlation? No, I don’t have the funding or time to do that. Read most decent books about adoption, any of the blogs from actual adoptees who openly talk, go to an adoption support group or talk to psychologists who have studied this to see many of us feel abandoned, cannot trust anyone and have issues in relationships. Many adoptees are afraid to discuss these issues openly with others, as we already feel undermined and weird. Do non-adoptees have issues? Of course, but it is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

  36. that first mothers have been thru a traumatic experience. that we struggle with our adoption loss experience in different ways. that we’re neither saints or sinners. we’re just mothers who’ve experienced huge grief. i wish people respected that.

  37. Mia, if you need me to open up a msn site, or yahoo, i can do that for you pretty quick…. just ask ๐Ÿ™‚

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