Check this out:
A legitimate choice and voice: the experience of adult adoptees who have chosen not to search for their biological families.
Authors: Roche, Heather; Perlesz, Amaryll
Source: Adoption & Fostering Journal, Volume 24, Number 2, Summer 2000 , pp. 8-19(12)
“Although the phenomenon of searching for biological parentage by adoptees has been well documented over the last decade, limited attention has been paid to the experience of those people who decide not to search. Heather Roche and Amaryll Perlesz present the findings from an Australian pilot project in which the experiences of three mature non-searching, adult adoptees were explored in depth. The findings indicate that the decision to search or not to search reflects an ongoing developmental life process congruent with the social and familial context of the adoptee. Loyalty to their adoptive family, comfort with and commitment to birth parents, the co-existence of a strong ethic of reciprocity, and an ethic of self-discovery and belief in a spiritual connectedness with a ‘bigger Other’ emerged as the most predominant reasons for not searching for their biological roots.The narration of their adoption stories had a very positive impact on the participants in this study. The paper concludes that there is a need for further in-depth, qualitative studies of this sort to witness and honour the adoption experience regardless of ‘search’ status.”
It’s a good thing they they conclude by saying further in-depth qualitative studies are needed . You bet they are if they truly wish to “honor the adoption experience”. I have absolutely no objection to an adoptee who does not wish to search. However, I take great exception to the adoptee who assists society in their misguided perception about those of us who DO search and even greater exception to professionals who perpetuate myth as scientific fact.This study is a farce.
Social influence has weighed heavily in their findings and should not have been taken lightly if they wished to present an accurate “study”. Searching for biological roots has absolutely nothing to do with loyalty to the adoptive family unit. This is a myth, an urban legend perpetuated by an ignorant society. If an adoptee is raised to incorporate said myth (by various guilt inflicting methods) into their belief system then yes, it will influence their drive (or lack there of) to search but that does not make it a true condition.
This: “comfort with and commitment to birth parents, the co-existence of a strong ethic of reciprocity” suggests an equal agreement. If an adoptee hasn’t searched how would they know WHAT their natural parents wishes may be? It is a well documented fact that many natural parents were given no choice in the matter of contact so I think reciprocity would be an incorrect assumption in many cases. The idea of mutual commitment to no contact and reciprocity of anonymity is completely speculative.
And just when you think it can’t get any more infuriating HERE is the cherry on this incredibly worthless study: “an ethic of self-discovery and belief in a spiritual connectedness with a ‘bigger Other’ emerged as the most predominant reasons for not searching for their biological roots.”
As the infamous Church Lady says….well isn’t that speciallllll. This finding couldn’t be more off base. My ethic of self-discovery was the reason I decided to search. It was the driving force in my ability to overlook everything I had been taught about being adopted and do what I needed to do….for me. In the process of my search I found the ability to see through the guilt driven beliefs I had been taught as a child and in turn I found my true spirituality. In other words I grew infinitely closer to my “bigger Other”.
Again, I don’t have a problem with fellow adoptees who choose not to search. I may not buy their reasoning but I don’t have a problem with it. What I DO have a problem with is any adoptee who chooses not to search yet finds it necessary to make themselves sound far more stable, self assured and spiritual than those of us who do search. Oh and heaven forbid I forget the virtue of all virtues ………Golden Retriever loyal.
Contrary to popular belief it is NOT what we find at the end of our search that empowers our sense of self. It is the search itself in which we discover who we are and what we are made of. It is the strength we find when we follow our intuitive desire to know ourselves better despite the roadblocks thrown in front of us by the nay saying society in which we live.
They should do a study on that kind of power which if bottled could light up an entire continent with it’s shining and truthful beauty.