Monday, November 8, 2010

What Does Adoption Mean to You?

As many of you know by now, November is National Adoption month.  This month provides us all with the opportunity to educate, publicize and celebrate adoption.  I wanted to find out from *one part of the adoption triad – the adoptive parents, what adoption means to them.  So I posed that question to multiple adoptive parents I know,  “What does adoption mean to you?”   This is what I learned….


WHAT DOES ADOPTION MEAN TO YOU?

“Adoption was the culmination of a years-long journey. It was both the most difficult thing I ever did, and the most fulfilling. If I could, I would do it all over again!”

Ken
Adopted father of one



“LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always wanted to be a mother so adopting was my way to become one. “

Mayra
Adopted mother of four




“As a childless couple with unfulfilled dreams, adoption was our dreamcatcher.

 Adoption provides choices, chances, and a large dose of hope. 

Sister Sledge’s, “We Are Family,” may not totally fit the word “adoption.” 
But it reminds me that no matter how diverse the backgrounds,
those who are family to each other create songs of life!

Adoption is how our family started.  Love and investment is how it was forged.

Adoption, to me, is weaving a tapestry that is finally 3-dimensional.   

Adoption has allowed us to celebrate the wonder of family!”

 Nancy
Adopted mother of one



“Adoption means family to me.   The quote from the Talmud that resonates for me about becoming a family is:
A family is a haven of rest, a sanctuary of peace and most of all a haven of love.     When our children joined us, our family felt complete.”

Christine
Adopted mother of two


“ Adoption for my wife and me means paying college tuitions 10 years after we thought we would be finished..........GLADLY!! “

Clarence
Adopted father of two


"Adoption means so many things to me. First of all it means having the opportunity to grow our family and to have the chance to bring another human being into our lives. It also means having the chance to make a difference in someone else's life."

Melissa
Adopted mother of one


“My daughters are the only two human beings who could have been my children.  We were meant for each other.  It is an absolute miracle that a countless number of seemingly random events, across two continents, came together to place us in each others lives; because it couldn't have been otherwise.  This I know with absolute certainty.”


Kathy
Adopted mother of two


Whether you are a waiting parent or not, an adoptive parent, an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or sibling to an adopted child, I ask, what does adoption mean to you?

*edited to reflect that there are multiple important roles in adoption 

33 comments:

Mirah Riben said...

Adoption to me means loss because every adoption begins with a tragedy - a family that failed to receive the support and resources they needed to remain intact.

Adoption to me means coercion, exploitation and the commodification of children to meet a demand.

These are my thoughts. I wait with baited breath to see if you print them.

You did not ask for comments from birthparents...do our thoughts about adoption not matter? Are we STILL to be kept the "invisible" and silent members of the adoption constellation?


Mirah Riben

Alexandra B said...

Mirah-
You voice a part of adoption that is often forgotten or silenced. You are correct, in some cases the birthfamily did not get the help it needed to stay intact. In other cases this is the best solution in the mind of the birth families.

Whether their birth family parental rights are done for the right reasons, or under duress as you state, every child who is adopted will deal with issues of loss. As will the birth family. How can we help? And how can we ensure that biological families get the support they need, that intervention is there for families who need help and that adoption is still available for those women who choose it as the best option for their lives?

Amanda said...

I'm sorry, I'm just a bit taken aback by Adoptive Parents being labeled "the most important" in the adoption conversation.

Everyone involved in adoption has something to bring to the table.

Certainly the most important individual in adoption is the CHILD who is being adopted.

I'd think, therefore, you'd also value the opinions of the Adult Adoptees who were once those children, how adoption impacted them, and therefore how we could go forward and make it better for future children.

I'd think you'd want to hear about the opinions of surrendering families and their experiences and if adoption has served them well or not.

If my Adoptive Mother had read that instead of me, believe me, she'd be here posting the same thing.

National Adoption Awareness Month is a month established and dedicated to promoting the needs of the well over 100,000 legally adoptable children waiting in the U.S. Foster Care system. The sensitive stories and losses of these children that lead them in their lives toward the need to be adopted is NOT a celebration.

What does adoption mean to me? It means that 2010 is another year where yet again, our priorities weren't where they should be.

mae enfuricida said...

first of all I am not a BIRTH mom I am a mom. and even though I know these comments will probably be removed I will make it anyway.
What does adoption mean to me ? the first thing that comes to mind is LIES.. I was promised a loving family and all the material things that a nieve 19 year old could not afford. What he got was disfuncional drug addicted alcoholics that ended up homeless. A better life I think not.

Alexandra B said...

Amanda-
Yes that wording was poor. I should have edited better. My apologies.

Mae-
I am sorry your situation turned out so poorly. Agencies do try and screen for all types of things when choosing who may adopt and who may not, but some people slip through. Or divorces happen or illness and death occur... sad but true.

It sounds like you have been able to still be involved in your son's life, is that correct?

Assembling Self said...

Adoption to me means being taken from my first mother who wanted to keep me and given to a family who abused me verbally, mentally, and emotionally. Who later, had a biological child who was loved and adored. It means rejection and abandonment two fold. It means becoming ill in my teens and suffering multiple genetic and hereditary health issues with no family medical history to give doctors and languishing for decades in ill health with hit or miss, mostly miss, tests and treatments, and losing a great majority of my life in and out of doctors and hospitals without answers, unable to work. It means trying to obtain vital medical background for doctors with only an ammended birth certificate in hand filled with falsifications and lies, and adoptive parents who did not care to try and help me. It means years of court petitions to a judge through an adoption court to try and get as much updated family medical information upon doctors urgent requests and adoption laws and policies that treat me as a perpetual child unable to handle the truth about my own biological family. Adoption for me means loss, and pain, and immense sadness.

Assembling Self said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mae enfuricida said...

@alexandra I am reunited with my son but the son I am reunited with is not a happy well adjusted adoptee. he is an angry bitter young man consumed with rage and unable to trust. the constant reassurance that he requires is emotionally draining. but I will do what others have not. stand by him and help him any way I can because unlike his adopted parents I know what unconditional love is and hopefully one day he will also.

Mirah Riben said...

Alexandra,

You asked what can be done...

Adoption needs to return to being about finding homes for children who need them, not about filling orders for babies!

“Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . .” The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003.

What needs to be done is stop it from being a BUSINESS - a very loosely unregulated business at that.

For more of the problems and solutions, I suggest you read my book:

THE STORK MARKET: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Indusrty

Mirah Riben said...

This blog post and the wording of the question is a classic example of adoption being all about and for the paying customers rather than those whose lives are most affected by the process.

It's objective was clearly to sing the joys of adoption to ENCOURAGE more family separations and thus more children to be redistributed.

I am very pleansantly amazed to see my comments posted and wonder if they will be deleted.

Chris said...

Amanda,
I agree that no one is more important than the child and each member brings something important to the table. As an adoptive parent I realize that without the birth parent, my children would not be here to join my family. My son's voices as adult adoptees should be heard because their experiences can inform and improve what happens for other children.

This is why I continue to work as a professional in the field of adoption, so I and others can change and improve what this experience is like for all. At the National Adoption Center we do not get the opportunity to hear from birth parents. The children in foster care need our services to find the new permanent family after the decision is already made and they have lost their first family. This tragic situation is reality for me as both an adoption professional and an adoptive parent. I can only say that loss is with us all, birthparents, adoptees and adoptive parents. It all depends on how we manage this loss and how much we are willing to validate and recognize each others deepest feelings. Thanks to you for your post. Chris

letterstomsfeverfew said...

What does adoption mean to me?

As a first mother, it means that my voice is constantly silenced by "the most important people in the adoption conversation – the parents." It means that I was convinced that I was not and would never be a "good enough parent" for my daughter, that by virtue of the fact I was single and not wealthy, I did not qualify to raise her and some other woman did.

Adoption means having to look at myself in the mirror every day, knowing that I gave away my own flesh and blood, my beloved oldest daughter. I have to live with the daily reality that she has three siblings that will never know her, over 50 cousins that will never know her, and grandparents, uncles and aunts that will never know her. Adoption means that entire generations of my family have been ruptured and I have no recourse to right my wrongs.

Adoption to me means that my 1/2 Pacific Islander daughter is being raised without a knowledge of her culture, her heritage, her people, her language - the things she is a rightful heir too.

Adoption means that even though I have gone on to have the "story book" ending for first moms - a great marriage, more children, and have nearly finished my PhD, I still suffer acutely from the loss of my first daughter. Adoption means that even though she has had the "story book ending" for adoptees, she still suffers the loss of her first family.

Adoption means that every year on her birthday, every holiday, every family portrait, every family vacation, ever family meal...she is still missing.

M.

Beth said...

I am terribly sorry that my post offended anybody. That was not my intention. I understand that adoption is a very complex situation. My choice of words was obviously not good and very hurtful to some – my goal was to provide adoptive parents an opportunity to express their positive experiences. There is NO one individual that is more important than another in the adoption conversation, I am so sorry that this was not said. I know that adoption is not always easy or simple and that there are many people who get hurt in the process and I have learned, from this experience, to be more sensitive with my words.

letterstomsfeverfew said...

Thank you Beth, for your acknowledgment of the "others" in adoption. I have to disagree with you though one one matter. There *are* individuals who are more important and whose voices should carry more weight than any others in the adoption conversation: The adoptee.

They are the ones who bear the full weight of what adoption means and what adoption is. Only they can speak with a singular clarity of what adoption truly means since they are the ones to whom adoption happens.

cullyray said...

Alexandrea, you are correct that for some natural parents adoption is their best choice, but others wanted to keep their child... A quick look to see what the internet could tell me about monthly payments to Foster Families/parents per child ranged from $236.00 to $728.00 depending on the State. Using $500.00 as an average per month, and saying that the foster parents have the child for 16 years, that comes to a total of $96K. All in all that really doesn’t sound like much, but then most of these kids are getting much and when they turn 18 they are on their own… often homeless. Now let’s look at a single, unwed Mother, who wants to keep her child but because of educational or employment or child care affordability (or all three) she is being pressured to surrender her child. She is not/has not been deemed unfit and could, with the right support for two to three years, be a fully functional, employed and successful parent. Using the same $500.00 per month average as a payment or credit for education and/or child care during those three years the savings compared to the expense of foster care would be $78K… AND, a Mother and Child would NOT be separated.

Von said...

Interesting that you state that parents are the most important people in adoption.By that I take it you mean adopters not the mothers and fathers of those who become adoptees?
Without adoptees there would be no adoption and no adoption industry making vast sums of money for those involved.
Adoption to me means a life spent living and dealing with the trauma of the loss of my mother.I'm not unusual, I'm not alone and I'm not a bitter, unhappy adoptee, just realistic.

Campbell said...

Hi Beth

Adoptees are the most important part of the adoption conversation.

Go ahead and ask your question to multiple adoptive parents and I see you've apologized but you should edit your post.

"I wanted to find out from the most important people in the adoption conversation – the parents,.." is sad and although I truly hope you don't really feel that way, I can't imagine why you would ever write that if you don't.

Mara aka Mommy said...

Adoption means I was adopted and molested/beaten by a pedophile/alcoholic.

Adoption means that my truthful birth certificate is sealed FOREVER from me. I am forced to use a falsified "amended" birth certificate as proof of my birth that lists my adoptive parents as my biological parents!

Adoption means that I may never find my father. If I do find him, he will probably be 6 feet under and I will have to visit his grave instead of getting to know who my father is.

Adoption means that I may not be able to get a passport out of the country because the Federal Government does NOT consider Amended Birth Certificates legal documents!!!

Adoption means that I never really fit in anywhere. My adoptive family never accepted me as REAL family and my natural family are strangers to me when they should know everything about me.

Adoption means a lifetime of loss.

Adoption means my daughter just got assigned a family tree assignment in high school and has to leave 1/2 the tree blank.

Adoption means I have to put "N/A" on every medical history form at every doctor's office. It means that family medical history that could possibly save my life, wont.

Adoption means that the only REAL winners in adoption are the adoptive parents.

Erimentha said...

I just wanted to add my voice to those who have commented that adoptive parents are only one side of the multi sided equation that is adoption, and they are the only ones who do not lose a huge chunk of themselves as a direct result of adoption. It is easier for them to talk about how wonderful adoption is and since that is the popular misconception, that is what remains as the status quo. It would be nice to see a more balanced view of adoption during National Adoption Month, or maybe we should just rename it to National Adoptive Parent Month. Also, not to nitpick but the people you spoke to are adoptive parents, not adopted parents - the only adopted people in the triad are adoptees.

ms. marginalia said...

I am another adoptee. I agree with what others have said that it's very one-sided to ask and listen only to adoptive parents.

Adoptees are silenced, first parents are silenced. Why? There needs to be real change that admits the complicated nature of adoption and the fallout that can occur.

Any discussion about adoption should include adoptees and first parents, and if it doesn't, it need to be viewed with a very critical eye.

Pennagal said...

I can't believe the insensitivity and total self-involvement of the person(s) who started this thread. Clearly, adoptees -- whose lives are changed forever by adoption -- do not matter one whit so our voices need not be heard.

After the decades that we have worked for adoption reform have we yet to penetrate the fog enough for those who create families through adoption to see that it's not all about them?

I mean no disrespect. I am sure that those who chose to add their thoughts about the joy adoption brought to their lives adore their adopted children, and do their very best to be excellent parents. They simply reacted to a leading question -- one that begged warm- fuzzy interpretations of adoption from their point of view.

That only the adoptive family's point of view was solicited is so telling and so damning that I am stunned. It's disconcerting to think that for your family to be created, another had to be taken apart. And those who make a profit from adoption, don't want you to dwell on it. Heck, they don't want that thought to cross your mind.

Adoption is a loving option, if the agency and the new parents don't seek to erase the child's identity in the process, sever their biological ties and, if the birth parents are not coerced or tricked into relinquishing their natural offspring. Anything that fails to meet that criteria is an affront to the individual who is the focus of so much love and attention.

We are not pets that you are rescuing from euthanasia, we are individuals with the same right to our identity and personal sovereignty as anyone else but we are denied it as children and as adults by most states in the USA because knowing our origins somehow threatens the peace of mind or the profits of other adults. What a sorry comment on our society and how deeply reflective if the adoption industry!

carol said...

Adoption to me is about LOSS… just as the paper I signed in front of the judge 26 HOURS after my son was born said it would be… irrevocable LOSS. My son is my only child and I lost him to the short-sighted, greed-infected infant adoption industry in 1984. An industry built and promulgated by people who know and care nothing about the mother-infant bond in nature, but only about the money to be had and about the churlish wants of others. This industry continues to spread its infectious tentacles today separating families in the name of god (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Bethany Services, LDS). MY GOD is right! What person in their right mind would use Christianity to separate families??? But there it is – look at the numbers. Google how much these “Christian” services make. Think they want to drop the adoption option? I doubt it!

As I read through the posts I have to say it is gut wrenching to see the shallowness of the thought process on the part of the adopters. One man thinks that the hardest thing he has ever had to do is to go through a “years-long” journey of obtaining a child. Think about the lifetime that the child and his/her mother endures throughout the separation and beyond.

Another adopter thinks of herself first as well, our “unfulfilled dreams” and “adoption was our dreamcatcher.” Yikes! As United States citizen, I nor many of the women who were encouraged to place our precious sons and daughters when we were young were ever told the full consequences of the loss. Information on the effects of mother/child separation were withheld from us. Why? And to this same rapt adopter who says, “adoption provides choices, chances, and a large dose of hope” I can only counter that she is very out of touch with the ramifications of adoption on the mother losing her child. However, if she is so hopeful, I will pray for her that she has the “opportunity” to give birth and make someone else “equally joyful” in her loss.

I guess I could go on and on, this was just such an easy target because you all have yourselves at the center of the topic. Try to step away for a moment. I am a mother who lost her only child to the infant adoption industry. I don’t expect you to care a whit about me, but I do want you to know that we’re not all the stereotypical crackwhores you wish we were. The mothers who lost a child to adoption range from nurses, to ballet instructors, to lawyers, artists, and musicians, from very good mothers to subsequent children, and to single moms who couldn’t move on because of the loss experienced the first time around. I know it would be easier to think of us as the trash in the street, but we aren’t; most of us are just women who needed a bit of help when we were young and unsupported. Our society is in a sad state of affairs when we need to separate families in order to make others happy.

Linda said...

It means I went through unspeakable and unnecessary losses to gain a new family through adoption.

It means I am discriminated against because I cannot legally obtain my original birth certificate because of sealed archaic adoption laws, which were set up as a courtesy to adopters.

It means I have lifelong issues stemming from the trauma from being separated from my first Mother and being forced to live with strangers.

It means even as an adult, my feelings are dismissed and I am told I am bitter and angry because I lost my first family.

It means living a life of never FULLY fitting in with either of my families.

Adoption should NEVER happen unless there is no one in the child's natural family to raise him or her.

Newborn and international adoptions should be illegal.

THAT is what adoption means to me, an adoptee who has lived it for 45 years. Now- will you leave this comment up? If you do, how long until someone says, "Oh, Linda just had a bad experience. Too bad she is so bitter and angry.'

carol said...

Adoption to me is about LOSS… just as the paper I signed in front of the judge 26 HOURS after my son was born said it would be… irrevocable LOSS. My son is my only child and I lost him to the short-sighted, greed-infected infant adoption industry in 1984. An industry built and promulgated by people who know and care nothing about the mother-infant bond in nature, but only about the money to be had and about the churlish wants of others. This industry continues to spread its infectious tentacles today separating families in the name of god (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Bethany Services, LDS). MY GOD is right! What person in their right mind would use Christianity to separate families??? But there it is – look at the numbers. Google how much these “Christian” services make. Think they want to drop the adoption option? I doubt it!

As I read through the posts I have to say it is gut wrenching to see the shallowness of the thought process on the part of the adopters. One man thinks that the hardest thing he has ever had to do is to go through a “years-long” journey of obtaining a child. Think about the lifetime that the child and his/her mother endures throughout the separation and beyond.

Another adopter thinks of herself first as well, our “unfulfilled dreams” and “adoption was our dreamcatcher.” Yikes! As United States citizen, I myself, nor many of the women who were encouraged to place our precious sons and daughters when we were young were ever told the full consequences of the loss. Information on the effects of mother/child separation were withheld from us. Why??? And to this same rapt adopter who says, “adoption provides choices, chances, and a large dose of hope” I can only counter that she is very out of touch with the ramifications of adoption on her child or her child’s mother. There is little choice, fewer chances, and a large dose of grief for them both.

The mothers who lost a child to adoption range from nurses, to ballet instructors, to lawyers, artists, and musicians, from very good mothers to subsequent children, to single moms who couldn’t move on because of the loss experienced the first time around. I know it would be easier to think of us as the trash in the street, but we aren’t; most of us are just women who needed a bit of help when we were young and unsupported. Our society is in a sad state of affairs when we need to separate families in order to make others happy.

carol said...

Adoption to me is about LOSS… just as the paper I signed in front of the judge 26 HOURS after my son was born said it would be… irrevocable LOSS. My son is my only child and I lost him to the short-sighted, greed-infected infant adoption industry in 1984. An industry built and promulgated by people who know and care nothing about the mother-infant bond in nature, but only about the money to be had and about the churlish wants of others. This industry continues to spread its infectious tentacles today separating families in the name of god (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Bethany Services, LDS). MY GOD is right! What person in their right mind would use Christianity to separate families??? But there it is – look at the numbers. Google how much these “Christian” services make. Think they want to drop the adoption option? I doubt it!

As I read through the posts I have to say it is gut wrenching to see the shallowness of the thought process on the part of the adopters. One man thinks that the hardest thing he has ever had to do is to go through a “years-long” journey of obtaining a child. Think about the lifetime that the child and his/her mother endures throughout the separation and beyond.

The mothers who lost a child to adoption range from nurses, to ballet instructors, to lawyers, artists, and musicians, from very good mothers to subsequent children, to single moms who couldn’t move on because of the loss experienced the first time around. I know it would be easier to think of us as the trash in the street, but we aren’t; most of us are just women who needed a bit of help when we were young and unsupported. Our society is in a sad state of affairs when we need to separate families in order to make others happy.

danielibnzayd said...

I am an adult adoptee who has definitively come home to his country of birth. From what I know now of all adoptions and not just mine, I feel qualified to say the following:

Adoption is, in and of itself, a violence based in inequality; it is candy-coated, marketed, and packaged to appear to concern families and children, but it is an economically and politically incentivized crime that stems culturally speaking from the "peculiar institution" of Anglo-Saxon indentured servitude and not family creation; is not universal and is not considered valid by most communal cultures, globally speaking. It is a treating of symptoms and not of disease; it is a negation of true families and an annihilation of their vital communities that are not imbued with the intrinsic human value taken for granted by those adopting for reasons having to do with race, with class, and with a preconceived notion of what makes for a valid life in this world.

Thoughts on adoption

Myths of Adoption

iamanobuddy said...

What does adoption mean to me?

It means I was a product harvested from the body of a socioeconomically disadvantaged woman and sold to a wealthy woman who then used me to fill her "need" to parent. Which really translates as I was a defective product because I could not sufficiently rewrite my DNA to suit what she thought "her" perfect child should be like.

Adoption, to me, means living with the constant fear that I will be abandoned for the slightest imperfection. It means the belief that I am unworthy of anyone's love. It means I am not a "real" daughter, but someone else's unwanted trash who should be grateful for not having to live in a dumpster.

Adoption means I was nothing other than a pawn in someone else's game.

Adoption means that people who have so much are STILL willing to victimize the disenfranchised for their own gain.

The beauty is, all your money can't buy the honest love of a child you didn't bear. You can buy their complicity, and it might even pass for love in a shallow world where children can be bought and sold like chattels for the rich. But you stole a child from its mother for your own gain, and a part of that child will always know what you did.

When you meet your maker, you can explain why you thought stealing a mother's child (and in the process, destroy any sense of security that child has ever known or will ever know) was better than helping that mother raise her child. Let Him forgive you. I cannot.

Carlynne said...

Adoption means grieving. I am a mother who was coerced, forced, left no choice but to leave my daughter behind. It meant 22 years of not knowing whether my daughter was alive or dead. It meant 2 children who didn't know their sister. The ONLY reason for this tragedy is I was unwed and had no resources.

The irony is when I found my daughter I found out that her adoptive parents divorced when she was 3 yrs old. She was raised by a single mother. The year after her birth I married my husband. We've been married for almost 30 years. Had I been allowed to keep her she would have been raised with a mother, father and her siblings.

There is no celebration in adoption. No matter the circumstances it began with someone's loss and the biggest loser in this business (and it is a business) is the adoptee. They are the innocent victims who had no say in anything.

Alexandra B said...

As the moderator here I have chosen to post all your comments, save one with profanity in it. Personally, I do want to hear your sides of the conversation, as adoptees and first families. As a member of NAC we do get that adoption is a complex issue.

To clarify we have no custody of children; we advocate on behalf of those children who have gone through situations where reunification efforts have failed. We work with the 12 year olds whose parents die with no living relatives to be found. With 17 year olds who have gone from foster home to foster home because no one in their family could or wanted to parent them. We believe a permanent home with adoptive parents is the best solution for these children.

Reunification with the family of origin is most often the goal in foster care. The majority of the time this goal is met; that is the family receives the support it needs to get back on track and the child(ren) come home. Obviously that is the best outcome. We're here for when that cannot happen.

It sounds like most of you were involved with placing infants, not having children removed from your homes. Personally, I agree that more national regulation/licensing needs to be in place regulating infant adoption, especially in terms of fees charged and services offered. There are some great people doing great work out there, but as you all know there are many out there that shouldn't be counseling women, or anyone, at all.

Our Center does have a long-standing policy of advocating for open records, including medical records and original birth certificates. Adoptees have a right to this information.

Thank you all for sharing your side, it has been a valuable lesson for us. And I hope a lesson that will turn into action on our part. Thank you.

halforphan56 said...

What does adoption mean to me?
I was born of one mother who died shortly after my birth. A priest told my father that “the baby needs two parents” even though Dad had five children and was married for 10 years when his wife died of cancer. No help was offered him to keep his family together so he believed the only course of action was to relinquish me to two adoptive parents.

I was raised an only child by two adoptive parents who knew the whole situation but did not want me to ever know the truth. Their lies backfired on them when the siblings they did not want me to know found me when I was 18 years old in 1974.

Adoption means to me that the parents who raised me did not love me enough to tell me the truth of my birth, my adoption, my first mother’s death and about my siblings who lived 6 miles away from me all of my life. Adoption means a whole lot of loss and very little gain. A bittersweet reunion does not compensate for a lifetime of loss.

Adoptees come from families. We do not come from the cabbage patch. We have a mother and a father and siblings, too, and aunts and uncles and grandparents. No adoption contract wipes out our blood family tree.

I was born and baptized with a first, middle and last name. My birth certificate was sealed upon the finalization of adoption (not relinquishment) and then a new falsified birth certificate was issued to replace my real birth certificate with my new first, middle and last name to suit my adoptive parents’ wishes for my new identity.

My adoptive parents had their lawyer contact the Catholic Church to issue a new baptismal certificate in my adoptive name. This happened three and a half years after my birth and baptism, meaning that I was not baptized again in my adoptive name, but that a second baptismal certificate was issued claiming that me, in my adoptive name, was baptized, which did not happen.

Why is this important? Because, as a child of God (following the Catholic faith), I take all the sacraments in the name I was given by God at baptism, not the name that was legally given to me by the adoption decree. Therefore, adoption also means to me that my name and identity are changed by the will of the law. My name in the House of Our Lord is not the same name that I have legally. Thankfully, I left the Catholic Church decades ago to avoid sin.

However, adoption still means that my legal identity was changed without my consent or knowledge.
I am not legally allowed to have a certificated copy of my real birth certificate. This is discrimination based upon adoption, not illegitimate birth.

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Great comments you guys! Thank you for letting them stand, yes there are many sides to the adoption issue.

I know first hand however that there some parents who can’t, don’t want to, don’t have the wherewithal or just flat out won’t parent their children…in my life I call them Mom and Dad and no amount of therapy, support or resources can make them, step up.

For those children adoption out of foster care is not a great solution but it is one of the few options they have.

Carlynne said...

Sunday, helping a child get out of the foster care system by loving them and giving them a home is a completely different thing than the infant adoption industry. No one wants to see a child suffer, either through abuse, neglect or languishing in the system.

Infant adoption is an industry focused on providing babies for infertile couples and in the process destroys the original family. Having a young, vulnerable pregnant woman choosing parents for her child while she's still pregnant is coercive. Pre-birth matching and having the prospective parents be there in the hospital during labor and delivery is coercive.

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Carlynne – I agree completely!!!!