Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adoption

There was recently a story on one of the national news programs that spotlighted a woman who was adopted at birth and her desire to locate her birth parents in an effort to save her sick son by uncovering pertinent family medical history.

After some investigation on her part and with the aid of a professional she located her birth mother. Unfortunately, the birth mother's current husband and children never knew she had this child some 40 years ago and she preferred to keep it that way.

With the pending laws that are being passed in various states, with Maine being the first, sometime in the near future, agencies will begin opening adoption records. Something as simple as a written letter will put individuals that much closer to their birth parents.

This is a double edged sword. There are millions of adopted people that would love....need... to know their birth parents but are terribly afraid of rejection. Imagine the hurt and pain you'd feel after building up the courage to locate this person only to have them reject you, I couldn't even fathom.

Then there is the parents' point of view. There are many extenuating circumstances that would force a person to give up their child. Often times it is the most selfless act a person can perform.

But imagine, just for a minute that you were a very young person, possibly a teenager. You were in no condition to care for a child so you made the ultimate sacrifice to give this child up for adoption in hopes that you are giving them a chance at a wonderful life.

Many years have passed and you have gotten your life in order, grown up and have a family of your very own. Because you were so young and this event happened so many years ago in your past you thought it would never touch your "new" life so you don't mentioned it ever again to anyone.

Fast forward 40 years later and you receive a phone call from the past. You would have an awful lot of explaining to do. What do you do? Turn this person away who has been desperately trying to find you or do you take your grown up pill and tell your family of your past?

31 People saying stuff:

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

i just hope thoes who adopt love themselves, then they can give 10 times the love

Craze said...

My first inclination is that I would have to help out. But that's hard to say as I'm not living it.

Trixie said...

The grown up pill.

Actually, this just happened to my mum (must blog sometime) not as she adopted a child out, but found out her mum did, and her sister just contacted her (60 years later!) Grandma is still denying it ever happened, wanting nothing to do with her daughter. Mum is in contact with her newly found 'sister'. My Aunty has even contacted me to get to know me.

Totally spun us all out!

Trixie said...

damn, thanks for the reminder... you've got me thinking. now going to contact my Aunty, didn't think much of it, so haven't been really responding to her facebook comments!

Moe Wanchuk said...

You have to come clean!...HAVE TO! If my wife told me she made a mistake like this, would it bum me out?...Yes. But guess what, I'd get over it, and it wasn't the kid's fault. I honestly believe I would be more than willing to let this person into our lives.

1/3 said...

I would take the grown up pill. we all make mistakes in the past. My new life would just have to make room for someone I loved enough to let go so they could have a better life.

Immoral Matriarch said...

I love reading adoption stories because the connections formed and lost are so interesting to me.

I was not adopted but I do not know my father. I have absolutely no interest in knowing him, but I am weird like that. :)

Just telling it like it is said...

Man there is no way with the stretch marks on my tommy could I get away with not admitting that I had a child...
Seriously though...my sister gave a baby away when she was 15 yrs old...I thought it was the most couragous selfless thing she could do...she still hurts from this but has an open adoption...I am so so on this...with ethics it is hard to say what is right..depends on the person I guess

T. A. Brown said...

As a reunited birth mother, I can only speak from my own point of view, but I don't think a birth mother ever forgets the child she "lost". No other child can replace the one that is missing. I've dedicated my life to the adoption reunion cause, if for no other reason than to give the birth families the answers they seek.

Teri
http://www.AdoptionRecords.com

Vixen said...

I agree with Moe. If the person you were with loved you. Really loved you, they may not like what happened in the past, but it is the Past. Even if it came back into your present. And if someone is Ill, you have to do it.

shorty said...

Tell your family of your past.

This isn't even a question in my mind.

durtymo said...

I say tell it! This is similar to my situation. My daddy was married (not to my momma of course) which meant that I never knew my folks on my dad's side. He passed away when I was 11, I'm 34 now. Do I wanna find out who my people are? Not so much but if someone called me out of the blue, I'd be open to it because I'm sure he fathered other children besides me and my sis while he was married...

charmcitygirl said...

It seems to me that if the adopted child had a medical need to know biological information, that could be provided through a third party without having to have contact. I think it is a lot to ask a mother who gave her child up in a closed adoption to all of a sudden become involved again. I can't imagine how hard it would be to give a child up, but I don't think it is wrong or selfish for the mother to then want to continue on with her life as she pleases.

I personally would just fess up, no problem for me, I am an open book to my children and husband.

Terri said...

I think it's just terrible. That mom needed to not worry about herself for once and offer up any information she could for her daughter and grandchild.

I love adoption stories and the people who adopt. And I know there are good reasons why people put children up for adoption too but this story is a little crazy.

Karen said...

The past always comes back to us. I know about 4 people who have found their birth parents. There has been mixed results.

laughingattheslut said...

I think that there should be a third party that keeps up with such things and can let the birth parents know when a child is looking for them or when the birth parent regrets the original decision not to have an open adoption and would welcome being contacted.

There could be a place where all parties have their wishes on record, but can change their minds later. The birth parents can say that they wish no contact at all, or that they will make an exception if there's a medical problem, or that they agree to medical information being given but wish no personal contact and are not open to even talking about anything else even if it means that someone with a medical problem will die. The children could also say that they want or do not want contact, or they wish to be contacted after they turn 18 or 21 or graduate from college, or that they would be open to the idea of a one time meeting or letter or phone call but do not want to have a relationship afterwards. Then the people who both want to be contacted can have something aranged when both of them are comfortable with the idea and everyone else can be left alone.

I think that the birth parents should always tell their "new families" regardless of whether or not they are contacted or want to be contacted. You just shouldn't lie to them regardless.

Ms.Honey said...

Well I've experienced that I was adopted when I was almost 3 and I've talked to my sperm donor once on the phone and his trailer trash wife thought I wanted money. I had to quickly inform her that I had a job and didnt need them just wanted to know what he looked like so I wouldnt' end up sexing him on the street LOL..sike I kid I kid..but for real just wanted to find out family medical history before I birth a child into somethign I aint ready for :)

*~*Cece*~* said...

My grown up pill dose, doubled, please. I feel that the man I chose to marry has to be a very understanding, loving ansd compasionate person or I wouldn't have chosen him. So telling him about a child I gave up for adoption he should support me. Everyone has a past, right?

stepping over the junk said...

I learned a long time ago to fess up to everything I think, feel and have done, even if something I am not proud of. I can't believe she wouldnt have told at least her husband about it! I hope those who need help by finding their birth parents, especially in medical crisis, can be helped.

MysTery said...

I am not the one to judge.
However in this circumstance, when a child's health is at risk. I would have to do what I have to do.

Even without that, if I made the choice and my daughter came 40 years later wanting to get to know me I would have to give the relationship a chance. If my current husband or whoever can not accept that then that is a problem. She is my family just like them. I would have to deal with the ridicule and whatever because that is a choice I decided to make back in the day and it came back full circle.

She did not ask to be here. But she is and she is mine so....gotta do what I gotta do.
To ignore her would put her through more pain and be quite selfish. Not to mention my conscious eating at me.

I would just have to deal with the fire.

Sorry such a long response. Lol.

Jeni said...

I was never married to my older daughter biological father but as she grew up -and she knew my husband was her stepfather since she was five when we got married -I told her bits and pieces about her father -name, age, what he looked like, what he was like, as much as I knew that I felt she could handle. A few years back, she asked me if I had any idea where he is now and I told her what state I figured he would be living in because I had actually seen his brother on TV on and A&E special! About a year later, my daughter called to tell me she had just spoken to him! I was dumbfounded that she got her courage up enough to do that for openers and I was very happy to learn that, although because his memory of the years between 1960 and 1980 are very blurred, due to a lot of drug and alcohol usage, he accepted her, they call each other from time to time but have never met in person due to the distance involved -east coast for us, west coast for him. I have even talked to him too and find I very much enjoy those conversations from time to time because he is still as charming as ever and can still carry on a very intelligent conversation. My daughter is hoping she will get to actually meet him someday and who knows, maybe he will be the one to get the ball rolling with respect to that.

Veronica Wright said...

DEFINITELY take the grown up pill and tell family.

But if it were me, that is something my husband (who is supposed to be my bestfriend) would all ready know.

On my father's side--Out of 7 children, the youngest was given up for adoption when I grandmother passed away because no one would be able to care for him. We found him 7 years ago living in Alabama.

CarmenSinCity said...

It's definitely a double edged sword. I know that I wouldn't want to be in this position. I did however donate my eggs to a fertility clinic a while back. It was a pretty long process, but they compensated me nicely! I'm glad I did it.

Lauren said...

You have to be adult enough and give your explanations. The child didn't do anything to deserve not knowing.

SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

I have had friends who have given up their babies for adoption but they chose to have it be open.

What you said is true about a double edge sword. I think now a days flash forward 40 years our generation would be okay with it. However for people giving up their children in the 50's or so. It was a time to be ashamed for getting pregnant out of wed lock or too young.

Then to move on knowing that a part of you is out there that you gave up. Even if it was a loving gesture. People may not have forgiven them. Or what if the child see's their happy life now and resents the parents for giving them up and forgetting about them. I think the hurt would be too much.

I think its more of guilt then anything. I mean if I gave up a son and then five years later had another child. 40 years later I get a knock on my door that my son found me. I know in my heart I would be happy to see him, but the guilt of what I did would eat away at my heart.

Gosh why do you do this Diva before the weekend. Its going to rack my brain. So much that I am going to ask my friends what they would do?

TravelDiva said...

After 40 years, I'd still open my heart and my life to the child. Yes you've moved on, but that's like rejecting the child twice. I understand why people give their children up for adoption, but if your child does come back to you as an adult, just wanting to know their birth parent, I think it's pretty cold to turn them away.

Claudia said...

I would give that child all the medical info they need to know and honestly, I would be thrilled that they called. If anyone in my family would judge me, then it's too bad so sad suck on a lollipop.

Sandi McBride said...

My parents adopted three children after the rest of us grown and flown...for some reason, they've never even been interested in finding their biological families...after my Mother died, my youngest sister said she was afraid it would hurt Mama's feelings if she went digging into the past and then she just lost all interest in locating anyone...and that's where she left it. The brothers feel the same way...I've promised them all the help they need should they ever decide to make the leap...that's what sisters are for...
I have an award for you over at my place, you'll find it on the post just before the Brenda Photo challenge..please come by and pick it up!
hugs
Sandi

Ann(ie) said...

I'd have to say the grown up pill in those circumstances. Or maybe even any circumstances. Reach out and own it and it might be the best thing you've ever owned up too. But, then again I'm not living it either. Such an easy thing to say. OH the skeleton's we have in our closets and the fear that comes along with them. feh. It's never as bad as we think it's going to be either.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I have always admired mothers who could carry a baby for 9 months & then give it up for adoption. There are so many couples who want babies.

I can't imagine hiding something like that or not wanting to see the baby some day. I am not one that has skeletons in the closet though. I think it is better/ healthier to be an open book.

Stilettos and Nostalgia said...

Love the blog. Keep em coming!