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Responsibility

25 Mar

The withholding of basic biological and medical information, due to closed records, in adoption, is a leading factor in what inspires an adoptee to search for their birthparents.  Most adoptees, who search, do so because they want to know the same basic information nonadoptees grow up knowing.  Searching can be filled with anxiety, frustration, and fear.  When a birthparent responds to being found with a request for no contact, it can literally devastate an adoptee.  Speaking from my own experience as an adoptee, I can tell you that being rejected by the two people, who created you, otherwise known as birthparents, is excruciatingly painful.  Accepting that they want nothing to do with you is very difficult.  It takes a long time to get past the grief and anger, not to mention come to some kind of understanding and acceptance.

When and adoptee searches and finds a birthparent, who wants no contact, then gives no explanation, and refuses to give basic medical and biological information, the adoptee is then robbed, even further, of a basic human right everyone not adopted has.  It breaks my heart when I hear of an adoptee, who finds their birthparent, and then the birthparent refuses contact of any kind.  It makes me angry when a birthparent will not even provide medical information, and then proclaims being found is an invasion of privacy. 

I have reunited with both bio parents.  Neither reunion worked out as I had hoped.  I do give them both credit for, at least, acknowledging my existence, providing me with important medical info that has had a huge effect on how I live my life, and giving me basic genealogy to answer my questions of ancestry.  I am thankful that my BPs were willing to provide me with the information I asked for, even though they have been unable to build any kind of relationship with me.  I am thankful that they were not so ashamed, guilty, and afraid that they used the right to privacy as a way to hide from their past, and the child they created.

 The information they gave me was not an invasion of their privacy.  It was just general information like high cholesterol, thyroid, cancer, and other family health issues, including mental health issues.  I didn’t need, nor did I want, to know about intimate details of their lives that had no effect on me.  Because of the genealogical information they gave me, I’ve been able to research my roots and found great peace in doing so.  Because of the medical information, I am better equipped to watch for signs and symptoms that could affect my health as I grow older.  I have also changed my lifestyle to better defend against certain genetic predisposition to certain diseases

I can empathize with the pain, guilt, and shame, a lot of birthmothers feel.  I can accept that some birthmothers just may not be capable of facing their issues, and thus, a relationship is not possible.  I can accept that some birthparents may really, just not care about their offspring.  I can certainly understand a birthparent wanting their privacy, and to keep something from their past, in their past, especially if they have never told anyone.  What I have a hard time understanding and accepting is the refusal to even give medical information.  If a birthparent, for whatever reason, wants no contact that is fine, and their right as a human being.  What harm does responding with one letter, which provides basic information of medical information, ethnicity, and the like, do? 

Refusing contact so that a birthparent won’t have to deal with the situation does not erase the child they created.  Relinquishing and placing a child for adoption does not make the child not exist.  If a birthparent is responsible enough to give birth to a child and then place it for adoption, why not be responsible enough to, at least, give that child their basic genetic information?  It’s the decent thing to do and considerate thing to do.  If you, as a birthparent, truly want nothing to do with the child you placed for adoption, be mature enough, and responsible enough to tell them yourself, via a letter that you are not in a position to have any kind of relationship.  Please give them the benefit of their genetic information, even if only through an intermediary.  Then, you can feel free to ask that the adoptee not contact you again if that is what you truly want.

As adoptees, we are not the ones, who created such a difficult, painful, and frustrating situation.  We had no say in being conceived, born, placed, and our original identity, as well as, our genetic/biological history withheld from us.  Giving the child you had a hand in creating, the same basic information all nonadopted children have, will not harm you, disrupt your life, or obligate you to anything.  It might even give you, as a birthparent, a little peace of mind.

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Posted by on March 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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