It seems that when the subjects of search, reunion, and closed records, come up in adoption, people seem to want to lump adoptees into two categories, good adoptees, and bad adoptees. Not only is it the general public, who categorizes adoptees, but adoptees, as well, seem to want to take one side or the other.
. Let’s see. If I have this right, you are a good adoptee if:
You are grateful to your birthparents for giving you life and placing you for adoption so you could have all the opportunities and things they were unable to give you at the time
You are grateful to your adoptive parents for adopting you and giving you all the opportunities your birthparents could not, and a life you would otherwise not have had.
You believe that adoption is good and that it has had absolutely no negative effects on you in any way.
You don’t feel any need to search for birthparents, because your adoptive parents have met all your needs, making you a well adjusted, self confident, person with little or no insecurities, at least not any adoption related issues, like some other adoptees have. After all, their issues must be because they didn’t have good enough adoptive parents, or their birthparents, were probably emotionally, or mentally unstable.
Even though you might be a tiny bit curious about your birth family, you swear your birthparents mean nothing to you other than a means for possible medical information if needed, and anyone thinking of birthparents as a “Mom” or “Dad” is a slap in the face to all adoptive parents.
You do not feel any type of loss, and think being an adoptee makes you special, as well as, possibly more loved than a biological child, because, after all, your adoptive parents “chose” to adopt you.
You understand that all birthparents may not place out of an unselfish love, but yours definitely did.
You decide to search and reunite because you want your birthparents to know what a wonderful life you have, what a fabulous person you are, all thanks to being placed for adoption, and you just want to thank them and give your birthparents peace of mind that they did the right thing for you.
You don’t see why everyone is making such a fuss about closed records and searching, because you don’t really need to know a medical history, or your birth family to be happy. After all, the Primal wound is just a theory, and it doesn’t apply to you, anymore than the lack of genetic medical information can significantly affect your life.
You are only reading this, because you feel sorry for those adoptees, who have not been as fortunate as you, and, well, why else would you be reading about adoption and it’s issues, when you don’t have any adoption issues of your own?
You are a bad/angry adoptee if:
You acknowledge that adoption may have had some negative effects on you, and possibly played a role in who you are as a person.
You feel a deep loss, totally relate to the “Primal Wound”, think all other adoptees should, as well, and if they don’t, must be in deep denial of how adoption has impacted their lives.
You search for birthparents because you want to find out more about your birth family possibly get to know them, and build a relationship with them, because this will fill the void in your life. After all, this is the missing piece to the puzzle you’ve been looking for, and will, finally, make you a whole, and complete, person.
You feel angry if you are rejected by your birth family, and have trouble accepting that they may want no contact or relationship.
You acknowledge that your adoptive parents aren’t your “only” parents.
You don’t believe you should be grateful to, and, thus, thank your birthmother for not aborting you.
You think all adoptees have the right to their original birth certificate and other information pertaining to them before adoption.
You think adoption laws and policies are more beneficial to the agencies than the adoptive parents, birthparents, and adoptees.
You believe your birthparents might have really wanted, and done what was best for you, but it wasn’t totally out of love.
You happen to be one of the few unfortunate adoptees placed with less than perfect adoptive parents. You searched and happen to find birthparents, who never wanted to place, always wanted to find you, and the reunion goes well, convincing you that adoption is pure evil, adoptive parents, assisted by agencies, are baby thieves, and birthparents are all innocent victims.
There is, however, a third group of adoptees that seem to get overlooked, ignored, or placed in the good or bad adoptee category depending on the person doing the placing, and how it benefits them. This third group consist of the rest of us, who weren’t lucky enough to be placed with those, most fabulous, perfect adoptive parents, who were able to be “enough” to us and meet our every need, or find the selflessly sacrificing, birthparents, who always wanted to be found, and loved us with all their being, just waiting for the day reunion would come. There is a group of adoptees, which can see the benefits, as well as, the injustices of adoption. We see the losses and the gains of, not only others, but ourselves. We can see the sorrow and the joy, and yet, depending on the situation, we get lumped into one group or the other, and accused by both of being wrong in our thinking.
We, this third and middle group, tend to fall somewhere in between both, good adoptee, and bad, adoptee. We find ourselves defending both, and getting crushed in the middle. Being in the middle, able to see the “big picture” doesn’t warrant the attention being an extremist can, not to mention, it’s difficult to sensationalize, or argue with, truth, logic, and common sense without looking like an idiot, so those in the middle get brushed aside and ignored. In general, those of us, who would say we are middle ground, just end up making the good adoptees, the bad adoptees, and others with agendas of their own, mad at us for not taking their side, and helping their cause. Personally, I prefer the reality of both, good and bad, to the denial of either.
That’s right. I said the “D” word: denial. It works on both sides of the spectrum of adopteeism. Just call me an equal opportunity offender, and I hope I got your attention good adoptees, bad adoptees, and anyone with an agenda benefiting from such because you are all wrong, and we, middle ground adoptees, who have had the courage to face the truths about our adoptions, are right, no matter how boring, predictable, annoying, and uninteresting we might be. Never let it be said that a middle ground adoptee can’t pick a side. I just did: the middle: the side of the reality of adoption.
I stand in the middle, the side of honesty, and in hopes that we can learn from the mistakes of the past, so that adoptees of the future can benefit from our experiences, and never find themselves having to choose a side of good or bad. After all, there is one thing all adoptees have in common. We are all, whether we want to be or not, adoptees. We had no choice in becoming an adoptee. Why do we allow those, who gave us no choice in being adopted, to now make us feel that we have to choose between being a good adoptee, or a bad adoptee, fighting each other, always feeling the need to defend our feelings whichever way we feel, and ignoring the possibility that there might be a middle ground, which if we work together can benefit all adoptees, the good, the bad, as well as, those of us in the middle.