Divided life and other stuff…

22 Jun


Kellie at All In The Family Adoption has a post up about the pending decision about Baby Veronica that highlights a comment that someone is listening to the adult adoptee voice.  I read the link she provided and then after that I did a quick google search and came to this post written by someone affiliated with the NCFA that spun my mind in a couple different directions, and although there are other areas of her post that I would comment on – the sentence that stuck out to me was:

It would not be an easy decision for a child who has now lived a divided life.”

That’s what adoption does.  Every adoptee lives a divided life – whether it is a contested adoption, harmonious adoption, open adoption, closed adoption, or any other variation.  It doesn’t matter if the adoptee ever lived with their family of birth, another family, or went home from the hospital with their adoptive parents.  Our biological connection may be legally severed, but you can’t change that we were born into one family and grew up in another family.  What level the adoptee feels that divide will vary but they will feel it, the act of surrender and adoption created that divide.  Even the adoptee who has no interest at all in knowing their family of birth – still recognises that they have another family out there that they came from, and likely thinks about them more than you would expect.

We live our entire adopted life having two families.  Imagine what it is like to have two families (birth and adoptive).  Have you ever tried, really tried?  Don’t you think you would feel like you lived a divided life?  And society, oh my, they want to tell you who your real parents are and how you should feel and act.  I received a comment the other day on the post about those horrid TV shows “That child will be able to look back and see why they were adopted and how devastating it was to the biological mother. Rather than wonder why or feel like they don’t matter.”  I asked if the commenter she was an adoptee, but no response so my assumption she is just another voice from society telling the adoptee how they must feel, and amazingly she must also think that adoptees can’t figure out all on their own that it would be excrutiating for our mothers.  Sigh…

Adoption can make the best of a bad situation but it isn’t magic and can’t erase reality – no matter how good of a life you have – you still have two families – you still live a divided life, how it affects you is up to you.


Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Divided life and other stuff…

  1. Don't We Look Alike?

    June 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Have you read Reunion by Katie Hern and Ellen Carlson? I’m reading it right now. Katie is so articulate that I wish more people would read the book.


    • TAO

      June 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I will have to order it in. Will take your word that it’s worth reading.


      • Don't We Look Alike?

        June 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        I can’t wait to find out what you think. I’m going to write a blog post on it, I think. Make sure you are ready for it emotionally as it is a year of letters between a woman who was adopted as a baby and her birth mother–that first year of reunion.


        • TAO

          June 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm

          I will order it this week and make sure there aren’t distraction when reading – sounds amazing and brave of them to put it out there. Hard to do.


  2. kellie3

    June 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I hate that I was a party to dividing my granddaughter the way she is and will be. I hate that I cannot make her parents (also my husbands brother and his wife) see how much damage is being done by their continuing refusal to heal the rift that has been caused. I hate that she may feel responsible for that rift one day when she had absolutely no role in it. But what I truly hate the most is that whatever her feelings are about her adoption when she is able to articulate them, they will be ignored and not validated unless they are in line with those who are raising her.
    I believe her great-grandmother’s feelings (my husbands mother) on her own adoption is what is believed to be THE adoption experience and will be transferred onto my granddaughter regardless of how she truly feels. My mother-in-law wanted nothing to do with her original family thus neither will, or should, her great-granddaughter.

    Lord, what a mess!


    • TAO

      June 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Kellie – you can’t carry this – people have never talked about what it is like until recently in any real numbers and agencies denied until recently too – how could you know? I think your granddaughter will have the smarts to own her own feelings when she reaches adulthood – if not before. It will be hard on you until then but YOU can’t blame yourself – only what you do with the knowledge once you gain it. Hugs


      • kellie3

        June 23, 2013 at 2:56 am

        I know it’s not good that I do. I know hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes I cannot help myself. Eventually, I will forgive myself and move on (hopefully). Thank you, TAO.


  3. cb

    June 22, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    A lot of the problem seems to be that the child seems to still be considered a “blank slate” by the Powers that Be in adoption. It seems to me that because “biology means nothing” to adoptive parents, then biology is to mean nothing to the child or expectant parents.

    Also, as you point out, ALL adoptees have been born into one family and raised in another and have to deal with that situation all their lives (whether they chose to acknowledge the first family or not). The fact that their child will have a divided life is something that the bparents should factor into their decision, yet it is not something that they are ever told about. Adoption is sold to them as being a “trade up”, eg


    • TAO

      June 23, 2013 at 2:02 am

      CB and the problem with that is that it isn’t non-directive counselling by someone whose only goal is to help the expectant mother to see what ALL her options are. When the counsellor has a stake in the outcome, or allows their own views to color their words – then the bias exists. I far prefer the process that Australia requires and think all countries should model it.


      • cb

        June 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        Very true.


    • gooddaytocry

      June 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Biology does not mean nothing to buyers. They actively discipline the bad genetics out of the child. One adoptive mom didn’t like her child’s choices and had her publicly punished. These rescuers are proud to be the ‘good’ influence in their inherently bad children.


      • c

        June 27, 2013 at 8:09 am

        They actively discipline the bad genetics out of the child. One adoptive mom didn’t like her child’s choices and had her publicly punished. These rescuers are proud to be the ‘good’ influence in their inherently bad children

        Umm, just because I’m an adoptee doesn’t mean I have bad genetics or am inherently bad. In fact, my bfamily are wonderful people and my bmom seems to have been a lovely person – no bad genetics there.


  4. wsbirthmom

    June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Reblogged this on wsbirthmom and commented:
    Listen to the adoptees….


  5. gooddaytocry

    June 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I met a fellow that was adopted back into his biological home. He faired much better than other adoptees, write that judge Samuel alito, Veronica father’s lawyers. They made the wrong decisions!



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