To anyone who disagrees with an Adoptee Rights Bill to allow Adult Adoptees to request, and receive, their Original Birth Certificate. If you have followed along, I’m sure you have listened to, or will listen to testimonies by adoption attorneys, adoption agencies, and adoption professional lobbyists who will speak about mothers being given promises by them, or their predecessors, and how those promises need to be kept. They will also likely testify about the mothers wanting that privacy, but perhaps not explain the privacy they may have wanted at the time. I’m not going to go into the obvious argument about the state not being required to protect promises made by businesses – when everyone knows laws change all the time, or there wouldn’t be legislators. I want to talk instead about what a mother may, or may not have wanted at the time, and the concept that it still holds true of what she wants today. I want you to challenge yourself, to do what I am going to do below.
What I wanted when I was young versus what I wanted later…
I was going to be a doctor – until I changed my mind when I realized what you had to do to become one – and I couldn’t even dissect a dead frog in science class.
I was going to run away and live with my first boyfriend – until I changed my mind.
I was going to be an accountant – until I realized I didn’t like working with numbers.
I was never going to get married – until I met my future husband.
I wasn’t going to be a mother – until I got pregnant and then found out I loved being a mom.
I wasn’t going to be a homeowner and have to stay in the same place – until I found my dream home.
I wasn’t going to change careers – until I was given a job offer I couldn’t refuse, that turned into the best job I ever had.
Now, as you can see I have changed my position on many life changing events, dramatically, and those changes are just ones that are off the top of my head, if I actually sat down and thought about it, I’m sure I could fill a full page, and if you try this exercise, I’m sure you could too. We all change over time, and that comes from lived experiences, maturity, interactions once we are outside of the family home. We grow, we broaden our perspectives, and at some point we start looking back at the what if’s, what choices we made then, what we would do differently now, if we could change the past.
Mothers who gave up babies for adoption from around my era, are no different from any of us, you probably have known one, or even two, who did – but nothing makes them stand out as different than you. They are not some mythical type of person who is forever required to be that unwed mother whose shame was so great – she just wanted to put the past behind her, forever. She’s just as capable of changing her views over her lifetime as you, or I, because we are all human beings, and heaven help us all – if our views never changed past what we believed at the age of twenty.
Now, if you are worried because some adoptees seek reunion – she’s also just as capable as we are, to decide who she associates with, and who she doesn’t. If one day her child sends her a discreet letter, she can make her own mind up on what to do. She isn’t that scared woman frozen in time, today, she is likely a grandmother, or great-grandmother, fully capable to say what’s on her mind. Trust me on this, if a mother can survive loosing their child, they have the strength of will to carry on despite the pain, so if you are worried about the small minority of mothers who wouldn’t want to know their child was well – they are strong enough to say no, I don’t want to know you.
Please make this the year you support the legislation in your state to finally change the laws that were created due to actions by people like Georgia Tann. If you don’t know about her, please read “The Baby Thief The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption” by Barbara Bisantz Raymond, an adoptive mother. Once you have finished reading the book, I hope you will understand why the laws changed when they did, and not really for the reasons you are being told today.
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman
Oct 2014: You may speak freely, but please try to use words that everyone can hear about your individual story or view. If you don't, those who can actually benefit won't hear it, I want to see change in my lifetime. I may refuse to approve certain comments.
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