I obviously didn’t get that memo…

08 May

Apparently, times have changed and no one sent me the memo…that the statement below is hurtful and ignorant…according to those on Adoption: Share the Love Facebook page.

“Adoption is a great option…but only in cases where there are no capable and willing biological parents.”

What I take from that, is that if that saying is hurtful, or ignorant, some actually think it’s perfectly fine to give your baby away…even though you are capable (ability and means to raise a baby) and willing (want to parent to that child)…

I’m sorry, I just can’t wrap my mind around that.  Either folks don’t understand meaning those words, or someone has convinced them that being capable, and willing, is not enough, that they aren’t good enough.  If the latter is the case, shame on whoever is telling them that, and it scares me as much, or more, than the outright blatant shaming, and coercion, mothers of the BSE faced from all of society.

If you aren’t capable of, can’t afford to, or don’t have the skills necessary to parent, and/or don’t want to parent your baby, then for goodness sake, just admit to that.  Far better to be honest about it than to make excuses for yourself, some people can’t raise a child, others have no interest in raising a child, it doesn’t make you bad, just honest about your reality.  And if I can be so bold, far easier to accept one of those reasons for needing to be adopted.

But if you are capable, and willing, and choosing adoption under the belief that adoptive parents are somehow better than you for your child.  Adoptive parents are no better, or worse, than biological parents are.  And just like biological parents, adoptive parents can also fall victim to life altering changes including these:

Getting divorced, remarried, lose their jobs, their house, their health, their life, declare bankruptcy, can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, have domestic violence in their home, have affairs, abuse their children.

So now that you understand that adoptive parents are just regular human beings, no better, or worse, than any capable and willing biological parent is, lets talk about the child at the center of it all.  Adoptees face additional challenges solely because they are adopted…and you won’t know where your child will fall on the spectrum of how affected by being adopted they will be…

“The loss for the adoptee is unlike other losses we have come to expect in a lifetime, such as death and divorce.  Adoption is more pervasive, less socially recognized, and more profound.” (source below)

Fear of abandonment that can weave its destructive thoughts into every relationship they have, throughout their entire life.  The words inside my head: everyone leaves, it’s not if, it’s when…

“For children between six and eighteen, though, a number of studies have shown that being adopted is a risk factor for having certain psychological problems, especially low self-esteem, academic problems, and a range of rebellious activities known as “acting out” behaviors: aggression, stealing, lying, hyperactivity, oppositional behavior, running away.” (source below)

It always makes me shake my head when I hear adoptive parents with toddlers speak that their child is not affected by being adopted.  I tell myself, lets talk again when your child has gone through the teen years, and then we’ll see if your tune has changed.  Adoption starts with loss, it’s inevitable that at some point, or many points we have to deal with that life altering event and how it impacted us.

“In looking at all the data, including the contradictory data, we believe there is indeed a clear tendency among adoptees not only to seek professional help, but also to need it.  And we believe the increased vulnerability of adoptees to psychological problems can be explained largely by their experience of loss.” (source below)

Source for the above three quotes from the book: Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David Brodzinsky, Ph.D., Marshall D. Schechter, M.D., Robin Marantz Henig

And lets not forget what adoptees face throughout their lives, from when they are young and the adoptive parents are asked the types of questions in front of them that sparked the making of that “viral adoption boob job video”, but throughout their lives those questions still get asked, and more…

But getting back to the losses…one of my posts said this:

“The life I was supposed to live never happened, so no matter what – I can’t trace that path that I was supposed to have lived.  People point to choices made that changed their life, the fork in the road, and speak of it as life-changing, and I am sure it is.

Adoption isn’t life changing.

Adoption changed who you were into someone else.

I’m going to explore how I feel about that…I may find it too can’t be resolved…maybe that’s why Brodzinsky named his book – being adopted – the lifelong search for self.”

Another post of mine that speaks to the loss is this post titled Feelings that was sparked by Rebecca’s post…

Some of us will put the blame on ourselves and try to explain why we weren’t worth fighting for – I speak to believing as a child I had flaw that others could see, but I couldn’t, as the reason my mother didn’t fight for me.  It was my fault.  That’s what my child’s mind thought – but even today, when I am at my most vulnerable, that child’s mind is always right there pushing against my adult mind that understands why, and, accepts my mother had no choice and it wasn’t me.  My need to be the perfect child growing up wasn’t anything my parents did – it was my own protectionist measure against being given away again – because if it happened once, it could happen again.  It has also shaped my need throughout my adult life to be the best daughter, employee, neighbor, wife, friend, based on the fear of being rejected – despite my adult brain telling me that people like me, that I am a good person, likeable – I continually strive to prove my worthiness.  The flip side of that is that I also don’t want to ask for anything, reach out to keep in touch because I might bother them, admit to any need – because I am afraid to be proven right… 

Now you can take my ramblings and dismiss them all you want, soothe yourself that this is the result of a closed adoptee experience, or, you can believe what I and others say.  Being adopted is really hard at times, it impacts us in many different ways throughout the many periods of our life.  We may not even be conscious of it at times, but all our life experiences play a distinct role in how we react to everyday events.  I’m not saying adoption shouldn’t happen, because it must.  I’m saying if there is no reason for an adoption to happen, then it shouldn’t.  Remember, there is always someone better, richer, more educated, has more toys – but it doesn’t mean they are better suited to be the parent, to your child.




Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “I obviously didn’t get that memo…

  1. Dannie

    May 8, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    You and I have talked about this but even at age 4, I see my daughter having a need to be around me and not wanting me to leave. It is intense. I believe it is related to adoption somehow. My daughter has a friend her age, a boy and he acts the same way with his mama sometimes as well. Both kids are foster/adopt and I know his mama was at peace with his placement whether or not he ended up with them or if relatives/parents got it together and he would have gone back to them. I know both these kids are loved, but I can see how internally adoption can affect their need to not feel or be abandoned (again). Good post


    • TAO

      May 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Awe Dannie, you are sweet and I know you will make sure she feels secure…


  2. Tiffany

    May 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    What the what? I went and read the comment thread on their fb page. I am utterly and totally confused. I never allow anyone to say anything negative about my daughter’s other mom and dad. I know that they felt backed up against a wall and made the best choice they could for the sake of their baby. They don’t deserve to be slammed for that, and I’m very sensitive to anything anyone says about first parents as a result of feeling that way. But this statement is not slamming first moms at all. It’s saying adoption should only happen when there are not other options available for the child.

    In reading the comment train on fb, I’m even more confused. The poster is saying she was willing AND capable, but she wanted more for her baby. I don’t get that. More what? What it more than being willing and capable to raise your own child? What was she lacking? To me, the definition in this instance of capable means with monetary resources of some kind, possibly with some support from friends or family, a roof or a means to have a roof over your head. These are some of the things that pregnant women in crisis pregnancies struggle with, and so often, this sadly leads to adoptions and shouldn’t. Mother and baby shouldn’t be separated for something as temporary as lack of money. Those things can be changed, and do change for most of us at different points in our lives. But I know that what should be is not, and for women lacking in those things, they sometimes feel not “capable” of keeping their babies. Barring those things, why on earth would you give up a child???

    So I’m definitely missing something here, especially with all the people agreeing that this is such an incredibly offensive statement….


    • TAO

      May 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Tiffany, apparently you missed the memo to…

      My gut feeling, they are hyping “how wonderful and loving adoption is and if you really loved your child you would see you weren’t enough”…that’s the only thing I can see. It’s not the AP’s have more money thing obviously because adoptive parents aren’t rich either, if they were they wouldn’t have to “fundraise” to pay adoption fees – they’d just write a check. So it leaves me with WTH like you…because I don’t see paid for college education anymore likely for adoptees than non adopted…


  3. mgquinonez

    May 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    It does seem as if they are convincing low esteem people to place their baby up for adoption, probably because there are a lot of people hungry for a baby because they cannot conceive one. However, what I think is even more sad than that is the very fact that most people only want to adopt babies (Besides the religious families that adopt teens and ten year olds to make a point of how Christian they are)
    I do appreciate this blog shedding light on adoption, because its a topic man people just don’t know enough about.
    I myself was not placed for adoption, I lived with my biological family for the first year of my life until I was taken away from them from child protective services because they were addicted to drugs. I was put into foster care until I was adopted at the age of four (not because my parents couldn’t conceive a child, but because my mom had always vowed to adopt a child because she realized that every child wants a mom and dad of their own). I was lucky to have been adopted Because I wasn’t a white baby so my odds dropped each year that passed.
    I am now twenty years old and I myself plan to adopt a young child (not a baby) through foster care, even though my friends all want to biologically conceive. But the way I see it, why bring more children into this world when there are already so many that exist. I have no problem adopting mine. I don’t need genetic DNA to link me to them for me to love them. But perhaps I am biased because all the love I know is not biological. But love isn’t biological. Not at all.
    ~The Mystery of M


    • TAO

      May 8, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Hi MG, thanks for commenting. Needing to be adopted is so different – you needed a mom and dad…it makes a huge difference when there are solid reasons. I’m sorry though that you had to stay in foster care for so long…


      • mgquinonez

        May 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        Yea the foster home I was in sucked. We were beaten and starved. And none of us were taught how to talk or knew any different from the violence. When I was adopted I had the speech and motor skills of a two year old and was very malnourished, I even had a fat little tummy like those kids in Africa. I did have to go through counseling from age 6-12. I had some behavioral problems at school. Though, I overcame it all and am a completely well adjusted and outgoing gal. Adoption isn’t the easiest thing to do, but I say its all worth it as do my parents


  4. eagoodlife

    May 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    It still amazes me after all these years to see the reasons given for adoption and I wonder what happened to the feisty courageous women I know America raises – I’ve had dear American friends who chose abortion but would never have chosen adoption because they never believed they were worthless, incapable, too poor or disadvantaged to be a mother but not a mother-of-loss. They never found reasons not to parent the children they gave birth to. While the adoption industry is powerful, influential and persuasive and it’s workers, practitioners and enthusiasts pushy, money hungry and driven, often by beliefs that make no sense to the rest of us, there is more to the way in which mothers seem crushed, powerless, disempowered, brainwashed by the industry, their communities, churches, parents etc. What has happened to biological connection that is so strong you’d die for your child, fight to the death for him/her and find creative ways to get through those first hard years? Is it no longer important? Do children no longer matter?
    Adoption is sometimes necessary and the only option where there is abuse and dysfunction. It can literally save life. Adoptees suffer trauma and loss, undoubtedly, but not everything adoptees go through is due to adoption. We need to have the most normal lives we can as children and be parented by those who are not just normal parents but exceptional parents who can undertake a skilled, challenging job. Happy Mothers’ Day all, hope you get through it better than last year! ❤


    • TAO

      May 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Happy Mother’s Day to you too Von – hope the weather is fine and you are with who you want to be with…


  5. eagoodlife

    May 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    When you can’t wrap your mind around it……


  6. Lisa

    May 9, 2014 at 8:20 am

    I’m an adoptee and I too can’t believe this statement…..


  7. shadowtheadoptee

    May 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I missed that memo too. Even after all the years, since I’ve reunited with my BPs, they stil can’t admit that their decisions, way back then, were about them, and, really, had, absolutely, nothing to do with me, or my well being. Guilt is a heavy burden to bare, so they will continue to try to convince themselves it was “for the best”, and I wasn’t hurt by it. They will, continue, to fail at convincing themselves of that fact, because they know the reality, and truth, is that it was all unnecessary. Adoption, a permanent solution to a tempporary problem.
    Their refusal to accept, and take, responsibility for their decisions back then hurts me more than if they would just admit, they screwed up, and didn’t want to become parents. i’m thinking they would, both, find that statement hurtful. How could they not, with all that guilt? Good post.


    • TAO

      May 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Ah Shadow, the denial is hard to stomach at times. I have (adoptive) family members that have lived the lies so long that they too have become “their truth”…

      Glad you got rain the other day…


  8. cb

    May 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    To me, all the comment is saying is “Adoption is great, for those children who NEED homes”

    If anything, the comment is supportive of bmothers as humans – it is saying that commenter has more faith in the birthmothers than the birthmothers do in themselves.

    If a mother is “willing and capble of parenting”, then she is just as deserving of parenting her child as anyone else. She, and the child, deserve counsellors that will properly idenitfy her situation.

    For a woman to “choose” adoption, it is necessary that they be subjected to at least two mantras:

    1) “A child deserved parents who have planned for them”.
    For a woman with an unplanned pregnancy, her “unplanned” status will be used against her. Unplanned is equated with unwanted, eg “well you didn’t plan to get pregnant right now did you?” “No, not really but..” “But if you didn’t plan to get pregnant right now then you didn’t want to get pegnant right now and thus even though you say you want this baby, you don’t really want it as much as someone who actually planned to get pregnant and your child doesn’t deserve parents that didn’t plan for them. There are plenty of families who have been planning to be parents for ages – your child deserves parents like that”. Anyone who has read the Missing Piece will understand how the unplanned status gets used against the woman with the unplanned pregnancy.

    2: “Biology means nothing”
    It is actually very hard to mention biology in an adoption conversation without being told that those who consider biology to be important are self-centred selfish people. If a bparent is talking about wanting to parent their own child then they are told that children aren’t possessions – in fact, if you check out other posts on that FB page, there are a few about children not being possessions. This is in fact where the “selflessness” mantra comes in – the mother is expected to consider to take her “self” out of the equation when comparing what she can offer her child as opposed to what adoptive parents can offer her child – in fact, by “removing herself altogether”, it becomes about what she can offer A child, not HER child. In fact, calling a child “her” child is considered possessive.

    If “biology doesn’t matter”, then it is then considered that there is no good reason why the child should stay with her bparents. It is then considered a simple “trade up”.

    However, whether or not one thinks biology is important or not, one still has to remember that adoption involves removing a child from one family and placing it in another; it involves being “born to” and “as if born to” two sets of parents and does complicate things more than if born and raised in the one family. Yes, we adapt and lead good lives but it is still not something that should be done unless it has to be done.


    • TAO

      May 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      I just can’t take the mentality. How many unplanned pregnancies happen – imagine about the same as planned. The trading up is a myth…different life is the reality…


  9. cb

    May 10, 2014 at 12:05 am

    As for the authors actual statement, I will address comments to *her*:

    “I was both capable and willing to raise that little girl. I would have done everything in my power to give her everything she ever wanted, needed, and desired.”

    Have you ever though that all she ever wanted, needed and desired was you, her mother? Who told you that she wanted, needed and desired *more*?

    “My love for her was undeniable, which is why what I had to offer was not enough, I wanted her to have more; I needed her to have more.”

    And did anyone try to help you find ways to give your baby more yourself? Did anyone say that adoption is not just a simple trade up for a child?

    Also, when it comes to sacrifices, who wants people to make unnecessary sacrifices? For the non-adopted, if someone did something for you and you knew that it came at great personal cost for a person to do that thing, then you would feel very much that you could never feel anything but positive about it. Thus if that same act also came at a cost to yourself, then you would have to bear that cost in silence. It is why I think today’s young adoptees could be placed in an emotional straitjacket.


    • TAO

      May 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Your last paragraph – very deep, think you are right.


  10. leenilee

    May 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I can’t figure out why that statement is offensive to anyone either. If I’m not giving up my child because of being incapable or unwilling, than what the hell am I doing it for? I think some mothers get offended by anything less than the acknowledgement of their saint hood when others talk about reasons for giving a child up for adoption. If we aren’t using the magical words, selfless and brave, than we must just not get it.


  11. onewomanschoice

    May 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Reblogged this on One Woman's Choice.



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