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Why would an adoptive parent say this?

20 Sep

By TAO

If you are an adoptive parent, or want to adopt – please, please, stop telling adoptees they should be grateful they weren’t aborted, or the dance around the subject using words like she chose life.  Either statement can be equally damaging to a person’s ego, self-image, self-esteem.  It’s just plain mean-spirited to tell a child (or adult) they should be grateful they weren’t aborted, regardless of how you word it.  It doesn’t even matter what the mother intended (or didn’t intend to do), and I’d note that unless you were that child’s mother you have no clue, it’s presumptuous to assume that abortion was even a consideration.

Now you may be thinking why am I talking about this yet again.  Facebook…in response to an adoptee who was abandoned and is looking for his mother by birth.  And yes, I keep hoping that if I talk about it enough – it will stop happening.

Poster 1: I hope you are feeling blessed that the one that gave birth to you, chose to allow you to live and enjoy life, rather than aborting you.”

Poster 2: Being told you are blessed to have not been aborted and to have been abandoned in an elevator is insensitive and stupid.”

Poster 3: “I am very disheartened to read (Poster 2’s) post.”

Me: I’m very “disheartened” that people who parent (or want to parent) adopted children, have the audacity to say that to an adopted person.  It shows a lack of compassion to tell an adult adoptee that that they are blessed not to have been aborted.  Who would say such a thing?  In what way is that helpful instead of just plain hurtful?

Ugh…just makes me want to throw my coffee mug at the screen.  Hope you found better things to read on the internet today…

 

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25 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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25 responses to “Why would an adoptive parent say this?

  1. necessarygrace

    September 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    As an adoptive parent… well, I just want to distance myself from comments like that! For goodness sakes, would you say that to anyone else? Like just a random person on the street? “Hey, are you thankful you weren’t aborted? You should be!” What?! Just, no. I do tell my daughter she’s a miracle because she is, for a huge number of reasons… as all of my kids (those born to me and those who joined our family through adoption) are. Honestly there’s a lot of days when I hear the things other AP’s say or write on FB (or wear on T-shirts) and I just do a huge face palm. I know many of them don’t realize what they are saying sounds like (or more so, how their words affect their child) and so I just hope they run across blogs like yours and maybe wake up. A girl can dream!

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    • TAO

      September 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks NecessaryGrace…

      How are you feeling about the reopening?

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  2. onewomanschoice

    September 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    It’s like their saying, of the two choices (since the mother and/or father chose not to parent thus eliminating the parenting choice by default), adoption is the lessor of the two evils. I have had abortions and feel that I made the right choice for that time. Some will go to great lengths to say adoption is a loving choice. A loving choice as compared to what? To abortion, to parenting your own child?

    My first born son who was not aborted nor adopted, but was conceived out of wedlock unexpectedly doesn’t get told “at least you weren’t aborted,” or “at least you weren’t adopted.” So why do some say this to adoptees?

    I too was conceived out of wedlock unexpectedly back in the early 1960’s. I was raised by my mother (along with some father support and step father support) and I will tell you that sometimes I wished my mother had had an abortion with me. Especially when people referred to my conception as a “mistake” my mother made. I grew up feeling like I was a mistake. I was an unintended human being brought to this earth. So here I am making the best of this life, the darkness and the light, sometimes competing for space at the same time.

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    • TAO

      September 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      One woman – this has to be my pet peeve, I was shocked to see it on Adoptive Families FB page in language like that. So much for adoption education and our children won’t turn out like adoptees from the past…

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      • onewomanschoice

        September 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

        I understand. A very valid pet peeve. Like you said, it’s inconsiderate. It’s also ignorance.

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  3. Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy

    September 20, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    According to studies HALF of the human beings walking around today were the results of unplanned pregnancies; so should HALF the human beings be walking around being told that they should be happy they weren’t aborted? How about HALF of the children kept by their biological parents being told “Be thankful you weren’t adopted” Or HALF the human race being told ” Be thankful you didn’t get dropped off in a dumpster” ?
    NOPE.. only adoptees are to have that force obligatory thankfulness forced upon them for some insane reasoning. Maybe because by the adopted status we automatically still assume that they were “unwanted”; which of course we know to be untrue enough times.

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    • TAO

      September 21, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Exactly…

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  4. No longer adopted.

    September 21, 2014 at 4:27 am

    As an adoptee I reply back to such stupidness with “Are you not glad you were not birth controlled, or that you parents banged each other when they did? All it takes is a different sperm and you would not be you”. That gets them thinking. Ding Dongs.

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    • TAO

      September 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I’m always flabbergasted by the connection of abortion to adoption…I do think the rhetoric is growing and it makes me sad for this generation of adoptees…

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  5. Raven

    September 21, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Sigh…. I heard this the night I met my son and his adoptive parents when he turned 18. At one point during dinner, he and his dad went outside for a cigarette. His mom turned to me and said how she admired my courage in not getting an abortion…and then she thanked me. I just about spit my iced tea all over the table. I was so stunned and unprepared for that statement. Although I got pregnant at 16 in the Summer of 1971, therapeutic abortions had been legal in California since 1967. My mother insisted…demanded…that I terminate my pregnancy. The more she demanded, the more I dug my heels in. The odd thing if I’m being honest, is I probably would have terminated my pregnancy if she had just left me alone. I was in the midst of my teenage rebellion, so I almost always did the opposite of what I was told. Anyhoo, I did consider it for a day or two and decided I wanted my baby, especially since I was due to graduate early the following December. And then all hell broke loose in the coming months, and I had no realistic option other than relinquishing him for adoption when he was born. His father and I wanted to get married and raise a family, but my mom refused to sign the consent forms. I was informed in no uncertain terms that if I tried to run off with Mike, I would be placed in reform school, and the baby would be placed in long-term foster care. The idea of my son languishing in a foster home terrified me, so I opted for adoption.

    Btw, it’s not only adoptees and natural mothers who hear this. My mother was 16 when she conceived me, and her aunt offered my mom and dad the money to obtain an illegal abortion. They ran off and got married instead, but whenever my mom got mad at me when I was a little kid, she always brought up how I should be grateful she didn’t abort me. No 4-year-old should even know what the meaning of that word is…and yet I did. In the last few years of my mother’s life, she brought up the subject on a weekly basis during our phone calls every Sunday. And I always stroked her ego, telling her how courageous she and my dad must have been. But it always creeped me out. I miss my mom, but I sure don’t miss our phone calls.

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    • TAO

      September 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      “how I should be grateful she didn’t abort me. No 4-year-old should even know what the meaning of that word is…and yet I did.”

      It’s amazing how powerful those words are – why can’t people see that they should NEVER, EVER even hint at that to a child…

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  6. Beth

    September 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I still hear this too much, heard it just yesterday. Also have heard lately “stop complaining Lucky, I could have chosen abortion or adoption.” And I realized I have heard that before in ways, usually from or about single mothers or mothers who chose to marry.

    Whatever, I don’t do it anymore, try to explain why it’s a horrible thing to say to anyone.
    My current response is, F U B.

    It’s a dig at our mothers.
    It’s said to make the sayer feel better than.
    So, I say F’ em, and tell the “entitled better thans” where to go. 🙂

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    • TAO

      September 21, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      “It’s a dig at our mothers.
      It’s said to make the sayer feel better than.”

      I think you may be onto something there – mommy wars – always so prevalent in adoption, even closed adoptions.

      I’m still bewildered that a complete stranger said that to an adoptee. Even worse if she is an AP vs a prospective – that FB page was open so that comment showed up in her newsfeed for her friends, family and possibly even her child to read…totally clueless.

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      • Beth

        September 23, 2014 at 6:29 am

        I think the mommy wars must have something to do with it. Along with… what is one of the things someone does when they want to control someone else? When you want another to do (or think) what you want them to do or think – so your plan will work?

        Degrade them, make them feel less than, just like this person did to that adoptee. Some may not even know they are doing that, but to me, it certainly seems so. Must work for them, I see it A LOT.

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        • TAO

          September 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          Seems so to me too…

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    • Tiffany

      September 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I see it as a dig at the mother, too, and I’m not at all ok with that. I’m an adoptive mom, and I don’t allow anything remotely negative to be said about or even hinted at in regards to my daughter’s parents. That is where she came from, part of who she is, and I do not allow her parents to be disparaged around me. Period. They are amazing people, actually, but even if they weren’t, I still would not allow it. They say, in a divorce, that it is critical that the parents do not bad talk each other to their children, even in the most subtle of ways. It causes divided loyalties, confuses a child, and can negatively impact their own self-worth. Why then is it acceptable in adoption???

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  7. Valentine Logar

    September 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    There really is a simple answer to this, people are too stupid to be allowed to raise children which is why whatever higher power you believe in prevented you from having children in the first place stopped the natural conception.

    Think about it.

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    • TAO

      September 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      You always cut through the fluff Val…

      The other thing I read yesterday that I didn’t blog about, “birthmothers” are discriminating against disabled people by not picking them to adopt her baby and trying to tie it into the ADA. It’s a touchy subject and not a touchy subject whatsoever – no one is required to give their baby to you so you can be a parent, disabled or not. Tied up into what should adoption be – child welfare endeavor to ensure the best interests of the child or a business model to sell babies…still trying to mull all that in my mind.

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    • Tiffany

      September 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      “people are too stupid to be allowed to raise children which is why whatever higher power you believe in prevented you from having children in the first place stopped the natural conception.”

      Oh, I don’t know about that. There are plenty of terrible and awful people who are able to have children and never, ever should have. You only need to read the news on any given day to see that. The capability of a person to be a good parent is not tied to their fertility. Otherwise, we would not see parents abusing children, leaving them purposely in a hot car to kill them, drowning them… all the terrible, heartbreaking stories that I can’t bring myself to read because it hurts too much to think of the child.

      I say this with no malice at all. I didn’t struggle with infertility, and that’s not why we adopted, but I don’t think this is a true statement. Should some people not be parents? Absolutely. Are some of those people adoptive parents? Absolutely. Are some of those people biological parents? Absolutely. Fertility has nothing to do with it. People just suck.

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  8. eagoodlife

    September 23, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Be grateful you weren’t an abortion!

    Like

     
  9. Iris Arenson-Fuller

    September 23, 2014 at 1:12 am

    It’s hard to fathom, as an adoptive parent of many decades and as a former adoption agency founder and director, that adoptive parents could be so stupid and insensitive. What sort of an agency would people like this have worked with that would not have pulled their coattails to all of this and educated them. but then it takes all kinds and some people lie or hide their true selves.

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    • TAO

      September 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you. Sometimes I wonder if adoption today is actually better when this happens.

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  10. Tiffany

    September 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Heaven help the person who says this to my daughter. I will, as my husband fondly says, go all New York on their ass. And I have.

    And when my daughter is older, I hope she does the same. There is absolutely no reason for this statement to come from anyone’s lips, and it should be roundly condemned if it does.

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  11. cb

    September 25, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Poster 1: “I hope you are feeling blessed that the one that gave birth to you, chose to allow you to live and enjoy life, rather than aborting you.”

    It is certainly putting an adoptee “in their place”. The adoptee isn’t allowed to complain about anything in life because, by golly, they should just be grateful they are breathing the same air as the more worthy members of society. It is a way of creating “happy adoptees” – by not allowing the adoptee to ever feel any other emotion but huppiness re their adoption, then they become happy adoptees by default.

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  12. Meg McCormick

    October 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Having been in both sides of this coin, here’s what I know:

    As a child, being constantly reminded you are a “chore that was not chosen” is far beyond damaging. Regardless of the circumstances. It is damaging.

    As an adoptive parent, you “chose” to raise this child(ren) as YOUR OWN flesh and blood. PERIOD.

    The ONLY discussion that should EVER arise about the adoption is one of comfort and compassion.

    Children ask about their birth parents. They should be protected from harm.. Verbal or physical. That is our job as their parents.

    Noone has that “Cinderella Life”… But it’s NOT Okay to take the dream of them away.
    Especially when adopted (whether into relations or outside placements)… These babies just need to be loved. UNCONDITIONALLY. The “reminder” of those harsh words ” your mom didn’t want you” (should NEVER EVER EVER be uttered)- they don’t serve any purpose except to HARM.
    UNACCEPTABLE.

    Like

     

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