What I never see in any of those adoption lists…

02 Jul

I often see adoptive parents post lists of things not to say to adoptive families, or talk about how the media gets things so wrong, terrible Lifetime movies, TV shows that don’t get adoption right, the words used by others instead of using positive adoption language, and how damaging all those things are to the adopted child.

You know what they never include in those lists or all the other things that everyone else gets so wrong?

All those videos and blog posts talking about how wonderful, and brave the birthmother is who just placed, or is placing her baby for adoption, and isn’t it just beautiful.  I’ve never seen them say, wait a minute, that could be triggering for, or damaging to my child to watch another mother do that, especially my child whose struggling right now with why they weren’t kept, what was wrong with them, why weren’t they good enough to keep.

Nope, I never see pushback by adoptive parents about that, if you have, link in the comments…


Posted by on July 2, 2015 in adoptive parents


7 responses to “What I never see in any of those adoption lists…

  1. everyoneactdead

    July 3, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Yeah, you know someone’s twisted and/or religious when they say “isn’t it beautiful” and other gibberish. At least some adoptive parents have more sensitivity. And the ones who don’t, I shudder to think.


  2. beth62

    July 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I cannot count the times I have sat in a room watching a movie with family or friends when the “isn’t it beautiful” comment came up, and I wanted to say, um no, not so beautiful at all, quite horrible actually, gut wrenching even, but not so beautiful. Do you really not see the ugly that I am sucking up here to allow you to see only the beauty? What a job I have been given there.

    I put it in the positive/suck it up cause no one wants to think about that part brainwashing bucket.

    My Dad loves to watch Anne of Green Gables with me, and while I like watching it with him, much of it is awfully disturbing to me. I suck it up for him, I give him his Green Gables moments. He, besides side glancing at me when he thinks I can’t tell he is checking me out to see if I am teary, does Not give me my Green Gables moments 🙂

    But he does take me to the museums, on trips, out to dinner and supports my good to him endeavors and attends all my good stuff ceremonies.
    What can ya say…
    Gotta love the Dad ❤


  3. thebeautifulopportunity

    July 4, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Hi Tao. I get your point that being a birth mom does not immediately grant you sainthood. There’s a wide range of decisions that lead birth moms to place their children with another family. So, it if a mom finds herself pregnant and unable to care for a child, but chooses to give the child life rather than abort, is that mom brave? Maybe it depends on the reason she was unable to care for the child. I’d say a teenager who was raped by her father and decides to choose life despite the stigma is brave. It gets a little bit harder if it’s a married adult woman in a loving relationship who has money but doesn’t want the responsibility of a baby. It gets even harder when it’s a mom whose parental rights are terminated by a judge because of abuse or neglect.

    Regardless, a child who cannot stay with their birth family has been traumatized and that is always heartbreaking.


    • TAO

      July 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      I’m not talking about that – I’m talking about how triggering it could be (or is) for an adoptee to see everyone cheering that another adoptee was created (because that is what they are doing), or worse seeing it happen in a video.

      Let me give you an analogy – how many people suffering from cancer, a bitter divorce, infertility, stroke, or any other life changing event – would like to watch people cheering that it happened to someone else, or watch the event or diagnosis occur in real life. Perhaps not the best analogy but then adoption is a different kettle of fish. It happens *sometimes* for good reasons – *sometimes* perhaps *most times* it works out – but there is ALWAYS a cost to the adoptee – no matter if it’s simple processing or a lifetime of processing, the feelings of being abandoned, the loss of their family, the identity challenges. The child was severed from their biological family and grafted into another, there is immense loss (regardless of gain – you can’t separate those events especially when the surrender happens so the baby can be adopted) and then to see everyone dancing in joy about it is kind of triggering.

      It’s kind of like it is when someone suffers the same life threatening event I did, sure I’m happy they came out of the other side okay, I didn’t want them to go through it in the first place and I can’t cheer something like that on, or be happy it happened – it does and always will trigger me…just like watching or hearing about another baby becoming an adoptee (regardless of the why’s)…

      Does that make sense?

      I don’t do the but they chose life assumption…just another version of be grateful you weren’t aborted because your mother could have. No one knows what another person could have or would have done…pure speculation.


  4. cb

    July 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I know the following isn’t really what you are talking about but there is an instamagram out there by a well known birthmother which has delighted many adoptive parents or people wishing to adopt. It says:

    “We forget sometimes that the women who have struggled with #infertility, who were willing to look outside themselves through impossible and devastating circumstances were willing to considered adoption as a way to become a Mother. Without that thoughtful and painful consideration and the brave steps to adopt I would not have been given the option to place my child. The woman that adopted that baby boy almost 9 years ago saved my life, she gave me another chance, she took on all that it means to be a mother so that I didn’t have to. I OWE HER EVERYTHING!!! I wanted to acknowledge the countless women that consider adoption as a form of #parenthood. You are the hero in my story. YOUR pain is not lost on me!! ”

    All I could think when I read it is what her child would think about what she said. I did try to point that out to some people who were in raptures over it but was more or less made to feel that I didn’t know what I was talking about. I gave up in the end.


    • beth62

      July 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      “I owe her everything”

      My mother said that about my Mom. She knew basically nothing about my mom or me at the time, had never met or been given any info at all about us. I felt steam coming from my heart and head when she said that. Along with how grateful I should be that she hid me from the doctor, who encouraged abortion to the coal miners daughters, until it was too late for that.

      I think that sort of thinking must make it easier to deal with. All of these strong brave women making courageous choices…

      I have great love and respect for many of these women, that’s my claim.

      I have yet to be able to meet and hug or hold a newly adopted one without crying and getting sick to my stomach at the time, or hopefully after.
      I’ve had plenty of practice, you’d think I could do it like the brave mothers do by now. I cant listen to their comments… i try not to, lest i feel the uncontrollable need to speak my mind sometimes. I try not to speak much, respond, in times like these.

      I just hug the adopted one, and if they happen to be old enough to converse and must also hear the comments like: This is Beth, she’s adopted like you, isn’t that Great!!”

      I give them listening eyes to look into and sneak a wink or grin if needed.

      All of those looks I’ve seen, whew, hard stuff to think about. It makes me feel better if I get to be there for the new ones if they … don’t see so much of that kind of beauty in it, either.
      Who said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

      I’ve accepted that i will likely never be able to go there and see so much raveable beauty in that brave mom way.


  5. cb

    July 7, 2015 at 1:22 am

    “All those videos and blog posts talking about how wonderful, and brave the birthmother is who just placed, or is placing her baby for adoption, and isn’t it just beautiful. I’ve never seen them say, wait a minute, that could be triggering for, or damaging to my child to watch another mother do that, especially my child whose struggling right now with why they weren’t kept, what was wrong with them, why weren’t they good enough to keep.

    Nope, I never see pushback by adoptive parents about that, if you have, link in the comments”

    I think one of the problems is that there is a general belief that adoption is of no consequence to a child. Thus a struggling child is considered a “wrongheaded” child and they need to learn to love adoption and be proud of being adopted.

    Today’s expectant mothers seem to be relinquishing their child under that belief as well.

    I don’t know if anyone has really done proper research into the mechanics of how closed adoption “worked”. The general belief in the past seemed to be that for a child to emotionally attach to their new parents, they needed to emotionally detach from their old ones. I read the following in the middle of an article by an adoptee:

    “One friend I’ve talked to in the past (who declined to be interviewed for this article) told me he had no desire to ever find his biological parents, because they had forfeited their right to be his parents when they gave him up. No matter what conflicts he had with his adoptive parents, no matter how he disappointed them or they him, they were the people who’d stuck out their necks to raise him, who’d made mistakes, who’d been there when he needed them.”

    and it made me think that that is really how adoptees were supposed to think. There are many in the general population who would consider this friend to be the ideal adoptee. I dunno, if I were an AP, I’d feel sad if I discovered that my child felt like that. I also wouldn’t want my child to feel extra-grateful to me because of a perception that his original parents hadn’t “stepped up to the plate” – I wouldn’t want to be compared like that. However, that is just me, others may feel different.

    In general, I think the “comparative narrative” in adoption has always been a dangerous one. Things should be done on their own merit not because of comparison to something else.



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