I read your article posted a few days ago: 3 Reasons To NOT Find Your Birth Parents with the tag line “It’s your life; it’s your choice.” and just wanted to lay out some statements of facts before getting into a
- You are an adoptive parent
- You have written another ‘instructive’ article to adoptees before (title below)
- You are not an adoptee, at least you don’t claim to be
Your first paragraph indicated to me that you are one of those ‘rare advocates for closed adoptions’ and keeping that door firmly closed, if possible. My take away from your points.
- If we’ve been told we were the product of rape or incest it may bring up feelings to our first mother if we search? You don’t think we’d come to that conclusion on our own? First, as an adoptive parent you speak for the first mother feelings, then you instruct us (adoptees) and end with this gem designed to keep that door closed: “As sad as that is, many adult adoptees are able to live fulfilled, happy lives without feeling a huge gap from not knowing the birth families.” I would suggest that you don’t have a factual basis to state that is true in regards to those who wanted to search, it is only an assumption meant to shame the adoptee for their feelings so they comply.
- That if we are ‘rejected’ we need to quit? You don’t believe we’d do that on our own? At the end after telling us we probably won’t get all our answers and may feel worse if we kept trying you say this: “At a certain point, it may be best to release the desire of creating a relationship”. I’d suggest that adoptees are the experts in having had to make peace with never knowing, despite the reality that desire that will always be there, we do, we’ve done it our entire adopted life.
- That if we don’t want to search it’s okay and we need an adoptive parent to tell us that? You start with this: “Negative Feelings When Considering Search and Reunion. Sometimes there’s no clear reason to not search.” You presume that all adoptees even consider searching. We don’t. We aren’t a monolith. The desire to know where we came from is not universal, if you have no desire to search, you aren’t going to consider searching, nor feel bad. If an adoptee is interested, it is an immensely personal journey undertaken when they feel the time is right, it isn’t guided by anything other than what the adoptee wants at that point in their life based on their feelings and needs.
I’m still sitting here bemused by the thought of you, an adoptive parent, telling an adoptee what they should do about something so deeply personal as searching for their truth. Just a big ole ‘wow’ to your tenacity, but based on your previous article on How To Approach Your Adoptive Parents About Finding Your Birth Parents with the tag line “As told by an adoptive parent” and the one you just wrote – you seem to think so lowly of adoptees, that we need you to write these instructions for us, because, we need tutoring on how to behave in a civilized society, and how to think rationally.
That is my reaction to an adoptive parent writing about anything to do with an adoptee and their choice whether to search, or not. It’s not your place. If you must write something on the subject; consider interviewing adult adoptees, listen to their stories and reasons why they searched, or chose not to search, listen to the their words of wisdom gleaned from their lived experiences, and then, write something that details what they experienced, what they learned, what they tell other adoptees to be aware of, without your bias bleeding through.
Here are some facts you may not be aware of about adoptees that generally hold true:
- As an adoptee; you can’t take anything told you from an agency as fact. History has proven time after time that what an adoptee is told, may, or may not, have any relevance to the truth.
- As an adoptee; you may want to verify what your adoptive parents or your first parents told you, if you have any doubts to the veracity.
- An adoptee has the right to seek their truth if they so wish, whether they find what they are seeking or not.
- An adoptee decides to search based on their own unique needs and reasons, whatever they may be.
And finally, the adoptees I know are strong, strong-willed, hold strong opinions on what is right for them. As a group, adoptees have been schooled, talked down to, chastised, preached too our entire life, repeatedly, by multiple people about the dangers of daring to know our truth, and/or the harm we can do if we open that door, both to our adoptive parents and to our first parents. My day the vernacular was about the dangers of opening a can of worms. What’s missing in all of them, is what the adoptee needs.
Here we are in 2017, and adoptees are still being told what to do. It gets tiresome to live your whole life being treated, as if, we are ignorant of the ramifications, don’t have the ability to have thought deeply about it, considered the potential outcomes, or willing and ready to tread carefully in making any decision on reaching out for our truth.
What also boggles the mind, especially coming from an adoptive parent, is the lack of faith you have in your fellow adoptive parents. To assume our parents didn’t raise us right; to be thinkers, to be considerate of others, to do our own research and search our own moral compass before making such a life-changing decision. That as adults, because we are adoptees, you think if we decided to search, that we would just rush in like a bull-in-a-china-shop, damn the consequences, or not have any consideration for our first parents and the effect on them.
Do you really think so little of the rest of us living in adoption?
I’m choosing not to link to the article, but should you want to read for yourself, a simple search on the title of the post will get you there on your own.