Earlier this week the Today Show included a segment on a daughter meeting her mother for the first time. A daughter that resorted to using Facebook to try to find her by putting her personal information out on the internet (risky), but it paid off, and a reunion happened. So what happens in the comments on the Today Facebook page after the segment aired? (Be warned that I am using adoptive parents repeatedly throughout because that is what was used.)
Many adoptive parents and/or friends of adoptive parents acting badly in the comments…
What part of an adoption reunion story between two grown women (a daughter and her mother by birth), involves the parents who adopted her? What relevance is there including them in a story about a reunion between two people.
I’ve read most of the comments and most have no interest in the reunion story, just whining and bitching that the adoptive parents were left out, not interviewed, not part of it, some questioning her relationship with her adoptive parents, others like the adoptee who included this sentence in her comment: “For 22 years her Mom got up in the middle of the night, diapered her, fed her, wiped her tears & loved her (remember, she was chosen).” – say what? Others that said the adoptive parents should have been consulted about the reunion – I just quickly pulled three comments out that aren’t as extreme as those to give you an inkling…
“I agree. I am an adoptive mother and would support contact between my daughters and their birthmothers. But the parents who raised the girl should have at LEAST been mentioned. I would like to know what kind of relationship the girl has with the parents who raised her.”
“I think leaving the adoptive parents out of this story is really a shame. That’s who raised the baby through her life. They deserved to share their thoughts, as well as given proper credit for raising her. No fault of the daughters or birth mother, but certainly that part of the story left a gaping hole full of questions.”
“And the adoptive parents who raised this child, LOVED this child EXACTLY THE SAME as a biological child, SACRIFICED for this child, most likely PAID for her lovely wedding, put their heart and soul into raising this child are given ONE sentence in this article… Seriously??? When you adopt a child you aren’t just “filling in” until the “real parents” can step in as adults. I’m happy that she reunited with her birth mother and that she can have the answers that she was looking for. But she belongs to her REAL parents, the ones who raised her. As a mom, an article like this written about my daughter would break my heart.”
For the last couple of days I’ve pondered why this happens, over, and over again, when the media highlights an adoption reunion story. Why this need for the adoptive parents to be the focus, or their views heard on every story that has anything to do with adoption. What does it say about who is important, who should always stay in the background, who should forever live their life focusing only on how great their adoptive parents are; all at the expense of what the one adopted, needs. I don’t understand it, this is not my experience and it puzzles and worries me for the adoptees growing up today. I hope it isn’t the experience for most adoptees who don’t have fully open adoptions, but I think it probably is based on the sheer volume of reiterations of the theme stating how horrible it was that the adoptive parents weren’t part of the segment.
It also reinforces that the adoptee is never allowed to be an adult, with adult feelings, and the ability to make her own choices. This young woman chose to look for her mother by birth, yet, according to the many commenters she needed a mommy may I before she searched, and then, should have had them hold her hand when she reunited. A woman in the eyes of the law, a child in the eyes of the adoption community, who should have had approval from her adoptive parents and they should have been part of the reunion, and if that didn’t happen, for shame, let the judgement begin.
And just so I’m very clear. An adoptee who has reached the age of majority does not need to ask their adoptive parents permission, or blessings, or even tell them that they are going to search for their parents by birth, or that they succeeded.
The kicker to the story – this adoption apparently was a semi-open adoption as it seems letters were sent and received until the adoption agency closed, so the semi-open adoption closed when they did. Not one comment I read asked why the adoptive parents didn’t make sure when the agency closed, that letters could still be able to be sent and received. I’m guessing from some of the comments made by people claiming to be family that they didn’t want their daughter to find her mother by birth. I’m going to suggest if those comments are true, that the agency closing was probably okay with them, especially if a picture of one of the letters the mother by birth sent is correct because she signed it your mother (or something like that), and that can get some parents terribly upset – despite the reality that an adoptee usually does have two mothers, and yet, still knows who is mom.
The other required part of commenters to a specific adoption reunion story featuring two people has to have at least one, if many comments, like this…
“I wish these stories would also tell the truth about kids finding there biological parents and how sometimes it does not work out. Its so one sided.”
Funny, I don’t remember ever seeing comments in wedding stories about how not all marriages work out, the rate of divorce and/or domestic abuse, and how that truth needs to be included so it isn’t one-sided.
Final note: Adoptees who want to meet their families of birth are going to search and that includes putting their personal information out on the internet, Facebook is one of those places and, quite frankly, the adoption community as a whole should be angry that adults who were adopted as babies (or small children), are left with few options due to antiquated laws than to do something risky like that. Adoptee Rights decades long fight to restore the right for an adoptee to get access to their own original birth certificate is what adoptive parents should be supporting, instead of whining and bitching on Facebook that other adoptive parents weren’t included in something that wasn’t about them, at all…