From 2014: Good grief, this gets so tiring…

22 Dec

[2014] 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




Posted by on December 22, 2019 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 responses to “From 2014: Good grief, this gets so tiring…

  1. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    December 22, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I have heard of a couple cases where adoptive parents cut their adult child out of the will due to a reunion. By law, adopted persons should inherit from their legal parents. In some cases, the situation might be better if legal parents are kept in the dark about search and reunion, thus avoiding the terrible conflicted feelings and irrational guilt the adopted person must deal with. Of course, those reuniting would have to agree with those terms; it shouldn’t be one-sided!

    What works for one person may not work for another. Many readers of this blog will oppose the secrecy, and I do understand that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dannie

    December 22, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    My thoughts on all this which may or may not find agreement:
    1. A story was about a reunion. So it was right that it focused solely on the adoptee and the biological family/person(s) vs everyone. AP relationships are for another story not reunion

    2. My family is from a different culture so while a child over age doesn’t need permission or blessing, we are always up in our kids and parents business far beyond the age of 18 so I would hope to know if my kid was looking for reunion. I mean a parent has more resources and life experience and two brains are better than one in thinking about how to go about it. As my mom always tells me, it’s great to be American but don’t be like those cold Americans that cut off kids at age 18 and don’t care about them, because that’s not who we are.

    3. Info be it obc or just the right names should be available to all individuals that were adopted. It’s only right a child knows where they came from and that includes names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      December 22, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      My conflict with #2 stems from the very real concerns the adoptee may have over this is that searching and reuniting is a very personal journey that may put the adoptive side in conflict and/or bring feelings of guilt, or disloyalty, or even being stuck in the middle. It’s a very real thing and stops authenticity. Hope that made sense.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dannie

        December 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm

        You don’t need to agree with my thoughts. All things being equal including cultural of family, yes I can see why this could be better as a private thing. All things not being equal in families including cultural differences, involvement can be horrible or be the normal and helpful and not indicative of control/loyalty etc Asking permission or making sure a parent is ‘ok’ with reunion or any other adult move is not appropriate.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dannie

          December 22, 2019 at 7:08 pm

          In other words that’s my cultural slant talking and it’s ok if we disagree on certain points or see it differently 😃


          • TAO

            December 22, 2019 at 7:34 pm

            Of course it is – otherwise we’d be pretty boring.


            • Dannie

              December 22, 2019 at 8:10 pm



    • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

      December 23, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      I like no.1 and 3 but have a problem with # 2 because adoptive parents might cause more angst than helpfulness in the journey of adoption search. It is a personal thing. The adopted person didn’t get to decide that his name would be changed, didn’t get to decide many things, so this should be one area where he gets to make his own decisions. His decision to let you know about it might be one of his decisions, or he might decide not to share it with you. And the legal parents might show they care by not manipulating their child’s decisions, not being too intrusive.


  3. Lara/Trace

    December 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Gratitude is expected with “ownership” – that is how many parents act who adopted. I have a friend who did open her adoption openly and was left out of the millions of $$ – her inheritance. She wasn’t told she was adopted so we call her a late discovery adoptee. She figured it out when she was in her 40s. That is the reality and risk and loss we adoptees face. TV programs will never get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. C. (so you can decide whether to post or not )

    December 23, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Who is “important”? The adoptive parents (mother in particular). Who is expected to “stay in the background”? The family by birth, more specifically, the mother. She should always stay in the background and know her place being just a quick blip on the radar. A few questions asked and answered and all should be well and done.

    I wonder if the commenters you mention would be totally satisfied with a reunion show of maybe 10 minutes of lead-up with the adoptee and the adoptive parent/s and then maaaaybe 5 minutes that goes something like, “Hi there.” A few tears. Then, “Here’s a questionnaire I wish you could fill out for me about family and medical history, Thank you. Nice to have met you. Bye”. With fade back to full focus on the son or daughter and the adoptive parents as the biological family member slips back into the shadows. Of course with the son or daughter beaming adoringly at their (real) parents (by adoption).

    I sometimes feel that this attitude, which has been around for-EVER, has contributed to the reason why reunion or even the thought of it, and any attempt at an extended relationship is so damn hard for some of us… mothers. We were nothing, we are still considered nothing. Not a mother. Just a supplier of an infant. Not to -ever- be seen as anything akin to mother.

    Sorry for being rough. I got triggered by the story this weekend about the mother being killed and her baby being kidnapped. It just does a mind mess. I thought I had that inner monster tamed and had accepted ‘both/and’. I guess it will be a lifelong battle to attempt to be at “peace” with both/and when the whole thing felt like a kidnapping to me. That’s the other thing about the comments you mention. There is very little to no ‘both/and’ in them.

    And the one adopted… always! stuck in the middle, as if in a vise. S-o-o-o-o not fair and painful!

    A child needing to be raised/nurtured by others will sometimes be necessary. Nonetheless, I hate adoption.



    • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

      December 24, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      C., there have been too many news stories lately, where a woman’s pregnancy and birth results in the mother being killed and the baby taken. In some of these cases, a woman who kidnaps demonstrates her extreme desire to have a child, no matter the consequences. Online research shows the most dangerous time for a woman is when she is pregnant. She is sometimes beaten and often killed. There are cases where the kidnapped baby is taken to a different geographical area and grows up, not knowing she is living with people not related to her. There are houses where pregnant women are kept together and fed until they give birth. Then, they are sent back to their original country. These women come from poverty-stricken homes. A profiteer controls the outcome for these women. What lies does he tell them? The profiteer sells the babies to infertile couples. This is Christmas Eve day and not a good Christmas story.


  5. beth62

    December 24, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Are these comments all because of the big question that comes from the experiment of Adoption?
    The comments sound more like questions to me, aggravated questions looking for an answer.
    Is it because it can’t be universally proven – that Adoption works?

    Incomplete stories of outcome must be infuriating!!!
    Adoption is supposed to work out. Period.
    And if it doesn’t, there is an avoidable reason that we must discover – and point to.

    So, make sure you say it right, do it right, report your reunion findings properly please.
    Standard procedure would entail answering the other question that seems to be most important to many while other people are meeting relatives – Did Adoption work?

    I don’t think the complainers are that worried about the other person’s Adopted parents, nor the Adoptees new found relationships 😉
    They’ll take any chance to throw them under the “not like us bus” in order to save the face of Adoption… the face of their Adoption.I

    So if it did work, apparently you damn well better say so!
    Reunion can be a sign seen by many as – uhhh, maybe not.
    AND we better find out what the problem was, and point at it, judge it, and clear yourself of that wrongdoing, so that reunion, or getting “ditched” or “slapped in the face” like that won’t happen to you.
    I’d rather suggest that you ask an experienced adult Adoptee how to avoid feeling like you are getting ditched or slapped in the face if their son or daughter plans to get to know their genetic relatives. Or already has and finally got the guts to face you and tell you that.

    I got cornered talking to a nice young mom attempting to get me to answer that question. I confess I avoided it for as long as I could keep from laughing about it. It was just so obvious that she Needed to hear me say it.

    Adoption worked.

    I can say it for me. Adoption worked. I could even say it proud and happy like, if I wanted to, to help others feel happy and secure with it. I think most Adoptees know how that’s done, part of the job, we’re often trained for it.
    Let’s not forget, Adoptees have the enormous part in making it work.

    You think diapers, dishes, laundry and late nights with sick baby, homework and soccer practice are hard? Pffftt get a clue!!!! I’ve been performing for my parents for over 50 years. baby diapers tend to last 2 or 3 years, laundry and homework maybe 20. Listen up, changing diapers and feeding, helping with paperwork and bills, whatever, it’s all an eventual trade off. You don’t complain now, hopefully they won’t complain when it’s your turn.

    Adoption worked.
    After nearly sixty years of thinkin on it – I’m not real sure what that even means.
    In fact, I’m feeling a little offended by it today. In an Appalachianed kind of way.

    My answer this week to this mommy?
    “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” 🎅

    Pay attention, that’s your biggest job mommy, to believe.

    I’m full of breakfast cookies and too excited! My favorite fella comes to town tonight!! 😍
    Merry Christmas 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      December 24, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      You weave the best comments Beth, Merry Chrismas to you and yours.


      • beth62

        December 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm

        I saw it again yesterday.
        I have to say it again.
        It’s your job to believe Mom.

        If you don’t believe in the Adoptive relationship, how do you expect your son or daughter to be secure with it?
        No matter their age, or yours.

        When talking or visiting with relatives, if it’s open, or made open by reunion – jealousy caused by This Doubt in the Adoptive relationship probably isn’t going to work to your advantage in any real way.

        Jealousy is an awful monster. A weak, lazy, invasive and destructive pest. The only way to be rid of it that I know of is to call it out, point at it, admit it, tell it and laugh at it with meaningful others.
        It will scurry away when light shines on it.

        This doubt and jealousy lives in people who truly do not want a successful or positive Adoption outcome. They just want what they want. And yes, it is that obvious. And that is my educated and experienced opinion.


  6. KPMominTexas

    June 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I have found some people don’t understand my reunion with my adult daughter. They think we should just “be friends”. What exactly does that even mean? Our relationship does not change her relationship with her adopted parents. I’m definitely grateful that they are supportive, though. We have been in reunion for two years. I will be whatever kind of mother she wants or needs me to be. It’s totally her call. 😍



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