I’m one of the “lucky” adoptees from the era referred to as the Baby Scoop Era (BSE). I’m lucky for all the reasons listed below and more. I also wish I never needed to be “lucky” in the first place.
And my use of the term Lucky is not giving any non-adopted person permission to use it in regards to an adopted person.
I was adopted by good people who did the best they could to parent me well, never failed me, unless you want to judge them on knowledge adoptive parents have today, that they didn’t have on how adoption affects the one adopted over a lifetime. Judging them on current knowledge wouldn’t be fair play in my books, although, it will be fair for the current generation of adoptees growing up now, if their parents chose to parent an adopted child the same as parenting a biological child.
I’m lucky because I have what most adoptees from my era will never have, nor will some adoptees growing up today ever have:
- I have my adoption court paperwork and original birth certificate.
- I have a relationship with my aunt that is filled with love, acceptance and an ongoing relationship.
- I have pictures of my maternal grandparents and other relatives. I’ve even met some of them.
- I have pictures of both my mother and father.
- I have a family health history from my maternal side.
- I have both my family trees giving me an understanding of: who my ancestors were, what they did, where they came from.
I’m especially lucky because I have a picture of my mother and father together, smiling and looking very much in love. I also now know the date that picture was taken, a date that confirms that what looks like a small baby bump in the picture, is me. Whether either knew I existed when the picture was taken is unknown and unknowable.
That picture of my mother and father (and baby bump me) hangs on the wall in my study and I look at it every day. I know just how lucky I am to even have a picture; let alone a picture that tells me they were in a relationship that was working very well, at least it was, until the blood test came back that confirmed I existed.
I’m lucky because of all the above, and yet, I’m still unlucky I needed adoption in the first place. I’m lucky because because I had good parents, and that I have what so many adoptees will never have; knowledge of my story that so many, even if they reunite and/or do dna testing and find matches will not have.
If you think “openness” has made it so adoptees today will have all the knowledge that we older adoptees seek, best guess is some will, but many still won’t because adoption is seldom focused on us, or our well-being throughout our life. We aren’t the paying client, we are the product and many adoptive parents don’t want to focus on the past, they want to focus on their family going forward. And yes, that sounds harsh, but I’d urge you to sit with it and recognize the truth it holds, and will hold, until adoption ceases to be a market for people wanting to adopt babies.