Another “we weren’t told we were adopted post”…

13 Mar

Adoption has come a long way in the past 50 years. Adoptions were almost always kept secret and not always a birth parent’s choice back then. Fortunately, open adoption is the norm today. While there can always be issues, studies have shown that this type of adoption provides the most benefits for the birth parents, adoptive parents, and, most importantly, the adopted child.”

No, being adopted wasn’t kept secret from the child and people who knew the families, teachers, neighbors, doctors, pastors, friends and whoever else in the community knew. How come so many adoption service providers lately seem to think this was the case when there is absolutely nothing to back that up, and oh so many adoptees (millions) who were told they were adopted? Does using this statement make adoption service providers and adoptive parents today feel like heroes and so ultra progressive that they’ve told their child their truth, and gasp, they maybe send a letter every year to the parent by birth or even more? This is my most recent post Dear Adoption Agencies that has links proving our folks were told to tell us way back when, and if you still don’t believe we were told, go into any FB adoption group and ask adoptees to tell you when they were told they were adopted.

“If a child grows up always knowing that he or she was adopted and forever loved by both their birth and adoptive families, then there won’t be a moment when they wonder why they were “given up” or question whether or not they were “wanted.””

Yes, we will wonder, we will ask, and we will focus on it because we’re kids who weren’t kept; and we know there has to be a reason why, and we worry that maybe it was us that caused it. Being loved by your adoptive parents does not erase the not being kept challenges we have to deal with throughout life. Maybe it’s time adoptive parents learned to deal with that, instead of insisting kids get over it so the parents feel better.

Or is it to try to pretend that parents by birth and adoptees like myself who speak our truths are not to be listened to, believed, and that whatever we say, to promptly disregard it, because we just had a “bad experience” and that won’t happen now that adoption is so different than our day? It isn’t when you can’t even acknowledge that our folks were told to tell us, how to tell us, how to answer questions and the vast majority did, just like what happens today.

Except saying that exposes the lie that we didn’t know, that we weren’t told, doesn’t it.

Whatever the reason some adoption service providers are saying this – they need to get over themselves and quit flogging that adoptive parents were told not to tell us we were adopted and we didn’t know we were adopted.

“Be open to your adopted child asking questions about their birth parents and origins. By answering these questions with care and transparency, being adopted is a positive experience.”

One has nothing to do with the other – or I’m missing something. And why must an adoptees experience be positive? Why can’t we just be seen as human beings whose lives are complicated because we have two sets of parents and that we lost the right to grow up in our family by birth, to see ourselves reflected back in in other family members, to not have the why questions that haunt us, plus the many challenges that stem from being adopted we have to face over the course of our life. Why can’t we have that? Why must we pretend there is nothing to see here and it’s awesome not being kept in your family and all the subsequent losses that come with that. Why can’t we just be, just like the non-adopted can just be.

But lets move on to the “studies have shown” statement in the post.


“Presents findings from a 4-yr study of over 700 adoptions by non-foster parents indicating that openness has decreased or ceased among a large proportion of adoptions, primarily among those adoptive families who chose openness at the recommendation or insistence of the adoption agency or agent. The findings of this study represent the result of 2 survey questionnaires mailed to adoptive parents who filed for adoptive placement in California in 1988 and 1989. One questionnaire was mailed in the 1st year of adoption and a 2nd questionnaire was mailed in the 4th year of adoption. For all families in the 4th year of their adoption, satisfaction levels and other indicators of adjustment are very positive, with openness bearing little relation to adjustment at this point. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)”

Maybe people wanting to adopt don’t follow links to read the abstract of a study in an article to even know what was said in the blog post has no relation to what is said in the abstract. And yes, I’m assuming here. I took the time to find the actual study here if anyone is interested, it was interesting and contained detailed facts, not all bad, nor all pretty either.

Please do your research before stating adoptees 50 years ago weren’t told we were adopted and adoption is so different now that you do…


Posted by on March 13, 2022 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Another “we weren’t told we were adopted post”…

  1. Michele Sharpe

    March 13, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Adoption agencies are for-profit businesses (no matter what they say), and they will latch onto anything they think is good for business, in this case, how much they’ve “changed.” Ugh. Reminds me of an abusive partner who swears to have changed for the better. They don’t.

    I was adopted domestically (USA) in 1957, and my adoptive parents DID keep it a secret, at least from me. When I found out, at 21, everyone else seemed to know, and others of my generation who were adopted had been told of their adoptions by their adoptive parents. Not much has changed.


    • TAO

      March 13, 2022 at 7:21 pm

      No, some still don’t tell, others do. Sorry you had to wait till you were 21.


  2. Heather

    March 14, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Ugg stuff like that makes me feel sick to my stomach. The lines you quoted from the article are strictly for the purchasers and has nothing to do with what is best for the child. It feels like Heidi fancies herself to be quite the expert with her 15 years beneath her belt!


    • TAO

      March 14, 2022 at 7:29 pm

      Seems consistent with *some* AP’s now as well.


  3. andestanley

    March 14, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    Open adoptions are the norm is such a bit of BS. They are attempting to redefine the idea of open adoption to simply mean that the person knows they were adopted. There is little to no contact with the persons parents and extended family, especially after the adoptee begins asking questions. Truly open adoptions are only enforceable by law in a few states, and they still have to be part of a legal contract between the child’s parents and the adopters. When cases where contact is cut off, adoptive parents often just move. Lawyers to fight for visitation cost money, something our parents rarely have. It’s disgusting, touting to mothers that open adoption will be their experience.


    • TAO

      March 14, 2022 at 7:28 pm

      You’ve noticed that too. It’s got to the point where seeing your parent by birth rarely happens anymore.

      “open adoption to simply mean that the person knows they were adopted.” I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      I look back to my growing up in a closed adoption that was miles more open than what some call open now.

      Thanks for chiming in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • andestanley

        March 14, 2022 at 7:31 pm

        I am late-discovery. I have only recently begun researching the laws and practices surrounding ding adoption, and am constantly being amazed by how duplicitous the practices are. Thanks for writing about it. 💚


        • TAO

          March 14, 2022 at 10:41 pm

          I’m sorry you weren’t told, it’s not fair. Have you found any other LDA’s? I know there’s some on twitter.


  4. c b

    March 14, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Yes, they want to be able to dismiss us older adoptees as anachronisms – eg “older adoptees only feel loss because they had experiences, weren’t told etc – today’s adoptees will feel nothing but joy” – that dismissall may also apply to past vs modern bmothers. Many adoption agencies/professionals and others will still talk as if adoption for a childis one step below heaven.

    I think I’ve posted this before but this “speech” by a bmother (one who is often quoted by agencies) dismisses past experiences of adoptees and her fellow bmothers as “belonging in the past” and talks about her child’s adoption as if it was God-given perfection for her child (what he thinks about it who knows). There is no room for feelings of loss.


  5. c b

    March 14, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    As for open adoptions, apparently the actual definition is if the aparents and bparents are in contact with heach other in some way, it doesn’t necessary include the adoptee knowing their bparents. To me, any actual benefit of open adoption would almost certainly include the adoptees knowing their bparents so the studies they are quoting would not necessarily apply to those adoptees where only the parents know each other.

    Also, I remember one adoption site considering “prebirth matching” as open adoption – on their page, it was implied that the majority of their famiiles kept in touch for only a year”

    “One of the most common arrangements involves the birth mother selecting a family and communicating before the placement. It is also fairly common for adoptive parents to be at the hospital at the time of placement, but all parties agree that communication ceases once the placement is final. In some cases, birth parents and adoptive parents agree to post-placement communication. The most common of these is a picture/letter exchange, which typically continues for the first year after placement”

    This is an agency who also dismissed past adoption practices and talked about modern adoptions as such:
    “In a modern progressive adoption, the birth mother voluntarily places out of love for her baby. She specifically chooses the adoptive parent(s) and places the baby directly with them. A birth mother is able to see the joy in the adoptive parent(s) by allowing them to become parents. She is able to see the impact she creates on the adoptive parent(s) and see the baby placed directly with them.

    Modern progressive adoptions benefit adoptees by creating this beautiful adoption story. A child’s birth mother loved the child so much, that she sought out the perfect, loving adoptive parent(s), in order to give her baby the life she could not provide. At the same time, the adoptive parent(s) have been searching for their very own baby to love. This story of love culminates with a delivery, where all these loving parents come together, celebrating the birth of the child. This story is conveyed to the adoptee, who in the 50’s may have been grappling with abandonment, now feels like the “chosen child” who is loved by all involved”


    • TAO

      March 14, 2022 at 10:43 pm

      It’s all too much.


    • beth62

      March 16, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      Too, too much.

      cb, are you sure that wasn’t written in the 50’s or 60’s, it sounds exactly like the same blah blah blah word twisted sickness in the books my mom had in the 1960’s, maybe even worse, certainly still scary.

      Maybe this book should also be included for the new or old adoptive parents.
      I don’t think it is about the special and chosen Adoptee, just children in general.

      The Chosen Child Syndrome: What to Do When a Parent’s Love Rules Your Life

      “It aims to show how to recognize the signs of being a “chosen child”, how to set about reversing the negative effects during adulthood and how to avoid repeating the pattern with one’s own children.”


    • KPMominTexas

      May 3, 2022 at 11:35 pm




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