The more I learn from other Adoptees lived experiences, the more I realize that my folks were the anomalies, rather than, the norm. And it makes me ever so sad other Adoptees had to deal with all they did on top of all that being adopted brings to their doorstep. Some of the differences are minor, some are so much bigger.
Dad was Pro-Choice, likely, in large part because of the harm done back then pre Roe v. Wade to pregnant women by abortion providers who weren’t qualified to do an abortion correctly (aka back alley abortions). As I’ve noted before, Dad talked about that harm done up till the end of his life. Mom and Dad adopted because they couldn’t get pregnant and wanted a family, I was the anomaly, they were done adopting, dad decided they’d adopt me after mom had said no when asked to take me, my story has nothing abortion related in it, no idea re the other siblings, nor do I care.
I am ever so thankful I didn’t grow up under the umbrella of being reminded that without them adopting me, I could have been aborted. And yes, that’s a fairly common occurrence as far as I can tell in the Adoptee world. It can also enter the the grateful schtick into the conversation, the lucky schtick, or both. And to make it perfectly clear, Adoptees do not ever deserve to have their parents hang any of the above over the head of their child, they just don’t. Nor do they deserve to hear any of that from the world at large either, it’s both ugly, a silencing tactic, and frankly beyond the pale. Yet I know that despite Adoptees hammering that home, even Adoptive Parents will use any of the above to gaslight Adoptees, let alone the general public doing it.
And people involved in adoption, whatever your role, remember that a choice isn’t a choice when there are no other viable choices for Mothers. So please, next time you are about to say that the Mother made a choice, that unless you know there were viable options she considered, it wasn’t a choice at all, was it.
Take the time to read: As a teen, I parted with my baby, but adoption wasn’t the end of my story – by Tatum Hunter in The Washington Post.