Secrets Part Two

02 Dec

Most who have been here for awhile know CB, she made a comment on the post Secrets. A comment that expands on different comments made on the WAPO article that I wrote about in the above post, and one in particular from an AP. (that was hard to explain without me ending up confused.) Anyway…

The comment made on the WAPO post by an AP that CB specifically responds to from my post:

“We need to remove the stigma from adopted children that they are somehow not whole people with sufficient identity on their own and with their adoptive families unless they pursue bio-parents and others who share DNA.

The ‘adoption stigma’ needs to be completely removed so that your identity isn’t tied to DNA or the circumstances of your birth.”

CB’s comment below:

First of all, I thought Amy’s reply was a good one.

I then read all the comments, there were a lot of comments about “a right to privacy” (especially by getalife (an adoptive parent)) but when the “secret” involves other human beings then I feel it is advisable to “come to terms with one’s *secret*” so that one can separate the event from the people it affects – counselling as recommended by Amy is a good idea. I don’t think anyone is downplaying what women went through in those long ago times rather we are just saying that eventually, to truly move forward, one needs to be able to separate the event from the person.

There were also the usual “the person I gave birth to means nothing to me” and “the people who gave birth to me mean nothing to me” – often considered the “ideal outlook” in adoption and was probably considered the hopeful outcome of closed adoption – although I personally feel it a bit sad that “indifference towards others” is seen as an ideal in any situation, it feels a bit spiritually bankrupt, although that’s just me.

The thing is that in many cases (in my case at least), it often isn’t until after one has contacted birth family that one realizes that that extra knowledge does in fact help “complete one’s identity”. If you had asked me whether I felt “incomplete” beforehand, I would have said “no” and that would have been my truth at the time, I didn’t feel “incomplete”. However, getting to know more information about my origins did help with identity in a way that I didn’t expect. Whatever the case, whatever feelings I did have (and in hindsight, I can see that I did have feelings I didn’t acknowledge at the time), they were feelings I would have had regardless of any “stigma” surrounding adoption.

People like the above commenter need to stop speaking as if they know what they are talking about. It isn’t that simple. It often isn’t outside “stigma” that causes adoptees to feel how they feel whatever that may be. If anything, this insistence by people “that if we need to remove the stigma around adoption so that adoptees will feel differently about being adopted” may backfire because it may make the adoptee feel there is something wrong with themselves if they do still have mixed feelings about things despite “everything being ideal”.

As always, CB is willing to dig deep and see the potential ramifications for so many different angles in adoption, thankful to have known CB for years now, she’s the logical one.

And on another note: thank you to all who read my rambling thoughts – whether they are laced with anger or not. Also, don’t be shy to add to the conversation. Cheers


Posted by on December 2, 2022 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Secrets Part Two

  1. cb

    December 2, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    I think I ramble on a lot more than you do lol.

    Thanks for your kind words. I think when I joined my first adoption forum in 2010, you were the very first person to respond to me and I’ve appreciated knowing you all this time.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dannie

    December 3, 2022 at 2:24 am

    It always astounds me that people can’t fathom that certain situations in life aren’t clear cut and in the black/white frame one wants to box everything in. Would be a lot simpler but it isn’t. Reminds me of a documentary I saw with my folks this past week about the baby that was kidnapped from a hospital in Harlem when she was 19 days old and was raised in another family in Connecticut. When she realized the truth and went to see her biological parents and family it was a happy reunion and she had answers but it was also complicated because the girl still had good relationships with her aunts and cousins that had no clue her mom had taken this baby. It was an interesting look at both sides, both emotions and see that while the now 20 something year old was happy to know her history, it’s a complicated situation.

    Like all musings or analogies this one is not perfect nor am I saying all adoptions situations are akin to kidnapping, but the feelings about the family one grew up in and the feelings about your family of origin can be complicated but sometimes necessary to put the pieces together of identity

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      December 3, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      You always seem to be able to step into another’s shoes Dannie – thankful you are my friend.


  3. beth62

    December 4, 2022 at 7:18 am

    Is that some sort of new procedure?
    Removing stigmatized DNA from the identity
    sounds old

    Liked by 1 person

  4. KPMominTexas

    December 5, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    I love your “musings”, Beth! It has really helped me in understanding my daughter who was relinquished in the 70’s when I was a teen. I have seen the struggle of her trying to see how she fits in with her newly found birth families. I believe it would be much more difficult if her adopted family were not so supportive.
    Also, I have heard more than once that I should be careful not to try to be her mother. Basically because I don’t deserve to be. They talk about how I didn’t do any of the “hard work” of raising her. It doesn’t matter that I successfully raised six other children and that I wish I could have done all the hard work to raise her. But I don’t always have the freedom to speak bluntly about the choice wasn’t mine-although their reasons would not change. The bottom line is I can’t do anything that might threaten her mom. (A-mom which I refer to as her mom-of course!) It doesn’t matter what people say though. My daughter gets to decide what kind of relationship she wants. I am honored that she now also calls me Mom. And her momma tells me that our daughter just needs two moms and we are happy about that.
    I can honestly say she did not grow up with some sort of adoption stigma. Her siblings were adopted and several of her cousins. She had that in common with much of her family. Her desire to find out her history is different than others in her family. She also said she didn’t think it would change her idea of her identity before finding her birth families-but it did. She is now figuring out what all that means to her. It certainly cannot be an easy task.

    Liked by 1 person


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