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Outraged Adoptee?

People (the general public mostly, who aren't living this adoption life) are downright taken aback that an adoptee might have their own opinions about a decision that was made on their behalf, without their input. There is a general attitude that adoptees will accept that the decisions made were necessary, made in love, and in their best interests.

I know adoptees outraged:
* on behalf of their birth mothers
* on behalf of their adoptive parents
* at a society and laws that continue to treat adoptees as if they are forever children needing protection, and thus limited information that others take for granted (birth certificates, heritage, etc).
* at a system that placed differing values "prices" on adoptees based on the popularity of what type of child is deemed more in demand
* at people who profit on the loss in adoption (on all sides)

You can be outraged and still love your adoptive parents & birth parents.

Answer Question

Asked by PortAngeles1969 at 5:23 PM on Aug. 14, 2009 in Adoption

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • My poor cousin was adopted. Sadly my worthless aunt physically/mentally abused her. At 20 my cousin tried to find her BM. The records said that BM was a drug addict and she was taken away. BUT the BM never signed over her rights, fought the whole time to keep her daughter and "had to be physically restrained when her daughter was taken". Her BM was clearly unstable, but she also loved her. When cousin completed the paperwork she found that BM had gone (on her 18th bday) to try to find her, but the state would not release the files bc my cousin had not yet completed the papers The record says the BM "was upset but did not leave any contact information". My cousin filed everything so that if the BM ever goes back she can find her, but otherwise a judge has refused to open her file (regardless of the circumstances). She is 32 now and the BM has never gone back to file the paper work. She may even be dead =(

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:44 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Sorry, ran out of room! My question then is:

    Given the wide variety of experiences, and how society and the field treated triad members in the past, is it so surprising that some adult adoptees would be outraged? Even those themselves, who would call their personal adoption situation "close to ideal"?

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:45 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Anon 2:44

    Oh your poor counsin! This is what I'm talking about - even when there have been less than ideal situations, often the fact that the adoptee is blocked from reaching out as an adult should have more people outraged. It's restricting a right that all other non-adopted adults have - to make contact with a person who is biologically related to them. Whether that contact is welcomed, or rejected it still is a right that others have.

    Who knows what occured in the life of that 18 year old birth mom? She may have gotten better, she may have gotten worse, she may have stayed exactly the same. But, as an adult the child she loved should have the right to seek her out.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:50 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Surprising? No. But I am prone to saying to a lot of people, not just adoptees, SUMO (suck it up and move on). Let me explain. When I worked with survivors of rape many let it rule their entire lives...even 20 years later. To the point where they were still living as a victim. I have lots of compassion and my job was to assist them in moving forward and to stop being a victim. I do think that many women and children are victims of our culture and the political policies that arise out of that dominant cultural thinking. For me the answer is a long battle. Which means not being a victim but to turn into an advocate for change. You may have been a single woman with little options and placed your child for adoption - and no doubt the most difficult life challenge you faced. But you faced it and survived. Instead of being a victim advocate for more educational opportunities for single moms/pregnant moms, more


    Answer by frogdawg at 6:19 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Many of my opinions about adoption are based on my friendships with adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents. It is clear to me that we should all be outraged about many of our current adoption practices. So, no, I am not a bit surprised that adoptees or anyone else is outraged about how adoptions take place, records are sealed and searches are thwarted at every turn.

    I am more perplexed about why so many people are content for adoption to keep functioning as it does. We should ALL want adoption to be better, whether we love it, hate it or are somewhere in the middle.

    Answer by Southernroots at 6:20 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • financial assistance to women and children to be available, less stigma for those who receive assistance (we all need help sometime), more programs for affordable housing - issues that effect woman and their children. Being not only a survivor but a warrior for change. I hope what I teach my child is that his birthmother had the cards stacked against her long before he was ever conceived. But he can be an advocate for change one day and not continue to be a victim of racism, classism, and all the other isms that are out there. He has the right to be outraged but I hope his outrage is used for justice and change. Not for self destruction.

    Answer by frogdawg at 6:23 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Let me just add that what I am saying is: speak out and let your voice be counted.

    Answer by frogdawg at 6:25 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Frogdawg - absolutely!!!

    Outrage focused in the right manner can be constructive - focused in the wrong manner, it can be destructive.

    Often though adoptees don't even get the chance (or the support) to be anything but "grateful".

    I guess that's why I think it's so important for all of us to continue to educate the general public. What we "who are living this" know about the impact of adoption just isn't getting through to society at large and those who have the power and control to make positive changes - for all triad members.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 6:30 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • " But I am prone to saying to a lot of people, not just adoptees, SUMO (suck it up and move on)."

    Telling a birth mother or an adoptee to SUMO is about as sensitive as telling that to a rape victim. I am all for encouraging people who are hurting to heal, find peace and resolution, but telling them to SUMO isn't the way to help someone. SUMO is typical advice for birthmoms, and is not sensitive or helpful.

    I am sorry that you chose to say that to an outraged adoptee, especially to someone like Port who works so fervently to do good things.

    I do agree that part of not being a victim is growing, educating yourself and taking back your power and self-confidence. I know that is what Port and I both have done, and we encourage other moms to heal as well. However, it takes enormous strength to do that, and it is not as easy as you seem to suggest that.

    Answer by Southernroots at 6:34 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • "Being not only a survivor but a warrior for change."

    If anyone is doing that, it is Port! (I am still recovering from that SUMO comment!)

    Answer by Southernroots at 6:36 PM on Aug. 14, 2009

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