Adoption BEwareness Month Part II

It’s that time of year again, when I can’t open a paper or glance at a web site without being innundated by how WONDERFUL adoption is and isn’t it too bad we don’t have more of it.
Forget the rainbows and fluffy animals. Others have mentioned this, and I believe also, that it would be far more effective to spend November analyzing the less savory sides of adoption.
Such as honoring Strange And Mournful Day, when mothers take time to contemplate how the adoption industry robbed them of their children, their dignity, and their self-respect.
Or reviewing how supposedly respected organizations like Catholic Charities can so royally screw up their (expensive) intermediary services that purportedly “help” adoptees and birth relatives reconnect. (90% success rate?! I want to hear how many applications got dropped on the floor a la the Illinois Confidential Intermediary Service. Likewise, I bet CC is also pre screening to insure success before accepting participants–skews the figures nicely.) You’ve got to wonder what CC is trying to conceal, that they’re refusing to help straighten out this appalling situation. Don’t tell me the law doesn’t allow it, that’s a cop-out similar to “I was just following orders”.
What about donor-conceived people who have no access to their medical records? What about cases like the sperm donor who passed on a life-threatening genetic condition? Doesn’t anybody give a damn that we are creating human beings willy-nilly with no regard for their rights as human beings? I don’t mean embryos, I mean the rights of real-live people who are suffering because others want to conceal errors and misdeeds.
How about discussing the strange case of the birth mother so upset at being contacted by the child-now-adult she gave up for adoption that she feels the need to plaster her story all over the place, in some kind of insane attempt to… do what? Garner sympathy? Destroy any hope of open records? Demonstrate how ungrateful we adoptees are, especially those of us who *gasp* search? Because being adopted automatically turns us into crazy stalkers, it’s right there in the Player’s Handbook. Oh, and our heads spin 360 while we projectile vomit, too. But genealogy is A-OK if you’re, say, the First Lady, or anybody else for that matter. Now, gimme back my dice so I can keep playing the D&D version of Adoption Stereotypes. I’ve got a new character to roll:
Strength: Limitless
Intelligence: Questionable
Charisma: 18 (+30 to News Media)
Weapon: +10 Glaive Of Victimization
Armor: Shield Of Anti-Reflection
When confronted with the Stalker Adoptee, the Birth Mother Promised Confidentiality morphs into the Psycho Birth Mother. Not only has she never regretted her decision, she’s the one being victimized and wants only to maintain her privacy, which is why she touts her story to any News Media she can find. Her siren call is: “Don’t open the records! It’ll destroy women like me!” Ignoring her sister birth mothers, who may actually (horrors!) desire and seek contact with their offspring, she hides in plain sight, turning any adoptees who cross her path back into Perpetual Children. The Psycho Birth Mother refuses to look at herself in a mirror, because deep down she knows what she’s doing is wrong.
As I said on Osolomama’s blog, if women don’t want the offspring they gave up for adoption to contact them, then they ought to support open adoption records. Because as it stands in closed records states, the only way for adoptees to obtain info is to contact their birth mothers. (And no offense intended by my use of that term; I’m using it strictly for search engine purposes. As far as I’m concerned these women are mothers, no adjective.)

Personally, November is very hard for me. For one thing, it’s my daughter’s birthday. She is my eldest and the very first biological relative I ever saw in the flesh. That is so messed up I cannot even begin to tell you. So to have Adoption Awareness Month be the same as the anniversary of her arrival is really difficult. The last thing I need are painful reminders that she and my son are the only biological relatives I may ever know. I am also irate that the whole adoption thing spoils my ability to be able to enjoy her birthday. This month should be all about HER, turning six and getting pink princess presents. She shouldn’t have to have a mother who’s distracted by fighting the ghosts of adoption past, present and future. Adoption affects my kids, too, and they had nothing to do with it!
It’s also that time of thanksgiving, of being grateful… and I am damn sick of being told, as an adoptee, to be grateful. It’s a time of family and since I’ve been disowned from my adoptive family and denied existence by my birth family, that only makes it worse. I could tell you the reason I haven’t blogged much lately is because I’m busy with work and other things. It’s even true. But the other reason is that I am so effing sick of adoption at this time of year that I can’t think straight.

Thank goodness for Doctor Who or I might not make it through this year. I’m planning to enjoy the last episodes of the Tenth Doctor to the fullest, and I don’t need adoption casting a pall over my escapism, thank you very much. In fact, adoption is the reason for it.
Adoption might as well be a rusty knife in my stomach. It’s hard to tell what hurts worse, going in or coming out, but either way it’ll poison you for life.
Yeah, I need a whole month to be reminded of that.


  1. Triona, I remember reading your original post about being separated from your baby after birth in the hospital and the bowling and the pants-ripping incidents and thinking thumbs up to you–the more parents can just accept their kids, no matter who they are or what they are doing, the better. *Discipline*–ick, it’s really just a way to mold your kids after yourself. But to the topic at hand, I am glad you are excusing yourself from the month of November and its peculiar festivities. And I am sorry this month haunts you like this. Hugs. Many. Hang in.

  2. Hi osolomama, thanks for reading. Bowling and pants-ripping? That wasn’t me, although my kids have done some crazy stuff. Most of the time I can take it in stride because they are so precious to me that I could care less if they accidentally smudge marker on the dining room walls or grind Play-Doh into the carpet. It was difficult being separated in the hospital though. I made my husband stay with my kids at all times because I was so afraid something was going to happen, despite alarms and mother-child security bracelets.

    I just wish there were a way I could go through life and not have adoption keep smacking me in the face over and over again. Even when I try to avoid it, there it is. Maybe if the records were open I could be at peace by knowing my origins, but being kept a second-class citizen is especially galling in November when I am expected to be even more grateful for it than usual.

    Thanks for the hugs… right back at ya!

  3. Hmm?

    “My daughter ripped her pants up in the garden and I was delighted, although part of that may be because my adopted mother chided me for the exact same thing. . . My husband’s idea of his 40th birthday party was to take the kids bowling and you know what?”

    So much fun, you forgot??!!

  4. This is something that had never occurred to me:

    “if women don’t want the offspring they gave up for adoption to contact them, then they ought to support open adoption records. Because as it stands in closed records states, the only way for adoptees to obtain info is to contact their birth mothers.”

  5. osolomama–Oh yeah! I DID forget about that. 🙂 Or rather, forgot I had blogged about it. I was thinking, ripping up pants WHILE bowling and couldn’t remember an instance of that. Chalk it up to momentary brain failure!

    Lavender–When I began searching, I didn’t necessarily want to contact my birth mother. I went the intermediary route because after 10 years of trying, the only way to try to obtain my records was to ask her. People think that unsealing records will result in more adoptees seeking out their birth families but really, I think many of us are just looking for some answers. “Information” and “contact” have been so conflated by the adoption industry that it’s just assumed adoptees who search want contact, when that’s not necessarily the case. Thanks for writing!

  6. The Thanksgiving connection is blatant! I suspect it was planned that way.

    Sealed or unsealed – there is NO protection from being found – for those separated by adoption or anyone else!

    As for the rest, I would not have adoption awareness focus on the bizarre oddities, I’d have it focus on the INDUSTRY practices…the daily coercion and exploitation of mothers and the commodification of their children.

    The blogging we do IS making a change!!!

    Read my latest on this subject for proof: (copy and paste WHOLE url)

  7. How did Adoption BeWareness Month get started anyway? Doesn’t November have some other “month” thingie attached to it? Did it ever occur to the person who pushed this dumb month through Congress that it was a knife in the gut to many of us? Yeah, I know we are the loonie birth mothers who never quite got over losing our children, like we were supposed to.

    Thanks for your post Triona.

  8. I’ve been thinking of all of the bloggers I read who find November such a difficult month. I’m so sorry.

  9. Hi Lorraine–This web site details the history of Adoption Awareness Month:

    My understanding is that it started as a way to remind people about children who were ALREADY WAITING to be adopted, e.g. children in foster care. Somehow that has been twisted, as it always is, to focus upon infant adoption, e.g. the taking of infants from mothers who might otherwise be able to find the support to care for them.

    I have no problem with finding homes for kids who actually need them. It’s market-driven infant adoption that frosts my shorts. What if we put all the resources that people dedicate toward that and used it toward helping women raise their own children? What a difference that might make!

    Hi TongguMomma–thanks for reading.