Well, somebody has to be the bitch who says it. Mine as well be me. I know some people will thank me for this post. Others will continue to talk behind my back. It doesn’t bother me in the least, and I really mean that. People who talk behind your back are behind your back for a reason, and I got that New York state of mind.
So, two things that need to be brought up.
- Adoptees who find it acceptable to reject their first mothers simply to show control. “We were made controlless. This gives us back a small amount of control.” Now, that fact is no arguement. You were made controlless, and it does give you back control. However, who is it helping? Is it helping yourself? No. The multibillion dollar adoption industry that made a profit off of separating the two of you are the only people who win. The biological grandparents who kicked their daughter, your first mother, out of the house for getting pregnant are the only people who win. It’s a stupid way to exercise control. This is different than simply saying, “I’m not ready. I need time to get used to this. Can you give me a year?” So please do not twist my words around and start discussing things like “well, my child had cancer and I couldn’t take on any more stress” (because yes, reunion is stressful. It’s dealing with wounds you never knew were there and trauma, but in the long run if you stay with it the reunion brings healing) or “I did try to get to know my first mother, but she is a kleptomaniac (or whatever) that kept stealing from me and refused therapy.” That’s not what I’m discussing here, and you know it.
- Open adoptees who think that their open adoptions are as bad as closed adoptions or worse. Unless you were in an open adoption where you endured child abuse, shut up and sit down. It’s offensive, arrogant, and flat out wrong to think that your open adoption that remained open and had good and loving adoptive parents (or even so so, but still non abusive adoptive parents) can compare in any way, shape, or form to a closed adoption. Now, open adoption surely still comes with some discrimination and with its own problems, but to compare it to closed adoption and say it’s equally bad or worse is appalling. We have adoptees from open adoptions that remain open who actually think closed adoptees have more power and control over their lives. Pardon my strong language but, the fuck? What the fuck did you just say? Never in a million years did I think I’d have to give a lesson to adoptees, but here we are. So, what do closed adoptees endure that open adoptees don’t (from open adoptions that stay open)?
A. No idea what their original name is.
B. No idea if they have any siblings or cousins.
C. No idea the names of their first/biological parents.
D. No idea why they were given away or lost to adoption.
E. No idea what their heritages are.
F. No idea their biological family medical information or updated information.
G. The first mother has no idea where her child is.
H. The first mother has no idea who is raising her child.
I. The first mother has no idea if her adopted away child is alive.
J. The adoptee has no idea if his or her first mother is alive.
K. The closed adoptee has to spend several years, sometimes decades, sometimes many decades to locate family.
L. The closed adoptee is at far more of a risk of being cruelly and unkindly rejected because closed adoption and decades apart (or at least 18 years) allow for a festering of psychological problems to occur in the first mother (and other biological family members) because she never got the proper treatment she needed and deserved, and was forced to put on the brave smiling face and say everything is all right. She may have even been forced by her family to keep her own child a dirty secret.
So, yes whilst we are all in this together. Whilst there are challenges no doubt to say the two are equal, or that closed is better is wrong. That isn’t an opinion. It’s just wrong. Trying to compare and say, “well, you don’t know how it felt watching your first mother leave after the visits.” So, you’re trying to compare a child who lives just like tens of millions of divorced children live to closed adoptees who have to search? Just be quiet.
And for those saying what if the biological parents are dangerous? Well, you can still keep a child safe without using either open or closed adoption. There is no reason to be sealing original birth certificates, keeping them from safe family members, lying to them, and treating people -well closed adoptees- like we are part of the witness protection program.
Open adoptees and first mothers in open adoptions that remain open have my sympathy, but it’s only to a certain point and that point is mostly when adopters make it harder and harder for you to see your child and start reducing contact. You are not closed adoptees. You are not closed first mothers. Try to be grateful for the fact you actually get to see each other, know each other is alive, know where each other lives, can give updated bio medical information directly, and have siblings keep in contact.