you may know me or not know me. Aside from being an adoptee rights activist, I also care about animals, the environment, all children, the elderly, and more. I’m down to earth, can be hilarious, and I love painting, sculpters, theatre acting, and being by water to name a few. I know you’re busy and won’t take up too much of your time. Maybe you’re thinking you’re already devoted to the cause of finding a cure for cancer, a very noble cause, or are just too busy being a caretaker, but becoming an activist for adopted people (and for first parents too, a more polite term for biological parents and never say birthparent) only needs to take a few minutes per month of your time if that’s all you can give.
If you do want to have a long read (perhaps you’re stuck indoors on a stormy night and the Netflix stopped working) be all means feel free to read my articles below. Otherwise I am going to do this question and answer style. This will take up approximately 20 minutes of your time. If you need links to proof of any of this, just ask.
- How severe is adoptee discrimination? Adopted people and their children have died in cases because of adoptee discrimination. One death is one death too many especially of a child when it could have been prevented.
- Is open adoption better than closed adoption? Absolutely. However, open adoption is not legally enforceable and approximately 75% of open adoptions close by kindergarten age.
- Is first parent privacy real? No! It does not exist. It is a lie. It is a myth. The original birth certificate is not sealed until the adoption is finalized. So, if a baby is given away for adoption or taken and ends up growing up in foster care he or she keeps his or her original birth certificate making privacy null and void. If it were about privacy, and it’s not, the original birth certificate would not be made in the first place. Another example to give you. When I volunteered at a shelter, a pair of 15 year old twins were going to be adopted. This means that even though they knew their abusive parentd for 15 years, they too would have their original birth certificate sealed. Once it’s sealed, you aren’t allowed access to it if you’re a closed adoptee. In NY, original birth certificates were not sealed until Senator Lehman bought 2 children from the human trafficker Georgia Tann which can be read about in The Baby Thief by Barbara Raymond.
- What does it mean to be a closed adoptee? It means no biological family medical information including in life or death situations (although some have a little bit), it means no updated biological family medical information – and an adoption agency can refuse to send it to you, your doctor, or your adoptive parents even if you’re dealing with something extremely serious like epilepsy, even if your first parents ask them to. It means growing up with people who look nothing like you, which for some they don’t care and for others they feel very weird about it. It means not having your original birth certificate simply because you’re adopted, but knowing non-adopted serial killers and other evil folk are allowed theirs. It means not being allowed to know your original name. It means not being allowed to have a passport depending on when and how old you were at the time of your adoption. It means not being allowed to know your heritage (ex: French American, Irish Canadian) although this part has changed thanks to Bennett Greenspan creating Family Tree DNA who I interviewed in January. In some states, by the way, adoptees are not allowed to do genetic testing even if pregnant to see if their baby has any hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
- Why should I get involved in the adoptee rights movement? Empathy. Everyone deserves to know who they are. Everyone deserves their original birth certificate. Everyone deserves to know their roots. Everyone deserves their family medical history not only for themselves but for the children and grandchildren of adoptees. Also, because of late discovery adoption. This year alone I have come across 4 adults who didn’t learn until their 50s or 60s that they were adopted. Imagine reading this and then suddenly learning one or, worse yet, both of your parents are not your biological parents. You suddenly learn you have a whole family out there. You also suddenly realize all of the family medical history you gave your doctor, and your child’s pediatrician, is wrong.
- What if a first parent doesn’t want to be found? Too bad. That isn’t said meanly, but with empathy and conviction of knowing precisely what society needs to change and how. Nowhere in the course of psychology or sociology is it appropriate to make one person the dirty secret of another person. Nowhere in psychology nor sociology is it healthy to hide from your past. This is precisely why the rate of depression, post-adoption drug addiction, and PTSD is outrageously high for first mothers. What if they were raped you asked? My answer, why are you blaming the adoptee for their own conception?
- What can I do to help? You can write your local politicians asking them to unseal original birth certificates. You can get yourself tested with sites like Family Tree DNA and ancestry.com to make sure you yourself are not a closed adoptee. You can educate yourself with books such as A Hole in My Heart by Lorraine Dusky, The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler, Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, videos like those by Joe Soll on youtube, and well researched blogs such as this one, firstmotherforum.com and the extremely, extremely well researched blog adoptionbirthmothers.com just to name a few. You can advocate to politicians to unseal adoption records. You can get activated over making sure all adoptees have their original family medical history. You can stand up and say all humans deserve equality, and that includes not being someone’s dirty secret or being a commodity. Advocate that minors can’t meet with an adoption agency without having a trusted known adult present. Currently, in the US, girls as young as 13 are meeting with adoption agencies without a trusted adult (parent, grandparent, favourite teacher) knowing about it. Yet these same children need a hall pass to the bathroom at middle school.
- What do you mean a commodity? Ever heard about finding a child “a forever home.” Unfortunately, according to a Reuters investigation from 2013, around 25,000 adopted children in the US every year, mostly from Asia and Africa, (who cannot speak English and do not know American culture) are resold sometimes to paedophiles. It’s really, really disgusting and horrible.
- Isn’t the adoption industry well regulated? I mean people looking to adopt have to go through so much. You would think so with how hard it is to adopt babies, but in fact the adoption industry is uncredentialed, has no oversight, and is less regulated than America’s and Canada’s real estate industries. If you really want to delve into the economics of the adoption industry, that makes $12 billion annually, read everything by Mirah Riben at mirahriben.blogspot.com. Mirah is someone you want to talk to directly. She is an economical genius about the adoption industry, and was aired multiple times on national TV about a child murdered by their adoptive parents.
- Wait did you just say murdered? Aren’t adopted kids going to loving homes? Mostly. This is a huge, huge, huge reason I speak up because kids adopted out of foster care are being abused at a higher rate in their adoptive homes than their biological homes (*please note this has to be checked, I heard this and have not done the research on it yet). In 2015, 102 to 105 adopted children in the US were ghastly raped and murdered or murdered by their adoptive parents. One child is one child too many. The adoption industry failed those children by not doing decent enough backgrounds. Countless other adopted children grew up or currently grow up in their adopted household surviving abuse, racism, and/or servitude. Bringing this up does not mean I do not recognize the good and loving adoptive parents out there.
- Well, first parents choose adoption because they were too poor/too young and they are happy and adoptees are happy because they are in loving homes. Up until the late 1970s or early 1980s (depending on the state or province) a girl if unmarried was forced to give away her baby. Prior to abortion, women and girl were not only forced but were even stabbed in the privates after birth as punishment and/or handcuffed to the bed, called whores, and other extreme forms of abuse. Extreme abuse of unmarried women and girls, including rape survivors, took place in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Australia, France, Israel, and other nations. From the early 1980s to today the adoption industry has used subtle coercive language tactics to take babies from mothers. They also still engage in coercion (*see Kimberly Rossler case of Alabama). Quite often the pregnant mother is shamed by her grandparents and kicked out of her house (my adoptive mom states that’s what happened in the case of my first mother) and the adoption agency doesn’t look for extended family that can help because they wouldn’t make a profit. If they do, they are one of the few ethical ones out there or if they do they say the child would be a burdened. They often tell the pregnant mother her options but always paint the others negatively and adoption in the positive. The vast majority of first parents, now and in the past, come from middle to upper middle class suburbs, and not from poverty. My own story is a perfect example of an unnecessary adoption. There is a severe lack of rights for first fathers. Girls and women can be shipped out to Utah where the baby’s father loses all custody rights of the child even if he is a law abiding man or teenage boy who signed the baby’s birth certificate. In some states it’s legal for the boyfriend to abandon the pregnant mother so she becomes more likely to go the adoption route. This is only scratching the surface of the iceberg.
- How can I stand up for first parents? Tell them they are parents of adoption loss. Agencies liked to objectify these mothers. For example, mine was told she was only a vessel. Not a mother, not a human, but a mere object. This is psychological and emotional abuse that wreaks devastation on generations. Become educated about the high PTSD and depression rate (and suicide rates of adoptees are four times higher than that of the general population). Advocate for certified therapists and psychologists to be able to reach first parents and first parents to know they deserve to reach out to them, as many have been told if they tell anyone of their baby they’ll go to hell, or that only weak people cry over their lost child.
- Are you anti adoption? Do you hate adoptive parents? Well, I certainly hate the ones that abused, murdered, resold, etc. I think the vast majority of adoptive parents are very loving. I have loving adoptive parents and I have friends who are adoptive parents. Am I anti adoption? Yes and no. Yes, I am simply because adoption needs to stop the practice of discriminating adoptees such as sealing their original birth certificate. We need to change this practice from sealing original birth certificates to giving the adoptive parents a certificate of adoption instead. Closed adoption must be abolished as it is abuse in the hearts and minds of many, and if you had to endure what I had to endure daily from it (being a dirty secret, being kept from my sisters, not knowing my own family medical history growing up, not knowing where my talents come from, not knowing my heritage before testing you’d know why suicide rates are so damn high amongst closed adoptees). Yes, there are some babies and children who need to be adopted- children whose family members are all on drugs and children whose family members are all abusive. Children whose parents are in prison or are deceased and in these cases in family adoption should always be sought first. If we were to take the money out of adoption, like Australia did, 97 to 98% of infant adoptions wouldn’t happen because that was the results of Australia. My own adoptive parents are activists for change.
This easily could have 100 more statements to it. Easily. However, I rest my case here and I hope you decide to become an adoptee rights activist.
Please note you need to have a thick skin. You will receive a lot of nasty replies from people who don’t want you to dare say anything bad about adoption.