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adoption/please be gentle on adoptees.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 14:45

Jess That's great that someone can provide you with that kind of info. I'm about 45 miles away now from where the birth side live but it's often been SO tempting to just walk down the street and see whether I can get a glimpse of them coming out of the house or something. I've so far resisted the urge! Lou

The Bag

The Bag Report 1 Jan 2005 14:48

Lou, I actually did that! I decided that if her net curtains looked grubby i wouldn't take my research any further.Should have realised when i saw plastic geraniums on the window sill!

Sue

Sue Report 1 Jan 2005 16:04

This has been a very interesting thread to read. I have only ever known 2 adoptees in my life. ** One I went to school with who had major problems with her adoptive family - faults on both sides that I as an outsider could quite easily see. (Her adoptive mother and my mother were friends). When she made contact with her biological mother (after she had a child) she was totally rejected again, which caused her to have a complete breakdown. The other is a friend of my daughter. She has two adopted brothers (all different biological parents) and feels that the boys were more loved than she is. Her adoptive mother never stopped criticising her all her life, in the end she left home to get away from her. She managed to contact her birth mother a few years ago and is still in ocassional contact with her birth family. Hearing both sides of the story (her adoptive parents knew her birth parents) suddenly made sense of all the things that had been done and said in her life. She is now 30 years old and partly reconciled with her adoptive parents. It has left her with big problems and although she would love to have children, she is too worried that she may not be able to love them enough. She is having counselling. I feel so sorry for her. Joanie I wish you lots of luck with your new found birth brother. I hope that all goes well for you both. Sue xx UPDATE: ** I realise I should have worded that better. I meant that I had only closely known 2 adoptees out of all the friends I have had over the past 50+ years. I do of course realise that some may have been adopted and not mentioned it, but I don't think so. (Going now before I dig myself in any deeper!)

Carole

Carole Report 1 Jan 2005 16:29

I have been reading this thread with interest and my heart goes out to you all. My step-mum decided to look for her birth mother about 4 years ago. She had been adopted 55 years previously. We used BMD microfiche and the electoral registers to locate her (luckily she had an unusual married name). However when we did locate her we did not make contact immediately. My step-mum used NORCAP who were wonderful. They have people trained in making contact with birth parents. First they needed all the evidence that the person we had found was her birth mother. When they were satisfied with that, they had to speak to my step-mum to explain the possible rejection, etc. When they were satisifed that she was prepared for any outcome, they get one of their "contacts" to write to her birth mother. The contact wrote it in such a way that if anyone else read the letter they would not realise what it related to. e.g. Dear Mrs X, A friend of mine is researching the X family and believes that you may be related. Her name is XXX and she was born in 19XX in XXXX. She would be very interested in making contact with you..... NORCAP ensure that the letter has a local postmark to the birth mother so that any other family member would not take any notice of the postmark. The contact then gives her telephone number so that she acts as a go-between for the first contact. The contact is also given photographs and a brief biography of the adoptee because one of the first things a birth mither asks is what does their child look like! In my step-mums case, her birth mother was astounded to receive the letter after 55 years but was so thrilled that 2 hours later they were on the phone to each other. Her birth mother said that she had never tried to make contact as she felt it was inappropriate for her to search for her child and that she just waited in the hope that one day she would hear from her. It did end happily and, although they live at opposite ends of the country so cannot see each other as often as they'd like, they do speak on the phone at length every week. Not sure of NORCAPs web address, but I am sure a search will find it. Good luck and take care. C x

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 1 Jan 2005 16:34

In the 60s and 70s we werre what was then called 'short term foster parents'. i.e. we took babies from birth until they were adopted at 6 weeks (6 weeks was the norm). I often wonder what happened to the two who stayed most in my mind, one we had for 6 weeks, he was so tiny, weighed less than 5 lb at birth. His Mum was only 15/16 and she used to make quite a long bus journey once or twice a week to see and hold him, she bought him clothes and really loved him but her parents made her have him adopted. (single parenthood still carried a stigma in the 60s). He went to ireland. The second had a slightly older Mum who was a nurse, she loved him but couldn't make up her mind whether or not to marry the father, or if she wanted baby adopted. In the end we had him for 6 months and he then went to permanent foster parents. I think in the end she married the father but for some reason still wanted the baby adopted. being only foster parents we were never told the full history. But both Mothers loved the babies and visited them, bought clothes etc. I think the majority of mothers only have/had their babies adopted in desperation. Nowadays the situation would probably mean the baby being aborted. Ann Glos

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 16:41

I've heard of a few people being reunited by help from NORCAP but personally I'm not sure I would want an outside agency involved. Because I was adopted before 1975 I had to have the obligatory counselling session with Social Services before I was allowed to have my adoption file. I resented the fact that someone who didn't know me and had never met me before was telling me how I should be thinking and feeling and making an assessment on whether I was 'able to cope' with the information in the file. It was especially hard cos I worked for Social Services at the time and although they had been careful not to arrange my session with someone I knew or had worked with, it felt really patronising. And when I got the file it didn't contain anything that I didn't already know from info I'd been given by my adoptive parents so the whole thing seemed like a farce. Lou

The Bag

The Bag Report 1 Jan 2005 16:49

I well remember being 'councilled'Given facts and being asked "how do you feel about that". with issues such as adoption i think you need to stop and think out what you feel about something. How did i feel about her having named me? What was i supposed to think? "Oh How kind of her" Didn't really 'think' anything. I had gone on a fact finding mission and what i wanted was facts! Like you, i didn't want some social services bod wanting answers from me Jx

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 16:55

Yep, agree totally. I can see the merits of the counselling session in some cases but I was 30 years old, had a child of my own and worked in Child Protection! I knew what I was dealing with and, like you, I wanted facts, not someone adding more questions and doubts to the already large mound of them! I remember one of the things I was asked was 'How do you think you could cope if any attempt to make contact was rejected?'. How can you possibly answer that until you're in that position Lou

The Bag

The Bag Report 1 Jan 2005 17:19

If you dont want to get your fingers burned you just dont stick your fingers in the fire! I found my birth Mum days before i was 30 and met her.She promised me all sorts..then never replied even to a letter until fairly recently, a gap of about 6 years, actually nearer 10, maybe i'd have been better off not knowing..but them i'd have wanted to know! No win situation Jx

Heather

Heather Report 1 Jan 2005 19:45

Although I appreciate everyone's opinions from all sides on this subject it made me remember something an old friend, who was a methodist minister in Africa once said to me. He had recently returned from horrendous conditions to a comfortable Yorkshire parish. This was before I adopted my gorgeous boy so it didnt really have the same meaning for me at the time. He had been "counselling" someone in his new yorkshire flock who had major hang ups about her adoption. "The trouble is" he said to me "people in this country have the luxury of being able to worry about this sort of thing. In my old parish it wouldnt even occur to people that this was an issue" True words.

Soxanshoes

Soxanshoes Report 1 Jan 2005 20:28

not adopted but a similar issue........ as the illegitimate daughter who was born in the early 1960's who's mother within a year produced an illegitimate son, who was supposedly adopted (but it appears he was "given away") to close friends. i was told about theis when i was about 11 ...... i too sometimes wonder about my father my brother but my dilema now is for my own children........... their father and i divorced when they were tiny with no rules about visiting or money...which meant he bothered with neither!! my girls have been loved and raised by a great man but now i find they have 3 siblings. younger than them. i have never bad mouthed their father and any talk of him by them they refer to him by his christian name ( their daddy raised them) do i tell them?? how much will it hurt them??

An Olde Crone

An Olde Crone Report 1 Jan 2005 20:39

This subject comes up again and again on this board. I truly wish that I had a Time Machine, to take all you Adoptees back forty years or whatever, so that you would see for yourself how absolutely impossible it was for an unmarried mother to keep her child. If the father would not marry her and her parents would not give her a home, she had NO CHOICE but to give the child up for adoption. Over one million children were adopted in this country between 1946 and the early seventies. Surely you can see that this figure does not reflect one million uncaring mothers? What it does reflect is one million stories of heartbreak, grief and a lifetime of guilt and mourning, which can be placed squarely at the feet of the ruthlessly punishing and moralistic society we lived in. Loudolph asks why her birth mother rapidly married and had another child after giving her up for adoption. The answer is simple: she was forced to give you up against all her instincts, married the first man who asked her and set about trying to "replace" you. I wonder how many children she had before she realised that in fact she could not undo what had been done and that she would always be one child short. I wish all you adoptees a happy outcome but please do not judge your Birth Mother by today's standards, those standards simply did not exist until 20 years ago.

MrsBucketBouquet

MrsBucketBouquet Report 1 Jan 2005 21:04

Well said Marjorie!!! .... My Mum was forced to give her third daughter up for adoption at birth back in 1952. At that time, Mum me and my older sister had to live on 7/6 per week 'national assistance' as it was called then.Thats less then 50p. I was 3 and elder sister was 12. Mum was a single parent......Mum thought of her lost daughter every single day..... Mum gave a gift to a childless couple...a VERY special gift and it was the hardest thing she ever had to do in her life but it was done for that child...not herslelf. ps...I recently found that lost sister and we talk on phone most days....meeting up very soon. It hasnt been without it's problems but thats life!...We are 'sisters reunited' pps...Mum died a couple of months ago. The three of her girls plan a visit to her grave...TOGETHER. Gerri x

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 21:17

Marjorie With all due respect and you're entitled to your opinions, this thread was NOT about critisising the women who gave us up for adoption. It was purely a chance for us adoptees to discuss how they felt about being adopted and our opinions (which vary) on whether we feel ready or able to trace our birth families, about how we felt about going thru the counselling sessions and the medical issues that crop us as a result of having no family history. Something we very rarely get to do in everday life because someone who has never been in that position can only ever empathise, they can never fully understand. You do not know that my mother simply married the first man who asked her and had another baby to replace me. No-one knows the reasons behind why she gave me up for adoption other than her and until we make contact, if that ever happens, the questions and the doubts will always remain. And just for the record, she only had the one child after me. As a trained psychologist I know all about the replacement theory...have lots of children to compensate for the one you gave up/lost. That does not apply in my birth mother's case. I am well aware of how hard things were for women back then, with no social housing, no benefits system like we have today and probably no support from their family either, but that does not take away the fact that I was placed for adoption and how I feel about that and how I choose to express those feelings are not going to be changed by a history lesson. I've no idea who started this thread originally but I would like, just for once, for us adoptees to be able to have a discussion about how we feel about the issues around adoption without people jumping down our throats and accusing us of being heartless, unfeeling, ungrateful and clueless Lou

MrsBucketBouquet

MrsBucketBouquet Report 1 Jan 2005 21:34

Lou. I hope this thread keeps going because it helps all involved in 'the looking and finding' process. I very much WANT to hear the adoptees side. My adopted Sister has had problems all her life and I want to understand and maybe be able to help her now and in the future. I quote.....' Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life' This is my reason for finding OUR family on here. To be able to give her hers and myown roots. ('FORD' of Walsal by the way) nudge nudge wink wink lol Gerri x

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 21:41

Gerri I totally agree. I have my birth mother's current address, I know that she's now seperated from her husband, I have her birth cert, marriage cert...I just haven't got the guts (and I admitted that earlier) to take that first step and contact her. I'm the first to admit that for the first 17 years of my life, I had her pegged as a cold heartless person who had simply handed me over at birth. Then I had my own son when I was only 17 and it hit me that it must have been the hardest thing she's ever had to do in her life. To carry this little person round for 9 months KNOWING that she was never going to be a mum to him or her must have been heartbreaking. I couldn't have done it without my parents support and I do know from my adoption file (which I got some years after my son was born) that she didn't have that for various reasons. I just wish that everytime a bunch of adoptees get together and have a discussion about certain issues (i.e. having no medical history) that people didn't automatically assume it's a thread for us all to have a go at the women who gave us up for adoption and start insinuating that we're being selfish for feeling like we do. Lou

Unknown

Unknown Report 1 Jan 2005 21:52

I have only just noticed this thread and am not feeling brilliant at the moment, so I've scrolled briefly through the last few replies. I too am an adoptee. The last two years or so have been an emotional rollercoaster; I don't want any sympathy but I've been to hell and back - been threatened with legal action too. But the wonderful outcome is my very close relationship with my (half)brother and his family. Marjorie, I'm not disagreeing with you - just would like to point out that mothers 40 years ago COULD keep their babies. My birth mother was unmarried and kept her first child - then gave me away because she blamed me for my birth father walking out on her. That hurts. Mandy

Jean

Jean Report 1 Jan 2005 21:54

Marjorie, I'm ,sure none of these adoptees are judging their birth mothers , I am an adoptive mother,who knows only to well the heartache and traumers these adoptee's go through..... When you adopt a child you are advised to tell your adopted child as soon as they are old enough to understand, the earlier the better and......this thread is a wonderfull thread for them to be able to talk out their feelings with other adoptee's about issues that only another adoptee can relate to.....although my son was told at a very early age about his adoption it took 30 years for him to pluck up the courage to talk to me and tell me he wanted to find his birth mother, he was afraid i would be upset.....of as a loving mother how could i be and as i said on an earlier reply we are searching together , and i'am very honoured to be asked to do so.....I hope this thread continues for a very long time because I feel is helpfull, many of us have have been lucky to have been brought up by our natural parents and I cannot imagine how it must feel to not know your natural roots...also one must remember that many adoptee's face a second blow in their lives when they face regection by the birth parent they have sometimes taken years to find....

An Olde Crone

An Olde Crone Report 1 Jan 2005 21:56

Lou I am very very sorry if I have upset you, I didnt mean to at all, it is very difficult to put an inflection of voice into a written message. What I was trying to say is that your feelings of rejection are not necessarily needed, that the circumstances I described IN GENERAL may have applied to your adoption. Of course it is true that there may have been other reasons in your particular case. And the rest of my message was meant as a general background to the social conditions which prevailed 40 or so years ago. Whenever this subject crops up on here I get a sense of frustration that people of your age and younger do not understand what it was like in those days. I did not intend to be patronising and I hope you understand that I was motivated by an urge to help adoptees realise that their adoption, if it took place more than twenty years ago, was probably the result of social pressures and not necessarily because they were rejected by their birth mother. All individual cases are of course different and again, I wish you a happy outcome. I certainly do not think any adoptee should be "grateful". All children are entitled to expect to have a happy and normal childhood whether with their natural parents or with adoptive parents. Marjorie.

MrsBucketBouquet

MrsBucketBouquet Report 1 Jan 2005 22:01

oh Lou.... You coudnt be futher from the truth hun. It's a disscusion...thats all and hopfully through this, the likes of myself can learn alot about your side and feelings as well as you learning about your Parents side too. I do hope I havent offended you or anyone else as that was the last thing meant by my comments. I SO want to help my new found Sister and try to understand HER feelings. We all have alot to learn. I hope it works out all ok for you. Can I ask you a question?. If you dont make contact, how will you ever know? Are you afraid of the truth hurting more? Lou, You can always walk away! Im only asking you this because my sister has probs about being found and I dont understand and I want to! Gerri x