I wish there was research ‘out there’ that was easily obtained to educate people on the negatives of adoption. There are also better options to adoption which are often dismissed by the ‘adoption is a perfect’ brigade. Maybe I don’t want to stop torturing myself by reading articles, reading blogs/websites by adopters painting the ‘win/win’ option of adoption of newborns.
One such couple ‘begging to buy a baby’ on Facebook and also have a website painting a picture that it’s wunnerful for a mother to make the strong choice of adoption. The only problem with that is it’s coercive and misleading and even mothers who have made that choice have admitted that reality can be different post adoption. I’m not ignoring that there are mothers who are comfortable with their choice and never regret it but that isn’t necessarily the norm. I have ‘met’ mothers who are comfortable with their choices and have respected their choices as as I took the time to get to know them.
This one such couple https://www.facebook.com/timandsarahopetoadopt and their website is https://www.timandsarahopetoadopt1stbaby.com/home.html .
*Please note I am fully aware that there are parents who should never have had children in the first place, there are parents wh0 need help and support (but doesn’t make them bad parents), parents who choose adoption and don’t regret it. The points I make are my opinion but that doesn’t make me a bad person, I am simply airing my views on what I don’t like about adoption particularly when money is concerned. It is criminal the way adoption charges are justified in countries such as the U.S.A.
I believe there are better ways of raising a child such as kinship fostering where a child can be raised in a safe environment, and, maintaining regular contact with one or both parents unless the child is at risk from their parent(s).
On Facebook they are really plugging their website with repeated posts which is irritating and the website is sickly sweet. On their website they make themselves so wonderful and can give a child a wonderful, perfect life where he or she will want for nothing.
“We’re completely open and honored to adopt a baby of any race because we feel that skin color does not make a family.”
- Uh, so if you adopt a baby from a different ethnic group they won’t notice they will look ‘diferent’?
- Nobody else will notice or comment that the baby’s ethnicity is different?
- Will it occur to you to embrace the baby’s ethnicity?
- How will you deal with potential racism towards your child when he or she is older?
- Do you seriously think we live in a racist free world?
- Do you think your potential child will look into your eyes and think ‘yes I do know where I come from’?
- Just think about it, no matter how much you may love your adopted child unconditionaly no matter what their colour is you cannot give them everything.
I do actually have second cousins who are obviously adopted due to the colour of their skins. They are loved for who they are, have good friends, good lives but they have had to learn to deal with looking different to their family. None of the family can truly understand how they feel as they are the only black family members. I am just thankful that the family will always be there for them.
“Though we tried but were unable to have a biological child, we always thought adoption would be a wonderful way to become parents. …. never felt that biology makes a family.
I know I am very cynical and lost my faith in human nature when it comes to adoption you are ‘saying’ all the right things yet I still have my reservations. It’s got nothing to do with what happened to me as I live in the UK and adoption is different here to the U.S.A:
– no private adoption
– all adoptions here have to go through social services
– no amended birth certificate (adopters get an adoption certificate
– no such thing as closed records and it doesn’t cost much to adopt.
What I’ve learned has been from mothers, adoptees, adopters and foster carers when it comes to American adoptions. It has horrified me what goes on nor does the system seem to be improving.
- I do understand what it’s like not to conceive a baby with my husband so I can sympathise with you
- I also know what it’s like not raising my only son and you will never, ever know what that’s like
- There is nothing wrong with believing that adoption is the way forward to make a family
- Biology doesn’t always make a family – I have had friends over the years that have been family ro me
- If you was adopting out of foster care I would respect your decision
- Adopting from foster care is giving a child a family instead growing up in the care system
- Adopting a newborn screams your desire to have a clean slate baby for your own as if born to you
- Adoption should never be about buying a baby for your needs, it should be about the child’s best interests
- What type of adoption do you want?
- Will you promise to have an open adoption?
- Or will you promise anything just to get some random baby from a mother who feels she doesn’t have a choice or thinks (niavely) that adotion is best for her child?
- Will you honour an open adoption?
- Will you play God with your potential baby?
- Have you even thought about the long-term effect on your potential baby?
- What are your views on legalised lies such as amended birth certificates which implies as if born to you?
- What about closed records?
- Will you always be honest with your potential child?
Honesty should come first which goes beyond potential adopters praising themselves up and stating how wonderful their potential adopted child’s life will be.
with the I am going through one of my dwelling too much on the past periods. Having lockdown for a few months and now easing of lockdown rules hasn’t helped either as my concentration levels aren’t good. It doesn’t help not sleeping very well so I’m constantly exhausted but when I go to bed I feel wide awake.
We are going away for a break soon which is a positive and I’m looking forward to seeing family. At least it will be a happier time than last year on our last visit as we were there for our great neice’s funeral. The family knew that she wouldn’t live because of Edward’s Syndrome although she did live for a day but it didn’t make it any easier. This time Bandit will be with us so I am hoping he behaves himself with the children. He likes children with my main worry being him jumping up at the younger ones unless he decides to be shy.
The latest addition, Savanna, was born on the 29th April so I am really looking forward to seeing her. Unfortunately having too much time on my hands it’s given me time to think of my own grief not just because I didn’t raise my son, we no longer talk I will never know my grandson. Unless a mother has gone through illegal adoption it’s impossible to understand the feelings of loss, an invisible amputation and the grief that goes with it. When a baby dies people understand why a mother grieves, can never forget, learns to move forward and learns how to deal with the grief. Adoption is different as the baby lives but the mother is in limbo unless there an open or semi-open adoption in place. I was in limbo for 23 years and my way of ‘copin’ was emotionally shutting down and not talk. Subsequently when I found my son I had to deal with my emotions. Of course the added problem was becoming more depressed than I already was to the point of not eating, sleeping then eventually seeking professional help.
For many years I have suffered from depression – too many years – which became severe when my son was born and I emotionally broke down. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I suffered from depression until many years later and I was suicidal but knew I didn’t really want to die. I believed what I was told, that I was moody, there were people far worse off than me and I didn’t have anything to be depressed about.
Even in my teens, I was prone to suicidal thoughts which I couldn’t understand and I felt guilty for my thoughts. I didn’t have anybody I felt I could trust enough not to say anything about how I felt. Suffering in silence isn’t worth it.
When my son was adopted life really wasn’t worth living for but wanting to kill myself was scarier to deal with. I couldn’t trust anybody as my parents had betrayed my trust. Instead, I put on an act so even now very few people know me 100%. I find it hard to explain how I feel on a daily basis to anybody which is generally feeling extremely low mst of the time.
Not talking about a baby being lost to adoption is a bad idea but it was my way of coping for too many years. When a mother loses her baby to miscarriage, stillborn, or genetic condition people can be supportive even though they don’t understand the (personal) loss. Of course today there are different charities that offer support which is priceless. One of our nieces and nephew-in-law lost their second child to Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome) when she was a day old. They were well looked after by their midwife and ARC but it doesn’t make the loss any easier. They were given a card with their daughter’s hands and feet imprints on it. They also received a teddy bear with the name of another baby’s name on it and one day parents will receive a teddy bear with their daughter’s name on it.
When it comes to adoption people think it’s wonderful, farting unicorns and in the child’s best interests. In reality, it isn’t and unless the child is at real risk of any type of abuse it’s better to keep the child with his or her mother/father. If the parents die then special guardianship with the child’s family member is the next best thing otherwise with another guardian. I am not completely anti-adoption as there are other ways a child can be raised in safety and retain their name.
What people don’t understand is that when a mother is forced to let her baby be adopted it is loss and the mother suffers for the rest of her life. Her baby is still alive but she will never raise her child. It is a different type of loss to mothers whose babies have died but the result is the same both types of mothers never get over it and just learn to live with the loss.
I lived too many years hiding my pain as I was never offered any counselling so I put on an act. Eventually, I did find my son without actively searching for him when he had just turned 23 years old on Genes Reunited. The rage and pain I actively controlled came out finally but I still mourn the loss of my baby, I will never get him back. My son was shocked I found him without actively searching and had been searching for 5 years. He found my family but at that time my family didn’t know where I was due to a massive argument I’d had with my sister and by this time we had moved. My son was hurt that my parents hadn’t told me they had contact with him for two years when I got back in touch with them. There was absolutely no good reason why they didn’t tell me and the poor excuse was they didn’t know if my husband knew about him. My sister told me they didn’t know where I was so I don’t know what they were telling her – I didn’t have contact with her for 12 years. I didn’t want to fall out with her again as we have got on better since our dad died.
My son and I don’t talk now. We both made mistakes but he won’t accept he was just as much to blame as me when we had disagreements.
Drugged, with her arms and legs restrained, Tasmanian Barbara Pendrey will never forget the day her newborn son was taken from her. It was January 1966. Alone and frightened, the 16-year-old lay on the bed in labour for hours in Melbourne’s Jessie McPherson Hospital before giving birth to a child she would not get to raise. “I was drugged to the point I did not deliver my baby in a natural way,” Mrs. Pendrey told The Senior. “He was taken from my body.”
Mrs Pendrey was just 15 when she found out she was six months’ pregnant. In December 1965 her family sent her away to the Presbyterian Babies Home for unmarried mothers in east Melbourne more than 400kms from her home in Lower Barrington for the last weeks of her pregnancy. She is one of the thousands of women across Australia who were young or unmarried whose babies were taken for adoption by force or through coercion – a practice common throughout the 1950s and 60s and up until to 1980s.
Now Mrs. Pendrey is one of several women sharing her experience as part of a Victorian inquiry into responses to historically forced adoptions in the state. The inquiry is a chance to give people affected by forced adoption the opportunity to tell their stories and consider the best way to respond to harm caused by forced adoption. In her submission to the inquiry, Mrs. Pendrey details how she was bound during the birth. “We were treated like animals, there for them to take our babies and give them to someone else,” she said.
“When I heard the baby cry, I twisted to look at a clock and couldn’t move”. It is this, she said, which damaged her wrist and has left her with permanent pains in her arms and legs. “I have been told the body doesn’t forget. I remember feeling so out of control it was like people who didn’t know me or care, were making huge demands on me. Just being told what to do, like I wasn’t even human or didn’t have feelings. I so wanted to take my baby home with me.”
Instead, they took him off her. “Something so precious. They didn’t treat me as a person with emotions and feelings. This little baby grew inside me. He was my baby, my beautiful baby boy who I never saw.”
More than five decades on, the horrific ordeal has left Mrs. Pendrey with enduring physical and emotional scars including post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome and medical bills running into the thousands. And for Mrs. Pendrey, like many other women, getting hold of hospital records from that time has been difficult.
Barbara Pendrey hopes in sharing her story, it will encourage other women to come forward and help bury the shame associated with forced adoption. She is calling for hospital records to be made available so she can understand what happened, and what drugs she was given and for how long. Despite writing to many places, Mrs. Pendrey is yet to get hold of her files and said she can’t move forward until this happens. “If the Government knows where they are, they should be released.”
The Victorian inquiry comes after various state governments, including Tasmania and Victoria, issued formal apologies to the victims of forced adoption in 2012. This followed a recommendation from a 2012 Commonwealth Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices. The resulting senate inquiry in 2012 documented forced adoption policies and practices across Australia drawing on the personal accounts and professional perspectives from 418 written submissions and community hearings in every capital city except Darwin. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard then delivered a national apology in 2013. Mrs. Pendrey was one of the women who gave a submission to the senate inquiry. She hopes that in sharing her story again, it will encourage other women to come forward and help bury the shame associated with forced adoption. “I’ll never forget when the church minister arrived to give me ‘counselling’. He said: ‘Now you’ve been a naughty girl – don’t do it again’. The shame of this ‘counselling’ has left me with so many issues. I want these women to know: you didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t allow the people who did this leave you with guilt and a lack of self-esteem. Write into the inquiry put the words in writing, cry a little or a lot, make a statement. Be brave, it will make you feel strong.”
‘The last opportunity’
In its submission to the inquiry, not-for-profit post-adoption search and support services organisation VANISH said as mothers and adopted people from the forced adoption era steadily age, the inquiry may be the “last real opportunity to provide meaningful redress for past adoption practices”.
VANISH manager Charlotte Smith said many of the 2012 senate inquiry recommendations have not been implemented, including a redress scheme and the provision of counselling services. VANISH is calling for a “sensitive” redress scheme which includes the removal of the statute of limitations so the responsible institutions can be taken to court. “The separation of a mother and her infant is a traumatic loss for both and can be for the father too. Yet this trauma often went untreated and the grief and loss unrecognised and unmourned,” said Ms. Smith. She said in many cases, mothers whose babies were adopted without their informed consent have not spoken to anyone about their son or daughter who was adopted. “They might feel nobody would understand, or that they cannot bear to revisit the distress they experienced,” she said.
“This traumatic event and loss completely changed the trajectory of some mothers, and fathers’ lives. Their relationships were broken up, their education halted, their self-esteem crushed. Their plans to marry, have a career, have children were shattered, and some now have few social or family connections, struggle financially, and suffer from anxiety, depression, or other issues.”
She said adopted people also experience grief about the loss of their mother and father, their loss of identity, of belonging, and of being around people like them. “This loss is often overlooked and they are expected to be happy and grateful about their adoption. It can be very distressing for adopted people to find out that their adoption was forced and that they were wanted.”
It is her hope that through the inquiry, mothers and fathers who were separated from their babies and adopted adults will find out that they are not alone and that there is specialist support available.
VANISH hopes that this inquiry will establish the truth of what happened and the devastating lifelong impacts on those who suffered such cruelty at the hands of people they should have been able to trust. We hope that the victims and survivors of these unethical and sometimes criminal practices will be told ‘we believe you, it was wrong, it was not your fault, we are truly sorry’ and the institutions involved take full responsibility and focus on restoration.”
Final call for submissions
Individuals and organisations have until June 26 to make submissions to Victoria’s Legislative Assembly’s Legal and Social Issues Committee on responses to historically forced adoptions in Victoria. Committee chair Natalie Suleyman said she wants to ensure anyone who has been affected by forced adoptions can have their say. The inquiry is exploring support services and responses provided to the people in our community who endured the past policies and practices of forced adoption going back several decades. With all that has happened over the past few months, we wanted to give community members a final opportunity to share their experiences and views with the Committee before we move to public hearings in the second half of this year,” Ms. Suleyman said.
“The terms of reference for this inquiry are broad, so the Committee will consider all issues raised by community members who make submissions and present at public hearings.”
The terms of reference for the inquiry and details on how to make a submission are available from the Committee’s website.
- VANISH 1300-826-474 or visit vanish.org.au
- Forced Adoption Support Services (Relationships Australia) 1800 210-313
Over the years family (my in-laws) and friends who found out, I had a son and we had connected have made ‘uneducated’ comments. I got sick to death of the ‘how wonderful’ it was that we reunited comments in particular. Other comments have been ‘it was for the best’, ‘you were young’ and so on which, in turn, has meant that I have had to be extremely calm and explain that I could have raised my son. I shouldn’t have to explain myself but it’s the only way to explain the dark side of adoption.
It’s been far easier to explain to the adoption community of the dark side of adoption. I’ve had my battles and it’s been worth me standing my ground.
I hate it when anybody says ‘it was God’s plan’ because it’s never in God’s plan that newborns are adopted. If that was true every parent would be surrendering their baby for adoption and adopting somebody else’s baby. It is as bad as saying God put a baby in another woman’s womb just so a couple can adopt him or her.
I remember my son asking me not to say anything negative about his adopters. My response back was on the lines of ‘Why would I as I don’t know them?’
Over the years I have been irritated by the DNA/nature doesn’t matter but nurture does and even a few adoptees have said that to me. If they don’t matter why do mothers feel profound feelings of pain and loss, why do adoptees want to know who they look like?
I’ve been told a few times that I’m not a mother as I didn’t raise my son with my mother being one of them. She and the others didn’t ‘get it’ that
Thankfully these days I don’t get so involved in adoption in real life online unless I feel up to it. It’s really not worth the aggravation, arguments, bad feelings or the effect on it has on my mental health.
I am giving credit back to this post https://medium.com/@Flip.Side/phrases-from-adoption-ideology-ad3caf09c6a2 for giving me the material to write about.
After spending so many years of hiding my feelings of loss and not dealing with my son’s adoption my eyes were finally opened up. The support has been great and I wish I had known about it years earlier ago. On the other hand I also found out people can be very cruel and hurtful by their words and actions. I was shocked in the early years how judgemental people can be towards other sides of adoption. After 16 years I am much more ‘hardened’ to the unkind side of adoption and naivety of people who think surrendering a baby is ‘the right thing to do/mother to young to parent.’
One of the early comments that made me laugh as it is stupid. It’s when adoptees are asked if they know their real parents. Even if I didn’t have an adoption connection I would still think it’s a ridiculous question. A real parent to me is the one raising the child whether they are the mother, father, adoptive parent, foster carer, family member to the best of their ability. All parents make mistakes and not all parents are decent.
My son’s adoptive parents are real parents and so am I.
In the early days of the reunion I got sick to death of the ‘you were chosen’ lines given to adoptees. Adoption in the UK has evolved since the 1940s but even so, adoptees haven’t been ‘chosen’ they’ve just been the next available baby. Over the years changes have been an end to private adoptions, the number of babies adopted has dropped, and, open and semi adoptions have been introduced. Since the contraceptive pill, abortion easier to have, changes in benefits and social housing has made it easier for mothers to either raise their children or not to have a child.
Telling an adoptee they were wanted is terrible because the person asking doesn’t know the circumstances behind their adoption. The mother could have died in childbirth, the mother (or father) may not have been given the chance to prove they could be a good parent. Not all adopters should have adopted in the first place. Just because a single person or couple has been approved to adopt (in the UK) doesn’t mean they will be good parents. There are cases where adopters have killed their adopted children or abused them, it’s not just natural parents who abuse their children.
Telling an adoptee their mother loved them enough to give them up is cruel as far as I’m concerned. I loved my son so much I didn’t abort him but neither did I plan for him to be adopted. His adopters believed the adoption agency when they were told I wanted him adopted. It took a reunion for them to find out I never agreed to the adoption. In fact they found out the three letters I supposedly wrote to them were written by someone else and I only received one of the letters they wrote. That was bad enough as they thanked me for allowing them to adopt my son. It was devastating to read that as they didn’t know the truth. Yes there are mothers who choose adoption but I’m not one of them.
Adoption isn’t a selfless sacrifice generally – I get back to my comment that some mothers do choose adoption. I felt worthless when my son was adopted, that I didn’t matter and it reinforced what a family member said to me that I wasn’t capable of raising a child. It has been a lifelong feeling of worthlessness. Nobody knows what kind of a mother I would have been because I wasn’t given a chance. There are other reasons why I didn’t have other children but that is going off-topic.` I was a victim of forced (illegal) adoption and had I known my rights I would have raised my son.
I don’t like the ‘adoption is in the bible’ argument either. Yes I know Joseph wasn’t the biological father of Jesus but Mary was his natural mother. Oh and Joseph didn’t pay a huge wedge of money to buy Jesus he stepped up as a father figure as he was commanded to do. For Jesus to fulfill a prophecy he had to be born into this life and God wouldn’t have been in the physical world as nobody could look at his face and live.
Moses isn’t, like Jesus, an example of adoption as we understand it. His mother placed him in a basket and put in water to save his life. He was raised by a pharaoh’s daughter and his mother was part of his life, in other words he wasn’t officially adopted. Later on, in life, he killed an Egyptian, returned to his family, and led the chosen people to the promised life.
Telling adoptees they were given up is quite commonly used alongside placed. I didn’t ‘give up or place’ my son he was in effect stolen from me. I never agreed to him being adopted and as far as I know I didn’t sign the Consent to Relinquish form. If I did I didn’t know what I was signing and very conveniently nobody can find the form so I can’t prove anything.
The blood/DNA doesn’t matter argument is open to debate but they do matter. If they didn’t then parents wouldn’t care what baby they had as long as they were raising one. Apart from that people have a right to know who their family is with medical information high on the list for being important. I have had mother figures in my life but they’re not the mother who carried me for nine-months then raised me. They have been important in my life but can’t be compared to my mother. Some people should never have children but that doesn’t mean any child of theirs who has been adopted doesn’t have a right to know who they are.
I hate adopters referring to the mother of their adopted child as their birth mother as she didn’t give birth to either of them and it’s a type of entitlement. When these people feel offended when they are pulled up about it they should then educate themselves. I am not my son’s birth mother, I am his mother the same as his adoptive mother is also his mother. Parents can love more than one child so why can’t a child love more than one mother?
I shall continue with this another day.
I haven’t felt like posting for some time due to COVID-19 and lockdown as each day seems the same. We had one bit of good news though that the latest great-niece, Savanna, was born on the 29th April 2020. Had it not been for lockdown we would have seen Savanna by now as it was my sister and brother-in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary on the 10th May 2020. We will be very happy when travelling restrictions have been lifted.
Tempers have been tested over the past weeks which isn’t helped by the fact that we both suffer from depression. On top of that, neither of us has been sleeping well but it doesn’t help that our normal routine has been disrupted. I am really missing not being able to swim as it helps my joints. Both my shoulders have been constantly aching which also doesn’t help when trying to sleep.
We have also had four new additions as our little Storm has had kittens. They are so cute and it will be at least another four weeks yet before they can be rehomed provided a certain person resists the urge to keep them all – so far it’s only one.
Two days ago one of our nieces had her third child, another daughter, which is lovely news. My sister has found it hard not seeing her grandchildren but now that there is relaxing of the number of people who can be together she had her two granddaughters while their mum was in the hospital. She was able to go home four hours after having her baby. My sister is very happy to cuddle the latest edition.
I still find it tough at moments when a family baby is born as I know each one will be loved equally with all the children. My baby wasn’t even given a chance although I do believe my dad and sister would have loved him. My mum couldn’t even make a pretence of liking my son when he turned up as an adult. I will never, ever forget my mum telling me she didn’t understand why he wanted to know me when his adoptive family was his only family. I was tempted to let rip that his ‘only family’ couldn’t give him medical information, where he got his interests but I knew she wasn’t interested and didn’t want to know either. To this day I can not understand why a mother can be so determined that her daughter’s baby is adopted and then never want anything to do with the child when he / she is an adult. It goes way beyond spite. it’s evil and borders on being a narcissist. It’s something that never really surprised me but it still hurts.
I am thankful we are seeing the light beyond the tunnel with regards to the lockdown as it’s getting more and more stressful not being able to do anything or go anywhere. It’s not that I particularly want to go far it’s more to do with being restricted and not being able to do something different. I’ve started getting back to old hobbies such as writing and sketching. I’ve ‘enrolled’ myself for a year to do passable comic sketching which will be challenging. Now I am just waiting for stuff to arrive so I can get on with it. Wool has come out ag0ain to crotchet basic blankets although I have bought myself a crochet book to teach myself more complicated things.
When I was told I couldn’t stop my son’s adoption I emotionally broke down and even today I haven’t completely got over it. To the outside world I was getting on with my life and I ‘wore a mask’ I also started suffering from severe depression but just put it down to postnatal depression. There was no way I could talk about how I was feeling and certainly not to my mother. I went through periods of wanting to die and would self-harm as it was the only way I could release the emotional pain I suffered. I felt ashamed of how I was feeling and believed if I told my family that wouldn’t understand or believe me.
For years I was determined that I would never marry or have any more children as I was so scared that I would be forced to surrender again. I felt so lonely even though I had friends and I loved my nieces so it was my way of self-preservation.
Eventually, I met my husband in 1993 and after a few months of dating, we got married. He made me laugh and I could be myself. The big but was I couldn’t tell him about my son, again I felt too ashamed to tell him and I didn’t need to tell him unless my son found me. I don’t know how I would have dealt with that but it was taken out of my hands. One day I went for a long walk after an argument with my husband. When I got back he confronted me about it as my sister had rung up, didn’t believe I wasn’t in and told my husband about my son.
When we had both calmed down I told my husband the basics and told him there was no point in talking about it unless my son found me. I should have talked and been willing to talk but I couldn’t risk going to pieces. It was my way of dealing with it whereas I should have been talking. It took another 12 years before I started talking and it was the end of my world of pretending all was well in my life.