To Angry Adoptees

I am an adoptee. I believe I have the right to my original birth certificate that has been denied to me by the state of New Jersey. That being said, I need to point out that I am not an angry adoptee. Yes, I did have a love/hate relationship with my mom. Notice, I said “my mom.” I didn’t say, “My adoptive mother.” My mom was my real mother, whether she gave birth to me or not. Giving birth doesn’t make a person a mother. What makes a mother is someone who feeds you, takes you to the doctor when you are sick, cares for you, makes you study, scolds you when she feels it’s necessary, or just when she loses her temper as we all do. A mom does your laundry, cooks chicken soup and cries at your wedding.

My mom was not perfect. She had a bad temper. And she made me practice the piano far too many hours for someone who obviously did not have enough talent to become a professional pianist. Maybe she had more confidence in me than I had in myself.

My mom was a great cook. I did not inherit my mom’s metabolism, or thick curly hair. I did not inherit my mom’s artistic abilities. But when my children beg for more of my chocolate cake, I tell them their grandma taught me how to bake.

By accident, I joined a Facebook page for people who are against adoption. People who hate their adoptive parents. Every time I logged on to the site, I read about adoptees who hated their a-mom. Despised their a-dad. They spent countless hours waiting to meet their bio-mom or dad. They fantasized about the woman who gave them life, then let them go. They put these people on a pedestal, assuming that they have spent countless years praying for the day when they would be reunited with the child they had to give up.

There are far too many women who were forced, or coerced, to relinquish their babies. This is one of the worst tragedies ever. How dare someone, a stranger, a relative, tell any woman or young girl that it would be better for another family to raise their child? How could anyone say that getting a college degree is more important than keeping your baby? Your flesh and blood? After she gets the degree, she could spend the rest of her life analyzing how she sold her soul, her child, for a piece of paper. A piece of paper that could have been postponed.

Shame on all the “grandparents” who refuse to help their daughters, those who didn’t plan on getting pregnant, raise their child and instead, force them to relinquish a part of them. A part of their family.

A greater shame on any politician who even dares an opinion on a subject that is non-of -their business.

Yes, I believe that adoption should be the last choice. The first choice would be for the birthmom to stay with the child.

That being said — I need to point out that the birthmother does not always want to meet the child they gave away. Yes, that may be hard to swallow. But for many, and I have read countless stories of heartbroken adoptees praying for the love of their birthmoms, who have experienced great disappointment. Many birthmoms, unfortunately, have moved on. Many have a new life. A new family. They don’t want to meet the child they relinquished for adoption. Or perhaps, they just want to know they made the right decision. They want to meet, but not have a relationship. Many adoptees have trouble accepting this.

For those who dislike their adoptive moms, I want them to know there are, I’m sure, just as many people who hate their bio parents. As I said before, giving birth doesn’t make one a parent. Pick up any newspaper, go online any day, and you’ll find stories about birth parents, natural parents, beating their children, locking them up, starving them, tossing them out on the street, or allowing a “boyfriend” to have his way with them.

Giving birth has nothing to do with parenting. Adopting has nothing to do with parenting. Parenting with love is all that matters. We need to do away with the labels. A mom is a mom. A dad is a dad. The only thing that matters is love. And remember — ultimately, we make our own families. We choose who we love. We need to love ourselves. We need to let others be human.

11 responses to “To Angry Adoptees

  1. Pingback: To Angry Adoptees | Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity

  2. You assume there is a negative in saying “my adoptive father” concerning what is basically a differentiation of families. You do not acknowledge the possibility of allegiance to two families? I have to ask why the need to throw stones at fellow adoptees? What does this give you other than some weird one-up-man-ship? What is the point of restating what the dominant view of adoption is to adoptees who have lived this their whole lives? I’m asking these questions in all honesty, because the words that come to mind when I read this kind of thing are: “Uncle Tom”; “comprador”; “kowtower”; “Step-‘n’-Fetch-It”; “colonized mind”. There are a million counter-arguments to what you say here, but you’d rather not deal with those, only with the exceptions that prove your “rule”, that group us all together in a monolithic whole and then stereotype us. Why? This is such a mirroring of the racist and classist society that “adopts” us it isn’t even funny. You assume you have it all figured out, and are ready to state such things as if they are somehow incontrovertible “fact” or “law”. All I can say is: Give it time. I used to think this way. Fifteen years ago I would have written this. But time will tell. In the meantime, you might consider showing just a little bit of empathy as well as compassion to those who don’t quite “cut it” in the Lord of the Flies world you’ve carved out for yourself. In time we’ll see who gets to lecture whom.

  3. Daniel, thank you for your comment. There are so many situations, we cannot group all adoptees together. There are people who have an open adoption who distinguish between parents by saying A-mom, B-mom. There are people who grew up in orphanages who never had a mom. I’m not going to even try to list the situations. I was adopted right out of the hospital. I didn’t know any other parents. That’s why, for me, I did not think of them as “adoptive”. They were my “only” parents. And I don’t at all understand any of your “racist” comments. I specifically stated: By accident, I joined a Facebook page for people who are against adoption. People who hate their adoptive parents…. What upset me was that they hated adoption altogether. The people in this group hated that they were adopted. All they wanted was to find their bio-parents thinking that their lives would be better if they were with the people who gave them life. Well, I also wanted to find out who my birthmother was. (I was told she died in childbirth.) I wanted to find my history. My heritage. And yes, sometimes I hated my parents (adoptive parents). As an angry teen, instead of saying, “I didn’t ask to be born,” I said, “I didn’t ask to be adopted. But the fact is, these angry adoptees, the ones I was writing to, thought that their life would have been better had they stayed with their bio parents. The answer to that is unknown. But for some reason, they were put up for adoption. If they are not happy with their life, there could be a million reasons. I wouldn’t dare go into the discussion of nature vs nurture here. They might have really gotten the worst adoptive parents in the world. Or the best. Who knows. But it is not “adoption” that causes bad parents. There are good people and bad people. Good parents and bad parents.

  4. Gosh where do I start? Let me begin with I was an angry adoptee, for to many years. I did despise my adopted mother. I can say I despised her because though she raised me she did little for me. My adoptive mother was horribly abusive, had some mental issues I am sure, and could not have been considered a mother. Having said that, I did grow to respect her for the things she taught me. The abuse I endured was on a daily basis. I am not against adoption, In my own book “September’s Child,” I have tried to point out that during the adoption process I think that adding a step would be beneficial to all involved. I believe that family therapy should be mandatory, and with some agencies it is now. I was adopted as an older child, so I can still vividly remember every little thing in my life. I do not believe in claiming bad parenting on the way a person turns out. I do believe that it is within each and every person to decide if their past will run their future. Every person is different, does it really matter if you are adopted or not? i do not really think so. I can honestly say that life has thrown lemon after lemon at me, and I am still tossing peaches back. We all are who we are, no matter what we have had to deal with, or not deal with.

  5. Thank you so much Carol. I love how you say: Every person is different, does it really matter if you are adopted or not? I do not really think so. …We all are who we are, no matter what we have had to deal with, or not deal with. My mother was very cruel to me. She apologized right before she died. Looking back, I think she was doing the best she could. My husband’s grandmother was very cruel to her children. She was there bio mother. Some people are just bad, or mean parents. Some people are bad people. Who knows? The bio parent might have been just as bad. Keep throwing those peaches!

  6. Thank you for writing this. I actually found this post by typing “facebook groups for adoptees who do not hate being adopted” into google search. I am an adoptee and I am getting so discouraged with all the negativity I encounter in all the adoptee facebook groups I’ve joined. I do believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But I’m tired of feeling like I’m unwelcome if I’m not angry that I was adopted and wish I had been brought up by my birthfamily. I don’t wish that and I think that is a valid opinion too.

    • Calah, I think I found one of those groups as well. I’m sure they think we give them a bad name as much as we have concerns about them giving all adoptees a bad rep. They try to use racism to bully anyone who disagrees with them. It’s a shame. I have a similar post to yours that I would like to eventually share, and I am afraid to post my point of view because of their anger. Then again, we shouldn’t let them control us.
      Carol, I have to say I really do admire and respect your resilience! I love the idea of being tossed lemons and tossing back peaches! P.

  7. Thank you Calah. Maybe the people who are negative are just more vocal. Like we read more complaints about companies or products than praise. For most adoptees, their adoptive parents are their parents. Plain and simple. They love their parents. And sometimes fight with their parents. But the problems aren’t because two people chose to raise them and love them. I searched for my bio mother because I wanted to learn about my heritage. My background. Not to find love from someone who, for whatever reason, gave me up.

  8. I hate my biological mother, she had me when she was almost 18 followed on to have another child 2years later, then four more all in a row to the same dad yes all of us the bitch dumped me in an orphanage australia, it’s not about blood it’s the people who loved you and put a roof over your head and kept you living who are your family, and when you have mastered this your healing my cat means more to me than my biological mother, she can rot in hell and carma does come to selfish people .

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