Adopting an attitude about adoption : LUSENET : I'd Rather Eat Glass : One Thread

I haven't exactly been picking 'hot topics' for this forum but I like talking about the things that are part of my own experiences. I'd like to know how other people feel about adoption and adoptees who might be searching for their birth parents. Is a person's identity that dependent on genetics? Why are less people adopting and opting for years of sometimes useless fertility treatments? Are we raising a society that places too much emphasis on the whole conception/birth experience rather than on the actual raising of a child once it's born? Personally, I think I'm part of a minority of adoptees as far as my own attitude is concerned...or am I?

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000


I was not an adoptee, but nonetheless, I still have definate views about adoption. I feel that genetics plays such a little role in how we are, other than outward appearances and some chemical abnormalities. Our personalities were formed somewhat in the womb, but were enriched by our life experiences and the people we were raised by. I would hate to think that the father who was not in my life, save a few days here and there, would be able to determine what kind of person I am. His immaturity, irresponsiblity, alcohol and chemical dependency, physical abuse, and cheating did little more than make me less trusting and more grateful for my Mother, who took me out of that lifestyle, and my Stepfather, who tried his damndest to make up for that jerks inconsistencies. I am who I am DESPITE the way he is, not because of. Sasha, it takes a well-adjusted individual to be able to accept things the way they are. You had a good upbringing, which proves that your parents were able to get past the DNA thing... so why can't everyone else?

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

Well, Sasha, you've been reading my journal for a while, I think, so you probably have an idea of what *I* think about this topic. I am a birthmother. I was VERY young (15) when I got pregnant and I was scared and confused and my family put ENORMOUS pressure on me to give up my baby. No one suggested to me that there were other options and I was not strong enough to go against my mother who told me many times "If you keep that baby, you will get no support from me." Being without my son is the single-most painful and lonely experience of my life. I hate it when people I've just met ask me if I have kids. To answer "no" feels like such a lie, but neither am I a parent. My son has parents. I met them when he was an infant and they are beautiful people and I feel pretty confident that he has a good and happy life. But I miss him so much, I can't even express how sad it makes me feel. I respect very much that you don't need/want to find your birth parents, it seems very reasonable to me. But honestly, I hope and pray that my son will make a different choice in the future. He will be 18 in a couple of years...this coming-of-age looms bright and scary in my dreams. So I'm not sure if I'm really answering the question. Personally, if I had to do over, even if I decided on adoption, I would have pushed for an open adoption. I've read that limited contact with birthparents is healthy and good for all parties involved.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

I think I underemphasized one point in my attempt to emphasize another. I think what's even most important is that I would never want my birth mother to think I resent her or hate her or feel anything less than profound gratitude for what she did. In cases where a birthmother is very young and coerced into putting a baby up for adoption, I'm not above or beyond feeling the deepest regret that something like that could happen. I can only hope it wasn't that way in my own situation. I would never refuse to meet my birth mother if she found me but I don't feel the need to find her. I won't hurt my mother by making her feel like she's anything less than the mother she's always been for me. I hope I didn't sound like I can't feel sympathy for my birth mother because that's far from true. The whole adoption issue is pretty complex but I still believe that the bottom line is that putting the needs of the child first is a priority, even when it's at the expense of our own happiness on some level. Aimee is a most courageous and wonderful person and I know how much she must hurt over her decision. Maybe knowing she did the best for her child is some solace? I don't know, but I can only speak from my point of view, I suppose.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

As some of you may know and some may not know, my son was adopted 18 years ago. We never felt he was anything other than our son. There were photos of him in the family album with his caregiver. A lady who took care of him between birthmother and us. There are photos of case workers. He knew all his life he was adopted and the only question he ever ask was at the age of 5. "Mommy, what is adopted?" My answer was simple. There are homemade babies and storebought babies. He knew we selected him. He was no accident for us. He was a joy and a great gift. As far as I can remember that was the only mention he ever made on the subjest. He never showed any signs of asking about a birthmother or wishing to seek her out. Had he ask for help we would have done all we could to assist him. I know the young girl who gave him life wanted very much to raise him but was unable to give him a proper home. When I feel stronger I'll write a letter telling of his short life, enclose photos and send them off to the adoption agency in hopes they can forward them to that young girl. Sharing his life in some small way with the girl who gave him life will be one of the last things I can do for 'our' son.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

Sasha, I think it's fine if some adoptees feel the need find their birth parents. I'ts bound to affect different people different ways. You Sasha, personally I don't think you define yourself as a "adoptee". Anyone who is lucky enough to get to adopt a child and have them turn out to give love and light as you Sasha are very lucky.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

I think that it is a very selfless thing for a woman to put a child up for adoption, willingly. I think it is a wonderful gift to a family who is wanting a child. However, I do think that it is human nature for some of us to be curious as to who our birth parents are if we were adopted. But only for some of us. Sasha, do not apologize for your feelings. Do not feel as if it is expected of you. You feel the way you feel and don't think that isn't okay. I think that our society IS putting too much pressure on the genetics of a person rather than their surroundings when they were being raised. I think that saying "I did this because my father did it and his father did its just genetics that caused me to do it instead of my own stupidity" is a bunch of horse shit. People have come to rely on scapegoats instead of taking responsibility for their actions. The way someone was raised has a strong emphasis on how they act. You may do something today or not do something today because your mother/father did it. If you saw them do it, then you decided for yourself if it was right or wrong for you and then you either embraced that action or dismissed it as being something that isn't right for you. But ultimately you are you because of the choices that you have made. Don't apologize for any of it.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

If it weren't for young mothers having children out of wedlock and giving up their babies, I would never have my baby brother, who is now 26 years old. I would never have the pleasure of saying, "That's MY younger brother!"

My brother was always told that he was adopted from day one. He has grown to accept and think of us as his family. As far as I know, he has no interest in knowing who his birth parents are. (Mom says she has an enevelope with some information waiting for the day that he asks.)

It's funny, but my brother has taken on so many of our family characteristics and attitudes that you'd never guess he was adopted. He just belongs.

We were told that his birth parents were only 16, not married and not able to bring up a baby. So my folks lovingly did so. I think he got a better deal out of it - he grew up with 2 older sisters who adore him, despite his now cranky ways! (haha!)

I think adoption is great.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

Nature and nurture. You are you are you are you are you, but you are different in ways than you would have been due to the nurture part of the equation. Who knows how different...and does it matter? Why should it?

Adoption is a wonderful thing, and our society would benefit greatly if more people would adopt. It's mostly very successful because people who adopt have thought it through and genuinely wish to have a child, and are almost always financially, emotionally and psychologically able to do the job with a high level of success. It's a fact that most adopted children succeed in life.

You're wonderful and delightful Sasha - just the way you are. Only you can create a true sense of matter who raised you.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

I am not an adoptee, rather the only biological child in a family with five girls.
To top it off, I'm the only white child.
Of my four sisters, only two have ever really talked about their biological parents and whether they'd want to find them, and none of my sisters seems to care enough to really hunt them down.
I don't know why this is, though we were raised by wonderful, incredible parents and are still a close family.
I have no idea how much that plays a part.
I do find myself baffled by the infertility people...
I come from a family where my parents made a conscious decision to adopt..not because they had to, they wanted to.
You see a lot of those "reunions" on t.v. and I think that it sort of gives a skewed idea of how it really is.
For every person desperate to find a "birth" parent, how many adoptees, like my sisters, have grown to be happy, fulfilled people with no urge to track someone down??
No one interviews them.
I don't know that it's a minority, people that are not obsessed with "birth parents", so much as they don't show up on our t.v.'s as much.
Here in America..we like trauma.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

I think Sasha may have hit a large part of the nail on the head in asking about the push for fertility treatments over adoption of children. So much pressure can be put on couples to have children. To pass on your genetic code is somehow the pinicle of success in a marriage. But why?

I am convinced that genetics only serve to dictate some things in your life. And so what if things like depression or alchoholism are based on genetics. It's what we learn to do with what our code tells us that determines who we are.

The only real experience I have with adoption is the search of my best friend for her father's birth family. He has no need to find parents who were only parents for a brief length of time. However, my best friend does want to find out who and where her genetic family might be. She has no need for a fancy reunion or some such thing. Instead, she is driven by the curiosity to find out where her dad came from. There are questions she wants answers to that she feels only they can give her. The answers are nuggets that might be able to influence her life, but she isn't depending on this so far elusive information.

Adoption is a hard issue to deal with for some people. It is so difficult to tell whether a mother would even want to be reunited with a child, or vice versa, and presumably even harder to deal with the repercussions of either situation. It seems a rare person who would be willing to have contact but not press for it. I commend Sasha on her strength in knowing that who she is is not dependant on whose womb she grew up in.

Sasha is not wrong in feeling that her mother is her mother. Heredity _is_ only part of the big picture. But certainly not the biggest. Adoption is a way of giving children the gift of family. To say that family can only be given by people who share the chemicals that give you your hair and eye color and cravings for peanut butter is shortsighted and silly. It's the people who can help you find the peanut butter who matter.

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2000

My sisters totally think of my parents as their parents.
I am always appalled to find out that people keep from their children the fact that they are adopted.
In my family...well, it wasn't an option.
My sisters have all grown up to be happy, successful people and would never conceive of NOT thining of my parents as their parents.
Two of my sisters were adopted from Viet Nam during the war.
I can't see why people do that fertility thing.
I am a mother, I've given birth to my own.
So you can't say I don't understand that bond.
But I know that my mother has a bond with my sisters, each and every one of them, that is just as strong as the bond that she and I have.
I am immensely proud of my family.
I love to share pictur es.
I am so glad my parents chose to adopt.

None of my sisters have ever really shown an interest in finding their biological parents, the most I've heard them say is something like "I wonder if one of them sang"....from my sister who is a performer.
In fact, one of my sisters (who was adopted from Viet Nam) said she didn't really care one way or another about meeting her biological father (who was an American serviceman), that he'd just be "a stranger to me".

The bonds between my sisters and my parents are so strong and we are talking about a situation where they can't even PRETEND to be that thinks a biological bond means anything, compared to the bond between you and the person who raised you....well that's a bunch of hooey.

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2000

I'm not adopted so I can't answer this question by my own accounts. however, one of my best friends is adopted. He has a brother and a sister, and his brother is the only biological son of their parents. He has never expressed an interest in searching for his biological mother and the truth of their adoption was never hidden from any of them. They are happy and satisfied and stable. The brothers are both white and the sister is half-caste, but this has never been the root of any problems either. Personally, I think that there is nothing wrong with being curious about your birth-mother, but I think that the woman who brings you up is your mother, regardless of wether she gave birth to you or not. I agree that too much emphasis is placed on having your own child when so many others could benefit from your love. Because of this, I'm hoping to adopt a child of my own when I'm old enough and I shall never hide the fact of their adoption from them.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2000

I'm infertile. We do plan on using fertility drugs once our financial situation is better. We would love to adopt, there's only one problem. We can't. I'm disabled, so I'm not allowed to adopt.

Now if I was fertile I could pop out 20 kids and nothing could be done. It sucks, the system sucks.

-- Anonymous, July 13, 2000

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