>> Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Here come the Holidays again. I know many of you become depressed that your birth family is apparently not looking for you. But, there are so many reasons why and not one of them means your mother doesn't love you or yearn for you. Most likely your mother married and/or moved away and does not know about the state and on-line registries. Perhaps she never told anyone, as we were counseled to do, and does not want to risk exposure. More than 90% of the mothers we find do not search or register anywhere; those who say they wanted to had no idea how to go about it, where to start. Many of them are afraid because we were told that once we had relinquished our babies we had no more rights ever, for eternity; some of us were even threatened with criminal prosecution if we ever tried to find our children or interfere with their new lives. We were constantly reminded of what terrible, immoral women we were, that we would be shunned and shamed if people knew, even our own children. I was told, "Don't ever tell anyone what you've done, especially not a prospective husband, because no decent man will want to have anything to do with you!"
These were all means adoption agencies and adoptive families used to pry our babies away from us and keep us away from you. It was a cruel, vicious business that has and will impact everyone for many years -- mothers and children especially. I don't know of one mother who came away emotionally unscarred. It lasts a lifetime; there is no relief -- not even having more children repairs the hole our baby lost to adoption leaves.
Most of us slunk back home in shame and fear and tried to heal and gradually got on with our lives. I moved 3,000 miles away because everywhere I went, whenever I would see a baby about my daughter's age, I would begin crying. Some of us went on to prove the old adage, "The best revenge is a good life." We became successful businesswomen, super-achievers, as if to say, subconsciously, "I am *not* a bad person and I will not accept your blame!" Others could not recover from the trauma and sunk into depression, alcoholism, drugs. A very few became what I call "serial birthmothers" -- getting involved in more inappropriate, doomed relationships , having one or more babies and giving them up to adoption. These women tend to be scarred with a lot of guilt and definitely will not search.
So many mothers, when they are found, say, "I thought you would be mad at me. I didn't think you would want to have anything to do with me."
This is what we have to keep reminding the NY and other state legislatures when they claim original birth certificates (OBCs) of adoptees are sealed "to protect the privacy of the mother." It's a privacy cruelly *enforced* on us, never asked for, never wanted.
The best thing you can do when your search seems to be stalled is get involved in the efforts to restore OBCs to adoptees and tell them when they try to tell you "Your birthmother wants privacy" that you want to hear it from her own mouth and don't need anyone presuming to speak for her, thank you very much!
In PA: Pennsylvania Adoptee's Rights www.adopteerightspa.org or on Facebook or http://groups.google.com/group/AdopteeRightsPA
In NJ: NJCare on Facebook or http://nj-care.org/
Search on Yahoo Groups for other geographically specific groups Theregistry will help anywhere.