An adoptee rights bill is up for voting in Connecticut. Please, please, please (pretty pretty please) write an email to: PHC.Testimony@cga.ct.gov in support of the passing of this bill which would give all adopted persons over the age of 21 in Connecticut access to their original birth certificates. More information at Access CT’s website here: http://www.accessconnecticut.org./
Here is a sample email (pretty easy):
To Public Health Committee Co-Chairs Senator Terry Gerratana and Representative Susan Johnson, and Members of the Public Health Committee:
I am writing to ask for your support of Raised Bill 5144, An Act Concerning Access to Birth Certificates and Parental Health Information for Adoptive Persons. I have a (friend/family member) who is (an adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, etc.). I strongly believe that ALL adult adoptees should have access to their original birth certificates, and the bill should be both retroactive and prospective.
Thank-you very much for your consideration.
Sadly, coercion happens all the time.
Yesterday, I wrote a list of things I wish people would stop saying to birthmothers. So, the logical question is: What should people say to birthmothers?
As a general rule, people really should refrain from saying much of anything. That’s not to say that close family and friends should sweep the adoption under the rug, but as a person who honestly cares about the mother, listening instead of speaking is the best thing you could offer. Here are some things I wish people would say more of to first mothers:
Nothing can replace your child, I am so sorry you are going through this.
It must be difficult to not be able to express the love you feel for your child.
Is there anything I can do to help you move forward? What do you need from me?
It is heart wrenching that you were put in that position.
You don’t always need to be strong, I am here for support.
How are you feeling about the adoption?
I can’t offer anything to take away your pain, but I can offer you a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
I am really struggling with sadness today over the loss of your child, can we talk about it? (This would be a welcome statement from any of my immediate family)
Most people close to me feel like they can not bring up the adoption, for fear of reopening an old hurt. The truth is that the hurt is both old and new. The truth is that NOT talking about it does not help.
1. You have given the adoptive parents such a gift.
A human being is not a gift to be given, period.
2. You can always have more children.
Human beings are not interchangeable. Even if I go on to have more children, they will never replace my child that was given away for adoption. If you wouldn’t say this to a mother who lost their child to death, don’t say it to a mother who relinquished their child.
Also, this statement may not be true. Secondary infertility is a known issue in birthmothers.
3. Your child will always know how much you loved them.
There is no way to know how an adoptee will feel about their relinquishment. Some feel that adoption was great, some do not. Some harbor righteous anger against their birth mothers, some do not. Some live with pain and anxiety their whole lives. There is a higher risk of suicide among adoptees. There is no way of knowing how an adoptee will handle their adoption status.
4. Time heals all wounds.
Maybe it does for some. For me, it has not. For many, it has not. The grief I experience today is different than the grief I experienced when I first relinquished, but it has never left me. The wound is more like a festering sore that opens and closes without provocation. It will never heal. Again, if you wouldn’t say something like this to a parent who has lost a child to death, don’t say it to a first mother.
5. Take solace in knowing your child has been given a better life.
Adoption can never promise a child will have a better life, only a different one. Although this statement probably represents the main reason most women give their child up for adoption, it just is not true. The only person who can promise to give their child the best life is their biological parents. Once the adoption is finalized, the life is out of their hands.
6. Everything happens for a reason.
Okay, but maybe it is a piss poor reason. There is no reason that I would be comfortable with that would explain why my child had to be given away to strangers.
7. Thank you for choosing adoption over abortion.
This has been covered many times, but again, the choice is not between abortion and adoption. Don’t assume that a I am pro-life just because I gave my child up for adoption.
8. You are so strong, I could never give my child up for adoption.
So wait, am I a better person than you or a worse person because I just can not tell what you are thinking here.
9. You need to move on with your life.
Please do not give me a timeline to grieve. Moving forward is inevitable, but moving on…well that’s tricky. I have not moved on, I probably never will move on. I think what you really mean is that you are uncomfortable hearing about my grief and do not want to talk about it any longer.
10. Your child’s birthday must be so hard for you.
Hmmmmm, yes it is, but guess what? So is every single other day since the adoption. Some are harder than others. I’m sure it makes you feel more comfortable to believe that I only think about my son on that one day a year, but that is not an accurate representation of my grief.
Like so many others, I had been following the Capobianco-Brown adoption tragedy with great interest. Also, like so many others, I am appalled and outraged at the outcome of this case.
I have read the opposing side’s viewpoints, comments, and posts along with the court transcripts trying to see where the Capo supporters were coming from. The conclusion I have come to? The main priority in adoption in our society is the wants and happiness of the adopters. This has been an incredibly devastating realization for me. I want to believe in the inherent good in people. I want to believe that adoption is always about what is best for the person being adopted. I want to believe that adoption is only for children with no other options. This case has beaten the crap out of my optimism in people. How could this be allowed to happen? When did adoption become about fulfilling the wants of adults?
In almost all of the comments and articles I have read involving this case, the focus is the Capobiancos’ heartbreak. Their longing for a child. Their fight for their child. And I certainly could have sympathized with them in the beginning. It must be heart wrenching to care for a baby and grow to love them and then have the baby removed from your home. But, I can only sympathize with them up to a point. As soon as they were aware that Veronica’s father was not aware of the adoption, the right thing would have been to make sure he agreed with the adoption. It would have been the right thing to do for Veronica.
Granted, I am neither an adoptive parent, nor am I an adoptee. However, barring neglect or abuse, it has always been my position that it is best for a person to be raised in their biological family. Are there times when that is not possible? Yes, but for Veronica, this was not the case. How can anyone justify removing a child from their biological parent who does not agree to it?
I can debate back and forth about what Dusten Brown signed, if he knew what he was signing, and what his reasoning was, but the fact is, he never agreed to the adoption of his daughter. Even if someone agrees that everything the Capobiancos did was legal, how can that same person not agree that it was unethical? How can anyone believe that being taken away from Veronica’s biological father to be raised by genetic strangers against her father’s will is what is best for Veronica? Because, in the end, I can sympathize with both sides, but it is Veronica’s best interests that we should all be discussing.
The sad fact of the matter is that these types of unethical adoption situations happen regularly. The general public does not hear about them regularly because typically the biological family does not have the financial support to pursue the matter to the fullest extent. This is a losing proposition for the child who someday will become an adult with questions about their adoption. These types of unethical adoptions can not be allowed to continue.
Surely any thinking person can look at this case and see that there were a multitude of unethical goings on here. Surely we can all agree that this is no way for an adoption to take place. We, as a society, need to continue the conversation about what is ethical and what is not in adoption. How can adoption laws and guidelines be so varied from state to state? How can adoption be so unregulated? At the bare minimum, adoption laws in every state should be transparent and easy to decipher for all parties. How do we get back to adoption being about what is best for the person being adopted?
I’m going AWOL for the holidays, will be back after Santa gets the eff out of here.
Soooo I’m at the grocery store (yeah the day before Thanksgiving like an asshole) and I’m waiting in the express checkout lane. The sign clearly states 10 items or less and yet I’m the 10th person in line behind 7 people who definitely have more than 10 items. Okay, having 12 items isn’t the worst thing in Earth, but am I the only one who counts my items prior to getting in that lane??? So I’m kind if pissed.
I start thinking what the hell gives them the right to be in this fucking lane? Can they not read? No it’s that they think their lives are more important and busier than the rest id us 10 item-ers. They feel the rules don’t apply to them because since they really really really need to get out fast they are entitled to service they don’t qualify for. At this point you’re probably asking yourself what the hell does this have to do with adoption?!? Well, I’ll tell you.
That express lane is a representation of our society’s sense of entitlement. 13 items? No one will notice if I just slide right on in there. If no one says anything about it than it must be ok, right? I’m über busy, so muchly much-much more busy than all these other people waiting in line!
Infertile? I really really want to have a fresh baby. I’m ever so much more entitled than those other poor schmucks over there. So what if my baby comes at a hefty price to those other mothers? So what if my adoption isn’t all that ethical? If no one says anything, it must be okay right?
Alright, maybe it’s a piss poor analogy, but I’m tired from standing in line with my 6 items and 3 kids annoying the shit out of me and everyone around us for 45 minutes while the 13 item people stunk up the joint.