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View Diary: Adoption Series Part 1 - Bitter Truths (101 comments)

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  •  The dark side of adoption (36+ / 0-)

    that no one mentions to a prospective birthparent is that many adoptions fail. Sometimes it's subtle, a child who doesn't have much in common with his adoptive family. Other times, especially with boys, the aftermath of adoption is a spiral of neglect and abuse.

    I gave a baby up years ago with many misgivings and tears, urged on by a counselor (herself an adoptive mother) who pressured me to do the loving thing for my child. He went to a picture perfect family, financially secure, highly educated. I married and had other children and had a successful life, but I never stopped grieving for my lost child. The consolation was that I imagined him in a good home.

    Except that his adoption was one that crashed and burned. Years later he found me, and the reality of his childhood has been a new source of grief and regret.

    My son's adopters were nice people, but for whatever reason the bond didn't take. My son recalls being mostly ignored as a child. This can actually be seen in photos where the adopters hug their bio child while my child sits by himself. When my son turned into a mouthy teen towering over his birthmother, he was labelled with various disorders and shipped him off to "tough love" camps in remote locations, where every second of his existence was regulated and the slightest infraction was punished. Camps of this kind are the second leg of the adoption industry, funded with state funds and full of adoptees. When my kid finally got out of there, he became a homeless teen. Ironically, the children that I later bore went to college, and the son adopted by the college professor did not.

    I have moved from years of invisible, private grieving as a birthmother to anger. With only a little bit of community support in the beginning, less than the tax credits presently furnished to well-to-do adopters, I could have been a fine parent to my son, far better than any adoptive family.

    •  Quite a story. (13+ / 0-)

      Parents' "playing favorites" with their children happens for various reasons. In certain African-American families, I've heard of lighter-skinned siblings having more privileges and opportunities than darker-skinned ones. In other families, I've heard of one child being grossly abused, while other children are cared-for, because maybe the father always suspected the child wasn't his. In still other situations, the parents really didn't want a child of that gender. On and on. Always heart-breaking stuff.

      And here it was happening to your own flesh-and-blood. I'm sorry.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:33:20 AM PDT

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      •  But Adoption itself is creating Russells (0+ / 0-)

        You're right that children can be singled out for many reasons.

        However, you don't seem to acknowledge that adoptees run a significantly higher risk of being rejected than bio children. The child who is singled out is often the child who looks different or who has a different temperament from other family members, and of course the adoptee is more likely to be different.

        Any birthmother would want to take failure rates (as many as 25% of boys in domestic adoptions) into account before giving her child to strangers, but look at any Agency brochure, and you will see no mention that adoption places a child at higher risk for delinquency, abuse, or suicide.

        And when problems escalate in the teenage years, as in the case of my son, the troubled teen industry is there with a high-ticket solution marketed to affluent adopters. The worst are prison-like camps, often unregulated, like the one my kid was in for years. Marched around, screamed at, deprived of privacy and freedom, with charming adoption therapies that included being forced to write letters expressing gratitude for being adopted. The fact that an industry has been created to warehouse discarded adoptees demonstrates that something is very wrong with current adoption practices.

    •  Ruby (12+ / 0-)

      You brought up some excellent points. There is a thin veneer that they feed birth mothers about how perfect its all going to be. Unfortunately... once that veneer is broken, the dark reality of adoption comes to the surface. I"m so sorry for you and your son! My birth mother, as incompetent as she was, was horrified by my adoption experience. The worst thing is so often, people blame the adoptees for these "failures". The real failure is a system that does not take our feelings and needs into account.

      I also hear you about those Camps.... those things are nightmares! I ended up in a "residential placement" with other "troubled kids". I know several of those kids had come out of adoptive homes. I was lucky... the place I got stuck in wasn't abusive. So many other kids aren't so lucky.

      I hear your anger, and SO agree!!! You have every right to be angry in this case. I think you would have been a far better parent than they were. Truth is..... money doesn't make you a parent. Love does.

    •  So sad Ruby (5+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately not unusual.  Peace.

    •  Thank you, Ruby Rana, for this first comment. (1+ / 0-)
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      I'm sorry for your experience, but glad you chose to tell it here.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

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      by belinda ridgewood on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 05:13:30 PM PDT

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