There is a dirty little secret about the concept of “Open Adoption” and that is it is often not what it was purported to be. The wall was so thick the adoptive parents never knew the original mother would have wanted to know her child.
I think about how Lizzie Lou must have been hurt by never hearing from my mom, from my mom’s total absence from her life. The parties to adoption have often NOT been given the whole story about the situation, so that they could make informed choices.
The “story” about the original mother wanting to move on with her life in most cases was never true. Some original parents may have thought they had an open
adoption. They may have expected their children to reach out to them “someday”. I know that my youngest sister signed up for an adoption registry for just that purpose because she put my name on it as a contact that might help her son find her someday. She also told the adoptive mother how to locate us through our business. She wasn’t taking any chances he would be entirely cut off unless that was his own desire.
The adoptive parents may have been told that they could have no contact with the original family and that the original family didn’t want that. Some adoptive parents renege on their promise to stay in contact with the original parents.
This may have been how my mom felt – I didn’t know your name. Your name was hidden away in my adoption files, so was the name you gave me at the time of my birth. My birth certificate has my adoptive parents’ names on it as though they gave birth to me, your motherhood of me was erased by the system that has been adoption.
My mom could not find her mother because her records were amended and
sealed, so were my dad’s – he was also adopted. This falsifying of their identity is what many adoptees must overcome if they want to find their original parents.
It is wrong for a mother considering adoption not to be told about what will happen to her child’s original birth information. She should have this clearly explained to her before she consents to the adoption.
The original mother may not have anticipated that her motherhood was about to be erased as soon as she signed the consent papers.