It’s Simply NOT the Same

The same question has come up again that reminds me that each adoptee experiences adoption in their unique personal way. A woman writes –

Can a mother and child have the same kind of bond if the baby is adopted versus biological? I am an adoptee and adoptive parent. My daughter was a foster preemie. I brought her home at 3 pounds 14 ounces. Her mom abandoned her and the family already had 5 older siblings. I feel so bonded to both my adoptive mom and child but I don’t have the experience of bonding to a bio mom or child. My adoption was far from perfect but I do know my parents and grandparents loved me.

A response –

I’m an adoptive mother and I have a biological daughter. My adopted daughters were older when I adopted them, so I don’t have the foster infant side of that. But I can say that I believe biology matters. My bond with my biological daughter runs deep, it’s insane how close we are. Loving her, hugging her, holding her, it’s all natural. I made her, I bonded with her before she was even born. I love my adopted daughters so much. But it’s not natural. I don’t feel it’s as easy to be affectionate because the truth is that they aren’t “my” kids, even though the law says otherwise. They will also never have the same bond with me that they have with their mother. They bonded with her before they were born, her love for them was natural, and came easy. I bet she never hesitated to hug them, or kiss them. I think expecting or thinking the bond will be the same sets everyone up for disappointment. My love for my adopted daughters is fierce, and I would do anything for them, but it’s not natural.

There can be a security issue – As an adoptee in an open adoption I can say I personally am bonded to both Moms but I have a more secure attachment to my adoptive mom. My first mom still has a lot of trauma and can be a fair-weather mom, which is totally understandable but doesn’t make me feel secure – whereas I know without a doubt my adoptive mom will always be there for me, unconditionally. But I know that is not necessarily typical of adoptee experience. It is just my personal story. With my son, both grandma’s love him equally and between my two moms and my mother in law there is NO difference – they are all bonded to him. I think this is because my first mom is able to release her trauma with him in a way she can’t do with me. 

And step vs biological differences –

I honestly have a hard time believing a mother (or father) can have the same kind of bond. My husband and I have had this conversation many times – he is the step father to my 4 oldest kids, 100% their father in every way and he loves them like his own – their bio dad isn’t involved in their lives. Then we had a baby together. He is an amazing father to all 5 of our kids. But he finally admitted (after she was a year old) that there is just something different about how he feels with her vs my other 4 kids. I even told him he would feel that way and he brushed me off, because he truly loves my kids – but it’s different. There is an undeniable biological bond that you just cannot ignore.

One adoptee writes and shares a link – Understanding what I understand now I have a hard time calling anything an adoptive parent does love. And truth is any “bonding” that does happen with an adoptee is probably, for them, more akin to Stockholm syndrome. Here’s that link – A “successful adoption” begins with a traumatic bonding.

A comment at that link above fits today’s topic –

I am an American and a domestic adoptee. I never could love my adoptive parents. I was told that I was adopted before i could speak. My adoptive mother would repeat “you are adopted” and, “I am your mother” over and over to me as she changed my diapers.

She says I stared at her and made her uncomfortable. I was placed with them at 1 month old.

I could never love someone who thought it was right for me to be separated from my mother. I could not love someone who thought it was right to bring up child who was never allowed to know who she was. I didn’t think she was a good, honest person because she allowed these things to happen to me.

I could not believe that she loved me either. You can’t really love someone, and be so blind to their pain.

And especially, when an adoptee becomes the genetic, biological parent of a child – they understand. One writes –  My adoptive mom loved me immensely, but I never really bonded to her. I came to them at 9 weeks old. Once I had my own biological kids, I realized what a true parent/child bond was. I believe biology plays a huge role.

Different situations bring with them different experiences for people who all vary immensely. There is no one size fits all.

Corky Jane

I do want to be very clear from the beginning – I do not recommend you turn to this wannbe celebrity preying out there in adoptionland.  She cares more about raking up followers on TikTok than about the families torn apart by adoption.  And she is everywhere.

Someone wrote in a FB group called Hopeless Adoptive Predators – “Why do so many narcissistic adopters blog about adoption like they are some type of saint? She claims to “help adoptees” but then blocks them after they comment. My expectations were low, and they were met.”

Another woman asked a logical question – “So I have no idea how tiktok works but how is she choosing her audience? Is she focusing on her videos on pregnant women?”  Count me among the TikTok clueless.  All I know about them is that our president hates them.  They have a lot of company in that regard.

Here’s the answer – TikTok’s user base is younger. Like many of the users are teens compared to other social media sites, such as Facebook. “TikTok has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to engaging with the youngsters of the world. It might be a bit of a head scratcher for the older generations, but TikTok is no news to the teens of the world. 41 percent of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 (Globalwebindex, 2019)… To start off, the popularity of TikTok with the younger generation could be explained by the fact that the app creators decided to choose under 18 as their target audience from the very beginning.”  Yep, I am “older” – like 66 – no wonder I’m not “into” TikTok.

So the issue isn’t focusing Corky Jane’s content on pregnant women but more that she’s using a social media platform that is primarily for younger people and especially teens, meaning she is essentially being predatory and trying to find pregnant teens/young adults.

I went to her website (something easier for an old lady like me).  First of all, she cluelessly uses the term Birth Mother in a “Dear” letter.  Women who conceive and give birth to a child are that child’s MOTHER.  Period.  “Birth” when added to “mother” is viewed as a derogatory term by many woman who have lost their child to an adoptive couple.  I didn’t know that myself, until I began educating myself about all things adoption.  So, right there this woman loses all credibility with me as some kind of “informed” source.

These are the arguments often used by the adoption industry with expectant mothers to pry their baby away from them – “You are strong, you are brave, you are unselfish.”  All to make her feel better about the worst moment in her life which will haunt her for the rest of her lifetime.  Good ole’ Corky Jane goes on to admit that she worries about the woman when she doesn’t hear back from her, “I don’t know if you are grieving, or busy, or what the reason is, but I will always reach out to you until you ask me not to.”

It is an awful catch 22 for the mother.  Reminders of the child she isn’t raising.  Triggering grief and regret.  It is like rubbing salt into the poor woman’s wounds.  She probably ought to tell Corky Jane not to reach out to her but the morbid fascination of what is happening to her precious child won’t let her not look.  My heart breaks for her but not for Corky Jane.