Transparency and truth in adoption is the best way to ensure
honest and ethical practices and uphold the civil, human and
children’s rights for all involved.
It isn’t about giving people information they do not want to know,
it is about empowering them to make the choice
to receive the information if they feel it is important to them.
~ The Declassified Adoptee
I was raised with the saying “Honesty is the best policy”. I can’t say that we didn’t know the “truth” that both of our parents were adopted. I can say that important information was denied us in order to protect the adoptive parents from obsessed and grieving original parents seeking to reunite with their children.
I can say that my mom’s original mother would have welcomed her back with open arms. I believe my dad’s original mother would have felt likewise.
It is true that perspectives are changing. Both my niece and my nephew were given up for adoption and yet both have been able to at least reunite with their original genetic families in order to learn and understand whatever they needed to know.
Older adoptions are still closed to even the descendants of deceased adoptees, deceased original parents and deceased adoptive parents. I know because I have repeatedly bumped up against an absolute “no” when trying to access records. I believe only bureaucratic laziness continues to obstruct us.
Growing up, I didn’t know these people existed. I accepted my adoptive grandparents as though they had come into my life naturally. I thought my parents were orphans and that their original parents had died because I did know they had both been adopted.
It may be that I know about as much about them now, as many people know about their extended family, as many families do not live in easy proximity of each other and even sometimes issues and resentments keep them separated.
Learning about the people who were my parents original parents has made them real to me now. In fact, even though I had no lifelong history with them, they are who I think of first. I still love that the people who grandparented me loved me as well. Cousins from those relationships are still cousins to me but happily I now have some new cousins who I know share the blood that runs in my veins. I like to say I am whole + now.
The natural mother should be given some say
about who parents her baby.
For the baby’s sake, she should be encouraged
to maintain some post-adoption contact,
even if painful for her.
If her physical presence isn’t possible,
letters, cards, photographs and up-dated history
would be some continuing connection.
It is important for the child’s development
that it’s birth parents are real,
that the genetic history is available
and the relationship is as free of confusion as possible.
~ The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier