Free Form Responses: Adoptee Perceptions in a Closed Adoption (Part 1)

When we created Adoption Surveys we promised our respondents that their voices would be heard. Never did we anticipate the number of free form responses at the end of our most recent published survey, Adoptee Perceptions in a Closed Adoption. There were 792. After considering the best way to share we concluded that a two part blog post would be necessary. These are the voices of adopted people. There were two responses which I removed because it included personal information, but the rest are unedited words. We thank each of you for sharing your truth.

These are the responses to Q.87 – Is there anything you would like to add about how Closed Adoption has affected you?

I have felt alone for all of my life. I never feel like I fit in. Others around me always include me, it’s just the feeling inside.”

“I think people wanting to adopt need to be check d to make sure they are adopting for the right reasons and that they can not expect the child to be like them. I also think the adoptive mother needs to be made sure she is maternal (most important)”

“An overall sadness, longing, and feeling different than everyone. I do consider myself a happy person and I love my adoptive family but I do with my biological parents kept me
Closed adoption left me wandering who I was, felt different, had a lot to do with me wanting children, which I had two, first child born when I was 29 years old.I thought this would help me not feel so alone, and I would have someone else, born of me. In my thirties it all got to much for me, I needed to find out who I was. Eventually found my birth mothers family, and I heard their story, they all had been hurt and affected by closed adoption that took place. My birth mother after having me , just disappeared, was on the missing persons register/ police, she did not return home until she was 50 years old. My birth mother died at 51, poor health. I also learn’t she had married and had a son, but for what ever reason, that ended badly, because at her funeral they did not attend. So I learnt that Closed Adoption, didn’t only cause changes in my life, it affected others.”

My adoptive parents were always my mom and dad has far back as my memory goes. This would be like asking a non adoptive person how it has affected them.”

“Closed adoption is no good. No good!”

“It was the routine way of adoption back then so there were no other options for my birthmother.”

“It’s awful especially after losing adoptive parents. I’m still young and I want to see who I came from and possibly have a relationship with my biological parents.”

I feel like I belong nowhere. Even now, I feel like I have no family, and I am married with adult children of my own. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
It’s not fair to the child that is put up.

“While I have struggled with being an adoptee my entire life, I do believe it has its place in society. There will always be families that cannot support a child for whatever reason. And if a woman has to carry a child but wants to use adoption as an option, she should be given the right. I believe adoptee laws need to be changed and work more in favor of adoptees. Everyone deserves to know where they come from.”

“Staying with the biological family is always first prize and we should work hard to support you guys struggling mom’s / families so that’s an option. If that doesn’t work closed adoption is the next best thing if done with the child’s best interest.”

“It is a travesty of immense proportions to deliberately seperate infant from mother and then remove/alter name for the desire of others. It is a form of systematic child abuse perpetrated by the government and religious bodies. It is no different to human trafficking from the perception and experience of the mother and child.”

I have severe abandonment issues. I am diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety, and I am on meds for both. I have had panic attacks. I haven’t been able to trust others; thus, I am single. During my childhood, I experienced physical, verbal, emotional, mental & sexual abuse.

“Tremendous fear of, and anticipating rejection. Feeling of not belonging with anyone, even my biological family.”

“The unknown my whole life left me with daily anxiety”

“Ruined my life”

“They should investigate adoptive parents more thoroughly. As my adopted mother was verbally and physically abused all her first 18 years of life. She never physically abided me. But she verbally abused me until I most of my life until I moved over 6000kms away. They should have never have been able to adopt. Although my adoptive father was a saint!! And I’m happy to have had him in my life.”

It makes me feel as though my life is made up and not real.”

“I constantly question ‘why’ and feel like saying ‘I’m adopted’ is akin to saying ‘I have cancer’ or something equally negative”

“Always felt left out, abnormal”

“Any religious organization should be banned from participating or administering any adoptions.”

“Curiosity on background and ethnics”

“I checked Ancestry DNA and found my half brother. They knew nothing of me and want nothing to do with me”

“Felt out of place many times regardless of place.”

Depression, ADD, Anxiety, passion, compassion for helping others

“Made relationships impossible, no trust. Trickle down effect with my daughter and also bio family. Unable to have healthy relationship with them.. birth mom shut down emotionally. At 50 I found Bfamily.. healed me and destroyed me at same time. Adoption has affected every aspect of my life. Abused.. ran away at 15. What a nightmare.
I have had to really realize who I am as a person without knowing my true identity and figuring out how I make an identity for myself.”

I have no soul of my own

“Not enough info on biological family. Not knowing who I looked like, where my roots were, other family members. Sometimes felt like I was from outer space”

“I will never understand why I can’t know where I come from.”

“After meeting my birth parents, so glad I was adopted.”

“I feel insecure. Parents and bio family did not want me. Extended adoptive family not open to us. Taught to keep secret due to negative responses adoptive parents received before I was old enough to know. Now every time someone does not want to be with me for any reason even legit reasons, I feel what is wrong with me. They do not want to be with me like my real mom, dad grandparents etc.”

“I am fortunate to have had the best adoptive family who never kept the truth from me and never spoke badly of my birth parents. I am grateful as I realize this is not the experience every adoptee has. I am fortunate to have found my birth mother and her family and to have been accepted by them wholeheartedly. I resent my suspected birth father for denying me in utero and as an infant and again when I contacted him when I was 42 for never accepting his responsibility for me or for the situation he left my birth mother in. I wish there were no need for adoption but I understand there is and it seems in a huge percentage of instances, it’s due to a man being incapable of taking personal responsibility”

“Need to allow relationship if siblings”

“It has added an extra often invisible layer of struggle to the already difficult task of being born a human being.
Closed adoptions should only be allowed if the biological parents are child abusers, the baby was abandoned with no information about them or if the parents are in jail. No other reasons are good enough for closed adoptions”

“PTSD, anxiety, depression. My issues with abandonment have led to very unhealthy romantic relationships, which I think is an important thing to ask about as well. I also think you should ask about how adoptive parents approach the subject of adoptees having their own children.”

I am biracial. I was adopted in 1962 when racial tension was high. My racial mix was withheld from my A-family so I lived my life having no connection to ethnicity or culture. The secrecy caused so much confusion and pain.

“Even in a successful and happy reunion it has haunted me. I think my husband put it best when he told me after meeting my first parents that he thought things would get easier for me, that I would be less angry. We were both surprised that I wasn’t. Reunion, no matter how wonderful, can’t take away the pain, grief, and psychological damage caused by years (48 in my case) of living under a closed adoption.”

I never felt complete or like I fit in my whole life.”

“It produces only sadness, poor self worth, feelings of abandonment and loss – lack of true information and lack of contact with bio family is only detrimental”

“The lies between the agency(ies) and adoptive parents regarding the birth family
all the classic symptoms of adoption trauma applied to me. until I joined an adoptee support group in my 40s , I thought there was just something inherently defective about me. I had such fear of abandonment and felt so displaced that it drove many poor choices in my 20’s and 30s.”

“Strong feelings of self doubt, lack of confidence, and feelings of inadequacy.”

“Hard for me to believe people, even when they are truthful”

“The not knowing of the circumstances as to why me they both had other kids got together and had one child”

“Intermittent feelings of rejection and inadequacy through whole life
I am a late discovery adopte. I was a closed adoption. Before I knew my son was adopted by me , He has an open adoption, with him knowing bio mom , aunts and brothers and sisters. I feel like I should have had the same thing”

“It affects all aspects of life.”

“It has affected every part of my life. I trust no one but my children. I have a hard time expressing love except to my children.”

“Feeling as though you don’t belong is a terrible feeling”

I met my bio family 20 yrs ago. I feel that closed adoption simply drags out the natural process of identity and self knowledge. It is unfortunate that I had to wait until my 30s to find genetic mirrors.”

“It made me angry for a few yrs. when I found out that I had no right to my O.B.C. nor my medical history. My birth parents never said I shouldn’t have any of that information. The government of my state decided that for us. How absurd!”

“Definitely think adoptee’s should have rights to information about bio family. I have dealt with abandonment issues, trust issues due to being adopted.”

I crave being accepted and loved, but I push everyone away before they can push me away.”

“overall its frustrating and a big question mark hanging over my entire existence… And now my son as well who doesn’t know anything about his mother’s biological background or Origins from her side”

“No information about birth family given. Think i should have the right to know about them and contact info if I wish”

“Any negative feelings I have is just surrounding how difficult it was to get information once I was 18. I feel that is where most of my frustration was.”

“Closed adoption causes a deep wound, even with wonderful, loving, understanding adoptive parents.”

“I have life-long depression starting from about 4yrs old (now 41yrs old) with an attachment disorder as well. Wish to freaking HELL I didn’t have to deal with these issues. Wouldn’t have had to if I’d been allowed to stay! My half=brother who did get to stay is WAY more balanced and “normal” than me! It frustrates the crap out of me knowing I didn’t have to live with this and apparently have no choice but to pass that trauma on to my own daughter. It sucks arse!!!”

I consider myself lucky to have been adopted by a loving family and do not regret anything.”

“It’s not all bad. Closed adoption does have it’s place”

“Adoption has been great for me. I have met my birth siblings, all three of whom were already around when I was born and put up for adoption. They are nice people, each with 30+ year marriages (their mother had a combination of bad luck and bad choices in that area). They all agree that while their mother was loving and fun and a really good person, they struggled a lot. So they acknowledge that, since I grew up in a loving family and one that was financially secure and had a father in the home, I got the lucky end of things. I always was grateful. I was relieved, though, to have come from really great people, because before searching, there was a little trepidation as to what I would find. But having my records would help regarding my birth father. Although my birth mother passed in 2000, he is still alive and literally lives ten minutes away. Though DNA proves he is my father on both his father’s and mother’s families, he just either isn’t convinced or won’t admit it. Having those records would prove it to him.”

“Felt like I lived a lie growing up not knowing. Now I struggle to find the truth about the beginning of my story.”

It stole my childhood joy.

“There is NO circumstances where closed adoption is appropriate.”

“My bio mother had the right to not inform or put bio father’s name on birth certificate. This resulted in me not knowing or meeting my bio father and 4 sisters until I was 39. He would have raised me. I would have been raised with family and not people just trying to keep up with the Jones.”

“In getting my original BC I found out an uncle was listed as my BF. Confusing. Also my BM was a prostitute. All stories that were unknown.”

“Extremely conflicted about the whole thing. Loved my adoptive father, lost him at eighteen. Adoptive mother never seemed too understand me.”

“Its made it so I don’t trust any one and feel lost”

“Closed adoption has made me feel not in control of my own life and too accommodating of others’ desires.”

I will die never seeing my mother’s face

“Not knowing medical health has been hardest. Also not knowing your roots and who you are is painful.”

“As an adult I would like my health history, genetic history, and social history. My children and grandchildren would also like to know”

“I definitely get pretty angry that the adoption agency people know more about my history than I, myself know. I also don’t like that they want to charge hundreds just for me to get non id info ..which might not even be accurate. That isn’t right at all
Found out at age 15. Feelings of betrayal and that my life was a lie, total loss of identity then and now at age 32, even after being 2 years post reunion with bio family. Reunions don’t always fix the emptyness, often they make you question what you missed and who you might be had circumstances been different.”

“Always felt I didn’t belong , confused about who I am”

“I’m still unpacking it.”

“We also adopted a child. She is a safe haven baby, so her adoption is closed and will most likely remain closed”

It allowed by adoptive parents to lie to me for 41 years

“I believe the unknowns that come with closed adoption creates anxiety, stress & insecurities that would not have been there if adoption were open or not have taken place”

“thislittleboy.blogspot.com is my story. Thank you”

“It is the ultimate cruelty and abuse of children.”

“It has not allowed either me or my brother to know who we are.”

Makes you feel like you’re a dirty little secret.

“It has left a lot of questions, especially as I age and have health concerns”

“Best thing that ever happened to me”

“It his my true identity, where I came from, who I looked like..a life long void til reunion.
It has destroyed my life. I’ll never know what might have been outside of being adopted.”

I think about it every single day

“I was adopted at a young age. I was adopted by a great family. 3 biological kids, 5 adopted and 1 as an 18 yr old came to live with us. There were slso Foreign exchange students who lived with us. I call our family tge United Nations because we are all from different races. I love my family!”

“I felt like a “commodity” when I was denied additional info because “they had a contract with my mother.”

“I never felt like a real person until I reunited with my bio mom when I was 29 and she showed me a picture of herself pregnant with me and told me the story of my birth. Up until that point, I never realized that I’d felt like an alien my entire life. For me, it finally validated my existence.”

“It did keep me from making bio relationships that have a better chance of lasting a lifetime. My adoptive relationship have not lasted. When parents die, you find some family friends have no interest in you. And some bio don’t either. Adoptees are truly between a rock and a hard place. The best kind of adoption is open but directed by the child, within reason. The end result should be that the child has relationships that last their life time. We focus too much on the first 18 years, and not on the last 60.
Search and reunion led me to a dagnosis thay answered so many questions about my life! Fetal Alcohol Syndrome”

“Now that I have lost my adoptive family as well, I feel dangerously disconnected. It’s hard to feel like you matter”

Left me fearing abandonment my entire life

“Secrets and lies harm us”

“I’m thankful to my adoptive parents and love them tremendously; however I’m against closed adoption- if one must relinquish it should be open. Also, birth mothers need more support , my birth mom was broken after being forced to give me up. There needs to be more education on what happens to the baby being placed and what happens to the birth mom!”

“It’s insulting. We need an Ammendment to the US Constitution about a Right to Identity.
At the age of 49, I’m in therapy again because my abandonment trauma runs deep. I’ve dealt with severe anxiety and depression for years and years. I’m triggered by many things. I’m an empath, a highly sensitive person, and gave an overwhelming urge to rescue people and animals. I don’t feel I really fit in either of my families. Closed adoption is wrong, period (except maybe in cases where all bio fam are dangerous/a true threat to child).”

“Anxiety, fear of rejection, lack of confidence”

“Unknown”

Low self esteem…no identity, feeling ashamed of who you are

“Like most surveys, this is incomplete and doesn’t offer enough ways to leave relevant feedback. Need more “other” categories. For example, while I don’t buy the “God’s Plan” nonsense, obviously on a Soul Level I did make this choice beforehand / prebirth. Also, no questions on reunion, acceptance or lack thereof, scapegoating, life post-parents, sibling relationships, etc. etc. There is always so much more to the story.”

“The secrecy created shame and stigma. It took me years to own my identity as an adoptee”

“I feel like an outsider with no cultural connections. As an adult I feel anger toward my BM for rejecting my attempt to contact. I feel Loss at not knowing my 1/2 siblings.
damaging to our very bodies”

“anxiety, depression”

“Closed adoption is fine if when the adoptee can access health records and meet biological parents if they are agreeable. I just don’t look like anyone. Even my children don’t resemble me!”

“My older brother was adopted, then me, then my sister was conceived… we always joked that she was an accident. My brother told me we were adopted, but it was no big deal to our family.”

“In an open adoption you have pictures and a face. You can get questions answered.”

“Closed adoption was just cruel punishment. The only reason I see it is necessary would be if the parent was a terrible criminal!”

It cut me off from my story. Grief and loss are my constant companions.

“Always a question of who is my family”

“I don’t believe in it, but I had a a good experience with very loving adoptive parents.
I still don’t know who my father is and probably never will”

“Compared with my half siblings that were raised by my biological family, I had a better life with more opportunities.”

Secretly marginalized racially. No community even within adoption to feel as if I belong. Left disconnected and working hard at feeling I truly matter. It’s not a self esteem issue. It’s rather a factual issue of not belonging to a community, not being valued as a significant member of either birth or adopted family. So grateful I have a husband that loves me.

“Not sure if mine was closed or really what that means.”

I am only recently in contact with my birth father. It is a struggle for both of us.
It messed up my connections to my kin FOREVER. You can never go back and get what you never got. It’s gone….that connection to your people.”

“It catalyzed an interest in politics, and people whose voices go unheard, and how persons are commodified; and how sweet it is to find one’s real mother.”

“I never knew there was any other way to adopt when I was a minor.”

“A life of lies and lack of perspective. Continued bad relationships, self esteem issues, mental health issues. Trauma.”

“Low self esteem, under achievement, shame/lack of confidence, never been married die to fear of intimacy, lack of trust of women, never had children due to my fear of marriage”

Really missed my birth parents

“Im not sure there are any parts if my life closed adoption havent affected
Did not give me a better life. I feel like a scape goat. It almost ruined me
Closed Adoption should be illegal!”

“Alienation especially as a child. Grief and pain on my New Years Eve Birthday and holidays. Shock upon the emotions after having my children. A fantasy world about my bio family that no one I was raised imagined because “You are ours”. No health history provided by the Adoption Agency that was pertinent when a congenital heart condition was diagnosed, I was advised to inform all of my biological family because it can go undiagnosed and result in sudden death. An in depth genetic work-up on one of my 5 children and I did not have a family medical history. Finding my biological family and being shunned by the paternal side of my family. It was very difficult to get access to my supposedly lost adoption file and I suspect that was partly due to record documentation that I was given barbiturates to calm me for 3 months. My adoptive parents brought me home, changed my name and I began to withdraw from the medication cold turkey. I learned this at 54 years old after a lifetime of all my relatives sharing that I was inconsolable as an infant.”

The shroud of secrecy creates a culture of shame for all parties involved

“Sad, unhealthy, can’t bond, confused, just wish I’d never been born.”
“It has made me sad and angry about the misinformation and lack of information I experienced as a child/teen, and has occasioned a feeling of abandonment when my adoptive father rejected my and my adopted siblings after our mother died.”

“I suffered mental abuse from extended adopted family told I didn’t belong. Adopted mother complained that if she knew I would be so much trouble she never would have adopted me. I suffered from separation anxiety as a child and an adult. Bio family found at age 70. Its a wonderful feeling to finally know who I am! Records must be unsealed, and OBC must be made available to all adoptees.”

“I have depression and have since being young. My (adoptive) mum had depression. I always felt like a doll, like I was never seen, told I was loved and special but never felt it which was confusing. Recently discovered they adopted a baby girl before me which the birth parents wanted back, so they were given me as a replacement. I’ve suffered bad health, and always felt a disappointment, not what they wanted. I struggle to maintain relationships, always feel wrong. But if I try to talk to anyone about it, ‘it’s in the past’ and I should get over it”

“It has undermined my adoptive family in both subtle and blatant ways – giving a pervasive message that none of us would stick like glue if the truth be known. Fear and silences ran like a river thru our family … .”

Being relinquished by my biological parents caused me psychological pain for which I will never recover from as being cut off from your biological roots causes an endless search for identity. Closed adoption is inhumane and is definitely not in the best interest of any child!

“I believe that medical information should have been included in my adoption. It was really hard to grow up not knowing any basic medical information.
As an adult i have struggled with my relationships out of fear of rejection. I feel unwanted,unlovable.”

“Truth is often hard to deal with – however secrets are worse. I feel very strongly that every child should know their own truth of who their bio parents & family are. Not knowing this information is not knowing parts of yourself. It leaves one with a mystery. If there was no mystery then we’d be like everybody else. We could focus on other things like non-adoptees. Even if knowing the truth is hurtful we don’t have to make up things in our heads to fill in the blanks. The brain wants to fill in the blanks & there needs to be answers to that – honest answers. I feel a lot of my own life would’ve been very different if I didn’t have these concerns on my mind all the time as a kid.”

“It is a very mixed bag of emotions. I’m unable to locate my bio dad because he is listed on my bc as “alleged”. That is very frustrating, a) because it was allowed and b) because he exists and I can’t research alleged.”

“In every possible way”

“It was a strange and confusing time but ultimately it was a God send.”

“A lot of pain and loss”

It’s important for an adoptee to know their story

“it is a daily issue in my life – it has a negative effect”

“I think adoption can be a good thing. I do think more attention needs to be paid to mourning the biological family.”

“things like getting my ancestry.com results throws me into a tailspin of obsession over finding out more”

“I would like to have a medical history and it appears I will not have much of one
I struggle with the feeling of loss especially about not growing up with my biological siblings. But I also struggle with loneliness and the feeling that no one on either side understands the deep feelings of loss.”

“I truly have mixed feelings. My older biological half sister was abused by her stepfather ..if I had been there I would have too .. but I was abused by my adoptive brother ..so…
I do not think about my adoption, to be honest. As a teenager I acted out but dont most? I never ever related it to my adoption. I am a happy, mentally healthy adult with a family. Not an “adopted family” I just simply have a Mom and Dad and Sister (as well as my own family…husband and 3 children) I dont understand when adoptees are so angry
Just always wondering (at least until I found my birth family) who I was and where I came from. Who did my own children look like?”

“Overly empathetic, which is exhausting. Too eager to please.”

It’s a maddening experience. As I’ve gotten older I’ve felt more anger and shame because I understood the situation better. I was not placed into a loving home. I was placed into a home for status to make my adopted mother feel good about herself.
Interesting as this was the first time I actually saw questions and feelings that I have experienced in a written format. I must say that it has evoked quite a few feelings within me.

“As a minor, I was always the wild one, never felt right. Lack trust of others, abandoned. Finally learned my issues are universal. Finally self acceptance empowered understanding adoption has nothing to do with child’s needs.”

“Closed adoption left me with so many unanswered questions. I didn’t bond well with my adopted family, always wondering about my biological family and feeling isolated and alone. Even though I was fortunate enough to find my biological family, I’m still a bit of a loner.”

“Spent my whole life feeling as I didn’t belong to anyone. My bio mom found me and yet again has abandoned me as an adult..its just sadness to me”

“Not being able to know anything sucked”

The not knowing why was the hardest. I was told a lie my whole life and felt shame as who I am because of how I was conceived. I feel if abortion had been legal I definitely wouldn’t be here. Many days I wish she’d had one.

“It is a part of every part of my life. No medical history to go by, no information about heritage, nothing…”

“Abandoned, no one with my genes that I know makes me feel alone”

“I have a lot of trouble forming and keeping relationships.”

“More understanding of the struggles of others”

“Just no knowledge of everything.”

“I always had a longing to know where I came from and meet my biological parents and siblings”

“i wish my BM would talk to me. i wish she’d tell me my BD’s name.”

“Can’t recommend it.”

I love my Adoptive family very much – but knowing my birth family has been a wonderful experience!

“Found my bio-parents in my thirties – happy to have filled in the gaps and happy for my children to know all of their families and correct history.”

“New York wants to make it more difficult to procure OBC. Very sad.
I am an emotional recluse. I never feel true happiness. There is always sadness close by to ruin any joy I have.”

“self harm, anxiety, and lack of medical info.”

I am native American and deprived my native status because my birth certificate is sealed

“It’s a double edged sword on one hand I am extremely proud and love my a family but part of me will always mourn what I lost & what & who I may of been”

“It is cruel….. It’s like I was kidnapped by the state”

“Has completely fucked me up specific to relationships. I don’t let anyone get too close to me. Two failed marriages and many relationships.”

“I was told by a neighbor/friend when I was around 8-9 yrs old that I was adopted. This was extremely damaging to me, I assumed this was a very bad thing and was traumatized by thinking I could be sent back.”

“I struggle with the anger of not having access to my original birth certificate, even though I am almost 60 years old and all of the principals involved are deceased, except for me. There are no “secrets” to protect. I also have had issues with depression most of my adult life and a strong sense of not belonging.”

“I think I have some issues that I never realized were adoption related. I’m 67 and only now just realized why I did some of the things in the past.”

“My adoptive parents are deceased and my one adopted sibling and I are not close. I was given information that prior to my birth when my biological mom was 34, she had another child that was a normal, healthy birth. More than likely my biological mother is deceased, but knowing that I could possibly have a sibling who is still Living encourages me to keep searching!!!!Also, since I have 3 children of my own, I would like some genetic information to pass on to them and for my own benefit.”
“Closed adoption played a huge role in my life. It has caused me a lot of pain and struggle in regards to wanting to know my roots”

“I reached out through my state appointed social worker to my biological mother. The certified letters that were sent on my behalf were left unanswered; it hurts! Social worker was able to locate bio mother on social media and mentioned that it looked like she had other children (younger.) No knowledge of biological father. Left feeling like there is a major part of my life/lineage that I will never know; hole in my heart.
I feel like my life was stolen, however I want to do everything I can to advocate for family preservation”

“It affects me every day. I am isolated. I have rescued pets .. two cats and two dogs who are my kids. In my life I’ve learned that my pets are the only things that could let ever love me unconditionally. Pretty pathetic. I would like to hear from other adoptees from the state of Idaho who were also adopted by Rita Phelps Hoene. She was my father’s first cousin that did all the adoptions in our family and I heard from an adoptee on your site one day that we connected that she did basically bona fide child trading according to the child’s race. I have always wanted to sue the state of Idaho for what they did to myself and to the other adoptees in the 50s 60s 70s and 80s. I would also like to hear if you’ve known of any other people that I’ve been in the same similar situation where a family member was the state worker who adopted out children to family members
I’m still healing from it. I could write a book. As a doula I attended an open adoption birth and it was the most beautiful birth I have ever witnessed, both mothers were there. Very different than mine and very good to witness, healing”

“Because of it being closed I lost out on possibly ever knowing who bio father was and also $ for me and my children as I believe we are a decent amount Native American”

“Finding BM never told anyone and it remains a secret is hard. My life has been an open book and everyone knows my adoption status. Hard to understand but respectful
I feel like it’s unfair and cruel to remove a baby from her mother and giving her to strangers. It’s traumatizing and the whole original birth certificate thing whereby you don’t even know your original name is something you would do to a newborn puppy, not a human. It’s sickening.”

I have abandonment and trust issues.”

“I feel every human has the innate right to knpw who the are. No court or person should have the right to keep that secret. I have found my biological family and they’re wonderful people. My biggest struggle was not knowing who I am where I came from what my lineage is and what my health history is. Closed adoption makes adoptees into a dirty little secret. It is a stigma that is placed on the child that comes with guilt, shame, forced to be grateful, abandonment and many more issues. Until I knew the truth that my birth family was searching for me, I had my own story of self lies. Regardless of who my birth family was, we all have the right to know good or bad be the outcome.”

“I’ve always felt like I never fit in outside of my family. I had a wonderful childhood growing up but I always questioned where I was from and I still have a sense of not belonging anywhere to this day”

“Everyone deserves to know where they come from. I’ve always known who I am, but did not always know my origins. Finding my birthparents was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”

“I credit my parents with making my adoption a non-issue. We’re family. How that came to be in unimportant. The only adoption issue I’ve ever had is problems getting a passport. It is maddening! Give me my original birth certificate!!”

“I believe it has affected every single personal relationship I have ever had or ever will have.”

“Closed adoption is an unintended experiment by unwilling participants. The stats speak for themselves. It’s not good for the adoptee. I particularly believe that adoption in any form should not be allowed by the very religious. The very basis of their belief is toxic to the child and is a form of abuse. ”

I think it shaped my whole life, in ways good and bad.”

“Shame was placed on me because of my adoption. My closed adoption was covered in lies.”

“It stunted my emotional growth for many years.”

“I have been reunited with both birth parents at different points in my life. That is what complicated my adoption story.”

my adopted parents were not suitable parents i feel they lacked adequate education on adoption

“A lot depends on the child, but generally the adoptees need more emotional support.
My adoption has underscored for me the cruelty of laws that bar adoptees from getting information that is rightly theirs, as well as the hypocrisy of a society that holds up adoption as a good thing while shaming those involved.”

“It severely affected my treatment when numerous health problems began to crop up. I never had a family medical history or knew what to expect with health concerns down the line.”

“I feel that it has not done me any favor. I have missed out on so many relationships and tradition. It is not best to assume the biological relationships are bad simply because the mother had an unexpected pregnancy”

It’s important for me to know me. My genetic make and real medical information.
Shame, confusion, and anger. A sense of not knowing who I am and where I belong.
I has made me unwilling to have my own children

“It’s so difficult to get my medical history. I am a human being with rights. I deserve to know instead of taking months or even years to open my case. I have rights to them.
It has given me permanent anxiety and abandonment issues”
“You grow up constantly yearning to know more, but it’s a dead end. You then must conjure up made up “stories” to fill in gaps of your life. Hate not knowing medical history. Other info, as well, but really felt like second class citizen, filling out doctor questions of family illnesses, even before they finally added “unknown” box to check. Rights of birth parents are much more important than mine in society’s view point. We don’t matter and still considered Bastards.”

“In reunion, dodged a couple of large bullets. Glad to know my bios now at 50 than younger.”

It has caused unnecessary emotional trauma not only to myself, but to my birth mother. It is a failed social experiment of epic proportions and should take place only in the most extreme circumstances (i.e. the biological family being a threat to the child.)

“It was hard to get any information and hard to get my original birth certificate but I did it. They gave it to me since I am in a relationship with my bio family”

“My adoption experience has overall been extremely positive. I love my adopted parents and consider them to be my ‘real’ parents, and other than a deep curiosity about my biological family I haven’t really struggled with my sense of identity where adoption is concerned. I understand my experience is different from other adoptees/I don’t aim to speak for anyone other than myself.”

“i feel discriminated against. Every other human being can have their birth certificate and many adoptees cannot even see it. And I wish I didnt have 34 years of wondering about my birth family, and having no answers. I wish I could have met my birth mother earlier so that I would have more than 2 years to get to know her before she died.
It made me feel I had no beginning, that I was never born. I cannot adequately describe how that has affected me.”

“It has been emotionally devastating in so many ways . . . not knowing my ethnicity specifically haunted me most of my life”

“It allowed lies (I was told my bio parents were dead and they were not) and caused much wasted time for me wondering my story, stress that I would die young like them.
Found birth parents anyhow.”

No but i accidentally put no to getting original birth certificate when i meant to click yes, adoptees should access them.”

“Curious as to who my biological parents are and “where I come from” has always frustrated me. I have always wanted to know. It has been an issue not knowing any medical history, especially when I had my own child. My biological son now has the same issues. Because I don’t know my medical history, he has to go through extra testing for any medical issue to rule out inherited medical problems that may have skipped my generation. Also, because I don’t know what/who I am with respect to ancestry/origin, he too is missing half of his own ancestry/origin. And the unknown just keeps going from one generation to the next.”

“Never felt I knew who I really was and who I was supposed to become. The love I received was not enough for me.”

“It is hurtful and frustrating to navigate. There’s no mental support and it is traumatic. People don’t see a loss at all and just ignore your cries and medicate or try to medicate it away.”

“When I said earlier it is complicated, that has been my experience so far. It is definitely the onion of emotional layers that I continue to work through. Wasn’t able in the the questionnaire to completely say that considering the circumstances of my adoption, I am grateful that I was adopted. I have met my Birth Mother, who I care and respect, but I do know that I was not suppose to have been raised by her. My extended adoptive family and my Dad, to a lesser degree, has a blood is thicker than water mentality and that was, at times, a difficult situation to be around. Thanks for this survey.”

“It is the foundation of the problems in my life. It never ends.”

“Both my parents were mentally ill. How could I , as a 9 month old baby , been given to this couple?? My adoptive father was often violent or quiet and sullen. On occasion he was normal and friendly. My mom was totally wacked. I was in years of therapy to help my deal with her abuse. But on a positive side, she bought me books and art supplies so she encouraged me in that way , but it was ALWAYS followed up with abuse.
My adoptive parents’ attitude, it not being an open subject, and their insecurity and hostility around my search, were the worst things. Also, a lack of health info and aptitude info has been a burden.”

Thank god I was reunited or I’d be dead from addiction or suicide.”

“Closed or not I still found my biological mother and father”

“Angered that officials truly believe I should shut up and be grateful.”

“Depression, anxiety, detachment issues”

“So many lies. So much secrecy and restriction from information made adoption much more painful especially as an adult.”

“Closed adoption stole the life, parents, and siblings I should have had and placed me with an abusive, narcissistic infertile woman and an apathetic man. I wondered my whole life who I was. I am only now starting to build a relationship with the man who should have been my father. I’ve never felt connected to anyone the way I do with my Pops and my brother. I feel grounded for the first time in my life. Closed adoption set me adrift, like a ship with no anchor or kite with no string.”

“Unable to form relationships”

Closed adoption treats you like an eternal child no matter how old you become you are still considered the “adopted child” who can’t be trusted with their own biological information or birth certificates.”

“It has hugely effected my life and the lives of my husband and children. Closed adoption was a social experiment that failed.”

“it affected my entire life, but I wasn’t aware it was the cause of so much anger and behaviors until I was nearly 40. I miss my biological mother without even knowing her. But I also hate her for choosing herself over me. I don’t even know anything about her.
Separation from one’s identify impacts everything. The secrets and lies make trusting anyone in the circle nearly impossible. And my first mother’s trauma is profound.”

“Reunion doesn’t magically ease the longing or the suffering”

“Low self esteem, depression, fear of loss”

I just don’t like the idea of not being able to know who I am and where I come from.
It is one of the worse imaginable things to do to a child. It leads to a life of never knowing the answers to basic questions. It leads to feelings of abandonment, depression, anxiety, never fitting in, unable to form attachments with people, and overall emotional distress. I hate it. I feel like a slave that was bought and sold.

“Never felt like I fit anywhere. Felt abandoned.”

“It has permeated my life”

“It’s caused me a lot of problems and there was no support there. I have had to take the full responsibility for it through my own commitment to getting well and therapy. Not very fair I think you would agree”

“Being am adopted person has, in all seriousness, completely fucked up my life. I hate APs. All people who adopt an infant are selfish, horrible people. No exceptions
I believe the separation itself and being in foster care affected me the most. My foster mom told my birthmother that I would comfort myself when I cried by sucking my thumb, rather than relying on her to calm me down. I’m a very independent person and I think that’s where it stemmed from. There was a moment before I was adopted that I was reunited with my birthmother. She told me that I reacted to her voice in a way that said, “Oh, there you are!””

It’s a nightmare but it never goes away.

“It is a lie all around. Lies and secrets are just not healthy.”

“absence of medical history has grave repercussions”

“In the end the main issue I found was Closed adoption allowed my adopted family to close themselves off and raise me as if I was a biological child, disregarding my additional needs as a child and causing a lot of damage to be made. Not every family that participants in closed adoptions do harm, but it’s much easier to find and correct bad adoption behaviors if it’s open between the community as a whole”

I would rather have been aborted than placed in a closed adoption. Adoption can be a loving, wonderful, healthy thing, but only if the people involved don’t pretend that a) adoptive families are the same as biological–they can be wonderful healthy environments but only with eyes open, and b) people recognize that just as many pathological things happen within adoptive families as biological–verbal, psychological, physical abuse”

“I think this statement by New Zealander Joss Shawyer (Death by Adoption, 2004) says it all. When it happens I hope Americans don’t dismiss it with a no-big-deal attitude. “But unlike everywhere else, it is apparent that what drives North American adoption is the money made by the baby brokers that traffic in human beings. They buy and sell infants and children. They import and export, just as the original slave traders did. Misery and mental illness are their environmental side products. One day there will be a reckoning. As North American adoption records open – and it is inevitable that they will open – the truth about adoption law and practice in America will find it’s way the public arena. In the future the mothers of all the children forcibly taken for adoption will have their day in court. It is also entirely probable that the Administration of the United States will finally be forced to offer up a public apology to the hundreds of thousands of American mothers whose children have been redistributed for the purpose of appeasing the right wing faction, that ‘moral majority’ that is actually a minority, but with a power base far in excess of their actual numbers.”

“I shut down my feeling (disassociated) for 50 years. The physical implications was that my hands peeled. When I defogged and began to feel – my hands stopped peeling. As children we only know what we have experienced – so that is normal – and yet it was anything but normal.”

“It sucks”

“Every human being should have the right to know where he or she came from — origins, medical history, ancestry.”

“It’s affected every part of my psyche. Just turned 51 and just now feel like I’m becoming an adult in my own and no longer care to hold back.”

Not having checks in place leaves adopted child open for abuse, the system has failed so many of us

“I never felt I lived up to my a-parents expectations. Felt like I had to or they’d get rid of me. No one would talk about it. It was secretive.”

“Took me until age 45 to get original birth certificate, in reunion parents are in 70’s”

I was lucky to have loving parents and loving birth parents.

“Closed adoption was positive for me. I think it would have been much more confusing to have an open adoption.”

“Keeps me in a state of perpetual childhood being told that I cannot have access to my birth records – perpetual anger over the injustice”

“Prior to my reunion with my natural family I had no idea the extent to which being an adoptee effected my life. My mainly cultural/social standards I was high achieving, lived a life of privilege, and had a “good life.” However, I have always had issues with self doubt, insecurity, and believing I was not worthy/lovable. From what I know now I would link these issues directly to the fact that I was adopted and the trauma of being separated from my mother at birth.”

“It has been extremely difficult”

I was raised by a wonderful family

“my birth parents did not want contact when I approached them. Closed adoption has worked well apart from that.”

“Well, it’s more like how it has not affected me.”

“It’s made me question my entire life but there’s no way to get any answers. Basic stuff like nationality and medical history that everyone knows about themselves I have to pay hundreds of dollars to try to find out through DNA testing. It’s not right.”

I feel irrelevant because my origins were denied. I was a dirty little secret.

“Low self esteem and feeling no one would like the real me”

“Brutal mental anguish, emotional retardation, hyper situational awareness. The only time I had peace was when I was alone”

“Concern regarding genetically inherited medical issues”

“I have panic attacks and believe that adoption caused them”

“Created life long frustration at not being able to access any genetic/family history, medical concerns/history, many roadblocks in trying to find out my paternal roots, and much pain in knowing that my biological mom has outwardly rejected me as an adult….that no other biological family member knows of my existence. Intense fears of rejection as an adult…my adoption and my adoptive home life was very traumatic”

Eating disorder, depression & anxiety, spending addiction

“I am never sure that people will not leave”

“It hurt my feeling especially when I write in to the agency by my birth mother didn’t.”

Why didn’t she love me?

“I am late discovery. The secrecy was awful, that everyone knew but me. Betrayal.
Meeting my birth mother only to be rejected again a few years later was a mistake. I should never have opened my heart to that woman. My parents are the people who raised me period.”

“Experiencing discovery when I had three young children I didn’t process things much. I swept them under the carpet. Now with children grown I am processing my history and discovering how much it has effected so much of my life even though I didn’t know.”

“I’ve always been unhappy with the secrets and pretense, and the fact that people with no skin in the game made such important decisions on my behalf.”

“I never had a sense of belonging, either with my adoptive parents or my childhood friends. I was obese as a child. It was also difficult to establish my identity because I had no idea where I came from & my adoptive family was nothing like me at all. We never made sense to each other, we still don’t to this day. I never experienced unconditional love until I had my own children, and it took several months for me to learn how to give unconditional love to my first child. I can’t say that I loved her before she was born, I fell in love with her when she was about 4 months old.”

I was happy with closed adoption as a child but now as an adult and have my own children I feel I have the right to know about my heritage and biomedical information for me and my children.

“it would have been nice to meet them before my birth mother passed away”

“Made me a people pleaser”

“I’ve been happy in my life. I have a hard time with open adoption. I feel like it would make it harder for all parties to move on. The adoptive parents might feel like they aren’t ever the “real” patents. And the mother who’s given up her child might have a hard time letting go & moving on. It’s just very foreign to me.”

“I would like to know if I had siblings. I get told often that I look like someone they know. Makes me wonder.”

“Made relationships harder, trust issues, never feel loved.”

“My bio mom updated my medical history when I was 16 but it was never sent to me. I discovered it at 46 when I requested my Non-ID again. Seems horrible that it was not sent on to us.”

I like who I am. I don’t know if adoption changed that or not. I do know I feel a sense of incompleteness as I have been denied access to my OBC and have not found my biological family.

“You feel like a prisoner till your of legal age and then there is no help to get your legal identity till law change. Also the absolute disparity adopted children have leads to suicide. I survived that it had to be 50% at least based on my analysis of those I knew in high school whom were adopted. MOst Males seem to be able to afford at a younger age the means to find quicker their biological family’s. erasing a persons biological and health history is modern slavery and evil. NO one should be subjected to such grief and lack of history.”

“As a child, my adoptive parents were very open about my adoption and told most people about it. Sometimes, as a child, I wished they wouldn’t say anything to others because I felt like people outside our family would then view our relationship differently.
Unable to obtain medical records”

“Close adoption ruined my birth mother’s life. It silenced me and caused me to develop drug and alcohol issues that have changed who I am – and stunted my potential in the world. I do not believe I would have experienced this if I was raised by my mother. Growing up I didn’t understand or appreciate my natural talents and abilities. I could not relate to them and consequently things I was good at – naturally very good at – were confusing to me and I had no confidence to develop these talents, even when it was clear that I was very good at ballet, swimming, acting, writing. I was alone without encouragement or support for my abilities from either of my adoptive parents so as a child and teenager these things were lost to me – until I found my way to the theatre and then to university as a very mature aged student (47). I wasn’t promiscuous but I have had huge problems in relationships – with neediness/staying in relationships that were not right for me – or were abusive – was habitual, often making extremely bad choices and trying to make these choices work no matter how bad I felt – each ending very destructively – repetitively. My adoptive mother was an alcoholic and a prescription drug user – she suffered from debilitating Tourettes syndrome which was the cause of her drug and alcohol dependence. I began stealing alcohol at about 14 and Valium and started smoking pot at about 15. I did this while Dad was having a 11 yr long affair with the woman he eventually married. Fortunately, after finishing my theatre training I fell in love and married a wonderful man. However, his large Catholic Italian family needed to know everything about me and us and they interfered with our marriage – judging me – and without a sound ego I felt unworthy, unfit, unprepared to be married – I couldn’t stand up to them confidently – I felt not good enough for another family who seemed to find me deficient. I left my husband not long after I met my mother – who had been a dancer with a great career before she had me. I then went overseas to study further in London without my husband and I know now that I had a second adolescence – an awakening to what I had lost – to who I was and could have been/wanted to become. What I knew innately about myself was ‘discovered’ through reunion with my mother. While I was beginning to know my mother/my ‘self’ I was hurting even more, numbing myself all the time and I had affairs while away from my husband. We divorced while I was living in NYC where I had found work opportunities but as soon as that happened I realised I had lost again and this time I lost the first and only relationship I had ever had that I COULD trust. I lived with enormous regret, pain and anxiety when I realised I didn’t know how to love him – or myself. I also know now that while I was in this fog of finding myself I was more abusive to myself that ever – drug and alcohol use accompanied more bad relationships. I also know that I missed out on nurturing the relationship with my mother because neither of us could face the past and speak of our separate lives without each other. We were in communication for 18 yrs but she died about 12months after asking me to leave her alone ‘for a while’. I know now that she felt/thought our relationship was untenable – her loss, guilt and trauma were so great she could never accept our relationship and could not ever speak of her experience, or of her feelings after our reunion. It is only through university study and my own personal family history research that I have learned what she went through at the time of my birth and why she could not speak of her experience. Closed adoption should not exist in the 21st century and yet policy makers and prospective adopters continue to drive the ‘market’ – ignorance and arrogance – the ‘rescuer’ mentality makes these people blind to research and to adoptees and mothers voices. It is time that adoptees and mothers were heard and that research is no longer pushed underground to allow the objectives of politicians and infertile/wealthy ‘couples’ to override the lived experience of trauma, grief and irretrievable loss. Adoptees are still considered ‘ungrateful’ for having our feelings and our voices are still suppressed – rejected by those who WANT to adopt. We are now having to fight for our experiences to have meaning – for the right to know our lineal history – for the right to be reinstated into lineal history via govt records. Closed adoption should not continue – Guardianship allows children without agency to be protected when necessary. Guardianship provides babies and children whose mothers/families are in crisis the support they need to keep their family together – wherever possible ‘in the best interest of the child’. No more falsification of records – no altering of children’s identities and robbing them of connection to their birth families for the sake of their ‘adopters’. End Closed Adoption – End all ‘adoption of children’ GUARDIANSHIP NOW!!! Thank you for this research survey. THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED TO STOP THE ADOPTION INDUSTRY”

Blessed me. Also made me feel disconnected in a way.

“Unknown family medical history is unfair. I have issues with intimate relationships-abandonment issues. I either love to deeply, or not at all- no middle ground.I can cut people off and never look back.”

“I was and still am loved and accepted, but always felt like there was something missing.”

“Adoption doesnt guarantee a better life, just a different one.”

“I have not been as successful in life as may have been. Constantly battle the need to search know…felt pressured to give my own child up at age 18 from adoptive patents “to save face”

I really have no issues with my adoption being closed. As a matter of fact I think that it was a good thing for me.

“At no time should medical history be withheld from an adoptee.”

“Not being able to get the information as an adult is infurriating . It adds to the thought process of not being wanted . One should not have to spend large amounts of money for DNA tests or court fees just to find out the family background.”

“Society does not understand how adoption can affect us. It is seen as a happy thing, a wonderful thing, and to ever say a negative word about it brings anger and disbelief from people who think you should be grateful. It is difficult for me to see acquaintances who have adopted children and feel happy for them- because I know their children have suffered trauma that they will likely never be allowed to talk about or heal”

“I feel it has ruined my life. My life has been wasted with sadness loss and bereavement. It changed how I perceived the world at an elemental level. I understand now why I have the behaviours I do and I have struggled to cope with it all and am still struggling and despite have 4 years psychological help I feel abandoned by the health service”
“As a young person, I could not have handled knowing the full story or identities of my biological parents. It was appropriate to shield me from it until I was an adult. Nothing I have learned since has weakened my bond with my adoptive family.”

“While there are disadvantages to being adopted (the not knowing, some abandonment issues), they far outweigh the disadvantages of being raised by someone not ready to be a parent. I believe in adoption being closed during childhood, but open after age 21. I was found by my birthmother at 18–too young for me. Relationship with her has not worked, because nothing is ever enough for her–she is obsessive. Have fantastic relationship now with my birthfather which has benefitted both of us. It has been challenging to navigate at times, but worth the effort. I do feel, though, that knowing him as a child would have been confusing–and that he may not yet have been ready to be a consistent presence in my life. Adulthood was the right time for me–and him.”

I was adopted by an abusive family. If my childhood was happier, maybe then it wouldn’t be so bad

“closed adoption is wrong. sealing of obc’s and restriction of information is psychologically damaging.”

“I have had health issues from childhood, including psoriasis, food intolerance’s and IBS, that I believe the trauma/stress of adoption contributed to them developing. I have extremely weary about getting into serious relationships – don’t want to take the risk of being left. Feel I have to be ‘perfect’ all the time. I strongly believe in the Primal Wound theory.”

“Closed adoption is wrong. Changing birth certificates is wrong. Hiding a child’s heritage is wrong. Creating conditions where people can hide their children’s origins is wrong.
My adoption was great with loving adoptive parents. I’ve been very lonely since they passed away. I struggle with what it is that I feel about my biological parents.
I just felt scared of who I was supposed to be”

“If adoption records had been open or open after I turned 18 or 21 years old, I would have searched sooner for my birth parents. When I found my mothers sister, and my siblings, I was 58 years old, my birth mother past away three years before I found my birth family.”

I love my family. I’m grateful to my birth parents for letting me go, and my parents for giving a great life. Having a closed adoption seems less complicated, and less confusing. Curiosity is very real though. I believe in adoption and wish more women took advantage of placing their babies instead of abortion.

“Abandonment issues, people pleaser always try so hard to make people love me. Always wondered who I looked like. Felt out of place.”

“Deliberately obscuring a person’s connection to their heritage is deracination and an injustice.”

“Constant wondering about why I was given away. I would rather have just known the answer why. Now that I found out 2 years ago a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I talk to my birth mother monthly and I have a half brother I text daily.”

“Closed adoption is horrible and mean… my right to make a choice as an adult was taken away from me as an infant and I had to fight to get my own birth certificate. It shouldn’t be that way”

I feel like my mental health wasn’t destroyed at birth. I never had a chance to be a whole person.”

“I wish my closed adoption had gotten!given more information about what birthparenta were like, as in likes and hobbies and such.”

“It made me feel unlovable. I knew I was a second choice. I feel like an alien. I resemble no one. I can’t have friends or lovers because I am so disconnected, and everyone leaves anyway.”

“Anxiety”

“I know both bioparents but still no right to OBC. DNA rocks!”

“Every person should be allowed access to their genetics”

It feels lonely. I miss my now deceased birth mother and find it is harder than ever to relate to my adoptive family.”

“I was truly blessed by my adoptive parents! Although it took me a long time to decide to search for birth family it only too 101/2 months with AncestryDNA. I am trilled to know who my birth parents are and their true story of why they chose life!”

“Discovering I was adopted at 59yrs old destroyed my trust in everyone”

As an adult my adoptive mother told me she hated me and told my brother she rescued him

 

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One thought on “Free Form Responses: Adoptee Perceptions in a Closed Adoption (Part 1)

  1. Adoption worked out well for me. My adoptive parents were good. Not perfect. But good. I was told I was adopted at a very early age. Four or five. It did give me a feeling of being an outsider. Once I realized that people in families resembled their parents, my outsider feelings grew. But I accepted the situation. However, I did wonder about my birth parents. My adoptive parents told me what they knew, which wasn’t much, but enough to create some interesting images. In my 30s I began to search. But the trail went cold right away. When I was 50, my birth father searched for me. Because of all the markers I left along the trail, his search for me took two weeks. That was 2002. Unfortunately, my birth mother had been dead more than 20 years. It was when I was told she was dead that I felt the depth of her loss. Till then, it was easy to maintain a slight hope that one day I’d meet her. And that I would have the opportunity to thank her for choosing to give birth to me. Meanwhile, I have an excellent relationship with my birth father. If given the choice, and knowing what I know now, would I choose to go back and be raised by my birth mother? Or my adoptive parents? Given what I know about my birth parents and my adoptive parents, it seems adoption would be the better choice.

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