Free Form Responses: Adoptee Perceptions in a Closed Adoption (Part 2)

(Part 2) Again, we thank you and we hear you.

It gave me a better life.

“A profound spence of displacement and not belonging get.!lack of sense of self.”

“Whole life hinged on rejection”

“It has affected me so much more in my early adulthood”

fear of intimacy, heightened watchfulness, lack of belonging

“I am stripped of my right as an adult to access my own birth certificate. I am stripped of my right to register with my tribe. I am stripped of my right to know my heritage. I am sentenced to lifelong punishment for which I am expected to be grateful, due to the crime of being born.”

“It sucks”

“When I had my own children, the connection to them was overwhelming compared to my feelings for adoptive mother and father”

“Not knowing where I came from has been a huge hardship on my psyche and life.
You haven’t got enough time!”

“I have recently found my birth family after matching to people on Ancestry. I was not actively searching but had received the dna kit as a gift. I was first matched to members of my birth father’s side. A half sibling encouraged me to get my original birth certificate. I did and found siblings, a grandmother and my birthmother. I also found out that the story that was told to my adoptive parents wasn’t true. My birth father was actually married and my mother didn’t remember his name. Now the siblings on my dad’s side really don’t want a relationship with me which is hurtful because they seemed very excited. This has called feelings of guilt and shame that I never had before. I also have “survivor’s guilt” because the siblings on my mother’s side have stated that I was lucky to have been given up for adoption because our mother wasn’t an attentive parent. It has been awesome that they were so excited that I found them. I wouldn’t have looked except that I was encouraged to by the other siblings on the dad’s side. I don’t think I really thought I would ever match anyone on Ancestry. I didn’t consider the implications and am now in counseling to deal with some of the post-reunion grief. I am not sure that I am better off knowing what I know now. My adoptive parents were great but my adopted sister was abusive and cruel to me. I just really wanted awesome siblings so I am sad that some of them aren’t interested in me.”

“Lack of identity”

I don’t know who I am – or if my birthday is even real

“I feel I lost rights to know who I am, where I come from, and my identity because my name was changed at time of adoption”

“I wish closed adoptions did not exist.”

“We have no rights, no proper treatment or understanding, and we didn’t chose this. It is life altering and full of grief to live this way. Yet, I had a wonderful adoptive family
it made me insecure nothing is stable”

My adoption traumatized my mother and myself. It affected the lives of many people. Lost time, years, opportunities to meet family. I have immense sorrow about many aspects of my adoption. Adoption should only ever be used as a last resort.”

“I always felt like an outsider and an impostor”

“It has a much more profound on life than people realize. I believe it is a major reason I struggle with virtually every area of life.”

“I’m reunited with dad’s side. not mom’s. I bet if it wasn’t closed my mom would have loved to know her 3 grandkids (my kids). but impossible for her, as she kept the secret so long”

“I would have liked to have found out earlier as an adult that I was adopted and could have found more answers and met biological relatives.”

“When finding my birthmother, I was not allowed pertinent information unless my adoptive parents were present. They were very upset. I never went against their wishes but as a young married woman, I needed info prior to becoming pregnant. My father has ddress ince past away and my adoptive mother is now close with my birthmother. If this was not a closed adoption, things would have been much better for all parties.”

“It did not affect me however I believe every adoptee should have their complete file at age 21 if so desired. I also believe if minor child has life threating health issue birth family should be notified if transplant etc would help heal.”

“Just that its awful. And the emotional rollercoaster will never end.”

Just not able to know where I am from

“I never felt like I fit in anywhere until, at the age of 50, I met my biological family. I am so much more like my bio family, not only in looks, but even in so many personality traits that most people think are socialized rather than genetic.”

“There are not enough checks on the child once the paperwork has been signed. I was abused in every way and pretty much treated like a slave. I had nobody to talk too. So I am now emotionally dysfunctional.”

The only way I was able to give closure to my sadness about being adopted was when I found my biological family.

“it ruined any chance I ever had at a nomal life, the adopters were mean and abusive
It has affected every part of my life.”

“It makes you feel as though you are not a complete person because you don’t know your complete story. When even your birth certificate is “forged” it’s hard to have a true sense of self. Being denied the right to your own information once reaching adulthood is adding insult to injury.”

“Closed adoption is one of the cruelest and inhumane practices in the world. Adoption does not change DNA. It does not change medical health or even relatives. Searching is difficult, “conditions” (genetic anomolies) are rampant. Closed adoption, secrets and lies damned near destroyed my health and my life.”

i am a lost child. discarded. it hurts.

“Difficult to trust anyone”

“Yes but cant express it all in this text box! Survey was thorough enough that am satisfied my adoption experience/feelings were expressed.”

“Abandonment issues, feelings of not being worthy or good enough…can’t shake those feelings despite what my brain says.”

“I am so angry that there continue to be closed adoptions knowing what we now know. I am also angry that society believes adoption is wonderful and thinks we are “bad” if we speak out against adoption.”

overwhelming rejection

“made me ill, poor, and alone”

“Huge abandonment , depression, I think closed adoption is ok however i thing that if you bio parent was raped, or addict than that has lasting affect on a child.”

“Walking down the street and seeing someone that looks identical to you would be an issue. Having my birth children marry their cousin and have children is another concern.”

“It’s taken away easy access to finding my siblings”

Dehumanizing aspect of not having access to my original birth certificate and medical history has been difficult and lots of emotions have surfaced since reuniting with my birth parents.

“I see the need to possibly protect a minor child but once we are legal adults we should have the right to access out our records to find out who we are, where we came from, and any potential health risks associated within the bloodline!”

“I’m not happy with the state of New York because I am not allowed access to my OBC as per state law”

“The best interests of the child are not a consideration. Not learning of my adoption until 43 years, my entire life up to that time was a lie. I have no history or identity or country, sense of place. Infertile couples are so for reasons, evolution speaks of survival of the fittest, they are not sound. The life of an adoptee is struggle. Babies are born to their mother and that intimate connection should never be destroyed by satisfying someone else’s need to have and feel joyous about taking another women’s baby. ”

I just want my mom.”

“I hate the secrecy regarding MYSELF. If anyone should know the full details of me, it should be ME”

“It prevented me from knowing the whole story of who I am.”

“I am blessed. Birth parents had 9 other children.”

“At 49 abandonment issues continue throughout my life. I was connected with my bio father, but am still wanting to find my bio mom. Now that both adoptive parents have passed, the little girl in me feels ‘abandoned’ by two sets of parents. I wish I could find my birth mother – I have her name, but no luck in finding her.”

It was fine while growing up but think adoptees are entitled to ALL information as adults should they want it. I found my birthparents on my own & am still denied original birth certificate from my state ??

“I could write a book. Or three. How much text fits here? I guess we will find out. I wrote this before my 30th birthday. I will be 32 in January. 30 years ago tomorrow, an amazing being was born. But this being wouldn’t be treated as a person. Forever this being would struggle to find a place in this world where they didn’t feel as though they were considered to be more than property, a number, a file, beneficiary, a statistic, a guinea pig, a paycheck, a tax write off. Very few people allowed to this being to feel as though they truly are, indeed, an actual person. 30 years ago, come tomorrow this being was cut from the uterus of a 16 year old girl. This being must have known they were going to be given up, because the being didn’t want to leave. The being was then placed in a crib for 43 days in a facility for babies waiting for adoption under the care of Catholic Family services. Over those 43 days the babies around me were picked up, one by one by new buyers. The being was left alone, the being dont know how long, until the day of my adoption. A family of three was called, “Hello potential mom, we have a baby here and you’re next on the list. It is the last baby in our facility. If you are still wanting to adopt, you are next in line for this baby. It is a girl.” They set up an appointment. The family missed the appointment. The next day they they came to pick up the being. Now the being is a daughter all of a sudden. One and a half months old. Better late that never, I suppose… Family loved daughter. Daughter was a good daughter that loved singing. Daughter loved learning, reading, and talking about everything to everyone. When daughter was three, home with daddy watching sesame street, daddy came downstairs without asking “what are we learning?”. Daddy left later without getting up. People carried daddy away on a stretcher. Daughter didn’t do well after that. Neither did daughters family. Her brother didn’t speak much. Son and daughter went to stay with aunty. Daughter doesn’t remember this part she only found this out later when aunt tried to make her feel guilty about it 26 years later. For the next 8 years she went from school to school. For the next 5 years after that, she went from facility to facility, doctor to doctor, psychiatrist to psychiatrist, ER to ER, palm-full of medication to fist-full, therapist to therapist. She couldn’t be who they wanted to be. She tried. She hurt. She was tired of being hurt. Tired of hurting. Tired of letting people down over, and over, and over. She had left before. But this time she wasn’t coming back without the parent’s word that she wouldn’t be sent away again. So she traveled and would visit every year for a manor holiday and leave again. She was called a runner. She was called worthless. She was called stupid. She was called wild. She was happy. She still wasn’t treated as a person though. Now she felt like a person, ready to take on the world. But she was called dirty. She was called whore. She was called addict. She was called criminal. She wasn’t any of these things. She was a wanderer. She was a student of life and the real world. She was a seeker of all known things. She was on an adventure. A hard, grueling quest to find herself amidst the pain and harshness of the world. It was not easy. Death would visit more than once, taking away her friends, looming over her every second. She lost 16 friends to drugs in one year. She lost 3 to random street murder. She lost more… And more… She left the street life for the real wild life. Seemingly safer among the trees, creeks, mountains, lakes, and small forest creatures. The rain cleansed her. The stars reminded her of her greatness, and her insignificance. The dead would warm her heart in memory, and the dead pine warmed her skin. She felt real. Small. But real. During this wandering she was abused. Abused by men, abused by passersbies, abused by systems, abused by police, abused mentally, physically, emotionally. She was strong. Very strong. She is strong.”

“Found both birth parents (not living together). Adoptive parents supportive and grateful. Bio-mom is wonderful and now a part of family. Bio-dad is a bit of a jerk and doesn’t want contact.”

“It’s created a “pseudo” me and I feel like there is a road not traveled, a life not lived. I grieve mostly for the little girl who never was more than for the loss of my biological family. I’m sad she never had a chance to live my other life. I also realize I am one of the lucky ones to have been adopted into the family I was; for all of our struggles, they are the only people who have never walked away from me. My heart breaks for those children who weren’t as fortunate as I am.”

“I am always sad and hypervigilant”

First let me add to the question about feeling comfortable with my family. I did feel quite comfortable with my immediate family. But when with the large extended family as a child, I felt different. My personality was very different than the rest. I was totally accepted, but I did feel different. When I went to summer camp which was a religious/cultural camp of which I was raised, but was not my blood line, I never felt I totally fit in.( I didn’t look any different , so I fit in, just didn’t feel like I did). As I grew up I had some medical issues, and I always had to take the extra medical tests as I had no family history. Same was true for my children, one if which has hhad a rough childhood medically, and she only has half her medical history. It really woiukd have been nice to know some history, it may have helped find some answers, or made testing a little more bearable. And now that I’m older, and states are opening things up, I’m still waiting, and I still have a daughter with med issues that knowing some answers would be nice. Me too for that fact, but I’ve all but given up”

My adoptive mom was the most loving person I’ve ever met. No matter how loving she was, she couldn’t fill the hole in my heart where my real mom belonged.”

“Negatively. Avoid at all costs. I hate it.”

“I have absolutely no idea who I am. My life has been so screwed up. I feel as if I was thrown away coz I’m not good enough. I’m 58 years old and just now realizing why I’m so messed up in the head. I feel like a complete screw up. No self-esteem at all. It’s so not fair to not have no way to get my medical history.”

“Loss”

I was robbed of everything God had intended for me and for my life.

“Poor choice of spouse/trust issues”

Adoption has ruined my life. I would rather have been aborted.”

“I do strongly believe that adoptees have every right to know who they are and to have their original birth certificate. I don’t think any legislator has the right to stand in the way of an adoptee having that.”

“My feelings and attitude towards adoption drastically changed after my parents gave me all of the information they had on my adoption (it included identifying information). I wasn’t able to adequately show this in the answer options provided. It was like a new volume began in my life. In general though, my childhood was a very happy one and I very rarely thought about the fact that I was adopted or about my biological mother or anything related to adoption. I had some feeling of gratitude towards my parents, but not overwhelmingly so. I was interested in adopting as a child and into young adulthood. That feeling subsided with the birth of my children. And it’s totally gone now.”

“Nothing but Pain! I had the perfect fairy tale during childhood that I just had to make it to 18 and find my bfam. I found bmom and it’s been a wreck. Finding bdad has been great. Still have pain from loss, rejection, second rejection, what might have been, etc etc etc. I will never be ‘normal ‘ and feel that adoption has effected every part of my life”

“Biological families should be preserved”

“Not close to bio family….never fit in, just recently found both of my bio parents and all of my questions have been answered and i’ve never been happier in my life!!!!! Finally got the unconditional love I always wanted from my bio Dad, bio mom has dementia and lives in a nursing home and we will never be close but I have my answers and medical history and im grateful”

“As an Adoptee I have never found real love …”

“Adoption was not presented as a negative nor was it held over my head that I should be greatful. We did believe in God so me ending up with my adoptive family was viewed as part of His plan. As I said earlier- adoptee rights are not recognized nor is the pain felt by all members of the adoption triad. We all suffer loss. I like to think that all of these years later, adoption info is more open. When I was born- in 1947- it’s what unwed Mother’s did. A societal dictum.”

“It’s not ok to not be able to find out who you are and who your biological parents were. I always wanted to find out, but it was discouraged. I was forced to feel guilty to ask about my adoption.”

I feel blessed that I was adopted into a loving family.”

“The not knowing of what was the real reason for adoption and the not knowing what my birth family looked like. I would also say not knowing my medical history.”

“My B-Mom was only 15 when she had me, my adoptive Mom was in her late 20’s. I think in this situation a closed adoption was best”

I missed my mom and longed for her my entire life.

“I feel like a release of information when requested. When of age. Giving an adoptee the option to find out more. Possibly encouraging bio parents to give enough information to satisfy curiosity.”

“I’ve spent my 30s doing the kind of identity formation I was denied in my teens. I often feel broken because of that.”

“Made me very aware of people’s feelings towards me. Even in a 6th sense way
Didn’t realize till I was an adult why my relationships were always a mess.”

“I spent 70 years wondering who I was and who I looked like. In August I found a maternal relative who is the stepdaughter of my mat bio half brother. She sent me my story, pictures of g grand, grands, g uncles, etc…I resemble my grandfather the most and look at his picture plus my g uncles because I really do look like them. It is so healing to finally be able to know who I look like, am like..I now see them in me..we are one and the same..Yay for DNA”

“I have known I was adopted as long as I can remember, which I think is the healthiest approach. My adoptive parents are still alive and I choose to make no deliberate attempt to contact any biological family while they are alive. Even when they are gone, I am really of two minds when it comes to contacting biological family, especially if they may not be aware of me. I would like to know health histories for the sake of my child, but i do not want to disrupt anyone else’s life. I am curious to know if my biological family has anyone with a personality like mine or similar characteristics, but if I never find out I am ok with that. I am and always have been comfortable with my identity and my adoptive family is my family.”

“Thank you for asking the questions. Every chance we have to express ourselves is healing.”

“It’s not the ideal way to go about adoption, it leaves a person with questions that those not impacted by closed adoptions really can’t hope to fully understand. I got lucky, my adoptive parents handled talking about adoption fairly well but it’s still had a significant impact on my self-identity and I know I have self esteem and trust issues stemming from adoption. That being said, I still support adoption as a concept and I think, with work, the system could be significantly improved. That starts with people talking more openly about adoption, making it less taboo”

“We should have accessibility to our family medical history.”

“It has colored and directly or indirectly influenced every aspect of my life. Living as a secret creates a lifetime of shame.”

Even though I yearned to know my real identity, I think in my situation that a closed adoption was best. My birthmother would have ruined my life

“It is not a healthy way to be brought up. I does no good for anyone involved. We are human beings not secrets or mistakes!”

“I feel different, like I never fit in, anywhere”

“It was good when I was younger but now I am in my second reunion, I can see it affected me more than I might have realised.”

Biological mother was contacted, did not want a relationship, had held the secret from her husband and other children.

“It gave me the feeling that I was never “enough.” I was in foster care until I was 5 years old and was placed in foster care when I was 6-12 months old. Being Native american I was considered “unadoptable” because I was “biracial” in the 1960’s.”

“I just have a sense of loss for not knowing my genetic connection to my birth family
It’s part of my story. It has affected me just as every other event, experience, decision of my life has affected me. I don’t know any other way any more than someone who is not adopted or was in an open adoption can know about closed adoption. You can only live the life you have.”

“located bf at 35, mother deceased, father unknown, several siblings, still close to sibs
It really is the basis of who I am. It’s my passion to talk about adoption and to write about it and to listen to all sides. Although I am having a hard time with friends who literally bought babies to fulfill their dreams and visions. I’m still clearing out pain but I feel much better than I ever have, now that I’ve connected with both biological sides of the family.”

“I believe my aMom is a narcissist and tho I didn’t endure obvious abuse I’ve endured the psychological abuse that any narcissist inflicts on a child. I also believe there may be a disproportionate amount of Narc aMoms out there”

“There was no place to go to get answers to my questions, doctor that delivered/arranged adoption really knew very little about birthmom. My parents told me all they knew. They did meet my birthmom after we were reunited.”

I always wanted to know and i think if it was open sure it would have been hard on my adoptive parents but it would have been a benefit to me

“Information about me was withheld, including the fact that I have a half brother less than two years younger than me. Birth mom was allowed to lie about who was my birth father for a quarter of a century without consequence to her. My adoptive parents should have been informed of the fact that I had a brother, and while there wasn’t a real reason for them to adopt him, we could have been in contact. We had that right and the decision should not have been made for us. I didn’t even know I had a brother until my 40s even though my birth mother was in my life for 20 years prior, and a maternal and paternal first cousin are best friends.”

“It robbed me of my identity, my ethnicity, my religion, my family, my birth records, my self esteem, my sense of security, hole in my soul. And I had an amazing loving set of adoptive parents who would very good to me and I loved them deeply……but the overwhelming grief and loss of my birth family existed simultaneously which is completely NATURAL.”

“I’m a huge, hot mess.

“Struggle in personal relationships, but that could be down to how I was raised too.
Despite my seeming to be well-adjusted, I know that closed adoption has affected me in myriad negative ways. I cannot change any of this, but searching/finding/raising awareness/activism have all helped ease the pain. Thank you for listening.”

“Daily triggers”

“It has negativity effected most aspects in my life.”

“I grew up knowingly that i was adopted. My birthmom and birth father visited me u untill i was 5 and both adoptive and birth parents agreed that it would be best not to see me anymore as I was getting older and didnt want to confuse me. Then at 16 my biological brother searched for me and found me then i met all of my biological family and till today I have a good relationship with my biological family but my adoptive family is my real family..They are my heart”

“Feels very disjointed. Especially now that I have met my bio-family. Bio-mom rejected me but I have met cousins.”

“Best decision my birth mother ever made”

“I was a terrified child, screaming so much I broke my eardrums a total of 6 x’s before I was 2! I was the one chased home, but didn’t know I was adopted until 11. I attribute it to the wallflower I felt I was, and always scared. Adad was more insecure than me, and was a cause for much turmoil in our lives- mostly from teen years, on. The problem I had with the survey is in regards to the use of “minor”, as I was 11 when I first understood I was adopted…I think most of my adad’s issues came out AFTER I was told…So, I was a minor for many of the questions, but if phrased “pre-disclosure” vs a minor, that would have made my answers more accurate.”

Insurmountable fear of abandonment and loneliness.

“Adoptee should have access to health information, information why the adoption took place, nationality, etc. Fear of the unknown is worse than not knowing anything.
Low self esteem. Constant doubt”

“i placed a child for open adoption as a teen. my own adoptive parents gae me back to the state, sayng i was a difficult child, after having their own biological children. i found my natural parents through dna, and my biological mother was also lied to by the adoption agency. she died thinking i knew who she was and wanted no contact, but it was a closed adoption and i had only non-ID info.”

“Having my name changed bothered me. Nuns lied about ethnic background told Aparents I was Irish and German (matching A parent nationalities). Agency records confirmed by DNA have me as Italian and Slovak. Closed adoption with the focus on family building makes a child a commodity to build the family or give the infertile couple a kid. I LOVE my A parents and I’m left with this belief.”

“It’s unfair.”

“It is a form of slavery”

“It affects every thread of my being. It always has, I’ve just really realized it in the last year.”

“It skewed my thought process and led me to place my daughter in closed adoption, which I regret.”

All of my non- ID was false. I spent millions of hours and thousands of dollars searching with it. Hours of my life thrown away needlessly.

“As a child I always was made to feel special. And I believed it. Even as an adult I feel like I am special because I was adopted. My biological family found me 10 years ago. I wasn’t looking for them. It has been a bumpy road.”

“In every possible aspect of my life. It IS who I am.”

“I loved my adoptive family very much. I just wish I knew my medical history or if I had siblings.”

“It robbed me of part of my soul”

I has created a hole inside that might never be filled due to all my biological information being sealed so I can’t access it and know exactly who I am

“I had fantastic adoptive parents so I was lucky because I’ve heard stories of how traumatic other adoptees lives were”

“Too many unanswered questions.”

“My adoptive parents were told I was of Italian and French descent. When I sent for my non-identifying info from the state at the age of 50, I found out that my mother was Italian and my father Iranian. I saw a stranger in the mirror it was so traumatic. My ethnicity was sanitized to make me more marketable as though who I really am was somehow undesirable.”

“I don’t feel it has “affected” me. It was the fact of my life. My parents were great. I knew I was adopted from the time I was a baby. My friends knew. It was never an issue one way or the other. It is my “normal”!”

“My existence is treated as a castaway, someone who doesn’t matter, has no right to know where I came from. Feel like a fish out of water.”

Abandonment issues all my life, low self esteem. Feeling out of place all the time and trust issues in relationships

“After 58 yrs I found my bio family but both bio mom and dad had passed away. So I still feel a little empty inside even though I have a biological sister with these same parents.
I don`t think closed adoption is bad, but the child should have access to their info when they want it and should not have to fight the government for it.”

“Growing up in a closed adoption has had a dark under current that has rippled throughout my being my whole life. Growing up, I was told never to talk about it. Yet, when we would see distant family they would ask, “Which one is yours?”. My father would point out my brother and say, “He’s our real child”. Growing up, I felt as if I could never be enough, these feelings became core beliefs that echoed through my life. When I first started menstruating my mom made a point of telling me to stay away from guys because I did not want your end up like the woman who gave me away. I went onto search for my bio parents and found my mom-she was deceased from a hereditary type of cerebral aneurysm. She died at 46. I have a relationship with one of her daughters (1/2 sib), all of her children suffer from some sort of mental illness. Stories from my birthmother’s siblings and friends paint her as such a warm and loving person. They all mention when something changed in her. It was at the time of my birth. Not one of them knew about me. I was the big secret. My heart goes out to the women who were forced to give up their babies and told never to speak about it again. They not only gave up their babies, they gave up a part of themselves. Many of them were not able to go on and have ” happy lives”. So, for me I see closed adoption as a big negative all the way around.
Having true biological and medical information would have made the experience better!
Feelings of disconnection from others. I’d rather be understood than loved.”

Loss of cultural and ethnic background

“It was wonderful”

“The shame is the worst. I am shameful to my biological family. It makes me feel awful and is unfair because I am a good person and have done nothing to be ashamed of in my life. I am also disappointed in my mother that she had not dealt with what she had done. It is poison. She has derailed my life the past 2 years and that makes me very”

“It has affected me in all aspects of my life. I just wished I could be normal.”

Want to know my medical history and exactly what happened and know who my bio family is

“I feel like I don’t know why I am. Always playing a role. I think my life will probably end this way. There’s no way for me to find out who I really am.”

“I mourn my loss of self, no family history”

Very early on, I internalized the message that there must be something wrong with me. I have intense feelings of shame and inadequacy. I feel guilty for taking up space and struggle to believe I deserve anything good. I’ve always felt unlovable and unforgivable.
After my parents died I was able to locate my bio parents thru DNA. My bio mother has died but married my bio father. I have 6 full siblings and although we’ve only been in reunion less than 2 years we all have a very good relationship. I have been very lucky
I believe not talking about being adopted after the first discussion and almost pretending it was not real is debilitating. The “silence” lead to so many feelings, including but not limited to embarrassment and insecurities. The fear of hurting AP was overwhelming.

“My entire life would have been different.”

“It has effected every part of my life”

“Gave me abandonment issues and made me more of a people pleaser, and a feeling of not being good enough”

“Closed adoption made me feel like less than a human being because I had no knowledge of my biological Origins. This was harmful because some information would have been comforting even if I was not in a relationship with bio family before 18 it would have been better to be given the option of the knowledge after 18”

stolen from my mother, robbed of my heritage

“It sucks”

“While now medical information is more thoroughly taken, My adopted parents there was “nothing significant” medically was in my background. I feel the agencies and states should reconsider how they treat adopted children and their records. Our records are part of our history and we should be entitled to get copies as adults. I searched and found my birth mother and have a copy of my original birth certificate, yet Catholic Charities, the agency I was adopted from and Massachusetts still will not allow any access to my adoption records as they are sealed. I think at a certain point, say after 50 years, records should be unsealed What has always bothered me, is the attitude of agencies and states who feel those adopted in a closed adoption have no right to their past. .”

“too much to say and not enough time. thank you.”

“Closed adoption made me feel that if my adoptive parents had biological children they were have been much better than me and my sibling. It also made me very lonely for a family I did not know.”

“the not knowing of my Birth Family members, time is precious”

“My entire life was destroyed for others’ desires. Closed adoption (adoption period) isn’t about children AT ALL. It’s about infertiles who feel entitled to parent and irresponsible assholes who want a life more than they care about their child’s feelings. We’re treated like second class citizens, forever minors in the eyes of the law, who should simply be glad we “weren’t left in a dumpster.” Fuck adoption.”

I often feel like I’m a mistake and never good enough to be loved.”

“Left me feeling incomplete.”

“I was very blessed to be raised in a better, more stable home but having no records meant years of no medical health history to use.”

“It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing! Luckily For me DNA has bypassed man’s misguided and evil laws.”

“I’ve never fit in well w my adoptive family, and now don’t w my newly found birthfamily”

“It still breaks my heart”

“I felt lied to all my life”

“I was a 2 day old infant, yet evidently quite aware that “this woman” is not my mother. So, I rejected her. My adoptive mom couldn’t handle that, so grew to hate me. I was not given a better life at all. Was abused by mother and brother until 17 when I left. Open adoption only has a different set of struggles (and some of the same). ”’Tis no better in some adoptees “given that (open) gift. Adoption is a man-made construct that does not work well. There are way better ideas for children who need parents. Stop creating children for parents who want them.”

It’s sadly more of a money generating business. Another form of “human trafficking” in a sense

“It feels very lonely”

“My life has never been complete. Lost soul”

“There was no accountability. They were horrible parents, who let horrible things happen by my grandmother. Not to mention having no idea who I really am.”

“It’s all I’ve known. I actually searched and found my birthparents recently (I’m 48)”

destroyed me

“Made me very curious about the world, about people, about what pushed people to make specific choices.”

“Being a secret made me feel shameful.”

“There should be questions pertaining to reunion”

“Being adopted sucks”

“It’s a lifetime of discovering feelings about your own identity. Makes life hard
I needed to know the truth of where I came from, not a fairy tale story about being chosen. The doctor who did my mother’s hysterectomy ‘found’ a woman of similar age and background for her to fulfill her need for a child.”

I walked through 43 years of my life feeling isolated and confused. I was told I should be happy someone wanted me, when the only thing I wanted to know was who was my mother and why did she give me up. We are reunited now and it has been the best year of my life.

“My adoptive brother and I were severely abused. I left “home” at 15 and began searching. I despise that adoption promises “a better life” when it’s a total crap shoot, just like bio. And maybe even scarier than bio, because I think ppl who adopt have all kinds of issues (infertility grief, narcissism, self-superiority, lack of morals, etc.). Seriously, what kind of person thinks buying a child is ethical or even OK?”

“Catholic Charities lied for so many years as I was trying to find my BM that I missed getting to meet her she passed away in 2007. But I did get another half brother!!!”

Feeling of loss and anxiety about abandonment

“Retarded emotional growth and almost constant fear of being abandoned by pretty much everyone.”

“It was only as I aged that I had a strong desire to know who I looked like and my genealogy and ethnicity.”

“Never really felt like I truly belonged anywhere”

“It has profoundly affected most of my life.”

“Feeling that I don’t really belong anywhere and wishing I had the unconditional love that my children and grandchildren were raised with!”

ptsd

“Have always had questions about medical history, family resemblance.,why was given up, etc etc etc”

“It destroyed my life. I have rebuilt it on top of ruins, but still.”

Deep trauma and grief.

“Found out from someone outside the family at 12. Was relieved I wasn’t related to them. But also always had a feeling I didn’t belong. I am totally against adoption period. I am not a car you sell then just sign the title over and Bam! I no longer belong to original owners. That’s what adoption feels like. I also HATE my real parents for putting me up for adoption, no matter the bs excuse they would use for doing it. My only reason for wanting to find a family member is for much needed medical history, and to know my roots. It is infuriating to go to the Dr and have to answer I don’t know to all questions about medical family history. Adoption should be illegal, period. The only way it should be is a child being place within the family. Then only legal guardianship. I know of a little girl who was adopted at three. The losers who adopted her changed her name. Then she got smacked in her face when she said her name was her original name not the new and improved name given to her by the adopters. Adoption is wrong on every level.”

“I feel as I do not belong anywhere. I feel stolen away from my biological father. He tried to raise me but was told he was too young (he was 23). Of course I did not find this out until I was in reunion. He passed away before I could meet him. My birth aunt (birthmom’s side) is vile and has made me out to be a trouble maker so after a year relationship on that side, the relationship is severed. I HATE talking to non-adopted people because they do not understand and they all have the attitude that I should be grateful I wasn’t aborted. Being aborted would have been easier.”

“Have access to more info when your older”

“Made me feel lucky I was adopted by wonderful parents that lives me very much.
We have a right to know! family history, medical history! And general info about ourselves!”

“It hasn’t affected me at all. My adoptive parents were great people, and I always felt completely loved and supported.”

“I was robbed, of both my real family and a normal life.”

It has affected every aspect of my life, and I think about it almost every day. It has led to a loss so deep words are inadequate to describe it. My feelings of deep shame stemming from the secrecy of my origins will never leave me.

“of all the people involved in my adoption…I am the ONLY one still living…and I’m almost 70 yrs old…I don’t think my non Ident records should be unavailable to me or be so hard to get…the time for secrets is over.. I already know a lot about my bio family but I want ALL the infor in those files”

“It made me feel like a bastard, as my rights are not important. I should have access to my medical history as an undeniable right, along with my “real” birth certificate. Adoption agencies should not be allowed to charge outrageous fees “for location services” when they had no foresight in understanding that my needs are not that of an infant. All other US citizens have the right to their original birth certificate. I am bound by a contract I never signed, and while I am grateful for my adoptive family, I am still angry about how the process works against me as an adult.”

“Caused an undue amount of emotional stress that could have been avoided with a semi-open adoption”

“Laws are outdated . Anyone over 18 should be allowed access to all info about themselves. Closed or not!”

“I wish my birth mother had left me a letter.”

“I do not attach to people, except my children and husband, and have no problem walking away from people and never looking back. I don’t maintain friendships because adoption made me so fiercely independent.”

“Failure to bond with close family while freely attaching to strangers has always. When an issue for me.”

I had fantastic adoptive parents. I still wish I wasn’t adopted. My birth mother rejected me after the reunion. My birth father was excited to meet me. I continued a relationship with him for 12 years until he passed away.

“its been very difficult not knowing who or where I came from. Only through AncestryDNA did I find out who my birth family is, finally after 57 years!!!
made me question my self worth”

“I was ill prepared for how consuming search and reunion would be, before my 14 year search was concluded and I only had “one family” I had a more complete sense of belonging. A year into reunion, I question more than ever with which family I “belong to”.

“Don’t do it, the effects are lifetime. I’m almost 40 and finally dealing with them. It fucking sucks.”

“For me being adopted is more than loosing a birth parent. It is loosing part of who you are biologically and emotionally. I was not able to put words to this until I was an adult and connected with the words that other’s had spoken. I wish my adoptive parents saw my grief for what is was and not rejection. I wish I had known my biological family even if it was just a picture, name or letter. It would have been comforting to see if there were any similarities to myself. I wish when I had gone through things as a teen, my parents would have participated in family counseling with someone who specialized in adoption issues.”

“I will spend my life fighting closed adoption.”

“I am glad that I was adopted. But I wish it had been open.”

Knowing the awful truth about my biological parents was better than not knowing anything at all. Every human being deserves to know the identity of their birth parents.
Fear of many things, realationships, trust, failure. Always had a deep sense of grief.
I would not have wanted to know my biological family as a minor, but I think as an adult, I should have had the right to know

“It has been a roller coaster”

“I’ve had a great experience as an adoptee; I have 2 adopted children (kinship adoption of adopted family member). I also have 3 biological children. Adoption was a choice I made because my experience was so great. While I want access to my original records, I don’t want my birth family to have open access. I do feel both sides are entitled to the right to maintain privacy.”

“Inability to have a relationship”

“I feel unseen trying to understand and articulate my own feelings is difficult. The lack of validation by anyone not adopted is is excruciating and an extra annoyance that the presumed result of rainbows and happy conclusion is a bubble hard to penetrate without seeming negative and ungrateful.”

“set me up for accepting abuse and victimization because others had control over my life.”

“Closed adoption is now impossible due to at home DNA testing”

“I could write volumes. I’m completing this on my phone.”

Feel guilty that I had a better life than my biological siblings

“Awesome experience”

“Closed adoption always made me feel different in my “own” family. I knew my adoptive parents wanted me to be a happy child, so that’s what I gave them. Closed adoption taught me it wasn’t ok to be myself, it taught me how to lie like an expert. It taught me that I couldn’t trust my own feelings and ultimately set me up for failure as an adult.
I feel I don’t belong anywhere.”

Best thing that could ever happened to me.”

“It has shaped the core of my being. I will never know who I would have been otherwise- for better or for worse”

‘I just want to know where I come from. Who do I get this or that from. Who do I look like.’

“I hated the secrecy, lies and not knowing for so many years.”

“Insecurity”

“Adoptees are a discriminated against populous that is supressed by nearly everyone. I am yet to find a non-adoptee who does not think we should be grateful and that we do not have the legal right to know who our parents are.”

Every area of my life. 3 divorces because I can’t connect to people. Loss of closeness to adopted family because there’s “something missing” always searching for something to make me feel like I belong, perfectionism, feeling not good enough despite many successes. I could go on and on

I’m in reunion and don’t belong anywhere.”

“When a child is born into a bio family they have hundreds of biological connections. When you have an adopted family you have zero connections.”

“Yes, it is very traumatic.”

“I will always wonder if I am hurting my birth parents by not knowing them. What if they changed their mind and want to know me? I fear I will never know.”

“TRAUMA, with no pre-TRAUMA personality to reference and no genetic mirroring to reference. It’s a life of “let’s play pretend” you feel like chattel always and having a “sense of belonging” is near impossible”

This has created a drive inside of me to always pursue truth. My relationship with Jesus Christ is heightened and strengthened due to this undying pursuit for Truth.

“Lies. Felt like I was kidnapped-not allowed out of suburb-met my bio family and they are everywhere-nice, normal, educated, successful, classy people who generally want nothing to do with me.”

“Severely abused verbally, physically, and sexually by extended Adoptive relatives without accountability. Repeatedly told I was trash and unwanted. Turned out not to be true at all.”

“Been very difficult at times -my father passed away when I was 12 so I feel like I got a bad deal twice ! I believe I should have access to at least my medical history and heritage minimally- my adoptive brothers daughter was misdiagnosed at the age of 10 due to unknowing diabetes runs in his family – she almost died at the time and has since passed away at the age of 26 -”

“The separation and secrecy is trauma.”

“THEY NEED TO BE OUTLAWED!!”

just because the adoptive parents are in the church does NOT make them suitable parents. sexually abused from age 6, mentally and physically abused from 1 year…. These charitable organisations should NOT have the power to allow adoption, and adoption should NOT be offered as an option for unplanned pregnancy, its barbaric, old fashioned, and plain wrong

“I have felt that I had the right to know where I came from, and I was denied that as a child of a closed adoption. Very traumatizing.”

“It made Reunion with my biological family difficult in both practical and psychological ways, but luckily I found both my biological parents and three half siblings. We have a good relationship but I missed out on decades of time with them. Closed adoption made me feel guilty for a long time about searching. Glad I got over it. Meeting fellow adoptees in search helped. I love both my adoptive sister and my bio siblings and my bio parents and memory of late adoptive parents. My adoptive sister is in favor of closed adoption. She has hang up about it. My birth mother struggles with depression, but with TLC she is improving. I wish we could all be one big happy family.”

“I believe, as an adult now, that it is my right to read all records pertaining to my adoption!”

“I was sold. Mother abandoned me (with encouragement) to people who sold me to strangers. My parents were engaged; she was encouraged (by those who profitted) to disappear me to have a white wedding.”

I struggled tremendously with racial identity.”

“I don’t trust easily. I hate secrets and lies. Adoption destroyed both my mother’s and my psyches”

“It’s been hard but tomorrow is another day”

“Even though my birth families excepted me, some still wanted to ‘hide’ me. I’m not one to be hid.”

“Closed adoption has kept me from having relationships with biologically related people.”

“It has given me major anxiety, low self esteem, and relationship issues.”

“It hurts to this day and I’m 49. I feel like I was lied to my whole life, I trust no one but my grown children, abandonment issues. I feel as if I’m not good enough for anybody and I will live out my life alone.”

“Closed adoption is only harmful.”

I have been used

“I think adoption regardless is painful and beautiful. It’s a mix of emotions. It’s very personal and feels very isolating.”

“Stress and anxiety about not knowing about my bio and all the mental health issues and the hard part”

“Many years of addressing my ‘trust’ issues, a lack of being able to attach to others, picking abusive romantic interests earlier in life, fear of abandonment, looking for “long lost relatives” in every new social situation, feeling distant from adoptive family, feeling like there was no one like me on the planet, feeling alone. Feeling frustrated that not one single non-adopted person understands my feelings and my experience. (You guys really should have made this box bigger to type in)”

I have awesome aparents. They raised me as their own. Gave me all the love and guidance a child needed. But, I still struggle with not feeling whole and no matter how much my aparents loved me, I felt unworthy.

“Lifelong heartbreak, insomnia, anxiety”

“I grew up in the shadow of a loss I couldn’t begin to understand. I spent my 20s lost in boys and booze trying to figure out why I wasn’t but healed yet. My closed adoption has been an ongoing source of pain and loss for me.”

I’m unaffected! You are either ‘born’ into a family or ‘adopted’ does it really matter, we’re given our family, either by birth or adoption, we have no choice, can anyone really blame their adoption on mental disorders? I had wonderful family, I really don’t think, they’d of been any better if they were blood.”

“It stole my life my identity and my sense of self worth”

“I have terrible self esteem”

“I feel like because of closed adoption I had no idea who I was. At 40 I am just starting to put the pieces of me together.”

“I don’t feel 100% comfortable with my adoptive parents because I’m not like them and yet I don’t feel 100% comfortable with my bio-dad’s family, who have embraced me, either. It’s like being in limbo for life.”

“I have found my biological grandparents and it’s very nice to have that connection as my grandmother and I are very similar”

“adoption should be abolished. Humanity can care for children that need it without exploiting them.”

“Inability to trust others including adoptive parents”

It provided my amom the ability to hide the fact I was adopted until I found out at 14.

“It’s been awful”

“I’m very grateful for adoption and being placed into the best family. I have always been curious about my biological mother but feel it would hurt my parents feelings if i ever got involved with her. My parents feel they are my true parents and the ones who love and raised me.”

“It should be illegal. Gave me abandonment issues, eating disorders, identity confusion”

I am a loner. Hard to TRUST

“Made me feel unimportant I have no self esteem , made horrible choices in my life because of adoption maybe if I had received counseling it might have helped in my life
It haunts me every minute of everyday.”

No I have been blessed and have been given a wonderful life.

“Loss of heritage, loss of mirror, inability to connect talents and abilities, stunted personal character growth”

“Never felt grounded because I didn’t have proper roots.”

“Secrets are toxic.”

“Closed adoption rendered me a “mental cripple” from which I now believe I can never fully recover from. My life has been unnecessarily difficult as direct result of being adopted.”

“Identity loss”

“Closed Adoption sentenced me to years of searching. I consider those years as being stolen from me.”

Don’t underestimate the difficulties after reunion; something ‘you’ve always wanted’ but it’s so difficult, having 4 parents. Loyalty and confusion are huge problems. I’m not bonded to anybody and feel insecure about my place in the world.

“Closed adoption has been I believe my number 1 reason for never gaining confidence of who I am as a person. I believe my life would have been so dramatically different if I knew my birth family from childhood on.”

“It has made me feel completely rootless and as if I don’t truly belong anywhere. I am not “really” a part of my “adoptive” family and I am not “really” a part of my biological family. Watching my biological mother successfully and happily raise my younger siblings and comparing it to my own childhood has created a hole in my heart that I don’t think I will ever recover from. The fact that I was a sacrificial goat so that she could lead a white picket fence life has made me feel completely worthless. College, marriage, financial stability all sounds good on paper until you actually are the broken child who was sacrificed in order to have these things. Although I love my husband and daughter and I love my career and friends, I truly wish that she had chosen abortion if she wasn’t going to keep me.”

It affected every part of my life from day one and still does. It affects me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“I always felt out of place. Having children now and seeing how they are exactly like me makes me wish I had known my birth parents. I’m always wondering what they look like. Are they like me. When I meet people who have similar personality traits to me I wonder if I’m related to them. I love my adoptive parents. But I will forever wonder how different my life would have been had I never been adopted or at least had known my biological parents growing up.”

“Overall negative opinion of closed adoption.”

“I did DNA and found family but since I was 68 mom was dead. Very mad at CA, petitioned 3x for OBC and can’t get it. I have 3 sisters I could have known, and they wished they’d been adopted too! It sucked! Still does!”

“It’s sad and I wish I could have some closure on it.”

“I have BPD and attachment disorders, ocd, add, major depression, GAD and social anxiety”

Low level depression/ anxiety… loneliness/ jealousy/ anger… inabilty to connect with normal feelings until my loss was validated… low confidence/ lack if roots/ feeling not human. Incredible fear and loneliness and sadness continues when I had my kids to raise without knowing my lineage. Feel like a frontier woman. Abandonment issues- angry but not knowing why can ruin a marriage. Loss of voice for fear of offending anyone.

“Now that we are thinking about having kids, I am having a hard time thinking I’ll be a good mom because I had 2 moms who didn’t want me. I wasn’t my adopted mothers first “choice” and my birth mom didnt want me.”

“It changed who I was supposed to be.”

“In the adoption circle of friends and acquaintences that I’m familiar a high percentage of adoptive mothers seem to be narcissistic. My own mother is horribly narcissistic and has done significant emotional damage to myself and the 4 boys that were her own biological children. Prospective parents need to be better vetted. If you’re willing to be on a waiting list for 5 years? Maybe your concern/motive isn’t to help a child. Maybe to help “the mother/family”. One doesn’t need to wait years if they simply want to help a child. My adoptive mother was also adopted. I feel as though my emotional disconnect is times 2. She’s horrifically broken and incapable of truly connecting to anyone. Being relinquished at birth is obviously emotionally traumatizing. Then to placed onto a family where the mother is already incapable of connection? Horrific! It took me 50 years to figure out how I truly felt about adoption. I was so caught up in trying to convince everyone how wonderful my life was and how happy and lucky I was. Turns out I was truly trying to convince myself. “The lady doth protest too much – me thinks”. If my life WAS wonderful, than MAYBE the trade off was worth it.”

“It is mortifying and cruel.”

I was sexually abused by their bio-son…very early on

“I have maternal feelings for my bio mother and I often hear other adoptees feel the same.”

“It has made me very unsure of myself even as an adult”

“closed adoption is wrong and should never be practiced”

“It’s been very hard to identify myself as a person, not knowing fully where I came from. I recently met my birth mother (when I was 36) and some of my birth siblings. It has been so good for me.”

“Social chameleon abilities that I do not want. Great when it’s a group of people who need a positive member in a group but so painful when the group needs a negative.
God did not intend children to be ripped away from their parents. I think babies suffer PTSD but until recently it was never acknowledged. I’m an advocate for education and unity in the Adoption Triad. I now know my biological family but it’s bittersweet and even though they are my “real” family, I still feel not quite a part of them. It also impacted my birth parents life immensely. Both suffered either outwardly or inwardly over the years. Denial, depression, numb, hidden secrets. But God is restoring all of us.”

“Hurt”

It’s Identity Theft.
“I FEEL LIKE THE LIFE I SHOULD HAVE LIVED WAS STOLEN FROM ME.”

“Have always felt lost not sure where I belong. Making lasting friendships have been hard. A bit of a loner. Happily married but still missing some key connections.”

“Closed adoption feels like cruel and unusual treatment.”

I have identity issues. Trouble defining authentic self.

“It’s a burden only others who are adopted would understand”

“I have no sense of self and am just a shell, a chameleon that reflect what others want.”

“It’s a sad, empty way to live. (Thank you for this survey).”

Lack of trust. I was placed twice, the first family returned me, thinking I might be biracial. I find it very hard to trust people, and think the issues of being separated from my mother and placed in several homes before being adopted caused this.

“I think a closed adoption is better than a fully open adoption but I think the biological family needs to be talked about/acknowledged more. I think adoption is a sad traumatic event that should be avoided at all costs but in some instances may be necessary. I think there needs to be more adoptee support and more awareness of adoptees lifelong trauma.”

“Life sucked”

“As a result of closed adoption, I am passionate about honesty, openness and humility. I still have difficulty with abandonment and rejection challenges even at 50 yo. Found my B.M. but she is ambivelant & struggles with her own story. It is difficult for her to not see me as a threat. I found my Paternal, bio-family but they protect the identity of my B.F. Adult children have the right to family history. Sperm is not to be disgarded like other bodily fluids. It it life producing. Men and women need to take responsibility for their actions.”

“It has affected me in every way. I claim nothing. I belong to nothing. I float. I try to be what others want.”

“Being placed in a closed adoption has affected the way I attach to people, as in I find it hard. I have found out I “lost” my bio mother when she left the hospital, and then I was in a receiving home for 4 months and then “lost” that mother. I don’t feel I ever bonded with my adoptive mother. I shut down easily when things get very emotional or in close relationships where love should be expressed. I feel uncomfortable expressing emotions or letting others know how I feel.”

“It was a good thing for me… But there is no right or wrong answer to this. Too many variables to consider”

“My life was stolen. I will never feel whole. Closed adoption is the worst possible solution.”

“It resulted in such bad trauma I became one of the best ER/trauma nurses in the country.”

“It’s left me with huge emotional issues and I’m pleased in UK it no longer goes on as the norm”

“Adoption will always affect an adoptee in one emotional way or another. I think the best way for an adoptee to live a full and happy life, is through closed adoption. An open adoption could be confusing for the child, and I’m sure upsetting for the biological and adoptive parents. An open adoption would not give the chance for either parties to heal.
It’s complicated but think being prevented from knowing info about yourself is wrong, frustrating, unfair”

“Who am I really”

“when i was very young it was best for me … the only thing i knew is that | I was happy not to be related to my adopted family … they were confusing religious people …. what would have been netter for me to have been fostered and kept my own name at least i would have had that.”

“I learned that I cannot trust anyone. Ever.”

“To hard to explain”

Every aspect of closed adoption is wrapped in lies. It allows unfettered abuse and neglect, with a reminder that no one is ever coming to check on you.

I often feel like a living ,breathing, walking abortion

“50 years later I still feel like I was thrown out like a piece of trash.”

“It was a huge mystery for 45 years. Thank goodness for DNA!
Re: #7 — I was not in foster care, however I was in an infant home for three months before being adopted. Re: #17 — I was treated better than my sibling by our adoptive father, but worse than my sibling by our adoptive mother. Re: #26 — emotional abuse stemmed from my adoptive mother’s mental illness. You should ask about parental illness–physical or mental–and alcoholism/addiction in addition to abuse. I know of cases, including my own, in which children probably should not have been placed in the adoptive home or should have been closely monitored due to illnesses/addictions that should have been discovered prior to the adoption taking place. Finally, just a general comment about the survey — some of the questions, such as the ones I commented on here, really require multiple answers or a place to explain unusual circumstances. Thank you for doing this! Everything we can do to inform about how adoption actually is helps!”

“Everyone should have the right to know there roots.”

“Too much reliance on authority (no belief in myself), magical thinking.”

Had I not found my birth family, I’d have NO family, because I got kicked out of my adoptive family for not toeing the line.”

“Until I found my birth mother, I felt like a huge part of my identity was missing. She told me everything about her family and what she knew about my bio dad. But then lied to me about telling my half sibs about me. Then cut off contact with me after 5 years, telling her children not to contact me either because it “hurt her too much”.”

“Closed adoption has defined who I am, and run my entire life for the last 35 years. I would never wish it on anyone.”

“Only that some of the above questions might have had different answers if I had therapy as a child/adult. I believe I have/had ADD and some PTSD, anxiety and lack of confidence related to adoption (plus a limited involvement adopted dad), and therapy might have unveiled that. My understanding is that therapy wasn’t as accepted at the time or known as well as it is today, so that is why it wasn’t pursued. Now, I struggle with feeling a need to go, but have a layer of mostly self-imposed barriers that have prevented me from doing so.”

“Didn’t consider medical records until pregnant.”

“i have always wanted to know for medical reasons and to know if i have siblings/other relatives”

“It’s affected me for the rest of my life. I find that at the age of 30, I still don’t know who I am or where I belong. I have a voice that no one wants to listen to.”

I think I have some great qualities because of what I’ve had to deal with in life, but overall I think closed adoption is terribly damaging for children, families, and society.
The concept of truth and justice is radically important to me. I think that being an adopted person has helped me empathize with social justice work. Maintaining your family of birth is an unspoken privilege.”

I believe that I have had a better life because of my adoption and that right where I am is where I was supposed to be.”

“Broken trust, fractured identity”

“I have always had trust issues. My adoptive mother was verbally abusive and neglected some basic needs. She had a gambling problem which contributed to the situation. I grew closer to my adoptive father, and then she made us feel guilty about that so he then pushed me away. I moved out of the house 3 weeks after graduation- never went back. I moved 2 1/2 hours away 2 years later to distance my self even more. She died 8 years ago, and I honestly didn’t even cry. I found my birth mother when I was in my 20’s and we have a very superficial relationship- talk maybe once a year. I have recently been reunited with her son and we have become somewhat close. He told me that I was lucky she gave me up- he had a very difficult childhood too. I went through a time of depression after my adoptive mom died, and realized with therapy that I was not mourning her, but the fact that I would never have a real “mother daughter” relationship with anyone. I also know that I spent my first 6 weeks in hospitals, then adoption agencies before finally going home. I truly believe that I missed out on the chance to bond with anyone in that time. When I had my son, I literally spent every single minute with him in his first 2 months, because I never wanted him to feel that way.
At 38, I am just realizing the impact and importance of my adoption… Mental and physical health issues, trauma and abuse by adoptive sibling, and a sense of loss have brought me to explore my experience and learn about others
I only found out who my birth parents were thru dna testing at 47 years old. If I had known earlier and received counselling earlier for rejection issues it would have been easier”

I don’t know who I am

“I am forever grateful for the choices made on my behalf.”

“Lonely just never got close with any relatives. Lots of friends just always wanted family.
Abandonment issues have been a common theme throughout my life. I attribute this to my closed adoption.”

“Adoption sucks”

“In poor physical and mental health, 20 years of therapy, several lawsuits from siblings who did not want me to have the inheritance my biological and adopted fathers left for me. My adopted sister tried to kill me when she found out I would actually receive some inheritance (but less than hers). Several days later, I miscarried. Huge abandonment and relationship issues, inability to concentrate. I ended my career early because the trauma of my adoption was too great to continue effectively in my career.”

“Feeling of a loss of liberty”

“Criminal and inhumane. It is dehumanizing and it degrades a person. Should be illegal to keep a persons original identity a secret. It is a permanent injury that you can only try your beat to live with while everyone who supposed yo care about you treat you like your feelings and experience are not important. Adoption should be called invalidation.
It effects me every day! I was denied my medical history. If I would have had it, I could have been screened for the cancer I ended up having”

“It leaves a hole in your mind, body and soul to fester.”

I believe in it. My adoptive parents were horrible but so are many birth parents.”

“The lack of ability to get ANY information past a certain point is incredibly frustrating and depressing. I feel like it invalidates my right to know and makes me feel like I’m a very well kept secret. I understand that it’s difficult for the parent to give up a child. Much like the death of a loved one we want to forget, but I’m still here and I am a person that has rights.”

“It violates the adoptees personal boundaries from day one. Anyone whose life details are shrouded in secrecy will believe there is something inherently wrong with them. It has made me an adoptee rights activist. Closed adoption is a violation of a childs human and civil rights. It should be abolished.”

I feel each Adult Adoptee has a right to their Birth Rights like any other normal person.”

“Leaves a sense of shame that has permeated my entire life – has wrecked relationships – my adoptive parents lied to me when I was 18 – my first mother tried to find me and my AP lied to her and to me”

Destroyed my life and that of my mother.”

“I am always left with who I could have been, vs who I was allowed to be”

“I hated that I asked all the time and my aparents would look me in the face a day that I was theirs. I knew in my heart I wasn’t. The whole extended family knew but nobody would tell me.”

“I hated not knowing, but I love my adoptee tribe and the support I receive and ways I can give to them.”

“Major abandonment issues, zero self worth growing up”

“I’m 54 it’s ruined my life.”

I have serious trust and abandonment issues.

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