Sharon found a letter on a forum from an adoptee to prospective AP’s (adopting Parents) and anyone else considering adoption. Sharon then wrote two posts about this (you can find them here and here) and I keep meaning to blog my view as an “birthmom” regarding not only this letter but the “Save the birthmom”, all “AP’s are evil” crowd. Sadly I have been so busy. So I will get to Save the birthmom in another post as this is turning out to be a book

So here goes
Firstly it saddens me that an adoptee would feel the way the author did her letter. but I do feel that everyone is entitled to their feelings and opinions. I do however as a birthmom and a Mom want to address some of her comments from my view. I will post quotes and then comment on those sections your welcome to read the whole thing but I think most of you have.
I don’t think there’s a soul alive who would actually choose to be born into a situation where being relinquished for adoption, voluntarily or otherwise, was necessary.
I know that didn't want to be born to my mom who has caused me so much pain and given me all these fears and worries about myself. Should I have been adopted? Should I have done something different? I don’t know. What I do know is I am who I am today because of My Mom and My Dad, and all the experiences I have had in my short life time. As much as it has been hard and sad and self destroying I am stronger for it. I am braver for it. I am me because of it.
There is an idea that some cultures have. We choose the life we came to lead to learn the lessons we need to. So in other words we choose our circumstances, we choose our parents our families and we choose our trials and tribulations all to learn the lessons we need to be better people. I personally like this as I try to learn something from each experience I have. and even if this isn’t true then I feel its about attitude to each situation. You can sit down and let the world crumble or you can get up and dust yourself off and deal with what you have been handed.
but please understand that no matter how good and loving and wonderful the adopting parents are, nothing will ever erase the pain, the grief, and the loss that comes with being adopted.
I do believe there is grief and loss felt by the adoptee. Its normal and good to feel these things as there is a loss. What is not normal is to still have these feelings 30 plus years later and not realise that there is a problem.
Adoption should be the very last resort after all other options have been tried. Ask yourself this – does an adoption HAVE to happen? Is there anything I can possibly do to help this young mother keep her child?
I agree that this should be the last option for the birth parents, and it often is. I know in my case it was. I sat and thought about all my options. I dreamed about winning the lotto. queried what if I found a job a week after she was born. I looked at all my options all T’s and M and E’s options. The end of the day there was no option that put my girls first other than adoption.
There was NO ONE to help me and I wasn’t a young mother I don’t like the assumption that birthmoms are young women or that they have not looked at all options it maybe different in other countries but in SA you look at all your options with your social worker. Birthmoms come from all walks of life. Trust me on this.
Adopted people know we are a second choice, a “Plan B,” a solution to someone else’s problem.
Oh my word, sorry but T was never Plan B she was always Plan A she came first in all my decisions and I know I put her first and as for the fact that her parents couldn’t conceive is doesn’t make her Plan B she is loved and wanted and put first in every aspect of her life and their lives.
Please be willing to be completely open and honest with the child you may someday adopt. It doesn’t matter how horrible of a situation they came out of; tell them the truth, and tell them early. For the truth can be dealt with, it can be processed and closure can be found; but nobody can get closure from fantasies and daydreams. Adopted people are stronger than you give them credit for; believe me when I say, we imagine and prepare for every possible scenario when it comes to our families or origin. Don’t think we haven’t entertained the idea that our biological parents were the worst of the worst, or idealized them as some sort of saintly creatures, and everything in between. We have already survived the loss of our original families; don’t for one minute think we can’t survive knowing the reason why.
I am very pro Open adoption as most of you know. This doesn’t mean I object to closed or even semi open adoptions. It just means that Open adoptions work in my opinion and, my reasoning is to avoid the imagination and to give T answers without her ever thinking the worst or the best. I am not some supermom who loves her more than her own mom nor am I a careless, reckless woman who didn’t give a f#@k about her. I am me I have bad days and I have good days I am just a human being.
I do believe in being open but be realistic. A adopted child of 4 is not going to understand that they were a product of rape. Nor will they understand that maybe their birth parents just weren’t fit to be parents? I’m 34 and I still don’t understand why my Mom couldn’t be a better mom.
Just be open with them talk to them about their birth parents let them know they are loved. you wont have all the answers but do be honest with them their birth parents loved them enough to do what they thought best at the time.
If the adopted person in your life (your child, a friend or other family member) ever does talk about it, take your personal feelings and judgments out of it. Resist the temptation to say things like, “But you had such wonderful [adoptive] parents!” or “but you could have been aborted/thrown in a dumpster/etc.!”
Ok I do agree here but I don’t agree that it just effects adoptees. we as a society are too quick to judge others and dismiss their feelings. How often do we dismiss people we know and love? If you are infertile you will know this: “just relax it will happen” or if you suffer from depression: “come on its not that bad just pull yourself together” If you have adopted “Wait now you will fall pregnant” This all comes from mostly well meaning people in our lives. They honestly don’t realise the effect that these words have on us. They feel uncomfortable so they say things to try make it better. Reality is it hurts us. We need to stop trying to force our views and reality on other people we all have issues and problems and you saying a few words really is not helping anyone. Rather listen and try to hear where people are coming from. If you don’t understand then ask and read up about what they might be going through. IF you still don’t understand that’s ok not everyone will.
Understand that there is the very real potential that the child you someday adopt might just struggle with it. And while you can be a terrific parent, a wonderful guide and mentor, the damage has already been done. Be prepared to do the hard work of helping your child deal with any grief, anger, and other issues he/she may feel. TALK to them about it. Adoptees are notorious for keeping things bottled up…let them know it’s OK to talk with you about them. Reassure them that you will NOT be hurt, offended or damaged by their feelings. ALLOW them the freedom to feel whatever they feel.
I do think that this is good advice. but I expect this from all parents not just adoptive parents. All parents should when a child is experiencing a problem they should do what she is talking about. I know in my experience my mom feels she was a great mom. does that mean that how I feel is wrong? No its my reality. Am I the worlds best mom to my girls I don’t know probably not, however I am doing the best I can.
If you are considering an open adoption or have entered into an open adoption, HONOR that. Unless there is some clear and present danger to the life of your child, KEEP THE COMMUNICATION OPEN. Don’t cease contact with the biological family because it’s an inconvenience for YOU. Understand that yes, at times it might be emotionally trying for your adopted child, your child may come away from visits or reading letters and feel depressed and angry, but don’t take that as a reason to cease contact. TALK to your child. Help them understand WHY they are feeling this way. It’s only natural that this might happen; and in the same breath, the biological mother/father/family may also feel overwhelmed at times and pull back, but do what you can to keep the lines of communication open. Remember, adoption is based on loss, and being reminded of that loss can be overwhelming. But that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Your adopted child will thank you someday for sacrificing your own happiness and comfort to allow him/her to keep this very important connection.
This applies to everyone in an open adoption. I know that here in SA we don’t have many open adoptions but for those that do its about the adoptee not the birth parents not the parents but the adoptee and what is best for them. Respect is vital in all adoption cases, all parties involved should have respect for everyone. Our children learn from example, not from our words.
Be prepared to put your own needs and wants on the shelf and to put away your expectations, do what it takes to attend to the needs of your adopted child.
Again all parents should do this in my mind.
Because adoption should be about finding homes for children in need; NOT finding children for people to fill a need.
In South Africa it is different. Adoptive parents don’t get to choose if they want child A or child B. Our social workers work with the birth parents to find the right parents for the adoptee. We get to decide where our child goes. If we as birth parents choose to be involved. I know that the Social workers do try and place the adoptees in homes that have a similar background to the birth parents (not always possible) so that a reunion is easier for everyone.
We are asked where we would like our child to go what kind of family. what kind of parents do we think should raise our child?
There is so many things we are asked to think about when it comes to placing our child for adoption. Adoption in SA is anything but quick and easy for anyone involved nor is there any money paid to birth parents. Because Adoption is not about selling children it is about doing the best for the child.
Basically Adoption is hard on all parties involved but we do the best we can. As a birthmom all I can say is I hope T one day knows this and realises I did what I thought was right. I am not perfect but I did put her, M and E first. I want what is best for them all.

Adoption is love.