Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Birthmother Letters

Recently my sister through a forward sent me a request from an old school friend of hers. Seems the friend is drumming up support for her "agency" adoption. It directed people to her "page" on the agency's website and allowed friends of the family to send a comment or message as a "plug" so to speak for the prospective adoptive parents. On their page, and others I browsed, were "Dear Birthparent" letters. I guess I was offended by a majority of the letters I read. I told my sister and she said truthfully she wouldn't have forwarded it to me had she realized what it was. I did not read one letter that addressed the pain the "FIRST MOTHER" would feel after. Most said, you will be able to rest easy knowing your child went to a good home, etc... blah blah blah or similar. I didn't feel one PAP really had a clue about the after effects of adoption on the first parent or the child. I wanted to send them all comments that said - prior to adopting, please read "Primal Wound" or something. Every time I think perhaps people are getting grasp on the actually aftermath of adoption, I see there is a "fresh crop" of people adopting without a clue as to what they are in for. I know another blogger out there who is in the process of adopting. She gets it. She will be a wonderful adoptive parent because she is an adoptee, she gets that it, isn't that easy. I would have loved to have found ONE letter that said "We understand that you will suffer for the rest of your life after this, we know that our wonderful completion of our family will be at your expense. We know this child will suffer feelings of abandonment and we will do our best to help them deal with that as well as help them build whatever relationship with you that they want or need in the future. We will never guilt them because of the deep "need to know" feelings inside them. We promise to read "The Primal Wound" annually and keep it by our bedside just in case." oh well... I never found that letter...

Hugs!

8 comments:

holly said...

I think the 1st line of the letter to a birthmother should be an apology. "I am so sorry." That is the first thing I think about when I think of our daughters mother. No one should have to endure that pain.
It is sad that many of these PAP's are blinded by the marketing ploys of the agencies.
Even now, I am trying not to be judgmental - but I know of a family who are in that blind mode. They have NO idea what they are getting into (and older child child, too). They are adopting because "God is a good God". Uh. Whatever. And all the toys and pretty dresses in the world are not going to make that child grateful to them for "saving" her.

DENISE said...

Kristy,

This "Dear Birthmother" practice started after my era of relinquishment, no doubt because the number of available infants was shrinking and things got competitive. No one asked me to review letters or even profiles. More like, "here you go, we've found the best parents for your child, sign here."

It's insulting, really. Why doesn't more energy go into preserving families, the mother-child bond? Because adoption is where the money is. Who cares how the mother (or the child for that matter) is harmed.

Lorraine said...

Like you, the Dear Birth Mother letters have always made me recoil...I have never been able to read them myself, but I admit when I was placing my child I would have poured over them looking for clues as to what kind of parents the adopters might be. What I did not know, could not know, was how terribly I would be affected by losing my child. Well, wait a minute, I did suspect it would be hell. And I was right.

Lorraine from FirstmotherForum.com

Anonymous said...

The "Dear Birthmother" letter is designed for the birthmother to choose the best parents for her child. If she feels as though she would be the best parent, she should not be surrendering that child in the first place. She should do whatever it takes to be a responsible parent. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. It is true that a PAP that is experiencing infertility will never know how it feels to surrender a child for adoption because they will never even have the opportunity to birth children. Holly, why should the PAP have to appologize to a birthmother? What did they ever do to her? Everyone involved in an adoption has gone through a loss of some kind. The birthmother "loses" her child, the child "loses" its birthparents, and the PAP "loses" the possibility of ever conceiving their "own" children. Rather than looking at the entire process as a negative experience as you all have, you should focus on the good that comes out of adoption. Obviously the child was surrendered for a reason. If you are making the decision to surrender a child, wouldn't you rather have some say in who that child goes to? That's what the "Dear Birthmother" letters are for.

Jennifer said...

I just found your blog and I'm so happy I did. I am also a mother to a (now) 15 year old, beautiful girl. My heart has been breaking for the last 15 years since giving her up for adoption. I was just 15 when I was pregnant with her, and had NO support, love or compassion from my own parents. Lost, confused and in shock after giving birth surrounded only by strangers, a social worker from an adoption agency ended up at my bedside. I only wonder what could have been if someone would have been looking out for our best interest (my daugter and me). Nevertheless, she has had a loving, caring family that raised her and 3.5 weeks ago she wrote to me! My life changed in an instant upon getting her letter & we have this opportunity to build a relationship! I will be forever grateful for that, but will always long for the daughter I didn't get to raise.
Love, J

KristySearching said...

Oh Anon... I could spend hours just going line by line on about everything you said in your comment, but I won't, I hope by this time since your comment was so long ago and I didn't moderate for about 9 months you have read some blogs, books or something and have a better idea about that which you are speaking to...

traci said...

Kristy,
I can't have children, and would very much like to adopt. I'm reading through these posts, and am starting to feel like I'm a bad person for having this desire. I don't want to coerce anyone into giving me their child, I just thought if there was a child that needed a home we would be a good fit for each other. How should I go about this, if not through an agency? Do you think adoption should be done away with? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, I really just feel so lost.

Liz said...

I agree wholeheartedly with everything "anonymous" said and would like to hear someone give a thoughtful, well-reasoned answer to Traci.