Tuesday, September 21, 2010

failed adoption

My husband sent me this news story about a failed adoption.


I have read several adoptive parents stories about how they're adopted children were affected by drinking during the pregnancy. It seemed like the book beat up on birthmother's. However, more towards the end, it also mentioned how social drinking during pregnancy has affected other children too. They were talking about people in higher social classes that drank at dinners and social gatherings. Maybe these cases are less likely to come forward or have a harder time talking about it, because in the case of a Mother parenting a child she actually damaged must be hard. However, with a case of adoption, it probably is easier to seek help and talk about the damage done during pregnancy because they didn't cause it.

If you read the story you can see that they tried a lot of stuff and that they claim that they were not informed. I don't recall any of the stories that I read in the book where the people gave their child up because of his/her problems. In some cases, once they were better informed, they seen how maybe they could have done better with the child. I think of it as coming into their world. My youngest son was thought to have autism and couldn't speak. I didn't just expect him to start talking. It was our goal. However, we learned sign and PECS and did what we could to come to his world and learn how he functioned. Some of the signs of autism are gone but we are still dealing with a child that has developmental delays and learning disabilities. So, how do I feel about them giving their adoptive daughter up? It kind of makes me sick.

I thought when people adopt they agree to bring them into their lives as if they given birth. Isn't that what they have to agree to? So, my question to them if I could ask is if this child was born to you would you give her up?? Or if she was really sick and needed extra care.. Would you give her up? I do feel for the family. I still think it's wrong.

What are your thoughts?

I just come back and add more to my reasons on why this story makes me upset. My daughter's family better love her with all their heart, for who she is and who she may become. I would hope that they will love her through the good times and the bad times. Love her even if she is being a pain in the ass. Love her as their child forever. I would hope they wouldn't give up on her just because she is too much trouble or work. I have to believe that adoptive parents do love their adoptive children just as much as if they gave birth. If that's not true then it makes me very sad.


Katydid said...

I have to agree with you on this. As the only biological child in a family created by adoption (literally, my father and mother are adoptees as well as my siblings)I can not imagine trying to "give back" part of your family.

My youngest brother was adopted as an 8 year old and was exsposed to alcohol before he was born and abused in every way possible for the next 6 years until he was brought into social services care. He has many severe behavior and emotional "issues." (I HATE that word but I cant think of one more suitable at the moment) I think anyone in his situation would.

We were not aware of 90% of his background when we made him part of our family but you make a choice. We will love him no matter what and will do whatever it takes to help him have a life where he will be safe and happy. That is what adoption is SUPPOSED to mean.

He is not perfect and neither are we, perfection should never be the expection when bringing any child into your home. Adopted or otherwise. You commit to be a family and that is that. He is almost 17 now and though every day is a major challenge, it is our life and he is my brother.

I feel for any family trying to cope with a sick child (physically, emotionally, mentally) and I would hope they would be able to find the resources needed to have them best chance for quality of life, but people are not things. They are not disposible.

By adopting you are promising to love that child and care for that child for his or her birth family. That is a HUGE responibility and should not be entered into lightly just because having a kid is what families are "supposed" to do. Even if(like in the case of my brother)his birth family hurt him, we still fufill a promise to them everyday by loving their child as though the same blood flows through our veins..

Sorry if that was too much but I cant imagine getting rid of a part of your family after you promised to care for them forever...

Its just sad.

Thanks for writing

Alex said...

As I've mentioned before I haven't met my biological parents, however I do have some information about them and their extended family that we were told by the social worker. By we I mean my parents since I was an infant of course...but its information that I've always known since my parents never kept anything from me.

When my parents were looking to adopt they requested a girl because they already had 2 bio boys and since my mom had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis she was unable to have any more kids but they still wanted more. And since back then it was "easier" to adopt in many ways, they got to choose what gender they wanted. They figured a girl would be a nice change. However they would have adopted either gender were they not asked to specify. ANYWAY...the social worker said they had a baby dor adoption but what would they do it this baby wasn't as "smart" as their other children. And my mom said that when you get pregnant and have your children biologically you aren't given a "choice" and you don't know how they will "turn out" so to speak. They said they knew adotion wasn't a guarentee but they would love their child nonetheless. See it turns out I have a couple of biological uncles out there that were considered "mentally retarded" according to the paperwork on my bio family history and they weren't sure if I would be as well, although my biological parents were "normal" intelligence. My parents didn't care and took a chance and *LOL* I like to think it paid off!! I am certainly "normal" intelligence(although my spelling sucks!!), and I'd like to think a bit beyond...but thats just me :) In thinking about it I sincerely wonder if my biological uncles were autistic. Its predominately male, can run in families, skipping some, and back in the 70's it certainly wasn't well known about and would be likely thought of as "mentally retarded"(not my words...its on the paperwork describing them). It wasn't Downs because that would have used a different word to describe them.

Anyway my parents didn't care and had every reason to know it could be a real possibility. They didn't care. They wanted a baby. Heck when I was pregnant I even asked teh doctor about it because I cared if it could be genetic, so I could be prepared. However I wouldn't have aborted even if my child was special needs. But I was told from the doctor that the genetics would be too far removed to be a concern. Of course I'm glad my parents didn't care and took a chance on an unknown!!

Although I will say that its not JSUT adoption that people "give back" their babies. Thats why there are so many kids in foster care. ITs not all just "bad" parents. Some kids have needs that are too much for the parents to handle. THey need help and sometimes the only way to get the kids that help is to let them go. Do I think its right...no way. But I just wanted to remind you and others that its not just an adoption thing. Its a life thing. And either way it sucks.

Alex said...

and oh my goodness rereading my comment just made me think of something I never have before. I assume my bio mother knew about my bio fathers brothers...what if she gave me up for adoption based on a fear that she wouldn't be able to "handle" raising a possibly special needs child. I've never thought of that. It would make sense that a teen girl would be extra scared of that issue on top of the idea of becoming a young mother. I wouldn't judge her if that was the reason because it would be scary...but its interesting to consider.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was a really really hard story to read.

My first instinct is to agree with you. With all adoption disruption stories, I am inclined to judge the parents and deem them horrible people. I have to remind myself, however, that I just haven't walked in their shoes. I don't know what they go through on a daily basis. I just don't know.
It would have to be completely awful in their home pretty much all the time for me to even begin to think this kind of thing was justified.

I want to say that this isn't adoption related at all. It is, obviously, but I would like to believe that if one of their biological children had the same issues, the outcome would have been the same. Although, it probably wouldn't have.

I am really sad for all of them, most of all the little girl who has had no choices in the whole matter.

Angelle said...

Thanks for posting BMT.

Alex, you obviously have a tremendous amount of love and respect for your afamily but you re making huge assumptions about your heritage and beginnings.

Tread with caution because what you afamily was told may be a lot of hooey. Just saying.

Alex said...

Hi Angelle,

Actually I'm not making any assumptions at all. My parents had a very well respected social worker who became a friend to them. They were given a lot of background information and allowed to make their choices based off that. I know a lot more about my biological family that many closed adoptees do, becuase the social worker was very diligent in getting family histories etc. and shared all that she could legally share. She wanted her placements to have as much information as they could and made sure her "clients" were well informed.

My parents learned a lot from her and always made sure to follow her good advice in making sure I was a well adjusted adoptee. Tell about it early...make it part of your lives. Celebrate her birthday not her adoption day(its sick that some people celebrate the adoption yearly not the birthday). and speak openly and honestly with her about as much as you know. Adoption isn't a shameful secret and it shouldn't be treated that way. Basically be proud of the fact that I am adopted and know that I was wanted and very loved. Exactly like my parents did for their biological children...and for me.

One way I know my parents weren't misled is that I have medical and legal paperwork to back up the family medical history. I wasn't adopted right away. I wasn't "suppose" to be adopted for a year so that I could be assessed by doctors and social services to make sure that they were putting a healthy "normal" child up for adoption. However I was in foster care with a loving woman that insisted that I was a "normal" baby and was developing on time and was acting just how a "normal" baby should and after her insistance and the social workers instint, as well as doctors( I have their notes) stating that I was indeed not appearing in any way to be "mentally retarded"(again their words not mine,)and that I was a normal healthy happy baby...I was available for adoption at 4 months old, and offered to my parents.

Not every social worker or adoption agency has a trick up thier sleeve. Also not every adoptive parent is a baby stealer. Also not every adoptee is screwed up. Also...well you get the idea...not every story is the same. Sometimes adoption is just the joining of people that were meant to be a family. And I don't mean to hurt any birth parents feelings, but I WAS meant to be with my family. And I hope that means that my birth mother was meant to continue on to have a full life with, hopefully, more babies and a wonderful husband and career.

birthmothertalks said...

Alex, how do you feel about adoptive family's celebrating the adoption day in addition of the child's birthday?

Alex said...


I think that celebrating the adoption day as well as the birthday is fine. I think it helps to solidify the pride in adoption and the belief that the child was wanted by the adoptive family. Just as I feel the birthday is proof that the birth parents wanted and loved that child enough to bring him/her into this world.

I know my adoption month and I use to know the date, but over the years I've forgotten the date because it wasn't important to me. I suppose its a personal choice that every family has to make.

Mama Bear said...

this is just a sad story. I guess the big question is would they have done the same if the child was bio or adopted- that a hard question, I have two children that were adopted and now I am pregnant with my third child, and honestly if he were hurting my other children to where their lives were at danger, I would prob have to either remove or have a special place in our home or do some type of measure to insure safety. like I said that is just a hard spot to be in

birthmothertalks said...

What I really didn't understand about this story is how they sent the daughter to a home that is trained to deal with her illness. I don't understand why they couldn't trained.