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Friday, December 20, 2013

13 Reasons Why Adopted Children Are Not Lucky

  1. Unlike a child who has lost his or her parents through death they are not allowed to grieve. Adoptees are expected to be grateful for the family they now have. The public perceives it as disrespectful to the adoptive family and is discouraged.
  2. Adopted people are viewed to have had a better life. Some adoptees do get a nice, stable home but it comes along with the trauma and grief of losing their original family. Statistically adopted children are at an increased risk of child abuse and later in life drug and alcohol abuse.
  3. Adopted people have their records sealed and are unable to open them in most states. Not all adoption agencies reported the correct facts or passed on information. Many adoptees that were able to reunite with their biological families found that they had never received updates, photos and letters given to the agency. They also found their reason given for surrender was incorrect and also things like cultural heritage, family medical history and siblings.
  4. Adopted people can never go home. There is a misconception that at 18 a child can do what they want and be a part of both families. Most adopted people are a part of two families, but are neither fully a part of either.
  5. Adopted people experience genetic bewilderment and the lack of mirroring. Being able to see how tall you will be or how your body is shaping through puberty is more than a mere curiosity. It is essential to being able to transition from child to adult.
  6. Denial of information regarding ancestors. The adopted person wonders not just who gave birth to them , but if they are related to someone famous or have an inherited trait or skill. Adoptees wonder what jobs they should have and think about the legacy they want to leave behind for their own descendants.
  7. Birthdays are triggering for adopted people. Most people whether they were a planned pregnancy or not are visited in the hospital by family. Photos are taken at birth and the first bonding begins between mother and child. For most adopted people their birth was a sad occasion with decisions made for them that not only affect their adolescence, but the rest of their lives.
  8. Children adopted internationally are sometimes the victims of coercion or kidnapping. They are not only losing their family heritage but an entire culture and way of life.
  9. Adopted people are used in pro-life arguments. They are seen as poster children for anti-abortion groups. It would be wrong to assume that every one of those relinquishments actually averted an abortion. Many women placing their baby for adoption may never have considered abortion in the first place. Adoption rates almost always include foster care from children removed from abuse or neglect that were never candidates for abortion.
  10. When having their own children, adoptees often relive the trauma of their adoption. They realize how vulnerable they were and how much they love the child they have brought into the world. It is hard to imagine how someone could give the most precious thing in the world away because of their current financial situation. It is then that many adoptees feel the loss of adoption. It overshadows what should otherwise be a joyous time in their lives.
  11. The lack of birth family connection can be a strain during childhood. Much like those who have a loved one who is presumed missing or dead the adopted person thinks of them often. Sometimes it can become an obsession and disrupt their lives.
  12. Adopted people because of the stigma and shame of the history adoption have self esteem problems. Just growing up away from where they belong and not having the most basic things like being told how much they look like their sibling, parent or other family member can be an emotional strain. While the adoptive parents and children feel as though they are a family, other extended family or the public may not feel the same about their family bonds.
  13.  One is not simply adopted on one day or date. Being adopted is a life long part of the adoptees identity and can carry onto their own offspring. Every time the adopted person looks in the mirror or at their own children it is a constant reminder of their true origins. When the adoptee is watching a news story about breast or prostate cancer or reads a new study on family history regarding heart disease they can not help but think of their birth families.

123 comments:

  1. The best summation I've seen of how most adoptees really feel in a long time.

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    1. This summary misses the obvious...
      I DON'T KNOW WHO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE...
      This is a massive problem when it comes to dating, partnering, having children....
      I DON'T KNOW HOW CLOSELY WE ARE RELATED.....

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    2. I know who my brothers are (6, 5 maternal, 1 paternal) but I'm not able to hang out with them!

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  2. "Adopted people are viewed to have had a better life. Some adoptees do get a nice, stable home but it comes along with the trauma and grief of losing their original family." This is the one that resonates most strongly for me. It seems hard for most people to understand that I can have good APs, a good reunion, and a good life in lots of ways AND STILL struggle significantly as a result of adoption-related issues.

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    1. Agreed. No one except other adoptees seem to understand what I'm going through. They are almost angry at me for not being more happy about my circumstances :(

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    2. So true. I love my adopted child. We're providing her with a great childhood and preparing her for a wonderful life. And none of that good stuff erases the losses she suffered. Why is it so hard for those outside of adoption that moving a baby to a new family will have paradoxical, lifelong consequences?

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    3. Rebecca Hawkes, you are so very correct about people viewing us adoptees as having a better life. We will always struggle for the rest of our lives. There is a book titled The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier. She explains the issues and feelings of adoptees perfectly. She has an adopted daughter. She can understand what we are going through.

      Steffe Harwood, you are so very correct that only adoptees will understand what you are going through because adoptees have been through it also.

      Alex King, I am glad that you love your adopted daughter and very supportive of her. I hope that you will help her search for her birthparents if she wants to search. It will make your relationship a lot stronger if you do. :)

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  3. We all suffer mother-loss however it plays out afterwards.

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  4. I am a mother of 3 of the most beautiful children, all adopted from the foster care system. All know and understand they have been adopted, it is not a secret in this house. My younger children are asking questions and my husband and I answer as best we can for their age. My oldest child knows and understands why he was placed in foster care and also has questions and as parents we welcome the good with the bad. This is a journey for all of us. We understand that our children will suffer and grieve and we explain that we will do this together because my husband and I also grieve. We grieve for the biological child that will never be, we grieve for the time we lost with our children and the sorrow they went through with their biological parents, we grieve because they grieve. This article gives me pause, on one side I am screaming how dare you write such things and lump all adoptive children into one group, on the other side I am taking notes on understanding what my children may go through in the future.

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    1. I am also the adoptive mother of 2 girls now adult and in Australia. My girls do not agree with most of the points. They were both adopted from parents who`s situations medically meant there was no possible chance they could raise them they are not bio sisters. However their adoptions were open so they have both met there bio parents on set have since passed. They had regular contact and have formed relationships with grandparents and other extended family. They also have some access to family history (there`s individually) and medical info.
      Both have chosen for their own independent position not to as adults pursue very close relationships except for a very special one with a grandfather.
      I have never considered they should be anymore or less `grateful` for my parenting efforts than I would expect from any child. In fact I am humbled when they tell me they are so pleased to have had a family life as it was quite clear the alternative would have been foster care.

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    2. I wonder if the difference in your two daughters' particular circumstances is that you state they were open adoptions. Most of the points I believe made in the article refer more to all the secrecy in closed adoptions. I could see where your girls might see it from a little different perspective.

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    3. Ana, yes all adopted children get taken from their biological family and all will handle this in their own way. I am glad you adopted from foster care but very few adoptees in the U.S. were. Instead they were illegally coerced from their biological mothers. The adoption triangle is not a win, win, win for all involved. My first son was illegally coerced from me sight unseen in 1970 by Lutheran Social Services while his father was in Viet Nam. My first son still has many issues because he was adopted. The majority of U.S. adoptions are closed and create many adopted adults who remain children in many ways.

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    4. Karen Dawber, I would like to chat with you about your adopted son's father. It is very important for me as I was born in the war. I would like to know what branch of the USA service he served and if he was in Saigon in 1970. I need to know because I am searching for my birthparents.

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    5. Your children are always going to need to know their biological family.
      For medical history
      For basic understanding of who they are...
      Even just for the same reasons as you enjoy a particular sport or hobby.
      84% of behaviour at least is hardwired genetic.
      Being around people who think and behave like you is relaxing, which is why extended families and cultural groups and religions get together.
      So please try and integrate some of the extended families, grandparents, great grandparents, aunties, uncles, siblings, into family events, so in the long, long term, their is connection, and there is family.
      You can never have too much family. I have 27 step grandkids, great grandkids, my kids, its all okay.
      Secrecy causes the most trouble in my experience.

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  5. This is horrible and not indicative of the testimonies of the adopted children (now adults) that I have known (including my husband).

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    1. This is not indicative of the testimonies of the adopted children that you have known because we were all brainwashed into believing adoption is such a wonderful thing and how we should be grateful we were given a second chance. We'd better not screw it up this time. Most adoptees have hidden their pain because it is just too diffucult to deal with. It took me 38 years to realize how much adoption negatively impacted my life. I feel sad for your husband. I hope one day he will be strong enough to face his pain and he will have a good support system to get him through it.

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    2. "This is horrible and not indicative of the testimonies of the adopted children (now adults) that I have known (including my husband)."

      Wow, why is it that no one believes what adoptees say when our truth makes them uncomfortable? We've only lived it, how dare we tell our truth.

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    4. "This is horrible and not indicative of the testimonies of the adopted children (now adults) that I have known (including my husband)."

      I don't understand why such a harsh tone when you are not even an adoptee. I am sure you would have been more respectful and not passed judgement on your husband or adoptee friends if they had voiced their feelings and opinions.What the author of this article was asking is for individuals just like yourself to see the hard stuff/issues in adoption from perhaps a different lenses. It really doesn't take all that much time to be kind with your words.

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    5. "Unknown", your experience sounds very limited. This is not just the opinion of one adoptee. There is mountains of evidence from studies done and therapists' years of work to prove that this is in fact the feelings of a majority of adopted people. Adoptees are in fact experts at burying their true feelings...we had to survive. The sad fact is that the majority of adoptees never come to a place where they can honestly deal with their true feelings in therapy. Their fear of the pain is exquisite. This is horrible in your mind...because it is horrible...and it is what adoptees live every day.

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    6. That's exactly what members of my families - both adoptive and biological - would say. I've never been truly honest with any of them. Our survival from the very first depends on figuring out what our new family wants us to be and then being that. What we tell our families isn't the truth: it's what they want to hear.

      So you've just confessed to being the type of "loved one" who can't handle the truth and therefore never hears it.

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    7. Yes, everyone. Please don't listen to actual adoptees when they share their truths. Listen to ignorant anonymous assholes who have zero personal experience.

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    8. "Unknown" (who doesn't even have the balls to post a name of any sort), since you weren't adopted, you haven't the slight clue of what feels like for us that have been adopted. Imagine being a toddler from a different country, being adopted by an American family, and flown for hours to get here. To meet people who don't look like you, speak a different language, eat different food and have different customs. As if being forced to assimilate isn't enough, add being scared and crying and not being able to tell anyone because no one understands the language you speak. Imagine being hungry and not being able to tell "the new parents" because they have no clue as to why you are crying. Imagine your body being sick because you aren't used the kinds of food they eat. Imagine then, growing up and when the doctor asks you about family history, you can't tell them. Imagine wondering if you have siblings, and always thinking about the ultimate question 'Why?'. Many of us have learned to put a smile on our face and put up a front for our 'loved ones' because it is unacceptable to be honest about how we feel and how we should be thankful that we were bought by our new parents. Yes, I used the term 'bought', because it is reality that a sum of money was used to purchase us. On top of it all, imagine wondering what your actual birthday is. You sound like a heartless 'loved one' with huge blinders on. I guess ignorance is bliss huh?

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    9. You are a small minded person, with little empathy for people whose situations are different from your own. I feel sorry for your husband. You are horrible because you marginalized the feelings of adoptees and think they should just be grateful that someone wanted them! REALLY?!!

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    10. "Unknown" seems to be one of the many people in the world with special powers who "knows" these things aren't true because she's spent some time married to one adoptee. Hell, as an adoptee, the people I am closest to and love the most are often the one's I don't discuss my feelings with for fear they will try to "help" me or I will "hurt" them. I'm one of those "better" life adoptees -- my adoptive family is very supportive. Truly, I wasn't even aware of the depth or gravity of how being an adoptee affected my life and kept me out of touch with my own feelings. I couldn't even access my own feelings, much less assign those feelings an actual description. The journey is like an onion, and it took me 34 years to admit to myself the feelings were there and I still waiting until I was 45 to remove the first dry, crusty layer off my onion. The author of this post is very accurate. -- Signed, another "Unknown"...because I don't want anyone to know how I really feel about adoption.

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    11. You've been brainwashed, along with the rest of society.

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    12. As a teenaged birthmother, the process of adoption was incredibly harsh on both sides. Nobody allowed me to grieve. They thought that "the problem" was over. Even though my birthson is part of my life now, I am still grieving that moment (as is he). He has wonderful people in his life now that he wouldn't have had otherwise so that is a small consolation. Adoption is not the ideal situation and saying "it could have been worse" is terrible logic. It was painful for everyone, and it still is decades later.

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  7. Thank you for publishing this. My struggle now is that I am was raised by a same-sex couple and find that others in my situation match all the 13 reasons you provide above, but I am the only one who is willing to speak out publicly because the gay lobby is so incredibly vicious about silencing the children they raise if they stray from the politically correct, approved script about loving the two moms or two dads who chose to rip them away from one half or all of their ancestry. Just like adoptees are used in the pro-life movement, kids of gay parents are trotted out by gay groups whenever they want testimony for gay marriage, often while the gay "parents" are suppressing the suffering of the excluded biological parent and prompting the child to give rehearsed answers designed to hide the emotional abuse. I hope one day we will find a public venue approaching the public venues that adoptees have found in recent years. Thank you so much for you work.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I often wondered about this dynamic and how you and others would be affected in the long term. I can totally see how the fight for gay rights has overshadowed the voices of adults speaking out honestly about the issues surrounding adoption. It's frustrating and it enrages me.

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    2. Robert, I am sorry that you feel your childhood was abusive. I find it sad that you devote your energy to attacking same-sex couples and our children, and working against equality for our families, rather than speaking out against the adoption practices that allowed you to suffer because no one checked on your welfare adequately.

      You're not alone in your suffering, but your suggested "fix" of excluding families like the one that raised you is a poor fit to the problem.

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    3. Glad you brought this up.I am very supportive of gay people's right to marry and don't think children or adults with gay parents necessarily have more issues, but I don't like that adoption is seen as a right for gay couples, or a civil rights issue for gays, because adoption is also a civil rights issue. I hope the gay and adoptee communities can find peace, as they share many common goals, and I hate the rhetoric from both sides! Adoption needs to be about children's best interests, period. I am sorry you did not have supportive parents.

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    4. In Victoria Australia all parties to a AI or IVF baby are known.
      In our family the twins have 2 Mums and a Dad who has been involved from the beginning and spends time with them every week.
      So they have an extra Mum and have extra fun.
      20 years ago we changed the laws in Victoria so that ALL children turning 18 get access to all their biological identities, and mostly do so way before then.
      It stopped arrogant men anonymously donating sperm.
      It stopped people adopting who wanted to pretend that the child was their own.
      It stopped people dialing designer babies and thinking they could hide the reality from the child.
      The secrecy and deceit is a poison apple, that has to go.
      These days with DNA tracing, its ludicrous for a State Religion or Welfare Organisation, Medical Practice or Parent to try and hide a child's biological identity...
      Some Gay Families work well, some don't, just like ALL Families.
      The poster child thing is an abuse of the child, no matter how its done, its using the child for the adults perceived advantage.

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    5. Robert
      I am so sorry you are being chastised for speaking up for yourself and your lived experience as an adoptee raised in a nontraditional household. As an adult adoptee, I've spoken with numerous adoptees about their hurt and frustration that comes from being raised in both heterosexual and gay families. It saddens me that adult egos trump the rights and needs of adopted children. The saddest part that non-adoptees don't and will never understand is, no matter how progressive they think they are, many adoptees (too numerous to count) never feel like they fit in with either their adoptive parents or their birth parents (if they are lucky enough to find them.)

      Adoptive parents need to remember that once their children start school, their friends and other adults have a huge impact and the influence of parents diminishes the older the child becomes.

      Being adopted is truly hard on children because they have an innate desire to be like their friends. Adoptees are well aware of their "differences" through day to day interactions and innocent comments like: "My mom says I look like my Gramma when she was a kid." or "My mom & dad are coming to the school play." or "My dad took me golfing and my mom took me swimming." or "Who's your mom?" or "You don't have a dad?" ....... Kids want to be like all their friends and no amount of loving adult talk can change that---they are children! They should not have to be spokespeople for adult needs and beliefs. Belief me when I say it hurt when I was in kindergarten and my friends questioned me about being adopted. Their reactions reinforced my insecurity and having a "pat answer" provided by my adoptive mother did nothing to change how I felt. The feeling of not quite belonging only grew worse as I grew older: assignments in school like family trees, questions from friends that got more personal like "who's your real mom?" My adoptive mother gave me more "pat answers" but the damage was done through experiences she couldn't control--other adults and children.

      Here's the truly sad part. More and more children born of surrogate mothers are coming of age and are beginning to search for their biological families. Isn't that testimony that it is a basic human need to know your history and roots?

      I've read your writings Robert and I highly admire you for speaking your truth in spite of the backlash. Hopefully, someday, adults will wake up and humbly listen to adult adoptees instead of either shaming, accusing, or bragging that their adopted children aren't affected. (AP's can't know if their kids are affected until they become adults and many times adoptees don't begin to understand the impact adoption has had on them until they are in their 40s and 50s)

      Stay strong Robert! I hear you.

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  8. As an adoptee, I find it pretty telling, that all the comments that feel resentment, or anger about this article, come from non-adoptees....especially aparents. Their comments just prove the truth of #'s 1 & 2.

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    1. More often than not, there is a cognitive dissonance that happens with Adopters. When adults who were adopted start speaking from our true selves. It's as if they covers theirs ears and scream, lalalalalalalalalalala. I can't HEAR you. You do not exist because you make my stomach disagree with my head, deep deep down I know this isn't natural or right.

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    2. As a parent in the early stages of an adoption from foster care these comments leave me feeling hopeless. The message I am hearing is that no matter what I do, no matter how I feel or behave this child will never truly be a part of our family and she will forever be wounded. I am not in this for bountiful thanks. I am not trying to be be seen as a savior. But I guess resentment is the best I can hope for. Is that the message?
      What were the better choices I could have made? Look the other way when asked to care for this child? I do get that life is not all roses and trips to Disneyland for the adopted. And I get that many kids who have been adopted end up in abusive homes. Of course that happens to children who are not adopted too.

      I would appreciate it if there were some suggestions for would be adopters in these posts.

      Peace,
      Sharon

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    3. Hi Sharon, I was trying to think how I would answer my adoptive mother if she would have asked me your questions. First of all, I admire those parents who adopt from foster care because many are truly children that need a forever family--to know what it feels like to be loved by a caring and nurturing adult role model. I believe the difference between you and perhaps some other prospective adoptive parents is you already "get it." Just by what have said, you are selflessly putting the child before your needs. I applaud you for that. What I would have said to my adoptive parents is,"you have only failed as adoptive parents if you try to mold us into that child you couldn’t have or somebody we are not." And express out loud that's okay to have a place in my heart where it still feels safe to love my birth parents, even if they are not able to be there for me physically or forever. I wish you the best!

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    4. Sharon, I wish you and your family every joy in one another. At the same time, yes, your daughter will always carry a wound, even if it scars over. We all do. Having permission to say so was missing from many in my generation of adoptees. I have hope that greater understanding will lead to stronger bonds all around, and more security for adoptees and their parents (of all sorts) as new generations talk more openly about the losses that adoption is born out of. So don't be hopeless! (PS there is a time, especially when they're teenagers, that the most any parent can hope for on certain days is a tolerant resentment. It's normal. It gets better. Remember that when you need to!)

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    5. Sharon, the fact that you are posting here and questioning speaks volumes that you are preparing yourself in a positive way. And I think it's great you are adopting from foster care, as those are the kids who really need help, versus poor women who are coerced or at the time see no alternative. As an adoptee who has a perfect life inn the exterior, including the best adoptive parents ever, I can say that adoption still causes grief and anger for the adoptee, which is often hidden by a subconscious desire to please the parents and attempt to fit in. Just being honest and supportive goes a long way. You should also consider counseling for your to-be-child, with someone who specializes in adoption loss, even if there are no outward signs of problems. They may manifest in depression or anxiety that seems to be about other things but are often rooted in adoption. I was in denial for decades but was finally able to decipher the reason for my pain, and even though bringing it to the surface hurts, it's far better than living in denial. Although you may have unconditional love, adopted kids are different. I would suggest reading Nancy Verrier's book Primal Sound. She is an adoptive mom and therapist. Adoptees may have special issues but can be happy, productive people. :)

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    6. Sharon, Unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can do to erase the loss of a first mother, especially as an infant. Nothing else will suffice or replace. It is hard to hear and it is hard to bear. The best anyone can do is validate the experience and loss adoptees feel, maybe choose Legal Guardianship over adoption so that they can retain their original identity, embrace the child's culture and heritage and embrace it with them and support their urge to search and learn about who they are always.

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    7. You know what bothers me about this post and so many like it? That it's stated that ALL adoptees feel this way and if they don't it's because they were brainwashed.
      I know a few young adults who were adopted through the foster program and they are very glad they were. In two cases they are out girl's bio sisters and have the same mom. They have always known who she was and have known that she has been int he grip of addiction all this time. They are so glad they didn't have to be raised by her. They resent her even as they try to accept that her addiction is a disease. But they do not resent their adoptive parents and they do not resent the foster system that they believe saved them.
      Why say everyone feel the same?

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    8. Sharon, please don't let blog posts like this dissuade you from adopting from foster care. Use it as a sounding board in your mind to see adoption through the eyes of the child. Our beautiful, bouncing baby girl came to us at 8 years old from foster care. When the judge said our daughter had all the rights and responsibilities of a biological child, my husband and I smiled. She is our only child and we treat her as if we would treat any bio child. However, that does not and will not erase the pain she feels from losing her first family. Eight years later, she is still grieving. It's our job to help her when she gets stuck and lost in that grief. We are lucky to have a quasi-open adoption where she is able to see some of her siblings. When she asks questions, we answer as honestly as possible, for her age. She was old enough to know why she was separated from her siblings, to know why she can't speak to mom or dad anymore and the weeks leading up to her birthday, her behavior ramps up and we understand why. We allow her to feel the way she needs to feel and to express those emotions how she needs to. Often, when people say, "wow you rescued her," I will remind them she was not a pet in need of rescuing and as a parent, I screw up all the time so I'm certainly no saint. :) Good luck and God Speed.

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    9. Sharon, I am glad that you posted on here. It is ok to feel the way you do, but know this. As long as you give the adoptee the love and caring, he/she will love and care you in return, Yes, it is true that the adoptee will never feel as part of the family, no matter how much you try to have the adoptee as part of the family. It is instinct and unconscious. The adoptee will always wonder who he/she looks like and where one came from. We adoptees will always carry the wound for the rest of our lives. Even though I love my adoptive parents very much, I will always feel that I will never be a part of the family, especially now. I feel like my adoptive father does not treat me like his son sometimes, although I know that he loves, cares about, and worries about me very much. He has done so much for me and I can never ever leave him as I am his only family connection, basically and he is mine. My adoptive mother had passed away so I basically have no one else once my father passes away. :( :'( Give the adoptee some room to make mistakes and discipline when necessary. One thing you MUST never do it hit the adopted child. I know that some parents would hit the child as punishment like I was when I was in my first foster home. The adoptee needs and wants a loving and caring home to call one's own. I am very proud to have been adopted by my adoptive parents because they were the best parents anyone could ever ask for, even though they had their own faults.

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    10. My adoptive parents have been as supportive as they can of me in my journey as an adoptee, and even with that said, there are still feelings and ideas that come up that push them past them and me past our ego limits. Most adoptive parents love their children, and some of the questions adoptees have do lead adoptive parents to question themselves, their abilities, and their aptitude as parents -- no matter how strong and understanding are! No one is perfect at all times and the adoption journey will press on the egos of every person in it touches as time. Its human nature to question ourselves, we all want to be accepted for who we are and who we are trying to be.

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  9. It took me nearly 40 years to realize how adoption truly impacted me -- and I am still discovering new things about myself. Over time, I felt the sting of many of these points -- one by one. When I was younger, it was all about "where did I come from and who do I look like" and now, it has become "look who I am turning out to be" after having been in reunion for over 22 years. Questions are still being answered, grief is still taking place and emotions are still running high in my families. To say this article is horrible is just wrong. My life growing up was wonderful, yet I still experienced nearly every single one of these impacts at one stage in my life or another. Maybe not every adoptee has these experiences, but many of us do. Thank you for writing!

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    1. Audra, thank you for this. I am 39, almost 40 years old and have just recently in the past year found that adoption has impacted me in ways I never even thought. I too had a really wonderful life growing up but I am so glad to hear that I am not alone in discovering the real impact of it all as an adult. Sometimes I just feel lost and can't figure out why. I never thought feelings like this could have stemmed from being adopted but can sometimes take comfort in now understanding that I'm not just crazy and that it's some deep seated issues that I'm now working out regarding having been adopted.

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  10. Every case is different. Every person, every situation, different. Being an international adoptee and struggling with all of these valid points for 40 years it couldn't be more correct.

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  11. As an adoptive mother of a now adult daughter I can say that many of these things affected my daughter. She was in foster care for 5 years before I became her foster then adoptive mom. Even with my full support to find & communicate in any way she felt comfortable with her biological family, she still struggled and only recently came to a place of peace once we were able to finish locating the rest of her biological siblings from both sides of her family. Both of her biological parents have passed away, but since I had asked them about family health and birth history many years ago, it helped my daughter when she got pregnant and needed that information more for emotional and practical questions than anything... such as how long was my mother's labor, did she have complications in pregnancy, did she have postpartum depression, etc.

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  12. I am an adoptee.

    I am lucky enough to have had a lovely life where I have experienced none of the problems listed in this blog. I was a "closed" adoption, from 3 days old.

    My birth mother sought me out when I was 21, and we have a good relationship which has been fully supported and encouraged by my adoptive family with no negative side effects or ill feelings.

    I was told I was adopted so young it had no "surprise" element, and my adoptive parents always told me that my birth mother must have been a strong and loving woman to give me up, for a better life than she could provide. After meeting her, I found this to be the case.

    It troubles me greatly when I hear of those that were not blessed, as I have been, with a wonderful and loving adopted life.

    I hope you all find that in your future.

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    1. Sarah Pitcaithly, I am very jealous of you!! I wished my birhtmother would search and finds me!! Otherwise, like you, I had a very good life with my adoptive parents, overall. Yes, we had our ups and downs like everyone else does, but I could not have asked for better parents than my adoptive parents. They were the best parents anyone could ask for. :) The fact that your adoptive parents love you so much that they were very supportive of your reunion with your birthparents is very good news. :) I know it has made your relationship with your adoptive parents much stronger. :)

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  13. I might suggest that anyone wanting to assist a person who is at risk of becoming adopted and wants to selflessly help, donate the money and resources etc that you would use on the child had you adopted them, and channel it towards assisting the biological family, which includes relatives, to support that child to remain within his/her biological family or at the very least within the child's country. I'm well aware that some circumstances prevent anything other than an adoption however there are alternatives before an adoption outside the family and country occurs.

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  14. Very well put I am an international adoptee that was stolen from my family and then put up for adoption to an unfit family in Canada where I faced years of sexual, physical and mental abuse. Then I ended up in foster care and faced more abuse and all the time I was supposed to be forever greatful. I am in the process of writing a book and I now work in adoption reform. We have to end the myth that adoption always leads to a better life.

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  15. When I first read this, it really hurt. I am the mother of two little girls that we adopted as infants and I love as my own flesh and blood. Almost on a daily basis I have this terrible fear that they will grow up feeling like they don't belong, though as their parents we just assume that they do belong. To us, they are our family, our children, our life. I appreciated this because it helped me to understand how my girls might feel and rather than deny them those feelings this helps to give me a better perspective on why they might be feeling this way and how to help them cope with those feelings. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Since you don't have biological children, you and your husband don't know that you love them as "my own flesh and blood." The difference for them is that they have other/bio parents, while you do not have other/bio children. They have very real losses that you have never experienced.

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    2. I have bio and adoptive daughters. Having this comparison, I do love them both as my own flesh and blood. The biological wonderment of giving birth was different but no less emotional than the wonderment of receiving my adopted daughter into our lives. I once had a very real urgency/deep in my heart horror and fear that my adoptive daughter might be hurt, and be lost, and I knew that love to be as strong and true as that of my daughter by birth. I know my adoptive daughter has many of the struggles that were listed in this article, and her life will have its own path and journey. My bio daughter also has her own struggles. And they struggle because others don't see them as sisters (my adoptive daughter is from India and I am causasian). While I mentioned that my adoptive daughter experiences much of this list, I am grateful to be her mother and she need not be grateful to be our child; she is now as an adult feeling and processing many emotions that she had trouble expressing as a child although we tried to be very open about anything my children wanted to discuss. She now reaches out to other adoptive parents to help them understand what their children may be feeling, writing a blog on our adoptive agency website and attending an adoptive family camp each year (where she has always felt accepted for herself with no societal judgement). Sometimes this info is hard to swallow, but I am GRATEFUL for adoptees sharing these feelings that are so deep, so that I might better understand. I am also grateful that my daughter will share this with me, and that her sister wants to understand and be part of her journey.

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  16. Sarah wrote:
    my birth mother must have been a strong and loving woman to give me up, for a better life than she could provide. After meeting her, I found this to be the case...
    This is the insidious coercion in adoption. If a mother isn't married or financially secure when the birth of her child occurs, the loving thing to do is give the child to wealthy married parents. Hogwash! My marital status and bank account were temporary but the adoption of my daughter was forever. I was the best person to mother my child, for heavens sake, I am her mother.
    I'm glad you got a good adoptive family. But the disruption of your original family isn't something I would cheer about.

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    1. Don't put a negative spin on my adoption, please.

      Do not pluck negatives from your own life and try and impose them into mine. I am sorry that your own situation has not been as happy as my own. (I presume you are adopted and are unhappy about it). I hope, as I said in my piece, that you find peace and love in your future.

      I have heard plenty of horror stories about adoption. I am a lucky and happy case. I put my story up, not to gloat or belittle anyone else, but as a counter to the negativity and anger I saw in the comments above mine.

      All parties involved in my situation were very happy with the adoption, and the outcomes have been pleasant for all concerned. From whoa to go.

      My birth mother was happy to have adopted me. She knew she would not have been able to give the life she wanted for me (I will not go into details but they were not based on just her marriage or financial status), and I am happy she did, knowing her life and situation at the time. I was a closed adoption, but she was able to direct the adoption and pick my parents, to a degree (no names of course), thus empowering her decision.

      We have discussed this at length. We can do that, we have that sort of relationship.

      I am a single mother of a wonderful 21yr old daughter. I am blessed to have been in a far better situation than my birth mother was, even out of wedlock and on shaky financial ground.

      I will cheer her as much as I like. She is a strong, happy, and loving woman. I will cheer anyone who has had her life (or even vaguely similar) and come out the other side as robustly, and with as much love for her fellow human beings, as she has.

      I will boo and hiss at the people who try and dump guilt and negativity on her decision. Just as I boo and hiss at the people who were in her life at that time, that made adoption one of only two she could pursue (the other would not have me addressing adoption!)

      I am here, I am happy and loved.
      She is here, she is happy and loved.
      WE are here and WE are happy to be mother and daughter by birth, and closer than close friends, in adulthood.

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    2. Beautiful Sarah. Broad generalizations rarely work when discussing real people. We can affirm ALL the aspects of adoption that a person experiences, positive or negative, without presuming that someone with a differing experience is wrong, brainwashed, angry or any other adjective that detracts from the discussion by labeling.

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    3. Thank you, Sarah, for another perspective.

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  17. Couldn't disagree more.
    Especially w/the whole "reliving the trauma of being adopted when having children".
    Self esteem? Shoot, I've got extra to lend anyone adoptee who's feeling sorry for themselves. If you're adopted & use it as an excuse for anything, shame on you. Jeffrey Dahmer used it as his excuse too. Suck it up buttercup, you hit life's lotto. This is a bunch of malarkey. By malarkey I mean bullshit. #TheChosenOne

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    1. Chuck, I assume you are male, since you cannot grasp the understanding of "reliving the trauma of being adopted when having children". I also think that disqualifies you from offering an educated opinion on the issue. I do not "feel sorry for myself" and I don't know any adoptee who does. Adoption is not an excuse as much as it is a trauma that we suffered, the understanding of which gives us the ability to understand our actions and reactions. It is sad that someone like you can deny the mountains of studies done by experts that prove the trauma exists and causes lasting damage to adoptees. The "I'm fine. Nothing is wrong with me." defense you put up here tells me exactly what is going through your head when you are alone and no one but God sees you. Your defense is the only malarkey or BS I see here.

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  18. As an adoptee who was fifteen months old when placed with my adoptive family I read this list with great interest. I have felt some of the things the author recounts over various parts of my life but by and large they do not define me. Those raised by biological parents have their own set of experiences and limitations visited upon them by genetics. A happy and successful life is often determined by the attitude with which one approaches the challenges and circumstances encountered in life. I choose to be grateful for the many blessings that have enriched my life--many of which came through my adoptive family--immediate and extended. The occasional twinge I feel when filling out a medical history or wondering whether I was the love child of a president and an actress are like the psychological equivalent of paper cuts when compared to the many joys that I have experienced. I do not doubt that these are legitimate and common concerns among many adoptees but to state that adoptees are not "lucky" because of these reasons is a gross generalization and overstatement. I am not only lucky but blessed. Among my acquaintance are many other adoptees who consider themselves similarly lucky.

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  20. Thank you for posting this. As a happily-reunited adult adoptee, I find all of these to be true. If not all with myself, then all with some of the many hundreds, if not thousands, of other adult adoptees I know. Some sooner, some later. This list will resonate with almost all eventually. They all evolve at their own pace.

    The only surprise I read here was from the AP comments. How can they be unfamiliar with any of this? What information are they teaching in those pre-adoptive "education" classes, and who is teaching it, adult adoptees, or other AP's/adoption workers? In 2014, none of this should be new information to anyone who has done the slightest bit of research of adult adoptees, who by the way, are the real experts on the adoptee experience. Thank you to those of you who are listening & learning. To the rest, please try harder, and with an open mind.

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  21. #2 and #3. I was abused by both my biological and adopted parents. And agencies related to my adoption were so worthless, they may as well not have existed. Even recently. The Adoption Registry ten years ago told me they didn't have proof of my birth. Because of a fluke, I got my hospital records since birth, and called them (The registry) asking why they said they don't have my records. They told me that, oops, yea, they do have my records. When I was two months old, I was brought in the hospital badly bruised from being abused. The Hospital notified CFS who did nothing. It wasn't until I was brought back in the hospital nearly three years later in a coma, bruised, and disabled for life that they finally did something. I ran away from my foster home (Who got paid to take care of me) to get away from the emotional abuse I took there, and now all records as proof of what I went through is hidden behind a wall of secrecy that my abusers, and the incompetent agencies can now hide behind. The whole thing is a racket.

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    1. This is so sad.
      I agree with you that Adoption is a Racket.
      There is a vast profit to be made from Governments by Adoption Agencies who can charge market based fees.

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  22. I'm another adult adoptee who'd like to thank you for writing this. There's so much truth here, and it needs to be shared.

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  24. So much anger on this page. At the heart of this post is the argument that no adoptee should have their feeling, particularly negative feelings, marginalized, and with this I agree 100%. Each person, adoptee, bparent, aparent, biochild has their own life experiences and is entitled to their own feelings and the right to express those feelings without fear of comdemnation. My adopted son has never shown any interest in finding his bparents, but that may change and I'll support him in that effort. My adopted daughter shows more interest is searching and we provide her with information when she asks. I honor the feelings of both my children as they come up. If an adoptee says they feel a certain way, we should all honor those feelings, whether they are positive or negative. To do otherwise is hurtful.

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    1. When she asks isn't good enough. Adopters should be ACTIVELY giving adoptees all the information they have. Even if the adoptee shows no outward sign of being interested.

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    2. Maybe your ason is interested, too. Just maybe he doesn't want to go through your gatekeeper routine. That's not "honor" Hippie.

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    3. I think it's perfectly good enough. I was that child, who never asked many questions. I HAVE a good family, and don't have any desire to dig up the "could have been"s. Stop generalizing, and stop trying to make those of us who don't fit in this mold you've created feel badly for not doing so. I don't fit ANY of the things on this list, and that's okay.

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  25. I am an adult adoptee and to be honest people need to get a grip on reality. For one adoption isnt the reason for anything on how you feel. Its the people that you surround yourself with. Adoption was created to give a mistreated, abused or negleted child a chance at life to give the child a chance at a real life. Not all children get that opportunity I will admit that. But adoption didnt do that to you the people that took you in did that. It seems that people will find any and everybody else to blame but the right ones. I think adoption is a good thing, I just think it needs to be done differently. My own adoption has never made me feel anything that this author writes about. It has made me ask questions but I have never felt these feelings. I went from abused to blessed with a great family that was open to discuss my adoption with me. They supported my need to find my birth family. You guys are using adoption as crutch as a reason why, something to blame for your own personal failures. Get over yourself and blame the one who touched you wrongfully, blame the parent who blackened your eye, blame the person who called you worthless cause they didnt have you themself, but damn stop blaming your own adoption for it. Adoption is away for another not a tradegy. Use your adoption to make you better not to make you weak. Its not your crutch. Think about it, a long time ago a lady and a man said i want you, how many people can say i was picked over 20 thousand children. Not half as many who can say that!!

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    1. How fortunate you are one of the adopted people who are able to reunite with their biological families. Do you not feel sorry for those who are unable to? Why did you have a need to find your birth family if your adoption was so wonderful? I address that in my newest blog post on this site please be sure to read it. Not all adopted children were mistreated, abused or neglected. Their birth mothers went on to marry and to have children who are very loved. Most people were not hand picked from foster care their name was on a list as the next baby and they went to the next matching family in line. Of course you were wanted by your adopted parents. To angrily post to other adopted people that adoption has no effect on their lives undermines the entire institution of adoption. Adoption should be about finding good homes for those like you who came from horrible ones not the intentional creation of orphans because of a woman's marital or financial status.

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  26. Can anyone cite a source to back up the claim in point 2: "Statistically adopted children are at an increased risk of child abuse and later in life drug and alcohol abuse." I've found studies that support the higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse by adoptees, but the only thing I've found on rates of abuse of adopted children by adoptive parents is "Buller also points out that the conclusion that non-biological parents are more likely to abuse children is contradicted by the fact that even if the rate of abuse among stepparents was disproportionate, most child abuse is in fact committed by biological parents, and that the lowest rate of child abuse is found among adoptive parents," attributed to David Buller in a Wikipedia article on the Cinderella Effect.

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    1. There's an awful lot of information on the subject at the website Pound Pup Legacy.

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    2. You have pointed to a specific web site with the stated mission to "expose the dark side of adoption" and that site lists a small number of cases. Yes, these cases exist, but are they statistically significant? What is the rate that children are taken from the homes of adoptive parents for the safety of the child compared to biological parents? I'm willing to believe the data, but that data has to be honest and scientifically rigorous.

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    3. Adopted Teens 4 times as likely to attempt suicide.
      http://www.medicaldaily.com/adopted-teens-4-times-more-likely-attempt-suicide-stark-reminder-clinicians-should-take-parental

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    4. the governments own web site on child abuse points to these statistics. however you have to do quite a bit of math because it separates the tables and lumps a great deal of abuse perpetrated as unknown, but even with the known the figures are devestating

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  27. Children living with non-related adults (step, foster, or adoptive parents) are 8 times more likely to die from abuse than children living with their biological parents.

    These statistics came from The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/4/615.abstract

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    1. But they lump all categories, step, foster, and adoptive, into a single category, which doesn't seem fair to me. So many abuse cases that you hear about in the media are women with children who have a live in boyfriend who abuses/kills the child. To lump in parents who choose a child and go to the legal trouble to make it official misrepresents the data in my opinion.

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    2. you seem awful conservative to call yourself a hippie. there are a ton of web sights to call attention to this extreme how are the rights of a person who wants to claim another's child as there own better. cruel beyond words

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    3. you seem awful conservative to call yourself a hippie. there are a ton of web sights to call attention to this extreme how are the rights of a person who wants to claim another's child as there own better. cruel beyond words

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  28. It is fair, Dancin' Hippie, because all of those groups (step, adoptive, or foster families) are unrelated people to the child. (Notice they specify that single mothers are still safer for their children as long as there is not another non-related adult in the home.)

    Do not confuse the overall number of abused children with the % of abused children. True, more children overall are abused by their biological parents, but that's only because there are 98-99 non-adopted children out there for every 1-2 adoptees. Statistically, which is relevant here, adoptees should only be 1-2% of the total cases, since that's how they are represented in the general population, yet their numbers are 8 times higher. That is not saying that all adoptive parents are abusive. In fact, most are not. However, the research does show that is a higher risk to children than those who are raised within their own families.

    By the way, there is no correlation between the adults who waited longer, paid more, or just think they want a child more, and those who actually end up making better or safer parents. Look at the facts - plenty of adoptive parents slip through the cracks who should never be approved to adopt goldfish, let alone children. We should expect better of them precisely because they were so allegedly carefully screened beforehand. It's unfortunate when children are failed not only by one family, but then again by a second one.

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    1. I'm sorry, but it is completely unfair. How can you rationally lump three categories of families into one group, then take the statistics for all three and apply it to one of those groups. That would be like making a statistical group of schools in a typical city. The poor school has a 50% graduation rate, a school in a better part of town has a 60% graduation rate, and a charter school has a 98% graduation rate. You then attack the charter school for having a 70% graduation rate. If you want to claim that adoptive parents have a higher rate of abuse, show that adoptive parents have a higher rate of abuse. Don't say that adoptive parents have a higher rate of abuse because home where there is a non-biloogically related male is in the house.

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    2. You seriously are unaware of the abuse that goes on in many adoptive families? The internet and other news media are filled with accounts of adoptees abused and/or killed at the hands of adoptive families. A previous poster suggested checking out http://poundpuplegacy.org/ to get you started. Next time you hear on the news about a child being abused or killed, look for the adoption connection. Unfortunately, it's usually there, and in disproportionately higher numbers than children from their own biological families. It's usually followed by swarms of AP's claiming that fact the child is adopted is irrelevant and admonishing them for even bringing it up. Do you know why Russia no longer wants Americans to adopt their children?

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    3. I'm sorry, Julie, but you are not addressing the issues. Firstly, you are claiming that the statistics that apply to all three family structures that include non-biological parents apply to one of those family structures. It is faulty logic. If you can find statistics that clearly show that adoptive parents, and adoptive parents as a class to themselves, have a significantly higher rate of abuse than fully biological parenting situations, I will accept that, but you have yet to do so.

      As for poundpublegacy.org, I can find no statistics on their site. If I have missed something, please direct me explicitly with a full link. What their site does have is a number of cases - anecdotes - that illustrate their position. They are also very clear that they have a position - they are not a neutral or objective source of information.

      I do hear in the media cases of child abuse by adoptive parents, I'm not denying that it happens, but I also hear about biological mothers who give their infant daughters to their boyfriends to sodomize and kill, I hear about foster parents, who are paid for caring for children, who abuse those children. It is all terrible, but again, you can't use anecdotes and overly broad categories to make blanket assertions about a specific class of parent. If you have hard statistics to back up your claim that in cases of abuse or child murder, adoptive parents are the perpetrators "in disproportionately higher numbers than children from their own biological families."

      As for Russia, being the adoptive parent of two Russian children, I'm very familiar with the situation. If you think that abuse by a few adoptive parents of Russian children is the only issue at play, you are wrong. Yes, some high profile cases are part of their criticism, but the larger issue is one of national pride and the downfall of the Soviet Union. Recall that adoptions in Russia were only stopped when the US made accusations about Russian Civil Rights abuses as a method of political retribution, months after the infamous woman from Tennessee who put her son on a plane back to Russia.

      The statistics I can find are similar to "Experts believe that the rate of abuse among adoptive parents is extremely low. For example, the American Humane Association and also Richard Barth, in his essay in Adoption Policy and Special Needs Children, have estimated that abuse occurs in about 1% of adoptive families." (http://encyclopedia.adoption.com/entry/abuse/3/1.html). This particular site may have the same type of bias as poundpuplegacy in the opposite direction, but they cite a neutral source, the American Humane Association.

      Please, don't get angry and reflexively respond with anecdotes and snippets of information. Provide real statistics that back up your assertions. There is nothing perfect about adoption. At best it is making lemonade out of lemons (and I'm talking about the situation, not any of the people involved), at worst it can be ugly and abusive. But you can't go around making claims about families based on bad data.

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    4. You did ask for information. We gave you some. Am sorry you are unwilling to accept data from either "The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics" or from "Pound Pup legacy." As mentioned, there is plenty of other info out there. Feel free to do your own research then. No surprise you're an adoptive parent. You probably do not really want to know the truth. Good luck to your adoptees.

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    5. He is unwilling to accept the data because it does not support the proposition stated in the original post. The data reflects abuse over several different sub-groups of relationships. The statement in this post specifies one sub-group. Without data by sub-groups, you do not know the ratios by sub-group that combined to lead to the overall conclusion. This is simple statistics. A study specific to adoptees would support the statement. A study across multiple subgroups would need to provide data by subgroup in order to have any application, and then you would need to know if the data for the adoptee subgroup was reliable and statistically significant standing on its own. if the article does that, it is not stated in the abstract.

      I am not saying the original statement in this post is untrue! I am just saying the study you cite can't be used to support it. Likewise, anecdotal evidence is not helpful. Nobody is claiming there is no abuse in adoptee relationships.

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  29. Reading the reasons about being adopted ..I know that so many of those issues hit home for my own daughter. When her birth father died, she was very upset and cried--even though she never met him, and now she never would. Her adoptive father then got upset with her--what is he to you? You never met him, etc.

    And today writing about L'Wren and her being adopted at First Mother Forum makes all these reasons seem so clear. Yet people on Facebook who are looking at the column can't understand....they are APs who haven't tried.

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  30. After reading information today I have finally worked a few things out! I am over 50 years old & have not even realized a lot of what was happening to me. Thank you so much for helping me understand. I was adopted I felt a loss every day of my life waiting for my real mother to come & get me crying myself to sleep at night. I have always felt my father was my father & loved me but the mother I believe only had children because socially it was the right thing to do. I was always an inconvenience to her she tried to mould me, control me & belittle me. She always hated my hair cut it off like I was a boy, for my 50th she went out of her way to send in the mail a hair brush. I left home as soon as I could was married into a very abusive situation which took me years to escape. I for many years bought up 3 children on my own without any support until I met my new husband. I met my birth mother when I was 25yrs old she helped me out of this abusive marriage. My A mother always made me feel guilty "how dare you have your husband charged with assault etc." When I met my birth mother My A mother showed no interest what so ever towards me. She refused to tell me my father was dying. As time has passed I have tried to forgive her but every time she has dug the knife in deeper which over the years has caused many problems depression, anxiety PTS etc. I lot of these problems have also stemmed from a adopted sister which I grew up with this made my childhood hell. Her birth mother was an evil person & I believe this can be genetic. As I get older & now have grandchildren I am starting to resent my birth mother as well. I would never have given away any of my babies no matter how hard it got. She over the years has become very opinionated & judgmental of me I feel she has no right to do this. My half siblings are now at the age with children & they are out to get what they are entitled to with money inheritance. I feel sickened & heart broken that they are more concerned about getting everything than having a sister in their life. So in some situations both sides are not the best & I believe you never belong anywhere after being adopted. My birth mother was not a teenager she chose not to keep me for her own selfish reasons & never told anyone. This caused a rift between her sister as she could of given me to her as she at the time was having trouble having children & would of had me. For some people they are very lucky & I envy them for me my life has been one big roller coaster which has made me realize my husband & my friends mean the world to me.

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  31. The quote saying, "Adopted people because of the stigma and shame of the history adoption have self esteem problems. Just growing up away from where they belong and not having the most basic things like being told how much they look like their sibling, parent or other family member can be an emotional strain." That quote, is the thing that has affected me the most through being an adoptee. That quote and especially "Children adopted internationally are sometimes the victims of coercion or kidnapping. They are not only losing their family heritage but an entire culture and way of life." are a big part of me.

    I have always felt left out on a lot of things. I thought I was the only one feeling the self esteem problem. About a year ago... the self esteem lead to depression... however, I have improved a lot by myself. Nobody else knew about this feeling except me. Some days, I would try to act "normal" and try to be in a good mood, other days... I would be so stressed out, that nobody wanted to be by me because I was such in a negative mood... mainly because of the self esteem reason. I didn't know it related to the adoption... but I realized, when the depression left, that it did because I didn't know who I looked like.

    The second quote, I do feel that way. I have lost culture, heritage of my family, and just life... and now I am being "forced" to act like people around me. I have lost communication with them as well, and now I have to learn a new language (Spanish) just to be able to talk to them if I ever have a reunion... so I want to learn before any reunion.

    Thank you so much for this post! I relate a lot to this and I am glad that I am not the only one going through this... because in real life, away from the internet, I feel alone about this.

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  32. I have never read a better summary of what it's really like to be adopted! Thank you so much, I plan to share this.

    One thing you might consider adding to this list is the potential threat of GSA, or Genetic Sexual Attraction, which plagues some adoptees after they meet their birth families. When siblings and other relatives (especially of the opposite sex) meet for the first time as adults after a lifetime of separation.

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  33. I found the blog accidentally and very glad that I did. First of all I am not adopted so I have no comment to make about that as that is best left to people who are. What I want to discuss is a co-worker who was adopted and to say it literally consumed his entire life would be an understatement. For some reason his adoptive parents never told him he was as he actually resembles both of them and the blood type matches. He was an only child and they doted on him fiercely. Everyone of us in his circle thought how lucky he was and what a charmed life he lived.

    Unfortunately when we were all in college his parents were killed in an automobile accident in Greece where they had gone to celebrate their wedding anniversary. It completely devastated him and sent him into a tailspin. After their estate was settled and he got everything we were helping him clean out the house as it was up for sale and he found their private papers in a lock box. He found the adoption papers and I swear literally overnight he became a completely different person. He started to heave and have difficulty breathing. In one instance his beloved parents suddenly became pariahs and name so vile it needs not be mentioned.

    Reading the paper revealed it was a closed adoption but since he got a nice inheritance he hired a private investigator who was able to trace backwards and find out he was abandoned in a trash can in Brooklyn and was only found when the trash man heard some noises coming from the trash can. Despite investigation from the police they were never able to find out the identity of the parents and so he eventually entered into foster care and then was eligible for adoption.

    For some reason he blames his adoptive parents for keeping him from his real family when they are not the guilty party here. His real family abandoned him and have never come forward but for some reason he refuses to see that. He has burned all the pictures and reminder of his parents and forbids anyone of us to mention them.

    Now he is obsessed with finding his real family and for some bizarre reason he believes his parents stole him and concocted the whole story of him being found in the trash can although it can be easily verified through police records. He thinks his real mother is out there trying to find him and has this hope that they will be reunited one day. Like I said I do not know about adoption and feelings so can someone tell me how he can be so blinded with some rage and having such fantasies about his birth. I get that they never mentioned his adoption to him but it never was an issue at all until he found that piece of paper. He loved them so much before they passed and now they are like his wicked step-parents. Please help me understand my friend as I do not know how to help him and I desperately want to.

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    1. He may not have really been found in a trash can. In illegal black market adoptions dumpsters ect were used and a police officer called to take a report so that they child was free and clear and no one would make an effort to track down the mother because anyone who threw away their baby should not have a chance to contest parental rights.

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    2. Finding out you were adopted later in life is devastating. To find out the people who you thought were your parents LIED to you for your entire life, added to the trauma all adoptees already have of losing their mother, is gut wrenching. If I had found out after my parents were dead, I might have behaved similarly. As it is, because I ended up as the "good adoptee", I put up with my "mother" and play the dutiful daughter, all the while wishing I had the guts to cut ties with the lying witch (adoptive father died about a year after I found out).

      And no, she wasn't a terrible mother. Just a liar whose lies resulted in my world being shattered. You can never put the pieces back.

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  34. Thank you for posting this. I recently adopted an infant, and this is an important reminder for me as to why we chose open adoption, why we will always be honest with our boy about his personal story, and why we will always honor his emotions, including and grief and longing he may feel as he processes his story.

    It's saddening that adoption was done the way it was for so long. And it's maddening that some parents can be so clueless as to how to do what is right. And it is tragic when kidnapping or coercion are involved in any way.

    At least now there is a much better alternative in open adoption. We researched the agency we used, to ensure that they do not coerce. In fact, most birth mothers who approach the agency considering adoption, end up parenting the child themselves. (The agency also provide services for women and children in need of assistance, no adoption "stings" attached.")

    My boy will know his birth mother, and if all goes well, his siblings and half siblings. He will get to see them as often as they want. He will know his whole story, and that he is loved by many people who all want the best for him.

    I respect and value your choice to tell the story of how bad things can be. And please, know that there are other stories that are now possible in today's adoptions.

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    1. On second reading of my last post, I realized that maybe it sounded a bit like I was "tooting my own horn," so to speak. Also: typos. :-(
      Anyway, to clarify, I just want to acknowledge the trauma that can come from poorly handled adoptions, as so many were, and unfortunately still are. And I also wanted to try to bring some hope: things are getting better. Open adoption is a whole different world from the way things used to be. Is it perfect? No, of course not. In a perfect world, there would be no need for adoption. No foster care system. No ignorant parents--adoptive or otherwise. But things really are getting better, and I applaud your choice to speak out so that those who don't understand might start to pay attention to what was and sometimes is still wrong with the system, and what to do about it.

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    2. The trauma comes from losing your mother. Crappy adoption situations only compound the original trauma.

      And open adoption is just a way for agencies to coerce birth mothers, since in most places they aren't legally enforceable and the majority of adopters break all their promises and close the adoption the minute they feel uncomfortable.

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    3. Right. And if a mother is good enough to be involved in an 'open adoption' why wouldn't she be good enough to raise her own child? Because AP's like Chad are willing to hire seemingly ethical agencies to purchase children from. Adoption is not "better" today. Just the marketing is different. You've been had, Chad.

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    4. What does that mean, "good enough?" Do you know what is involved in open adoption? It is not co-parenting.

      And Who are you to judge whether a person is "good enough" to raise their child? To take part in open adoption? That judgement is best left to the woman herself. And, contrary to your doom and gloom view of adoption agencies, there really are plenty of them that operate with the child's best interest at heart.

      Does that mean everything is roses and butterflies for the child? Of course not! But it means everyone involved is making an honest effort to help the situation suck a little bit less.
      Besides, the agency we used ends up helping *way* more than half of the women who approach them choose to parent rather than choosing adoption.

      I'm not saying that adoption was always the right choice for everyone who went that route. Clearly there are corrupt agencies. And clearly there have been draconian laws and parenting methods--still are in many places.

      But it is just as naive to claim they are ALL bad as it is to claim they are ALL good. And even more naive to think that, if adoption agencies disappeared, no woman would choose to place their children in another family's care.

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  35. The only item I'd add to the original article (so tempting to jump on the other comments)...

    The part about having children... Surely there are others with me that continued the pattern of early pregnancy, but followed with abortions instead of having children. I wasn't enlightened to my morbid, avoidance behavior until after I was born again at 23 and then later, through searching, read the Primal Wound and realized (at 27) I was acting out a pattern, regardless of the example provided to me by my adopted family.

    to those offended: check yourself. Are you adopted? If not, you have NO BASIS to even speculate. You cannot know. I knew my entire life I was adopted. It wasn't a secret. Everything mentioned in the blog is true for so many. If it makes the reader uncomfortable to the point of calling it untrue, then the reader is deceived.

    Adoption is an imperfect solution to a perceived problem. However, it is nothing new.

    As adoptees, we don't own the monopoly on pain, but we do know the deepest recesses of human abandonment and learn to skate on the surface of pretense and survival, until we meet others like us, finally identify, and rejoice that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

    Yet, despite it all... God is great! If it weren't for His love, I'd be a total basketcase.

    Haha. Peace +

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  36. My thoughts: Who are you blaming? Your birth parents, for abandoning you? Or your parents who raised you- for no apparent reason? AND I think that the picture at the end is totally unfair. Adopted children are NOT babies set out- first come, first get. They are REAL HUMAN BEING- and people know that. There ARE parents who abuse adoptees, but those are very few and far between! Plus, you have to fill out an extensive paperwork / file thingy to get this adoptee. Overall, yes, you adoptees should be just as grateful to your parents- both sets- as children who live with their birth parents.

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  37. I certainly haven't had time to read all the comments, but from reading the article and several comments I'm appalled! I was given up for adoption at birth and lived in a children's home until I was 5 months old when my parents adopted me. I have been told that ALL children who have been adopted have ABANDONMENT issues. I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE ANY ISSUES OF BEING ABANDONED. I am one of the fortunate ones who was raised in a basically perfect home, except that my adoptive father passed away when I was 3. I still didn't feel abandoned. I have a sister who was adopted from another family at birth and she is my sister. I also was allowed to have my birth records unsealed by a judge in the county I was born in. I knew my bio-mom for 12 years before she passed away. I'm thankful I was put up for adoption. She was an addict and did the right thing by giving me up for adoption. I told her the first time I ever spoke to her after the records were unsealed that if she didn't want to meet me that was fine, but I just wanted to say thank you for giving me the life I had. I finally met my bio-father and another half-sister and 3 half-brothers from that family. My bio-mom had another daughter after me and 3 sons before me. She didn't raise any of us. I'm just appalled. I understand if children were yanked away from their parents in an abusive situation or if a child's parent/parents passed away in a car wreck or whatever, but as an adopted person, I'm perfectly fine!!!!!

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  38. I disagree with this article 100%. It's great to voice an opinion but to write an article such as this about 'all adopted people are unlucky'?!? Speak for yourself.

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    1. If you read the title again, she didn't say 'all adopted people are unlucky.' It's titled '13 Reasons Why Adopted Children Are Not Lucky.' There's a huge difference in that wording. And the points that follow are just some of the many reasons why adopted people often do not feel 'lucky' or that they should be 'grateful.'

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  39. We can be lucky and unlucky, it is not all or nothing. It is just the ways we are unlucky involve developmental PTSD, shame from our culture, growing up with no mirroring from or knowledge of our genetics, you know, little unimportant things that don't matter. lol

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  40. Hi The Humanist Adoptee. I LOVE that image in your blog post! Any leads on who did it and how I might get in contact with them? Kind Regards.

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  41. The concept of "the lucky adoptee" is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I'm one adoptee who was perceived as "lucky" simply because my a-parents were wealthy. As if sad, little, abandoned baby me had won the lottery--except it was they who won and never appreciated that fact. My adoptive family was so ungrateful for me! At 57 I can finally say that, because I have healed (mostly!) and, through continual lessons about unconditional love courtesy my children, I understand and embrace what I lost at birth when I was relinquished. I learned how to soothe the sad, disconnected, distraught baby that I was. I do not "feel sorry" for myself in the least, but I do feel it is essential to be open and honest with myself and others about what I have seen, felt, experienced, and perceived as an adoptee. I hope that we can all be respectful and mindful of where each of us is on this journey. Some people may never fully accept or recognize the truth, but then you wonder why they are even reading these posts. I salute the adoptive parents here who seek to help and support their a-children (instead of abusing, mistreating, or neglecting them), and I encourage all a-parents and adoptees (and those who truly love them) to read The Primal Wound. Being adopted is not a crutch but it can be a hindrance to real self-knowledge. Wishing everyone good health and good luck in the new year--may you find what you're looking for.

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    1. Perhaps you shouldn't have been adopted at all, and left to the foster system. It actually sounds like you are the ungrateful one. Your entire post is about you. Sounds like you felt you were entitled to something just because they were wealthy, and when you didn't get your way, you threw a tantrum. You don't sound healthy or well adjusted at all.

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    2. Adam, who are you to tell anyone how to feel? Why do you feel the need to bully? I hate giving you the satisfaction of a response, but come on man, who are you to tell Jane Doe how to perceive things? If you have evidence that her situation that is contrary to her post, or her story or her experience please do share. I doubt you do, and I doubt you know who she is irl. Unless you are all knowing and all seeing, I suggest that you read what Jane Doe suggests "The Primal Wound". And if I can say one more thing - A generality, that the adoption journey is a very 'me' centric journey. Our posts are going to a lot about 'me'. That's the reality of trying to figure out where we sit in this world. This original post / list caters to those who feel this way and will attract those who are like minded. I don't know if you are a troll trying to stir it up, and if you are, this is really beyond the pale. This subject of adoption and how we feel about it goes further than just words on a blog. This is how we perceive our life, whether its for better or worse. If our lives are a joke to you, then enjoy as we entertain you with some of our most deepest pains we carry. If this is not a joke, then you must be the one bad apple in the bunch spoiling the lot.

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  42. Actually I do feel that an abandoned/orphaned child is lucky to be adopted. If he/she is not adopted, he/she will be deprived of the lifestyle that he/she is enjoying right now.

    I've a friend who loves her adopted daughter lots. She adopted the child from an unwed teen who already has two other children with different fathers. Overseas holidays, designer clothes and shoes aplenty that many were left unworn; fine dining, etc. Last year my friend spent a month celebrating the child's birthday - celebrations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Bali. The child will not be enjoying these stuff if she remains with her unwed teen mum or in the children's home under state care.

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  43. LIFESTYLE has nothing to do with it. My goodness!

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  44. As an adopted child, I couldn't disagree more. Why are people so keen on telling us that we are victims and we should act accordingly? I don't feel like a victim, I'm proud of being adopted, of my roots and my adopted family that have giving me love and care. If I wish to do so I can go back to my home country and start looking for relatives, it's my choice and no one has taken that from me.

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  45. My daughter was adopted and she was murdered by the adoptive father! He was never caught bc police and CPS didn't do their jobs! It was a real battle for me to get across to ppl that ADOPTION put her in the hands of her murderer! If u had a good experience being given to a needy stranger then U are lucky, bc "but for by the grace of God there goes U!

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    1. You are a liar, your daughter is missing, you have absolutely no proof that she was murdered.

      Yup, no all about you, and your refusal to accept your kid ran away. There is ZERO evidence that Dennis did anything to your daughter to end her life.

      https://musingsofabirthmom.com/category/missing-person/

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  46. There's so much I could say here... I was adopted at the age of 8, went through 5 foster homes by age 7, returned to my birth mother from age 3-6 yrs old prior to adoption. Adoption in the early 60's my sister and I were not allowed contact with our former foster family of siblings, parents or our birth siblings and parents. No time or even allowed to grieve or remember the past. Was told it was all in the past. After a near 20 yr separation reconnecting with foster families and later birth mother, step father, siblings and countless aunts and uncles for the 1st time in my life I saw where my personality and mental wiring came from. It was a shock at first and I had mixed emotions making this connection. Training that I went through for foster care made me realize I'd never grieved or was allowed to grieve. Studying psychology I realized I had trouble bonding with care givers and had attachment disorders. I grew up being told how to think and feel. I tried diligently to obey. There's been a lot of therapy over the years trying to heal from the trauma of abuse prior to adoption. The system kept letters from me from my birth mother along with gifts thinking they were doing the right thing. Promises were made that turned out to be false. Being adopted was a dirty word for me. Life felt like it began when I was adopted and life became normal then. Over time I felt like my sister and I were the lucky ones being adopted.

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    1. Let me rephrase, you trained to be a psychologist so you could find reasons to blame the world for all of your problems.

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  47. Being told I should be "Grateful" for being adopted is very unnerving to me. I know when I have been told this, it's out of someone trying to connect with me and said an innocence. This is how we are misunderstood as adoptees. The primal wound is real, the pain that SOME (not all) adoptees carry is burdensome. My experience as an adoptee has been difficult to process. To anyone telling me how I should feel about being adopted really need to understand: My experiences in my life may be different to yours, and to negate my experience and how I perceive it as invalid is not human. This doesn't wash me of my responsibility to better myself and how I feel about being adopted. This does, however, help me be honest with myself which is step 1 to feeling more grateful.

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