I wrote this as a reply to a reader’s comment on my post titled “RI Adoptees over 25 Years Allowed Original Birth Certificates.”
A women named Lisa Marie posted a thoughtful comment that starts, “How sad for all those birth parents who chose adoption over abortion expecting to be able to have privacy. Since the 1970′s birth parents could have chosen an open adoption if they didn’t care about privacy. The majority didn’t.”
First of all thank you for sharing your opinions here. You make some good points. However, all of them assume that a birth parent’s rights are more important than those of the adoptee. Adoptees did not sign away their rights. Identity is a human right. I do not think that adoptees should come strolling into birthparents lives, without some other communication first, letters, phone calls, perhaps even an intermediary. When I searched, I did not even tell my Uncle, who I found first, that I was his sister’s child. I was careful, gentle, and protective. Her’s was not my secret to tell.
However, it is my human right to know that I inherited my nose from my grandfather, my love of writing from my grandmother, my outspokenness from my birthfather. It is my human right to know that “sugar” issues run in the family. It was my human right, and innate pleasure, to stand on the foundation of the first Richard’s house built in Newfoundland, Canada, which was built by my great, great, great, great grandfather. It is my human right to look into the eyes of the woman who bore me, and ask, ‘Why?”
Surely, no one who gives birth, and chooses to give away the child, for whatever reason, can believe that their rights are more important than those of the child they gave up. The very least they can do, is to share photos, medical information, personal family history.
The very least they can do is complete the identity they started.
Not all adoptees search, and not all birthmothers cower in fear. We are all unique beings, and adoptees deserve to know how they became the people that they are.
Adoption is not a magic. Babies do not disappear into a void, never to be heard from again. We are real living, breathing people who deserve the same history, and wholeness of being that every non-adoptee takes for granted.