Sign the petition I’ve created to demonstrate your support:
Allow adult adoptees to be repatriated into THEIR OWN families
Responsible department: Ministry of Justice
Adoption, as it currently stands, is irrevocable. However, if adoption equates to child protection (as the Gmt seems to think), then adopted adults should be able to annul, revoke, divorce, or otherwise abort THEIR OWN adoptions, which would naturally result in repatriation of the adult back into THEIR OWN family.
Adults can *choose* to get married, and then *choose* to get divorced. Adults can *choose* to live as their binary opposite gender and get a new “birth certificate” showing this – yet adoptees are forced to remain legally grafted to a family of strangers.
If adoption is truly about child protection, then at 18, the adoption should be able to be terminated by the adoptee if the adoptee so chooses.
I’ve started writing this post because while I was reading Vicki-lynn’s post about Why the Unknown will Never be Enough for Adoptees, I felt a massive lurch within my body as the impact of her first couple of paragraphs hit me. Yes, it was physical, and yes, it was jolting, and yes, that’s why I’m here typing this now, based on the theory that if I start typing about it now, I might actually get the post out that I’d want to be getting out later. At least now it’s started I don’t have to write any introductions when I can think of how to word what I’m trying to describe.
Having gone back to the post to look again, it was very definitely the second paragraph that produced the lurch, although I’m not sure whether it would’ve worked the same without the first paragraph being there to set the tone. That being said, this is the second paragraph, because it’s this that gave me the lurch.
To finally touch the ground of your ancestors is healing. To stand before the graves of your great grandparents completes the circle of life. To learn fly fishing from your grandfather whose prominent nose you inherited, and look into the laughing brown eyes of your grandmother is a priceless joy.
Being a Brit. born and bred, I generally have less mileage to cover to do things like touching the ground of my ancestors, however, I am pretty much slap bang in the middle of the two directions. Maternal line is Portsmouth/round these parts (I think, could be Plymouth; definitely one of them two naval places, no pun intended), and paternal line’s Scot. As with all the rest of my life, I’m balancing precariously in the middle, being dragged in both directions.
If I want to do any visiting of maternal side direction, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing it on my own – at least the research part, because while the siblings ‘know’ the history, I’m thinking they’re likely to be far more like the cousin mentioned in Vicki-lynn’s post. It’s not like I can ask me mom, either now, since I walked out on her on Mothers’ Day. As for the rest of the family, I’ve met a couple of cousins, ‘n’ that’s it. One cousin I ‘met’ by virtue of being in the same year at college with her, and it wasn’t until long after I’d partied ’cause the loud-mouth had left that I found out I was related to her. Then again, finding out she was one of us does also explain why I didn’t like her, ’cause there’s not many of us ‘cept me bruv ‘n’ nephews that do seem likeable on the maternal side (which isn’t to say I don’t love my sis very very much, ’cause I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her too – just ask Daughter :p). The other cousin I met when he lived in the place bro moved into after ’cause it’s only up the road from here, however, haven’t seen him in a couple of years since he skanked off to live with his missus ‘n’ new baby. He did say we’d still see him, but we haven’t. I’ve got three maternal aunts, none of which’ve shown any interest in wanting to get to know me.
Paternal side I can probably get far more information easily simply by asking family on FB – which isn’t to imply that many of them seem all that bothered by my existence either though. My sis has declared that I’ll never be one of them to her, which while yes, it does bite, amuses me since her efforts at pretending I don’t exist are obviously not going very well if she’s been posting about me on Twitter. My bro did, eventually, deign to meet me last year, after much nagging, but I’m guessing from his lack of any real contact that I obviously didn’t make much of a very good impression on him (which no doubt our sis will be delighted to read :p). I did, as with the post this one’s based on, get to meet my paternal nan, and would very much like to meet her again too. This is proving difficult though, despite the fact that she only lives around the corner from dad, who doesn’t even live ten miles away. If I’m gonna go to see my nan, then I’m going to need my dad there because unlike all the rest of her grandkids who grew up knowing her, I can’t understand a damn word she says ’cause I have trouble understanding the Scot accent she has. It’s sad really ’cause I’m losing out on all this time when I could be going to get to know her, but I need to go with my dad, and even just turning up and finding him in is a challenge, let alone getting him up ‘n’ out again so’s we can go around the corner. I’ve also met one of my paternal cousins, who only lives five minutes away in the car. Been round there a few times, however, it kind of fell off when I wasn’t sure if I was really welcome there still or not. Yes, I can ask, I know, but that’d involve putting myself in a place to be outrightly rejected, as well as insisting that she say something either positive or negative, when she may be quite happy that I haven’t said anything about not going around there. It is saddening however, when my bro drives half way down the country to visit them, yet doesn’t even text a hello. Yes, I know I could say something about that too, but would you really wanna find out if people’re not interested in you when you’re aching to be around them and learn them and get to know them because you’ve already missed out on knowing them for so long?
I know I’m gobby on most things, but this post’s the closest I’ve got to saying anything about any of this other than in snippets with people close enough to talk about such stuff with. I’ve had to say something somewhere though because I know damn well it’s been eating me up, no matter how much I try to just ignore it and carry on, but it’s like I said in a previous post, Adoption Blogging – It gets complicated.
Actually, from today it could be getting even more complicated too, due on whole to the continued influence of MaggieT. Had she not died today, I wouldn’t be hivering hovering batting around FB not knowing quite which way to turn. Y’see, adad worked for the National Coal Board back before it (the NCB) got shredded by MrsT, and so I’ve spent over quarter of a decade intensely disliking the Lady because that’s the way the crumbs fell. However, dearest darling daddy dear (bdad, iow) was a para, and so was on the other side getting all the sweetness and light from her, and so had I grown up knowing him (either instead or as well) then my whole approach to day could have already been decided and settled, but nope, instead I’m torn. I’m already torn by those friends declaring I should be unfriending them if I’m in either of the above camps (like/hate her), but also because I have no idea which way to turn because I don’t want to be alienating anyone, let alone my dad whom I love very very much (there was a post a while back on one of the adoptee blogs about an adoptee who’s a quivering wreck daddy’s girl at heart, but I haven’t been able to find it again since I read it, but if you know the one I’m on about, that’s the same as I am). Thus far, I’ve played it what I HOPE is at least relatively safe by not particularly openly celebrating, but I have linkied a few ding-dongs in a single post.
See, how complicated adoption makes absolutely everything?!
Of course, compounding absolutely everything else that’s already been delved into is my overly maniacal mind, which likes to tease me with snippets, suggesting things like that not only is pbro ‘n’ cousin apathetic towards me now they’ve met me (which I *think* is supposed to be better than outright rejection, but at least with outright rejection, I know it’s there and I’m not left wondering and pondering like I’ve spent so much of my life doing up until reunion anyway), but that they actively dislike me, and instead of just (for example) unfriending me on FB (with any ensuing drama that such things may create within the family (not that I expect it would, I’m the outsider, after all, not them <sigh>)), they’ve decided to instead be as visibly happy to be around each other (five minutes down the road from me, despite pbro living hundredish miles away) in an effort to rub in just how excluded I am. This actually cropped up as a sort of real issue last year, too. I turned 40 on my birthday last year, and it would’ve been nice had someone said happy birthday to me – especially if it’d been my dad – but no-one did. To be honest, I wasn’t too knocked by it because (a) I don’t do FB happy birthdays or anything like that ’cause I’m crap at dates and would hate to miss someone important’s birthday, so it’s easier to do no-ones; and (b) they hadn’t even known about my existence for a whole three years by then and so can mostly be forgiven for not knowing when my birthday is, especially since I haven’t got it set to show on FB so they don’t even get a reminder from there. It would’ve been nice to at least hear from my dad though, but no. Of course, when one of my (not-as-yet-mentioned-in-this-blog) other cousins had her 40th birthday a few days later, there were tons upon tons of celebratory congratulations from all over the family. At that point, I finally lost it, and decided I’d GOT TO say SOMETHING to my dad. It took a while, not least because he’s not always in when I call over (’cause I do sporadic visits since I’m over that way a fair bit anyway), but eventually we were in the same room at the same time and having previously broached the subject in a PM on FB to him, we got to talk, and he got to tell me how daft I was being and that I’m not excluded. But still there’s all these family functions that I don’t get invited to. But I’m not excluded. And so with the crap my head churns out, today’s post from my cousin sharing a pic of my dad stood cheerfully alongside Thatcher before I’d worked out how to phrase anything similar, and obviously shared by both my bro ‘n’ dad, has again kicked my head into over-drive because it’s already being torn ’cause of growing up in the other extreme.
<takes a deep breath>
I’d write more, I think, if I carried on, but I think I should probably stop now ’cause at least this post works as just the one topic; adoption reunion, and how it carries on the tearing us apart that adoption did to us in the first place.
I first started this post in reaction to 6th March’s Daily
Wail Mail article, social workers arrived at hospital to take woman’s baby while she was in labour.
A mother is demanding an apology from social services after her baby was taken away from her as soon as she was born.
Kelly McWilliams, 36, claims that social workers arrived at her bedside while she was in labour and took her newborn daughter Victoria into foster care.
I’d already posted about this subject before (AMBER ALERT! Missing child snatched!) and wanted to look at it in more depth. However, due to my entire crapness at getting things done, the post has been sat here as one of my many unfinished drafts.
Friday just gone (5th April), there appeared yet another post about a Social Services (Staffordshire, again) snatching (literally) a newborn from its mom. This time, it’s an extremely harrowing video showing the newborn being snatched from its screaming mom’s arms.
Sadly, this is the same family as appeared in my previous reblog where the SWers were waiting in the delivery suite for the mom to give birth so they could take the baby away from its mom straight away.
While I, like all the other adoptee advocates I know who’re campaigning for changes to the Institution of Adoption, realise there are people out there who’re harmful to the wellbeing of the children they create, I am absolutely convinced that unless a newborn is in immediate physical danger from its mom, then it should not be removed at birth.
Heck, it’s even advised that puppies are kept with their moms for up to the first eight weeks, or else there is a greater risk of separation anxiety, yet Social Services (and especially Staffordshire) – despite all the evidence of the need of babies for THEIR OWN mothers – in their accumulated ‘wisdom’ are happy to wade in and disrupt those very important early weeks.
SWers cite “concerns” for the baby’s welfare for actions such as this, yet unless those “concerns” are that the mom will be an IMMEDIATE threat to the baby’s physical safety, these SWers are acting contrary to scietific research that demonstrates why newborns should NOT be removed from their mother.
I’d already done the following research when I first started this post, and so because I’ve got to go out, and because I want to get this done in time for inclusion in this week’s #WASO hosted by The Boy’s Behaviour, I’m leaving you with the list of posts that I’d already filtered through that relate to those important first weeks in which yes, even people NEED THEIR OWN moms UNLESS that mom is going to be an immediate physical danger to the kid.
Ms McWilliams, from Scawthorpe, Doncaster, says that she was separated from her baby for three months and allowed to see her for only six hours a week under close supervision until a court ordered that Victoria should be returned to her mother.
The Mother-Baby Bond @ Scientific American
Pre and Peri-Natal Psychology: An Introduction Part 1 by Thomas R. Verny MD, D.Psych, DHL, FRCPC
Found some videos by Dr. Thomas Verny on prenatal and perinatal psychology. I found them very interesting. It’s too bad this stuff isn’t common knowledge.
UPDATE: 12 April
There’s been another video released; Father Of Snatched Baby Speaks Out
Paul Roberts and his wife Asha had their one day old baby taken last week by Staffordshire Social Services personnel assisted by the police. He spoke to Brian Gerrish about the circumstances on today’s UK Column Live.
ARTICLE | APRIL 11, 2013 – 5:23PM
And no, I don’t put the apostrophe in the wrong place, for those who’re wondering.
And now the post.
Yes, I walked out on her. (Shuddup with the psychobabble babble, I’m sitting amused at the predictability of it all, in a wry way; it’s what comes of being Lokean. :p). I walked out of the room from my mom having gone up to see her to say “happy mothers’ day”. The reason I walked out of the room and said no more was because she’d just said she’d told her husband (none of ours’ dads) not to tell any of us (older msis, me, younger mbro) if anything happened to her. So I got up, said “no more”, and walked out. And yes, throughout it all I knew I was living the stereotypical life, serving as the textbook example of why we shouldn’t reunite with our bfams, so I want to make sure NO-ONE goes away from this post thinking that, because IT’S NOT TRUE!
We absolutely *should* meet with our families, no matter how scary they are, because in them we find us. Until we see someone with our own eyes, we’re *never* basing that judgement on our own knowledge. We *need* to know our own, on a cellular level, before we can truly relax into the world. It’s why genealogical reflection is so important, no matter how much some people seem to want to deny its importance. It makes you who you are.
I was 3 years, 6 months, 3 days (thank you God for http://www.timeanddate.com/ ;)) into reunion when *I* called it off. But I had to have the chance to find out and do that for myself. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life living with unconfirmable tales. To expect anyone to do that is cruelty beyond belief, yet that’s what’s being forced through at an increasingly faster rate by our delightful government.
Yet they don’t want to give us support through any of this. Instead they perpetuate the myth that never learning who we are is the smartest idea an adoptee can have, because look at how horrible it always goes.
But it’s not.
Even when it’s as horrific a tale as Elaine’s (I’ll link if she says I can, but many readers will know who I’m on about anyway), it’s still far far more psychologically healthy if we can learn this for ourselves.
The pain living with not knowing is far worse. And if things get out of hand, we just have to learn to step back to protect ourselves. Elaine’s one of those who taught me how (thank you! :}).
But yeah, regardless that it’s over in such a (relatively) short space of time (considering I’d been 37 almost a month before I contacted her on FB), I don’t regret doing it because it helped me learn who me was.
Doesn’t matter whether I like her or not, at least I know now who she is.
 Lol. Adoption can’t not have influenced my life because I have to be able to grow up conceiving plurals of everything. It’s no wonder adoptees get lost just trying to figure out how to be in the world. And yes, I know non-adoptees go through similar things too, but non-adoptees are understood to be traumatised by it, while adoptees are expected to show our gratitude for it.
Edited to add:
This post has been included on week 8 of …
It takes time and luck to get things moving in the right direction, but today I had my first ever real tangible “success”.
— 7rin (@7rin) March 8, 2013
One of the things I know helps adoptees is having other adoptees to talk to. It’s part of the reason I make so many “places” for us, or to direct us towards. When I saw Amanda’s post, I couldn’t not make the suggestion.
That the following Twit was posted very shortly after makes all the fighting I’ve done worthwile, because one of the hardest things about getting support groups together IRL is having an appropriate physical location to do it in, but I’ve managed to help make it available to at least some of us.
— Amanda Boorman (@BoormanAmanda) March 8, 2013
This IS a success.
Of course, now it’s up to the adoptees to take up the offer and get themselves there.
Still thrilled I managed to help make it happen though. Am incredibly chuffed. :D
But still we need more offers like this. More awareness of adoptees, and not just of adoption.
At a time when the internet seems to be filled with the news of increased contact for birth parents, this latest revelation not only sits uncomfortably with the current status quo (that of widening a child's connection to their genetic legacy) but also seems, for now, highly punitive and reminiscent of the strange double standards we see too often in the family justice system.