I remember the day I walked into the courthouse after school attempting to find out the truth about my adoption after having seen my amended birth certificate. The person identified on the birth certificate was not me and it was not my life. I felt like it was all a lie. My adoptive sisters that were not adopted had their mom and dad’s name on theirs; therefore, where was mine and where was my truth.
I was only sixteen years old in search for the truth only to be escorted out of the courthouse by security after being told I would not be able to access my original birth certificate. I was born in New York a closed adoption state. I thought to myself what birth parents or adoptive parents would allow or condone such an act of what I see as cruelty to take place that erases my identity, my history, my family, and my life. There is no such thing as “this is your new family”.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the benefits of closed adoption for birth parents and adoptive parents are as followed:
A sense of closure and being able to move on, privacy for anyone that feels threatened and vulnerable for their decision to place their child for adoption, and reduced fear of having to be confronted about their choice.
Family freedom: birth families are not involved; adoptive families are free to enjoy family time without potential complications associated with intrusion. The absence of fuzzy boundaries will be eliminated; therefore, it will decrease the risk of complications that can arise from birth parents interfering and trying to co-parent.
What about the benefits for the adoptee? The only benefit I can see is in a dire case to protect the child from abusive parents. That is it. Anything other than that is selfish on both ends. How selfish is it for a birth mom to order a closed adoption because she does not want to be found? What that birth mother does not understand is that she will always be a mother to the child she relinquishes. How can you possibly want to move on, and how can you move on knowing you placed your child for adoption?
Closed adoption is the equivalent to striking gold for many adoptive parents as they hope and pray that their birth parents will not find their child they relinquished and try to take them back home. How dare adoption agencies and associations state that closed adoption will eliminate the intrusion of a birth family? Again, this is a child’s mother. They share the same DNA. There is nothing anyone can do to change that. Loss and grief begins in the womb and the pain only increases as the child grows up and tries to find self.
Many argue and cannot seem to fathom why adoptees are so angry by closed adoptions; however, what most adoptive parents, birth parents, and professionals do not understand is what happens to the child that is adopted that cannot identify with their adoptive family or cope with loss and want answers. What happens to the child that has searched all their life spending thousands of dollars on private investigators and thousands of hours searching for their birth family and answers only to find out they were too late and have passed away. They will never have the closure that is needed. They will never have that hug from mommy that they always dreamed of whether adoptive parents knew it or not. This is what closed adoptions do. And this is only on a surface level. It gets deeper than this.
Therefore, if you have the option, commit today that you will choose open adoption. Make the decision that you will do what is right for your child first before your needs, desires, and fears. Your child will thank you in the long run for being so open and allowing them to have the choice whether or not to speak with their birth family or not. It does not mean that your child will love you less or love them more. As an adoptee, there is nothing my birth mom could ever do to change the love I have for my amazing adoptive mom. She is my hero and my angel, and I thank her for being as open as she could be after adopting from a state with sealed records. Be the world’s greatest mom to your child by doing what is right.
Choose open adoption.