Haley Kirkpatrick, Adoption: Share the Love

Support groups are supposed to be a safe place. A place where members can express themselves freely without fear of retribution, right? In my opinion, apparently, privacy and safety only apply to people that Haley Kirkpatrick, who, according to her bio at adoption.net, runs the Facebook page Adoption: Share the Love, agree with. Supposedly, recently Haley posted on facebook, and blogged, about a 16 year old mother who terminated her parental rights to an LDS family in Utah. The story was full of rainbow and glitter and stuffed fat with everything unicorns. It was my opinion, from this young mother’s words, that she had been brainwashed big time. She even claimed that she “was” adoption. That she was living proof of a successful open adoption. Even though she was less than a year into her open adoption and the baby had not yet been “sealed” to the adoptive parents. In the LDS world sealing is the belief that a baby can be sealed to his parents for all of eternity. Here and the after life, permanently. I cannot tell you how many LDS birthmoms I know who have been screwed out of their open adoptions once the sealing has occurred. I digress…

I shared the blog post and quote from this young mother and added the my truth to it. She wasn’t adoption, her son was. She cannot claim a successful open adoption less than a year in. I told her these truths as I see them. As hard and cold as it was. Someone needed to tell this girl and prepare her for any possible negative outcomes (and, from what I have seen,  the negative outcomes – adoptions closing on birthmoms – heavily outweigh the positive ones). Did she get upset? Probably. However, a member of the birthmom support group I admin reached out to her, privately, to prepare her for all outcomes and lend an ear. Supposedly this poor girl had been fed a fantasy, la la land. It is important that this delusional fairy tale she had been painted be addressed. For her own emotional sanity. She needs to know that its okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to know the truth about adoption – that there ARE negative outcomes.

Supposedly, Haley, took it upon herself to message this member of my group who reached out to this young mother. I’ve seen the messages. She told her that she was attacking the young mother and had been blocked from posting anything on her page. Supposedly, according to Haley in these messages, someone within our private, super secret, support group had taken screen shots of my member’s opinions on the matter and sent them to Haley. Instead of leaving it there, privately, Haley decided to share, on her PUBLIC facebook page, that this young mother was being “attacked.”  Haley claimed she had to change her name to protect her privacy. Privacy seems to be something really important to Haley. I am wondering why this young mother’s name was even given in the first place by Haley via her blog. Certainly a 16 year old girl is very vulnerable and may not even understand what she is consenting to by giving permission for her story to be shared via Haley.

I took it upon myself to post what really happened, in the comments section, of her facebook page. They were removed within seconds and I was blocked from commenting further. I think Haley didn’t want my truth being told.

Who is Haley? (theredsandi.wordpress dot com) Haley is a fairly new birthmom – 8 years in, again, according to her bio on adoption.net. She is also one of those birthmoms who, in my opinion, fell for the whole self-validating blog for adoption deal. This is when birthmoms are made to feel how great adoption is by being given a paid blog (sometimes unpaid) by pro-adoption groups (such as adoption.net – where Haley blogs) to toot the horn of how adoption is great. This is usually pretty easy to do. It makes the birthmom feel good, it validates that she made the right choice, even if her heart has doubts. And it gives positive media attention to the adoption industry as a whole, further procuring womb fresh newborns for adoption agencies to “sell.” (Yes, I used sell. Agencies profit from babies. In my opinion, that is selling.)

No? Well, let’s look at adoption.net. This is who Haley blogs for. Adoption.net’s executive director is Shirlee Davidson. See her LinkedIn profile here. Notice that Shirlee lists working in “corporate sales” in Gilbert, AZ as a previous employment position.  What else does Shirlee Davidson do? She used to run FamilyAds.com. What is FamilyAds.com? Per there description: FamilyAds.com represents adoption and fertility related websites and markets the advertising on these sites to Adoption professionals. We specialize in providing focused advertising options and resources to adoption attorneys, adoption agencies, adoption search firms, & other adoption professionals. Using a results-driven approach we help professionals focus on their target audience with effective ad delivery systems, tested ad designs, and custom advertising to maximize the return on their investment. Please, feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have. This was most likely Shirlee’s “corporate sales” position.

Brilliant, isn’t it? Adoption.net hired someone who specializes in advertising for people who want to adopt babies. And maybe, just maybe, Shirlee also knows that she could get those birthmoms to blog about how great adoption is. As a Marketing student let me just say, this is a brilliant marketing plan. If that is, indeed, the plan, as it seems to me.

All of these things are marketing ploys. Adoption is an industry. It is a business. It is CORPORATE SALES. Those of you who have believed that your rainbow and glitter blogs mean you are making a change in the world have had the wool pulled over your eyes. You are being used for the industry while the industry is saying how brave and selfless you were. Tooting your horn, making you feel all warm and fuzzy so you don’t have to deal with those unsure feelings. You know the ones. The ones you push down deep and don’t give the time of day. Yes, I know because I was once you.

If you would like, please go tell Haley, via her facebook page, how you feel about what she has done, emotionally, to a whole group of women who now do not feel safe expressing themselves, and their hurt, within our secret group. I warn you, though, if you post on her page you will most likely be blocked and the comments deleted. You may also end up with your facebook profile reported by her or a cease and desist letter for speaking your opinions. Apparently, this is how things operate in Adoption: Share the Love. Makes you kind of wonder, doesn’t it? Has the industry has trained her well, and she doesn’t even know it? Or is she purposely perpetuating the silence of women’s stories that she does not agree with? I have no idea.

EDIT** Even though all dissenting comments are immediately removed from Haley’s page, I have chosen to not do the same here. I am not afraid of what people have to say to me.

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71 thoughts on “Haley Kirkpatrick, Adoption: Share the Love

  1. What is wrong with you???? What is wrong with birth mothers having a positive outlook on adoption??? Haley’s situation is far from perfect, but it has changed her life. It has changed the life of many birth mothers. Who the hell are you??? You my friend are the one telling the lies!!! We stay positive and help educate on open adoption for morons like you. We are trying to change the negative statistics because there can be SUCCESSFUL adoptions!!! Not every situation is the same. So maybe you should get your facts straight before YOU start attacking those of us who choose not to live miserably like you!

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    • Adoption only means success when the adoptive parents get what they want. There is nothing successful about being forced to surrender your child because of your life circumstances or because you have been promised that your child will have a “better” life. Success is giving expectant mothers the tools, support and resources needed to successfully parent and not be eternally separated from being their child’s mother. You do work to ensure that all expectant mothers think adoption is great. Adoption is not great. It is a loss. It begins with a huge loss. It’s like saying that because you survived cancer it was a success. Never mind that you are bow infertile or have irrevocable damage from the cancer treatment. You have a successful cancer story! It is better to never get cancer at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • No one ever said its not a loss… I am sorry that you regret your decision, and hate your life. Don’t hate on those that chose life, and still see a positive side even through the pain and loss.

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      • Silly girl. I do not hate my life. And how can I regret a decision that was made for me? I regret that I was not supported in parenting and will do my best to make sure other mothers do not go through the same thing.

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    • Luhu – I would highly suggest following your own advice and getting your facts straight. One of the greatest wrongs I see in the world of adoption are the First Mothers who lie and mislead vulnerable pregnant mothers in the worst of ways.
      How can any of you justify supporting and encouraging a multi-billion dollar industry that treats vulnerable mothers as nothing more than vessels to use to satisfy the demand of paying customers and innocent newborns as products. How can you turn a blind eye to the blatant coercion and manipulation that exists in the “options” counseling vulnerable, pregnant mothers are put through? Or be supportive of the fact that our children, by the mere act of adoption, are stripped of their equal rights the rest of us take for granted?
      How is that support or anything to be positive about?
      All of you that push this dangerous message into our society are hurting innocent mothers and their children. Your message is clear to women – it’s okay to think so poorly of yourself that you believe a complete stranger is more worthy of your own child. It’s okay to be denied the help and support you deserve as long as another of “greater means” can benefit off of your struggles.
      None of you are supporting these hurting, vulnerable mothers or their innocent children. The only ones you support are yourselves in your desperate attempt to hold on to your own belief that you are some kind of hero for giving up your child. For every mother you can push to follow in your painful footsteps, you get to feel better about giving up your own child.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. >What is wrong with birth mothers having a positive outlook on adoption???

    If I ever meet a single one that isn’t on someone’s payroll or being coerced I’ll let you know.

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    • You have now met a birth mom who isn’t on someone’s payroll or coerced. No one held a gun to my head to place my child. My parents told me they would support my decision either way. But they were not financially supporting me and my unborn child. Which was fair. They didn’t get me pregnant.

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      • And that child didn’t get you pregnant either…I’m sick of hearing about birth mothers thinking they know what is best for us. We are the ones that pay a huge screwed up price for the rest of our lives because of your selfish decision.
        Adoptee

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      • My birth son doesn’t believe that he is paying any price for my choice. He is happy. He loves his parents and me. You have no right to speak for him. Not all adoptees feel the same as you. As a parent to a child, I make decisions everyday based on what is best for my son. I made the decision that I made for my birth son based on what was best for both of us. Would it have been fair for him to starve because I couldn’t afford to feed him. There were days I didn’t eat.

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      • Roanne, there were mothers who were tricked and coerced. You saying that nobody held a gun to your head may be your story but the tactics used are as if a gun was held to some mother’s heads. Please do not invalidate other mother’s stories.

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      • I was just thinking the same thing. What is your child going to think knowing his mother didn’t want him, thinking she wasn’t good enough. Talk about a self esteem booster. Flip the script and listen to adoptees who had a great childhood yet still have all the insecurities and abandonment issues adoptees of closed era had.

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      • Yes, it was when I got down of my Birthmother/Hero pedestal and started listening to adoptees that my view on how “great” adoption is changed. They tutored me and taught me the true cost adoption extracts from the very people it is supposed to help, sometimes even in the best of circumstances.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think anyone truly wants to give up their children. I think they truly want their children to have the best life possible and if they believe that adoption is best then so be it. And if they are happy their child is loved, happy, safe, and taken care of then they are simply being mothers because all mothers want to see that for their children.

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      • It wasn’t an easy decision for me to place my child. But it was the best decision for both of us. He deserved more in life than I could provide. It wasn’t my parents responsibility to support my child. It wasn’t the states responsibility to support my child. There was only myself and the birth father there when we created him. He walked away during my pregnancy. I’m proud of my choice because it was the best choice for both of us. I took responsibility for my choices. I still take responsibility.

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      • My heart breaks most for the adoptees whenever I hear a mother proclaim she is happy or proud she gave away her child. Though the adoption industry carefully keeps the message away from vulnerable, pregnant mothers, the fact is our children were worth more than giving them away to strangers for a so-called mythical “better life.”

        If you truly believe you did right by your child by forcing such a terrible loss on them, that is your choice, I suppose. To me, I had to wake up and face the hard, painful truth . . . my son deserved more than a mother who gave him away. He deserved a mother who was willing to change her entire life for him, do whatever it took to offer him what he deserved without forcing him to be the one to sacrifice by losing his own family, heritage, identity with a weak excuse that it was done to him out of love.

        Love would have been giving my own flesh and blood everything I had to give NOT giving him away to strangers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, Cassi. The only way to be sure your child has a good mother is to BE that good mother. I used to worry that something would happen to me when my children were young, because I knew no one would ever love them as much as I did. My first son was adopted by parents who had money but were unloving at best, abusive at worst. I have no doubt that my son would have been better off with me.

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  3. CEASE AND DESIST ORDER IN YOUR EMAIL. No response is necessary, however if your defamatory statements continue we will take further action.

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    • Dear Laura Love,

      As you are aware, I am sure, my opinions about people or organizations are protected by the first amendment of the United States constitution. Having read my blog, I am sure that you aware that there are no false statements presented in my blog and every fact that I have stated I also have the proof to back it up. I have changed my wording a bit to express that some things are my opinion and how I have interpreted things. I am sure that will be to your satisfaction. Surely you are aware that when one puts themselves into the public light for their opinions of such a sensitive matter that they are also publicly opening themselves up for criticism. And this is what I have done. My opinions, as much as your client may dislike them, have a right to exist. And I’m sure you know this.
      I have not received an email about a cease and desist, but I will assume I know the gist of what it would say.

      Seems someone would like me silenced.

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    • Bloggers enjoy First Amendment protection against libel suits
      KEN PAULSON
      PRESIDENT, FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER
      Friday, January 24, 2014
      A website that castigates others as “evil doers” and “thugs” has exactly the same First Amendment protection as USA TODAY and the New York Times – and that’s a good thing.
      In a landmark decision on Friday, a federal appellate court held for the first time that blogs enjoy the same First Amendment protection from libel suits as traditional news media.
      At issue were the blog posts of Crystal Cox, who accused Bend, Oregon attorney Kevin Padrick and his firm Obsidian Finance Group of misconduct in connection with his role as a trustee in a bankruptcy case. A jury awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million in damages.
      But the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit saw things differently, deciding that Cox’s allegations were matters of public interest and to sue her successfully, Padrick would have to prove her negligence – the same standard that applies when news media are sued.
      “The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist,” Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote.
      While the Supreme Court has previously observed that the lines between traditional news media and native web content have become blurred, this makes the first time that federal appellate court has essentially said that journalists and bloggers are one and the same when it comes to the First Amendment.
      But we already knew that. The purpose of the free press clause of the First Amendment was to keep an eye on people in power and maintain a check on corruption. Given the cutbacks in traditional media, bloggers have taken up the slack, serving as watchdogs with attitude. And of course, traditional reporters now blog daily, and prominent bloggers show up in traditional media.
      Yet we still see a condescending and uninformed attitude from some lawmakers and judges who seem not to understand that digital and social media deserve the same respect as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters. There is still resistance to including bloggers in a federal shield law, and as recently as 2012 a federal court judge concluding that “liking” a Facebook page was not protected free speech, a flawed decision overturned in September.
      Speech doesn’t get much more free than blogs and comments on websites, and long-established principles protecting opinion and hyperbole help to keep it that way. In this case, the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision to toss out other libel claims against Cox, despite her assertions that her targets engaged in corruption, fraud, deceit, money laundering, harassment and illegal activity. She called them immoral “evil doers” and “thugs” and alleged that a hit man had been hired to kill her. The appellate court concluded that Cox’s post were so outrageous that no one would take them seriously and these hyperbolic attacks couldn’t be the basis of a lawsuit. Apparently it also helps to name your site “obsidianfinancesucks.com.”
      The decision in a nutshell: Bloggers saying libelous things about private citizens concerning public matters can only be sued if they’re negligent, and if you do decide to attack someone online, make sure you go over the top.
      Ironically, the federal court’s decision protecting bloggers was based on Gertz v. Welch, a landmark Supreme Court case now in its 40th anniversary year. In lieu of cake and candles, we have a brand new case applying the case’s landmark decision to the most contemporary of media.
      As abusive and derisive as some bloggers may be, they’re direct descendants of the first generation of Americans, who used pamphlets and politically-driven newspapers to attack their political rivals. It was then that the nation’s founders ratified the First Amendment, paving the way for robust discussion of public issues, regardless of medium. That’s something worth celebrating.
      (Thus column was first published in USA TODAY.)
      http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/bloggers-enjoy-first-amendment-protection-against-libel-suits

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    • Send all the cease and desist orders you want, but hear me now….I WILL NEVER STOP TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT MY TRUTH AND WHAT PEOPLE LIKE HAYLEY KIRKPATRICK ARE DOING TO COERCE YOUNG VULNERABLE WOMEN OUT OF THRIR BABIES. THESE WOMEN DESERVE TO KNOW THEY ARE BEING LIED TO AND SOLD A PACK OF FLUFF AND GLITTER THAT WILL DISAPPEAR WHILE THE PAIN OF LOSING THEIR CHILD REMAINS FOREVER!!!!!!

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      • I am here to tell my story too! Shouldn’t the young Mother’s know the good AND bad side of Adoption before they commit?? Nobody will silence me anymore. I am here to tell MY experience just as you are here to tell them it is all sunshine, lollypops and rainbows. It is the hardest thing to give up our Children for the most of us. Maybe it wasn’t for you? We don’t give our children better lives, we give them different lives. If it was up to me I would NEVER give up my child to strangers. Who are they? Let them adopt real Orphans not our babies. This is a supply and demand market and Catholic charities is being paid a huge amt. for children. A white blue/green eyed baby is the most expensive. It goes down from there. My Daughters parents paid 30,000 44 years ago! I wonder what the going rate is now a days? Adopt real orphans, or children from Foster care, just please give these young girls a chance to make up their own minds without coersion. Thanks for letting me say this. Good luck in whatever you choose.

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  4. I’m 17 years post placement with an amazing open adoption. Are you going to tell me I was brain washed? I used a lawyer and chose a private adoption, no money involved. I’m pro-adoption. I love my birth son and he knows it. I love his parents. They are my family. A successful open adoption is a marriage. It is not about the parents or birth parents. It needs to be strictly about the child. We love each other unconditionally and opened our homes to each other. Nothing in life is perfect. Adoption is about love. If I had tried to raise my birth son, life would have been very hard for both of us. I was struggling. He deserved the best life he could get. He didn’t deserve to wonder where we were going to live month to month, or where our food was going to come from. His parents have raised him to be an amazing young man. I do not blog but I do share my experience to help all sides see how a successful open adoption is possible if you put the work in. Is there loss, absolutely. I grieved when I placed my son. But, I also know that I am a stronger woman because of my choice. Adoption may not be right for everyone. Adoption can be a beautiful and loving experience for all members of the triad. My birth son is well adjusted. He has all the facts. We have no secrets. I spend every chance I get with him. I don’t share my story because I feel horrible about my choice. I share my story because it is amazing. It is a wonderful part of my life. I was a struggling young woman on my own when I chose to place. I will never call his parents the adoptive parents. They are his parents! They are my adoptive family! I am blessed to be a part of their lives. Just because your experience was bad doesn’t mean you have to portray adoptions as bad. I have a nephew who is also adopted. Happens to be my birth son’s brother. The best thing for him was to be adopted. His birth parents are a threat to him. I know this for a fact. I helped start a family. We are a family!

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    • Thanks so much for sharing your story, Roxanne! I really enjoyed thing it. I think your experience shows that life is often, if not always, what we make of it. Instead of being bitter about losing your son and jealous of the family that raised him, you chose focus on the way your decision benefited all of you. This, I believe, is the true nature of motherhood — doing what is best for your child no matter what it may cost you. Your son is very fortunate to have two loving mothers!

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      • I have never really considered placing my child as a loss. I look at him as a miracle. He United two families into one. I chose to be happy and have a healthy relationship. Being miserable wouldn’t do any of us any good.

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      • That is quite a heavy burden to place on a person, don’t you think? Quite high standards for an adoptee to live with throughout their life.

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      • are you kidding me? How can you justify the walking in and out of their lives…pick them up and drop them.making them responsible for so many other paoples happines when they have no rights over their own……and I think you are somewhat kidding yourself. Your baby was just a baby…any baby would have done….

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      • My birth son knows why I chose to place. I have not placed high standards for him to live up to. I have always been supportive and proud of him. I tell him daily how proud I am. He knows he is loved by many more people and considers himself lucky to have that. How is it high standards to consider him a miracle? He is the reason we are all one family. He is proud to have me as his birth mom. We love each other and he loves his parents. He doesn’t have to chose between us. He sees us celebrate his life together. How is that not something to be proud of.

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      • I’m not kidding myself. Were they particularly looking for my child no. But, they welcomed me into their family. They call me family. All their friends and family know who I am. You won’t bring me down. We chose to be family. He is a happy and thriving young man. He excels at everything he does.

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    • You.

      Got.

      Lucky.

      Simply because you won the Adoptive Parent Lottery and they did not (from your claims) at any time reneg on their agreement with you and were actually moral, decent, and humane in their treatment towards you does not negate the fact the vast majority of “open” adoptions end in disaster.

      Thank you for sharing your story, though please remember you are in the minority when it comes to open adoptions working out, regardless of the good will, efforts or intent of the relinquishing mother.

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      • How is it luck? We worked hard to make our relationship work. Our agreement was 100% verbal. I had no legal documents to protect my rights. I am not his mother, I am his birth mother. I have always validated his mom so she was never threatened by me. There has never been a competition to get his love. I am respectful of them. Open adoption is a lot like a marriage. Everyone involved has to work hard to make it work. There is no luck involved. I have always thought of their needs as a family first. I don’t take it personally if I am not invited to a special event. It is a privelage to be included. We learned to love each other and treat each other as human beings. They are his parents I am not! He doesn’t have two mothers!

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      • Your comment insinuates that those who have adoptions closed must have done something wrong. Very presumptuous. It also insinuates that those who have had adoptions closed didn’t work hard enough at the relationship. Also presumptuous. This is why. THIS.

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      • I am not insinuating that an adoption is closed because a birth mom did something wrong. I am not saying an adoption closed because a birth mom didn’t work hard enough. What I am saying is, that it takes hard work from all members of the triad. I had to step back and couldn’t assume a role as a mother. His mother needed me to honor her role. She honored my role as a birth mom. She always speaks highly of me to everyone. We showed each other mutual love and respect. If only the birth parents work hard then, an open adoption will not work but the same is true if only the child’s parents work hard at it. I have had many birth moms tell me that they deserved to be at the christening. How dare they be cut out of such a special day. I wasn’t at his baptism, I was never invited. I am truly ok with that because they have every right to have their special occasions with who ever they so choose. I chose to include them in all of my special moments. They chose to include me on holidays and cookouts. It has to be a relationship based on treating the other side as you want them to treat you. This goes for all members. Being told I was lucky and hit the adoptive parents lottery is an unfair claim against all of us. Being told that I claim to have this amazing relationship is crap. I have lived almost half my life as a birth mom. I’m in a good place. Having others say that all of us that are happy with our choice are brain washed is unfair. I have made my life the way it is. I chose to look at the positive side and not the negative. Haley doesn’t have this perfect adoption and yet she chooses to look at the positive side. Life is what you make of it. There are more and more successful open adoptions now than there was years ago. Being told I am the minority is wrong. If all you surround yourself with is negative experiences than how will you ever know about the positive sides. How is it fair to try and tell a birth mom who chooses to be positive that everyone is telling her lies. I know Haley and also the birth momther’s story who was shared. She is deeply upset because she felt attacked for being positive. 17 years ago open adoption was letters and pictures. I had visits from day one. They spent time with me. We didn’t take anything for granted. Communication is the most important part of a successful open adoption. Don’t make assumptions about what I think. Because you clearly have no idea. I’m proud to be a birth mom! I am so much more than just a birth mom. That is only a part of my story. My life has been hard since placement. But, I chose to be positive and to continue to help support other birth moms. Birth moms should be supporting each other not tearing each other down. I have a dear friend who as a teenager got pregnant and raised her daughter with her parents help. She is my hero but she considers me her hero because I put my birth son before my needs. Again no one other than the birth father had any responsibility to help me keep my birth son. There is no good reason for the state to pay my bills so I could raise him. I truly believe in miracles and that everything happens for a reason. My birth son was meant to unite our two families.

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      • According to your logic, then I am lucky to have a healthy marriage with my husband too. There is no luck when we have all invested our love of the child. We made a choice. They chose to love me. I choose to love them. We choose to include each other in our lives.

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      • How long were you dating before you were married? How long did you know your child’s adoptive parents before terminating your rights? Yes, luck.

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      • I didn’t date my husband for very long before we married. I just knew he was the right one for me the first time I met him. I also knew my birth son’s parents were the right family the first time I met them. My grandparents were happily married for 60+ years after one date. Is that luck? My grandfather moved my grandmother to the US from Australia, away from her family and they started a family. Why can’t you be happy for those of us who have an amazing adoption story. Why does adoption have to be portrayed negatively. Can’t both sides be portrayed fairly. There is a lot of jealousy in the adoption community. Not only from adoptive mothers towards the birth mother, but also birth mothers towards the adoptive mother and birth mothers towards other birth mothers. There needs to before support all around. I will continue to support any birth mother I meet in being positive about their adoption. The world needs more positivity. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in making things happen through hard work and love.

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      • And you’re still implying that when adoptive parents close adoptions the birthmom is in some way at fault. Should I send you screen shots from adoption groups of women advising to “play along” and then you can cease contact after the adoption is final? Should I tell you the story of a birthmom who killed herself after her child’s adoptive mother wrote a book about how she convinced the birthmother to trust her just to get her baby and then closed the adoption? Its a fucking instruction manual. And a best seller. And here you still are, tooting your own horn. Who are you trying to convince? Me or you? Good for you! Your APs aren’t slime balls! Do you want a gold star? What do you not understand about the fact that APs CAN and DO close open adoptions through no fault of the birthmom. Not because they didn’t work hard enough. Yes, YOU GOT LUCKY. Now please go somewhere else for validation. You won’t get it here.

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      • Once again you claim that I am making assumptions. I’m not blaming other birth moms. But you are putting all the blame on adoptive parents and that is not fair. Not all adoptive parents are out to steal a child. A successful adoption is not just an adoptive family getting a baby. I don’t need validation from you or anyone else. I know what a beautiful and loving relationship I have. I know others who have the same. We will continue to educate. A successful open adoption is when all are included. Goodbye. Enjoy being miserable. You don’t need to make others miserable with you though. Let anyone who is happy and positive be that way. There are always more than one side to every story. You chose to only focus on the negative. I chose love!

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      • Not once did I make sweeping generalizations. You digress from the original topic. You argued that you did not get lucky. My comments were in response to that. And only that. If you had taken the time to read any other posts in this blog you would have seen where most of my blame lies. It lies within the industry.

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      • Roanne – there is a difference between “choosing” to be happy and accepting that life isn’t always happy and great and learning how to cope with that reality and making life the best you can. I lived in the make-believe world that if I was just happy I gave up my son, everything would be great. It took many years for me to realize how damaging it was for me to try and live such a way and to finally seek help so that I could accept the reality of how adoption had affected my life and my son’s life in a more healthy way.

        See, that is part of the problem that makes me cringe when First Moms who are so happy they gave up their children start encouraging vulnerable, mothers to follow in their footsteps and give up their own children as well . . . the reality you present to them might be just fine for you and your experience but it is also harmful and painful for so many others.

        I understand, more than I like admitting, how warm and fuzzy it makes First Moms feel when they share their wonderful story about being so happy and content with giving their children up and are loved and praised by so many. It reinforces that belief that you are some kind of hero for giving away your child and chases away any doubt that might have you questioning why you didn’t fight harder to keep your own child.

        But when I hear these messages sent out by certain First Moms, it breaks my heart that any woman would encourage or support another woman being taken down to a level where she is seen as unworthy of her own child and encouraged to prove her love by giving her child away to someone society has deemed as “better” than her.

        Even in your telling of your experience here, you make it very clear that you first must give up your self-worth and self-importance to believe strangers are better for your own flesh and blood and then . . . as you have stated clearly . . . if you want any chance of having the promise of open adoption kept, you must continue to destroy your own self-worth and self-importance so that you don’t upset the adoptive parents who now have full control over whether or not you are good enough to be included in your child’s life.

        Encouraging and supporting such damaging thoughts and beliefs does nothing to truly help vulnerable, pregnant mothers and their innocent children. The only ones such messages benefit are those who profit off of adoption and the adoptive parents who gain children from mothers being led to think so poorly of themselves and the worth of their own child.

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      • In no way was I ever made to feel less worthy by his mother. She has shown me nothing but love and respect. Open adoption is not co-parenting. Yes, I had to make sure she knew I understood that. As a mother to my youngest child, I take offense to anyone telling me how to raise him. Why should I be allowed to do that to the mother I chose for my birth son. For the record, I never gave away my son. I placed my birth son out of love. There is a big difference. I accepted the life I was given at that time and put his needs before my own. I broke my own heart. Why is it wrong for me to be proud of giving him such a great life? Why can’t we as birth mother’s portray the good, bad and ugly without taking away all hope and faith in the decency of human beings. I don’t believe that adoption is perfect, nothing is perfect in life. We are all humans. We are not perfect. When I started my journey, I had to have hope and faith that everything would work out for the best. I treated them with respect and trust. I was always told to treat others as you want to be treated. I am not a hero. I never claimed to be. I just want others to see the good in people too. Becoming defensive and creating walls between birth parents and adoptive parents does no good for anyone either.

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      • Roanne –

        You said, “What I am saying is, that it takes hard work from all members of the triad. ”

        What I am saying is you got lucky that you happened into a situation where the OTHER members of the triad were willing to work just as hard as you were at making sure the child came first, not the egos of the adults involved. Even those of us who carefully chose the people who adopted our children had ZERO guarantee they would keep their word and their bond. The people who adopted your child apparently did.

        Your comments DO insinuate those of us who ended up with closed adoptions, despite “validat[ing] his mom so she was never threatened by me” and never once trying to compete “to get his love” and being “respectful of them”, had them close because WE didn’t do enough of something or do it well enough. Perhaps you don’t see it that way, perhaps you really are tone deaf to the heart cries of those us us who did e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. right but still ended up with closed adoptions. Your comments imply *we* did something wrong in the process, whether it was in the initial selection of the people we “chose” or at some other point along the way in our “open” adoptions.

        The fact of the matter is your son’s ADOPTIVE MOTHER is what made the open adoption work, not you. You could have done everything exactly the right way as a mother of adoption loss. I know I did. I know hundreds (and yes, I do mean hundreds – I am not using hyperbole), of other mothers of adoption loss who did the same. But at the end of the day when she tucks your son into bed at night, the successful open adoption you enjoy comes down to this, regardless of ANYTHING that you do: “She [the adoptive mother of your son] honored my role as a birth mom. She always speaks highly of me to everyone.”

        You say it yourself over and over. “Everyone involved has to work hard to make it work.” And I will say it over and over: You got lucky that your child was raised by decent and moral people who kept their word to you, who care enough about **you** as a fellow sentient being, who were willing to do the hard work to keep you included in your child’s life, and to allow you to continue having ANY kind of contact with your son.

        Some of us did not get so lucky, Some of us relinquished our child to adoptive parents who flat out lied to us about their intentions from the beginning. Some of us relinquished our child to adoptive parents who later changed their minds about open adoption because it was too hard on THEM and not because of ANYTHING we did. Some of us, by the circumstances of our own birth, were raised in cultures in which women and children are treated like pawns to be traded about to the most righteous and worthy in society and thus, relinquished our child to adoptive parents who felt the same way about us that our religious culture did – that we were merely vessels and pawns to get “their” baby to the “right” mother.

        So yes, you got lucky.

        It’s okay to be lucky. I don’t blame you for your good fortune or think that you shouldn’t be happy in your open adoption, but please, stop blaming those of who had adoptions that went south for not being willing “to work hard to make it work.” Many of us were. Many of us tried. Many of us were denied the opportunity to even try “to work hard to make it work” because the adoptive parents went back on their word and their sacred bond to both us and our child.

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    • Lucky you, your adoptive couple didn’t shut you out after the adoption. Other birth moms, many birthmoms, are no longer “family” once they relinquish their child. Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

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    • Roanne……your birthson? omg do you mean your son……the child you gave birth to and gave away……stop spewing the industry speak and think for yourself. Think about what your son thinks and doesnt yet speak. He will not always be a child

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  5. You’re entitled to your own opinions about adoption and birth mothers, but please don’t attack these women. They each made a choice to be positive about placing their children for adoption and that’s ok. They have that right. I don’t know your story and I’m sure it’s tragic, you just don’t need to be a bully to people you don’t know – we’re adults here, right? Good luck to you, I hope that you can find peace with whatever happened to you and move on. This is the season of giving and peace, let’s throw a little bit more of that into the world and be nice to each other, ok?

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  6. Beemom, I am a birth mom 2 and a half years into a very open adoption. First of all, I agree with you that adoption is a business for a lot of agencies. I think some, perhaps most, prey on the vulnerability of infertile couples and women experiencing crisis pregnancy. Thankfully, I have received tremendous support from one agency {not the one I placed through} and I believe they practice and educate each side ethically and respectfully of EACH individual. That’s huge! They even assist mothers who decide to parent. I gathered from this article that you don’t believe adoption is a good thing in any case. Sorry if I’m putting words in your mouth but I was wondering if you feel there is a time when adoption is acceptable? Like I said, my relationship with my daughter’s family is very open. Not perfect, but no human relationship is. I really struggled with ppd for the first two years after placement. Of course my daughter was happy and thriving with her family and I visited and stayed with her family often, but I was in tremendous pain and sometimes felt sure I made the wrong decision. However, the past 7 months have been remarkable. I feel like I absolutely made the best decision as I didn’t want my daughter to spend her childhood waiting for me to get my life together. I was young and lacked maturity and means to raise a child. I haven’t been brainwashed into thinking adoption is wonderful, and I recognize this isn’t everyone’s experience, but for me it is been wonderful! I realize I still have many years and road bumps ahead but now I stand firm in that I believe I do have a success story thus far. Unfortunately there are so many unethical people practicing adoption, so I by no means identify as pro-adoption. But also because of situations like mine, I don’t identify as anti-adoption. Sorry to ramble, but all that is to say I think there *can* be scenarios of actually positive adoptions. I’m curious of your opinion on that.

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      • Awww Brooke, I am happy your adoption is a positive one! Talk to me If or when something goes not as you would like it. You’re only 2 and a half into this crazy thing we call adoption. I have been it for 44 years. You will find as your child grows she or He MAY not take to you the way you would like. Go to the adoptees page and take a few minutes to listen to the majority of them. They say they wanted to be with their Natural Family! They want to know everything about why we gave them up. They are hurt, and it will always be a love/hate relationship with SOME of them. And I don’t blame them a bit! Again, I wish you all the luck in your choice. I hope you never cry, have anger, Just a wonderful life.

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    • Hi Brooke and thanks for your comment. If you ever get a chance to read through more of my posts you will see that I am not anti-adoption. I do recognize a need for adoption in the world. I think it should always be a last resort and I think clear boundaries should always exist. I don’t think anyone who stands to gain from adoption (such as agencies – monetarily) should also be counseling moms who want to parent. It is a conflict of interest, in my opinion. There are so very many kids in the foster care system who truly do need homes and I believe in adoption for this almost every time. And yes, there are instances when domestic infant adoption is appropriate but not nearly as much as they happen now. I am very glad that your relationship with your child’s adoptive parents is good and I hope that it always stays like that. I really do. For the most part, however, as I’m sure you know, no one says, when they are a little girl, I want to grow up and be a birthmom. I want to have a baby that I am unable to keep – for whatever reason. It is a loss. A huge loss. Ultimately it is the adoptee, through no choice of their own, who has to handle that loss however they may need to. Some adoptees turn out good and others have gaping holes in their hearts. I cannot fathom the idea of ever calling adoption a success. It stems from deep rooted loss in all parties involved. This post was solely to defend the members of my support group who were not allowed to defend themselves. Their words were deleted and then they were messaged by Haley and told they could say whatever they wanted to say privately. This is not right. If someone is accused of attacking, even if they are not named, they have a right to tell their side of the story. Thank you for stopping by and I do hope you take some time to read some of my other posts to get a feel for where I stand in adoption.

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      • I will definitely take a look at your other posts! I gain so much insight reading about other adoption situations with all different varying perspectives. Thank you for making your thoughts and feelings available for others to read. We have mostly similar views about adoption but some I have a different take on. I actually think infant domestic adoption is currently a last resort and I don’t necessarily think the frequency of these adoptions is the problem. It’s the practice. I personally have strong views on how I believe adoption should be practiced. I won’t get into that here because this would turn into a novel, but I think if adoption was more careful and ethical we might subsequently see less adoptions occurring.

        Adoption is a tremendous loss for adopted children. At some point, I really tried to get into the heads of adult adoptees. In my experience, most are happy they were adopted and love their adoptive families deeply and also love and respect their birth families. They do still deal with loss but adopted individuals who are the most content are the ones who were properly supported and informed throughout the years. The people I’ve met who really struggle with adoption loss and abandonment are typically the ones who have felt torn between adoptive and birth families…which should never happen…which takes me back to all my ideas about how adoption should be practiced and everyone should be properly educated and prepared going into adoption. I know my daughter may experience loss because I didn’t raise her. But she will grow up knowing my circumstances surrounding my pregnancy and why I made the decision I did for her. I don’t know how she will feel about her adoption (though I have a pretty good idea) but I can hope that she will have the maturity and insight to know I chose what I did in her best interest and hers only. Also I don’t mean to call my adoption situation a success because adoptive parents got the child and agency got the money. I was bringing a child into a pretty terrible situation but made a decision for her so she could have more. In doing so, I have still been able to maintain a healthy and positive relationship with her parents and more importantly, I still get to be an active part of her life. That is why I call my adoption situation a success.

        As for your original intentions of this post, I can’t speak for Haley but I know she does her best to validate everyone’s experiences, good or bad, as long as they share them in a respectful manner. If there was attacking, I understand why they were deleted. I would be devastated and, quite frankly, angry if people told me my adoption was just a fantasy. What I do appreciate is your words of hopefulness that my relationship with my daughter’s parents will remain the way it is even though you may have had a different experience (which I will learn more about as I browse your blog). That is what I think adoption community is all about–recognizing other’s experiences as real and valid no matter how good or bad they may be.

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      • And believe me, Alot of doors do slam shut as many adoptive parents get tired of the Natural mothers and THEIR family. A lot of amoms are very jealous and feel threatened. Once those papers are signed there is no turning back. AND everything they promised you is NOT binding. They can just leave with your baby and there is nothing you can do! Just one more thing, when the child has the birth certificate YOUR name is NOT listed as giving Birth to your Child. They are!! It is like you never had a baby….SO SAD It’s all secrets and lies and I can’t wait till truth be told. Thank you for hearing me out.

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      • I’m so sorry if this happened to you. I honestly couldn’t imagine. I don’t think it’s a matter of when. There are those situations that don’t get closed. Fortunately, I think mine is one. My daughter’s mom and I are good friends. We have a mutual understanding that if either of us disappear on the other we’ll hunt the other party down! That’s how relationships should be. I don’t discredit people’s less than ideal situations. I sympathize with you and advocate for adoption reform because of these unfair situations. But please don’t discredit my experience either.

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  7. Seems everyone wants to believe her experience should be the default, the standard by which all others should be measured. The impossibility of that is perfectly clear. When I read this discussion with its pros and cons, I am struck by two things. The first is, happiness should be able to take care of itself without mounting arguments to prove how fabulous it is. Methinks the lady doth protest too much. Why so defensive, happy “birth” mothers? The second is that the voices raised against relinquishment are not self-serving. The voices of mothers-of-loss are raised as a warning to others to spare them pain. If you are happy, why crow about it? Just go on about your business. But those of us who know what can happen, because it happened to us, simply want to give the whole story, not just the rainbows and unicorns version. I lived with the secret of my adoption loss for 44 years. I married, had a family, even adopted a child myself, but I was never happy that I’d relinquished my first son. Of course, I thought it was the right thing to do at the time, the only thing, but as I got older I realized that the emptiness that existed where my son should have been was getting deeper and harder to ignore. Time did not help ease the pain. So when my son was 44 years old, I searched for and found him. But that’s the beginning of a whole new story. You do not pick up where you left off with a child you haven’t seen since he was three weeks old. Adoption is incredibly complicated, and no sixteen-year old should be led to believe it’s anything else. I did not fully grieve for the lost years with my son until we’d been in reunion for about a year. That’s when the dam finally burst. I can’t say with certainty that every “birth” mother’s self-protective dam will break down, but the chances are very good that it will. If you plan to say goodbye to your baby, and even with open adoption you are giving up your motherhood, at least know what may well lie ahead for you. And that’s not even taking into consideration how your child will feel, knowing his own mother let him go. Intellectually, your child may eventually understand, but that abandoned child will always be part of who he is.

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    • I just saw the link to your blog and am looking forward to reading about your journey as a birth mother AND adoptive mother. What perspective! Here I just wanted to answer your question about why “happy birth mothers” may be defensive. I’m not sure if my previous comments influenced this question, but either way I think I can offer some insight. First of all, I know adoption is not all good, all the time. It certainly was more harmful 44 years ago, and even through the evolution of adoption, we still have a looong way to go. With that said, I do identify as a “happy” birth mother. I am one of the lucky ones. I realize I gave up my motherhood to my daughter. Without getting into my reasoning, I also know it was best. Of course, I’ve dealt with pain and heartbreak and I think my self-protective dam (great metaphor, by the way) broke about the time her adoption was finalized. I struggled for quite a while after that, but with a lot of emotional work, I now feel grounded and even happy with my decision. The reason I crow about my situation is because like any mother I enjoy talking about my child. Also my story needs to be heard just as much as anyone else’s. While adoption isn’t all good, it isn’t all bad either. I hope that people who have had poorer situations share their stories too. I hope that women considering adoption will be as educated as possible when making this life altering decision. I hope they know many women regret it and are heart broken for the rest of their lives. I also want them to know it’s possible to have a positive experience as well. I get defensive when people invalidate my experience by telling me to “just wait until it turns sour” or “come back in so many years when the door slams shut.” Why not let me be happy with how things are currently? And if others truly believe my daughter’s parents would close our adoption, comments like that are not supportive or beneficial to anybody. I am not telling people to have a positive outlook or diminishing the hurt adoption has caused so many mothers. I think we all have an equal responsibility in making sure our stories get heard in a manner that is respectful of everybody’s experiences.

      Your last sentence really resonates with me. I see your point, but I actually refuse to look at adoption as abandonment. My mother abandoned me when she chose methamphetamine and heroine over raising her four children. Never visited, never called, never sent birthday cards. Even though I relinquished my rights, I still make every effort for her to know I care and am still always here for her. I think she will understand intellectually as she gets older. And I do know she will experience loss, but not abandonment. Thankfully, she has two parents who invest in her, support her, and will see that she is emotionally taken care of. I made sure of that when I chose them for her. She also has her birth mother too! With all the healthy and stable adults in her life, I think the benefits of being adopted will outweigh the cost.

      Please keep sharing your story and perspective. It is so important. So important! I’m glad to have found this blog and now yours.

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  8. So here it is, and I will have the final say, seeing as this is my place to express my feelings. Just because there are “good” adoptions story does not mean that those who haven’t had good ones should be silenced. It doesn’t mean that expectant mothers should not be totally aware, as Brooke so wisely stated above, that there are outcomes that are not good. I do not have a “negative” outcome, so far, with my adoption experience. Yes, there have been bumps and things are DEFINITELY not what I was told they would. But, I realize it could be worse. Does this take away from the fact that adoption is a money making industry? No. Does this take away from the trauma that may possibly be inflicted? Absolutely not. Does this make the “positive” stories any better than the “negative?” Of course not. What is so very important is that voices are being silenced that do not fit in with certain people’s take on adoption. They were being silenced on Haley’s facebook page and they were being silenced within my secret support group because of the actions of some people who did not agree that these feelings should be had. This is WRONG. I have not silenced ANYONE here, like Haley has done. Adoption is an emotional topic. If you aren’t prepared for this, if you aren’t prepared for the emotional responses that come with it, do not hold a public forum for it. Haley only wants the “positive” stories told. When you only see one side of things you are swayed to believe that the negative stories don’t exist or are rare. This perspective about adoption is what has been the norm and it needs to change. Everyone has the right to make an informed decision and everyone has the right to know there IS help so they do not have to relinquish. Period. So many generalizations running rampant. I am receiving horribly vile comments on posts unrelated to this one because I challenge people to think outside the box. To set the record straight, I DO love my daughter’s parents. They are her parents. But so am I. We serve different roles and I do not always agree with the choices they make, as I am sure they may not agree with some on mine. They had no evil plot to steal my baby and didn’t coerce me or threaten me with a gun to my head. While the visits I was promised were ended, at a young age, they have always kept me in the loop. Even when what needed to be said wasn’t pretty. And for that I am grateful. The industry, however, did such a great job of subliminally convincing me that my child would be better off without me as her mother. I won’t go into details but it still happens today. In fact, it is the standard. I was never encouraged to actually tell my father I was pregnant to see if I had other options for support. I was told that it was best NOT to tell him because it would make it harder to make “my own” decision if I had others trying to “sway” me into keeping my baby. How horrid is that? Regardless of my love for my daughter’s parents,it doesn’t take away from the fact that I had no idea what I was getting into and really didn’t until a few years ago. When my other four children started showing signs of trauma from not having their sister in their lives. When my own life came to a breaking point where I had the choice to keep pretending everything was great or allow myself to say, “Okay, this is what happened. It sucks. It wasn’t right. But it happened. Now how can you make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else?” I am not angry or bitter as some have claimed. I’m on a mission. And my mission will promote REAL change.

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    • I was not the mother to my raised children that I could have been had I not been carrying the secret burden of my first, lost son. My children were raised by a depressed mother, and I didn’t even know I was depressed for many years. It’s all so much clearer now in hindsight. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have done things very differently. That is why I want young women who find themselves pregnant at an inopportune time to know the full story of what’s involved. When I finally told my raised children that they had a brother (they were all grown, and my daughter a mother herself), my daughter said, “Well, that explains a lot of things.” They knew something was amiss, even if they didn’t know what it was. Everyone is affected, including subsequent children. Once you give birth to a child, that child is part of you forever. Babies and their mothers belong together. Anything else is a tragedy, dress it up however you will.

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      • Exactly!! This is so similar to me as well. I didn’t even know it. I put on a facade so good that I even believed it.

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    • it took me awhile to read through every post here. i wanted to make sure that anything i had to say wasn’t a repeat of what was said before. There are several things i want to comment on, and i hope i remember every single one of them while i write.
      First, i have been a member of several groups for birthmothers now, and i have watched, time and time again, how views that aren’t positive in some way are erased and the comments that are only positive are kept. Now, I don’t believe this to be right. I’ll tell you why.
      When I was pregnant unexpectedly, open adoption was brought to me as a win/win scenerio. I was encouraged to look into open adoption “just in case” to explore all my options. Back then, open adoption was fairly new so there wasn’t much on it. What i did find, and ONLY find, talked of love, and close relationships, and becoming part of an extended family. Pages of birthmothers saying how great adoption was, and how they had a close relationship with their childs family. Pages of adoptive mothers and fathers saying how much they loved their babies birthmother and how they were so grateful and blessed to have them as a part of their lives. What i DIDN’T find is any cons. The “what if’s”, the “this could happen to you” scenario. The admittance of the UNQUENCHABLE PAIN I would be in. I was grossly unprepared for what it would be like.
      There is much more to my story, but this piece of it, speaks to my situation, and i quote:
      ” Someone needed to tell this girl and prepare her for any possible negative outcomes (and, from what I have seen, the negative outcomes – adoptions closing on birthmoms – heavily outweigh the positive ones). Did she get upset? Probably. However, a member of the birthmom support group I admin reached out to her, privately, to prepare her for all outcomes and lend an ear.”
      If I had only seen SOMETHING like this to cause me pause. SOMETHING to enable me to see the other side. I would have given anything, at that time in my life, to speak to another real live birthmother about the cons. All I got was webpages of happy birthmoms. When i got farther into my pregnancy and met some real live birthmoms, they also told me that, ya, its hard at first, but its such a blessing! to give such a wonderful GIFT to make a family. What i was also not told, was how adoption would traumatize me, not just at first, but forever.
      Years later, i found a study done on adoption trauma, most of those articles written before i placed my child, and I was never told about them! You can read it here :
      http://www.originscanada.org/adoption-trauma-2/adoption-trauma-studies/
      I was blown away. For the first time, I realized, I wasn’t crazy. That I wasn’t bad for feeling this way. That I wasn’t alone. Because, you see, after I placed my child, I would tell anyone who would listen, how great adoption was. I would tell them I was a proud birth mom. That my childs birth was a miracle for someone else. Years later, I realize I had an unconscious ulterior motive. If I could convince someone else how great I was for giving my baby to virtual strangers, maybe I could convince myself. I even went as far as to participate in workshops for prospective adoptive parents, so that I could tell them how happy I was, and that having an open adoption was best for everyone involved! I came across as happy on the outside but i was miserable on the inside, and it was made worse because any time i tried to express my sadness I was shut down. This is what Haleys page is doing, just that. shutting down people who express their grief and pain, and erasing their posts, so that only the positive remains. THIS IS WRONG.
      2) Possible negative outcomes…another thing i wasn’t prepared for, or told about. You see, I was running around being super birthmom. I was happy, and I even started saying that I didn’t even feel like he was my child. That he was never meant for me. This distancing language sickens me now. But I did this for three years. After three years, the fog started to lift. I started to really acknowledge the lies I had been told, and not stuff them anymore. I love reading about birthmoms who claim they have “successful” open adoptions. Especially when the children are under the age of five. I see myself in them. I was once that proud. I would hear of other birthmoms whose visits were cut back, or who stopped getting pictures, and I would think, that will never be me. But it was to come.
      “Supposedly this poor girl had been fed a fantasy, la la land. It is important that this delusional fairy tale she had been painted be addressed. For her own emotional sanity. She needs to know that its okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to know the truth about adoption – that there ARE negative outcomes.”
      Yet, as time went on, visits were cancelled for no reason, with messages saying that “we’ll get back to you on a make up visit” that never happened. My progress notes, even though my contract said until my child was 18, stopped when my child was three. My contract said that i could give my child gifts whenever i wanted, but then i was sent a letter saying only on birthdays and christmas and that my child couldn’t know they were from me. I was deeply hurt, but i plugged on thinking, well at least I have the visits. When I was pregnant for the second time ten years later, his adoptive mom started to distance herself from me. She would make excuses of why she couldn’t be there for the visits, but they were flimsy. But I tried to stay positive. when my baby was a few months old, she sat me down and said “were closing the adoption, you’ve had another baby now, so you don’t need to see him anymore” just like that. She called a cab, and asked me to leave. I was so shocked. I couldn’t make sense of what just happened. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my child. I don’t know if hes aware of why I left. If he thinks it was my choice.
      Possible negative outcomes…ten years of building a relationship with my child, gone. just like that. I was devastated. Gone, because, I had another child. That second loss is something almost ten years later, i have not “bounced” back from. This summer I read an article about Cindy Jordan, who committed suicide after the open adoption she was promised closed, and her daughters adoptive mother Susan Burns wrote a book called “fast track adoption” a step by step guide for adoptive parents to “win over” expectant moms. When I read her story, I felt her pain, for after my open adoption was closed, I too felt suicidal. Even ten years in, yes, with no real warning, it can happen to you. Also, because openness agreements are not legally binding where i live, there was nothing i could do. If It was legally enforceable i couldn’t have afforded the legal fees to fight it.
      So yes, I have issues with someone being called a bully, because they tried to be supportive. reassure that it was okay to feel sad. That its okay to be angry and want to scream. Birthmotherhood HURTS. Adoption starts with GRIEF and LOSS, and this is where a birthmother needs to start her journey. when the issues are addressed as they arise they don’t have time to fester. But swallowing a bunch of happy pills and being super birthmom is a trainwreck waiting to happen. being open about the pain is the only path to healing. stuffing it can lead to ptsd, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and cancer. As well as a host of other problems, because birthmoms who stuff their feelings need help doing it. drugs and/or alcohol are the usual suspects. I stand up for knowing both the pros and cons. I stand up for truth.
      Birthmoms need to be there for one another. So you claim your happy. Ok. That’s sadistic. To any birthmom out there, who claims to be happy, but on the inside you know your not? Your not bad. Your not wrong, and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I know it hurts. Im here for you, come find me. I’m not a bitter birthmom. I’m a wizened birthmom with decades of experience.

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  9. I am not the same mother I would have been had I kept the child I gave up. Am I a bad mom? No. Just a different kind. I’m a helicopter mom now. Maybe I wouldn’t have been had my firstborn not been raised by others. I have a happy adoption story. My sons pare ts are great people. I adore them. Hell I named my daughter after his mother. Does that make it OK that Gladney convinced me I wasn’t good enough? or that he tthinks ks he isn’t my son? Or that he doesn’t know his siblings? No none of that is OK. It just is. That’s what adoption is to me. The reality, my life isn’t what god intended due to societal pressures and a shitty agency. I don’t wallow in it. It hasn’t ruined me. But it has changed me. Not for the better, not for the worse. Just different.

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