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dear birthmother letters


Letter To a Congregation that so Heartily Supports Mother and Child Separation
By Tricia Shore, adoptee

I wrote the following letter to the pastor of the church I've been attending.  Lately, it has become "Adoption Central". 

9 March 2001

Dear Rev. Smith

I have been attending your services for almost a year now and generally, I really enjoy the church.  Something happened this past Sunday, however, that disturbed me greatly.  During the joys and concerns period, a man shared the fact that he and his wife were close to adopting a child.  The mother of the child would soon be going into labor.  Someone else talked about a couple who had gone to Texas to pick up twins that they would be adopting.  As an adoptee who was separated from my mother and the rest of my natural family for over 34 years, I can't tell you how much hearing these things disturbed me.  Even more terrible, however, was the way the congregation reacted, applauding upon hearing that each of the couples would be acquiring a child through adoption.

While I personally have nothing against either couple raising a child, my heart goes first to the children themselves.  From what I understand, both couples will be adopting children whose mother is alive and well.  While there may be much joy by the adopters in their obtaining these children, there is much sadness for the mother and child, or children in the twins' case.  Even more disturbing is the fact that both these adopter couples have followed the mothers during their pregnancy.  Having just given birth myself, I know how much a mother's feelings can change after her baby's birth.  When adopters have such close contact with the mother, the mother often feels obliged to give her baby to the adopters, whether or not she still wants to after the birth. 

The adopters and the congregation seem to be unaware of the severance of the sacred mother and child bond and they seem unconcerned about the mothers themselves.  I currently work with many mothers who've lost children to adoption and from what I've read and heard, adopters and others usually think the mother is: A) a horrible person for giving away the right to raise her child or B) a "saint" for "loving the child" enough to give away the right to raise him or her.  The truth is that giving away a child for adoption is a horrible thing to do; it is certainly no "saintly" act.  However, it is no less horrible for others to take the child away from the mother, even if the mother claims that she is "giving" the child to them.  Children are not merely possessions.  

Could it be that the congregation, knowing the adopters far better than the mothers, tends only to look at the "gain" the adopters will make?  If they understand an inkling of what those mothers will go through after going home with empty arms, they would try to help the mother and child stay together, not separate them via adoption.  I was deeply disappointed that such an inhumane thing as this would be tolerated and even encouraged by the congregation.

The only hope that I have for the congregation's understanding of the harm of adoption is the letter that was written in this week's newsletter.  Sally Mendoholsen, a mother who lost her firstborn to adoption, has attempted to start a dialogue regarding the harm of adoption on mother and child and the difficulties in the present $1.4 billion dollar adoption industry.  Knowing the joy that my son brings me each day and the difficulties I've endured as an adoptee, despite wonderful people who adopted me, I find it difficult to return to a congregation that so heartily supports mother and child separation.  I pray that Sally's letter will help people understand how unfair the present adoption system is in the United States and that your congregation will begin to help preserve families, not to tear them apart via adoption.

Thank You,

Tricia Shore

Reunited Adoptee

Mothers Exploited By Adoption
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