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"Why BIRTHMOTHER Means BREEDER" by Diane Turski
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dear birthmother letters


Adoption Letter: Response to "Real Parents" article in the L.A. Times
by Diane Turski

Hi All! I have now written and sent my letter challenging the pro-adoption bias in the LA Times article that I mentioned in my previous post this week. I am forwarding it to you only because I know that I print out some letters that others have written in response to our cause because I think that points have been made that I want to remember. So, in the interest of potential help for others, here is my letter. I will let you know if I receive a response from her.

Dear Ms. Richardson:

When I read your story titled "Adoption's Not a Secret, but Why Harp on It? Parents Ask," I noticed that you only represented one perspective on the issue -- the adoption industry and the adoptive parents' perspective (one and the same).

I can understand why your story was slanted that way as adoption is a billion dollar/year industry and they have the finances to launch a massive multimedia propaganda campaign in order to protect their own interests. Consequently, the adoption industry and adoptive parents are the most vocal about their views. Unfortunately, most members of the media and of the general public are not made aware of the other perspectives regarding infant adoption.

Please note that I am differentiating between infant adoption and the adoption of an older child. I want to explain this differentiation before I give you another perspective. Older children who are in foster care truly do need homes because of factors in their natural parents' lives that have caused them to become wards of the state and therefore in need of a stable home environment.

However, these are not the children the adoption industry and adoptive parents are addressing in their propaganda campaign. They are addressing what they feel is their "right" to adopt and parent an infant -- another woman's baby at any cost and then pretend for the rest of their lives that they are the "real" parents of the baby they adopted.

Within the 100 million Americans who have been touched by adoption are the millions of adopted persons themselves and their natural parents, including their natural extended families, who have entirely different perspectives regarding infant adoption. I was particularly disturbed by your statement that the official LA Times' position on language regarding the natural parents is to refer to them as merely "biological parents."

By not respecting the true relationship of the natural parents to their children, the LA Times is (however unwittingly) furthering the adoption industry's propaganda campaign by following such a biased policy.

The term "natural" (derived from the word "nature") is the accurate definition of this parental relationship. The terms "biological" and "birth" are terms that are deliberately used within the adoption industry in their attempt to devalue the natural parents' true relationship to their own children. The term "adoptive" is the accurate definition of people who adopt. Unlike the natural parents, adoptive parents do not become any kind of parents of that baby at all until the adoption is final. Then they become the "adoptive parents," and prefer to be simply called "parents." However, upon the finalization of adoption, the natural parents are still the natural parents. Nature does not change with adoption, only who is legally responsible for the nurturing.

Now, as a natural mother, I would like to give you my perspective on infant adoption. I became an "unwed mother" in 1968. I gave birth to my son a few months before I turned eighteen. Like millions of other natural mothers from those dark decades, we were from white middle class families. But as females, we were punished by our patriarchal society for having premarital sex. The punishment for an "illegitimate pregnancy" was a lifelong sentence of being forced to surrender our precious babies at birth to sealed adoptions. Sealed adoptions meant that our babies were stripped of their true identities and adopted by strangers whose identities were legally forced upon our babies through "amended birth certificates."

Our babies were never supposed to know who their natural mothers were or anything about their natural families. They were supposed to pretend that the adoptive parents were their only parents for the rest of their lives or risk being considered ungrateful. Remember that the babies never had a choice regarding adoption either! (This is the foundation of the propaganda campaign that is still being waged today by the adoption industry regarding who the "real" parents are.)

Furthermore, the natural mothers were never to know anything about their babies, including if they were still alive, what kind of lives they ended up living, or who adopted them. Many of these unwed mothers' middle class families sent them to "maternity homes" or "wage homes" to hide them from society until they gave birth and could return to their families "purified." In these "homes" they were treated like slaves and many of the births were without anesthetic to be sure that they had "learned their lesson."

Today it's hard to believe that these girls' parents were ignorant enough to give away their own grandchildren in order to protect their own reputations within our society, but that's the way it was! These pregnancies were to be kept secret forever because of the shame and stigma associated with them. Consequently, we were never allowed to even grieve for the primal loss of our babies. We were told to "get on with our lives" and "pretend" that we never had a baby. So, we kept our secrets and suppressed our true emotions for decades.

It is a myth that we willingly gave our babies up for adoption. We never had a choice of keeping our babies. Unlike today, an unwed mother was legally denied financial support by the state, which would have helped her to become self-supporting for herself and her baby. Consequently, without family financial support, she had no where to turn for help. (Please keep in mind that a person is only eighteen for one year and it might only take one year for her to become self-supporting or to marry. But adoption is forever! It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem of lack of resources! Unfortunately, our society has always been more interested in separating natural families in order to enrich the adoption industry than in preserving natural families for the long term good of the babies and their mothers. This is a poor commentary on our society and how it values families!)

Two years after the birth and forced surrender of my son, I married. Two years later I gave birth to a baby girl. Two years later I became a single mother raising my daughter with temporary financial help from the state and from my family which helped me become self-supporting. What was the difference? My daughter was born within wedlock. What was the end result? I missed the first thirty years of my son's life and a crime against nature was committed against us when he was separated as an infant from me, his natural mother.

Now psychologists know the psychological damage that is done to the babies when that happens. Now they know the psychological damage that the natural mothers suffered from breaking the most sacred bond of mother and child. Now they know through years of research how adopted children suffer from adoption. Now they know about post traumatic stress disorder and its relationship to this early traumatic loss. How do I know all of this? Well, I have done a lot of research into adoption since my son found me over two years ago. How did he find me if the records are sealed? Even the social workers now realize that the blood bond between babies and their natural mothers can never be broken. In the state of MN where my son was surrendered and adopted, the records are still sealed. However, the laws have changed to allow only the adopted adult or the natural mother to request a search for the other. And for a fee, the adoption agency will search, make contact and offer the opportunity for reunion. My son and I reunited and now he is getting to know all of his natural family members on both sides. As wonderful as that is for us now, it doesn't change the past and the traumatic loss that we suffered when we were separated. After being separated at birth for thirty years, upon reunion, my son said that he always felt connected to me spiritually.

His adoptive parents supported his search for me. However, they had different reasons than he had. They told me that they witnessed how much he had missed me and wondered about me ever since he was a very young boy. They were hoping that if he finally found me that he would be disappointed in me, quit missing me, and be grateful to them for adopting him. They believed this because they were told one of the biggest myths that the adoption industry tells prospective adoptive parents and the general public -- that the natural mothers weren't capable of parenting and chose to give their babies up for adoption. Once they met me and discovered the truth, the reality of my true relationship with my son became threatening to them. They can no longer pretend that the blood bond does not exist between me as his natural mother and him. They can no longer pretend that they could fully replace me in his life. It is very evident. He even looks like me. So, now perhaps you have a better understanding of why adoptive parents are so intent on their insistence that they are the only recognized "parents" of their adopted children. The adopted children, however, feel connected to both sets of parents -- the natural parents through nature and the adoptive parents through nurture.

There is an assembly bill that will be considered by the CA legislators again in January regarding opening the sealed records in CA (AB1349). Sealed adoption records have been proven to have been nothing more than an unsuccessful social experiment that has damaged millions of lives and will continue to damage millions more if they stay sealed. Unfortunately the adoption industry has told a lot of lies over the years and therefore opposes opening these records and exposing the truth. If you are interested in pursuing that story, I suggest that you look at the website www.caopen2001.org for the grassroots efforts in CA led by adopted adults and supported by natural parents as well as non-threatened adoptive parents.

It's not only the adopted persons and the natural parents who have been severely damaged by these sealed records, but also the generations to come who will never know their true family medical history or genealogical roots. It has become a civil rights issue because adopted adults are the only segment of adults in America who are prevented by state law from obtaining their original birth certificates.

Thank you for reading my perspective about infant adoption. I hope it has offered a bit more balance to your story about who are the "real" parents of adopted persons.

Please contact me if you would like any references or documentation regarding my perspective.
Sincerely, Diane Turski



Read Why Dear Birthmother Letters Must Be Outlawed


Note: The terms "unwed" mother, "birthmother", "birthmom", "birthmoms", "dear birthparent", "birthparent", "birthparents", "birthfather" "biological" make a parent appear to be less than the mother or father they are. These terms dehumanize and limit the parent's role to that of an incubator. Using the honest terms "mother", "single mother" or "natural mother" help the public to understand why real family members must not be separated to obtain babies for adoption.

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