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
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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"
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."
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.