The following is the
rebuttal that I wrote to the
article by Patricia Johnston about "Respectful Adoption Language"
printed in Adoptive Families magazine. I wonder if they
will print my rebuttal - somehow I doubt it! - Diane
Marietta Spencer's "Respectful Adoption Language" is merely another
game she devised to play within the adoption business. I am familiar
with Ms. Spencer's views because she was a social worker at Children's
Home Society of Minnesota. This was the adoption agency that facilitated
my son's adoption as an infant in 1968.
have been happily reunited with my son for two years. My son's
adoptive mother told me that when my son was having adoption related
identity difficulties and was desperate to know me, my son's adoptive
parents took him to meet with her. Instead of acknowledging these
serious difficulties for what they were, Marietta Spencer proceeded
to discount them by setting up a blackboard in a game show format
to write down my non-identifying information for him, even though
his adoptive parents had already given him that same information
about me. Serious adoption related identity problems in children
should not be treated as a game!
her game of RAL: I am not my son's "birthmother." I am his natural
mother. The term "birthmother" was coined by game players like
Marietta Spencer in order to devalue the true relationship between
a natural mother and her child.
did not choose an "adoption plan." I was forced to relinquish
my son by my parents and societal mores encouraged our unnatural
separation. The term "adoption plan" was coined as an attempt
to convince pregnant girls and women that they are making a choice,
when in fact the choice is just as often being made for them today
as it was made for me in 1968. Regarding the last line of your
poem: the adopted child is a natural child who has natural parents,
but he is not all the adopter's own!
the term "Reunion" is an appropriate objective descriptor when
the adopted child reunites with his natural parents. Adoptees
who were adopted as infants do have common stores of memories
and experiences with their natural mother. Those common stores
of memories and experiences are pre verbal and formed in utero
during the bonding process between the baby and his natural mother.
In conclusion, the only thing serious about RAL is the intent
to mislead adoptive families, adoptees and natural parents by
attempting to devalue the true relationship between the adoptee
and his natural parents.
you are interested in learning about the truth regarding the relationship
between adoptees and their natural mothers, there are two books
that have been written by authors who are much more highly qualified
than Marietta Spencer. These books are Primal Wound by
Nancy Verrier and Adoption Healing by Joe Soll. If you
are interested in first hand experiences I refer you to the following