With the adoption
industry promoting the illusion of adopters being the real parents
of the unrelated children they are raising, adoptees are being
denied basic knowledge about themselves. Who are they really?
Who are their ancestors and what is their health history?
Marion, IA (PRWEB)
July 20, 2004 -- In the movie "Roots II", the African
man Kunta Kinte newly arrived in America and auctioned as a slave,
submits to being whipped almost to death before he will acknowledge
the new name given to him by his owner. This determination to
maintain our identity is something most people relate to; fortunately
most people will never know what it's like to have their own identity
In adoption, the true
identity of a human being is obliterated, beginning with the issuance
of an amended birth certificate. The amended birth certificate
lacks the adopted person's name at birth and her parents' names,
instead identifying the adopters as having given birth. In some
states, even the place and date of birth on these official documents
are false. In spite of the Freedom of Information Act, even adoptees
who are adults are denied access to their original birth certificate
in most of the United States.
Adopters have been
told by those who profit from adoption that if they love a child
enough, the child will not need his true family. Many people probably
think that for someone adopted as a baby, their identity forms
based on those who raise them. Identity is often confused with
developing good values. But is it the same?
In the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, Harry's parents are
the basis of his identity. This is true despite the fact that
Harrys parents died when he was an infant and Harry was
raised by his Uncle and Aunt Dursley.
living with the Dursley's are similar to those of many adoptees.
The Dursley's try to suppress Harry's inherited tendency toward
magic, which they can't understand. They lie to Harry about his
parents telling him they died in a car crash. Questions are discouraged.
While the Dursley's dote on their real offspring, Dudley, they
cant relate to Harry. Despite their concerted efforts to
suppress it, his talent for magic becomes apparent anyway even
before the Wizard world reconnects with him. His hair grows back
in one night after Uncle Vernon decides to cut it all off. He
is transported mysteriously to a rooftop while being chased by
Dudley and his gang.
The Dursley's denigrate
Harrys true parents, insulting not only his parents, but
Harry in the process. At one point in his anger over the insults
he uses his magic to blow Mrs. Dursley up like a balloon which
then floats away into the sky. Many adoptees find the denial of
their true family by their adopters and others in society to be
Heritage and the family bond is essential to the identity of all
the characters in the Harry Potter books. Harry's rival, the bully
Draco Malfoy, has inherited a dark nature from his father Lucius.
The Weasleys are a poor but prominent wizard family. Neville Longbottom,
whose parents were tortured and driven insane, do not even recognize
their son. But when his mother recognizes him as someone she likes
and gives him the gift of a gum wrapper, he saves it. And while
Hermione Granger's parents are Muggles, they at least have a bond
with and appreciate their daughter as herself and allow her to
develop her talents as a witch.
Those who truly care
about Harry make it a point to keep his parents memory alive for
him. "You look just like your father, but have your mother's
eyes," Harry is told. It seems this simple statement is a
great comfort to Harry. Even when Serius Black, Harry's godfather,
asks Harry to live with him, Serius does not mention changing
Harry's name and pretending to be his father. Serius respects
Harry's heritage.What does an adoptee think when viewing this
movie? The comfort of natural belonging is something that adoptees
lack. They are "special," in that they are different
from everyone around them. Whether their true mother is dead or
alive, adoptees surely cant help but wonder about her.
On an internet discussion
board, Dave Staplin, a 48-year-old adoptee, introduces himself
as "Mark (my real name, given at birth)." He states:
"I played the role I was assigned faithfully for decades.
I played the "as if" (born to my adopters) game as well
as anyone, and like Sleeping Beauty, I stayed asleep and untouched.
One day about 2 years ago, I began to wake up, and realized that
what was important to my adopters was not me as I really am, but
their image of the child they wanted. I was a stand-in, a representation
of their dream of children and family."
In a message titled,
"Why We Would Want to be Adopted Back By Our Parents - An
Adoptee's View," he states: "We who have been adopted
have been sentenced to carry out someone else's wishes, carry
on someone else's name...When I began searching for my mother,
every manipulative trick in the book was pulled to dissuade me
from doing so. Again, concern only for what THEY want...Why would
we want to be adopted back by our real parents?...We are NOT your
children...no loving god would let happen to children what happens
in closed adoptions... As to the adopter's pain, it doesn't begin
to compare to the pain created by the way our lives have been
While many people
have been led to believe that adoption is caring for a child in
the best way possible, inherent in adoption is the denial of a
human being's own identity and heritage. While adopters claim
they have a lot of love to give, it's what they dont give
that is harmful: Respect for the true family of the child they
are raising as his family.
do not even know whether the people they are dating or marrying
are their own cousins or siblings. This may be especially true
for Donor Insemination adoptees and Embryo-adopted adoptees who
may guess at the truth but are less frequently informed of their
adoptive status. For those adoptees who do know, adopters control
them using measures such as guilt, material possessions and the
lure of an inheritance. After having searched in vain for decades
for their true family, many adoptees discover after their adopters
have passed away that the adopters had in their possession identifying
information that could have helped the adoptees locate their parents.
And the adopters withheld it.
There are other methods
of permanency for a child that do not deny him his heritage such
as natural family preservation, custody, guardianship and kinship
care. These methods require no lies about family relatedness and
they put the child's interests first.
It's not in the best interest of a human being to be treated as
the property of adopters. Even many of the people who have adopted
agree that their adoptees deserve to have identifying information
about themselves. And nearly all moms whose sons and daughters
were adopted-out would love to know how their children are. Yet
the National Council For Adoption, representing agencies which
profit from selling the fantasy of "real parenthood"
to prospective adopters, stands in the way.
We must have justice
for all adoptees. In the future, no child should have her identity
or any other information changed on her birth certificate. No
child should be subjected to having his own heritage disrespected
and denied. With adoption, not only the adoptee but each successive
generation is cut off from their heritage. What right could be
more basic than the right to your true identity? What could be
more demeaning than to have who you are ignored or denied? Is
Heritage a Human Right? It most certainly is.
- Is Family Heritage a Human Right?
Note: "Birthmother" is a dehumanizing and coercive term,
which makes a mother appear as if she was only the source of a baby
for adoption, not her child's mother and parent. Instead of "birthmother",
"birthmom", "birthfather", "birthparent"
(aka "birth object") the honest terms "mother",
"father" and "parent" should be used. If necessary,
mothers whose children have been adopted-out may be called "natural
mothers" to distinguish them from the people who adopted their