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Old 04-26-2013, 07:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I remember telling my parents (at one time or another) "I hate you!" or "I can't wait to move out!" I was a kid and a teenager. My friends and I all had similar sentiments about our parents at the time. I imagine with an adopted child, there is an added bonus, so to speak, of being able to throw in the biological parent remark. But the intent is the same: children don't control much of their lives and hurting a guardian/parent is a logical response to being angry about a situation they don't understand, a parental decision they don't agree with, or being hurt by someone they love. Words, for the most part, are the only power kids have against parents or authority figures.
Funnily enough, that's not something I ever did. I wasn't a well behaved preteen (there are reasons) although I was a well behaved teen and thus I always thought that I would have been too much for a single mother to handle. I also remember being grateful at about 18 that I lived in a wealthy country and not in a poor country. I was definitely the ideal adoptee lol. It is not really until I made contact with bfamily that I had to rethink things - I was surprised to find that my bmom was apparently a nice person. Even so, I've tried very carefully to make sure to see her as a human in the same way that I see my aparents as humans.

Quote:
I don't think APs should be made to feel any more guilty about their parenting mishaps than biological parents.
I agree but neither should they be let off the hook either. An example is that on another forum, there was a discussion about a father who killed his 5 year old daughter - there was of course outrage. However, when it came out that the child was adopted, the conversation started to turn towards blaming the child and excusing the father. It was assumed that with the child being adopted, she must have RAD (there was nothing to suggest anything either way) and thus the sympathy was all towards the parents. As someone who was not well behaved as a preteen, it made me wonder whether if my APs had killed me (they were loving people so no chance of that), everyone would have blamed me for my own killing - something they might have not done if I were my parents biological child.

Quote:
And I think that what may come across on this forum is that APs or PAPs expect gratitude and gratefullness unconditionally from their children. I honestly don't believe that is what's being said.
I think it is more that when someone constantly hears how others in their position are grateful, then it is internalised that one is expected to be like those other grateful people. Every time I hear "I know lots of adoptees and they are grateful to be adopted", I know that the person saying that is judging me for not being like them.

Quote:
It's just that after being constantly 'tested' and perhaps having feelings of inadequacy early on as an adoptive parent (because society paints you as second-best and less than) that many feel that nothing they do will ever be good enough.
(((Jaded))) - I am sure you will, on the whole, be a great mum. Just because some of us point out that there are some differences to adoptive parenting than biological parenting doesn't mean that we think your child will never think you are good enough. My mum and dad are my mum and dad - I've never thought they were not good enough. My feelings about my bfamily are unrelated to my feelings about my APs and is not a reflection on them at all. Having said the above, I do have concerns about some of the attitudes re reunion because making one's child feel guilty about wanting to know about their background can made that person feel that their parents' love for them is conditional.

On the whole, I think society paints everyone in adoptions as being less than. One can see from the Oregon History of Adoption series that both adoptive mothers and biological mothers were considered less than:

Adoption History: Leontine Young, "Personality Patterns in Unmarried Mothers," 1945-1947

Adoption History: Helene Deutsch, "Adoptive Mothers," 1945

Childless women and unmarried mothers were considered creatures to be pitied and thus these problems were cured by killing two birds with one stone - one less childless woman, one less unmarried mother.

Quote:

There will always be those judging APs and PAPs a lot more harshly than our bio counterparts.

Thankfully, many have family and friends who can share similar stories of childhood disobedience within biological families. I think more of this is needed. Seeing the similarities as opposed to focusing in on the differences.
It is fairly obvious to everyone who has lived on the planet Earth that both biological and adoptive families have stories of childhood disobedience. Despite growing up in an adoptive home, 90% of the people I know have grown up in biological homes, I read newspapers, watch TV etc so, yeah, I am quite aware that children misbehave in all sorts of families.

The problem is when the sharing of stories is used to invalidate a point of view. For example, it may well be that a particular action by a child might have nothing to do with being adopted but then again it may. The problem is when someone points to a similar action by a child in a biological home as being proof that it can't have anything at all to do with the child having been adopted. Also, please note that when I talk about "the child having been adopted", I am not just talking about the act of being taken into an adoptive home, I'm talking about related stuff, eg being relinquished, being born in one family and raised in another, living in an orphanage (if that was the case) etc. So, all I'm trying to say is that it may be quite possible that an action has nothing to do with the child having been adopted but at the same time one shouldn't totally wipe that factor off either. I have heard of adults going to therapy and the fact that they are adopted is totally ignored. Now, no-one is saying adoption is the sole cause of the all adults problems but when a therapist is looking at even minor things as possibly contributing to a person's problems yet ignoring adoption totally, then that means that someone is undergoing therapy with one factor not even being taken into account. If a person went to therapy and had divorced parents, even if they had a happy upbringing after the divorce, the therapist would still consider divorce as a factor. So, all I'm trying to say is that one shouldn't totally obliterate adoption as being a factor in some people's problems. Btw, I am not talking about myself as I've never been to a therapist. In regards to my early childhood misbehaviour, I've always contributted that to everything BUT adoption yet that could be one of the contributing factors. Then again, perhaps I'm just a bad seed

Quote:
As far as training for foster and adoptive parents, our county discussed how and why adoptive children may lash out; especially older ones. We were shown videos of what some kids say, one little girl, age 5, flat out called her foster mom a b**ch. That was her 'normal' considering her background. Sometimes, it has a lot to do with their past, but also, the social workers were quick to point out that some behavior is related to a child's developmental age, and not adoption.
The point is that many factors may contribute to someone's behaviour. Though the behaviour is, as you say, related to the child's development age, one can't say for absolutely certainty that adoption had no play in the behaviour. Thus, one should not totally obliterate it as a cause. Alternatively, the behaviour should not be totally blamed on it either. I am just saying that adoption should not be totally wiped out as a factor, though I agree that no-one should blame everything on being adopted (and I have yet to see anyone on here do that).

Quote:

Now, in the heat of the moment, I agree with others who have posted that it is hard to stay calm and not lash out as well. All parents make mistakes. There are parents whose style of parenting is to influence their children through guilt and manipulation. This may include forcing feelings of gratitude and gratefullness. I don't believe one segment of the population is targeted over another. I believe at the end of the day, it comes down to parenting styles.
All parents do make mistakes.

[/quote]

However, in regards to adoptive parents, there is an extra factor. The problem is that an adopted child is more likely to internalise gratefulness than a non-adopted one and thus adoptive parents do need to be a bit more careful. I don't envy adoptive parents when it comes to trying to walk that tightrope.

One reason I started a thread a while ago about how to tell one's children about their adoption is because I know that adoptees, once they find out that they are not with the people they are born to, do end up feeling that gratefulness is expected from them, even if no-one has specifically said that to them. That is why I felt honesty and objective was important and appreciate that by my parents doing so, I was able to see things in a more complex way than just a case of "unwanted by one parent, wanted by another" - a message often subliminally delivered by society.

If a parent gives their child the impression that they were unwanted by their original parents, the child is going to feel that they need to be grateful that someone wanted them. We all know of women who, after being dumped by one man end up with another loser and when people ask why they are with the second man, they say, "well at least he wanted me". Most would consider the women to be suffering from low self esteem. However, if an adoptee says "well my bparents didn't want me, at least my aparents did", then that view is encouraged. However, if I were an adoptive parent, I wouldn't want my child to be feeling grateful that at least someone wanted them. I would want them to feel loved in their own right.

Now, I know that no-one on here would ever deliberately give their child the impression that they were unwanted but the problem is that is something that is so easy to do without anyone really trying. It is not really the poor APs fault either - as I said before, I understand how difficult it must be to walk that tightrope. Even on the thread about the reuniting adoptive mother, we all noted that perhaps saying "your birthmother wasn't a mother", though innocuous-sounding, can come out the wrong way.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:03 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
I think it is more that when someone constantly hears how others in their position are grateful, then it is internalised that one is expected to be like those other grateful people. Every time I hear "I know lots of adoptees and they are grateful to be adopted", I know that the person saying that is judging me for not being like them.
Exactly. I definitely internalized those messages.

In college I wrote a speech about how grateful I was to be adopted & it was honestly how I felt at the time.

By the time I was a teen I felt eternally indebted to my a-parents because they never wanted to give me away. Mom & dad never told me that I was unwanted by my bio-family, but that was the conclusion I came to due to the nature of being adopted as an infant in a closed adoption. That was one major reason why I had extremely low self-esteem growing up despite being a social butterfly & excelling at school, sports, & hobbies.

My parents never made the connection to adoption. I didn't make that connection, either, until adulthood when I was finally able to admit to myself that being adopted had negatively impacted me in some ways.

The realization that I did not have to be grateful for that was very liberating for me.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-27-2013 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,277 posts, read 5,155,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
OT - I'm just curious, are there babies that are free for adoption through the state in California? I know in other states babies are usually legal risk placements and could go back to their bio family. Can you do a closed adoption of an infant in California or a closed adoption of siblings under age 5? How long is the wait for a baby through the state in CA?
Technically, in CA every placement is a legal risk. CA does not terminate rights until shortly before the adoptive family is going to go to court.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,748 posts, read 3,324,315 times
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No one ever should tell their kids to be grateful. They either are or aren't.

But happy and well adjusted kids almost always are. Adopted or not.

I think given the choice of say, a random 15 year old girl or being an orphan in a 3rd world country, there are a lot of happy and rightfully grateful adopted kids.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,748 posts, read 3,324,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
OT - I'm just curious, are there babies that are free for adoption through the state in California? I know in other states babies are usually legal risk placements and could go back to their bio family. Can you do a closed adoption of an infant in California or a closed adoption of siblings under age 5? How long is the wait for a baby through the state in CA?
We were surprised about this too. So MANY people prefer CLOSED ADOPTIONS. Even some people who were adopted.

Our daughter is an example. Right now she is in high school, but both of our children do want to adopt.
Closed.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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I've just gotta interject here....who on God's green earth has ever cut slack to adoptive parents? Yet, we return children who have been previously abused to biological parents. WHY?
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Little River, SC
62 posts, read 96,787 times
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Now there's an excellent question! I think because the system views children as property of the bio parents, just like a couch or chair. Of course they would never admit that, but what other explanation could there be? Nobody wants the rights of biological parents EVER messed with without a REALLY good reason, but when you have a child with cigarette and lighter burns up and down her legs, common sense should tell anyone that um...hello...this parent should have their child PERMANENTLY taken away. This was my daughter's case, and DSS fought me for years to have her sent back to the same bio parent who burned her, but thank God my attorney was smarter than theirs.
Flame me if you want, but another answer to this question is that parents who do horrible things to their kids have that group out there who always has to have an explanation why the parent did it, which turns into "they just need some help and we can fix them", to well it obviously isn't their fault because they themselves had a bad childhood and on and on. (Unfortunately, it seems that all of these people work for DSS). Then when the foster parent petitions for parental rights to be terminated, or fights for adoption, then we are the bad guys because we want to break up the family and of course everyone knows that the child is always better off with the bio parent (if I had heard that said to me one more time, I swear I was going to lose it). Basically, when they said that to me, I heard, "you're daughter is better off dead, than being adopted by you", because that would have been the most probable outcome had she been returned to her mother.
Sheena, don't forget too, that when these children are kept in the system and keep coming in and out of the system constantly, that justifies the jobs of all the people who work for Social Services. IF they actually placed these children in adoptive homes, then they would have little purpose. (Please understand I am talking about badly abused children who should never go home, not those whose families can be helped by some education and services).
I can't tell you how demonized I was at our county DSS because I fought for my daughter. I was even called and threatened by them to back off or they would take my daughter and place her with someone else if I didn't let go of my TPR court hearing my attorney had scheduled. It was a nightmare to say the least.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:25 PM
 
Location: California
167 posts, read 153,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Exactly. I definitely internalized those messages.

In college I wrote a speech about how grateful I was to be adopted & it was honestly how I felt at the time.

By the time I was a teen I felt eternally indebted to my a-parents because they never wanted to give me away. Mom & dad never told me that I was unwanted by my bio-family, but that was the conclusion I came to due to the nature of being adopted as an infant in a closed adoption. That was one major reason why I had extremely low self-esteem growing up despite being a social butterfly & excelling at school, sports, & hobbies.

My parents never made the connection to adoption. I didn't make that connection, either, until adulthood when I was finally able to admit to myself that being adopted had negatively impacted me in some ways.

The realization that I did not have to be grateful for that was very liberating for me.
You say so much, and get right to the heart of the matter. I hope prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents take the time to read your words, and listen to what you are saying here. I also hope those thinking that relinquishing their baby will consider that real loss/abandonment that is at the root of it all, and what comes after, rescue from the loss, is what causes adoptees to feel unnecessarily "grateful" for being taken in. Let me be clearer. They are too vulnerable to tell their adoptive parents how they really feel.... so they continue to deny their true feelings, to deny their authentic self from being known by their parents might mean someone will leave them again. And I say parents, because as a first parent, it took my son years to come to grips with what he was doing to himself, to deny who he really was because he feared abandonment again. That's what relinquishment does, folks. It makes our kids feel that they can't disappoint us, (aparents and reunited with bparents from closed adoption) because it's too risky that we will leave them again. Makes my heart sad, but there it is.

I am so glad that you feel liberated... I know it was painful for you to take the chance, and I hate to use the stale cliche, ... but 'to be all that you can be'. You are a strong lady. My son has grown so much because he looked at it in the face, and decided he was worth it to acknowledge his true feelings.

Btw, when I was in college, I used to daydream, and said to myself what a wonderful thing I did to give my son up to a two parent loving home, those who were prepared to give my son material things that I could not. I never ever realized how naive I was. Though I have to admit, my parents forced me to relinquish, and while I bucked it, I signed the papers so ultimately I abandoned my son. Nothing noble there.

Last edited by Avery_Harper; 04-27-2013 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:26 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,131,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreammaker View Post
Now there's an excellent question! I think because the system views children as property of the bio parents, just like a couch or chair. Of course they would never admit that, but what other explanation could there be? Nobody wants the rights of biological parents EVER messed with without a REALLY good reason, but when you have a child with cigarette and lighter burns up and down her legs, common sense should tell anyone that um...hello...this parent should have their child PERMANENTLY taken away. This was my daughter's case, and DSS fought me for years to have her sent back to the same bio parent who burned her, but thank God my attorney was smarter than theirs.
Flame me if you want, but another answer to this question is that parents who do horrible things to their kids have that group out there who always has to have an explanation why the parent did it, which turns into "they just need some help and we can fix them", to well it obviously isn't their fault because they themselves had a bad childhood and on and on. (Unfortunately, it seems that all of these people work for DSS). Then when the foster parent petitions for parental rights to be terminated, or fights for adoption, then we are the bad guys because we want to break up the family and of course everyone knows that the child is always better off with the bio parent (if I had heard that said to me one more time, I swear I was going to lose it). Basically, when they said that to me, I heard, "you're daughter is better off dead, than being adopted by you", because that would have been the most probable outcome had she been returned to her mother.
Sheena, don't forget too, that when these children are kept in the system and keep coming in and out of the system constantly, that justifies the jobs of all the people who work for Social Services. IF they actually placed these children in adoptive homes, then they would have little purpose. (Please understand I am talking about badly abused children who should never go home, not those whose families can be helped by some education and services).
I can't tell you how demonized I was at our county DSS because I fought for my daughter. I was even called and threatened by them to back off or they would take my daughter and place her with someone else if I didn't let go of my TPR court hearing my attorney had scheduled. It was a nightmare to say the least.

Excellent post! Favoring the preservation of the "family" at all costs, has been a disastrous policy and should be re-evaluated.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:06 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,980,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I've just gotta interject here....who on God's green earth has ever cut slack to adoptive parents? Yet, we return children who have been previously abused to biological parents. WHY?
I had to take a second look at this. I know, I've never felt DH and I were cut any slack during this entire process. If anything, it is the exact opposite! I've had nice social workers, but they make it very clear that they work for the child and the biological family - NOT for the adoptive family. Cut us slack? Uh, yeh right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreammaker View Post
Now there's an excellent question! I think because the system views children as property of the bio parents, just like a couch or chair. Of course they would never admit that, but what other explanation could there be? Nobody wants the rights of biological parents EVER messed with without a REALLY good reason... another answer to this question is that parents who do horrible things to their kids have that group out there who always has to have an explanation why the parent did it, which turns into "they just need some help and we can fix them", to well it obviously isn't their fault because they themselves had a bad childhood and on and on. (Unfortunately, it seems that all of these people work for DSS)...

IF they actually placed these children in adoptive homes, then they would have little purpose. (Please understand I am talking about badly abused children who should never go home, not those whose families can be helped by some education and services).
Yet even when you stated your daughter would say her biological mother would let her do things you wouldn't, I'm sure she was and is very grateful and has much gratitude for you and your husband. A.K.A., Her parents. Children don't need to be forced to feel grateful for those who love them and care for them; who would walk through fire for them and fight for them as you and your husband did. It indeed becomes a natural response to giving and receiving unconditional love.

Re; DSS, when I made a similar comment on another thread about "forced reunification" I got my head chewed off! But I hear you. Not all parents can be rehabilitated, and for most abuse and neglect that occurs with children who are taken into care (because it takes a lot to have a child removed in most states - as you've experienced), their biological parents should go to jail, not a parenting class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avery_Harper View Post
I also hope those thinking that relinquishing their baby will consider that real loss/abandonment that is at the root of it all, and what comes after, rescue from the loss, is what causes adoptees to feel unnecessarily "grateful" for being taken in. Let me be clearer. They are too vulnerable to tell their adoptive parents how they really feel.... so they continue to deny their true feelings, to deny their authentic self from being known by their parents might mean someone will leave them again. And I say parents, because as a first parent, it took my son years to come to grips with what he was doing to himself, to deny who he really was because he feared abandonment again. That's what relinquishment does, folks. It makes our kids feel that they can't disappoint us, (aparents and reunited with bparents from closed adoption) because it's too risky that we will leave them again. Makes my heart sad, but there it is.

I am so glad that you feel liberated... I know it was painful for you to take the chance, and I hate to use the stale cliche, ... but 'to be all that you can be'. You are a strong lady. My son has grown so much because he looked at it in the face, and decided he was worth it to acknowledge his true feelings.

Btw, when I was in college, I used to daydream, and said to myself what a wonderful thing I did to give my son up to a two parent loving home, those who were prepared to give my son material things that I could not. I never ever realized how naive I was. Though I have to admit, my parents forced me to relinquish, and while I bucked it, I signed the papers so ultimately I abandoned my son. Nothing noble there.
Do you honestly feel that your son has no genuine gratitude or grateful feelings towards the parents who raised him? How was he denying who he really was? I'm really curious about these statements you've made.

Your parents forced you to relinquish...this most certainly has influenced your feelings towards your son being adopted because you never wanted to plan for an adoption. Many women do plan for the adoption of their child and never regret it. Many adopted kids are grateful and have gratitude that an adoption plan was made for them.

It's very understandable why you regret not parenting your son. But you admit that you had no support, did the birth father want to parent? At any rate, what you are saying, correct me if I'm wrong, is that your son actually regrets being adopted and suffered most of his life because of it until he reunited with you? Doesn't he now feel grateful and have gratitude for you? Surely if he feels these things for you, then you'd have no problem with him feeling the same for his adoptive parents, no?
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