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Adoption

Having read Salon.com's Article on mothers who gave up their children for adoption during the years between WWII and Roe v. Wade, I could kick myself for being stupid.

I was adopted during those years, and I've never really questioned the idea, which I heard all my life, that my biological mother gave me up willingly.

I had a few uncomfortable moments while reading The Kid by Dan Savage. He describes the tearful scene where the mother of his son lets them carry her baby away, and his own attempts to console her. He also talks about the way adoptions used to be done--mothers were not even allowed to hold their babies after they delivered them. The babies were just whisked away.

Is that what happened to me? I've never been in contact with my birth mother--have never even tried to be--but it was easy to shrug off that passage in Savage's book. Who knows how widespread the practice was? Who knows if that really happened to us?

When I was typing that last sentence, I originally wrote "really happened to her and me?" It felt very strange to change that to "us".

But that article is painful.

Now I'm left wondering what I owe to my biological mother, if anything. Should I try to find her? Register somewhere so that she can find me if she looks? I don't have the money to buy my full records from the Catholic adoption services, but shouldn't I make some effort, just in case she would like to see pictures of her grandson? My mother and father didn't live to see him--and honestly I can't see why that should matter, but it kinda does.

Feeling kinda weird here.





Oh, and if the contest is a goofy idea, let me know

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
deannahoak
May. 11th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
That's an incredible article. I'd never thought about it either. :-(

I don't feel, personally, as though you "owe" anything to anyone; I utterly understand the desire for your birth mother to see her grandchildren, though. If registering somewhere is something you want to do, you should.
burger_eater
May. 11th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
I think I will.

I guess "owe" is the wrong word. It might be a kindness, though, if my biological mother is as distressed at the women in that article are. There really isn't anyone else in the world capable of doing that kindness. Shouldn't I do a good deed if no one else can do it?
geniusofevil
May. 11th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
Find your birth mother. Send her pics (if still alive). See if you have siblings.

Oh, and for crying out loud, you don't owe anyone anything. Except Tiny Tyrant. And Salad Eater. But no one else!
burger_eater
May. 11th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
Not even myself?

Okay. I accept that I don't owe anyone anything (except for the people you named). Still feels weird.
geniusofevil
May. 11th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
Not even myself

not until the Tyrant moves out and only until you have grandkids. (these are the rules, man)

Seriously though, you owe me. Because I am really curious and I don't understand you adopted people who have no interest in finding your birth parents. What the hell...

And...my guess on the contest was wrong, wasn't it?
(Anonymous)
May. 12th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
I can't reveal anything about the contest entries yet, although you should know that the guy who sits next to me guessed the same number.

Of course, his guess doesn't count until he makes puts it into a comment.

Because I am really curious and I don't understand you adopted people who have no interest in finding your birth parents.

Try this: Think of the worst relative you know. Yours, maybe, or a friend's, who drinks all the time and says horrible shit to people and calls you in the middle of the night to borrow money or berate you for all your flaws.

Now imagine that you invited that person into your life.

There's always a risk that the person you contact could be horrible. That stuff happens.

But that's not the main reason I haven't done it. The main reason is that I already had a mom and dad. They're both gone now (if any smokers are reading this, please quit) but I never really felt any need to go out and find myself another pair. I honestly don't know what I'd get out of it, except half of a decent medical history. Maybe.
geniusofevil
May. 19th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Alright, I've been putting this off for a while. Here it is.

Think of the worst relative you know. Yours, maybe, or a friend's, who drinks all the time and says horrible shit to people and calls you in the middle of the night to borrow money or berate you for all your flaws.

Now imagine that you invited that person into your life.

There's always a risk that the person you contact could be horrible. That stuff happens.


I'm not talking about showing up on someone's door ready to be BFF. Send out a couple feelers. You're smart, I bet you find out pretty quickly if this is a person you want to talk to or just exchange photo holiday cards with.

Oh sure, there's always that chance the person could be an insane stalker who moves in to your parkinglot. But if so, you can contact the authorities and get them the help they need. A community service, if you will.

As far as the berating for all flaws, if you contact the biological vessels (see how Sci Fi I can get?) you have what every person dreams of. The Deterring Ultimate Comeback. 'Cause really, what could they possibly say to you that wouldn't be smacked down by the "well maybe if you hadn't given me up..." retort?

The main reason is that I already had a mom and dad.

So who says you're looking to replace them? But think of the stories! (sorry, that was totally selfish). You know, I like to know things. I like to know the names of birds, or where the state of Kansas is, or what the hell happened to Bush to make him psycho.

Aren't you curious about why? Sure, it's probably some horrible tale of drugs and youth and bad judgment and evil grandparents. And if it is, you can think, "wow, I'm really glad I broke that cycle and had two loving parents who could keep it together." And what if it's a TERRIBLE TRAGEDY that you could put a happy ending on?

I honestly don't know what I'd get out of it, except half of a decent medical hist

God, you medical people on the West Coast!

~Siblings
~Nieces/Nephews
~That rich uncle everyone always wanted
~Photos
~A drunk, PITA relative who shows up uninvited and wants money and to belittle you
~Answers
~Free leftover pets that someone needs to get rid of
~A broader audience for you writing
~Connections?
~Freaks
~Drunk Freaks on Drugs
~Hand me down clothing
~To cause a great deal of strife in someone elses life when they learn they have a half-brother out there
~Another person to love and gush over your kid
~Someone who calls you up to ask when you're having the next child
~A free pony

...please don't make me keep listing...

burger_eater
May. 19th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Is there some way I could get the rich uncle and skip the rest? I already have plenty of siblings and hand-me-down clothes. And I only want pets or ponies if they come to me in convenient stew form.

I do my damndest to avoid annoying things, like Usenet, fan fiction debates and tippling relatives. Honestly, I'd rather play Cubis.

I still think of this as something I should do, someday. It's not my highest priority right now, though. Salad Eater is having shoulder surgery in about 3 weeks, we don't have insurance (hence the hoarding of the temp money), Tiny's urine sample was negative for bladder infection, so we don't know what's causing his aches, and I have to rewrite LOVED ONE and finish the venom cock story. I have to send queries for Twenty Palaces/whatever I end up calling it.

It's something I ought to do, but I'm not burning up with curiosity about it. Frankly, I'd be very surprised if my biological parents were anything more than a couple Catholic kids who went too far, and grew up to be struggling office managers or SEPTA drivers or something.
burger_eater
May. 12th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
Sorry, that was me.
sartorias
May. 11th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Gosh that's a tough call.

*hugs*
(Anonymous)
May. 12th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

My wife, typically, saw the whole thing in very straight forward terms. She just shrugged and told me to go ahead.
burger_eater
May. 12th, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
Sorry, that was me.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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Comments

  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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