March 14, 2010

Why Closed Adoptions should be Illegal by Annika Valour

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 11:39 am

I am a child of a partial adoption (stepfather) and a social worker.  My situation was open because I was nine years old and already very much aware of who my biological paternal family were.  As a social worker but also in many personal connections that I have, I am painfully aware of what adoption does to destroy a child and their identity. It is worse when the child knows nothing about thier biological beginnings.

As a social worker, I’ve witnessed partial families adopted while their older siblings must now be pushed away from their own family.  In partial adoptions the siblings have no more rights to visit each other than parents do.  So this means the children are blamed for their parents mistakes and they too are punished.  This was a painful job for me as a professional because I was dealing with the emotions of the older children.  One of which was mentally retarded and how no understanding of laws and ethics.  Imagine what this was like trying to explain to this teenager why they could no longer speak to or see their younger siblings.

Social services workers often have no relationship to adoption (on a personal level) and therefore have no empathy of what this must be like for a family.  Often families are blamed in social services anyway and are seen as the bad guys.  They aren’t.  They are just ignorant people who came from a similar lineage.  They didn’t know any better.

But children DO need a long-term, safe, loving, and supportive environment.  There is a difference between a closed and an open adoption.  Social services will pretend that it is open because the adoptive parents know the information of the parent.  In reality, once the adoption papers are signed, the children become the property of the adoptive parents in the sense that they now control the child’s lives.  They change their names and determine what they will know and will remain oblivious too.  Birth records are sealed and new birth certificates created in all adoption situations and thus the child’s true beginnings are erased and put in a vault.  Legally one can go to court and request (as an adult) to open the case and retrieve the original birth certificate.  That is if they even know they were adopted.

I believe adoption should be re-assessed and new laws put in place as to what this means on a national, even international level.  No matter what your birth certificate says, the DNA never changes.  A child has a right to know who their biological parents were for medical reasons as well as to preserve their identity.

In every adoption I have been privy too, or known of, egotism played a huge role.  There is something very strange that happens to people when they are now choosing their own destiny through that of a child.

What happens to children who are adopted?  Teenage life is hell.  It is no different from that of a child who is a homosexual.  Identity confusion for an adopted child is great as they look at themselves and their parents and see an obvious difference.  Even those raised with love and a good family still know they are not part of the mix.  Adoptive children are generally very rebellious and experimental with their own choices.  That is because there is anger, frustration, guilt, and confusion as to why they were adopted.  There will also be a curiosity about what their birth family looked like.  I will never forget the time I went to the country of my ancestors and saw my own culture for the first time.  I felt like I came home.  I felt a sense of happiness that I had never felt before in my life.  Emotionally I was distraught for some time on my return as I felt a sense that I had left part of myself behind.  Even the first time that I saw my birth father after about 20 some years, the feeling was rather deja vu.  I knew him from somewhere deep in my past and I wanted to remember all those moments.  However, I was so young when he left and emotionally vulnerable with an adoption that I was forced into.  Thus the pain of the adoption erased many memories.

Looking upon others who look like you is a way of feeling as if you belong.  If you study yoga, as I have for many years, than you probably learned the Sanskrit words for the asanas.  The sound of a word that dates back thousands of years is a very spiritual process.  Looking into the face of the one who brought you into the world and having knowledge of their roots is also spiritual.  You see yourself and you see your ancestors.

To put this in another way, I am currently doing my chart on  The further I am able to go back the more my room fills up with the ghosts of those who came before me.  I am also able to see how the decisions I have made have a metaphysical connection to those before me.  The more you understand about your roots the more grounded you can become but also the stronger your self-esteem.

This blog is dedicated to children who are raised in ways that are not conscious of their psychological, mental, and physical futures.  To those who commit errors in a desperate attempt to get someone to notice them.  To acknowledge that they exist and have something to say – even if they don’t know what they want to say.  Juvenile forensics is based on children who have not come to terms with their identity, among many other challenges the average person can not even imagine.  Yet we adults, who think we know better, continue to chase the same ridiculous standards of living and follow the same rules without giving any thought to what consequences will be there down the road.  In social services and family law courts the only concern is getting the child a long-term legal family to take responsibility for the kid – so they don’t have to.  Short term answers are favored over philosophically analyzing the effects of such a decision.  Laws around adoption are designed to deal with the matter at hand as per the codes in the book.  Laws can be changed but we have to want them to.


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