Long-Term Issues For The Adopted Child

  1. Being an Adopted Child
  2. Adopted Children: Tracing History
  3. Potential Psychological Effects
  4. Receiving Questions and Comments from Others
  5. Ways of Moving Forward

Being an Adopted Child

A multitude of issues may arise when children become aware that they have been adopted. Children may feel grief over the loss of a relationship with their birthparents and the loss of the cultural and family connections that would have existed with those parents.

This feeling of loss may be especially intense in closed or semi-open adoptions where little or no information or contact is available with birthparents. Such grief feelings may be triggered at many different times throughout the child's life including when they first learn of their adoption, during the turbulent teen years, upon the death of other family members, or even as when becoming a spouse or parent.

There can also be significant concerns about feeling abandoned and "abandonable," and "not good enough," coupled with specific hurt feelings over the birthmother's choice to "reject" the child" to "give me away" or "not wanting me enough." Such hurtful and vulnerable feelings may be compounded should the child learn that the birthmother later had other children that she chose to raise herself.


Adopted Children: Tracing History

Adopted children may also suffer from a loss of access to important medical or genetic birth family histories. Although adoption agencies take pains to gather medical and family history information, it is often not possible to have full information for the entire birth family.

In a closed or semi-open adoption, there may be no way for an adopted child to ask questions or clarify vague or missing information that may only become relevant long after the adoption occurred. Even a simple doctor's appointment wherein an adopted child is quizzed about their family medical history can become a trigger for painful or awkward feelings, reminding the adopted child (or adult) that he or she is somehow different from others and doesn't have the same information available to share with the doctor.


Potential Psychological Effects

Adopted children may struggle with self-esteem and identity development issues more so than their non-adopted peers.

Identity issues are of particular concern for teenagers who are aware that they are adopted and even more so, for those adopted in a closed or semi-open circumstance.Such children often wonder why they were given up for adoption. They may also wonder about what their birth family looks like, acts like, does for a living, etc.

  • They may struggle with the knowledge that they may have a whole other family "out there" including half-siblings or extended family members that they may never meet.
  • These issues may still arise in open adoption circumstances, but in that case, adopted children may have the opportunity to form some manner of relationship with their birthmother so as to gain direct access to relevant information.

Guilt feelings may accompany such identity issues and concerns.

  • Adopted children may feel as though they are betraying their adoptive family and/or that they will hurt their adoptive family by expressing their desire to learn about their birth family.
  • In a best case scenario, adopted children do not have to wonder how their adoptive family members feel about their interest in their birthparents because adoptive parents will have addressed these concerns directly in previous conversation. Even in such a best-case scenario, the emotions may still be somewhat painful or difficult.

Receiving Questions and Comments from Others

It is not obvious that an adoption has occurred when adopted children physically resemble their adoptive parents since people are unlikely to spontaneously ask about adoption issues. When parents and children are visibly different (as with interracial adoptions), people outside the family may ask questions or (in an unsolicited manner) "share" their viewpoints on adoption and the appropriateness of adopting a child from another race or culture.

  • This type of attention can quickly become annoying and even hurtful if adoptive parents do not take steps to shut it down.
  • Ignoring such questions, or calmly and assertively stating that the topic is not something that is open for discussion are often good ways to quiet nosy strangers.
  • A more nuanced approach is appropriate when touchy questions have been asked by people the family knows to be well meaning and sincere. In such a case, adoptive children need to look at the questioner's motives for asking, which may stem from a genuine lack of knowledge rather than a desire to harm or take delight in others' discomfort.

Sensitive adoptive children may also fall victim to teasing and bullying at school, where other children taunt them in an attempt to make them feel ashamed for being adopted.


Ways of Moving Forward

Not every adopted child will express an interest in his or her birth family history. Some children become aware that most adoptions occur when birthmothers judge themselves financially and/or emotionally unable to raise a given child, and come to feel that there isn't anything to gain by wondering about or seeking out their birth family. Such children prefer to just leave the adoption as a "done deal" and move on with who they are now, letting the past stay in the past. There is nothing wrong with adopted children who fail to show concern about their birth parents, and likewise, nothing wrong with adopted children who do show such interest. Both reactions are normal, if sometimes painful.

Comments
  • Stephanie

    Thank you for your enlightenment. I surrendered my first two daughters at birth they share the same birthfather and half- sister. We have been in reunion for 11 years. I received temporary custody of my eldest daughter when she was 16 due to a timely search and a reunion which revealed her parents were losing custody of her. She was excited to meet me, my extended family and her birthfather. She was going through turbulent teenage years, coupled with family tragedy: her grandmother had recently died followed by the family dog, her parents had to move from their family home and the courts were going to put her in a group home in another state. When I placed her in therapy, she was eventually able to express how angry she was at me for giving her up. Just three years ago, during a difficult time, she cried out, “You threw me away like trash”. Now, at 27, she as gained her identity and found her self-worth, and has subsequently resolved her issues of abandonment.

    My middle adopted daughter did not have these same feelings nor did she plan to search. At 14, she did not blame anyone and didn’t feel particularly interested in her extended birth family. She correlated the age/financial reality with the relinquishment and was protective of her adoptive mother when I came into their lives. I respect her loyalty and independence. As a birthmother searching for daughter, I can see how this perceived rejection would be painful. Reunions are a journey. As you so eloquently put it: "There is nothing wrong with adopted children who fail to show concern about their birth parents, and likewise, nothing wrong with adopted children who do show such interest. Both reactions are normal, if sometimes painful. “

  • a high school student doing a paper

    im 16 and im writing a paper about if i think parents of adopted children should beable to meet their biological parents. and if you all don't mind i wont use names but this help me alot on my paper. all i will discuss from this is the fact that one daughter didn't even want to search and the other was happy to find out about her parents. this will also help me show both sides of the arguement. again thanks

    -monica

  • faith

    I am an adopted kid. i am 12 now. i was born in south korea. i wasnt really worried to much about it when i was younger. i mean i still wanted to learn a lot about korea,but that was all. When i started getting older, more questions would come into my mind. But they were NOT questions like why did my parents abandon me and stuff like that. those kind of questions are DUMB. its to late to know and knowing wouldnt change a thing. the only thing i do wonder is what my life might be like there. thats only natural. the thing that ticks me off the most are people that when you somehow tell them your adopted, they are like all of the sudden acting like you need pity. in fifth grade during the 'talk" with the girls,the nurse who was talking said how she was adopted,she put it in a very plain and normal way. but the entire room was like"oh,im so sorry,or"thats terrible'' i had so much trouble not just hurting one of them. thats the worst part of being adopted. people begin to judge you or feel sorry for you. its especially hard when your asian and your mom is white with blond hair and blue eyes and your calling her mom. people will look at us,esp ME funny. sometimes when your older its easier i guess in some ways to get mad at your parents because theyre not your biological parents. i guess if your mad at your biological parents,then to you there isnt really any other parent you could be wiht. but when your adopted and mad at your parents you cant help but wonder what it would be like with you biological family.....

    well im done ranting

  • Mac

    My wife and i adopted 4 siblings who are younger than our 2 birth children. The oldest adopted son (11), has been stealing my wife and birth daughter's (14) underclothing. He was 5 when adopted. We have tried to treat this as an issue of personal property rather than sexual thing and punish him with extra chores. He has not been caught for a month or more but I still don't trust him. Has anyone else dealth with this? How did it turn out?

  • Jonathan

    I'm 15 going on 16 and still can't get over the thought that i'm adoted.I found out that I was adopted when my birth grandmother died, and at her funeral my burth parents were there and All i cound do was look and I regret not acting,That day is still strong in my mind.

    Everyday everywhere I think about my burth parents and I can't stop, it hurts me so much.

    The past months I have been serching for them and have not found them, and I am willing to through heaven and hell to find them,and Next time I see them I feel like all my emotion are going to come out and I am going to breakdown,I'm scared,But i will find them. And I do need help...

    jvbeat@live.com

    If you have any advice for me it would help.

    Till I find them, I know I will always be alone.

  • Ryan

    My name is Ryan i am from northern Michigan and I was adopted at birth. I am 20 years old and my parents told me i was adopted since i was about 5. I had no huge surprise when i could finally grasp the content of what was going on. I am glad i was adopted because i had a very fortunate life compared to what i could of had with my 15 year old mother. I met my mother finally in January of this year when i was 19. come to find out she lived right in the town that i go to college at. I have never met my birth father. I also met my 2 biological brothers (half brothers). i hit it off pretty well with my biological family so no complaints there. All in all though i want to say that your real parents are the ones that raised you not just the ones you were birthed from....

  • Jonathan

    Hi team,

    I was adopted at birth, I was raised with my adoptive parents being fully open and honest about it. My first book that became my dearest friend was called 'i am adopted' When i was lonely and felt as though my feelings had not being heard or i just didn't understand what on earth i could of done wrong to be given up, I took comfort knowing that the book understood me when no one else did. This book is still in my possesion today.

    At first i was treated like i was 'special little Jonnie' but that label ran thin once i reached puberty. Thats when i had much more questions than answers. Gosh i was lonely but don't you dare touch me...so i got angry, oh so very angry. I want you to reflect on a time when you were abandoned, a time when you were let down by someone else. A time when you were let down by someone else and you felt as if you were just left standing out in the pasture. It could even be the time at work when everyone was given a coffee and you missed out for some reason. Can you think of the negative emotions that could of gone through your head. rational and irrational but still very emotional. Now magnify that to an almost crippling stage where the world seems so big and scary, full of strangers that hate you and consider you second class, spoilt goods, no good, a waste of space, so much a waste of space that you were actually given up. But isn't blood thicker than water you may ask, apparently not. I started to resent all who knew me, family to me is tradable, negotiable even. Not something to love and cherish. Friendships were formed but only on my terms and after i had 'tested' their loyalty to me as a friend. Girlfriends were dumped before they could dump me, I would double cross people and play them off against each other to see who would be left standing by my side. I HAD to be in control because the only time i wasn't in control i lost my real mother and that hurts me so bad it can never happen again. NB* adopted children become self independant much faster than the 'normals'.

    Abandonment, a word that screams out inner pain and suffering. Mistrust and wrongdoing. The innocent bearing the cross for the sinner. Abandonment = a world of hurt. Sometimes i used wish i was aborted, at least the pain would be short lived i rationised. I remember many times when i put myself to bed early when younger because my heart felt ill from this huge burden. Falling asleep curled up in fetal position which was as tight as a fist and wept myself to sleep. Even though i was surrounded by brothers and sisters i never felt as tho i belonged. I was not a real child in the family but an alien that ate their food and got in the way. It was as if i had to sacrifice my freedoms to live but i wasn't given a choice about it, a form of slavery really. Here Jonathan, here is your slice of pie, do with it as you wish but you ain't getting no cream.

    My teenage years went to the 20's where i literally ran away from home because it had gotten too much when my bedroom was taken from me for grandma to use and i was ushered into a pokey caravan out the back of the house. Man... those parents sure know how to rub that abandonment in don't they! I turned 30 and after a good effort of blocking out the emotions and inner turmoil with lots of drugs. Mainly pot and beer mixed with the rest (it got messy) i returned to my parents place one step away from completely writing myself off.

    When i was 34 i was contacted by my birth mother. Incidentally i was receiving counselling at the time and preparing myself to find her. It was not a match made in heaven, in fact i wanted to completely barrel her out and demoralize her to the levels i had been throughout my life because of her selfish choices. I don't really trust her funny enough but at least I now know the true reasoning behind her choice to adopt me and have also met my half brothers etc but this has not made it easier for me.

    I am now 36 years old with an 18 mth son. My birth mother has taken on a distant paternal role (lives in a diff country) and is basically compensating her loss of me onto my little boy. Ha, The abondonment never stops. I don't feel 'complete' now but i do feel i have someone to fully yell at (i don't out of respect) but i won't. But i wanna.....

    I wouldn't wish adoption onto my worst enemy for it can be a life of slow decay of real character. When we are all born adopted or not, we are just diamonds in the rough. It is the raising and lessons and mistakes and responses to it that hone us and forge us into the glory that we all deserve. Adopted diamonds need a little more attention to sparkle.

    And to all my adopted brothers and sisters out there.... Shine on you crazy diamonds!! Take care, your not fully alone.

  • Courtney

    I am almost 19, and I have known I was adopted since I was 2. I was adopted at a week old. My mom started off telling me "you came from mommys friends tummy". I gradually learned over the years from my mom & dad why I was adopted and what adoption is. I was perfectly fine with it. I am a very fortunate person for having a family now that loves me as much as they do. I resepect my birth mother for haveing as much courage as she did to give up her first born daughter. She gave me up because she wanted me to have a better life with two loving parents and to grow up haveing whatever I want. Recently I came into contact with my birth mother a few months after I turned 18. We talk weekly over e-mail. I decided I would not go to meet her in person until I am off away in college or out of college. I do not want to put pain on my moms heart by going to see her now, while still living with my parents who have raised me. However, I have to say since about 12 I have exibited extreme anxiety & depression. No one really knew the exact reason for it. The multiple doctors & therapists suggest it has nothing to do with me being adopted, but I think otherwise. I was told my anxiety is probably situational and brought on by random things in my life. But I do not agree. I feel like there is a deeper reason to why I break down randomly.

    please e-mail me with any ideas.

    Thank you.

  • Colleen

    My husband is in his 50's, and was adopted as an infant. He was put in touch with his birth mother in his early 20's. I do not know when he found out he was adopted or the circumstances surrounding his adoption. He was raised by a wealthier family, with another adopted older brother and a sister who was not adopted.

    At some point in his life he created basically a whole new identity for himself - based in part on his adoptive family and part on his birth family and part fantasy. He kept this fake identity going and I never figured it out. I did wonder though why he was reluctant for me to meet his family. We got married at a JOP due to a military obligation and did not tell our families. 2 years later we were getting ready for a wedding with our families and my mother called his mother to introduce herself. That is when his fake identity started to unravel.

    I was hurt because I don't know why he felt he couldn't be honest with me, when I had not kept any secrets about my life from him. As a result we are now facing a separation.

    I don't know if this is a by-product of his being adopted, or if there is something more to this. Is there anything I can do at his age to help him feel comfortable with who he is?

    He will not talk to me about this. If anyone can help shed some light on this I would be forever thankful. I want this marriage to work, but don't know how to get passed this.

  • Stiofan

    i am 18 and i dont remember when excatly i was told i was adopted but it never botherd me. I have known my birthmother as long as i can remember and i think she did the right thing in giving me up, i know i have a better life than i would have because of her, so i am greatful, she is always in my life and so are my eight half brothers and sisters they are like my family. to me my mother is the person who raised me not who gave birth to me, my mom is awsome and her and my birthmom are great friends. i have never met my biological father and i dont know if i ever will i would be interested to but i doubt he wants to. i would just like to say that adoption is a good thing and a mother and father are the people who raised you.

  • Lish

    It is easy for stiofain to say that adoption is a good thing considering that she knows her birth mother. its different when you dont know anything about your natural family and grow up in a family who is nothing like you and feeling different and sad for most of your life. adoption is good if it is necessary and for the sake of the child, but unfortuately it has become a baby business with large amounts of money changing hands for healthy infants. what about the toddlers and older kids in foster care who may never have a permanent family? children arent commodities. the worst thing is that adoptees are expected to be nothing but grateful for being 'rescued' and society doesnt recognise the pain for birth mother and child. im adopted through closed adoption so i know what im talking about. i do love my adoptive parents but they have created a taboo cloud around the subject and i find it hard to be close to them. i feel that, while i wouldnt swap my adoptive parents for anything, i have been somewhat cheated out of a natural family upbringing where i had people around me who are related to me. im not bitter though, there is no point in complaining all the time.

  • alison

    Hi my name is alison by my adoptive parents or felicity by my birth mum. I have known that I was adopted since I was about 4-5 yrs old. I never really understood what this meant until was a bit older, but when i was about12 -13 look out, the penny finally droped,, What can I say, everyone else has already said it, what the f***, what on earth did i do wrong, why don't you want me. I spent my teenage years worring about this and messing up my schoool work so that now I dont reallly have any chance at a decent job. And now affects me at 45 years of age/ This may sound really stupid, but the feeling of being abandoned and not wanted for no reason is not something that will go away, it stays with you for life. Anyway somehow I made it through too 30 years of age, with lots of mistakes in the search for love. mostly I wish that these situations never occured and I wish that circumstances were different, but you know,always looking for love. Anyway, one day, I met someone who loves me and I love him, and although sometimes I wonder if I really understand this, something happpens everyday to make me believe. we have three great kids and I would never trade for anything in this world, all four of them are the very most inportant people in my life. i have had contact with my birth mother, which is something I wanted more than anything. however this has not had a very good ending. I still aways have a feeling of not fitting in , of eing on my own. I feel that I will always be lost somewhere and nothing can ever fix this. I can only hope that adoption is abandoned in the future and maybe there will be fewer lost souls in our world.

  • Anonymous-1

    I am 16 years old and i never been adopted but i am doing a paper on this and i never actually realized how serious this was...i feel like if u were adopted your mind is stronger than others because to yourself you are alone, my friend is adopted, but never told me and mostly keeps a lot 2 himself even though u wudnt be able 2 tell that he was..i like the fact how parents will take care of others responsibilites and actually not just take care, but be a parent 2 these children..most children from what i have read actually understand and is just a lil confused, but i just hope yall keep yall head up because everything happens 4 a reason and i feel like god has a plan so i think if you all try 2 stay in a good spirit and be thankfull for atleast adopted parents things will get better..

  • jj

    I was adopted at about 15 months old by white people (I am Asian female). I was taken from the orphanage as a baby and put into boarding school at 7, and 9 and 11 and 13 new different boarding schools. I was told it was good for me. People think adoptive parents are doing you a favour. They gave me all basic living requirements. In return I lost my country, my culture, language, my identity and name and self worth. I grew up feeling inferior, lost and unwanted. The culture of my birth they thought was inferior to theirs and by diminishing it, they inadvertently diminished me as a person. They should have left me at the orphanage, I would have had continuity and some identity through culture. I fulfilled a need for them but they did not fulfil my needs. It is difficult for me to be a good mother and it is difficult for me not to sabbotage all close relationships, even with my children. Interracial adoptions should not happen because the child (who has already lost their identity) loses so much more than normal adoptions.

  • Anonymous-2

    my mum and dad split up when i was very young and now my mum has a new husband but he is so horrible to me. he treats my differently than his other children. what can i do??

  • john martin

    i was adopted by my birth mother's parents and grew up believing she was my sister and that they were my parents, she went on to have more children and even fostered children, but could never admit to being my mother. i found out when i was 21 due to feelings of unease. i still dont know who my father is and now i am 45 and feel so alone. In the past 8 years i have had 2 brain haemorrages and had to get through it(and still trying) without any family support. I find it hard to relate to others and isolate myself. Can anybody offer any advice so that i can try to feel, and enjoy the rest of my life

  • Ursula

    I just adopted a 4 year old boy. I have one daughter of my own biological gene and now my new son. I worry that he will be emotionally well in the future. He often asks to go back to the orphanage. I'm hoping this phase will pass as he learns how to be a part of our family.

  • Anonymous-3

    I have been contacted by an agency that facilitates the reunions of birth parents and their adoptee children, just two days ago. My daughter has located me and wants to meet me. I have tried in the past to locate her through the agency through which she was adopted but to no avail. Now that I have read these posts I am even more afraid, ashamed and sorry that she doesn't know how very much she was wanted and the pain and loss that haunts me even now. How can I ever make things right? I came searching for help in understanding her perspective by hearing other adoptees thoughts and concerns before we actually make contact. Words cannot convey the depression and extreme sadness and fear I feel when I imagine her feeling about me the way many of you feel about your birth mothers. It was so very painful to let her go the first time and at the very least she deserves to hear the true circumstances surrounding her birth and subsequent adoption even if she rejects me in the end. That, and the fear of her being ashamed or disappointed in the person I have become. All I can say is I am humbled and very grateful to have the opportunity to finally at least see her and talk to her whatever the final outcome.

    thank you for your insights, peace.

  • lynn

    Oh boy! Searching on the Internet coming across this page has really did something to me! I am an adopted child. I am a adopted parent. I have found my birth mother (who don't want to see me) .I have told my 10 year old daughter that i had to tell she was adopted today and it seems to be overwhelming for her! I know I am feeling bad because I don't want to be rejected by her. I have had her since she was 1 month old. She had no clue and if it was up to me I wouldn't have told her anything but I always knew I had to before someone else do! I read every comment on here and cried a while but God has helped me through many storms and he will calm the waves down in this situation and all of yours. I have been through it all. If anyone need help I would be glad to assist you. Sometimes life is better on the other side! So we think! lynnettejohnson68@yahoo.com

  • Anonymous-4

    What about the adoptive parents ? Does nobody consider them when the children go searching for birth mothers? remember, they are the ones who nurtured and loved this child, looked after it when it was ill, was proud of its acheivments, watched it grow, and lived their lives around it. The rejection is just as painful to them when a child finds its birth mother and appears to prefer her.

  • Biological Mother

    I am 62 years old. I was a mother who gave up her child for adoption. I believe, in this discussion, that there are two side to the adoption issue. I was 16 when I got pregnant and gave birth shortly after my 17th birthday. I was still in school at the time and, of course, did not have a job or prospects of a job. Times were so much different then than they are now. Because of the shame this brought about, in my time these matters were hidden away and never spoken about ever again. The event became the secret that you kept hidden from then on. If anyone knew outside of the family, there was the great pretense that it never happened. But, never did the thought that it was abandonment ever enter my mind.

    In my family my father was the master of his domain. I managed to hide my pregnancy until my 8th month when it was finally revealled. I was immediately shipped off to an aunt and uncle until a spot became vacant in a home for unwed mothers run by the nuns. Whether I kept the child or not was not an option that I was given either before the birth or after. All adults in my life, my parents, the social worker involved, and the nuns told me this was the best solution. I would not, nor could not, argue and the baby was adopted into what I understood was a warm and loving family that would love her and give her a good life. Several weeks following the adoption the social worker wrote me a letter telling me that the adoptive family loved my daughter and treasured her. While I never stopped thinking about her or worrying about whether she was safe, I moved on with my life, married and had other children. And, once again, no one knew of this secret past of my life.

    Sixteen years ago my daughter found me. The trauma I experienced telling my children and other members of my family was horrendous, but eventually we all got passed it ~ although, even to this day, I have not been able to tell friends because of the shame I still carry. When you keep such a deeply entrenched secret this long, it's so difficult to share it.

    While not the same relationship as a daughter raised by me, I thought that we bonded and had formed a warm and loving relationship. She told me, however, that the family she was adopted into was extremely disfunctional and that the adoptive mother was cold and cruel and that the adoptive father had touched her inappropriately and had attempted to on many occasions. She told me that she had finally left the family when she was 16. In the years following she managed to get a fine education and has a Doctorate degree and is a professor at a prestigious university.

    Her personal life is in shambles, however, as she has had three marriages and several unsuccessful relationships. For a dozen years she did not have any contact with her adoptive brother and adoptive sister (this has recently changed and they are reunited). Through all of this, she has confided in me and I have tried to be supportive. In the beginning she wanted to be involved with me and the other members of my family and was dogged in her persuit of that. Later she did not, and tossed out any connection with her brothers and sister (a sister who was very accepting of her and wanted very much to have a relationship with her). At times, throughout the years, she drew me towards her, and at other times she pushed me away. Over the years the relationship has been one sided, with her calling all the shots. I long ago decided that if I wanted a relationship with her and have her in my life, I had to accept her on her terms ~ this, at times, was very difficult. Recently, and without any warning, she seems to have turned on me and tells me that she is angry because of the life she did not have and she is grieving for what could have been. She has become cruel in this matter and when I tell her how her comments are making me sad and confused, she flippently tells me she's sorry about that, but this is what she is going through. It would seem we are at a crossroad in our relationship. I am allowing her the space to go through what she needs to do, but it is hard. I meant this child no harm and truly believed the adults when they said that adoption was the best thing in the long haul. And, while I did not have a choice in the matter, as I believe many young girls do not, I had to believe that she was being loved and cared for by a loving family.

    I have long since forgiven my parents for this event in my life and refuse to feel guilt any longer. I can not change the past, if I could I would. My daughter is not the only victim here, I guess am one too although I refuse to take on this persona. I believe it does not do anyone any benefit to carry this albatross around and to be in a state of unhappiness all the time and to continue to blame the past for the failings of today. I can not change the past it is over an done with ~ rather, what can we do about today to make our lives more positive.

    The adoption issue is multifacited, there is not just the adoptive child's perspective. Many young girls give up babies for various reasons and often for years after labour over the guilt and stigma of it. Most give up babies because they either see no other choice or they are not given a choice. In either case, both sides suffer. But, to place all the blame at the feet of the biological mother is unfortunate.

  • Anonymous-5

    Not wishing to take away anything from parents who have had to give a child over to adoption for whatever reason, but I am married to a man who was adopted and believe me, he suffers. He really suffers.

  • Steven

    My birth mother died three years before I found her. She died at the hands of a hit and run driver. I was 40yrs old. I had a sister whom I also found and she inherited life assurance, property and the like. Am I legally entitled to a share or did I lose all right for being adopted?

  • Alex

    I am a 15 year old going on 16. And I am in an open adoption. For that I am greatful.

    But its not all sunshine and roses. When ever I go to see my biological family, I can never feel like I truely fit in. Like I'm watching their lives through a window pane forever to see, but never to touch. My adpotive family worries constantly that I'm getting ready to run for the hills to my birthfamily. But they wouldn't have me either. I'm awkward with my friends when they talk about their families, and although they know I'm adopted. They ask questions...And it hurts.

    Both my biological mother and father have had children since me, and kept all of them.

    So why not me?

    I know its too late to change anything now...But why do I still feel like I'm an unwanted piece of trash...I'm not that horrible of a person am I? Or am I a failure? I don't know.

    All I can say for sure, is that I feel like I was abandoned...So to all those out there thinking about open adoption, I give you this warning:

    Open adoption isn't as picturesque as it is posed to be. There are still many an emotion involved, many a sticky uncomterable situation or conversation to endure. Its not the cure-all for adoption. It's not pretty. Its not goiing to have a faerytale ending for most.

  • Nicolette Dixon

    I wasadopted when i was 6monts old. My biological mother had an affair with a married man, who really did not ackowledge me. 'Born again cristians' believe i live under a bloodline curse - bastard, which i passed on 2 my daughter. She was sexually abused frm the age of 4 to 10 years. I am also filled with a deep shame which never leaves me For many manny years i had anorexia + bulimia. I feel so worthless. 1 am 58 now + have terminal cancer. I hide my feelings frm all+have a good sense of humour. A woman/girl can prevent uwanted babies 2day!

  • She wants to go home.

    It is very difficult to hear after a short 4 years that my adopted daughter doesn't want live with me anymore. It's very painful yet ok. We have provided many love/supports/services/good school/etc. I read enough before the adoption it is different when the experience actuatually is in motion. She had family contact because I did what I promised and that was to keep her communicating with her family. I feel like I wasted my time. Yeah, I got to be a parent for a minute went through bedwetting, pre-puberty, outbursts, crying episodes, many nights worrying, seaching for ways to make life better for her. What a waste of time.

  • Cherie

    A sense of not belonging anywhere. Deep emotional pain is always there. Feelings of detachment. No purpose for your life. Hiding your feelings of worthlessness+ self hatred. Who am I? Can only express my love for animals!

  • Claudia

    You write that children may feel abandoned, unwanted or worthless when they learn they were adopted. I would like to see more research on cause and effect. Is the problem simply one of learning they were adopted or of being told about it in the wrong way? What if the adopting parent said something like "Your mother loved you so much that she gave you to us to raise even though it broke her heart to lose you. She knew she wasn't old enough to take care of a child and she knew we were ready and very lonely for a little (girl/ boy) just like you. And we are so grateful to have you." In my case, such a statement would have been the simple truth. I reconnected with my grown up birth son about a year ago. I never stopped loving him and I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to tell him that.

  • Lisa

    God bless all you adopted people out there. I was adopted at 1 month old. I was told about this when I was five. I had great loving parents and was very positve about the whole situation. When I got into my twenties, I sought out my birth parents. I was very sad when I met them because I found out a lot of bad things about who they are and what my birth family is like. I know I had to find them because of the strong desire to know who I am but it has made my life more complicated as they now move where ever I move to and I do not feel like I belong with them. My adopted family has become just as stressful over the years because of my adopted mom becoming old and senile and my brother who is also adopted, ( not my biological brother), has become a paranoid schizophrenic and is violent and mean. I can relate to the adopted people who say that they feel like they don't belong anywhere. I must say, the thing that has helped me thrive over the years is my relationship with Jesus Christ. He had an adoptive father also and knows what it feels like to be raised by an adoptive parent. I want all you adopted people out there to know that there is a great plan for your life and sometimes people that are not adopted end up in horrible situations worse than us adopted people. Sometimes friends are more family than real family are. God loves you so much and you are here for a special purpose and don't you forget that. I love you too and can relate to all that you feel. God bless all you adopted people and their families. All of them!

  • ANNA ?

    I was 'adopted' by a couple that had been turned down by all the adoption agencies so the priest in their parish (after a large donation) put them in touch with Catholic Charities. As my "adopted mother" used to explain it to me was, none of the agencies would let us had a real kid so we had to take you instead. That was the best part of a situation with an abusive drunk. I was 4 when I went to live with them and they even punished me for saying my name is Ann, They changed it to Judith. The name still makes my skin crawl, 52 years later. Adoption is a crime against humanity. You grow up with a feeling of worthlessness that never goes away. I tried to kill myself when I was 8. Dont feel any better today.

  • nicolle

    things with my mum really bad and i dont want to live there my farther if i ran away he would not support my at all and i dont want that i just want my mother and sister to go away knowing that i have a good famliy i feel bad for taking up some one else chance to have a famliy but my mother pretty much kicking me out and i have no where to live i am looking to be come a girl that has a famliy who under stands were i am coming from. i am 16 turning 17 next year and i want out i just want to have a famliy where i can relaxe and not worry about senting off my mother every to mintues where she goes and lost it and hit me every three seconds i live in tassie and if any of you out there want to adoupt me then that would be great i will try my hardest until i can get out and stay out of my mothers way thanks for helping and thanks for adoption >w

  • someone with a sister

    Just get over it life is a struggle for all. learn to be humble and accept your faith there is one Love and one Love only, and it comes from above.

  • Dogmom

    It's always rather comforting to read about others pain with regards to adoption people who aren't adopted just don't get it and they never will (just as I will never know what it is like to live with a family to whom you are genetically related). I was adopted at 4 months in a completely closed adoption. My adoptive parents did the very best they could, they never had other children so I didn't have that me vs the "biological" siblings thing.

    I always knew I was adopted so no painful disclosure at an advanced age. However, I have always, always felt deeply alone, in my gut and soul and nothing I can forsee will ever take it away. In my teens I did a lot of acting out, drugs, inappropriate sex (always looking to ease the pain of complete loneliness within). My adopted family kicked me out at 17, which as we all know really sends home the message that, yes you are expendable. But in their defence I WAS a real handful. Like others have said, I ALWAYS leave a relationship before they can leave me, because, being adopted I always assume that everyone in my life will leave me it's a gut chewing fear that is deep deep seated. I was married to a great guy for 12 years but always waiting for the other shoe to drop "when will he leave?" finally I left him I was diagnosed with severe attachment dissorder. The only beings I can be truly attached to are my pets.. they depend upon me.. Though I have toyed with the idea of finding my birthparents (I was adopted stupid Ohio where they only allow open records for certain years) I always get just so far then leave off the search... because who could tolorate being dumped AGAIN??? Now I am 45 and I still have terrible pain whenever I go to the doctor and they ask the dreaded "family history" question, and I get to say "adopted, no clue" how fun is that? There is a book called The Primal Wound, which though I didn't cure my insecurities at least let me know that my feelings are shared by many more adoptees... For a bunch of lonely people, we are all in this together.

  • S

    I have just finished reading an article on the Internet entitled, Long-Term Issues for the Adopted Child written by Kathryn Patricelli (http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?

    type=doc&id=11455). This article and with its Forum for Readers’ Comments was an eye-opener for me, as someone whose perspective is skewed by being on the other side of the adoptee -- I am the proud sister of an adopted brother. This site provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about how adopted children feel as well as a vehicle for providing a response to a scientific fact that poses a problem for my brother (but not to me), “Blood is thicker than water”. Below, is my heartfelt response to share how I truly feel about being a sister to my adopted brother, whom I respect, admire and am grateful for the opportunity to love him forever (Please note that I have not provided any names in case I hurt any of those people to whom I hold dearest).

    Dearest C,

    “It’s true that blood is thicker than water however, did you know that blood is made up of mostly water (90% by volume)? Therefore, where would blood be without water?” Now, let’s consider that we have different blood running through our veins, what does that really matter in the long haul? My particular blood type is O Rh negative blood , which means that I can give my blood to everyone on the planet, and that means you. Now, I frequently do donate my blood whenever my iron is rich enough. So let’s consider this fact, I can give you my blood and potentially save your life however, your blood cannot save me. Now, does this mean that I love my other brothers or sister more because they have the potential to save me? Of course not! I’m not sure any of them would save me by giving their blood to me anyway. Now you are laughing out loud right now, are you not? How do I know this? The simple answer to this question is that WE share a history not to mention similar senses of humour. A shared history and similar senses of humour are much more important than sharing the same mother and father, the same race, the same colour skin, the same genetic code, the same gender, the same mother and father... On that last note, we do share the same mother and father. We are children of J and E and grew up in a small hamlet north east of O**. We both grew up in a house that fostered over sixty-five children, some of which we are still able to be in touch with. However, there are many who are lost to us due to the nature of fostering. Foster parents are not usually provided confidential information such as addresses and names of the people who adopt these children. As such, we usually never hear how these children are unless the adoptive parents decided to keep us informed. Or, the parents of these children who can now look after them decide to keep in touch. Sometimes, this happens and we are still in touch with a few and see them from time to time. It is a wonderful thing to know how they are. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to grow up in a family that fostered (I was eight months old and am now 52). One of the perks of being a foster sibling was knowing at an early age the answer to the question, “How are babies made?” Babies were only a phone call away. We learnt early that after a phone call came, a baby or babies would shortly be delivered to the C** household. On a more serious note however, there is a long-term negative effect of growing up in a foster home – the fear of abandonment. The fear of abandonment is something I fear and have never been able to outgrow. I grew up shedding tears and feeling sick every time that a foster sibling left. Even after having my own three children, I was afraid I would lose my kids somehow and never ever see them again. However, dear brother to whom I’m writing this to, you have been a typical Hollywood ending for me and the rest of your family. We have never had to shed a tear by having to say goodbye as you would disappear forever from our lives. You are my brother, and I could not love you more or less than my other siblings, even if you could not save my life if your blood depended upon it. I’m sure you are now affectionately thinking of me in terms of being a “Wise-Ass”. In the long run, what really matters is what we share not what we do not. I see you through the lens of a sister, one who values you as any other loving sister who values her brother. Although we do not see eye to eye on everything as in how you weigh in on the scientific fact that “Blood is thicker than water”. I shall reiterate, without water where would blood be? I am water. I am sister. I am your best friend. I am and always will be your sister and in your camp. I’m hoping you will find your beautiful mother who was bereft at leaving you. I can still remember her blue black hair swinging down to her waist as she held you one last time. If you find your birth mother and other brothers and sisters, please know that I am routing for you and will welcome enlarging our family to include those of your birth. I believe, it is not the number, the genetics, the race, the colour of our skin, the religion, the gender, the sexual preference, and the list goes on, which determines whether or not we are brother and sister, but it is the within our hearts. To sum up my feelings, I borrow shamelessly from Johann Schiller who once said, “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us [brothers] and [sisters].” Always, Your sister Susan

  • Angie

    I am the adoptive mother of a now four-and-a-half year old girl who is the center of our world. I will call her Lily. She came to live with us when she was 11 months old. Ours was the fifth home that she lived in during her first year of life and it was the last. My adopted brother is the father and his then girlfriend is the birth mother. They were driving into California when they were pulled over and arrested and she was put into emergency foster care. The "parents" were eventually released and they were told that in order to get the baby back that they had to go to parenting classes, anger management, and stay clean. Well, they couldn't do it. In the meantime, Lily went from emergency foster care to a regular foster care family, and then to my aunt's house, my mom's house and then to mine. The foster care system when you are working through two different counties is complicated and slow. The foster families, my aunt and mom took good care of her and she is simply adored here.

    Once we got Lily here living with us, I did lots of reading on attachment and my husband and I tried to do all the right things so that any damage from such a turbulent first year could be overcome. We tried at first to have her sleep in her crib, but that was scary for her and so she slept with us in our bed, and, well, she still sleeps with us. But the most important thing is that we three have a deep bond. I can't imagine life without her.

    My only concern is that developmentally she has been slow to reach her milestones. She has reached them, but much later than other children her age. My gut instinct is that the delay is the result of that first year of turmoil. Instead of having a secure consistent relationship to a parent or caregiver, she was spending her first year dealing with uncertainty and insecurity. Once we got her, my primary concern that was that she felt loved, wanted, and secure. Developmentally, she did start walking late (15 months) and her speech has developed slowly, but we are seeing a speech therapist. She does have a temper, but I imagine I would too if I had been juggled between 5 homes in my first year of life. Recently her pediatrician mentioned that he would like to have her evaluated for Pervasive Development Disorder because she has been slow in her development.

    Has anyone out there had this same experience? I don't want to label her with this kind of disorder, if her little body is just trying to play catch up after having such a hard little life.

  • Irene

    I was in a trauma state when I told my parents and the Catholic agency that I was pregnant but worse of all, I was told that my baby would be adopted by a loving couple. Why? Did they think I was not able to be a loving mom? Their statement portrayed me as unfit when all I was, was an unwed mother. I needed support and someone to stand by me. No matter how great a life an adopted child receives, it can never compare to the love that a birth mother can give to her child. The security of that love is very nurturing and healthy for the child. I don't think social workers spend enough time studying this. The loss of a birth mother's love is very painful for her child as well as for herself. I know, for myself, my heart has been broken and though I have found my child after many years, my heart will never fully recover from the emptiness I sufferred without him.

  • brian b

    A lot of great comments here. I find that it's easy to focus on the negative aspects of being an adoptee. There are gifts too which I believe can be overlooked. I find that as an adoptee, I don't have a pollyanna view of the world and relationships. We were all viewed at some point by our birthmothers as being more of a liability than an asset pure and simple. It's not about "love". We are better prepared for inevitable breakups because we understand people ultimately take care of themselves before others. This is the way the world works, get over it ! When my wife of 12 yrs. Divorced me after I lost my job, I'm sure she was doing the same balance sheet in her head. I'm getting re-married to a wonderful woman who has children of her own. However, I know that if times get tough again that I can be expended again. Nothing personal as they say, just business. Sorry if I seem a bit cynical (insert smiley face) but that's my reality.

  • christine

    my name is chris i have 7 kids 5 wich were taken buy s s in jan o8 2008 i see the 2 girls that are place with family but my triple son have been adop by 2 people i get 2 letters a year no face on phots thats how they wanted it i have never got mad of nasy with them they are like friends to me i amfinding it so hard to live day to day i try and find think to do every day its just trying to live and the hope that they will come and find me they were not took because of me it was xboyfriends i do every think i could to get them back in the end they said because they been there for a year it do more harm its does mess u around i called my boys darryl adam dominic they were mclean they will be 6 in nov the family that have got them is rob and manda i love u sons

  • Kate

    MY sister and I were adopted as young children after a series of foster homes. What I have come to understand is that as an adopted person you never "belong" anywhere. When push comes to shove you come to realize that the extended family in which you find yourself does not have that DNA glue that holds everyone together. You are always on the outside looking in. This becomes heightened when it comes to inheritances, for example.

    When critical infant and childhood bonding is disrupted over and over again it is difficult to form solid relationships in adulthood. I never really knew why I never totally committed to a relationship until recently. It took 60 years to figure that one out!

    I am not angry with the birth parents -- from everything I have come to know they were young and reckless and foolish. Their poor impulse control could have had dire consequences for my sis and me. So perhaps ending up in a family with a seriously diabetic (behavior like an alcoholic) father and a well-meaning, but in-denial Mom was not as bad as if the original parents had raised us.

    The bottom line is that unless the adoptive parents are highly enlightened, the adopted children are going to grow up missing important components necessary to mentally healthy adults. It is a lose:lose situation unfortunately....

  • Felicia Daniels

    I can relate... I was adopted at the age of two, but have been with my adoptive family since 10 months of age. My adopted mom would tell me nothing of my birth mother but negative things, and sometimes she would shut me down when I asked about her. She would not let me call my aunt my sister, even though she was...

    When they finally found me, I felt like a part of me had been found, but then it felt like they didn't really care about me because they really weren't trying to spend time with me. They don't call or text me.

    And when I found out that that I was the only one that didn't stay in contact with the family, I felt hurt, as if there was a reason why they didn't want me.

  • Dudley

    There is probably not an adult, juvenile or child adoptee, adopted out of family in infancy, who is not burdened in varying degrees, either consciously or unconsciously, with most of the longterm psychological problems inherent in adoption. In the vast majority of cases the adoptive parents are at best made only vaguely aware of these problems prior to adopting, and at worst are totally unaware of the potential pitfalls and disruption that can be visited upon them in their desire to care.

    Your participants cite some of these issues, often repeatedly, but as you well know the more consequential problems, the multitude of anti-social behaviours, both overt and covert are very rarely referred to. Why? Because governments have never made known the more pertinent results of the research conducted on their behalf, usually by university psychology departments. Are governments so lacking in wit that they don't understand that duping taxpayers into bailing out bankers negligence could appear like childs play compared to explaining to them what a class action filed by adoptees against the States' of California or New York could yield.

    No doubt you will judge this commentary as hostile bombast, but it isn't! I am one of those rare adoptees who sorted himself out and then researched and wrote a 400 page novel on the subject. Part of that research has very recently brought to light the little known fact that some authorities in the U.K. are now 'in fear and dread' of adoptee law suits for - longterm psychological damage.

  • Valerie

    At 48, and after just watching a new movie called Mother and Child with Annette Bening and Billy Smitts......I, for the first time, am recognizing that ALL my behaviors are the very ones written about as how many (most, all?) adoptee's feel after being "abandoned".

    I did not ever "think" I felt abandoned....yet, I have demonstrated abandonment issues my whole life. I EXPECT every man to leave me, and surprise, they all have. I also am unable to maintain lengthy friendships as I "dump" them all before to long. Likely, because I assume they will "dump" me...so I do it first (theres the control issue they say we adoptees have).

    I have had no self esteem my entire life. I have suffered from sadness or depression for most of it. I even chose a nursing speciality (ER) specifically because I did not want to have relationships with patients. In the ER you only see a patient for a few hours until they walk out, are rolled out, or are takent to the morgue. I attempted only a few times to do nursing where I had to see the same patients over a long period of time, but I couldn't stand it. I was cold to them, and they felt it, and didn't like me. And I "felt" they didn't like me. In fact, I go in knowing they won't like me.

    Oh, and besides choosing an ER career where I didn't have to have relationships with patients.....I also chose a Traveling Nurse ER career so I would move every 3 months to a new state to work. I did that for 12 years. Further isolating myself by always being on the run. And now that I'm no longer a nurse, I find myself still moving every couple of years. I seem to be in search of something but I don't know what. (yes, I already know my birth mother, so I'm not searching for her). It's something else. I think I'm searching for love.

    I have never felt I fit in. Yet, if you asked people who knew me, they would say I was the most personable and friendly person they have ever met.

    It's all an act. I'm very aware that it's all an act. I haven't even had a relationship, where someone stayed with me for longer than a week, since the 80's.

    As I write all this, it's the first time I've even REALIZED it. I sort of knew some of it, but didn't put it all together as stemming from the same cause.

  • derrr

    im 12 ive been adopted and i remember the time when my (i think) birth mother argued (i think) with my father and my mom left me on like a porch or dock or something near water and then a police picked me up. I got to lift his bat and I thought it was cool :D my new family isn't really well because they're too old to work and do all the other parent stuff so we're kind of poor. My dad is the nicest person ever and I would die for him but my mom has trigeminal nerve and is too scared to take the surgery and all she does in the small not very clean house is ly down on the couch all dayand watch the TV. She would take drugs if she felt a lot of pain from the trigeminal nerve which would make her fall asleep and she wouldn't turn the TV off. I think her eyesight is getting worse and worse it's sad

    my dad is the best most hardworking dad ever and I think he deserves a much better life than what he has now.. dad and mom has issues with each other and they never communicate without a bad tone. My mom tries her best to make him be happy with her but I sometimes I Don't think he wants to show it. I do have thoughts of suicide some times and am very emotional but my great school and friends keep me happy and sometimes crazy..

    i really hope someday I could meet my real parents.......

  • Anonymous-6

    I am an adoptive parent and I read some of the comments that were posted. I am wondering if there is anything that the adoptive parent can do or say to their son/daughter throughout their childhood and teen years that can ease the pain of being adopted. I'd like my son to grow up into a strong and balanced individual who'll be able to enjoy life despite the fact that he's adopted. We only get to live once...adopted or not...why not choose to make it a good life???

  • Anonymous-7

    I was adopted at birth, was never even held by my birthmother. I have had no contact and know nothing of her or my father, except that they were irresponsible and unmarried.

    This is a warning to anyone out there.

    I am an adult in his 40's now, I have led a tortured life of sadness, loneliness, hatred, anger, depression. It never ever stops, not even when I sleep.

    I hate living, I have nearly attacked anti-abortion protestors twice - that is how much I wish I had been mercifully aborted.

    Take this for what it is worth, most would think i am spamming, I am not - this is true, adoption is cruel and inhuman, abortion is mercy.

  • Anonymous-8

    Wow, after reading these comments, I feel as if a lot of you are in my head. You are saying the very thoughts that have been going through my mind for so long. I am in my mid-40's and was adopted as an infant, at about 6 weeks old, which I've known since I was about 5. My adoptive parents were always open with me about it and gave me whatever information they had. They never discouraged me from asking about the adoption or looking for my birth parents, if that's what I wanted to do, which sounds wonderful, but they were emotionally closed off at the same time. It was a closed adoption and I have still never met any of my birth family, but am considering finding them now as I am desperate for answers to why I feel this way and to try to fix it. As a child, being adopted never bothered me and I never thought of myself as different, at least not consciously. It's only as I've gotten older that the "issues" have progressively been getting worse. One of the things that I'm so torn about is that I should feel normal. But I don't. I have always considered myself a lone wolf, even as a small child, but just thought I was independent. You know, the “I don’t need anyone else” attitude. Looking back, I was also very moody and angry most of the time too. I now find it more and more difficult to form lasting relationships with others, or more than superficial friendships. I seem to be drawn to more self-centered people and try to be there for them (I'm a pleaser), but then they are never there for me to I dump them. Part of me thinks I don't deserve to have them be there for me or to even be happy. Everyone in my life as let me down on every level imaginable from both young school age friends and adult friends turning on me (or do I subconsciously drive them to it?), to boyfriends and husbands lying and cheating on me (again, do I ask for this some how because I don't think I deserve to be happy?), and parents that may have listened but never seemed to hear me or participate in my life. I have two older brothers, both biological children of my parents. I always felt like I was treated differently. I ran away at 16 with my first serious boyfriend because he was the first person that I felt really loved me. Looking back, it was more about sex than love but I didn't know any better because I don't feel I was really taught how to love (or does this come naturally? See, I am really confused!). I grew up thinking my parents didn't really like children. I'm fairly certain they loved me, but never felt they actually liked me. My closet relationships have been with my dogs, but then I am devastated when they die and sink even more into myself. I'm really not sure what to do at this point. In an odd way, it comforts me to read that others are going through the same things and that I am not alone, or crazy!

  • brendan mc laughlin

    i sit here today and want help to understand my loneliness in this world. i was adopted at birth and have always lived in fear. i use alchohol to escape. i can identify with the control issues but never put it together with adoption. but i see today when i get drunk i crave attention with my mad ways just to control situations. this is a contined pattern for me. i stay sober for a while and then i go crazy. crying out to a world that i dont trust. even now today i am looking for an answer to my seperateness form this world that i find unbearable. i want to talk to others but i think i am going mad. is this a direct result of being adopted. part of it must be because i can identify with alot of the letters wrote here. the lack of trust, the failed relationships, the attention seeking, the control issues, the fear of the world, the loneliness, the pain of living. i want to be free from this hell but up to this point i keep falling into the trap of self destruction. thankyou to all the people who wrote in . i am grateful to know that others feel the same.

  • Christine

    After reading so many of the comments from unhappy adopted children/adults, I had to write. My fear is that any person considering adoption will come upon these comments and feel that this is the case for all or even most adoptees.

    Research has consistently shown that adopted children do not have significantly more adjustment problems than other children/adults. In fact, those adopted internationally fare even better than those adopted domestically. Anecdotally, two of my close friends were adopted and in turn adopted children as well. They are loving, happy, well-adjusted people who have beautiful relationships with their families. If they felt miserable as a result of adoption, surely they would not have chosen to adopt children themselves.

    Please look up peer-reviewed research articles on adoption before making any decision. You will be encouraged, I believe. As for all of the adoptees who are struggling, I think we should consider the many variables that may have been at play in addition to their adoption. Some mentioned alcoholic parents, others suffered through years of foster home placements, others had parents who did not want to discuss the adoption. All of these can of course affect one's development.

    Additionally, how many adults who were raised by their biological families later suffer from depression, loneliness, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, bad relationships, and the like?

    Furthermore, if we would like to see a group that is truly, truly challenged throughout life (statistics in all human development textbooks bear this out) it is those raised by single mothers who gave birth in their teens. They by and large, according to good research, grow up in impoverished, unstable homes, headed by a young woman who just was not ready to parent. Again, sound research has found that these children truly suffer: drop out rates, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, likelihood of sexual molestation, health problems, are all more likely when children are raised by teen parents who are not prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood.

  • Anonymous-9

    We have 2 daughters - one was born out of my wife's stomach and the other from her heart. I once made a story for the little one with the her hole in heart about how all babies look down on earth from baby heaven and decide which family they would be born into. So when she spotted us wishing another child she chose us to be her family in this lifetime. Except, God made a mistake and put her in the wrong tummy. So when she appeared her birth mother spotted the mistake and immediately handed her over to her real mummy. Recently, I was concerned that my story may have backfired by making her feel guilty about making the wrong choice and not being able to vent her anger at her birth mother for giving her away and us adoptive parents for taking her away. And then I found a wonderful book to read to her - "The Sun and the Liitle Soul" by Neale Donald Walsh - which alludes to how we choose our journey on this planet. I feel so blessed that this little soul is in our life and I wish my heart could encompass hers and take away the pain I know she feels. There was so little hope and so much pain in the comments in this forum and then I turned to the news and turns out Steve Jobs was adopted and thought that perhaps there is hope afterall! We are just going to keep loving her and supporting her in every which way we can and if there is a God out there he can take care of the rest.

  • Anonymous-10

    From the sound of your post, you personally were not adopted? And I really don't care what "research" says. Unless you've lived with the pain, you really don't know. And I agree that non-adoptees have problems in life as well, but so many adoptees' mirrored feelings of loneliness and distrust cannot be ignored either. I personally have had several friends over the years who were also adopted and all but one had serious “issues”. There is a physical reaction in the brain to being separated from your birth mother that cannot be "fixed". I think it can be helped along with a very loving and understanding adoptive family though. So if anyone is considering adoption, I think the key is to be the most loving parents you can be. Be open and emotionally available, participate in your child's life, encourage them to be who they want to be and then support them in their choices. My adoptive parents did not do this. They were controlling and tried to mold me into what they wanted for me and ignored what I wanted (I know, there's probably a lot of bio parents that do this, but add to it being adopted and it's not a good outcome.) No wonder I am so controlling now, and probably always have been! My adoptive parents were also extremely high functioning alcoholics, so that may also explain some of the behaviors, or lack thereof. The interesting thing is that they were there a lot more for my two brothers (who were not adopted). In sum, my feelings are likely a combination of being adopted as well as my upbringing.

    It’s funny, I never thought of myself as different, but when I went through a divorce in 1995, my father said to one of my brothers, “is it because she was adopted?” You see, my mother and father were married for 54 years before he passed away, and his parents were married for 65 years before my grandfather passed away. I was dumbfounded at this statement and wondered if he had always thought of me this way, that I was somehow so different. I was actually glad in some ways when that same brother went through a divorce a couple of years later. See dad, it’s not just me! Oh, and he also wanted me to get back together with the ex-husband because HE really liked my ex. Me, not so much, after the ex berated me for being just slightly overweight and cheated over many years.Thanks for supporting ME, dad! Maybe the true issue is that they never really connected with their "adopted" child, or I didn't let them.

  • Anonymous-10

    I was raised in an upper-middle class family where I didn't want for anything, at least anything material. I have now worked for the same company for over 20 years, am very good at my job, and well respected by those who matter. I've owned my own homes since I was 23 and had rental properties over the years as well, both as a married person and single/divorced. I like to pay cash for almost everything (except homes, but cars, yes as I'm a really good saver and hate debt) and my credit rating has touched 800 in the recent past . Basically, I'm a very stable person, on paper. Having said that, I got pregnant at 17, didn't drop out of high school, but got out early by taking the GED (since I hated high school), and was invovled with doing various drugs and people that sold drugs from about the age 15-18, although I personally was never addicted to anything. I don't know what this says about how I was raised, but sometimes I wonder how I would have fared if my "teenage" birth mom had raised me - she was 17 when I was born. What's better to have in your life, material possessions or the love and closeness of a bio-family? I wish I could have had a little of both and will always wonder what if. I have no ill feelings towards my birth mom, but I just wonder. I do have mixed feelings towards my adoptive parents, but feel they did the best they could under the circumstances.

  • Lauren

    I was adopted at 9 days old, it was a closed adoption. My parents never kept anything from me, and always were so supportive, encouraging to ask questions. I have read some comments and yes there are issues that do stem with adoption. I always wondered about my birthmom and family from a young age. But then I gained more feelings of hurt probably around the time I became a teenager. Always fighting with my adoptive parents, and stepmom. I think it it was really apparent that the feelings of loneliness never leaves. Yes it does get better over time, you just have to surround yourself with people that love you. I actually have been to councelling since I was 18. lol, yes thats a long time, but it helps to take what your thinking in your head and jumbled emotions and talking to understanding it (lay it out on the table and deal with it) It helped with my issues with adoption and also I went to councelling and fixed my roller coaster relationship with my dad (adoptive dad). About 2 years ago I found my biological sister on the internet and got in touch with my birth family. I havent met them yet, But I speak to my sister and mom alot. I understand the situation why she would give me up, I respect that. I have such a nice adoptive family, full of love and support. I think that because of my background it makes me cherish and love them even more. They arn't just family, its more then that to me. Anyways if you have any problems I highly suggest going to councelling, it literally saved my life and relationships. I was on such a destructive path when I was younger, thinking that no one loved me, and trying to attract the wrong kind of attention because no one noticed me or i was important, also identity issues. I wouldnt trade my life for anything. The bond you have with your adoptive parents is an interesting thing, there are some kids that can't stand there parents. I spent so much time trying to get away from them and now I talk to them every day on the phone, and we have such a strong relationship. Adoption isnt a bad thing, you just have to understand what that child may be feeling and try and do your best to be supportive.

  • kathy

    I am 52 years old and was adopted when I was six years. I feel that being adopted has caused so much pain in my life not only as a child, a teenager and as an adult and a mother. I can only remember bits and pieces of my childhood and even my teenage years. I was continually moved from different schools as a small child and eventually sent to a boarding school which I was physically abused. My adopted mom was always at work and left me with friends alot which makes me wonder why she wanted to adopt me. Her immediate family always treated me as an outsider so I was never close to the. I recently attended my high school reunion and so many people came up to me and shouted my name and hugged me but I just did not remember them. I have suffered from depression from a child and still suffer from it now. I am sometimes consider sucide and suffer severely from panic attacks. I have had a failed marriage and remarried again. I have always been abused by men even as young as 16 years old. I became sexually active at the age of 11 years old. I was in counseling since I was about 15 years old adn for some reason I was given valium as a teenager. I am currently on medications for depression and anxiety. I have thoughts every day about my birth mother and father wondering why I was adopted away at age 6 years and wondering where I came from, what my biological parents look like. My adopted mother passed away 8 years ago and took with her the truth about my adoption. I was always afraid to ask her about my adoption as I did not want to hurt her. I should have but now it is too late. I feel like there is a hole in my heart and my life is not complete. I sometimes ask why me? I see my friends with their siblings and wish that I too had a brother or a sister. I was the only child for my adopted mother. I know that being adopted has caused me so much grief in my life and I still continue to suffer from it every day. I feel that if a child is adopted they should be told about the circumstances surrounding their adoption and provided with any information regarding the adoption. I have a adopted birth ceritificate that has my new name and the adoption date and my adopted mother's name. I do not really know where I was born, I found out that the month that I have been celebrating as my birth day is wrong also my name was changed and also I may have been taken from my mother and not returned. I do not know the truth. It is really a living nightmare. I know that if I could just see my biological family that my life and health would be so much better.

  • Bill Humphrey

    Hey there, I am a 38yo adoptee. What all of the people that have a positive story do not seem to understand is that WE ARE NOT THE PROPERTY OF THE STATE and our records should not be treated like a state secret, or any secret. Our whole lives have been secre t because a state government allowed social workers to say who got these womens children and keep the record of it sealed. Most, if not all of these girls, were told to put the birth of their child out of their headsand act like it never happened. These people are obviously delusional and Since this is so, how is any contract binding when one or more of the people that signed it were not capable of making a coherant decision. One other very important aspect of this argument is also that as an adoptee how can I be bound by an agreement that not only did I not sign but I am not allowed to see and the other people who signed it never recieved a copy of. Not only this but how can any of this information be kept from me once the age of majority is reached. I am no child any longer and any protection by the state is not needed nor wanted. Keeping these records from me should be felonious. There is no guarantee in life or law that allows you to be free from embarassment or ridicule which is exactly why we were put up for adoption to begin with. Society sucks sometimes and pregnant girls were forced to give up children as a consequence, we can either accept that this happened and fix it by allowing access to information that is my human right or keep the atmosphere of secrecy and act like we never happened. It really makes me wonder what these people are trying to hide. These women no longer need to be hidden from public scrutiny and to have a state impose restrictions on who had access to this info is blatant discrimination. Colorado allows people adopted from 1951-1967 to have full access to these records but people born from 1967-1999 can only access these records by court order. We are also required to use a state reunion service that costs over 700 dollars. Why do I have to pay any thing more than the15 dollars that a non adopted person has to pay. The adoption industry needs to be regulated so much more than it is when talking about the methods that are used to convince these young women to choose adoption, because I can tell you all for sure that when they promise to give this child a safe and happy home they are lying, they can offer no such guarantee, and that by itself should negate any contract that the girls sign. Adoption as an institution should be banned.

  • Dee

    I am 31 years old, i was adopted at birth by my aunt who is my biological mothers older sister who had 5 kids of her own which are all much older than i am. I do know my biological mother but can't communicate with her very well cause she has parkinsons disease and alziemers i also have a biological brother but he is no where around me he is in and out of jail and doesn't stay in one place. Long story short i have never felt so alone, unwanted, and empty in my entire life until my adoptive mother passed away almost 5 yrs ago after she passed my family changed its like i was never part of the family cause they never invited me to family dinners, gatherings, or activities i usually found out a week later cause one of my nieces or nephews will casually bring it up, for 5 years i never said anything or brought it up until this past thanksgiving which was also my birthday.. so i never showed up the entire weekend i never recieved a phone call or text message not even to say happy birthday its been 2 weeks after and still nothing :( its like i was never apart of their family, they made me feel like it was a priority to have them love me just to make my mom happy now that she's gone its like they left me also. I tried to reach out to my husband but he don't understand...i have been very emotional, depressed, sad and aggressive since then i get mad over little things i just want to crawl into a dark hole and never come out but i know i can't cause i have a beautiful 4 year old daughter who keeps me going day to day and reminds me that she loves me. I was sexually abused (not by my adoptive family though) and mentally physically abused by my ex. and now this situation with my adoptive family has made me really feel like i don't belong and abandoned!!!!

  • Anonymous-11

    I was adopted at birth and placed in foster care until i was 6months old. I was adopted and had a very happy and loving family life. I recently started searching for my biological family, i didnt really know what i wanted to get out of it but felt i needed to put some faces to the names. I found out some really disturbing news about my birth mother and i am now gonna thank God everyday that she gave me away. If i wasnt adopted i dont know how my life would have turned out and i couldnt ask for a better one than i have now. I believe your life is mapped out for you before youre even born. If you to are adopted and are lucky with the family you get my advice is be happy and content with what youve been blessed with, you may not have been born out of your adopive mothers stomach but you were born from her heart. God Bless All Adoptees.x

  • Anonymous-12

    I was adopted as a child. My birth mother had one child about 2 years older than me who has the same father and when she fell pregnent again with me she could not cope with bringing up another child. She had a choice - she could have decided not to have me and had me aborted but she did decieded to have me adopted so that I could have a life. Aged 18 I decided that I wanted to meet my birth mother and my sister which is when I found out further details. My birth father does not know i exist but then he walked away from my birth mother and sister so why would he want to know me. I have a great deal of respect for my birth mother for having me and making the decision that she did.

    I have had a wonderful childhood with parents that love me. They have supported me when I have needed it, told me off and disciplined when I needed it and encouraged me to fullfil my dreams. Some I have achieved, others I am still trying to do.

    I am now 36years old and married and when I look back, I know how lucky I was to have a birth mother that had the courage to do what she felt was right for her child and adopted parents who gave me the life that I deserved. I would not have had the life had I not been adopted.

    I do not have contact with my birth family anymore. Both my birth mother and sister used drugs which I saw when I met them. My sister also admitted having done other illegal activity. The scary thing was we were very alike in our interests and I fear that had I been kept by my birth mother I would have turned out the same - troubled. I am sorry but i did not and do not want to be part of that life.

    To the adopted dad that asked for advice. Be the best father you think you can be. Love your child/ren, provide them with support and give them the opportunities they deserve. If one day they do have issues with identity then support them if they wish to seek out more details about their birth parents. It may be hard for you but it will be harder for them.

    To everyone else that father is right you do only have one life - adopted or not - live it, embrace it, enjoy it. Its you life and its up to you to make the most of it.

  • April

    Hello All, I truly am suprised about the hurt and sadness. I have 2 sisters which were adopted before I was born. They are my sisters, I see them no other way. The funny thing is my bio mom and my sisters adopted mom, treated them better than me. My adopted sister got my mom's life insurance, crazy huh? I think I was treated differently because right after I was born, my parents got a divorce. My mother never had kind words to me, when I was 16 she said , I don't care if you have sex as long as it's not in my house..great parenting..So, every story is different. My mom would tell me I was adopted...yet shed tell my sisters that their own mother didn't want them ( they have different birth parents) She was nuts. My dad's new wife gave my sister her birth parents names, because my mom didn't want to give them to her..They are very successful and seem to have very happy lives and close family ties...Maybe they feel bad, but bio parents can be just as cruel....

  • joanna

    Maybe us adopted children should start a support group-i was sent to cathedral home at age 2, back with bio parents for a few years than 3 siblings and myself placed in state orphanage. age 6 a family took my sister age 12 and myself for 6month trial period (like we were a piece of furniture instead of people) anyway they sent my sister back after 6 months to orphanage. OUCH-kept me for 7 years than relinquished rights and after two weeks in jail another family adopted me at age 13. Please know that Jesus created you and he loves you and you do belong. OHHHH how i know the hurt and pain of abandonment and rejection and such deep lonliness. the emotional and physical scars. I felt your pain -everyone of yours and i want you to know YOU are not alone. WE ARE SPECIAL PEOPLE -YOU MUST HAVE CHRIST ESTEEM IN KNOWING YOUR WORTH AND VALUE. i CARE!

  • nicole

    wondering if anyone feels the same or there is just something wrong with me.. i was just an infant when i was adopted, i dont remember if it was closed or open i never asked my parents. However ever since the day i was told i was adopted and understood it enough to know i was seperated from my birth family right right after birth my life changed for forever. My world had been turned upside down. Yes im glad and blessed that i have a roof over my head and i have been taken care of but ever since that day i have held nothing but anger, hurt, confusion and all these emotions in me, the one time i tried telling my parents how i felt they just rolled their eyes and said to pretty get over it that i was over reacting, i was livid and since then i kep everything locked inside, i cry myself to sleep im not myself i so many questions about my past . I wanted to find my birth mom so bad till i found out she passed away in 2003. I felt i had nothing left to live for, for the one person i needed most was not longer here, i could right a 1000 letters but theres no address in the stars. Being adopted is just not what people think it is, yeah many say its what you make of it, well i tried my damnest to make the best of it and here i am miserable inside, hopeing to one find someone who understands and says that im not crazy and that what im feeling is completely understandable.

  • lisa

    I am 52, was adopted as an infant, my parents adopted 3 others as well, when I was around 11 my parents got divorced, My mother had just had a biological daughter, my other adopted siblings where sent to bording schools, I was chosen to live with my adopted mother ( she needed a maid)and her young offspring,, I was right away treated as a cook and maid and caregiver of her baby. My teenage years where spent cooking cleaning and watching her child, while going to school. I was rewarded by her giving me wine and cigerattes starting at 12, I was told I was lucky to have food and house to live in, by the time I was 17 my last year in high school I was informed to leave after graduation. I was also told my adoptive father wanted nothing to do with me that her daughter was his only real daughter etc.,, I moved as far away as possible!They where a very upper class couple who I believe only adopted to achieve status in their comunity at the time....You never get over it,, I have never married, never had kids,,was never allowed in my mothers home after I left,,hadnt seen my adoptive mother for decades until she died last year ,,she wanted to see me and she had parkinsons,,,I visited her in the nursing home,in Fla, told her I forgave her,, because I believe no one should die without forgiveness,, hardest thing I ever had to do,was to see her again and old,, of course her real daughter who had control of her estate was angry I showed up but the nursing home people said she really wanted to see. me of course sheleft me nothing, not even a picture..except her daughter gave me a letter I had written her when I was in my early twenties. asking about why was I not loved... I guess apples dont fall far from the tree do they!!....I believe in abortion, wish I would have been aborted,, one day of cruelty is easier than a life of being un loved, if I wasnt raised catholic when I was really young I probly would have killed myself by now..one of my other adopted siblings did just that and the others have vanished from my life.. I may have done better in an orphanage.... I see all these actors adopting kids and I feel for those kids,,its all for show, when the realtionship falls apart they will most likely throw away the kids to., like old used furniture,, adoption laws need to be more strict. And birth information should be a human right, not closed information.. I hope before I die they change the laws .

  • Anonymous-13

    I adopted my daughter when she was 21 days old. I got pregnant with 2 biological daughters afterwards. I never really enjoyed my first pregnancy and birth because I was afraid I might love my biological baby more than my daughter. By the time my third daughter was born, I knew there was absolutely no difference between any of my daughters. I always thought love would conquer and I had so much of it to give. I gave everything to all of my children and was always present for every single thing they did, very hands on. My adopted daughter started lying, manipulating and rebelling in her teen years and finally left home at 18. I went though hell trying to get her back home or atleast get her to go to school and get educated but I have been unsuccessful. She has been blaming me for not loving her, loving her sisters more, being a horrible mother, her not feeling part of the family among many other things. I consulted many psychologists and was told to give her space and allow her to figure things out. I have been texting her on a weekly basis to let her know that I love her and just last week found out that she is pregnant and now has decided to keep the baby. Mind you she is 21, barely finished high school, never finished anything in a year of college that we forced her to attend, never really held a job, moved around, surrounds herself with uneducated, nonachieved friends, smokes, drinks and partys. She moved out of the apartment that she was living rent free a few days ago. I checked it out today and was just horrified as to how dirty everything was and how low she thinks of herself. She is living with a friend now, wants to keep her baby, will move into an apartment with her boyfriend and then will decide if she wants to marry him! Meanwhile she accuses me of not accepting the fact that she is an adult and has changed for the better since she left home. G-d help her baby.

  • Deb

    We adopted our daughter at 12 days. I was the one who couldn't have children, but so wanted them. 1 year after adopting her i got pregnant and had a son. I felt no difference in the love that i had for both my children. I appreciate all of the comments from the children who were adopted. My daughter has so many emotional issues. I have always thought it was because of the abandonment issue. She is now 15. Although she is beautiful, she has no friends, is depressed, lonely and diagnosed with anerexia. She tells me she does not belong in this family. Although she facebooks her birthmother, her birthmother lives in another state and has had 2 more children that she kept, which is so hard on my daughter. I hurt so much for her. My heart is breaking. I am scared for her. I try to be her friend because she is so lonely, but i also have to be her mother. I wish I would have never told her she was adopted, maybe then she wouldn't be so insecure. I love her so much. If anyone has any advice, please contact me.

  • Ashley

    I was adopted when I was 2 and a half. My whole life I've felt like I was missing something because I didn't know my biological parents. I'm 17 and I found my biological family last year after searching for 3 years. This might sound ungreatful, but I wish I hadn't found them. I found out that my biological dad had died, and it brought a lot of unwanted drama. my biological mom called me every day, and pushed herself on me. Sure I love my siblings, but it's still a lot to handle.

  • Adopted

    Since your son is your real son she will always think you are taking his side. Take if from me and 3 out of 4 of us are adopted... at 24 some times I still feel like I will never fit in with my family. I was adopted at birth. My parents love me so much. My life is better for being adopted, I go to a great college and love the job im going for... but I look so different than everyone in my adopted family and still feel empty at times when I have no reason for this void. I am loved and blessed but for an adopted child there is always the big IF! Its worse on holidays when you are around the extended family. Some times they exclude the adopted child with out realizing. Simple things you may do without noticing may trigger that empty feeling in her heart... I doubt its on purpose but just know we will always feel different. We will always feel different because we are.

  • Heidi

    I can't not. be a part of this document which I feel so close to. The pain of adoption gets to me every so often, which is a tiring game and a frustrating existance. Desiring to know what a family that connects is really like. Seeing similarities between other familys and even in my own, two of my brothers are biological kids of my parents. Me and one brother are adopted, I am the only girl of the kids and the baby at that. I desired to know my Mom at discovering the beauty of how we all start from a single cell and develope into.... After months of consideration and slowly developing questions I had to know about her, what paintings she had on her wall and what she liked to paint, how she laughed... looked and just to see her love me back the way I was finding a love for her. I discovered she passed away nearly one year before I was looking and yelled at her through my cries. I am still looking to meet my biological half siblings. but it is a process that takes so long, and I am trying to go to school and trying to keep up in life with my roommates and friends. It is a lot of work to find your identity in a woman's paintings (given to me by people who knew her) when you would rather touch her face. I feel the emptiness you all speak of. Adoption has a huge impact and it is so necessary to have access to ones personal adoption file... even open adoptions.. Bio connections seem to matter a whole lot .

  • Monica

    you are always "other", the odd man out, the one who doesn't fit in. the one who doesn't belong.

    you never fully trust anyone

    You are isolated emotionally

    you wish your biological mother had taken a morning after pill

  • Euan

    Hi Monica - I can't tell you how true what you have said is. To be fair though, I don't know if these things are due to my adoption or other experiences later on (I was adopted at birth).

    I wish I could find a way to help myself as my feelings of mistrust ruin every romantic relationship I get into, including the one I have just ended.

    If anyone knows where I can get help please mention it here. I feel so lonely and alienated and I just want to be happy in my relationships. I think I have found the solution but I am not sure and don't know where to turn

  • Marina

    We adopted our baby thru foster care when she was 6 weeks old. She is now 9 and the apple of our eye. She is sweet, funny and extremely sensitive. We told her about her adoption when she was 5 years old. She asked questions about how they look, their names, where they live etc. She really wants to meet them. But they are transient and they move alot and do not have phones. I am worried that she will be hurt if she does meet them. The are mentally challenged and live in poverty. I also, have an issue with my baby not feeling like she is part of our family when one of her cousins says that she is not really his cousin because she is adopted. I want to scream at this child to .....off! The truth is that I can't protect my child from ignorance. But I want to know what I can tell her to prepare her for the mean people in this world. Thanks.

  • fiona taylor

    hi everyone, i found this site as today is my sons 34th birthday. i was forced to give him up for adoption when i was 16. for the past 33 years i have never gone more than a day withoug thinking of him. the feeling of guilt has never left me and i dont think it ever will!

    he had been searching for me for a few years,as had i for him for the whole time. on nov 5th last year he actually found me. it was the happiest time ever. i had always been open and honest to my husband and my other 4 children about him. they all knew the reason behind my having to make this horrendous decision.

    We have been very lucky and he has fitted onto our family as if he'd been here forever. the likeness is striking and he has a lot of similarities to me and the other children, which is amazing.

    the reason i was on here was to see if it is a normal feeling to feel so down and low today , when i should be floating.?

    i sometimes feel as if it would of been easier if he had not found me. or am i being selfish? the guilt is eating away at me.

    i am not usually an unhappy person and am the resident agony aunt to everyone i know, readily able to come up with solutions and answers to other.s problems. i have never been very good at voicing my feelings or emotions so do tend to keep it all to myself. this then leads to me having down days a couple of times a year. i then go very quiet and have a few tears to myself, but give myself the proverbial " kick up the ..." !!

    it has helped a little just getting this out of my system on here and i am hoping im not the only one to be feeling like this on this day.

    i would be very grateful if any of you can help.

    many thanks for letting me moan and for taking the time to read this

    from Fiona x

  • Trisha

    I am researching adoption on a early childhood development stand point. I am wondering if children experiance a since of displacement or feel as if they don't belong with closed adoptions. Even if the child doesn't know that they are adopted do they ever experiance this.

  • Gert Brits

    Hi everyone.

    I am a adopted child. and yes it is very hard. Ive been trough alot in my life and this research here are so true. I was adopted when i was a baby but it doesnt make things easier, just gives more questions. But i am one of those that say whats done is done. i know there is nothing i can do so i have to make the best out of it. I couldnt ask for a better family. they love me, help me, care for me and when i fall they are there to catch me. i am thankful for then and i thank God for them.

    I still feel like there is a whole in my life where something is missing. I told that to my perants and they didnt know what to do. its something i have to face alone. When i was yunger i also felt like everything is my fault and im not needed but now i understand my family needs me as much as i need them. the one thing that does put tears in my eyes are seing other familys having pickniks and swiming and playing. then i feel like ill never know what that woud be like with the reall true birth family.

    Ive been trough alot in my life. a docter did tests on me and every thing when i was 9 years old. he said that i went trough more then a averige 40 year old. that was at 9. its been 10 years. where am i now? it doesnt get easier.

    The only advice i can give to perants that do adopt. Love them with all your heart, doesnt matter how bad it gets. Be there when they need help. we as adopted children dont open up much. but the way my perants got there is telling me how much they love me and everything they would do for me and that they are proud of me.

    For Children that are adopted. your not alone. you never will be. I am here and i have learned that god is here and there is a few things that happend in my life to know God is there for me as my father. if there are any questions please email me. Gerbrits@gmail.com.

    Im not sure if this will help but i hope it does. thanks for reading from my point.

    Gert Brits

  • Madison Wisconsin

    Yes, we do feel displacement. I am 37 years old, and from the time I entered school, I never did meet the 'standards' of my adoptive parents biological son, my 'brother', 5 years my senior. I have endured years of teasing, bullying, psychological abuse and neglect, social rejection (from my adoptive parents and peers)- It never gets easier. Not when my 'family' talks in hushed tones, compares me to my 'brother' and wonder if i'm defective, or able to learn 'their way' of life. I have come to the conclusion now that my 'father' has passed on (who was the only one who I really trusted)-that my 'mother' is only being kind to me and my daughter because of her faith (roman catholic), and if she could never see me again, or listen to my concerns, joys or whatever-that would suit her just fine. My daughter sees the two faced behavior of my mother, and it pisses her off to no end..I'm done hurting-I'm done being the 'black sheep, red-headed step child, never amount to anything waste of adoption fees purchase that they can't return. Done..Do some kids grow up fine? yes, they do. Unortunately in my case-It wasn't sunshine and roses.

    Hope that helps at all- I did a study as well regarding early childhood development and adoption. Best of luck to you in your research~

    S

  • Unwanted Loser

    I was adopted when I was a baby. My adoptive family never accepted or wanted me. I think it was an act of desparation on my parents' part to adopt a child. I always had problems with depression and eating disorders (I later found out this ran in my bio family). My adoptive parents took this as a sign of disrespect toward them. They said I should be "grateful" (don't you just hate that stupid word and why is it ALWAYS used on adoptees?) and stop acting like a b****. I had to be in the hospital with depression when I was 16. My a-mom was embarassed about this, she kept saying people would think it was her fault. It was always all about her. She actually told people, including family members, that I was really in the hospital for drugs which was not true at all. I guess somehow that absolved her of whatever guilt she had invented in her mind. When I was 18 I was told to get out, that they didn't want me any more. I was told that I was a waste of a human life, I should have been an abortion, if I had any decency I would commit suicide, do one unselfish thing in my life, I am trash just like my bio family etc. etc. etc. I was a good kid! I made excellent grades, was good to animals, never hurt anybody, just wanted to be left alone, and didn't deserve the way I was treated. I was always the family scapegoat. EVERYTHING was my fault. When they wanted to go to a picnic and it rained, they actually came up with reasons that this was my fault, like saying I wanted it to rain. And then there is a part of me that always wonders if maybe there is some truth to what they said about me. It has always bothered me. I wish I had never been born.

  • tom

    was beat like a dog by my adoptive parents, they thought that was the way to resolve everything. have 2 scars on my face as proof, belt buckles hurt. called a bastard regulary and threatend with beatings by adults 30 years my senior. i learned to hate very well. at 10 i had enough and fought back. adoptive parents then got to live in fear of me and do so still to this day 38 years later.

    i am angry,bitter, full of hate and rage my life has been a wreck since birth and will be until i die. iam too broken to ever heal. i could never bring myself to seek help.

    do not be like me. get help.

  • Dani

    Have read and perused several of the comments. When I was a teenage girl who had lost her mother at the age of 16 and had a father who was lost without his wife, helpmate, partner and mother to his children bewildered at what life had thrown at him I became pregnant.

    My relationship with my son's father was what is now called 'friends with benefits.' Upon tellin him I was pregnant his response was 'No problem, I will talk to my dad and get the money from him for an abortion.' I asked him to leave and never contact me again.

    This beautiful little rosy cheeked child who was born with two front teeth (just as I had been and as his biological grandfather and great aunt had been) broke my heart when I knew that I could not keep him in my life. The first reaction my father had was to tell me how sorry and low -down I was (putting his response in kind words.) After the initial shock he stated that he wanted to adopt the child and let me raise it...this was not an option for multiple reasons but in particular because my father had become a violent functioning alcoholic after my mother had died. My response was that my child had not asked to be born a bastard and should be granted every possible opportunity for a happy normal life. Obviously I was at that point no mature enough to be responsible for another human being. Luckily he was adopted as an infant.

    Over the last almost 40 years there has been a want and yearning to reach out to him and let him know it was because I care that I tried to do what I honestly believed was in his best interest.

    He has now reached out to me via Facebook and we have agreed to try to develop a friendship. This has taken unimaginable courage on his part because the adoption papers showed that I never wanted to be contactedwhich is not something I had stated or felt.

    I am not asking for kudos or pats on the back for trying to act as a responsible human being but just reaching out in the hope that I can lessen one person's pain by letting them know that things are not always what you imagine them to be.

    Love,

    Me

  • Anonymous-14

    Oh my goodness! I have read nearly every comment by adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents. It has been enlightening! My daughter is now 37 and it was a nightmare trying to raise her. I think after reading so many of these comments, I understand. When we first adopted her, she screamed with such rage. I would try to comfort her and it was like I had a body of thorns. She could not be comforted and seemed to crave

  • Anonymous-15

    Thankyou for sharing its helped me not feel so alone tonight. I have known both my bio mother and father for 20 years, i thought these feelings would of gone away by now not gotten worse , I feel for all of you and remember like im reminded by u all tonight we are not alone with these feelings there looks to me like theres lots of us

  • Anonymous-16

    Male and had just turned 17 this year, didnt know i was adopted until a few years back when i found my certificate of adoption around the age of 13. It sure was the worst crap life could ever lay on a 13 year old kid. Instead of crying and feeling all sad about it, i was angry and had held a grudge ever since, both towards my adoptive and biological parents. i wasnt adopted by a wealthy family and had always been treated like crap, when i was younger, a toddler, we lived in an almost crappy 4 storey high flat apartment and there was one time when i was kicked out and had to stay at the balcony for hours, i was clueless. I didnt know what i did that made me kicked out of the apartment like that, so i cried and pleaded for what seemed like an hour and finnaly got led in when one of my neigbours came to check out what had happened. NO ONE would have done that to their beloved biological child, especially when the child hadnt even reached the required age to enter kindergarden school unless such biological parent is a wife beater/drunk or some other asswipes. They had been ok with me ever since and we also moved to a farm not long after that with the animals and all, my quality of life turned from crap to even crappier. we had to sleep in one room made out of wood and i am constantly verbally violated by my adoptive father about me beign useless and brainless and all. *Note* i have done good academicly and often got either an A, B or C and had never failed much. i also had to do an extreme load of chores a kid shouldnt have done like sloughtering poultries, feeding libestocks and etc. although i was given most the things i need, the things i want, i had to fight for, there was one time, when i wanted something, i had to work for him for a few months everyday after school for 100$ each month, and the job was hard while i was also again constantly verbally violated again like usual. with the earned money still not enough and my grades degrading because of the job, i had to steal a lot of money from my a.father. luckily i havent been caught untill now and had used them to buy essentials. Overall, my life could be considered shit as there are more things that i dont have the chance to write amd post, but everything had made more sense to me since i found out that i was adopted, i am still wondering why had my biological parents dumped me and how would my life had turned out if they didnt, would it be better? i have such excessive hate and anger towards them, to the fact that i would want every one of their heads served in a platter and their body dumped into a tank full of sharks. Life has been such a bi**h and i shall have my vengeance on everyone that has done bad by me. it would certainly be better if my biological dad actually spent a few dollars on condoms and my mom on contraceptive pills, they could have considered an abortion at least, i am very sure it would have been better that way. theres a huge difference between dying amd never been born. so heres my advice to everyone, always use a protection and pills or dont ever adopt a child if u arent wealthy enough and doesnt know much love towards a child.

  • Adoptee

    @Irene-- your post was very comforting. You sound like a wonderful birthmother. Thank you for speaking the truth. I'm a 43 year old adoptee who has been in reunion with birthfamily (rocky on birthmother side, disaster birthfather side). My birthmother has said some horrible and thoughtless things to me, things such as she forgot about me because she was busy with her two daughters she had had with her husband (she had gotten pregnant with me at 15 and had me after a few months shy of 16 by a guy who ended up basically deserting her in the end and leaving her family and his family to feel that the best thing to do was put me up for adoption). Another time she suggested I put my daughter up for adoption, when I was pregnant with her and having a rough time with her father and not sure of what to do. Let me tell you, for my birthmother to suggest to me to put my unborn daughter up for adoption was the ultimate slap in the face. It's like nothing I had said to her about being an adoptee had sunk in. No way would I put my child through the pain I have gone through as an adoptee. Anyway, Irene, your post was great, and I appreciate your recognition and acknowledgement of truly what a child needs, and being strong and honest enough with yourself to acknowledge and accept the pain of the separation from your son.

  • Adoptee

    I'm an adoptee. @Irene and Jonathan, I really liked your posts. Jonathan, shine on crazy diamond! :)

  • oh well

    @Jonathan-- you can email me at christyajjj@yahoo.com

  • Helen

    We adopted our daughter at the age of 2 1/2 from a Russian orphanage. Never had any problems with her until the past few years and she is attending college nearby, has a shared apt., but she is constantly buying VERY expensive clothes and items for herself. Is there any type of a reason she is doing this as we don't have the money to pay her bills.

  • David

    I'm a 41 year-old adult male who knew from an early age that I was the surrendered son of a nineteen year-old college student. I knew nothing more of her and nothing at all of my birth father. I was adopted by a loving, if somewhat distant set of adoptive parents. They had suffered the loss if a previously adopted daughter who was an adolescent at the time of her adoption and had run away to marry at what my adoptive parents rightly considered too young an age. Their grief over her loss, I believe, made them somewhat emotionally unavailable to me.

    As I grew into an adolescent myself some behavioral problems, long-simmering since childhood, began to surface with a vengeance. I became insolent and isolated. I stole and smoked cigarettes, failed classes, acted-out at school and caused my adoptive parents all manner of heartache. I regret my actions to this day but eventually became a reasonably well-adjusted late teenager and went to college and eventually found some measure of success in life.

    But all is still not well with me. To this day I truly trust no one except my wonderful, loving and supportive wife. I don't form friendships easily and handle even small betrayals poorly, becoming despondent and withdrawn. I have this hole in myself—it's seemed to surface more as I've aged—that nothing can seem to fill. I don't know who I really am and I have never, regardless of my sincere efforts, been able to move beyond the burning questions my adoption left behind. Why did she leave me? How could she carry and then abandon me? Did she make a cold calculation that her life would unfold more favorably if she were not burdened with a child? Did her family force her to relinquish me? Or, most dreadful of all possibilities, was I conceived under horrible circumstances? Was she assaulted? Am I the result of a scar she carries that could never truly heal?

    All this is compounded by the fact that I recently discovered her identity. My wife, understanding that I was struggling with these issues, found her after an exhaustive search. She lives in the city where I grew up no more than three miles from my childhood home. I'm terrified of contacting her. I worry that I might wound her by doing so or severely disrupt her life. She never had another child with lends credence in my mind to my fears that the circumstances of my adoption may have been awful. Even if they were not, I'm no longer the child she surrendered I'm a middle-aged man with my own life, complications and damage that I drag behind me everywhere I go.

    If you've made it this far then thank you for your attention. It's helped to simply type this out for anonymous others to read. If you are an adopted child then please know that you're not alone and that it isn't wrong to experience loss, betrayal, nagging identity issues, guilt or even, at times, depression. No one else around you may really understand but please at least know that I certainly do. I wish you whatever peace you may find.

  • Christine Trollinger

    She grew up with huge anger issues. She was an abusive wife and mother and nothing made her happy. Could her adoption caused these problems? Everyone in her life was made to suffer because of her adoption. It was a nightmare growing up with all her anger issues.

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for her as she made life miserable for my poor father and we her children.

  • Bernadette

    David , maybe your birth mom had no more children because she feels like it would be unfaithful to you , her son , she could not raise . Maybe ,yes ?

  • Thaileh

    I'm 14 and I was adopted by my Aunt and Uncle. I have a paper to write and my topic is how being adopted affects a teen. I would go on past and present experiance but I need sources. Does being adopted affect a teen and/or their personality?

  • Anonymous-17

    I'm a 14 year old female and life is a total b*tc* to me. My a-fam told me to go kill myself and that I was a nobody who should die. I am kinda depressed but don't show anyone and hurt to much. Why do they think this when they chose to adopt me? They adopted my 12 1/2 year old brother but baby him and tell him to stay away from me. I've been called everything from an ass to a whore and it doesn't get easier. They beat me and it hurts so much. I don't know how to cope with the pain and just wish I was dead. I want to get out of there adn get away from the pain and hatred. Why me? I cut and starve myself but no one cares. Why did they adopt me in the first place?

  • Andy

    Dear 14yo release...I have a 15yo adopted daughter who is going through many issues like you, only I hope we're not the type of parents that do to her what you are going through. She stuggles with so much and we're trying to help her through it all. If your adopted parents really do those things to you, please get help. Not only is that wrong and illegal, it is going to continue to destroy you inside. You are at an age where you need to be built up, not destroyed. God bless you. Every girl is a daughter of God and deserves to know that.

  • Anonymous-18

    Thanks for telling me that. i have tried to get help but nothing works. CPS has intervened twice and i do go to church every sunday. They call themselves christian. You really helped and it's nice to know you care. Just listen to her and smile. it'll help :)

  • Open Adoption/Closed Adoption

    I am a mother of 5. I have 3 older boys who i had an Open Adoption with in 1999/2000, but thanks to my DRUNK mother doing bad things to their adoptive family behind my back the Adotpive parents cut off contact with mein 2001. I didn't even know why. i sent cards and letters and pictures and no response from them, finally in 2009/2010 i took them to court and THEN is when i found out about What my mother had done! i was so upset. I tried to explain I knew nothing about it but the judge issued a restraining order and it has NO expiratio date so i don't even know when it expires. i haven't seen my boys since 2001. 1 was born in 1998, 1-1999-1 2001, the youngest was a few months old last time I saw them and he is 1 now. The oldest is 15. i am not sure what to do. i want to try again to cntact them and plead and beg with the adoptive parents but I am afraid of being arrested. There are days when i feel like jumping in a cab and going by their house, hoping to see them coming/ going just to see what they look like or sound like. Now to make matters worse, i have a 11 year old daughter and 5 year old son who adoption will be finalized on may 9th. It is supposed to be an OPEN adoption and I am afraid that she won't abide by the adoption agreement and i will be BURNED again. The adoptive parents didnt even wan to meet with me BEFORE the adoption to answer some questions i had for them, so i worry about how much they will folow through with the adoption. i went from my children being in my life everyday to 1 x week for 1 hour to 1 x month for 1 hour now it is supposed to be 2 x times a year. what to do hat to do and i am so worried about what my children feel and are going through. what this has done to them? i am afraid my daughter and son feels neglected, abandoned, i think they hate me, i wonder what this will do my daughters self esteem, so much more! I pray to God, i beg to GOD that all my kids are ok and will stay that way!

  • Anonymous-19

    I was adopted and my 2 brothers were biologically conceived -- and they had largely the same so-so experience as I did with our (less than stellar) parents. Adopted or not, in the end, life is pretty much just the hand you get dealt and what you decide to make of it. Adopted or non-adopted -- everybody has issues. Yeh, it would be great to have the perfect family or be a supermodel but 99.9% of people don't fall into that category. Embrace who you are and choose happiness.

  • Jen

    I am adopted and am BROWN.I say this because my parents are WHITE and Didnt realize I was differant till 8 yrs of age .I smiled and felt love , I cried and felt love ,etc etc. My beautiful parents had 4 children and adopted 4 and I felt SPECIAL !!! OMG how can it be . Embrace that you are a chosen .It's your second chance!!! I am loved ..... Wanted ...learned to love.I have a BIG Afro and my IRISH father no matter How mad he was would tell me how BEAUTIFUL I was.My mom worked hard taking care of her family and fostering my love of dance which by the way at age 40 shapes my life. ADOPTION is WONDERFUL it's as if GOD blessed this world with a solution to a HICCUP ......Oh wow is it possible??? Live out loud and remember to count your blessings and discount your negatives . My father always told me that tomorrow is a better day ...how wonderful!!! My mom always told me

  • Anonymous-20

    We adopted our daughter, now 17, at the age of two. She was relinguished at birth and spent the first two years of her life in an orphanage. From the day she came into our lives I have treated her with sensitivity, love and respect. I have always been there for her and welcome any dialogue around her adoption. Her birth mother is in Eastern Europe and she left immediately after giving birth. We managed to acquire what little information that was on her birth record by pulling strings. She has access to everything and we have said that if she wants to find her birth mother, we will help all we can. She is the most precious gift in our lives and we have told her this from day one. Now, as a teen ager, she has episodes of anger so intense it is scary for us. She has a perpetual dark cloud hanging over her head and takes slights where none are intended and gets angry easily. When I try to point things out to her, or reason with her, she becomes angry and belligerant. Today she punched me and I don't know what to do. I want to hear from other adopted children who have gone through this about what they think I can do to help my daughter. She is a beautiful girl, has depth, is kind and sensitive but what she wants is to be popular, like her boyfriend, super intelligent like him and she wants other girls to stop paying attention to him (he is tall and very good looking)...no matter what we do, opportunities we provide for her she can't stop focusing on whats bad in her life, what she doesn't have and she keeps going on about the unfairness of her life. To other teens, all they see is a beautiful girl, whose parents bend over backwards to give her love, attention and buy her the things and experiences they don't have. She comes across as being fine, but she is hiding unbelievable low self esteem and envy of others she sees as being better liked. She yells and whines every day over every little thing and we are extremely stressed out. Please comment.

  • Anonymous-21

    Your daughter sounds normal to me. 17 is a tough age for any female, let alone one being adopted. I speak from experience. It sounds like you have done an amazing job letting her know how loved she is and that is the most important thing. I am 34 now and remember 17 very well. I felt insecure and for some reason needed others approval for me to feel good. I never felt abondonment issues, yet I was adopted very, very young. Perhaps she continues to deal with this?

    Or perhaps your daughter just needs her space as a young woman.Yet she also needs to knwo you are there and will always be there for her. Keep your door open, no matter what she says/does. She is angry and she is taking it out on you, because you are the easiest target. I have not had a close relationship wiht my mother since age 11 and acted very similarly to what you described. Now at 34, I wish she just tried just a bit harder. Even through my tantrums, fits and name calling. It maybe would have created a stronger bond now. You can only try and she may shut you out. But she will remember you tried your best to connect wiht her... Adopted or not she is still just a young girl finding herself through the pressures of society.

    You will be great, trust yourself.

  • Mary Ann

    Dear Adult Children of Adoption, Thank you much for your honest expressions of what you have been through! I'm reading them and trying to as fully understand things from your perspective. Thank you. I am a mother of 2 adopted and beautiful, lovely, challenging and wonderful pre-teen Chinese girls. We have been through a lot together. We did a year of Attachment counseling and other assignments to strenthen the bonds of attachment with my oldest. We've tackled each problem as they have come up all along the way. We are about to hit puberty with my oldest and I'm already gripping the boat as I sense we are going to hit some pretty big waves. I try to get in their shoes, when they are having a melt down over things non adopted kids would be more likely to take in stride. I grieve with them that life can be so painful. We got them at 9 months and 10 months. I want to be everything they need from a mother, but I fall short. I too am an over achiever and a good person and wonder why my mother was so hard on me. Somehow I never felt fully accepted by my Mom and because my children at times push me away because of adoption pain. I fall short but not for lack of trying! I'm grateful for strong faith and a tenacious gigantic eternal love for them! I can honestly say I would die for them, fight anyone to the death to protect their lives. Jesus is a life changer. He will bring you HOPE if you earnestly ask Him with whatever amount of faith you can muster. He made you in His image and likeness. You are deeply and fully loved . If I could I would undo all the hurt and deep pain and replace it with hugs and balanced positive self esteem

  • Greg

    I have always carried around my own self I security's fears and loneliness . I want to know why? Why I wasn't wanted ? Why was there somthing wrong with me? Why not just abort me ? I have major issues with abandoment , it makes my relationships explode in my face. I've wanted to just cURL up and die more then once. I know my parents loved me but in the back of my mind I always have the feeling from the moment I was converged I wasn't wanted .

  • Kurt Davis (Baby Boy McNatt)

    I have read all of the comments here.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    I was adopted at six months of age into a wonderful family. My mother and father are amazing people and I feel extremly fortunate to have been raised by them. They were open with me about my having been adopted from the age of four and did a very good job of helping me understand why I was put up for adoption and how special I am to them.

    BUT...I have this little ball of insecurity in me that I have turned into pure rage and I have had it all my life - I am almost 50 and there are still times when I am under stress or under the influence of alcohol that I see red and lust for turning over tables and putting holes in walls.

    I thought that because I was adopted so young and because I have had such a great experience, my being put up for adoption could not be the cause of this rage. I see that I am likely wrong - many of you seem to be dealing with the same issues.

    Thank you again for the posts. It has made a difference.

  • Adoptee

    For all of you adoptees out there, I do suggest the book-Primal Wound-it helped me a lot.

    Also, I found this post a while back and it really makes sense (it is lengthy, but a good one)...please understand that you should feel what you are feeling because you were there, you went through the trauma of separation, whether you were 2 days old or 12, it doesn't matter...it still happened to you!

    n her preface to The Primal Wound, Nancy Newton Verrier states her naivetée when adopting her daughter. She was like most others undermining and discounting the very child that she was promising to love and care for. She believed that her own adopted daughter would never know or be negatively impacted by being adopted. After all, what can a tiny baby know? They are too young to remember any of the trauma. They just need love.

    Admittedly, I too, even as an adoptee, thought this way. It was my perception that adoption does not have much of an impact on those adopted at infancy because, what does a baby know? Though I personally have spent a lifetime dealing with depression, fears of abandonment, relationship struggles, anger, low self-esteem, somatic complications and a myriad of other issues, I never related them back to being adopted. I just thought I was not very valuable or worthy, but didn’t see the link. I didn’t see what now seems so obvious.

    The Mother and Child Bond and the Trauma of Separation

    As a result of my research, I, among other scholars in this relatively new field of attention to the psychological and physiological impact of adoption, will argue that the relinquishment or separation of child from her birth mother is a traumatic event that deeply impacts the adoptee, creating special needs that must be addressed throughout the adoptee’s life.

    I will often use relinquishment and adoption in somewhat synonymous terms. Understanding the definite differences between the two, I will continue to refer to adoption as a trauma recognizing the true trauma is at the point of relinquishment or maternal separation. However, subsequent actions do have the potential to exacerbate that trauma experienced.

    Adoption is a trauma that happens to a child. The child is torn away from her biological mother, placed in the arms of strangers and is left with questions, doubts, fears and anxiety with no way to verbalize, express, mourn or contextualize those feelings. Though the common misconception is that a child won’t remember any of it many psychologists believe, with evidence to support, that children remember their birth and the following events, including relinquishment and adoption, up to the age of three.

    Responses to the Adopted Child’s Trauma

    At this age the only tools a child has to deal with this separation trauma is through crying or reaction to physical touch and anger. These tools can manifest in overt expression or a marked lack of expression. A baby may cry in response or rarely cry and be perceived as a good and peaceful baby, when in reality she is hurting. She may respond by recoiling from human touch or may become too attached to the sensation and have difficulty learning boundaries. A child may express her anger through yelling, kicking, screaming, crying or withholding emotional expression.

    Every adopted child, allow me to reiterate, every adopted child falls into one of two categories. She either acts out and is difficult or is quiet, adaptable and compliant. Of course the degree to which each adoptee acts out or becomes compliant is individual.

    Some who act out will go to the extreme of running away from home, threatening their adoptive parents, rebel academically and even attempt suicide. A 2001 study shows that of teens in grades 7 through 12, 7.6% of adopted teens had attempted suicide compared with 3% among their non-adopted peers. The compliant adopted child may become a model citizen in school as well at home or she may just kind of fade into the background, trying not to be noticed or cause trouble. Either way they are both reactions to the trauma of being adopted.

    The adopted child who acts out, is, in essence, attempting to initiate some form of rejection from parents, teachers, peers and others in order to prove that she is unlovable or she finds herself rejecting these same people prior to being rejected by them. This type of child is obviously troubled and it is easy to identify as needing help. However, parents and therapists often try to counsel the child into acting more appropriately, instilling tough love or even unknowingly furthering the child’s abandonment issues by sending them to boarding school, camp or other such institutions. Rarely do adoptive parents and counselors see this behavior as a reaction to her adoption trauma. They are never truly treating the source of the wound.

    For the compliant child the situation can actually be much more devastating. As a compliant child who is either not causing problems or actually well engaged and visibly successful, she is not seen as having any problems at all. Parents see this child as well adjusted to life, including being adopted, and with no outwardly troubling signs of concern, this child is often overlooked and not given any form of counseling or assistance in dealing with life or emotional wounds. It is difficult for anyone to see that the child who is often referred to as, “mature for her age” or “pleasant and articulate,” is actually in equal distress to the child who is acting out. Both are hurting, both are devastated by the trauma of relinquishment and both have no way to articulate, understand, contextualize or grieve the loss they have endured.

    These two behavior types present themselves at various ages, though adolescence is the most common time for them to reach their strongest levels. Additionally, some may actually experience both behavior types, switching from one to the other depending on their environment or transition back and forth throughout maturity. Also noteworthy is that no matter the age of adoption, infant through teen, all adoptees essentially suffer from the same issues.

    Adoption Psychology What is Birth Trauma

    Relinquishment in the adoption process is a traumatic experience to a child. I am working with the definition of trauma as defined by the 2000 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders where a person experienced an event that threatened their physical well being and that person responded to that event with fear, helplessness or horror. It is important to recognize that in adoption the birth family and the adoptive family are allowed to choose, however to the child adoption is something that happened to them.

    When I shared with my adoptive mother that I was studying adoption and its related impact, along with her warmth, support and encouragement came the words I knew she thought, but never thought I would hear. She said, “What does a baby know?

    She had spent some time talking about my adoption and sharing a little bit of added information I don’t recall previously knowing. After being relinquished I lived in a foster home with an elderly couple for two weeks prior to my being placed. I had yet another piece of the puzzle and another incident of attempted attachment and abandonment in my life. She went on to say how she didn’t think a baby would know any better and that all I needed was a loving home. “What does a baby know?

    This line of thinking was not her fault it was the prevalent school of thought regarding adoption and was widely professed by the “experts” of the time.

    In speaking with friends and acquaintances alike about my studies I find I am often challenged in the legitimacy of my work. I share my findings regarding the two behavioral patterns and am met with the challenge that, “every kid goes through that.” I am met with resistance from people who claim that I am finding an excuse to be a victim and dismiss ownership of my behaviors. Explaining about the bonding of mother and child on a cellular level and the evidence of an infant recognizing its own mother at birth, I am challenged with skepticism and, as if we have all learned the same response, “What does a baby know?”

    The Importance of Maternal Infant Bonding

    Mother child bonding research shows that, at birth, a baby is able to recognize her mother’s voice. Within a few days of birth she will recognize familiar faces, voices and smells and be drawn to them. With research showing that babies do have a memory, in contradiction to long held beliefs, it becomes unreasonable to assume that a baby would not remember or recognize (at a visceral and thus almost imprinting level) the loss of her mother upon separation through adoption.

    I have not undertaken an exhaustive study in the area of what newborn babies are aware of immediately following and the days after birth. Therefore, I will not try to answer, “What does a baby know?” However I will answer, “What does an adopted baby know?” She knows her mother, she knows her loss, sadness and hurt, she knows that those who hold her today may be gone tomorrow and that she will be the only one left to pick up the pieces that no one seems to think are broken.

  • Richard

    My real Mum had a traumatic life when she gave me up and I was placed in Kids homes and my Mum would sometimes visit. I was treated really badly up until i was 6 regularly being hit and was then adopted by a social worker.

    My adopted father was violent towards as was my Mother occasionally when I was naughty and in a way I have always been a little scared of them. I still see them and although our relationship at many times has been strained we are ok. We are a family where many things that perhaps should be, are never said.

    I always felt as a child that I was naughty and can remember walking home from school each day dreading getting home and my adopted Mother arriving from work as she always seemed to be in a bad mood. My heart rate would always increase when I heard her car on the drive. She once told me that I tried so hard to please her it actually caused problems. I had reall issues with telling lies.

    No one really liked me at school although i tried to make friends but looking back, i was disruptive and rude to people always trying to get attention. I got into a lot of fights with people, was often bullied or bullied others.I was racially abused.

    My parents were at school a lot and my school reports were often really bad.

    I joined the Army at 16 having failed all of my exams at school. I hated it and was often bullied and racially abused. I often got into fights which i lost and no one really liked me. I can remember the last night of basic training locking myself in a room knowing that because I was hated so much, all of the lads in my troop wanted to see me given a good kicking. They knew i was in there and banged the door and tried to force the window but didnt get in. I was terrified but felt i deserved it.

    I was aways premiscious and treated a lot of women poorly. Whenever i did fall in love my relationships never lasted more than a few years. I was generally very insecure and really poor with money. I have always been someone who could fall in love very quickly.

    I left the Army at 30 to start a new career and again felt it hard to adjust. People as always intially liked me but then i would become withdrawn worried about what they may think of me and realtionships would eventaully sour.

    I noticed that my personal relationships were generally with people who were damamged like me and this led to my first marriage. She had been abused as a child and the marriage was destructive and I left after 8 months. I was never vioelent but was a very angry person who would show anger at times very quickly at work and at home.

    I have tried steroids and gone through bankruptcy.

    My point......

    I am married again and have two wonderful children. I wish you could see them they are a blessing. I have found my real Mother which helped a lot really because it gave me some identity of who i was and where i came from. I ring her all the time and we see each other regularly. She has had such a poor life but she knows I love her and she loves me.

    Currently, I still get mad but keep it inside and know in my heart I am generally happy. It took me a long time to get to this place and two years of councelling.

    I still have problems in my relationships with my current marriage I am not a great communicator and my wife puts me down a lot and Im not sure that I am really what she wants. I do have a great job live in a nice house and feel lucky.

    My advice to any adoptee is this....Your journey will not be an easy one. You have to accept that what you have been through does not in any way make you any less than anyone else. No matter the times I have fallen down or know that I dont have any really good friends or am perhaps a little insecure I wake up each day and try to be the best I can. The mistakes I make are not as big as the ones I used to and in my heart I love my children and will spend the rest of my days ensuring that they have a better start than I did.

    An old boss of mine told me that you only get one shot at it, live each day being good to those around you and every now and then stop and say thank you to all the good things in your life.

  • stu

    Getting on in life, I did an extensive family tree, & found I had a sister, we were all told she had died at birth, at time I was 12.

    In records, I could find the birth there was no death, & everyone else said, baby died at birth, & told, body given to science. I was not having that. Our mum was clearly lying.

    So initially I went to trace & recover the body, but to my horror found, the baby had not died but was legally instantly adopted out in 1965. I then wondered if my full blown sister was living rough, destitute, or what ever. I moved heaven & earth to find her. Given all the shut downs with adoptions, In 4 days, I had traced her extended adopted family line, but they had, had no contact with her for 25 plus years after their sister who had adopted my sister died, but they gave me copys of all baby photos etc.

    I later found where she had worked, her friend send me photos at work, so I knew all about her.

    I then traced the adopted family, & found her 1st adopted mum had died when she was 11, & she was re-adopted by her adopted dads new wife. There had been a big problem, & she was wrongly told that her adopted family line wanted no contact with her. My sister at the time was away in France on a 2 week school exchange, & knew nothing of her adopted mum's death, until her return. There was a row, & the adopted mums line were told keep away by her adopted dad, my sister was then 11. So she never spoke to anyone of them since.

    The new or 2nd adopted mum sent me wedding photo's etc, but left it to my sister to ring me.

    My letter got to my sister, she rang me, I spoke to my sister for 3 hours on the tel to my sister, & I acted as I thought best, to explain, that we had been lied to about her death, so we had not known. That her adopted family line, had always wanted contact, but they had been lied to.

    That her birth mum, was factually destitute at time with 5 children, & if any reasons, it was bad timming, but mum said later to me, she had later on tried to get her back, but by then it was too late, & sister was very happy with her 1st adopted mum.

    The problems all came when her adopted mum died, when she was 11.

    My sister laughed & cried for 3 hours on the tel, & said she was going to drive up to see us that day, then said, send her a letter explaining everything, & photos of our other brothers & sisters. I said, lets forget the past, & try & get things on as proper brother & sister, she said she would think, but whole call was up & down. I did this detailed letter she wanted.

    I said, lets forget the past, & try & get things on as proper brother & sister, she said she would think, but as said, whole 3 hour call, she was up & down, laughing & crying.

    I then received a large friendship card back, she thanked me for all my massive efforts in tracing her, & that I had a good family, & lovely grand children etc, she said, she could not cope with it, as she had been lied to by everyone, her birth mum gave her away, her adopted mum had lied saying she was one in 3000 in an orphanage, yet I told her it was pre-arranged between neibours. Lied to by her adopted dad in that her relatives did not want to speak to her. But that in the photos I sent of her brothers & sisters she saw herself stood next to me in a photo, yet it was my other sister in the photo, so she said she had lost out, & that really hurt her.

    That she would contact me in the future if she could get around it all. In her letter were her teardrops smudging her writing.

    The next thing I got was a police letter about harrasment, & to keep away, the officer rang me, & asked I tell all her other brothers & sisters not to contact her, he said it was affecting her. I asked about the return of all the photo's I had sent, as it seemed a bit much, to just keep them, & call the police in,

    it was more like constructed theft. If my sister wanted to copy them, that was ok, but she had the originals & my only copy.

    So police returned them. I dont know if she copied them or not.

    5yr later ALL diagnosed with a dna defect that all the family had to be checked for. I had a copy DNA letter sent to her, via an adoption councellor charity, & again she got the police on the councellor, the councellor had advised her they were set up to advise on all the mixed feelings, & would speak 24/7 if need.

    After the police were involved, Councellor said, she is a nut

    IN some 20 years she had never come across such an attitude.

    ----

    Strange thing now 9 yrs later, sister has gone on facebook showing her own picture etc, so I have asked her via tick box ( not messaged ) to be friend, & she has not accepted, but not blocked me.

    So I await the police, or god knows. How do I know what she wants, but I do believe I need to see her before I die at least once, & I dont believe she would be like she is if we met.

    The problem is, as a family man, & her eldest brother, how do you abandon a little sister, regaudless of what has gone on,

    I am not responsible for the adoption etc, but do feel the need to rectify the family, as we were all lied to.

    As far as the destitution went, thank fully, I found, she has a top job, & big london house, but her pictures, but she look's thin & stressed. Again that plays on me.

  • Michelle

    I was adopted during the "baby scoop" era. My older brother & I are 8 yrs apart. He was not adopted. I'm 46 now, and my mother still introduces us as "My beautiful adopted daughter and my no.1 son." Ok, the beautiful part is nice but the rest really says it all and always has. When I was a child, I had to go to church & light a candle & pray for my birth mother because of the "tremendous sacrifice she made giving birth to me & giving me away." When abortion became legal (I may have been 6?), I had to participate in a protest in front of an abortion clinic with my mother. She even made me my own sign that said, "I was loved, I was adopted." My brother is still her no. 1 son and don't we know it! He accuses me of "having played the adoption card as a child so my parents would spoil me." He is still doing this at 54 yrs old. My shrink says it was just a case of sibling rivalry and my brother still has issues with it, using the adoption word to garner more attention & sympathy. He has raised my neice & nephew to believe this claptrap too. I'm still being treated as different - even by the next generation. I decided I want to be free of it, my shrink says that sometimes, even though it is very painful, we have to distance ourselves from family for awhile if not forever. There are many other issues as well but I can't write a book here and my shrink feels that I will be better off "distanced" based on these issues. I want so badly to be free of it! My father has passed away so my only sane family member is gone anyway.

  • Justin

    Hello folks, I was adopted at 3 years of age, My aunt gave me up, kept my brother. Iwas told I was adopted from the beginning yet was lied to on how my birth parents died they told me they died of cancer. I was really messed up when they got me, I would smash my head against things, rip my hair out etc. teen years I became very defiant, I'd lie cheat steal. yet this was just to my adopted parents. I was finally told at age 18 how my parents died, My father blew his brains out with a shot gun my mom died from being raped. unlike most adopted children I try to hold on to relationships with gfs etc. yet I still just have this Hate for my adopted parents and I don't know why they gave me everything but I just resent them in some way I never felt a connection with them. and they want me to be like them and it will never happen. I'm 24 now and cant seem to get life in order I try to find relationships where I can leave state and everything I just don't know. My brother and I do talk but our life styles are very different, he's Gay and I'm a very manly male I try to talk bout my birth parents with him but he never wants to talk about it.

    Any thoughts on what i put here would be appriciated

  • Anonymous-22

    I've always loved my biological family, and I've known the truth since I was adopted at three. Though now I'm questioning why I was adopted, and all the answes/reasons I've been given in the past don't make sence to me anymore. I think that the reason why the anserws I was given in the past aren't satisfying is because I'm less naive, and idolise my birth family less. I feel like I was unwanted by my birth family now, even though they have told me they love me in the past. I originated over seas so i feel like I have a lack of culture about my haritage (it's hard to get informations with a language gap) but the feeling of not being wanted makes me feel cold. My adoptive family I love so much but as I child I was difficult and expressed resentment, because I felt they were stopping me from being with my family. I realise I was very wrong now but I was just a child. At the moment I don't feel I belong anywhere. My culture and looks are different to my family and friends but yet my family gave me up so I feel disconnected from them. I thought it was to young to be effected my adoption but by the comments I now know that I'm not.

  • Anonymous-22

    After reading people's comments I felt so sad, so many people are in pain. Reading the comments made me question who I am and then I began feeling sad. I've had some hard times through my adoption, I've cried more nights then I wish anyone to have. Though I've realised something. wondering what life would have been like if I wasn't adopted doesn't do anything, It just wastes valuable time. My experiences good and bad have shaped the person I am today. I'm not that same little girl who was adopted, I've changed as a person.If I hadn't been adopted, I would have been raised differently, had a different culture, different friebds, family, neighbours, different bad days and good days because of that I wouldn't have grown up being me. My personality wouldn't have been the same and my values so by me wishing my life to have been different is me wishing I didn't exist.I love my biological family, even if theit dumbest idea was giving me up, and I love my adoptive family. My tears and pain have maed me stronger and I refuse to be a victim of my situation anymore. I'm sick of not living and watching life pass me.

  • Anonymous-23

    Not only was I traumatized by being adopted at birth, but also by not being told. I discovered this awful truth about myself from a pair of friends while playing stickball at 8. I was unable to confront my parents. After my breakdown at 20, the issue was discussed in the hospital with my parents and therapist. They never understood. I have suffered so much, and they continued to believe that my knowing about my adoption from them was unimportant. I wish they could read all the comments by these fine people. It would have helped if they, "got it".

  • 23 year old female

    I am a 23 year old adoptee. I was adopted at 4 months old... I met my biological family a couple of year ago.. my mum kept my older brother who was 2 when I was born.. it never helped meeting them if anything it made it worse. I have a great job a smart car. Have had amazing holidays .. have met some great people in my life.. have a nice..ish family ... BUT I always feel like a huge something inside of me is missing.. I done a qualification in counselling.. didnt help.. anyway ive come to the conclusion it will always be the same ***t and I will always feel the same pain..

  • Ilsley

    we adoppted a boy, 5 yrs ago whose now 12,, he is such a good lad never in trouble, doing well at school and is well liked,, our only worry is when hes on his playstation and starts to lose his temper , we have just found that he punched his tv and now its broke,

  • Anonymous-24

    I was adopted around 5 months of age, and spent my first months of life in the hospital (including holidays). Then, I was adopted by a very abusive couple in which the wife was a dictionary definition psychopath. She had a history of mental illness before they adopted me so how they were able to get me I'll never understand. They never raised me any religion, never celebrated holidays, never did any normal things a normal family would do. We never had dinner together, and I got screamed at every day. Not like getting yelled at for something, but like ear shattering constant screaming that never ended that you would cry about every night because you just wanted it to stop. When I was 15 she told me that I ruined her life and that she wish she never adopted me. Most of my childhood was spent hiding from her and surviving from her abuse.

    As a kid I was known as the "adopted kid" in my school because I didn't look like my "parents" and so everybody knew. Kids teased me that I was adopted and laughed that my real parents didn't want me. Some kids would argue why my "mom" had red hair and my "dad" had black hair, yet I have brown hair. It was so humiliating.

    I had a foreign last name and would constantly have strangers seeing that I was American asking me all these personal questions of why the last name and if it was a married name. No. No it isn't.

    When I was in college I had a horrible time communicating with people. I isolated myself and didn't know how to develop friendships properly. I regret that 100%.

    I know my birth mom and her family (she had a son, then had me, then had my sister 5 years later. I was the only one she gave up). It's been a struggle to have a happy relationship with them. They constantly ask about my "parents" who I just want to forget. I try to hang out with them, but they always go off and do stuff with out inviting me. I try to not take it personal, but how hard is a phone call? It is personal. I don't belong in either family, I struggle to find a place to fit in.

    Everytime you meet people, they ask you about your family. Everyone expects you to say something "normal", but then if you tell them the truth then they know your bs, and if you lie, then you have to just keep that lie going. It's a lose-lose in every sense.

    This is a long, hard road that nobody should ever have to travel.

    I'm 29 now and still suffer and know that I will always be suffering from this. I've been to therapy for a while, and I've come a long way from my early twenties. I grieve the loss of my birth parents every day, and I feel hollow inside, and a deep sadness that nothing can help.

    Everyone thinks adoption is such a beautiful thing and the media always glorifies it, but that's not always true.

  • Dan

    Well, here we go!

    I am 41 year old Man adopted from birth and placed at 6 weeks, the back story being my birth mother had a relationship with an italian student at 22, they split then she found out she was pregnant with me. She decided she couldn't keep and signed me over before I was even born.

    Six weeks later my parents took me home and offered me everything I could have wanted, I was aware of my adoption from very early on and until now have not really paid it any attention.

    Subsequently my adoptive father has died, I have had a daughter and put my adoptive mother into a care home with dementia.

    I have recently rediscoverd all the correspondance between the agency and my adoptive parents, I have all the paperwork for the first time.

    Its not moving, I do however wish to trace my birth mother now, but the more burning things is that there was a description of my birth mother in the documents.

    5'6" tall, dark hair, green eyes, a little over weight.

    If I was to have a 'type' the description would match almost perfectly, throughought my life I have 'fallen' deepy and madly for this type and been hurt by each and every one them. I am not aware of ever reading the description before but I am wondering if there is something deeper and unknown within me that leads me to women of this type.

    I do have to add that both of my long term relationships have not been with this type of woman. First was a red head, second was black. But I have been tempted each time by one of my type.

    I have no sense of longing or abandonment or even loss, but I have and have always had a need to know about the reasons for any relationship decision before I can process and move on.

    Again is this linked my adoption or is it just me?

    I don't consider my to be at all messed up by my adoption but as my life changes and I keep making the same decisions about the same type I can't help but wonder.

    Therefore, am I allright?

    D

  • MJ

    Was adopted in late 60's at birth. I thoroughly relate with the issues people have been posting - identity & relationship problems, anger, guilt, poor communication skills, more anger. (lol) I was adopted as a baby and knew about it very early on. Still deliberating if that was a good or bad thing, but at least it wasn't a mystery as to why I didn't look like anybody in my family. Remember feeling closer to my dad don't have memories of my mom reading or playing with me. Had intense anger as early as three yrs old, which later on I attributed to the hostile, pre-divorce atmosphere at home parents divorced when I was four. Distrust, anxiety and anger followed and I had problems making friends. Always had an intense desire to please parents, teachers, etc. and have strong drive to succeed - straight As, etc. Don't communicate well - although sadly, am good at manipulating. Humbling to say that outloud, but I know it's true. Adolescence happened and promiscuity followed- looking for love in ALL the wrong places. At 18 met my birth mom and it was both the most wonderful thing that happened and the most confusing and frustrating. Who's my mom? Where do I belong? Who am I? Got married a year later and that didn't last. Got married again at 21 and was blessed with three beautiful, amazing, healthy baby boys. Went to work fulltime when the youngest was less than a year and their father was a stay-at-home dad afterward. I'm almost mid 40s and I'm in psychotherapy recently. I've always attributed that I never felt completely connected with my sons to fact that they were basically raised by their dad. But today it dawns on me that, hey perhaps it's related to my identity issues? LOL - I'm slow. I mean it's weird, I'm an adult but have never felt like one am a mom to three terrific sons whom I love intensely but don't feel completely connected to have wonderful, loving friends but don't feel completely connected to them either. Well, there it is- just putting it out there for other immature, 40ish, divorced adoptees with anger & communication issue so you know you're not alone --even though you may have felt like it from day one. So the mystery continues.... :) :)

  • kayleigh

    Hiya my name is kayleigh I am 20 I got put into a car home when I was 5 and then went on to be adopted when I was 7 yds old I alaays new what was going on and that I was getting adopted at first I felt happy I had a new family but that lasted about a week when I moved in my behaviour bevome uncontrolable and I was constantly lashing out at my adoption parents bcoz I was confused they dealt with this by slapoingnme on my a*s with slippers wuch made me hate them even more they got social workers bck involved when I aas 9 but then refused the help as my behaviour startdd to irove at that time but a week later my bahvaiour wadent great I had issues.making positive attactments so I couldent attch to my adoption parents in the end a worker startdd taking me out to help wih my emotions and this helped abit more the adoption parents wrre still not engaing and I sas sufferingnmore bcoz of this wen I got into high svhool I started drinking and so on and it got to the point of everyday my mum and dad then split up as my mum had chetdd on my dad and went snd mived in wjth her boyfreind I went with her bcoz the relationship with dad was shocking aboutn3 weeks later I went for my mum and she pned social services saying come get her she refused any help with me and sk did my dad I ended up getting put bcm into care wich caused even more rejevtion and made it even harder to feel I coud attach to people. Things also didant work with my foster family as I aas to damaged witb all the rejection I sag down the othrr weem and reaf my files and the adoption parents blamed me fir everything and thy endured seven years of hell andni wud never be there dayghter they said my behvaviour had nothingnto do wih the life I had ben through when my behaviour was down to me feeling unloved andnlinely and also still tk this day I didant no why I was adoptdd so that made me worse as I had no understanding of my lifenoor who I even was I aas a very angry young person but to be blamdd for evertyhingnis alot to takenin when I didsnt ask fo thism life. Adoption has mentally messed with my head and it wzs only shen I had my dayghter that I thought yano what imr bettr than this but they havent spoken ti me in 7 yrs since the adoption failed but still lve my.little sister whonthey adopted.with.me ime left enstranged from any family andni am by myself si tbh afoption doez affect people differently but mentally it is hard I still stryggle now to form any artactmebts and have no freinds bcoz of this I constantky feek linely and hurt and betraydd so someone decided to adopt me but when things were to hard they give up but if thwy had stuck by me I would have chanfed my bavouir as I would have seen that someone does live me. But owell lol by being rehected so many times it has eventually ameee ne a better strobger person for me and my dayghtrr.i understanf that it woukd have affected the adoption parents aswelk but ifbthey felt depressrd abd abgry how could they not understand how a little girl was feeling. But adoption has affcetdd ne in a bad way but reading everyone elses stories have made me realise ime not alkne and pagds like these make me feel bettrr in myself understanfing othr peoples stories and situations I juat felt I had to write a comment ad I have been badly affectdx from adoption x

  • RL

    I don't know what to do. I was adopted as a baby into a family with an already adopted older male. We both grew up knowing we were adopted. My very earliest memories are blurred normal family antics but that quickly changed. I was sexually abused my my adopted brother, and subject to physical, mental, and emotional abuse from him for years until he left home when I was a teenager. The physical beatings were often degrading and humilating, he would spit and urinate on me. He called me gutter child, the daughter of a prostitute, a wh*re, a sl*t, worthless, that he hated me, my parents only pretended to love me, that i was someone who'd never be loved.

    This went on til I was about 14 and it affected me so much it wasn't even until recently (I'm in my mid twenties) that i realised my adoption did affect me too. I feel abandoned by everyone in my life, my biological parents, my brother, my adoptive parents for not protecting me, I was like a mouse in a snake pit. Sadly after my brother left they both became sick with cancer, my dad dying while I was a teenager and my mom dying when I was 21.

    Because of the illness and the strenght they needed to fight it, I never got any answers to things with my brother, or why they had seemed to prefer him over me, particularly when his behaviour was terrible. I was punished a lot for really minor things, when I was actually a well behaved kid, whereas he would literally kick the hell out of me, beat on my mom, break things and threaten to kill to, he actually tried to a couple of times, one of which if it wasn't for my mom catching him I wouldn't be writing this.

    as I've got older I've understood he had/has serious mental issues. I never spoke to him again after he left home but heard he had wound up in prison in another country where he was diagnosed with a mental condition. I understand now they were overwhelmed with taking care of him and didn't know what to do, and I was even told a few times over the years that I was neglected to a degree as so much attention went on him. I just wish sometimes i'd had the same attentiveness and concern for well being. The same care that I'd turn out okay too. I constantly felt that I had to compete with my abuser, knowing there was no point.

    Aside from this, friends were very hard for me to make when younger, and I still have this. Friends I had in highschool who I finally trusted to tell what had happened to me, decided to spread it around and that I was a lying attention seeker. I lost a lot of friends, confidence, and struggle to trust people.

    After my Mum died a few years ago I truly felt alone and was in a dark cloud for years. I met someone who I started a relationship with, and was supposed to move to be with him as hes abroad, but there were things that came up including an injury and an abortion after a visit (he lives 6000 miles away, so I felt like I had no one to lean on) anyway, it killed me to get it done, I felt extreme guilt and pain, but I knew that at that moment I couldn't support them (they were twins.)

    Since then things unravelled, I was very depressed for a long time, I have no family here, the abortion was weighing on my and bring up past issues, I was worried about my studying, I was worried about my future, I was in physical pain a lot as I have sciatica which seems to worsten with stress. I've not really any solid friendships with people close to where I am, and it's really hard for my to talk to people, and I ended up in a situation where I leant on my boyfriend too much, but I was trying to cope with everything else that going out and making new friends and bonds was too much for me at the time, a lot was, I really struggled with it. Old insecurities of worthlessness, guilt, shame, abandoment etc came back.

    I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know why I seem to ruin things, I do think I deserve love. But then again, at times, I guess I do expect to be hurt and abandoned sometimes, it's just happened so many times before in such a short space of time that I find it hard not to be fearful of it. Sorry. I doubt anyone will read this and if you do apologies for how poorly constructed and thrown together it is, I've just had a really hard night, and rambled on.

  • Monique

    Hi, my name is Monique and I'm a twin! I felt the need to write on here because I really feel sorry for a lot of the stories I came across and read on here. Me and my twin sister as I mentioned above was abandoned and left in a hotel when we were six months. Than a couple of months after that was told, that we went to foster home to lately get placed into a permanent Living situation. Life being told that you were left alone cold for three days (as I didn't go into detail above), can feel cold. Because, thoughts like if my birth parents left me and did be so horrible who will ever love me? Who cloud ever love me?

  • Kathy Meyer

    Alot of the comments pertain to a feeling of not belonging. I was adopted when I was 3 months old and was told a cute little story about how they could hardly wait to come up and get me in the big city. It really didn't bother me until midlife as I have always had a problem feeling like a don't belong in any group, family, or relationship. I've never known what I should be doing for a living and have pursued everything from real estate to cake decorating to travel agent. I just don't know what I'm passionate about and probably never will. I think if might help to know what my bio parents did. I've suffered alot of depression and lonliness all my life and seem to never fit in and told that I"m different. I think adoption should be banned as I feel like I'm a second-rate citizen as I can't access records or medical records. I'm glad there are a few people who did have decent experiences with their un bio's. I know mine did the best they could, but we couldn't really understand each other as we were on totally different pages most of the time. If you're going to adopt, realize your adoptees might not ever really connect with you on the level you want, and also you will have to be pretty much unconditional in your approaches

  • Kendall

    I was adopted from birth and my parents resistance to accept that the adoption caused pain for me has resulted in a multirude of relationship and mental issues. I remember feeling constantly anxious and over sensitive from the age of 2 or 3. Everytime my mother was stressed out or unhappy I internalized it and grew up to be an overly anxious child and now adult. I have ping ponged back and forth from perfectionist to rebel through the years. There is no middle ground ,no accepting of myself. I am either an absolute mess or putting up a front that life is wonderful. I have been treated for depression, anxiety, adhd,anorexia, bulimia and had an exercise addition that caused me to lose my period for 2 years. When I started my period at age 11 my mother made me feel like I was dirty and like I had done something wrong. I was also an obese child. I have had problems keeping friendships and have a tendency to isolate myself. Professionally I am always a model employee and am neurotic about doing well at work and being independant so I am no longer a burden on my parents. I have felt suicidal many times since age 13 and have had various attempts along with suicidal idolation being apArt of daily life.

  • Lee

    i was adopted in 1967. My birth mother was 16 and was sent off to have me secretly. Closed adoption. I was adopted by a collage sweetheart couple from a small town on North Florida. I found out when I was 8. my pqrents had two boys of their own after me. My adoptive mother Jean was horrible to me. I was tall blonde and pretty she was short and overweight. They made me feel like I was a outcast always blaming me for everything while praising my brothers. They hit me some but mostly emotional abuse. They kicked me out after high school. No job skills, no car,no where to go. I started lieing to change my identity. Because of this I went to great lengths and found my birth mother. Had all the dreams in my head. None of them were true. It was great at first...this is called the honeymoon period. I loved having real brothers and sister. After awhile it died down. We still keep in touch but, not really. Dont feel loved by her or close to them. How can you love someone you did not know ?

    I don't have kids because of this. i was going to adopt but decided against it.

    i only think adoption can work if the adoptive parents do not have biological children of their on. It's just not the samething. Just like you don't love your step kids the same. No one wants to admit it but, it's true.

  • Anonymous-25

    I have always been a square peg in a round hole, no matter how hard the people who adopted me tried to shape my edges. I am 45 and I still struggle with the issues that I faced that are directly related to adoption, including:

    -Low self-esteem and sense of self-worth: my adopted parents used to make my (adopted) sister and I 'work' to earn our keep - we had to show how 'thankful' we were to be living in a 'nice' home, rescued from what they tried to convince me would have been a deprived life with my birth mother my adopted mum never said she loved me, and in fact she even said there was nothing about me that she could find to like

    - Rejection: on so many levels by my adoptive family becuase I didn't look like them or think or act like them because I had a myriad of childhood illnesses that cost them money and time to treat because I was clever but they never undestood that cleverness and until later in life, neither did I because friends didn't believe that my sister and I were adopted because we looked alike (but we didn't) so we were labeled liars because I don't let myself get close to many people because it's just easier that way because I told my 3rd grade teacher the kinds of things that my mother was forcing me to do (in terms of working in the home) and he gave me the strap for lying about 'good people' I am sick to death of being told by medical staff that I really should search for my birth mother, if only to find out about my genetic and medical history - why, when there are tests for just about everything these days and she may only be able to present me with half of the picture (and I say that protectively, not accusingly)?

    -Deception: Everyone thought my adoptive family was the perfect family when in reality we were keeping up apearances and life at home was unbearable being told stories about my birth mother and the 'kind of woman she must have been' (there are a lot of implications lie within that statement)

    Struggle: I now know that my adoption was what the Australian government considers to be a 'forced adoption' - that is, I was removed from my birth mother witout her consent in the time before the unmarried mothers' pension was introduced Whilst the government apologised to both parties involved in forced adoption a couple of years ago, I still have little political dignity - I have no automatic rights to my correct birth information unless I pay a fee I have to have an interview with a social worker before engaging in the search process so that someone else can decide if I am able to 'cope' in short, I still do not have the same rights as people who are not adopted

    And yet whilst I would love to find my birth parent(s), I am held back by a strong feeling of needing to leave well alone - to not go there because its not in anyone's best interest. I don't know why I feel like this, and I would so like to find the person who shares my looks, mannerisms, cleverness, wit and predisposition to cynicism. I get very strong and usually accurate gut feelings about things (I understand this is common in many intuitively inclined adopted people) and my gut just says 'don't go there'. My sister found her birth mother and gained a whole stack of sibings to boot. If I'm honest there is a part of me that won't begin the search because I can't face any more rejection. But there is also another reason: I don't know the circumstances of my conception, and knowing what it's like to hurt for so long, I don't want to open what might be old wounds for my birth mother, because I will have 'can you tell me about my father?' questions but I don't know how well they will be received. My birth mother does have the same search rights as me, and to the best of my knowledge she has never started her search perhaps for the same reasons why I haven't searched either.

    If you are an adoptive parent, please - be open and honest with your gift of a child, be open with your community. Don't try to make a square peg fit your round hole, instead love your square peg and be happy that they have skills, talents, failings and foibles that are unique to them and which help you to learn more about yourself. Most of all, love unconditionally - as that's what everyone deserves.

  • Catherine

    I have read through the comments posted here and smiled so many times with recognition. I decided to add a comment as a way of empowering myself and admitting to myself the core of my problems. I am a 51 year old adoptee, live in the UK.

    I am a 'compliant' adoptee and since leaving home at 18 to study have experienced episodes of depression. I am going through an episode now (worst so far). In my 20s I had chaotic relationships with men who were unsuitable for me and like others, finished the relationship before they could. The only time a man finished the relationship with me I was devastated beyond all reason and only with time and therapy have I come to understand the power of rejection on an abandoned person.

    I have also recognised the difficulties others have had with friends. I too always feel on the outside of groups of friends, never completely at ease, always wondering when someone is going to see through me. I still practise a distancing behaviour with friends who genuinely offer compassion, support and affection. I am anxious they will see how needy I am for affection and support and run a mile. So I am neglectful, indifferent or disrespectful and ! Lo and behold they run a mile.which in turn does nothing for my fragile self esteem. I end up lonely. This is in contrast to a very deep behaviour of

  • Anonymous-26

    I used to feel so sad because a lot of my biological family died. My biological father was alive but didn't want me, my uncles could have but didn't take care of me. Though what I I learnt from watching a Disney movie was this, "you're just focusing on the bad stuff, when all you had to do was forget about the past and keep moving forward." I have people who care about me that I wouldn't have known unless I was adopted. I was given an education because I was adopted. I want to use my adoption as a positive to help disadvantaged people. I'm seventeen and was adopted at 3. It's so easy easy to be consumed by hate I've learnt, so easy to push people away and have a lonley sad future. Although I would rather move forward in my life. I want to focus on the here and now and surprise people. I believe we can control our fate it all depends on the way we are looking at it. If I can give back to people who are disadvantaged my life gas purpose, if I open myself to love then it can have happiness.

  • Anonymous-27

    I was adopted 8 months after I was born. I didn't know what was happening and I was taken from my real family. It wasn't fai. I found my birth morther 8 months ago and I've been talking to her since. My adoptive parent when to court for me the when against my birth dad. He lost because he didn't have that much money he came all they way fromKansas to win me back and take me with him to Kansas that didn't happen. I just wish I had a say in it. It wasn't fair. Now I'm asing questions about this and tell are tell me stuff but they are wrong about it. I believe they are lying to me. I just ask for the truth. It's so hard I'm depress and they dont see it cause every time I go around them I put a fake smile on and pretend everything is ok but in the inside I'm dying. I need to know. I have a sister and 2 brother that I've neve meet and it's killing me I need them. I need them they are all across the country and they have never meet. I'm talking to my older brotherhe is 15 one year inlet then me. My sister is 13 one year younger then me and my other brother in 5 and he is the cutest thing I've ever seen he is the only that wasn't adopte. I'm 14 and I hate myself and have no one to help me feel important enough to live life and not feel dead on the inside it's hard so hard to know your real family is out there and might even know about you.

  • Enso

    Thank you to all that have posted on here. I have really appreciated reading through other people's stories. So many people are in pain, and to those that are I hope that they find a way of having ease of being, and connecting with what's important to them.

    I was given up at birth, and adopted at 6 weeks old. My family are loving and kind I have no adopted brothers and sisters. They have given me a good life. They have had their own issues in their relationships, and I have been more involved in their relationship since my teens that I would have wished to be. I have tried since my first divorce to ensure I am not dragged into their relationship.

    I have always felt loved. Possible excessively so, my mother wants me at the centre of her life far more than I am comfortable with. My father, a straightforward man, not far off Asperger's syndrome, tends to dominate conversations due to his lack of social skills. His identitiy too is very much based around loving me.

    They are soooo different to me. I often feel suffocated by their love and desire to be with me so often. I don't think many people find them easy company I certainly do not feel I can be myself near them. And I feel terrible guilt that I cannot be the child that would actually return all their unconditional love.

    That said I have a wonderful son. I have had a reasonable career, that's involved helping the disadvantaged. I realise now that I have rarely felt truly at ease in one job, always looking for the next one, looking for some kind of security. That said, I have taken jobs that are never going to be able to last, due to their location or other issues.

    I found solace in alcohol for many years - the companionship of the pub. I am approaching my second divorce. Like many others here, I have been the ender of relationships, and rarely been dumped. Most of my friends think I am social and gregarious. I have a tendence to bleed my feelings to all and sundry. I'm not sure if my relationships ending is an attachment issue, I think it could well be.

    At the moment I am going through a hard time. There's been depression related to work, and then my relationship has just ended. Who knows if adoption is at the centre of this? I know I feel guilt far far more than most people I have ever met and I have very complicated feelings for my parents that centre around guilt at not being the child that fits into their ideal of their family.

    As for women, I'm not sure if I have ever had a relationship with someone completely suitable for me. I think most of my friends could have pointed out the obvious reasons why my first marriage, and them ny second marriage would fail. My first wife believes that because of my adoption I don't know who I am, therefore what i want is subject to change to easily. Now is the first time in my life that I realise that I wouldn't want anyone i cared about to go out with me because I clearly have so much crap to deal with in my emotional life.

    I had some limited contact with my birth mother some years ago, but she scared me a little. I felt if I moved further with contact I could jeopardise more elements of my already complicated life. I have never really felt any sense of betrayal or anything. I think my life was a lot beter with my parents than it would have been with her.

    That said, I have some good friends. I have experienced love, I have a wonderful child, and I have done some things in my life I have truly enjoyed. My adoptive parents have loved me, given me a sense that I could achieve things, and certainly not made me feel unworthy or lacking in confidence.

    I don't know what is to do with being adopted. I may have had the same issues if I were my parent's biological child. But it's interesting how many of us adoptees feel similar issues.

    May all of us struggling feel some ease with our issues, love and feel loved by those we care about.

  • Kathy

    I too have struggled I always knew I was adopted and always felt loved, but was never told I love you never hugged growing up, but they stuck by me through all of my running away amongest other problems. My parents had been married 17 years and were allowed to adopt a one month old my mother was 34 and my father was 43 when i was adopted with no experince with children this was not ideal. My mother was strict and my father was a marsh mellow they had very old world values and at that time the generation gap was a major thing all of my friends parents were younger and more hip at that time. I had problems in school and my aunts and uncles didn't care much for me I felt it too. I found my birth parents even had a DNA done with my biological father, I had many of the same problems many of you had and what I would like to share might help some of you.

    I never stayed in a relationship long I always broke up with them and then on to the next it never made sense I belive that was from being abandoned but the depression the feelings i had growing up were NOT from the adoption. What I have found throughout my life is many people who put children up for adoption suffer from mental illness, I went to many doctors my mother complained I would not wake up and thats true i could sleep through a bomb and i could sleep for 24-48 hours straight, but i could stay up for days i never completed anything i started i was always late, I suffered from ADHD on my mothers side and on my fathers was bipolar. I had no idea they were genetic until at 52 i was diagnosed with both, i told the doctor i do know my birth parents had these issues he said well that only confirms it.

    With this said please check your background more you might find some answers you have been looking for. I believe I have issues with relationships and trusting due to adoption but the anger and other issues are more than likely genetic.

  • Steph

    I'm nearly 30 and Ive always felt different from my cousins because of what I was into and every little thing at an early age. It didn't help when I was always compared to my female cousins too it's like I'm sorry im not pretty enough to be your daughter or sorry im not a stick thin model for you. Pre teen to the the end of my teen was the worst for me I didn't turn out to be the daughter that my mother always wanted. I wasn't smart and didn't go to university. It was my mother the only mother I knew couldn't accept me for who I am, mind you we don't get along even now. I always ask myself I thought people who wants to adopt a child would love them like their own but not in my case. Doesn't help now that my mother is in her 60s she like constantly angry.i feel alone all the time

  • Bb

    I have an adult child who is a therapist. we were blessed to be able to become her parents at age 3 days. The most joyous day of our lives. I would sit and just stair at her sometimes and think Thank you so much for this blessing...we had so much fun, I became pregnant when she was 3 months old and had a handful but my heart swelled with love and pride for my son and daughter...they have given us so much. love love them to pieces. She knew she was adopted at age 6. Now in her thirties she has moved about 8 hours away with a man she loves and is engaged to...she said she wanted to start new...she has put up walls boundaries...rarely calls...everything is on her terms and we feel we are alienated from her. Always feel we are sitting in her therapy chair when we see her. if she could feel our hurt and just want her to never forget us....she tells me now after all these years i was a bad Mom. never said this ever and we got along so well and she wrote us letters, notes and expressed her love in the past for us. She seems so cold...what happened here?

  • Anonymous-28

    I'm a 48 yo male adopted at birth. Almost everyday I feel the absence of my mother. A piece of me is missing, and has been for my whole life. Oddly enough, I feel nothing for my biological father. The deficit in my life is my mom.

    My adoptive mother od'd when I was 4 and the subsequent wife was a witch. My current step mother has played the role for decades but even she, as well as my sisters, seem like strangers at times.

    I spoke to my adoptive mother once for maybe 20 minutes, when I was 30 yo. My wife found the case manager that was assigned to me when I was born! What are the odds? Anyway, she tracked down my mom and arranged a phone call, with her using an alias, of ocourse. It was a let down as she seemed to feel nothing. Didn't want to reunite as she didn't want her other son to know about me as I am a product of an affair.

    I would give anything to have a loving embrace from my mom. I would give anything to hear my mom say she loves me.

    Wherever you are, mom, I love you.

  • Anonymous-29

    I was neglected by my biological mother who had depression. I was adopted when I was three so I have no memories. As a child I would run away trying to find my biological family. My adopted older sister showed no real love towards me, she would remind me a lot tat we weren't really sister. I didn't feel excepted in my adopted family.My older sister who had a big personality people gravitated to, while I would be ignored because I was so traumatized I had trouble with showing affection. I later learnt how my biological mother didn't breadt feed me and difnt show muvh affection. I'm not surprised that I have trouble showing it. I have other biological family members but I don't think they really care about me. Only my biological grandfather and brother did but they aren't alive. I feel no connection with my adopted sister still, though she never really put effort in by playing with me as a child.My adopted mother doesn't nottice when I'm feeling sad, she constantly thinks I'm fine or will be fine and seems to only worry about my sister. Its because my sisters strong personality makes it that she's notticed. Even with my adopted uncles and aunts don't really nottice me. I find at school people seem to use me because I try to please everyone.I get hurt a lot. I feel like i was neglected at birth and I'm still neglected. The only difference was i was poor and now I'm not. Though having stuff can make you feel even more lonley. I have some good times though I still feel like I'm not heard and I feel like it has effected my personality. Seven how I have trouble hugging people. I feel just so lost and exausted.

  • Melanie

    You have my empathy I am going through the exact same thing with my adopted son, a senior in high school with a very promising outlook for attending a very prominent college on a full athletic scholarship.

    We adopted him along with 2 siblings from foster care almost 5 years ago. He has been in contact with his biological father and one other sibling and they recently returned to his life this past fall when he committed to play for an SEC football team. Prior to this time, he had not seen them in almost 7 years and had not spoken to them in over a year. Despite our misgivings and the obvious reason why they suddenly reappared, my husband and I respected his wishes and they have been welcomed into our home and we are cordial when seeing them at games, etc...

    However, since then, he has made my life a living hell. He no longer calls me 'ma', it's back to Melanie is cold and distant refuses to have a conversation about what is going on and he knows that these are the emotional buttons he can push because I always end up in tears over hurtful things he has said. Meanwhile, to everyone in the outside world, he is this wonderful, fully, successful kid that is adored by everyone.

    So while I can't offer any insight, just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one experiencing issues. I love my son so much and yet he is so hurtful I just don't understand. It tears me apart inside.

  • Anonymous-30

    My daughter has stepchildren and I am unable to see them as family, like my biological grandchildren. Her choice was to take the stepchildren rather than have her own and I see that as undermining my bad adoption experience.

    Adoption maybe gave some advantages to me but mostly it was abuse. Getting the closed system to open was cruel. The lies fed me for over sixteen years caused much harm.

    All children adopted need to know they are adopted from day one, and choice to meet parents needs to come sooner than adulthood - for my birth parents and me it would have worked after ten years.

  • Anonymous-31

    i was adopted from chile when i 4 I grew up always knowing I was adopted as my adoptive parents were Australian light skin light hair and I was dark skin and dark hair . I never really felt a connection with any of my family we were completly different . I grew up feeling very alone and abandoned I was weird looking because my mum wouldn't let me grow my hair so I never felt pretty or able to fit in with the other girls at school . When I was 22 I travelled to Chile to meet my bio mum it was weird because she was a stranger . She had other kids that she had raised and I was jeleous of the life they had being normal with their parents . I always feel alone now and find it hard to let people in to my heart . Essentially I really don't like myself I understand that adoption is meant to be for good but I hate that I was adopted I wish I could be like everyone else .

  • Michelle

    I agree with Kathy, I have found a lot of mental health issues in my biological family. I think many people assumed that these were caused by social services removing the kids, but I think the mental health problems were the cause of the disfunction. Since finding out all this, it has answered a lot of questions about how I react to things that have happened in my life. Also, I have been able to at least warn the young adults in the family, so they can be aware of these tendencies in themselves and seek treatment early.

  • Anonymous-29

    As a child I always pushed people away including my adoptive family. They made a lot of mistakes but at least they were there, at least they tried. I was always looking for my biological family as a child, waiting for them to find me, and when they didn't I would hurt the ones that actually cared about me. My biological family weren't bad, they just couldn't look after me and werent suited for it. It took me a while but I have now realised being adopted gave me a family. If my family were able to put a child up for adoption, then they weren't meant to be parents. If I had a child I would do anything to look after them, iven if life would be hard for me. I do understand sometimes parents have to put there child up like my biological family, though by them putting me up they excepted not being my parents anymore. There are some horrible adoption stories but if I wasn't adopted by the family i have now, I wouldn't have been reunited by my family I would just be put in the system. Adoption gave me what I never really had. A family.