Okay, I’m probably going to seriously step on some toes here, but it’s something I feel very strongly about. Another adoption reform measure that I feel should be put in place is a requirement for women relinquishing to provide information on family history, family medical history, and other vital information, and children who grew up adopted should be the ones to help pen the form’s questions that should be filled out by the relinquishing parent as completely as possible: an essay test that must be passed by a specific percentage for completeness before relinquishment through a reputable agency will be allowed.
Whenever I hear of a birthmother who refuses contact from a child she relinquished, something in me rises up at the injustice of that. To me, this is the one of the biggest human rights violations. The infant who was passed on to strangers was innocent, and the questions she or he will carry throughout his or her life are valid questions, and the history of where he or she came from is hers/his. It is a history he or she was born with, and it is his, it is hers, as much as it is yours, dear birth mother. You, dear birthmother, like everyone else, will die. And if the desired natural order of things prevails, your child will outlive you. You are a product of your ancestors before you, and whatever you know about them contributes to who you are. To deprive your child of whatever knowledge you possess – be it good, bad, ugly, or otherwise – is to leave a black hole of questions that will haunt your child and the generations that will follow. You did not die and leave this child an orphan. You lived. And you lived with the information that your child desires to have at precisely this moment. If you die with that information, not passing it on to your posterity, that, my dear sister, is a travesty. Life is not fair, but to be the biggest contributor of what is not fair about your child’s life is completely unacceptable. If you cannot face your child, at least write some things down – including names of other relatives (if they are safe to know) – who were also denied access to their own relative (your child) who might wish to know this person.
A woman who gives birth assumes risks – not the other way around. You had a choice, dear birthmother; your child did not. You brought a human being into this world, and, therefore, you are the one who assumes those risks – not the innocent who came into this world having done nothing wrong, nothing deserving of punishment. To deny your child access to their family history is a form of unjust – and I will add cruel and unusual – punishment. Disagree, but the strong feelings I have about this will not change – and, chances are, neither will the feelings of your child.