Adaptations made though Adoption

Taken from Chosen Children: Billion Dollar Babies in America's Foster Care, Adoption & Prison Systems (Electronic Edition by Lori Carangelo)

 ...adoptees are overrepresented in psychotherapy, psychiatric hospitals and prisons, regardless of the age at which they had been surrendered to strangers. In No One Goes Crazy Alone, Paul Wachtel explains that family therapists believe no man is an island, so human miseries must be understood in terms of how intertwined human destinies are. Our very definitions of "homelessness," "mental illness," and "child welfare" dictate and constrain the solutions we seek.

Decades ago, Jean Paton asked "Do you have to be truant, steal cars, get into juvenile detention homes, or drop out of school in order for people to realize that you need to have someone tell you about your origins?" The answer is still yes. Dr. David Brodzinsky, who conducted one of the nation's largest studies of adopted children at Rutgers University, recognized that adoption itself is a psychological burden to the adoptee and that their problems and symptoms often fall into the "adopted child syndrome" pattern. Adoptees seem to have trouble trusting others and forming close relationships. Often they feel they don't belong, or are unloved and unwanted. With excessive fear of abandonment, they are constantly testing limits and seeking approval, affection, and acceptance. They experience a severe identity crisis in adolescence around whether they feel they are a full member of the adoptive family or just being loyal to their rescuers. Finding parents or being found by them can stress all parties, no matter the depth or lack of relationship. Where adopters have a "shape up or ship out" mentality, adolescent adoptees are more likely to act out. High level professionals agree that adoptees should have access to their origins. But politics thwart good sense. One such political roadblock is the National Right To Life (NRTL) and its member organizations. NRTL's "Adoption Not Abortion" bumper sticker sounds reasonable. But NRTL lacks resources or willingness to help parents wishing to keep their babies, so they have become an adoption agency promoting secret adoption as if adoption is the only alternative to abortion.

In a survey by Americans For Open Records (AmFOR) one thousand mothers who had been victimized by the adoption experience revealed they would subsequently opt to either keep or abort, rather than experience again the lifelong pain of surrendering another child to strangers and the unknown fate of secret adoption. These mothers share their hard-learned experiences with their daughters, in the hope that another eneration will not opt for lifelong separation by adoption as a "quick fix" for temporary problems of youth, insufficient education, and employable skills, substance abuse, and inadequate day care.


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