This article makes me want to look up every adoptee and every birth parent in the state of Utah and offer big hugs. Granted, not every adoptee and birth parent would want my hugs but they could have them if they wanted.
And that’s the point. If they don’t want a hug, then they can decline. If they do, then we both win via hugging. Right?
Utah doesn’t seem to get the idea of the ability to decline hugs. Or, ya know, reunion contact.
A bill that would let adoptees find out the information about their birth families was shot down. Now, mind you, this is one of the most conservative bills I’ve seen as it doesn’t allow adoptees to get that information until thirty years have passed. But still, it was shot down.
Thirty years? Sigh.
It gets better.
And a number of legislators said they believe the birth parent and his or her new family should be shielded from such contacts.
Shielded, eh? There are no guarantees that “shielding” will stay intact even though this bill just got the boot. People can hire private investigators. No, it doesn’t always work. And yes, it’s unfair to expect an adoptee to pay money to find their information. But it can and does happen.
But it gets better still!
“It could be devastating, you get a knock on your door 30 years later,” Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, said. “Your other family members may have never been told there was a child before them.”
Now, unfortunately, too many mothers from the closed era were told to keep “their secret.” However, I’m always all for complete honesty. I don’t think that a relationship founded on lies can have a true future. Lying to your spouse or your children does no good in the end. It’s unfortunate that mothers and fathers who relinquished were not counseled on this matter. But it is not the adoptees fault!
But it really doesn’t come down to wanting to shield birth parents’ families from any undue stress. That’s painfully evident from this next comment.
Rep. Ronda Rudd Menlove, R-Garland, said she has talked with young pregnant women, and she feared that the possibility that 30 years later someone could knock on their door and enter an adopted child into their and their families’ lives, could be one more reason to have an abortion and not go through the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption.
And that’s why it was shot down. Because of a bunch of representatives skewed views that anonymity is what mothers and fathers considering placement want in their adoptions nowadays. Wrong, by the way, as the vast majority are seeking only situations that involve openness in some form or another. And if we don’t have these theoretical birth parents, then we don’t have babies for families and then we don’t have money!
I mean, at least they had the nerve to say it out loud. They didn’t pass the bill because they still need mothers to place babies for adoption. What they don’t realize, however, is that they’re going about it in the wrong manner. Mothers who are properly counseled as to the questions an adoptee might, could or will ask in the future are increasingly choosing open forms of adoption and filling out paperwork, from the get-go, that releases their information to the child at any time.
Don’t pretend like you’re “protecting” birth mothers and their families from evil adoptees who want to wreck lives. Don’t hide behind that. Be honest. But before you do that, do a little bit of leg work on your research. Mothers today want their children to have that access. If you take that access away, less are going to place. Not more.
For more on reunion, read these posts.