Adopted Child: “You Don’t Understand How It Feels to Be Abandoned”

January 14th, 2008
Categories: Unwanted Children

I heard a sad story about a teenage adoptee who is having a hard time coming to grips with having been abandoned as a child. Unfortunately, that is the history of many adopted children, particularly in poor or overpopulated countries where leaving the baby abandoned is the cultural way of relinquishing parental rights. We even have this happening in the United States through the safe haven laws, which allow birthmothers to "abandon" their babies in specific places and immediately relinquish their parental rights. I can see how coming to grips with being physically abandoned could be hard.

Of course, an adoptee who was abandoned at infancy has no way of knowing if she was truly just left on the side of the road with nobody… [more]

Talking with “Unwanted” Adopted Child About Birthmother

August 7th, 2007
Categories: Unwanted Children

Child by Hut (c) Lynda Bernhardt

In my post What if Your Adopted Child Really was “Unwanted”?, I received a very sad comment from OwensMama about her situation. Her 3-1/2 year old adopted child’s birthmother did not want him, and OwensMama is agonizing over how to talk with him about this as he grows.

Here is part of OwensMama’s comment:

[The adoption] paperwork contains a direct written sentence from his birthmother when asked "Why are you relinquishing this child to the care of the state?" and she replies in her own words and handwriting that "I already have two children, I don't want three." What am I to tell him? What can I say?

I am going to give my advice on how I would… [more]

What if Your Adopted Child Really was “Unwanted”?

August 6th, 2007
Categories: Unwanted Children

Child by Hut (c) Lynda Bernhardt

In my post Reassuring the “Unwanted” Adopted Child, I shared that my son believed his birthmother placed him for adoption because she did not want him. This could not be farther from the truth. However, as John pointed out in the comments, there are adopted children whose birthmothers truly did not want them. How do you help an adopted child to cope with this level of rejection?

I posted about my situation on a message board for adoptive mothers. After reading my post, one of the adoptive mothers started a separate thread addressing many of the same issues that John raised. Here is John’s comment, which is representative of the kinds of comments left by several adoptive mothers… [more]

Reassuring the “Unwanted” Adopted Child

August 2nd, 2007
Categories: Unwanted Children

Child by Hut (c) Lynda Bernhardt

My son broke my heart the other day when he said, “My real mom didn’t want me.” Even though I know that feeling “unwanted” is a normal issue for an adopted child to work through, it surprised me for these words to come out of the mouth of my six-year-old child. I have heard that being “chosen” does not alleviate the pain of first being “unchosen” for an adopted child. How can adoptive parents help a child work through these feelings?

What makes this even more frustrating is knowing that he was never “unwanted” but not having a way to effectively communicate this. His birthmother cried every day for 5 weeks after she placed him for adoption. Her decision… [more]