Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Second Thoughts

I was wondering how many of you have accessed your adoption records. I have been excited about the possibility of having factual, real information about me. However, as I have started the process to obtain my records, I am suddenly a little nervous about it. I am beginning to wonder if opening this up will also bring about new issues...a whole new list is raiding my mind. Who knows what my adoption records...OBC, court proceedings, agency reports, etc... may disclose? What if I discover more lies? Am I ready to find out?

I have a very strong feeling that my AP's knew more than what they ever disclosed to me throughout my life. I have another VERY strong feeling that they already have a copy of my adoption records. There are little things that I have always known about myself that my nmom said she never shared with anyone. The only way that my AP's could know that information to tell me is if they obtained it from my adoption records.

My AP's, I felt, were always fairly open about my adoption. I knew I was adopted. I knew what my nmom had named me. They told me that my nmom was enrolled at a local community college in her hometown. Several details like that I always knew. However, it was always on their terms. If i ever asked my amom something specific abut my nmom, she would give me a vague answer.

Once, my amom told me when I turned 13 she would give me some information that would tell me more about my nmom. I will never forget my 13th birthday. I was expecdting a big envelope full of information about me, my nmom and ndad, my birth, etc. INstead, my amom was out of town with my sister. I called in my own cake to the local bakery, my adad went and picked it up when he finished working, and we ate it. That was it. That was my 13th birthday. No big envelope. No records. Just a cake that I ordered for myself.

I have a strange sense of loyalty to my AP's. I am angry with them about a lot of things that happened growing up, but I also have a hard time expressing my true feelings to them. You know, the whole...because you took me in and saved me from a life of poverty and despair. Because of that, I have felt like I "owed it to them" to be the good girl...dependable and loyal. I guess that it's paid off to an extent. I am the executor to their estate over their biological children. Bottom line, I am the one that they trust. I'm sure if I was ever really honest with them, this would all be thrown in my face.

I am sure many of you are thinking that it's CRAZY to have second thoughts. I think it's pretty crazy too. So, why am I nervous about it? Well for me, NOTHING with my reunion has gone how I thought it would. I don't think anyone could have prepared me for the emotions involved. That is why I am nervous about opening up my adoption records. I am having second thoughts on whether or not I am ready to "go there" and, unfortunately, I won't know until I do it.


  1. Maybe you are not ready to go there, but that doesn't mean some day down the road that you couldn't. I was just talking to my sister about how the birth certificates for people that were adopted were sealed away and new ones made looking as if the adoptive parents gave birth. She was shocked and said it was really wrong. I am amazed at how much people really don't know about adoption.
    My daughter's family had all kind of information or able to easily get it but never chose to tell her anything other than she was adopted and that her birth parents were young. I was shocked to learn that she didn't even know that I named her. However, to their credit, she said she was never all that curious.

  2. I found it a damp squid as I knew the information already and it revealed nothing new for me.I get the feeling many ap's know more than they let on, some obtained from undisclosed sources, not the birth records.It's all part of that horrible power trip others subject us to.Be brave, best to know what you can isn't it?

  3. Seeing some of our history on paper, from the so-called "professionals" is a bit overwhelming.

    Of course, when I got my non-id in writing from Catholic Scarities, I later found out it was mostly lies.

    The only factual information were my first Mom's hospital records, which I was able to obtain many years before the hipaa rules took effect.

    I am still waiting for my adoption decree, and I am losing hope I will ever see my OBC.

    I have found that my ap's did have some little factoids about my natural family, but they did not tell me about those things until about 2 years ago. My a Mom said the info "wasn't important to them, as I then belonged to them".

    You may not be ready to inspect it all right now, but it will be nice to have for when you want it. It is YOURS.

  4. Like Linda said, it can be a bit overwhelming.

    Keeping in mind, also, that just because it is in an adoption record, does not mean it's true.

    I have always had my "non-ID" from the agency. That consists of a page and a half of information, typed, that didn't have a lot of info on it at all....and a hand-scribbled note from my Foster Mother that somewhere made its way in there about my height and weight at birth.

    It took some digging but I finally figured out when I was in my early 20's that I could have access to my adoption records the state has on file and I got them. They seem incomplete to me. They are identifying and there's some agency case notes in there and whatnot, but it seems like a lot of info that should be there is missing. I gave them to my First Mom to look at and some of the stuff she didn't remember saying and some of it she felt wasn't true at all.

    To me it was important to me because it was my right to know something about myself pre-adoption and to see what was written down, even if it wasn't accurate.

  5. @Jen, you know, I really want to see my daughter's records too....for instance, I know I left her father off her OBC. However, his nmother told me that she has the original and that he is on it. ???? WTF???? And the adopters told my daughter that she was black/native american/hispanic - which is sooo far from the truth....

    Yet, I too fear what is in the records....what if it says horrible things about me? The ones I got from the court said things that weren't even remotely true. is up to you, but I think that you can do it.....just remember, agencies lie, parents don't always tell children the truth.

  6. AP here, hope it's OK to comment.

    Are you able to ask your APs about the information they promised to give you? Maybe broaching that subject would be a way to open a discussion about your desire to know more.

    I'm pretty new to your blog and therefore don't know your story, so please forgive me if I'm suggesting something you've already done or cannot do.

    I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to face what you and so many other adopted people face when you start to search for information and family. This is why every single adoptive parent should be campaigning for unrestricted adoptee access to their original birth certificates.

    The facts of one's origin should never be something you have to jump through hoops or suffer to find.

    Good luck as you make these decision.

  7. @Linda Yes, it is mine...which is totally why I want it. Anything that's 'real' that has to do with my entrance into this world is very important to me. I totally am with @Amanda as far as discovering about myself pre-adoption. It's a strong desire...finding myself... and it seems to get worse with age...YIKES!!

    I do realize that the information may be false or misleading. However, I am sooooo curious as to what it says.

    @Margie Yes, I am able to ask my AP's about the information and I have, several times throughout my life. They are just not honest with me AT ALL. They tell me what they want me to know and that's it. It has always been that way. More so my amom, but my adad is not going to do anything that "rocks the boat" with my amom.

    I do not think they are aware as to how much information I am able to access now. We'll see how it goes. I have to get a court order to obtain all my info and I am in the process of figuring out just how to do that. Who knows how long it will be before I am able to get any of it.'s a long process!!

  8. @Jen, it isn't only adoptees that can't have a former foster, I have to come up with $29 dollars just to request that they ask the judge for my records...and then he can deny them or redact them to death....It is sad, I saw doctors for a blood disorder, I remember it....but I don't know where to get the records and my father and mother don't share medical records except under duress.

    As for my daughter's, she would have to ask for them the same way. And even then, they are written by social workers that had and have everything to lose if the public knew what they did to us.

  9. " I found it a damp squid as I knew the information already and it revealed nothing new for me.I get the feeling many ap's know more than they let on, some obtained from undisclosed sources, not the birth records.It's all part of that horrible power trip others subject us to.Be brave, best to know what you can isn't it?"

    Jen and other adoptees:

    Has it occurred to you( adoptees _that your aparents were doing the best that they could to shield you from the hard cold FACTS of your birth story?

    There are many adoptees of today that don't have the "young teen mom" birth story. Today's bmoms are older and have children already...what makes you think you weren't one of them? Instead of jumping to conclusions, know the facts before you're against adoption or any other thing.

  10. Ellis,

    I'm a competent adult, wife, mother, homeowner, voter, tax-payer, student, and former social service professional. I'll decide what I'm "better off" not knowing about myself--thanks.

  11. Oh and just another thing Ellis, my mother was 24, had no other children and never did due to secondary infertility caused by adoption.My adopters gave me little information and what they did give me was wrong, a red herring that prevented my reunion with my mother by decades.That's not protection, that's dishonesty, lies and plain cruel.

  12. How does a second generation adoptee go about finding information? My mother was adopted, and has never really gone after looking for her mother. She's busy enough taking care of my grandma who's has alzheimer's. She was adopted from Sioux City, Iowa. Morningside I believe. I remember looking for information on the computer years ago, but got discouraged. Any information on accessing these documents in Iowa would be a great help. Thanks!