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People sometimes mistakenly assume the surrender of a child ends a traumatic time for birthparents and is soon forgotten. Robin Winkler, in his 1984 study of birthmothers, reports that even 40 years later, birthparents regard the surrender of a child to adoption as the most stressful experience of their lives. He found that for half of birthparents, the pain of the surrender remains as intense or intensifies over time. The loss of a child to adoption affects many areas of life, particularly marriage, subsequent children and difficulty trusting other people.
Adoptive parents frequently lack the information they need in order to assist their children with developing healthy identities and needed medical services. That’s why more and more adoptive parents have joined CUB to learn about the issues their children face.
They begin to recognize that adoption is a blended family situation in which they are the nurturing parents, and their children have birthparents. They believe that sealing their children’s original birth certificates implies adoption is inadequate and must be disguised as birth. They resent this lack of respect for the authenticity of adoptive parenting. They are learning they have the right to know the other parents who love their child.
Growing up in an adoptive home is different than growing up in a family of parents and children who are genetically related. Adoptees share their love and lives with adoptive parents. They do not share their genes and birthparent histories. Adoptees’ bodies, talents, health and genes come from their birthparents. Adoptees need to know their origins and birthfamilies. This need to know does not indicate a lack of love for adoptive parents, but shows the adoptees are secure enough in their adoptive parents’ love to discover and make peace with their genetic legacy.
Mutual support through monthly meetings, our CUB Communicator, correspondence and phone calls helps members cope with the challenge of dealing with adoption difficulties and feelings.