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Brian Moore. Is he right - does adoption=rejection?

(50 Posts)
OpeningACanofWorms Sat 02-Jan-10 13:49:05

Name changed for this. What a lot he has had to deal with but what I'm wondering is whether the feeling of rejection does disappear? I'm in my 40s and although was adopted and had a relatively happy upbringing I have always felt that I didn't quite belong.
I think I'm feeling particularly delicate today cos read a thread last night about how eating disorders are commnonly linked to adoptions. Think I've sorted it now but my problems with eating started at about the age of 6 - I even stole money to have a constant stash of food blushbut until reading the thread last night had never linked it to the adoption.

Hope the link works

InTheSoup Sat 02-Jan-10 21:41:39

Hi there. I didn't want to let this go unanswered. I am sure someone far wiser will be along soon. My mum was adopted, but had no idea until she was in her mid thirties. She was shocked, but on one level relieved because it made sense of some slight oddities about her home situation. To this day I don't think she has quite come to terms with her feelings of rejection - though she had a strong relationship with adoptive parents.

FWIW - something I should point out to her - one side-effect of this was how absolutely wanted and loved she made me and my siblings feel. You would never have guessed that she had had a difficult time - I guess a sense of belonging and acceptance was not something she took for granted.

scottishmummy Sat 02-Jan-10 21:47:10

adoption can raise psychological issues,but it isnt an inevitable trauma.attachment,love and bonding is achievable in adoption. some sad stories too,but all comes down to individual circumstances

Oblomov Sat 02-Jan-10 22:13:35

I have no experience of this. But my fil and my mum and social workers and led the south west adoption unit. damaged children.
I guess the base rejection never goes away. but that is just my basic view of it. am I wrong ?

scottishmummy Sat 02-Jan-10 22:29:08

perception and extent of rejection depends on individuals,their social and other circumstances

and working with troubled adolescents one needs to have a balanced view that caseload maybe composed of dysfunction,but not all adopted children become unhappy adults

chegirlwithbellson Sat 02-Jan-10 23:15:58

I am really sorry if it was my thread that has upset you OP.

I just want you to know that I tend to post when i am having difficulties and need to vent/ask for advice.

My DS is really a wonderful, happy little boy and I wouldnt ever, ever be without him.

The love I have for him is the same as for my birth children - hand on heart.

There is an awful lot of research done into rejection/attachment with regards to adoption.

As SM has said a lot seems to depend on individual circumstances, genetics, maternal health, antenatal care etc.

Have you thought about talking to after adoption support services? It may be that you only need to talk it through with someone who understands the issues or more indepth counselling may help.

As I said on my thread, I dont always put everything down to my son's early life/adoption but I can never discount it either.

dizzycringles Sat 02-Jan-10 23:19:38

I was adopted as a baby. My mother explained it to me along the lines that they choose me

I've no doubt got issues about it however I DO try to focus more on that than the fact my biological mother couldn't/didn't keep me

its a glass half full or half empty depending on the individual scenario

chegirl - you sound like a lovely mum and I'm sure your DS will adore you as much as I adored my mum, she was the only mother I ever knew and frankly the only one that has ever mattered to me

edam Sat 02-Jan-10 23:25:40

One of the very sad aspects of the history of adoption was that in the days when Brian Moore, or my mother, was given away, it's entirely possible their birth mother desperately wanted to keep them but wasn't allowed. Adoption was the punishment inflicted on women who transgressed by having sex outside marriage, and their children.

We'll never know about my mother's story as she didn't find out until too late - both her parents had been dead for 20 years and there was no-one left to ask (private adoption, court records destroyed in a fire). It was very traumatic for her finding out. Although she says she's fine about it now, I'm not so sure.

dizzycringles Sat 02-Jan-10 23:32:23

oh edam sad how sad for your mum. I keep changing my mind as to whether or not I want to look for my biological parents - I'm currently of the opinion that if she wanted to find me, she's had 30+ years to do it. I'll probably change my mind again next month though hmm

edam Sat 02-Jan-10 23:43:19

dizzy, have you ever checked with that register where birth parents can leave their details if they want to trace their biological children? Sorry, can't remember what it is, but it's something we found when looking for my mother's family. Mind you, if there's no trace, doesn't mean your birth mother doesn't care, could well be she just doesn't know about it.

Don't mean to sound completely negative, the very happy side of it is that my mother had a wonderful childhood with parents she loved dearly and who adored her - that's partly why it was such a massive shock when she found out. But actually she was bloody lucky - there were an awful lot of illegitimate babies born after WW2 and many of them were shipped off abroad to be abused by the Christian Brothers and other supposed do-gooders.

dizzycringles Sat 02-Jan-10 23:52:23

I was lucky too and my adoption was arranged through the church. My parents wanted a child who was 'musical' and apparently my father was a singer in a band hmm

can you imagine a time when people could pick and choose the characteristics their adoptive children could possibly have shock

Edam - I've never checked but I'm sure I have the literature. I think the fact I spent from 2000 - 2008 watching mum struggle with several various cancers before finally loosing her in 2008 has kept it all at the back of my mind. I've been too busy with DD3 since as she arrived 2 days after mum passed. Maybe one day when I get a moment I'll get round to it blush

maryz Sat 02-Jan-10 23:56:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Sun 03-Jan-10 00:01:39

dizzy, so sorry to hear about your Mum.

dizzycringles Sun 03-Jan-10 00:03:42

I think I'd take babysteps with it maryz, my priority now that mum is away is to my dc and my dad - I wouldn't want him to think that just because we've lost mum I'm looking for a replacement - as crude as that sounds you know what I mean blush

the literature is in the filing cabinet, I know where it is when I decide to look into it and for the moment thats enough for me smile

how worrying for you about your DS, I hope you manage to assure him that it was a positive thing for him and your family to welcome him into it. I was adopted but my brother wasn't. I did however know of a brother and sister sibling set who were adopted and only told when teenagers - wasn't a great reaction as it gave them ammunition to use against their lovely parents at an age when all teenagers are angry with the world/their parents just for the sake of it

maryz Sun 03-Jan-10 00:10:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maryz Sun 03-Jan-10 00:12:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dizzycringles Sun 03-Jan-10 00:38:27

oh maryz am so sorry about your ds, I can tell you that after a few angry years the sibset I knew got through their teenage angst and accepted the fact that their parents were exactly that, their parents. I do hope that he realises how lucky he has been and sooner rather than later for all your sakes - hang in there. I am of the belief that he is better knowing though, could you imagine the reaction if he had found out some other way and he would have, somehow.

my parents would have had no choice but to tell me seeing as my db is 6ft8 with bright ginger hair and built like a toothpick where as I am 5ft6, dumpy and fair haired grin

TheWorldFamousKewcumber Sun 03-Jan-10 09:14:14

Going back to Brian Moore - reading his article he has of course more than one issue going on - adoption and abuse which will inevitably complicate matters.

I'm pretty sure that its not uncommon for children who have been adopted to go through at least a phase of feeling rejected. Especially when you have children yourself - you just can't imagine how you could part with them. But some people just can;t look after anyone apart from themself (and not even that sometimes) - of course in the past that would have been because they weren't allowed to.

I'd second what others have said - that it will often depend on your own personality how well you can process your adoption. Of course language around adoption doesn't help - I notice the article that it says "gave him away for adoption" - makes him sound like like an unwanted blouse.

shockers Sun 03-Jan-10 09:35:48

I think in the past the reasons for adoption were mainly because the mother was unmarried, the baby was the result of an affair or large families couldn't afford another child. Those children grew up in changing times and saw children being born into similar circumstances without being given up. I have 2 close adopted friends and both have thought... if she'd really wanted me, she could have made it work. But it was so different then and there was little support for these women.

Children now have a whole different set of feelings to deal with as many of them have been taken from their parents as a result of neglect, abuse or substance abuse.

I wonder what sorts of feelings these children will have as they grow up? Some of them suffering repeated rejection during missed contact sessions during their time in care.

It's good that someone in the public eye had spoken so candidly about his experiences because we can only learn from adoptees of the past to help present and future children.

So sad that he had to go through it all though sad

SolidGoldBloodyJanuaryUrgh Sun 03-Jan-10 09:41:33

I think it depends on so many different factors (personality of the individual, how the adoptive parents treated the child, circumstances of finding out, and all the other factors that go to making up a person) that it's impossible to say for sure.
I was adopted as a baby and have no eating issues whatsoever. Nor do I think that anything else in my life is the 'fault' of being adopted (I have a mild hoarding issue but so does my adoptive mother...).

vjg13 Sun 03-Jan-10 18:12:48

I was adopted as a baby and grew up with the knowledge. I had a happy childhood but I always felt different, not belonging and as if I carried a dirty, guilty secret.

I still find it very difficult to talk about but once I had my own family it faded into the background more.

I made some tentative steps in tracing my birth mother many years ago in that I obtained the details of her name, circumstances etc and that felt enough and still does although I am on the contact register.

My adoption was in the 1960's and I think it would be handled much better now.

KristinaM Mon 04-Jan-10 08:41:55

Yes of course, adoption = rejection

Whether you "feel" it or not, its a fact of your life that you were rejected by the people who should have cared for you - your family. of course, there might have been difficult or complicated circumstances 40 or 50 years ago and it can still be difficult in some countries / cultures.

But knowing the facts about your adoption ( or surmising about the probable ones) doesn't take away the feeling of rejection for many adoptees ( or the overwhelming guilt for many birth parents)

However, the extent to which someone is affected by this depends on many other factors, such as their personality, their adoptive family and their life circumstances

I don't know if the feeling of rejection ever disappears completely, its just that at certain stages of your life you will feel it more than others. You are not alone in feeling the way you do. I would send you a ((( ))) hug but its so unMumsnet grin

dizzydixies Tue 05-Jan-10 15:39:39

KristinaM - I still prefer to think of it as being CHOSEN by my adoptive family as opposed to being REJECTED by my biological one - for whatever reason - glass half full and all that

KristinaM Tue 05-Jan-10 16:13:49

Yes dizzy, of course its both. Adoptive parents choose to adopt and in some cases they actually chose to adopt a particular child, rather than being matched by an agency

And I agree, some adoptees have no feelings of rejection at all and focus, as you do, on the positives in their life. There is no right or wrong way to feel. i know that acknowledging the of loss in adoption makes some people angry, they feel its criticising their lives in some way or saying they are less than perfect. its not, its simply saying

"its ok to feel as you do and many others feel the same"

For those who DO have some feelings of rejection, many find that its with them at various times it their lives and never "disappears". It come and goes and like other significant losses, is always there in some shape or form. You learn to live with it.

bedlambeast Wed 06-Jan-10 18:12:42

Message withdrawn

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