April 30, 2010

"Birthmothers Day" - An Adoptee's Perspective

"Birthmothers Day" - An Adoptee's Perspective
Anne Patterson

Of all the most condescending insulting visions of adopters and baby brokers, the day called "Birthmothers Day" would win the prize for ignorance and disregard.

While the traditional adoptee has had to live with a blind invisibility about our issues of loss and grief this celebration takes the whole thing to the largest level of illusion.

Adopted adults have lost their mothers, their fathers, their families, their names, their heritage, their history, the rights to who they were when they were born, their birth certificates, and their identities. It is quite a long list of losses, and one's that should never be ignored.

The expectation for adoptees to swallow their pain at the expression of their true feelings to keep adopters happy has been very damaging. Few adoptees are allowed to express their true feelings of loss and grief at being separated from their mothers and natural families.

Birthmothers Day Celebrations is not only a total disregard for our feelings of sorrow but an overt exploitation of our pain. Not only now do we have to ignore our pain in adoption but the perversion of celebrating it is the expectation.

I would never expect any mother who surrendered a child to adoption to celebrate that loss. I would further never expect any adopted adult or adopted child to ever celebrate their loss either.

In researching what some call "Birthmothers Day Celebrations", it occurred to me who would be stupid enough and cruel enough to ever expect anyone to celebrate the loss and separations that occur in adoption. It didn't take me long it know that this three ring circus of celebrations was in itself both devised, orchestrated and planned by baby brokers and adopters. According to them, this celebration is a way of recognizing natural mothers.

If they valued natural mothers, and moreover those who have been separated from their natural mothers, then "Birth Mothers Day" would not exist. The presumption that we adoptees need a separate day to think of our mothers is shocking.

Most adopted adults have spent years both mourning, dreaming, fantasizing, grieving, hoping and trying to come to terms with our separations and loss in adoption. Our birthdays are of course the day of the most intimate connections to our mothers - whether they are shadows of what we hope to find, or real as in we have found and reunited with them this day is a day of reality, and deep feelings be we in contact with our natural mothers or not.

Mothers day, recognized holidays and other regular days are also days that cannot change that we are adopted. We think of our natural mothers on all kinds of days. To designate a special day and to be told that this is the day to "celebrate" adoption by others is sick.

This celebration is an in your face slap to natural mothers who are seen as not being worthy enough to be thought of, loved or cherished on what a normal society calls "Mothers Day". It is a coercive measure to dismantle the meaning of natural mothers and to give them a lower status while perpetuating the pedestal worship of adopters at their expense. What is even more damaging though is that adopted adults are supposed to participate in this. How dare a group of adopters and baby brokers tell me or anyone else what to think of our mothers, when to think of them, or to boldly be expected to celebrate our loss?

Birthmothers Day Celebration Day - It is a day of cruel expectations, illusions and manipulation. Its goal is to promote the oppression and exploitation of other women so that baby brokers can sell their children. It is sick, twisted and highly offensive to me as an adult adoptee.

It is bad enough to have feelings of being not good enough. But to think of my mother or any mother celebrating their separation from their child is very cruel. How painful it would have felt to me to know my mother celebrated this loss. It would have if anything told me that she did not love me and she was happy to not be able to raise me. That would have turned into feelings of self-hatred and no self worth.

How sick and damaging it is to children to have this type of thing going on. It would be up there with divorce day celebrations and/or celebrating diseases and other tragedies.

Shame on those who participate, orchestrate and promote this bizarre parody of truth.

I personally and professionally decry all days called "Birthmothers Day Celebrations". Neither my mother who surrendered me to adoption nor I would wish to celebrate.

If we created "Infertility Celebration Day" I bet the brokers might be offended. Maybe that is what I will do: bake a cake and celebrate another person's pain?? Where is humanity going when such cruel orchestrations exist?

Copyright 2002 © Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson is a reunited adopted person and professional private investigator. She has 11 years experience and a 95.4% success rate in reuniting families separated by adoption. Visit her website at http://www3.sympatico.ca/searches


Von said...

Couldn't agree more.My mother is honoured on Mothers' Day as all relinquishing mothers should be.

cindy psbm said...

I have to tell you as a 'birthmom' I actually liked the idea of 'birthmothers day'.
With any loss, if don't do something to recognize it, you can't really deal with it.
The fact that they put *before* Mothers day is significant to me, because I was the first mom to my son before I gave the right of motherhood to his adoptive mom.
I like that theres a special day honoring that I too, am a mom. I can't go celebrating Mothers day with mothers who actually parent. I don't think that would be fair. Putting the title 'birthmom day' means that other moms are not included, which makes me feel special and it's fair because my birthmotherhood is not the same as ordinary motherhood.
In my mind, actual Mothers day is for *my* mom and not for me.

*Peach* said...

Thanks so much for posting your comment.
Just a few years ago I felt the same way you do about "Birthmother's Day". But as I have awakened and grieved the loss of my first mother, my first family, my life and identity in that family, I realized how very much connected and defined I am by that loss and love. I feel that my first Mother deserves the honor of the title "Mother" just as much as my adoptive Mother does, and I want to honor them both on that special day, because they are both very much my Mothers.

maybe said...

Funny, just this morning there was an ad on the tube telling everyone to send flowers on Mothers' Day to anyone who was a mom of any type - they even included a "mom" to a dog! Now of course they are just trying to sell more flowers, but it was interesting that they were promoting the idea that any woman who was important to you was deserving of some recoginition on Mothers' Day - no need for a separate day for different types of motherly figures, celebrate all women and mothers!

BTW, I used to send my Aunt, who was also my Godmother, flowers on Mothers' Day; she had no children and I wanted to let her know how special she was as my Godmother.