If we can’t learn from one another, what good is our existence? We understand their are adoptive parents and others who truly want to try to understand us better. As a way to assist them on learning how it feels to be adopted, I decided to ask one question to generate some responses. Why are so many adoptees angry or hurt by their adoption experiences? These responses have been kept anonymous for confidentiality reasons. Each person that participated knew their response was going to be posted on a blog and shared with the world.
To my fellow adoptees, thank you for sharing such a personal piece of your hearts to help others understand us better. If we don’t who will? Also, remember you are never alone. The way you are feeling is natural for a not natural situation. Much love from me to you!<3
I asked one simple question, “WHY ARE YOU ANGRY?”
100 adoptees chimed in.
Here are their responses.
- Lack of identity. Lack of origin. Adoption being about our adoptive parent’s pain which eclipses our own. Feeling like an outsider. Feeling helpless. Bullying. Discrimination. Systematic discrimination. Legal discrimination. Being forced to lead someone else’s life and not my own. Searching for an identity in all we know. Having to identify with painful back stories of pop culture icons who’s worlds have been destroyed (superman, Mr. Spock, starlord, the punisher the list goes on). Feeling like your life is a movie because we’ve been introduced as a supplemental character in our own story with no history. Having to grow up too fast. Being told we’re lucky. Being asked about our ‘real’ parents. Being looked at like an alien. Being told there’s a reason for our suffering without being told the reason. Feeling worthless because nobody values OUR needs. Feeling like there’s no end in sight. An inability to believe in ourselves because we believe there is something intrinsically wrong with us. Having to constantly wonder if the people you may know on Facebook are somehow related. Feeling the same feeling when walking down the street. Having to wonder when starting a new relationship whether or not they’re your sibling or cousin. Never being able to feel 100% comfortable in said relationship because of that. Feeling like love is someone leaving you. Never finishing anything because of a lack of closure.
- There are SO many reasons, I probably can’t list them all in one go. But the things that come to mind are:
- My own FAMILY gave me away to strangers.
- My own grandmother lied to and coerced my mother so that she felt she had no other choice, and all because my grandmother cared more about what the neighbors thought than she cared about my mother or me.
- The government colluded with my grandmother to ensure that my mother wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone unsupervised by my grandmother, so she had no opportunity to discuss or truly discover what SHE wanted.
- Even though the government KNEW full well that my father wanted to raise me even if my mother didn’t, they told him he had no rights to me, and gave me to strangers when they COULD EASILY have allowed me to be kept within my own family.
- The government TOLD my adoptive parents that they shouldn’t tell us we were adopted, that we never need know, AND told them that even if we did know, that if they were good parents, we’d never wonder about our pasts.
The government LIED to me when I tried to get information.
- The manager of the government’s post adoption registry LIED to me, and acted like he was god by flaunting all the information that he had about me that he wasn’t going to share with me.
- Some members of my adoptive family always treated me like an outsider.
- I never fit into my adoptive family. I’m not like the rest of them – even the ones who have been nice to me.
- All the other kids at school knew I was adopted, and would tell me that their parents had said that my real mother didn’t love me and didn’t want me.
- Other people have always acted like THEY know better, and have told me how I should feel, and what I should or should not do.
- Other people gave me search advice that I wish I hadn’t taken, because my mother DIED before I found her, and if I’d just called around, I’d have found her before that.
- Other people told me what to call my natural family, and I wish I hadn’t felt obligated to listen, because it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.
- People do not allow us to grieve. Try telling someone your mother died and hearing “It’s just as well.” or “You’re over reacting. You didn’t even know her.”
- I’m angry because my right to grieve was stolen along with my history. If I was allowed to grieve and share my feelings as a child I may not be as angry as an adult. Unfortunately I’m just now grieving my losses… And yes, ANGER is a stage of that grief.
- I’m angry because I was told a lie most of my life by my adoptive parents. Why are we raised to tell the truth and not lie but adoption lies are okay? Lying is not okay. I would rather know my hard core history [My truth] than be lied to my entire life by those who are supposed to love me the most.
- Could it be we have not been allowed to grieve our loss? From our birth mother. In Grieving anger is one of the stages in grief. People have not allowed us to share our loss and validate loss. People dismissed our loss as important.
- I personally am angry because I was not told I was adopted until I was in my 30s and it’s very disempowering, plus quite a shock to find out at that age.
- I’m angry because I grew up feeling completely out of place and have ALWAYS wondered about where I came from, and here I am- a grown adult who is STILL being denied that knowledge by other people. I am angry because I have had to put myself (and private information) out there for the world to see for only a tiny CHANCE of finding my biological identity. I am angry because I have feelings that get poo-pooed by other people who have never been in my shoes. I am angry because I am being treated like a perpetual child. Like I’m not “allowed” to want to know and that I don’t deserve to know and most of the people with those thoughts get to know exactly where THEY came from!
- I’m angry because I’m in my 50s and still not allowed access to my own birth certificate – even though I found all of my family member’s years ago. I’m angry that there is still a lack of support for family preservation in favor of adoption. I’m angry that having more money allows certain adopters to pull wanted children away from their families. I’m angry that so many childless people that claim to care about children really only want to get themselves a baby and not actually help older children in foster care or even just vulnerable families in their own community. I’m angry that whenever adoptees attempt to speak their truth and call for changes in the system they are silenced, called “ungrateful” and “angry” and told they just had a “bad experience.” I’m angry that the industry is pulling in thousands of dollars at the expense of vulnerable children. I will continue to be “angry” in order to try to affect change for today’s children and those yet unborn.
- I’m angry because everyone expected me to forget my first family & expected me to be thankful for the biggest loss of my life. An entire family.
- I’m angry because of my adoptive parent’s gain I lost a lifetime of memories that can’t be replace with my biological family members.
- I’m angry because I was taken away from my country, my culture and my native language. Not only that but I was lied to which was pretty stupid as I was transracially adopted! My name was taken away from me I was taken away from me and I was renamed if they had used my Chinese name as a middle name that would have been fine but I wasn’t even afforded that option. What makes me even more angry is I see 21st century white adoptive parents making exactly the same “mistakes” or decisions as my unenlightened 60s adoptive parents did. At least they had an excuse ideas about culture and identity had yet to be formed etc. But today what’s the excuse there is none.
- I’m not angry. I’m hurt. I’m hurt that my birth Mother thinks the system failed her. I’m hurt that my natural citizenship from Canada was taken away from me. I’m hurt that I was taken away from my birth father. I’m hurt that I was discarded both as a baby and as an adult after reunion… I’m hurt that my birth mother cares more about what others think than how I feel. I’m not angry please don’t mistake hurt for anger.
- I’m angry because I’ve found and been reunited w. Both birth parents but the state of Iowa continues to keep my birth records sealed. Why am I unable to get my information? There is no reason behind this. I want MY OBC!
- I’m angry because if we feel any negativity towards being taken from our roots, our heritage, our FAMILIES, it’s seen as anger and dismissed. Why can’t we just be sad that we have lost so, so much?….so mostly I am sad, but I am very, very angry that the government decided I would be better off with a married couple without any other support than my loving single mother who was capable of raising me herself, yet had a HUGE extended family. I’m angry that no checks were done, other than to check their marriage cert. That certificate didn’t take away the dysfunction and abuse in the marriage.
- It gets me angry that I fucking don’t know the beginning of my own life! How am I supposed to live a life when I don’t know how it started!
- I am angry that we are made to feel ashamed if we express anger because we should be grateful. That our anger is seen as unjustified and that we must have some mental health problem if we are so angry; rather than a normal reaction to a tragedy.
- I am an angry adoptee because not only was I given up for adoption, but so were my 4 siblings, thankfully I did find them all.
- Well, I have struggled with anger my entire life. I am a 48 year old adoptee and my Adoptive Father was also an adoptee. We BOTH had/have anger issues. It stems from fear of abandonment, I believe. Anger can creep up at the strangest places. I call these “triggers.” Because we have experienced abandonment at birth, we may not remember it, but it is imprinted on our psyche and we carry that with us our entire lives. Our brains are also hard wired around this event. I also believe that we somehow intuitively know that we do not want to be abandoned ever again and so we will do everything humanly possible to avoid anything we perceive as abandonment.
- I have read tons of books on the subject of adoption and its effects on the adoptee and this is the conclusion I have come to for today. Our brains are not fully developed at birth. When we babies are taken away from our birth mother, we immediately go into fight or flight mode. Our brains at this age are not able to regulate and handle all the stress that we are experiencing and our systems become overloaded with cortisol and it actually changes how the pathways in our brand-new brains are wired. As a result, I also believe that experiencing this at birth tells us that we are not worthy, capable, entitled, to basic necessities and comforts in life.
- Anger is also a mask for other emotions that we “believe” we cannot or are not allowed to feel for fear of abandonment. I “can” become angry whenever I am feeling sadness, fear, loneliness, STRESS, being left out, (This is a HUGE, HUGE trigger for me…) or many other feelings. If I stop and think, “What is the underlying emotion that I am feeling right now” or “What is causing me to feel anger right now?,” I can most times avert the anger and deal with what I am really feeling – not always though. Asking for help is another HUGE trigger for me simply because I have three teenaged children who do not always want to help out at home. I f I am having a low energy day and cannot follow through with asking for what I NEED help with, I often become angry. I become angry when I am overwhelmed. The thoughts in my head also tell me incorrect ideas that lead me to believe: I cannot ask for help – for fear of abandonment. I am learning to overcome this, thankfully, after many, many years of hard work. My thoughts also tell me that I cannot do nice things for myself because 1. I cannot afford it, 2. I do not have time, 3. My chores are not done. Etc., Etc., Etc. I also have a VERY bad habit of reading into the thoughts and feelings of others. I f these people do not read my mind and act the way I “Need” then to, I become angry.
- I have been married for 25 years to a wonderful man who is patient and kind. I STILL, to this day, become very angry over silly little things – all because I do not communicate my needs, feelings or wants (in a healthy way) AND I am able to provide myself adequate “Down time” on a consistent basis due to fear of abandonment. Here is one example. My husband is a hunter and every year he plans two hunting trips. Every year we talk and put the trips on the calendar. Every year I become angry at him during this time for several reasons: 1. He is preoccupied with planning for and packing for the trip. (I feel left out) 2. I have not planned a “Get away” for myself in YEARS! (This makes me feel guilty and sad and worn out etc., etc.)
- In a nutshell, I think we adult adoptees have hidden triggers that creep up in several predictable and sometimes unpredictable places in our lives. These triggers cause us to feel anger because we are covering up emotions that we do not feel we should feel for fear of abandonment.
- The bottom line is that we had no voice & no choice. It left most of us feeling disenfranchised. It affects every aspect of our lives & our sense of self-worth.
- It’s as though we were just thrown away to be bought & sold to fulfill someone else’s needs, rather than ours. Even as adults we have to fight to gain any knowledge of our own personal health & family history, our nationality & religious backgrounds, much less to know if we have biological relatives, & to claim our own birth certificates. To get anywhere on our searches costs money & we have to face the potential for rejection from both our adoptive & biological families for doing it.
- People who were raised in their own family of origin get to take all of that for granted.
- I’m angry because I don’t have the basic right to be who I am and I have a law that prevents me most of my life from talking to my own mother and father, while strangers who were married took me because they wanted to and because adoption is a form of slavery and child trafficking.
- Ambiguous grief. Why can’t you be grateful? Most adoptees are.
- Coercion. *No one* offered to help my first mother raise me. So much for helping “widows and orphans”
- Hijacking holy writ for personal or financial gain. Interesting that “orphans and widows” are more often than not mentioned together in sacred text, implying vulnerable mothers and children. I remember one important man turning over some tables, or something, with the money changers.
- Hijacked identity. Give me my OBC.
- Decades lost with my siblings that wouldn’t have been without closed adoption.
- I’m angry that the state feels I’m incapable of knowing who my biological parents are, that the adoption industry is profiting by human trafficking and that so many adoptive parents are so insecure that they are threatened by us wanting to know our truths.
- I’m an angry person … Not sure what it is .. I think people expect you to be thankful, to a certain degree, yes I am but they forget the impact that adoption has on people… All adoptees have issues growing up
- I am not angry…. I am at loss because I cannot live up to the expectations of the family who adopted me and I can’t go backwards into my biological family because they also had/have certain expectations … who am I
- I am not angry I am hurt. I grew up in complete filth. I was abandoned at the hospital when I was born.
- My adoptive mother was in and out of psych wards by whole life and my adoptive father was Satan in disguise.I had no upbringing. I searched not for wants for my health I was told by my adoptive mother I would not be able to walk when I hit my thirties and at 34 I lost some vision and live with extreme muscle pain.
- I have a hard time because at 78 my birth mother and I am 36 what is the problem….
- I am angry because I sound desperate. I almost feel like a person begging for food.
- Am I wrong because I want to know where I come from?
- Am I wrong because for once I want to feel like I belong?
- I am more desperate now than ever I wonder all the time looking at my 17 and 14 year old. R they ok. I cry secretly because I wish I could be a better mom like I used to be without these health issues.
- Anger is a part of the grief & loss process. No one told me I could grieve my losses growing up, so I’m doing it now. I’m 62.
- Every day is a struggle. I just want to know. I will not burden my birth mother. I would never blame or yell I just want answers a right to know.
- Because anger gives me energy to handle all the hurts, if I were to just feel my sadness I would fall into a depression. A bit of anger helps me keep my head above water to fight for adoptions laws to change for adoptions to be open, ethical and more support services. I work in adoptions because I am angry with people not doing adoptions correctly and I want to be a part of the solution and help change, influence those around me. I am angry because I did not get a say, my loss was and still not validated. I still don’t get a say. Reunion 24 years. Adoptive parents died 20 years ago; yet I cannot unadopt myself. I cannot legally be my mother’s daughter or my father’s daughter. This makes me angry that I do not have the same self-determination than non-adoptees.
- Sometimes I have no idea why I am angry, self-worth and abandonment seem to be at the center of the feelings that do not always make sense.
- Angry because we are told how we should feel, but our own feelings are not validated, even in our own families.
- What causes me anger as an adoptee was having to hold back my feelings as a child, and of course still now as an adult, with my adoptive parents in order to protect their feelings, as if theirs were the only ones that mattered, and they certainly made it loud and clear that theirs mattered more than mine when it came to wanting to search for my birth mom and asking too many questions about her because they made it very clear from the get-go that they would be very hurt if I searched for her (which I did anyway in secret and found her as an adult)…..I am also angry that the adoptees voices count for nothing, even when they get older, even though it is their fate that is decided by others, and then if we as adoptees want to search, we often have to pay for our own records or in order to search for our birthparents. I am angry that adoptees are now being denied passports; I would have been one of them due to how my birth certificate was filed had I not already had a passport prior to 2011 when they changed the criteria. I am angry that the stark truth is coated with sugar to make everyone feel better when all it does is suppress a lot of feelings in everyone that fester and come out in other ways. I am angry that adoptive parents are told and believe and preach that they can and have loved the adoptee like their own. They have loved to the best of their ability, some of them, but it will never be the same as their own biological child, and everyone knows that somewhere deep inside. We as adoptees were most of their second choices after they tried and failed at having a biological child of their own. We were their second choice and we will always feel second best through the rest of our lives for everything. And at the same time we were their savior, saving them from childlessness which is a huge burden to place on a child, and they do place a lot on our shoulders. I am angry that so many people think we as adoptees should be grateful because our adoptive parents saved us so we should shut our mouths to any gripes we have about them and be eternally thankful towards them. I am angry that I never felt like I fit in and that I had a huge identity crisis my entire life until I found my birthparents to confirm what I did internally know about myself so that I felt explained and I felt like I understood why I was the way I am so I didn’t feel so out of place, I finally feel accepted and finally know why I was drawn to all I was drawn to, why I react to things as I do and where my talents and interests and values and quirks come from. I am angry that I have to live a double life as a 37 year old to hide from my adoptive parents that I have found my birth mom to protect their feelings because it’s all about them (which as a parent of my own biological child, it should never be that way imho)…….
- I’m angry that when I say these things I get told I just had a bad adoption, angry that adoption truth is hidden along with my identity and family. The most sacred bond of family is destroyed by adoption, cruel and barbaric, extreme, insanity; imagine preventing family association, absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I’m angry because the government says I have no right to know who I am or where I came from….that the 14th amendment doesn’t apply to me.
- I’m angry because I’m expected to be grateful for losing my mother. Non adoptees take so much for granted and are not willing to understand our loss and our grief. If one more fucking person tells me I’m lucky I’m about ready to give them an earful. I had to disguise my grief so as not to upset my adopters. I’m angry that I was given to people old enough to be my grandparents who thought a shed was an appropriate home. They didn’t legally adopt me till I was 16 and they kept that a secret, although all my ‘friends’ knew. I’m angry that I don’t belong with either my adoptive or birth families. They’re aliens to me. I didn’t search till it was too late. My mother was dead. I delayed because I didn’t want to hurt my adopters! My male adopter (wouldn’t dignify him with the title father) was an abusive drunk. They were totally insensitive to my feelings. They never talked about my adoption… Well there wasn’t one when I was growing up. They were totally clueless that I was seriously depressed. I hate them and I hate my birth relatives. They too are totally insensitive. My cousin showed me a ring of my mothers, never thinking that I’m her daughter and it should be mine. Why am I angry???? Sheesh!
- I think frustrated is a better descriptor than angry. Frustrated and over being silenced, lied to and treated like wayward children.
- I’m angry because I’ve never seen my own birth certificate.
- I’m angry because I was lied to for 34 years. I didn’t discover I was adopted until I was an adult when my birth mother found me. The “better” family I went to was emotionally and physically abusive. I’m angry that I missed knowing my biological family for so long. Birth mom searched for ten years before finding me. Numerous relatives including birth father died during that time. Health history that would have been very valuable (and thus avoiding several tests I “needed” based on adoptive family history) to me. I’m angry because no one supported my mother in raising me instead of making me out to be a shameful secret. I’m angry that my adoptive family denied my mental health issues when they would have been addressed openly in my bio family (all my siblings have some kind of issue that the family deals with openly and honestly). I’m angry that my birth mom didn’t make the cake at my wedding. I’m angry that we have missed so many important days together.
- I’m not angry as much as hurt. I believe I was discarded and sold (that’s the way adoption agency’s work)I was raised in a VERY dysfunctional family and as a result I feel like I can’t speak the truth to my bio-family as to how I was raised, bottom line I don’t think anyone has ever loved me, wanted me, cared about me without ulterior motive. I’ve been alone my whole life. I’m hurt because I people use words like we know what’s best for you, and that’s a lie they know what’s best for them or what they want. And now I lie-to my adopted family, that it’s ok that I was raised by a mother with mental health issues and I lie to my bio-family that I had a childhood(I’m trying to protect them) The truth is I was born alone and will probably die alone and everybody will say they did their best.
- I was told as a 9 year old when my ‘adoption issues’ first presented, that adoption had nothing to do with any of my issues. A lock step of denial that adoption had any ill effects at all was the party line in my AP’s house after that. My adoptive mother abused and neglected me and my adoptive father did nothing to stop it. Yes I have anger at the adoption industry that continues to profit.
- I’m angry because I’m in-between two females being my mother yet when I met ones family they all say I look like them and to top it off I can’t have my obc adoptive parents know what lady it is and her last name but will not tell me . I’ve been lied to abused and I’m down right sick of the lies.
- I’m angry because my birth fathers rights were stripped. In the 1970’s things were much different, but it’s still happening today! This makes me angry. I missed out on a lifetime with him, and my sibling. This can’t be undone, or replaced.
- I’m angry, because the government does not deem me worthy of having my original birth certificate. Even my dogs have their original birth certificates; I, however, am not allowed to. I would NOT change anything about my life insofar as being adopted, my adopted parents – who were the best parents anyone could have ever have — the only thing I ask for is be treated with respect as a human being – I have the right to know who I am, where I come from and who I come from and my ancestry – I don’t think that’s asking too much.
- My parents adopted me, and then treated me like shit. People always ask me “Why did they adopt you?” It’s the million dollar question. The closest I could come to was that I was a lemon for them and they had buyer’s remorse. For some reason I still hung on, from the fringes and it wasn’t until I read this page that it occurred to me that I could simply let go and just walk away from the pain of being an outcast in my adoptive immediate family. I haven’t yet let go, and maybe I won’t but it really sucks to feel like you were rejected twice and still feel a connection to people who for all insensitive purposes…don’t want me. It does give me some measure of comfort that at some point, should I chose to I can decide to divorce my family and just be me, not defined by them and all that I endured as their “Mistake”.
- I’m angry that my adopted Mother was so desperate for a child that she ignored the wishes of my natural Mother. I know she knew. I’m angry that my natural Grandmother was a coward who sent the Doctor in to pull me away. I’m angry at my natural Grandfather who said he’d throw my mom out on the street if she kept me. I’m a angry that there was no advocate for her and me and that it wasn’t anyone her family. I’m angry at the pain she went through, enough to experience the feeling of not wanting to be because I love her.
- I’m angry because I was robbed of my culture and heritage, and I’m not a transracial adoptee. I was adopted to a couple who were not good parents – they were extreme narcissists who demanded a culture of denial. I figured out early that it was my job to meet their needs (not the other way around). They allowed a grandfather to sexually abuse me, and although they knew it was going on, they kept that man as a member of the family. Just another indignity an 8 year old had to endure to keep the peace. I was verbally ridiculed and minimized, and physically abused. I kept quiet until I was in my 50s. Now old family friends don’t want to believe it and want to cast me as an ungrateful adoptee. Ungrateful for what??
- I’d like to add that I don’t thank my biomother for giving me life. I don’t know why this is part of the social myth of adoption. Either have us and keep us or don’t have us, but don’t have us and give us away, and try to claim some moral high ground. Being abandoned and left to strangers creates deep wounds that last a lifetime, and are passed to the next generation. Many times I considered suicide, after all, my history, culture, and identity were killed, what part of me is left?
- This is the anger talking, which comes from the deep well of hurt we carry. We may be fortunate enough to find our strength and self esteem, but we often don’t feel valued by the world, so our self-worth sucks. I am angry that we have to work so hard to overcome adoption in order to survive and thrive. I’m angry that many of us can’t.
- I’m angry because a social worker shut down my search when I was 15 by telling me that my biomother probably wasn’t as interested in me as I was in her. Forty years later, I searched again, only to find both parents dead.
- I’m angry because the loneliness and genetic confusion of adoption is passed down to the next generation when our kids don’t know who their true ancestors are unless we undertake a financially and emotionally costly search that is fraught with obstacles, rejection, and ignorant “experts”.
- I’m angry because the non-adoption community is so bloody ignorant, yet full of self-righteous opinions. I’m angry because adoption is child trafficking pure and simple, and has become glamorized by Hollywood and the powerful – so that adoptees don’t have a voice.
- I’m now in my 50s. I am still angry (that’s not the right word – I’m furious, enraged, deeply saddened, distraught) about being given away. My adoption was miserable. I felt disconnected, filled with self-loathing, inferior. I was told I was special, but how could I be special when inside I felt dirty and bad. My adoptive mother was abusive and completely dominated my adoptive father. Looking back, I think she was probably a narcissistic personality – she wanted children because it was part of her perfect package, but couldn’t accept my sister and I for the people we were. I wasn’t their child, I wasn’t what they wanted. I was their last resort. The other week, I suddenly burst into tears in public, at the thought that my birth mother had abandoned me in a children’s home at four weeks old. I’ve never done that before. I suppose that was grief showing itself – and I’m scared that so much grief is still inside me. Unlike many adoptees, I found my birth parents. And for me, this was the twist in the tail. Both my birth parents are self-absorbed and irresponsible. Much to my disbelief, I discovered that my birth mother had the choice to keep me – a former boyfriend who still cared about her, wanted to marry her and raise me as his own child. But she chose not to, telling me it wouldn’t have been right because she didn’t love him. A year later, she went ahead and married him anyway. And on top of that, when I met her, she used me to try to re-establish contact with my birth father. I understand that losing a child to adoption caused her irreparable pain. But I have no words to describe what I’ve lived with throughout my life, and what that discovery did to me – the self-doubt, the hatred, the isolation blew up almost out of control. Adoption is destruction. Ties are broken and can’t be fixed. A baby’s development, emotional and mental, is radically altered by the adoption experience. Why, when so many ‘minority’ groups can have a voice in society, are the voices of adoptees still smothered? I detest the hypocrisy that human life is sacred – if we truly believed that, adoption as it is now would no longer exist. Don’t have a child and give it away. Keep it, or don’t go through with the pregnancy.
- I have said I choose who is my family. The thing about that is, they don’t feel the same about you. People always treat their blood differently. They care about them more. They will do more for them. On top of that I ended up in a family I don’t mesh with. I struggle to socialize with them. I don’t know how. My parents love me as their own, the extended family doesn’t. I also feel I have a right to know who I am. I am stuck in this never ending identity crisis.
- You really hit the nail on the head. I am angry that the court, which symbolizes justice, approved and arranged for me to live out my life as a secret (it was a closed adoption) even from myself. I am angry that I normalized being a secret to the point that I was willing to participate in other relationships where I was required to be a secret. I couldn’t see the selfishness and the lack of respect these people were showing me. Like a child I still believed I was still being protected by being kept a secret! I am also angry about being a receptacle for the shame, resentment, and disappointment both my mothers feel about their own actions. Lastly I am angry about how non-adopted people responded when I searched. Eventually I experienced a secondary rejection from my birthmother. People asked about the well-being of both sets of parents at this time. Some expressed sorrow and compassion for my birthmother who rejected me. Others praised my adoptive parents for their patience and support. No one asked me how I was doing or how I felt about being rejected again. When I tried to voice my feelings someone said, “Hey, this isn’t a competition you know.”
- Angry; because since my older sister turned 17 and decided to seek out our biological mom, my adopted mother believes that she is a victim.. in some cases, she may be, but that didn’t give her the right to treat me any different because I wanted to know where I came from. Now it is years later; and I do NOT even talk to my biological family, none of them. In my adopted families eyes; I am now an adult and on my own which I agree with, but please, let the past go. No matter what decision I made, It was “MY” decision. Some information for anyone thinking about adopting; NOT everyone will want to meet their biological’s, but if they do, don’t hold it against them; or think they do not love you.
- I was having a bad day and finally I journaled and what I am most angry about and hurt about adoption is why I could not be loved? What was so difficult about loving a child? I was never told. My life in a lot of ways “mirrors” yours. I too am angry that the government or anyone else who helped keep me a “secret”. I do love my adoptive parents and always will. (They both passed 3 years ago). In saying that, it’s also because I have had to forgive them in order to finally let go. I now understand all the feelings I had growing up and how I was mistreated finally made sense. I don’t know what it’s like to have that “unconditional” love. I was always looking to be a part of another family. I asked if I was adopted several times growing up and I was told “NO”. I have no contact with my siblings. Everything was always in my “head”. I was also raised in the military. My biological father was KIA before I was born. So many lies & secrets. I always used to feel like I wasn’t good enough. “It’s my fault what happened to me”. I make excuses for their behavior. I have had to learn to finally let go of people. I have P.T.S.D and there are lots of triggers. I need to start talking about how adoption hurt me and how many times I have been wounded. How the hell am I going to make it through this? I have my faith back, even more so and even though I have my struggles. It’s not half as bad as what I went through. There is just so much I don’t understand right now and for my sanity, I WANT FU*&IN answers damn it!! I do understand and no matter how hard I search I may never find those answers. I have information because I have found some and when I did see myself and some “prominent” features in a picture it floored me because I was so unprepared. I called back “home” wanting to talk to my sister and I told my other sister that I’m pretty sure my dad confided in her prior to his passing. Nothing. I also get upset because how could I not trust my gut instinct? I’m learning to trust now, but those abandonment fears are coming up because recently I have been feeling a part of a family. I’m scared shitless though and because I have made mistakes before domestic violence, I don’t want to make them again. Now I f’ing know why the f*&k people would question me when I told them I was Hispanic. My whole f’ing life I’ve been checking the “Hispanic” block because although raised military my “parents” were Hispanic. I have dark hair, so now I check the “Other” block. This would have been easier when I was younger, maybe. I have gone a long time being a secret and a lie. One day at a time, otherwise it would be much worse trying to digest all this. My ANGER comes from the abuse, lies, cover ups, feeling like the reason why I could not be truly loved was my fault. I’m able to give love, by the grace of God. I can always feel when I see a child if they are hurting. I have children and they loved their grandparents a lot and are close to my siblings. This is another journey I feel I’m taking on my own. – Adult Adoptee
- I was having a bad day today and finally I journaled and what I am Most Angry About and Hurt is Why Could I not be Loved? What was so difficult about Loving a Child? I was Never Told. My Life in a lot of ways “Mirrors ” Yours. I too am Angry at the Government or anyone else who helped keep me a ” Secret”. I do Love my Adopted Parents and I always will ( They both passed away three years ago). In saying that, it’s also because I have had to forgive them in order to finally let go. I now Understand all the feelings I had growing up and how I was Mistreated finally Made Sense. I Don’t know what it’s like to have that ” Unconditional ” Love, I was always looking to be part of another family. I asked if I was adopted several times growing up and I was Told “No”. I have no Contact with My Siblings. Everything was Always in my ” Head”. I was also raised in the Military. My bio Father was KIA before I was Born. So Many Lies, So Many Secrets. I Always used to feel like I wasn’t Good Enough. I was Abused too. I have to fight that old Recorder that tells me ” I am Not Good Enough”, ” It’s My Fault what happened to me”. I make excuses for their Behavior. I have had to learn to finally let go of people. I have P.T.S.D and there are lots of Triggers. I need to start talking about how Adoption hurt me and how many times I have been Wounded thinking, ” How The Hell Am I Going To Make Through This ?” I have my Faith Back, even more so and even though I have my struggles, It’s not half as bad as What I Went Through. There is just so Much I don’t Understand right now, And For My Sanity……. I want Fuckin Answers Damn It!!!! So, I do Understand and no matter How Hard I Search, I may never find those answers. I have information because I have found some, and when You do see Your Self and some ” Prominent” Features in A Picture, It Floors You because I was so unprepared. I called back ” Home” wanting to talk to my sister, and I told My other Sister that I am Pretty Sure My Dad Confided in her prior to his passing. Nothing. I also get upset because How could I Not Trust My Guy Instinct. I am Learning to trust it now, but Those Abandonment fears are coming up because recently I have been feeling part of A Family. I am Scared Shitless Though and because I have Made Mistakes before Domestic Violence, I don’t want to make them again. Now I Fucking Know Why the Fuck People would question Me when I told them I was ” Hispanic”. My Whole Fuckin Life I have been Checking the ” Hispanic ” block because Although raised Military, My ” Parents ” were Hispanic. I have Dark hair. So now I Check ” Other”. This shit would of been Easier when 100% I was Younger ( Maybe).I have gone A Long Time being A ” Secret” and A Lie”. One Day At A Time, otherwise it would be much worse trying to digest all this. My Anger Comes From The Abuse, The Lies, The Cover ups, Feeling like The reason why I could not be truly loved was because it was My Fault. I am able to give Love ( by the grace of God) and I can Always feel when I see a Child if they are hurting. I have Children and They Loved their Grandparents A lot and are close to My Sibs. This is Another Journey that I feel like I am Taking on My Own. Thanks For Posting These. – Adult Adoptee
- I’m angry that my birth and my history are still a huge question on my mind although I’ve been in reunion for 20 years. I’m angry that people feel the need to keep secrets about MY past and birth. Most of all I’m angry because I’ve doubted myself and questioned what’s wrong with me my entire life, why can’t somebody answer these questions Sometimes it’s life or dress. – Adult Adoptee
- I agree with the statements above.Loneliness, stigma, trauma, abuse, PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, sleep hyper vigilance, distrust from others, nature, nurture and the environment and being rejected by everyone, mocked at and humiliated for being different.People around either neglect or despise the facts, call me boring and are totally insensitive and never listen to an adoptee’s reasons. The Primal wound, that is, the separation from mother is a disintegration of the self and no one cares about us.We are faced with terror and abuse and no one cares because usually (I wasn’t even adopted, I think ,I was stolen from my mother dying from hunger and depression),.It’s a life of lies and lots of repressed rage which we are forbidden to express. adding to this I was hated by my adoptive family.It’s very hard to survive after all that.Nothing seem credible, long lasting or possible.It’ s torture and only through an immense amount of self-sacrifices (tragic sacrifices, self-victimization, etc) did I survive? – Adult Adoptee
- I am angry because when I was in my 20’s and was talking about some feelings concerning my adoption my adoptive mother replied: “I would have thought that you were over that by now”. When I was 25 and lost my job and therefore couldn’t pay my rent I came back to their home, the only place I had to go and my father said that I couldn’t stay because my adoptive mother couldn’t handle it, so I left with enough money to buy a train ticket and luckily ended up staying with the girl I had known for 10 days – it might not have worked out but she then became my wife. This is strange because my adoptive sister went back there and stayed long enough to get a new job and move into a flat. My adoptive brother moved back there and ended up staying for 25 years! All I wanted was some time at my parents’ place to destress and get my head together. I am also angry that when my adoptive parents passed away they left all of their assets in a trust with the trustees being my two adoptive sisters and adoptive brother. They made my adoptive other brother who is mentally impaired a discretionary beneficiary, which is very understandable as he has special needs that his three sibling trustees need to meet. What I am angry about is that my adoptive parents in their will also made ME a discretionary beneficiary. I could only put this down to the fact that I was adopted and also perhaps to keep my adoptive mentally impaired brother ‘company’ so that he didn’t feel left out – in effect I was sacrificed for his benefit. A discretionary beneficiary is someone with mental problems, unable to deal with finances and daily life on his own or of a young age, needing to be aided and guided by the trustees. None of these apply to me: When I learnt of my discretionary beneficiary status I was 46 years old. Now I am 52 years old and have been married for 26 years, have two adult children, a home owner and joint owner a limited company and yet was selected to be the only other discretionary beneficiary. This means that I am not a part of the adoptive parents’ ongoing legacy and am an owner of none of their assets. The trustees cannot disclose anything to me and I am simply informed, when appropriate, of any monies that they decide can be given to me. This makes me angry and sidelined, especially as I was brought up to be made to believe that I was the same as my adoptive siblings – made to believe that I was of equal status. What also makes me angry is that although I was always made to believe that I was adopted I dug deeper to ask if it was reasonable that I should be made a discretionary beneficiary with social services and when they looked at my case history they found that I was never actually adopted, just fostered. My adoptive siblings talk of my parents and great grand parents, i.e. their biological ancestors as if they are all mine and have a big family tree with me at the top, but none of these people have anything in common with me genetically and now that I know that I was never adopted I am not even legally bonded to them either, having just really lived in limbo between my adoptive and biological families. – Adult Adoptee
- I am angry because I am 52 years old and have been brainwashed all of my life to believe that I was “chosen” while the fact that I was torn away from my natural mother was swept under the rug like it didn’t matter or wouldn’t have an impact on me for the rest of my life. I am angry because if my 15 year old mother had received the support she needed to keep me, instead of being judged, shamed and beaten down, I might have known what it’s like to feel whole. I am angry because my adoptive parents weren’t educated on the problems I would have as a result of being torn away from my natural mother and I did not receive the validation, recognition or support I needed to deal with that trauma. I am angry that even though I have met and been in connect with my natural family for 34 years, I still don’t fit or feel whole. I am angry that these things are still happening in 2018 to other innocent babies and children who are expected to fulfill everyone else’s needs while being ‘trained’ to ignore and bury their own needs. Needs that go unrecognized, unacknowledged and unsupported by the vast majority of society, medical and mental health professionals, religious institutions, child welfare agencies, and discriminatory laws.
- Why do we have to be labeled as Angry. That makes me Angry. I’m lost in pain. I should be i was rejected in the womb and ripped away from the womb and placed in unfamiliar surroundings as an baby . It’s haunting. I’m tired of all the labels placed on me mental, angry, angry adopted child…. I’m not mental and I’m not angry I’m hurt….. it hurts me that they give so much attention to the parents…. and not the baby or child… I get it that it’s got to be hard giving your baby away but it’s a 100 times harder on the baby… come on we all know what it takes to make a baby.. if you don’t want to deal with the pain of giving a baby away don’t make one… I have to live with all my mistakes… we all make them… but dam… why can’t we have a chance in life to be free of the haunting experience of being ripped away from what has been familiar for 9 months… if i want to be hurt or angry I have that right… it doesn’t make me bad …
- I am angry because my mother never believed that her family (cousins) said racist things to me “She’s not really our cousin look how dirty her skin is.” (5 years old) She made blood more important. I’m angry because she made me compete with a child who never existed “You’re the only fat family member” . I am angry because the parent that understood me and loved me as me died and I am left with a dependent abusive alcoholic narcissist who can hide her true self to everyone else. Everyone allows her to drink and when she’s at the point where she’s no longer fun they dump her onto me and I hear about how I am a “disappointing alien child. Go find your real parents cause you’re a selfish ungrateful thing I regret.”
- I don’t really know why I am so angry. Every time I come with a reason that makes sense to me I immediately contradict my own self with “plugged in” responses that I have heard my whole life therefore my inner self talk becomes plagues by doubt about my feelings & I end up repressing my feelings & go on with the same daily routine burying the attempt to expose what is making me angry. I am many time my own victim.
- There are three of us , that my parents adopted. Could not have had better. I was very sick as a child, my parents took me to every Dr, within the area, where I grew up. But my siblings, stayed with and Aunt, that did not treat them well. We grew up not ever calling my parents brothers and sisters, Aunt and Uncle. Strange, everyone else did. Odd, one Aunt that lived far from us, we called them Aunt, and Uncle. We would go for Christmas the odd year, and gifts would be exchanged. I Loved them very much, the only one on my fathers side. And the very opposite on my Mothers side, to my Fathers, everyone treated us like we belonged. When my Grandparents passed, everyone of them, we were very young, not knowing at that time we were adopted, let alone what that meant, did not receive a memento from any Grandparents , that was very hard , knowing other Grandchildren did. We didn’t know any difference, we loved them, they were our Family, or so we thought. At a family reunion once, an issue occurred, I stepped up to defend this Uncle, my Aunt, on my fathers side, looked at me, and right out said, head back, shoulders stern, said to me, and who do you think you are? Well I cried, told my Father, and to my surprise, said nothing. That following day, I said to my adopted sister what took place, and said I think I’m adopted, she said no, you look to much like Mom, but I’ll tell you, I am, she found out two years prior. Well that following work day. On got on the phone and looked into my adoption, sure enough, within weeks I got a call, then the paperwork. Yes I did find my birth family. My situation was different, one I’m not sure my story to tell. But parents split, Mother on her own, no income, two older sisters , my father took to raise. My parents all, round, did what was best. I do have continuing health issues, I am Doctoring for, and greatful for a sister whom has offered to be tested to see if she can help. So the issue is not always with the parents, but other family members. Their loss.
- I am angry because I have no idea who I am or where I come from. I’ve met my biological mother, absolutely no connection there. I asked her who my father was, she told me she didn’t remember…..Bullshit! When I tell my wife about things like this, she says ” Did you consider how she feels?” I say it’s not about her, remember…she had a choice. My biological mother has never made any attempts to tell her story, so again I don’t know. I remember growing up and people telling me how ” lucky ” I was because I was chosen? Oh, yea? give a try some time, and tell yourself how lucky you are. I’m 48 years old and still feel at odds with everything around me. I feel like I’m either 10 years ahead or 10 years behind. I have serious trust issues, even with friends. I wonder if I will ever have peace in my life.
- I’m adopted and can certainly relate to many reasons why to be angry. Life goes on and I’m more angry of how I get treated like an outsider by my adopted family now as an adult. Snobs can all go jump in a lake for all I care.
- I am justifiably angry that adoptive parents and society put so much effort into being saviors, in turn meeting their own needs and not ours and as a result expect us to be eternally grateful. Why not have placed more effort in helping my family stay together and keep me as a part of it. For that I would not only have been grateful, I would also be functional with none of the burden of the primal wound I carry today from not only being separated from my parents but from being sexually and emotionally abused for eight years by the family I was given to. Better off, I beg to differ.
- I am angry because for 57 years I wasted my time thinking I had to fit in with my adopted family, I am angry because no matter what my adoptive parents say when they had their own kids I was treated as an outsider. I am angry that the government made it almost impossible for me to connect with my biological mother. I am angry when I think back to incidents where I desperately needed my adoptive mother to just hug me and she never did, when I needed my adoptive parents just to listen and they never did, I am angry that they always treated me differently that they then went on to totally reject me when I was a teen. But mostly I am angry that it took me this long to realize that these people are not worth my time or effort.
- I’m angry that my birth and my history are still a huge question on my mind although I’ve been in reunion for 20 years. I’m angry that people feel the need to keep secrets about MY past and birth. Most of all I’m angry because I’ve doubted myself and questioned what’s wrong with me my entire life, why can’t somebody answer these questions Sometimes it’s life or dress.
- I’m angry because most adoptive parents don’t have the willingness to read something like this to help understand adoptees better. They label us and say “we just had a bad adoption experience” Adoption in itself is a bad experience, yet they refuse to listen to us! The world refuses to listen to us! Well someone better be angry because of all the voiceless adoptees who haven’t made it on this earth. Who’s going to stand up for them? Adoptees who attempt suicide are 4x more likely than non-adoptees. When are you people going to start listening to adult adoptees? We have to make lists like this so you won’t shut us down? WAKE UP. I will continue to be angry until you WAKE UP! Someone has to be angry for change to happen! #ihaveavoice I will use it!
As a 46 year old adult who was adopted in 1975 I’m angry at the system which failed to perform thorough psychological evaluations on my prospective adoptive parents. Turns out one is a narcissist and the other has Asperger’s syndrome. Quite the one-two punch for a child growing up in an unfamiliar genetic environment. I believe the prevailing wisdom of the day was “adopted kids are a blank canvas, and will grow up to be however you make them to be…” Like I was some sort of mini-Mr. Potato Head or something. The couple who adopted me were nice enough people to the rest of the world but they constantly treated me like some type of malfunctioning machine. I demonstrated high intelligence and musical talent from an early age, yet was told pursuing my life as a musician was out of the question. They steered me instead towards their own interests (religion & science), neither of which I cared for. All I ever heard was “we know what’s best for you”, even as the loneliness, ostracizing, and lack of personal identity drove me into crime, heavy drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. Nobody appeared to care about ME, they only cared about how I measured up to their expectations – which I failed at basically every time. I’m a grown adult now, lonely as hell, looking back on a childhood of regrets. I don’t speak with them anymore and likely never will. After an exhaustive search I finally managed to uncover the identity of my birth mother – she died almost 30 years ago.
Can any adoptees relate to these posts?
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Many Blessings to all, and thanks for reading!
Pamela Karanova AKA @pamelakaranova
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