We are open to all adult adoptees.
To some the need for such a gathering seems...well, needless. And there we've stumbled upon it already, without even trying..."The Adoptee Dilemma".
Because of a righteous stand for life, Christians have become blinded to the truths affecting the hearts of a huge part of the world's population. Let's narrow that down to America's population to help the average mind comprehend the extent of the problem. Here are some stats:
DID YOU KNOW there are 6-7 million ADULT adoptees in America? There are. This computes to 12-14 million birth parents and 12-14 million more adoptive parents and then siblings from maternal, paternal and adoptive sides of the adoptee's family. (Let's go way low and say only 2 siblings in each set.)
That would come to a conservative total of 6 siblings per adoptee which gives us about 36-42 million siblings! And what does that give us for the Grand Total in the adult adoptee 'family mosaic'? (Remember, this is only including adult adoptees.)
66-70 Million Americans.
And by the way, that's not even beginning to count the children, grandchildren or extended family members of those 6-7 million adult adoptees.At Adoptee Heart we acknowledge the truth of the adoptee's adoption experience, whatever those experiences may be. They are as varied as the seeds in a packet of wildflowers. At its core the purpose of this group is the healing of the adoptee heart, so whether or not others agree with the need is really moot. Healing for many adoptees begins with acknowledgement of the truth they've lived, regardless of how unpopular that truth is, even within the Christian community.
Sometimes true healing...and prevention of future harm...can only come when we knock over sacred cows - crush them, actually. Culture can create idols that God never set in place and unfortunately, there are things about the 5 billion dollar per year adoption industry that have become nearly untouchable idols. Adoption is, in concept, good. But the fallen nature of man has a tendency to taint good and the adoption industry has not been immune. It really is high time that we see past the shine of adoption's 'golden cows'. Is it all bad? Of course not...the enemy works best by mixing arsenic into the honey.
The risk of suicide among adoptees is four times higher than any other group. Four TIMES higher. There are wounded adoptees out there and they are not only those who have suffered various forms of abuse in their adoptive homes. Common sense tells us that if that were all there is to it (as if that's not enough) the suicide risk wouldn't be that much higher than in other groups where abuse also occurs. Secrecy, stigmas, lies and injustice are all a part of the hidden adoption story.
The short and skinny of it is that Christians need to get their heads out of the sand and shift into how-can-we-help? mode. We should be the first on board, but we are not because we believe the lie that if we tell the truth about adoption, more young mothers will abort their babies. However, in states where law has been reversed and records unsealed for adopted adults, the abortion rate has not increased. Hello. Is ANYbody listening?
Here is an excerpt from Adoptee Rights:
"There are myriad factors that influence and determine abortion rates in various states and countries, and as such, it would be irresponsible to claim a causal relationship between open records and lower abortion rates. It can be clearly shown, however, that abortion rates are not higher in states with open records nor do abortion rates increase in countries with open records.":
One of the greatest, healing gifts we can give the adoptee is to erase the injustice of not allowing them adult access to their biological roots. It's been proven that this can be done without harm. And just in case someone wants to pop up with the, "But, what about the protection of the birth parent?" question... There is no verbiage guaranteeing anonymity to birth parents in any state and never has been. It's a verbal ploy. A rumor created to be spread and believed by the general public. It worked, too, didn't it?
Here's a wonderful truth...96% of birth parents say they would be happy to reunite or in some way communicate with, their relinquished children. That's a far cry from the story so many adoptees believe. What is also believed about relinquishment is that it was a completely voluntary decision when in fact, (especially from the 40's -70's), relinquishment came after heavy-duty shaming and coercion.
Most adoptees have come to believe, and society as well as scared adoptive parents have allowed the belief, that they weren't wanted, were a shameful reminder of a shameful act and at the very least, weren't lovable enough not to be 'gotten rid of'. What sad, and almost completely untrue concepts to carry through life! Adoptees are expected to lie silent, (and so many do) regarding access to biological heritage. So many adoptees believe the lie that they don't 'deserve' to know their ancestry. Many self-protectively proclaim they don't want to know. ("If they didn't want me, why should I want them?") Many adoptees eventually realize that this kind of thinking is put upon them from their earliest years by a misguided society. When the understanding comes that the adoptee is actually being punished (even if unintentional) by laws that withhold documents that are specifically about them, documents that should be specifically their own to have and hold, while the rest of the world, even those imprisoned for true crimes, have access to theirs ... anger surfaces.
In truth, birth parents of relinquished children, mothers in particular, have sadly always been the last on the list of those with any rights, with their relinquished children following close behind. (Another wrong that needs righting even today when what is spoken aloud is often far different from what is acted out in time.) In truth, the ones with all the rights are the ones with all the money. Closed adoption parents have the right to rename their children, lie to their children about where they were born and who they were born to...In fact, they are completely supported by the government of their state as they are given falsified records with the lies written in the blanks for them. This 'birth certificate' can be obtained by the adoptee and unless the adoptive parents have 'fessed up', the adoptee can continue through their entire life believing this biggest of lies told to them by those they should be able to trust the most. Why? Because in a sealed state, records are sealed away from the adoptee forever.
Supposing the adoptive parents tell the truth. Then the child can ask for their original birth certificate, right? Wrong. In in most states (closed record states), they will ONLY be allowed to have the fake one...again, forever. A social worker sitting on the opposite side of the table from them, however, can study the adoptee's original birth certificate until the cows come home...see everything there ever was to know about the adoptee's heritage...but the adoptee cannot see it or be told the truths within the document.
There are lobbyists and groups out there fighting for these various human rights and we support them, but that is not our main focus. Our focus is helping the heart of the adopted adult. We know the frustrations that can come with some of the dilemmas mentioned above and so many more and that's where Adoptee Heart comes in. We are not professional counselors, but we have resources that can lead adoptees there, if that's where they want to go. We are not a church, but are all connected to a solid church body. We offer ears. We offer hearts. We offer our own stories and guidance to the Healer of healers as well as to tangible resources that can help in biological searches, emotional support and more.
And we're all very, very excited to see what God is going to do next.