Musing Mother, posted about open records legislation in Missouri, and the notable omission of Natural Mothers from those who would have access to these records. That is an unfortunate fact about all the open records legislation that have either passed or are in different stages of the process.
We have been told, in the past, that inclusion of Mothers would "cloud the issue." I think the only thing clouded would be the feelings of adopters and the marketing strategies of the agencies. I have noted, in several previous blogs, how reunions can falter, re-start, go off track, try again, die and disappear, etc. It is hard to be indifferent to the child one carried in one's body and I am sure it is equally hard to be indifferent to the woman who gave you life. But that natural bond has been warped by separation, secrets and lies, especially for mothers and adoptees from the BSE/EMS which is the group specifically affected by closed records.
Even when we don't see eye to eye and lifestyles differ and attitudes are polar opposites, there is still something that binds us and it is more than just DNA. The fact is that too many of us are not going to make it in that big reunion picture of Mother and Child, resolved. But there is one way we can bridge the gap, even when contact is sporadic or nil. Being advocates for each other where civil and human rights are concerned could, I personally believe, heal a lot of the hurt we feel.
There is so much pressure on the adoptee to remain loyal to the people who raised them and that is not unreasonable. But it really throws a monkey wrench into the engine of many a reunion. The Industry knows this and plays on the fears of the adopters to keep their businesses up, running and profitable. They use the fundamentalist churches and the anti-choicers to keep the supply up. They use the adoptees' fears of hurting their adopters and the lingering shame of a pitiful minority of Mothers to apply just enough force to keep us from forming a united front. They know what side their bread is buttered on and it is definitely NOT the Mother's side. The adopters are, for the most part, the ones with the bucks.
I know one adoptee who said that her adopters didn't pay a penny for her....Oh, except for the attorney's fees and her medical expenses and a few other fees, but it was only a few thousand dollars. That was back in the early 60's. A few thousand back then is like $50K, today. That was an agency. But it takes money to run a state's social services department, as well, so someone has to fork over the dough for that healthy infant. When we say it is an Industry, a business, a market, we mean just that. And business has no conscience.
So, what if we understood that reunions can be rocky and problematic and that we might have to love from distance, BUT, that we could do this one thing for each other, as Mother and Adult Child? A united front in the face of legislators (attorneys who support adoption for the most part) and lobbyists (the NCFA and others of that ilk) would make things a bit harder for them to manipulate. The idea of going with what we can get and tweaking it later, is about as much good to all of us as "the check is in the mail" is to the collector dunning the deadbeat.
We've had our motherhood dismissed. Our children have been obligated to try to fit their square peg selves into the round hole of the adoptive family. Lies have been told and misapprehensions encouraged. Yes, those ties that bind that are forged by nature, have been altered and deformed. But they haven't been broken. I read too many comments by adoptees and mothers. We all care to much for them to be completely severed. If the bonds were not there, the pain wouldn't be there, either.
Maybe there are many of us that can never be a family again. But we can look out for and support each other in this fight for the truth. And if that isn't love, I don't know what is.