Monday, January 22, 2007

About The Fathers of Adoption Loss

There's been some talk, here and there, about the "wrongs" done to the fathers of children lost to adoption. Again, the mother gets the blame and the shaft, which is another case of the same stuff, different day. But this one is a bit much for me to just let it pass.

Maybe this might help some understand;

I was deeply in love with my daughter's father, or, at least thought I was. I was as much in passionate love as a girl of 15 can possibly be. I trusted him, I gave myself to him in love and I believed him when he told me he loved me. We were both minors. When he found out I was pregnant, he got together with his buddies (a close group of about 9 guys) and they worked out a scheme. They would all claim to have slept with me and divert attention from him so that he wouldn't get "caught holding the bag (his words)."

They did a very good job of this and managed to totally ruin my reputation and my chances for any kind of normal life in my small community for years and years to come. If I had actually done what they all claimed I had done, I wouldn't have had time for anything else but quick meals and showers between sex partners. I would probably have been sleep-deprived. When would I have had time to even have a baby? Please remember that this was 1961/62 in the Bible-Belt south.

They did such a good job that every nerd and frustrated, out of luck, male virgin, who even slightly knew who I was, claimed to have had a crack at me, pun intended. These pitiful specimens figured the guys in the locker room would believe them if they told them they had "done" me. My faithless first love had gotten into a bit of a scrape with the law and had told his juvie officer that he wasn't even in town when I got pregnant and the idiot believed him.

They did such a good job that my son's (second child lost to adoption) father, in the act of beating and raping me, told me that if I "gave it to A*******, you'll BY GOD, give it to ME!" It was all so hurtful and horrible and demeaning and my raised children had to hear this garbage said about me, their mother, even years after the fact. My ex-husband was a voluntary martyr to that vicious gossip and he never let me forget about his, assumed, "moral superiority."

My daughter's father, however, did have a very ethical, responsible fatherof his own who knew, without a doubt, that my baby was his grandchild, despite what his son said. He ordered his son to give the SW all the information she needed and to admit to the SW and my parents, that he was the father of my child. Unfortunately, he was unable to stop what he said to other people, and by that time the damage had been done.

His father also begged my Mom to let him know how I was and all about the baby when the time came. He talked to her about forcing his son to marry me, but Mom knew that I didn't want him under those circumstances and she was still trying to "save me" from the gossip and the erroneous notion that having and keeping a baby would destroy me. She wanted me to be a carefree virgin again.

My daughter called her paternal grandfather the second day after our first meeting and, when she identified herself, he whispered her original name over the phone. We had a lovely visit with them and my daughter was in deep grief when this nice man passed away a couple of years ago. "Elmer" will be missed. Both he and his wife were very nice people who, unfortunately, overindulged their "shining star" son.

This jerk, however, still hedged when he met his daughter, alluding to my alleged "promiscuity." He reluctantly acknowledged that he was "probably" her father only after she talked about doing a DNA test to make sure. She laughed about that, later, because his youngest son was standing there, marveling at how they were "looking at each other with the same eyes and smile." He has since totally rejected her and any kind of relationship with her.

Of course the animal who raped me also rejected any contact with his son...he also denied that I was raped, stating that I had shared a beer with him, gone to the "lover's lane" with him and was, therefore, "asking for it" and that I was "that kind of girl (*nudge and wink)."

NEITHER ONE of these "dads" have ever had to suffer any manner of repurcussions from their acts. It was all on my head as was all the "blame." I was seen as the only one "responsible" for getting pregnant, even though it does take two, according to the biology textbook, and even when it was the result of an execrable act of violence.

No, I've seen too many of my peers (and a lot of younger women) go to the fathers of their babies for help only to watch these men swagger away with no qualms, whatsoever. Those that claim they were never told, well, some of them are telling the truth. But a lot more of them are outright lying. They married, they had jobs..many of them were successful and you cannot tell me that they ever spent more than a moment wondering if we and our babies were OK. They sure do jump like fleas off a dog when their adult children show up...usually trying to hide them from their wives and subsequent children.

Now, the talk on some other lists is about all those "poor Daddies" and we moms are, again, the goats, which, I am beginning to think, is just what adopters and our own children want us to be. The injustices keeps piling up and this is one where I have to balk and balk big time. Yes, there are a few men out there who did care and who tried, but they are NOT the victims. This all just shows how patriarchal and oppressive this society still predate on women and women predate on other women to get their babies and the ones who lose are still getting the blame and the shaft and the crumbs and absolutely no respect.

If these daddies want to help, here we are. We've been needing them and their support for a long time. Hi Fellas! Better late than never? You don't have to marry me, love me or provide for me or my child...that time is long past. But we sure could use some down-home truth and honesty from your corner. You see, most of our children already believe that we are the ugly, unnatural mother demons behind their pain and are now starting to see you guys as innocent victims. There's a lot you could help clarify...if you have the guts to do it.

I am beginning to wonder what's the f****** use! We are at the bottom of the pile, due to our circumstances and our gender. But I'd like our adult children to know that, in the majority of cases, if Big Daddy had cared, then you wouldn't be searching and needing support groups for adoption issues and having to fight for open records. In other words, you probably would have never been adopted.


suz said...

wow. what a statement. my story is slightly different and at times i found myself objecting to your words...but you are correct - not in my case but in the majority of them and certainly in yours and most definitely in theory and practice.

i am such a robin wannabe but yeah, i agree. kudos to you again.

Robin said...

Ahh,, are making this old gray head swell. I also understand that there are those men that stand out from the crowd...the few who did care, and they have my utmost respect. I am so glad that this was so in your case. That is a lot better for your heart and self-esteem in the long run.

But when I hear them playing the "poor Daddies" song over on another group as an excuse to pile more blame on the moms, then I get riled.


Anonymous said...

Robin, the exeptional dads are sort of like the exceptional adopters.

There aren't very many of them, but they somehow manage to get sympathy, honor and respect..and we are supposed to believe that because they exist(assuming they do) that negates all of the terrible behavior of the majority.

Not all dads ran out, but most did..and it would be nice to hear more of them admit to it.

Unknown said...

I find it incredibly painful to read what you have experienced.

There is just so much wrongness in those boys actions.

A girl of 15 can feel a lot of love, don't discount her.

I met the only man I ever loved when I was 14.

Lots and lots of compassion for you Robin and applaud your resiliency.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this post.
While I am sympathetic to ANY parent who was denied the right to raise their child, I still think men get the easy way out in alot of cases.I think back to the adoption of my own daughter and remember how he assisted the adopters in gaining our child. He could be seen as a hero, avoid responsibility and make me out to be the bad mom. It makes me sick, even now, 6 years later.

Amyadoptee said...

I think my dad would speak up if he knew about our movement. I would like to think my mom will eventually speak up but that fear man it is a killer. I so wish that she could hear your voice along with the many others out there. Sometimes I wonder because I react so strongly to the wrongs having been done and being done now, if maybe just maybe it is her voice inside me speaking.

Unknown said...

Robin, I so get this. K's dad ran, as far and as fast as he could I think. Then of course he plays "the proud daddy" when she finds me and then just ups and stops writing etc. I am so sick of the "poor poor daddies" I could scream. They left us hanging and got away with it. The few who didn't run are standouts it is true, but they are the exception and not the rule as we all know. I need bed, thanks for all your words they make me think and they inspire my writing as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about the male role in adoption. Adoption is simply a variation of honor death, by, for and about males and patriarchy.

It's classic because one of the hallmarks of patriarchy is women carrying out and supporting the wishes of men to keep men their power--which is often the case with adoption.

On Grey's Anatomy a week or so ago, a character's father dies. Another character says something like, "welcome to the dead Dad's club," and they weep together. This was a striking scene. And watching it, I knew I belonged to that club, but not when my own father actually died in quite old age, but when he symbolically died to me when I was 19 and he was middled-aged and he and my mother had my baby taken for adopters.

Though my family kept up and continues to keep up the sham (that I was Daddy's little girl and loved), any thinking person can look at their actions instead of their words and see the truth. It took me quite a few years to figure it out because we are all enthralled by out families and the (false) feelings of security they provide us.

I won't even start on my baby's father and his own father...

But it's something that must be talked about because--well, where are the men?