How I feel about adoption

15th August 2008

How I feel about adoption

If I had been asked before my son was born then my response would have been something along the lines that it wasn’t something I ever really thought about.

I knew my dad’s cousin and wife had adopted after their sons were born – twins (brother and sister) from Africa and a Malaysian girl – but it was never something that was discussed.  When I was 17 I found out an old school friend had been adopted but I wasn’t that curious as I knew she had contact with her natural mother.

The reality of adoption hit me hard when I was forced to surrender my son when I was 19 years old.  There was no good reason for it to happen my parents just didn’t want me raising my son as I was single and there was no way his father and I would marry.  We had split on bad terms and neither of us wanted to get back together plus I knew he would never accept my child as his.

I completely retreated into myself and I had no support from anyone and was lied to not just my parents but also the adoption agency.  Had I been told my rights by the adoption agency I would have been able to get the support to keep my son.  Eventually I was told it was too late to stop the adoption as I refused to agree to it.

For 23 years I refused to talk about my son even to my husband as my family had made it quite clear that it was in the past and to get on with my life.  Even the adoption agency told me I would forget about my son, get on with my life, would have more children, I would never be allowed to search and my son would be too happy to with his adoptive family to search for me.  So I suffered in silence and wouldn’t let anybody get too close to me emotionally as I was so scared of losing grip on my emotions.  I felt like a complete freak as what I was feeling wasn’t what I told would happen.

I never forgot my son, I got on with my life because I had to for my own sanity, I could have searched eventually as the law changed but I believed what I was told, I didn’t have more children unfortunately and my son DID decide to search.  He found my family in 1999 who basically lied to him for years then I found him through Genes Reunited in 2004.

It unleashed all the emotions that I had locked away for so many years and I had my moments that I thought I couldn’t take any more of the intensity of them.  I went through anger to the point of fury, shame, guilt, pain, sadness even loneliness but what helped me through was the joy of finding my son alive and well.  I didn’t know I could love someone so much that it almost hurt.

Reunion isn’t easy by any measure and probably one of the hardest things a person can go through.  I don’t ever regret finding my son but I do regret that he was adopted in the first place but I cannot turn the clock back so I have had to learn to move on.

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About Philippa

I am married to Rick and we live in a small town in County Durham. We have two dogs, a cat and two budgies. I am also an adoption survivor. In 1981 my son was born and I was then forced to surrender him. It took 23 years and reunion for my to find out that my son's adoption was legally known as a forced adoption and illegal but social workers got away with it because mothers didn't know their rights.
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