I've said it before, but I'll say it again... adoption is the issue I most learned about -- particularly from the birth-parent's point of view -- since I started reading blogs & blogging. Unfortunately some for the bloggers from which I learned the most are no longer blogging (Dawn, Kateri, Manuela), good thing that others still are (hi Jenna! and AmFam!). Adoption is such a thorny, heart-breaking subject and one about which lots of people have very preconceived and unethical views. I am glad to have been exposed to the powerful, at times soul wrenching writing of the above-mentioned women, they opened (and are still opening) my heart to understand the "weakest link" in the adoption "triad:" the birth-parents.
I just learned this summer that one of my good recent friends (met her just 1 year ago here in VA) is a birth-mother. Her story is very sad and I wish I had the courage to ask her more about it (she was only 15, living at a boarding school, and had to give the baby up because she had no family to even take care of her, let alone her baby). Maybe someday we'll talk more about it, it's just that I don't think I can have a conversation about this without bursting into tears.
I have another friend who is a birth-father and who was only able to contact his daughter about 5-6 years ago, when she turned 15 years old. They are now "in reunion" (term used by birth-parents and adoptees for their lives after they meet) and I'm just so happy for him. One of the first things he said to me when we met 19 years ago was that he had a daughter... and he pulled out a small photograph of a beautiful blonde toddler. You could tell how sad he was for not being part of her life and her not even knowing that he existed.
Today this New York Post article (whose title and byline I really dislike, but whose content is good) about Steve Job's 80 year old birth-father brought tears to my eyes. I am sure that it's not only his "Syrian pride" and regrets for not having parented Jobs that prevent Jandali from contacting his biological son. Society and people who promote adoption -- even and perhaps especially international adoption -- do all they can to simply erase the birth-parents, particularly the birth-fathers, since they don't actually carry the baby for 9 months. As if conceiving and giving birth to a child could be simply forgotten after giving the child away (and films like Juno perpetuate this absurd notion).
Some birth-parents may put it behind them... a smaller group may even reject the child (like Susan Ito's birth-mom), but I'm sure that most think of that baby they didn't get to parent every single day of their lives. However, society just doesn't allow them to express and validate their grief, it just forgets that they ever existed. Mr. Jandali has been conditioned to keep himself out of the picture since after all, "he's not the father," Mr. Jobs is.
I know, it's the whole age-old "Nature versus Nurture" debate and "Nurture" seems to be our culture's "darling." However, as the article points out, "Nature" is pretty fascinating too, since Jobs and his bio-father have striking physical similarities. I personally think that biological ties are uncanny and strong, therefore I would never, ever consider donating eggs and I shudder to think of babies who are conceived with anonymous donor sperm...).
I am saddened that these two man are constrained by so many obstacles and haven't, and perhaps won't be able to ever get together. And I blame it on hundreds of years of a system of adoption that shames the young unwed mothers and tries to erase, completely obliterate the birth-father.
How unspeakably sad.
Automation only goes so far
30 minutes ago