Q. Where can I find the full post about your adoption reunion?
A. You can read the full post about our family’s 2017 adoption reunion here.
Q. Why didn’t Michelle’s adoptive parents tell her she was adopted? Did she ever suspect she was adopted?
A. Despite statements made in 1976 and 1977 to secure the adoption, Michelle’s adoptive parents never told her she was adopted, and clearly never intended to. Due to various circumstances within Michelle’s adoptive family, she had no suspicion that she was adopted until after she received the DNA match to her sister in 2017. Looking back, Michelle has been able to identify numerous red flags that existed throughout her life. Unfortunately, over the course of forty years, an enormous number of lies were crafted to prevent Michelle from seeing these red flags, and to purposely mislead her into believing she couldn’t be anything but their biological child. All adoptive parents have a moral obligation to be open and honest with the child they adopt about their own genetic origins in an age appropriate manner, and ideally with the support of a therapist well-versed in adoption-related issues. However, to intentionally withhold the fact that a person is adopted for any amount of time is extremely selfish and highly unethical. If you are not able to follow through with this clear moral obligation, you are not ready to adopt. (read more)
Q. Did anyone from Michelle’s adoptive family know she was adopted?
A. Yes. Virtually everyone in Michelle’s adoptive parents’ life at the time of the adoption knew that she was adopted. Prior to the adoption, the adoptive parents had not told anyone (or very few people) about their plans to adopt–right up until the day they brought Michelle to their home. Even the adoptive grandparents and immediate family members were not told about their plans to adopt. So when they suddenly had a newborn in their possession, it would have stood out to anyone who knew them at the time (ex. family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, the mailman, etc.) Even if someone had not been told of the adoption directly, any reasonable person would have been able to make the conclusion that they adopted a baby considering there was no pregnancy. Over the years, numerous individuals had been told about the adoption, or had learned about the adoption through others as well. Even as recently as 2013 new individuals were being told about Michelle’s adoption by her adoptive father. The only person who was never told was Michelle.
Q. Where are the newspaper articles about the adoption attorney?
A. You can read the newspaper articles discussing the indictment against the adoption attorney here.
Q. I am an adult and just found out I am adopted. I am really struggling with this discovery. Do you have any tips?
A. If you are a recent late discovery adoptee, you may be feeling overwhelmed, confused and unsure of how to move forward. Regardless of why your adoptive parents never told you about your origins, they were wrong to withhold the truth from you. No adoptee should ever be placed in this situation, so please know that you are not ‘wrong’ or ‘ungrateful’ to feel this way because the reality is you were lied to for decades about your own origins. Any feelings of anger, betrayal, mistrust, confusion, etc. are completely normal and totally justified. Do not allow anyone to make excuses for them, try to excuse their behavior, or to minimize your feelings or pain. Every LDA handles their discovery differently, but it is very important that you do what feels best for you–not what’s best for your adoptive parent(s) feelings, your adoptive siblings feelings, your adoptive family’s feelings, etc. Focus on your own emotional needs right now. While we do not have any specific advice for new late discovery adoptees, Michelle highly recommends that you begin working with a licensed therapist who is knowledgeable about adoption-related issues as soon as possible. She also suggests seeking the support of other LDA’s online.
Q. I think my adoption was arranged through the same attorney. How can I learn more?
A. Michelle’s adoption was arranged in 1976 by Edward Kent of the firm Kent, Grayer & Rosenberg located in Willingboro, New Jersey (Burlington County.) If you think your adoption might have been arranged by this firm too, we would love to hear from you. If you placed a child for adoption with this firm, or adopted a child through this firm (or considered it but never went through with it) we would also love to hear from you.
Q. Are you anti-adoption?
A. We are not completely against adoption if the adoption is arranged as ethically and openly as possible, and with fully-informed, consenting biological parents who are not motivated to place their child for adoption due to temporary problems or temporary circumstances in their life that can reasonably be improved over time. We are completely opposed to closed adoptions or situations where an adoptee will not be openly informed about their adoption from very early childhood. We do believe that most children, outside of situations involving abuse, neglect, etc., belong with their biological families, but unfortunately, this is not always possible for a variety of reasons. Adoption is, and always will be, necessary for children who are truly in need of permanent homes when no biological family members are able or qualified to provide care for them. In the United States, this is especially true for older children and children with complicated medical and mental health needs. Unfortunately, many people see adoption as a service for adults who wish to create a family (especially with newborn adoption) as opposed to being a service for children who are truly in need. People tend to equate the amount of money adoptive parents have to being better or more qualified parents than biological parents, and that this will unquestionably be better for the child–this is a serious problem. This is where many of the issues we have with adoption begin (ex. coercion tactics, commodification of adoptees, consent of biological parents, etc.) We will make a separate post about these issues at a later date.
Q. I am a student / writer / teacher / journalist / producer researching an issue related to adoption. Are you available for an interview?
A. Yes. Please write to us to discuss your questions or areas of research, and which members of our family you are interested in speaking with. Thank you!