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adoptee rights

This tag is associated with 20 posts

Finally recognizing ‘a basic human right’ for NY adoptees

Dawn Millward didn’t expect anyone to respond when she Tweeted earlier this month asking adoptees to share the names they’d been given at birth, but the replies kept coming. Kristen. I was Kristen for 9 years before I was adopted and it was changed in 4th grade….” I was Megan Patricia Doyle for 6 weeks before … Continue reading

The hardest thing I ever did

My colleague, Jackie, shared her life story recently. As is true for so many of us, it is a journey punctuated in equal measure by happy surprises and huge disappointments, false starts and clear sailing, personal setbacks and awesome achievements. Time and again, she was able to reinvent herself, to grow as a result of … Continue reading

Let’s finally close the door on closed adoption

Adoptees like me who were relinquished during the era of closed adoption have a hard time explaining to others why the arrangement shouldn’t be glorified. Getting people to understand that the Pollyanna narrative around the arrangement is based on flawed assumptions and that growing up not knowing our true selves has caused emotional harm is … Continue reading

NY: Let’s finally get on board with adoptee rights reform

Editor’s note: Adoptees like me born during the era of closed records are effectively in a kind of witness protection program. We are typically not allowed access to our original birth certificates but instead get amended birth certificates, which list our adoptive names and the names of our adoptive parents. It is against the law … Continue reading

Think you know how it feels to be adopted? You’re probably wrong.

An acquaintance who knows I’m adopted — I’ll call her Sue — took time after one of my exercise classes last week to tell me about her boss, an adoptee who found her half-sister after doing DNA testing. Sue’s boss had flown from Connecticut to Seattle so the siblings could meet. It had been a good visit, … Continue reading

Let’s Stop Making Adoptees Ask Permission to Know Who They Are

Editor’s note: It’s National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM). How will you #FlipTheScript? I first spoke with Steve, a 53-year-old New Jersey adoptee, in February, soon after he received his original birth certificate thanks to a change in state law in New Jersey. * He’d just found his birth mother and was bubbling over with excitement. … Continue reading

15 Things You Should Never Say to an Adoptee

If you’re adopted, you’ve likely heard many of the comments below. (I even heard three of ones on this list from members of my biological family early in my reunion with them.) And if you’re not adopted, you may have uttered some of these chestnuts thinking you were being thoughtful and empathetic. Trust me, you … Continue reading

Yes, I’m adopted. Please spare me the L word

It’s National Adoption Awareness Month — the time when I and other adoptees work even harder then usual to dispel all the myths and misconceptions around what it’s like to be adopted. For reasons I’ll never understand, non-adopted people seem to feel they have license to weigh in on the adoptee experience. In my 52 years, … Continue reading

For adoptees, life as an inconvenient truth

Sandee sobs as she tells me her story. Adopted as an infant, the now 51-year-old flight attendant from Florida struggled for most of her life trying to make peace with being adopted and figure out her place in the world. She’s always felt like a fish out of water, but never before has she felt … Continue reading

A prescription for change: Why it’s time adoption laws reflected reality

For the first time in recent months, I was able to go to the doctor and provide family medical history to the physician rather than scrawl “adopted, no family history” across the page. If you’re not adopted, you may not understand how important this is, not only as it relates to my medical care, but … Continue reading

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