On Adoption: The Lies They Told Me 


Since reuniting with my birthmom I’ve discovered several things about my story that were lies. Things the adoption agency got wrong. A few things like the time of my birth and the wrong ethnicities were put down on paper. They may seem like minor mistakes, but they matter.

Then there were two pretty substantial lies that altered me and my journey in significant ways. One damaged me to my core- the other led me straight to my mother.

The first lie was not in any official document but was told to me and written down in notes my adopted mother took when they received the call about me. She was told that my birth mom never held me nor wanted to see me. This was a very painful piece of my story. It seemed to fit with the unwanted child narrative adoptees become used to- but it still hurt. And even though my papers said my birth mom would like  contact when I became of age- I believe this lie made me quite frightened of being rejected- again. When I found my mother and she spoke of holding me, that she had a picture of us…..I couldn’t stop crying. What a relief it was to know that it was a lie- and how angry I became to know that others purposely made this part of my story.

The second lie I am actually grateful for because it made a huge difference in the search for my mother. Growing up I had one sheet of paper front and back that stated some basic information about my birth parents. Height, weight, eye color, ethnicity, hobbies etc. according to these papers- my only connection to them- it stated my birthmother was pursuing a career in the veterinary field and that she was involved in an animal science club at her college. When I began my search this was one of the better clues we pursued and I was able to acquire a picture with first and last names of all the people who were in that club the year I was born from the college of the town I was born in. With the combination of some other clues I quickly found out which women in the picture was my birthmother. Only she wasn’t. We soon discovered she was my aunt. My mother was never ever in that club- but because her sister was-it led me to her. Without that false information, that lie, my search would’ve taken much longer.

Adoptees deserve the truth about who they are and who and where they come from. Unfortunately, my story isn’t unique. Many adoptees discover false information, even wrong birth dates. I can’t understand how this information can be taken so lightly. These details matter. These details were all I had of my past-I memorized them-and they weren’t all true. It’s heart breaking and wrong.

Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes the truth sets you free. Either way it’s truth-and that is all I want.

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10 comments

  1. I memorized my non-ID, too. Most of it was correct, which helped my search angel and me find my mother. But even if the first “fact” was true, why would that be something that you’d ever share?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much of this was true for me too. The Church of England Children’s Society that arranged my adoption gave false information about the nationality of my birth father which may not sound like a big deal but I created a whole fantasy based on this and then found out 40 years later that it was all a lie. And even more painfully they stated that my father wanted to marry my mother but that she said no. Huge lie. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I want to think they believe these lies are no big deal or to protect us or our birth families but anything other than the truth is unacceptable. These lies become our only connection to our past. Completely unfair.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good and IMPORTANT blog post that i wish every adoptee could read! But ya’ll also have to know that some mothers chose not to see their babies that are going to be adopted-out because it is just too painful! It does not necessarily mean lack of love. It can mean the opposite.

    No one can trust any information form any adoption agency. They lie. The worst lie of ll is telling mother or child that the other has not come looking for them when they have.

    Why do they tell such lies? Power trip?Playing God? Trying to keep people apart because of some judgement?

    Mirah Riben, author, THE STORK MARKET: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have learned since and understand the pain of some mothers who were not able or willing to see their babies. Even so -It still hurts- to know that for me it was a lie enrages me.

      I can’t figure out the lies. It’s maddening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally understand and agree. I am so glad that you found and met your mother and now know the truth. What cruel, mean and hurtful lie! Imagine if you had never met her how that feeling of rejection would have haunted you?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. This is my story, and it’s the truth. It was not in my file, and it was not told to my adoptive parents. Because how is that good or useful information? My first mother did not hold me and did not spend any time with me after I was born. She thought it would make her decision harder. I know this from her, and it is a truth she shared. I value the honesty.

        But I don’t understand how this could ever be good information for an agency to pass on, true or not, unless they really don’t care about the children and wish only to make the adoptive parents feel right or safe or something.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That is my speciation- that it was about hoping this would help my adopted parents bond better. I do understand that this is true for
        Some and I can’t imagine the difficulty of relinquishing. The complicated layers of adoption never seem to end

        Liked by 1 person

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