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Jennifer

In 1993 at the age of 14 I became pregnant. I was so ashamed that I hid my pregnancy from my parents until I was 23 weeks pregnant and could hide it no longer. The first thing my parents said was that I was going to have an abortion. I told my parents that I could not do that, that I could feel the baby moving and that I could not abort the baby. They forced me to go to an abortion clinic to "explore all of my options".I found out that I was carrying a little boy, my son. After my father and mother realized that I was not going to abort my baby my father told me that I either surrender my son for adoption or that he would leave my mother and I. My father was the bread winner of the family and my mother would not have been able to support us let alone us and a baby. My mother did nothing.She let that all fall onto my shoulders. That was a HORRIBLE burden to place on a 14 year old girl who was already upset and scared.

I was taken by my mother to an adoption agency. From day one I was called a "birthmother" and was told how brave and selfless I was for choosing adoption. Never oncedid the social worker ask me if I wanted to parent my son. Never once did they tell me what my other options were. No one told me that I could've kept my son. That there were resources out there to help me. No one told me that because my son meant money to them, and I didn't deserve to parent. I got to choose my son's adopters from a large portfolio. All the smiling couples talking about brave and wonderful "birthmothers" are. I was told by the social worker that my son needed two parents. My mothern and father (who adopted me by the way) told me what a gift I would be giving a couple who otherwise wouldn't be able to have children. I was told that I could choose to have a semi-openadoption where I would get yearly pictures and updates from my son's adopters. Everything would go through the agency so that we would have no identifying information. Luckily for me (if you can think of it that way) is that the Social Worker slipped up and toldus the last name of the adopters.

I interviewed my son's adopters and asked them questions. Like it mattered. No matter what I would've said to them they would've agreed with. They wanted a baby so badly that (I would find out later) they would say and dowhatever it took. I stressed to them how important it was to me that he know he was adopted from day one. I knew that I was adopted from as far back as I can remember and I stressed to them how important it was that they not keep that from him. Of course they agreed. They also agreed to send pictures and letters yearly. I went into labor on January 5th, 1994. Exactly two weeks away from my 15th birthday. I was so incredibly scared, and so incredibly numbed. My mother took pictures of my son's birth like she was celebrating. To me this was the saddest dayof my life. I knew that it was over and I would NEVER see my son. My son was whisked away to the NICU immediately. I got to hold him once for less than 5 minutes. In that short period of time I tried to memorize every feature. How he had his father's eyes. The cute little mouth and he had my fingers and toes.The adopters NEVER came to see me. Instead (without my permission or knowledge) they were spending all of their time in the NICU. Not only were they in there visiting MY SON they were bringing all of their family. The Social Worker was at the hospital immediately. There's no way she could leave me alone! I might change my mind! I went home empty handed two days later.The day after I got home my 72 hour waiting period was up and the Social Worker was there to see me sign away my rights.

I remember being on my knees literally BEGGING my father to let me keep my son. I was bawling and he just sat there like I wasn't even there. I signed the papers with tears streaming down my face. Everyone sat there like I had done this wonderful thing. That I would go back to my "old" life and be a normal straight "A" student again. Do you think the agency who "cared" about me so much when I was pregnant ever called to see how I was emotionally? HELL NO. They already had what they wanted from me and they didn't need me anymore. I got a few pictures from my son's adopters. I would also get VERY short letters, telling me how if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have been able to continue with school, how I wouldn't have been able to be a teenager, etc etc. Like they did me a favor. I sent my son an outfit when he was 3 months old. In response I recieved a note scribbled on a piece of torn paper that read: "DO NOT BUY HIM CLOTHES. WE are his PARENTS and WE buy his clothes." I knew then and there that the nice people who were so concerned about me when I was pregnant were nothing but liars. I knew that I had to walk on eggshells with these people. At that point in time I didn't realize that open adoptions were not legally binding. No one bothered to tell me that, and I was too naive to ask. The Internet wasn't very popular back then so it wasn't like I could've gone online and researced it on my own. I didn't find out that open adoptions weren't legally binding until I was about 20 years old.

Once I found out that open adoptions were not legally binding in most states I also found out that it was EXTREMELY common for adoptions to close. There are absolutely NO PROTECTIONS for natural mothers. For the first 3 years of my sons life I wrote to him yearly to request updates. They never once sent me an update on their own. After 3 years of hearing about how wonderful they were for relieving me of the burden of parenting I could not emotionally handle seeing me son or reading their "letters". I never received ANY counseling during or after the adoption. Everyone just assumed that I went back to "normal". No one cared enough to ask. I did not ask for any updates nor did I receive any from the time my son was 3-7.

When he was 7 years old I sent a letter requesting an update. Once again I recieved 2 pictures and a VERY short cold letter. I had the feeling in my gut that my son did not know he was adopted. They never once had asked me any questions. I figured that he either didn't know, or they weren't going to ask me anything if he was asking about me. The next year I wrote a letter and received no response. I contacted the agency who basically told me too bad shit happens. I wrote another letter practically begging them to not close the adoption and honor their agreement. No response.

Finally I decided that I'd had enough of playing by the rules. I called my son's adopter on the phone. I'm sure that I scared the piss out of her and I truly hope that I did. I'm not some 14 year old scared little girl any more. She confirmed what I suspected. My son at the age of 10 does not know that he is adopted. Just another lie they told me. She said they were sending letters it was the agency that wasn't forwarding them. Just one lie after another.

She again lied to me and told me they would send me an update. I sent her a letter directly to her house which included all of my information. My full name, address, phone number and email address. I made it so incredibly simple for her to honor their agreement. All she had to do was email me a picture. I would've been happy to just have her scraps. That was over a month ago, still no picture. I doubt I will ever get another one.

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