I knew that I could expect criticism for publishing the book (upcoming posts on That’s not yours to tell! and You’re generalizing, so everything you say is invalidated… will be available as soon as they’ve been cleaned up). I didn’t expect to be criticized by other adoptive parents for getting out of my lane.
Let me say more about that: I’ve heard from 3 other parents that it was wrong to do what’s described in the book. That our children will remain adoptees all their lives, and as they become adults have the right to make their own choices about when, whether and how to search. Therefore adoptive parents should simply accept at face value whatever the adoptee says s/he wants.
I’m sure that adults raised in closed adoptions have diverse opinions on what their a-parents ought to have done, and some of those folks probably do feel strongly that search is always the adoptee’s prerogative. Agreed.
But what are the obligations of adoptive parents who have been notified later that their adopted child’s history might be retrievable? That it’s not completely impossible, only highly unlikely? The difference between ‘we don’t know’ and ‘we didn’t look under every rock’ is a profound one, I think. (Obviously.)
So I did what was in front of me, and don’t regret it. Did this journey add complications to our family life? Apparently. But those complications were there all along, they were just hidden from the adoptee and her parents.