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Adoption search is a complex topic. There are so many things that can happen during or at the end of a search that it boggles the mind.

Adoptees in search of birth families seem to have the best track record. Since they have access to non-identifying information, they have an advantage over birth family members. Their adoptive parents may also have information, even identifying information, concerning their family of origin. All of this can be extremely helpful in a search.

At the end of an adoptee’s search, the situation can go in different ways. They can find a birthmother or other birthfamily member that welcomes them with open arms. This is the happy ending that most adoptees hope for. Unfortunately, adoptees can find that their birth family (usually their birthmother) wants nothing to do with them. This is most often due to the fact that the birthmom has never confided to anyone about the child that she gave up, and years down the road, after keeping the secret for decades, they are afraid to tell the truth. This is a sad situation, but is not uncommon. Adoptees can also find at the end of their search that their birthmother is deceased. There may still be siblings who welcome them, but not all birthmoms go on to have other children, or tell the children they have about “their secret”.

A birthmother searching is more complicated. Since they are usually not entitled to non-identifying information, they often have a lot less information to use when searching. Some states have birth indexes which help in searches, but access to a birth index depends on the state in which the child was born. Birthmoms often have to bite the bullet, and pay a professional searcher to find their child. The end of a birthmom search is more up in the air than an adoptee search. Birthmothers are rejected by adoptees far more often than adoptees are rejected by birthmoms. A complicating factor for birthmoms is that once they’ve found their child, the adoptive parents may feel threatened by them, and when this happens, it usually prevents any kind of a relationship from happening, sadly.

More and more often over the last few years, I’ve seen adoptive parents helping their kids to search. These kinds of searches have the best chance of a happy ending, since the searcher has the support of their parents in their search. I’ve seen a number of wonderful reunions that came about when adoptive parents helped their children to search. When everyone is involved, and adoptive family, birthfamily and adoptee all come together as an extended family, wonderful things happen.

The most important thing for any searcher to remember is that you never know what you’ll find at the end of your search, and you need to be as prepared as possible for any eventuality.

If you are currently searching, and are feeling stressed, why not try a little EFT to rid yourself of the stress?

Setup Statement:
Even though I am really scared about what I may find at the end of my search, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Reminder Phrases:
This fear, what will I find?, this fear, searching is scary, I choose to transform this fear, into an energy of healing, I choose to release negative feelings, and embrace positive feelings.

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Anger — we all feel it, but not many people find it acceptable. When we were children, most of us were encouraged not to show our anger, and we carried that habit over into adulthood. We get angry about all kinds of things, but we’ve learned over time how to “stuff those feelings down”. Maybe we smoke a cigarette, maybe we have a drink, or maybe we go around the block until we’ve walked it off, but we seldom let others see or know that we’re angry.

There is lots of anger in the adoption triad. We’ve got angry adoptees, angry birthmothers and angry adoptive parents. To each of us, our anger feel justified, and it may be.

Adoptees are often angry because they feel that they’ve been abandoned. In their minds, their birthmother saw them as an inconvenience, and it was far easier to let somebody else raise their child than to raise it themselves. Very seldom is this actually true, but lots of adoptees feel this way.

Other adoptees are angry that they have been, as they see it, victimized by the adoption community. The decision about where and how they would live their lives was made by others, and even as adults they’re not allowed to know about their families of origin. This is an anger that I feel is well justified, and I’d like to think that at some point the system will be reformed so that adult adoptees can always find out where they came from. Everyone deserves that right.

Birthmothers have their share of anger. Many are angry at their families and “the system” for forcing them to relinquish children that they didn’t want to give up. That anger is intensified by the fact that birthmoms are not expected to or encouraged to express grief over the loss of their child, but are instead told to “forget it and move on”.

Birthmothers have virtually no rights when it comes to getting non-identifying information so that they can find their children. That makes it mighty hard for a birthmom to search and find. This is still another reason (again, justified) for anger on the part of birthmoms.

Adoptive parents feel that they have plenty to be angry about, too. Many get angry at their children if they decide to search for their birthfamily. They feel betrayed, theatened, or just plain jealous, and therefore they are angry. Some are also angry at birth family members who have found their children. These parents harbor the feeling that once relinquishment papers are signed, a birth parent has given up any right to ever know the child.

So much anger, for so many reasons… Anger is usually an uncomfortable thing to deal with, and we end up with guilt on top of that anger. EFT is the most effective method that I’ve ever found for dealing with anger. Once you zero in on an incident that made you angry, and tap through 2 or 3 rounds, the anger is often totally gone, and you are left with a feeling of peace and calmness that is far more pleasant than anger.

Why not give EFT a try for your anger? Five minutes of tapping might just give you the relief that you’ve been hoping for.

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The quick answer to this question in most cases is NO!

Abandonment is a fairly common issue for adoptees. Even though the logical part of their brain may recognize that they weren’t actually abandoned, that baby who lost his/her mother so very early feels abandoned anyway.

Many birthmothers, particularly those of more mature adoptees, really didn’t have options as far as keeping their child. Family and societal pressures forced them to relinquish their child, even though for many of them it was one of the most traumatic events of their life.

Mothers of younger adoptees may have had options, but may have also realized that a child raising a child is not a good idea, and you can’t offer that child the best life if you can’t even take care of yourself.

It’s important for adoptees to realize that the vast majority of birthmoms carry emotional scars for a lifetime after losing a child to adoption. You don’t carry a child in your womb for 9 months, and then just put it out of your mind. Birthmothers never forget the children that they lose.

This is not to say that there aren’t some women who willingly give up children and don’t look back, but for most birthmothers, they carry their child in their heart for a lifetime, whether or not they ever carried that child in their arms.

For adoptees with abandonment issues, please know that EFT can give you tremendous relief from any pain and anger that you may be feeling, and can lead you to a place of peace in your heart.

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My child was born in the ’60s. It’s a very different world today, where children conceived outside of marriage are not a shameful thing. Back when my son was born, though, there was a terrible stigma to becoming pregnant if you weren’t married.

In addition to the stigma of a pregnancy if you were unwed, there was the fact that birthmoms at that time didn’t have options, as they do today. Back then, you had 2 choices — to surrender your child for adoption so that (in the words of social workers) they could have a good life and loving 2 parent family, or to keep and raise your child, with everyone looking down their nose at you and judging you. Not much of a choice. (Just to clarify, abortion was not yet legal in the U.S.)

Birthmoms at that time were often treated badly. They often weren’t allowed to see their babies when they gave birth. Sometimes they weren’t even told the sex of their child. Their rights weren’t explained to them, what few they had. Many were forced to sign relinquishment papers when they had barely recovered from the delivery of their child. All in all, it was a very bad time to have a child out of wedlock.

Even within our own families we were shamed. Many birthmoms were sent away to live in unwed mothers homes until the birth of their child, because their family didn’t want anyone to know they were pregnant. My own mother told me that I humiliated her in front of every relative, friend and neighbor she had. What I had done was unthinkable to her.

I think that it’s important for the adult adoptees of today to understand how their biological mothers may have been treated, and what it was like for them. Shame that deep seated is not something that you get over. You carry it with you for a lifetime.

I have personally dealt with a number of birthmoms who refused to acknowledge a son or daughter that found them because they had NEVER in their lives told a single soul about the child they gave up for adoption. It’s not about them not wanting to know that child; it all about not being able to face and deal with the shame of their past.

Searching adoptees, please keep in mind that this could be your birthmother. Maybe, hopefully, she might have been treated better, but that shame from the past still can have a powerful impact on us today, and for many birthmothers, it does.

Birthmoms, please know that EFT can help with this shame, and I am living proof of that.

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At some point in time for every adoptee or birthmother who chooses to search, this becomes the big question. Am I good enough? Do I have a good enough job, make enough money, have a successful enough career, and on and on. Whether you want to go to this place or not, you can’t help it — you’ll end up there sooner or later.

Adoptees think about their birthmoms and worry. If she went on to have other children, will she favor them? Will I be good enough? Will I be too fat, too thin, too tall, too short? What does she expect of me?

The fact is that for most birthmoms, they have no particular expectations. They just want to get to know YOU, no matter how you look, no matter what level your education, no matter what kind of job you have. It’s pretty hard to disappoint a birthmom when it comes to a found son or daughter.

Adoptees also think about birth siblings they may have. Will they accept me? Will they like me? Will I be able to be a real sister or brother? Birth siblings are a bit harder to predict. Many are thrilled to connect with a long lost sibling, but the reality is that there are some who are jealous, or who want nothing to do with you. This is a part f searching that you have to be ready for. Acceptance is wonderful, but not everyone has a happy ending.

Birthmoms worry in the same way that adoptees do. The truth is that they have more to worry about. I know far more birthmoms who were rejected by their found kids than I do adoptees who were rejected by their birthmoms. If, however, you are fortunate enough to be accepted by the child you find, they probably won’t have a lot of expectations to live up to. They’ll probably be glad just to get to know you, and maybe to have you in their life. Chances are they won’t give a darn about what kind of job you have, where you live, or what kind of clothes you wear.

Adoption search is always a crap shoot. I’m being honest here, because you never know what you’ll find at the end of the road. If, however, you don’t have the courage to take that road, you’ll never know whether or not you can have a happy ending.

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Over the last 16 years I’ve worked with lots of adoptees. One things I’ve found is that whether they’re happy and well adjusted or filled with angst, somewhere inside them there is often a deep well of guilt. For many adoptees, they may not even be consciously aware of that guilt, but it’s there.

Separation from one’s biological mother is traumatic. Adoptees have spent 9 months bonding with their mother, whether they remember it or not. They know her in the most intimate sense that one person can know another. Birth in itself is traumatic, and suddenly the adoptee is separated from the only person they’ve ever known. More trauma.

One of the problems with this is that the trauma of birth and separation is often not acknowledged. People don’t expect an adoptee to grieve for his or her birthmother. Yet the grief is there.

Now we come to the guilt. As an adoptee grows old enough to fully understand what their life journey has been, and possibly starts to feel some grief, what kicks in immediately behind that is the guilt — guilt that they shouldn’t be feeling that way, guilt that they have a good life and should be grateful for it, guilt that they could hurt their adoptive parents by trying to express any of this.

Adoptee support groups are a wonderful thing for dealing with this issue. Speaking adoptee to adoptee, you know that you understand each other, because you’re both walking the walk.

EFT is also a wonderful thing for dealing with any kind of adoption related trauma. There is a lot you can do when tapping on your own. I have an ebook, free for download, on my website, if you’d like to try to do some tapping on these issues. The ebook can be downloaded from No More Adoption Pain.

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