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Over the last 20 years, many birthmoms have come out of the “birthmom closet” and talked about their pasts. Many have searched for the children that they lost to adoption, and many have reunited. These are women who have dealt with the past in one way or another and moved on.

Unfortunately, there are still many women who refuse to acknowledge what they went through, and who have kept it a secret all of their lives. For these women, the child they bore and gave up becomes THE secret.

Many of the women who worked so hard at keeping their secret have not even shared with their husband that they had a child that was relinquished. Nobody in their life knows what happened but them.

That is a huge secret to carry for such a long time, and the weight of it must be enormous. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to keep a secret like that from the entire world.

For this group of birthmothers, they live in fear of being found by the children that they gave up. They are terrified of a knock at the door or a phone call that will result in their secret being revealed.

How could you possibly explain to a husband of 25 or 30 years why you never shared the fact that you had a child before you married them? These women are scared to death that their marriages and family lives will be put on the line if their child shows up.

I worked with an adoptee who searched for her birthmother for years. She finally found her and made contact and was told that she could never have a relationship because her very existence was a deep, dark secret.

The situation was devastating to the adoptee, but it couldn’t have been easy for the birthmom either. She HAD to want to know her daughter, but didn’t dare let her into her life.

Historically, one of the biggest problems in adoption has been the secrecy. Sealed records make adoptees and birthmothers alike feel like there is something to hide, otherwise why would the records be sealed?

For so many years birthmoms were actually encouraged to keep their experience a secret. That may not be the case today, but there are still many thousands of birthmoms keeping their secrets, because they don’t know any other way to handle what happened to them.

I look forward to a time when most adoptions will be open, all parties concerned with be honest and forthright with each other, and respect will be accorded to all parties. The secrets of adoption need to be left behind.


I did a session with a birthmom today that left me with a lot on my mind. She gave up son up in what was supposed to be an open adoption, but the agency refused to commit anything about that to paper. Even though the birthmom spoke with the adoptive parents and they agreed to regular visits, pictures and ongoing contact, there was nothing to prove that they had made that commitment.

In point of fact, the adoptive parents refused this birthmom contact with her son for 18 years. Only when he was old enough to start making his own decisions did she get to see him.

This birthmom was very angry, and felt betrayed. How could she feel anything but betrayed, under the circumstances? An agreement had been made in good faith (at least on the part of the birthmom) and years down the road she was still feeling like the system had completely let her down. And it had!

I have no answers here. I’m just railing against a system that treats people the way our current system does. Nobody has a right to treat another person the way the birthmom I worked with was treated, and the way the many other birthmoms through the years have been treated.

Feeling betrayed by the system? This may help:


  • Even though I feel angry about having been betrayed by the entire adoption system, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though I was lied to and misled by the adoptive parents and the adoption agency and that makes me angry, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.
  • Even though I was betrayed by a system that only cared about my child, and not about me, and that makes me really angry, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself, and I hold myself in kindness and compassion.


  • I’m so angry
  • And I feel betrayed
  • The agency lied to me
  • The adoptive parents lied to me
  • Nobody cared about me
  • They only cared about my baby
  • And that makes me angry
  • And feeling very betrayed
  • I’m so angry
  • But maybe I can start to let go of that
  • I feel so betrayed
  • But maybe I can work on that
  • I was lied to
  • But maybe I can put that behind me
  • I was betrayed and that hurts
  • But I need to move on
  • So much anger
  • So many feelings of betrayal
  • But I choose to start working
  • On releasing those feelings
  • Letting go of the anger
  • Letting go of the betrayal
  • Letting those feelings drain away
  • And replacing them with an energy of healing.

And to all you birthmoms who have been through this kind of painful experience, I wish you healing and peace on your journey.