Thursday, January 15, 2015

What the "experts" decided .....

In preparation for my (as yet unsuccessful) quest to have my adoption annulled, I decided to request a copy of the records from my second adoption, so I filled out the form, had it notarized, and mailed it off to the Department of Families and Children.  Soon afterwards, I received an e-mail from one of the employees of the "Adoption Search Unit" with the following information:

The application for adoption states the following:

[Grandfather], sole surviving legal guardian of [me], a minor child, desires to place said [me] for adoption with [uncle] and [uncle's wife].  And whereas [uncle] is the natural uncle of said child and thereby a blood relative descendent from a common ancestor not more than three generations removed from said child.  That the court approve a certain adoption agreement between [grandfather] the surviving legal guardian, [uncle] and [uncle's wife], the proposed adoptive parents of said child, to adopt said [me], which agreement is dated 12/28/67 at [city, state].

The record indicates that you were placed with maternal aunt and uncle on 11/9/67.  Your grandmother's burial per her death certificate was 11/6/67 in [cemetery] in [city, state].

The follow-up letter, which didn't provide much information beyond what I'd already learned.




Court Study

Family Relationships:

"[me] was adopted by maternal grandparents by a decree of the Probate Court in [county, state].  Upon maternal grandmother's death on 11/4/67, the [uncle and wife] sought to adopt the child.  The [uncle and wife]'s youngest son [S], is [me]'s natural brother who had been adopted by the [uncle and wife].  Initially, [me] was quite insecure when placed with her Aunt and Uncle.  She seemed to be a little bit bitter and diffident.  However, presently family feels [me] has adjusted quite well and is eager for adoption."  (Emphasis mine)

Child for Adoption:

"[me] is a fair complected, attractive girl, with a sturdy build.  She will be going into the 7th grade next year and has the ability to do good school work.  Last year her marks were B's and C's and it was felt that she should be doing better school work.  Prior to her placement with the [uncle and wife], [me] had always been in the care of her maternal grandparents, [grandfather and grandmother].  (First of all, it's untrue that I had always been in my grandparents' care -- I was 16 months old when I went to live with them.  Also, it wouldn't surprise me if the sturdy build, i.e. "chubby", comment came courtesy of my uncle's wife.)

Strengths/Weaknesses:

"All aspects of our investigation seem to indicate that [me]'s adoption by [uncle and wife] most certainly is in the child's best interest.  There appear to be no weaknesses".

No weaknesses?  What about my brother's serious, and on-going, psychiatric issues?  What about the Down Syndrome child shipped off to a state institution?  What about the obvious emotional instability of my uncle's wife?  How about the fact that my uncle and his wife had never obtained counseling for me, despite the fact that I was still grieving and obviously depressed.  My emotional state was certainly a factor in my grades being "too low."  However, I was expected to apparently simply forget the trauma, pretend I wasn't hurting, and just move on with my life.

None of that, apparently, was deemed important.

Also unimportant was how *I* felt about being adopted.  Noticeably absent from the report is any mention of what I wanted.  There's absolutely nothing in the adoption file to indicate that anyone ever talked to me about the situation, which confirms what I was certain I remembered.  It's true that I was bitter -- and not just a little bit, but I had absolutely NOT adjusted well, nor was I eager to be adopted.  I would gladly have told that to a social worker -- had anyone bothered to ask.