A recent news story points to one of most painful aspects of adoption.
Jayni Anderson had a baby girl named Sarah Maire in 1979 and surrendered the newborn to adoption.
Like all mothers who endure the heartache of relinquishment, Jayni never forgot her baby girl and wondered if she was well and well cared for. Whenever she inquired at the LDS agency in Utah who handled the adoption, she was assured that her daughter was "fine."
Anderson, now 50, and still concerned, and imagining her daughter at every age...wondering if she was happy and healthy and wanting to make herself if her daughter were to seek her out...
recently reported an address change to the LDS Family Services.
It was then she was informed that her beloved Sarah Marie had died of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - twenty eight years ago, at the age of six months.
As if the pain of loosing a child to adoption is not torture enough, this mother had to have insult added to injury by being lied to for all those years and being allowed to think of her daughter growing up.
When Anderson asked, "Why didn't you tell me earlier?" she said she was simply told, "That's a good question."
And it doesn't end there. She has not bean able to determine if she had been adopted or not before she passed away, and doe snot know where her beloved is buried.
"I don't want this to happen to someone else," said Anderson owho is seeking a change in the laws regarding notification. "Adoption hurts, and it stays with you. But you take heart knowing your child is going to a good home, and you trust the adoption agency. That trust was violated."
No state requires adoption agencies or private adoption practitioners to keep contact with birth parents after relinquishment in the event of death or a failed adoption.
Anderson said she would have opted for an open adoption, had that been available 28 years ag, although there is no enforcement to guarantee that such arrangements are adhered to.
To complicate matters further, Utah legislators recently changed state law to allow for adoptions to be finalized posthumously, but the law applies only to adoptions after May 2006.
This legislation makes a bad situation worse and is a travesty of justice. It serves no purpose whatsoever except to be unnecessarily cruel in denying the mother of the child any semblance of human decency.
Anderson subsequently surrendered a toddler son, in 1980 and another boy, a newborn, in 1981. Her request that the brothers be placed together was denied. "I asked her if my boys could live with their sister, but she said, 'No, the parents moved back East'."
Now she is left to wonder about their well0being far more than ever before...she and every other mother who has lost a child to adoption...
The opposition to opening adoption records for those to whom they apply, is hyped by the NCFA - the lobby for adoption agencies, particularly LSD agencies - as being a detriment to mothers relinquishing and opting for abortions instead. This case points out clearly how directly opposed to reality that lobbying propaganda is. Mothers who read this will be far less likely to relinquish knowing that this could happen to them..be told lies by their adoption agency and not even allowed to properly grieve their child's death or put a flower on a grave.
OriginsUSA has reached out to Jayni to offer her condolences and support as she deals with this tragedy.
We support her efforts to change unjust laws regarding notification to mothers in the event of death or adoption temrination or disruption. We advocate First Right of Refusal in the case of adoption failure - meaning the mother, and father, should be notified and should be the first choice, if they are now capable and willing to parent, before another stranger placement is sought.