Monday, July 11, 2011

JAYCEE LEE DUGARD: Adoption as a form of Kidnapping

JAYCEE LEE DUGARD. One of the worst parts of her entire 18 years of captivity and rape was that he - Phillip Garrido - took away her name. Wouldn't let her say it or write it.  It was a harsh, painful punishment she was forced to endure. All carefully orchestrated to dehumanize her and make her a compliant slave.

And one of the most liberating was the day she got to say her own name - and see her mother again!

Anyone who does not see adoption as legalized kidnapping is deluding themselves. Even when absolutely necessary - as it rarely is - it is still for the adoptee a form of kidnapping - having been taken from their mother and having their name taken from them, yet knowing they exist...somewhere...

And, like a kidnap victim or any abuse victim, the adoptee lives in constant compliant fear that their life could be worse if they bite the hand that feeds them...

Like a kidnap victim, adoptees wonder: If my mother really did this because she loved me, why doesn't she come and find me?

And, yes, I said FEW adoptions are truly necessary. Few adopted children are truly orphans or were removed from truly abusive or dangerously neglectful homes because the children are removed mostly remain in foster care and worldwide 90% of the children in orphanages are not orphans; they have at least one living parent and other have extended family. many have family who visit and hope to be reunited as was the case with the two children adopted by Madonna. In many parts of the world impoverished families use orphanages for temporary care, for medical care, food or education they cannot otherwise afford but they have no concept of permanent adoption.

Poor women all over the world are lied to,tricked, told their children are going to America for an education and they believe they will be returned.

Domestically women in prior decades were lied to and told their children will be better off adopted; it was loving thing to do and they were given no alternative to do otherwise. Most could not go home unless they let their child go.

Today, mothers are told they can have their cake and eat it to! Complete school, go on with careers while their child is well cared for by loving people and they can visit and be like an big happy family. But for far too many it's a lie, and unenforceable lie. Legal, attorney drawn, notarized documents outlining contact agreements merely serve to lull one into a false sense of security.

But, even when absolutely necessary - names are taken away. Human beings are stripped naked of their identity, the thing most precious to anyone. The thing that makes you who you are, your very essence. Stripped of your past -- and most often it the placement was necessary children are old enough to remember their mothers and often have siblings they may or may not be with.

Adoption is legalized kidnapping. Some recipient-captors are kind and caring...maybe even most. But the child is captive nonetheless, stripped bare of his name and identity, her original family that (s)he knows exists....somewhere. Small wonder many adoptee tell of rescue fantasies.

For some (many? most?) mothers it is similar too as we are left to wonder if our children are well, alive, well cared for. We are lulled into thinking the best rather than the worst case scenario...and some of us even escape into denial or total acceptance of it having been for the best, as we too were victims of brainwashing...

For the most part it's all a big game of charades - of ignoring the very obvious elephant in the room while tripping over it, or even having it thrown up in your face. But you comply and play the game of pretense to keep the peace, much as families who live with any kind of abuse or addictions. It is that way for the adoptee and for mothers and their family of origins...My parents went to their death never wanting to talk about "it."

The big difference for mothers who lost children to adoption and mothers of kidnap victims is that we get no compassion, no support. In fact we get quite the opposite: contempt! We do what we are told is best and loving and the minute we do, we become unfit, monstrous ogres! At best, we may get solicitous praise and thanks for the "gift" we "gave."


Jasmine said...

Great, provocative and powerful analogy. I remember finding my original birth certificate and what it felt like to read my original first name, my birth mom named me, and my last name. It was like, "oh, this is who I am." Not that a name makes me who I am but it was a beginning, and it felt so good to know.

Anonymous said...

Jaycee said in a recent interview that while pregnant with her first child she feared she would have to give her child up for adoption because of her desperate situation. Those people also stripped Jaycee's two daughters of their true identity by hiding from them that Jaycee was their mother, not their sister (a common practice in "family" adoptions until the 1970s).

Imagine if welfare authorities had come across the family and not parole officers? It's entirely possible they would have removed those girls and left Jaycee there.

Mirah Riben said...

Excellent points. Thank you. The other side is that at least her two girls had her, even if they did not know her as their mother. They were not torn from their mother as she was.

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