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A good article on Late Discovery and the consequences thereof

Ron brought this Guardian article about Late Discovery Adoptees to my attention. Interviews with LDAs and this secretive side of adoption rarely gets the attention such deserve.

Adopted – but we didn’t know

Here’s a brief  segment:

“I was at my uncle’s funeral when my cousin’s husband wandered up to me and said, ‘I’ve been wanting to meet you, because we’re both adopted.’ It was a huge shock – how could it not be? On the other hand, I had an instant explanation as to why I’d always felt like a square peg in a round hole when it came to my family.

“I once said to my mother, ‘I’ve always felt like I was found on a doorstep.’ She got terribly upset, and I later learned that was the point at which she confided in my cousin’s husband. She chose him because he’s a vicar. She assumed he’d keep it to himself.

“My mother had died by the time I found out the truth, but my father hadn’t, so I asked him about it. He was an unpleasant man and simply said, ‘Well, nobody else would have you.’ I threw a cup of tea at him, said that at least it meant I wasn’t related to him and we never spoke again.

“Was I angry? Of course I was. I had been advised not to have children because my mother and brother had both had severe diabetes and had gone blind and died early. To learn I wasn’t blood-related to them means I made an enormous decision based on fiction.

While some Bastards are aware of their adopted status and often have lies told to them about their early days, others, untold of the basic historical realities of their own lives, are forced by default to base their decisions and lives over the course of decades around fictions, lies, and secrets. Others never learn the truth.  All of which can have devastating and far reaching implications and consequences.

Oftentimes the anger in the aftermath of such revelations of those decades worth of lies is overlooked, re-framed as if such were merely a purely “personal problem” (as opposed to a natural consequence of the broader system that often encouraged keeping the truth from the people most directly affected) or simply outright glossed over. I thought the article did a good job of acknowledging the (fully justified) anger that can accompany such revelations.

Adoption has often meant relationships rooted in lies. The hidden nature of such keeps vital information from the very people it pertains to themselves.

This is why Bastard Nation uses the simple chant:

Are you adopted? Are you sure?

Adoption is a hidden legacy (often associated with shame) within many families, sometimes without ever being acknowledged or brought to the light of day.

For further LDA resources, see Ron’s page and mailing list. (Always linked in my sidebar.)

Ron and other LDAs are doing important work. They have a very great deal to say about adoption and the long term genuine needs of adopted people.

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