Is Adoption The Problem OR is Relinquishment The Problem?

I received a comment on the How Does It Feel To Be Adopted? page a few days ago. I had shared a post from my friend & fellow adoptee Anne Heffron and someone commented,

“Is Adoption the problem – or – relinquishment? Think about it, please.”


I feel this comment was probably made by an adoptive parent, but I can’t 100% guarantee it. Adotpee’s don’t usually say things like that. We understand the dynamics of how it feels to be adopted. After my friend shares a blog post sharing her pain someone  felt the need to negate her real raw feelings and flip the coin and make it something totally different than what it really is.

This is what inspired this blog post.

RELINQUISHMENT = To renounce or surrender, a possession, right, etc. To give up; put aside or desist from; to relinquish a plan. To let go; to release; to relinquish one’s hold. Relinquishment is voluntary consent to the termination of one’s parental rights to a child.

ADOPTION = To choose or take as one’s own; to take and rear as one’s own child, specifically by a formal legal act. Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, from the biological parent or parents.

I think there are many people out there who would like to think adoptees have complex issues because of the relinquishment, but they couldn’t  possibly have all these issues with the adoption, right?

I mean what is there to fuss about, really?

Let’s talk about “RELINQUISHMENT”

For those of us who have done the research, and/or who have lived with being adopted most of us know that every time a mother and a child is separated a trauma occurs.  See The Adopted Child: Trauma and It’s Impact. and Nancy Verrier’s Website. Pick up a copy of The Primal Wound. Do the research yourself and you will see RELINQUISHMENT has it’s own set of issues.  For adoptees who might be reading this, you might not even understand that many of your issues could very well be linked to being adopted.

The only way I was able to come to a place of understanding about myself and my issues was to do the work in researching trauma from relinquishment, attachment disorder, addiction in adoptees, abandonment & rejection issues, separation of mother and baby, prenatal bonding and what happens when that bond is broken with the woman who carried us for 9 months. I researched postnatal bonding issues,  Complex-PTSD, Reactive Detachment Disorder, disenfranchised grief & loss for adoptees. Many of us struggle with depression, low self-esteem, worthlessness, anxiety and fear of being abandoned again. We have unwantedness attached to us because when our own families didn’t want us who else would want us? The list could go on and on. It’s taken me years to research all these areas, but each time I did it was “Aha” moments back to back.

If you are reading this I challenge you to do the same.

As well as researching all these areas, I started connecting with other adoptees online and I realized I’m not alone. RELINQUISHMENT has some severe issues attached to it and the relinquishment happens before the child is ever adopted. This is why I think many in adoption land want to think relinquishment is the problem, not the adoption. Please keep reading. Some of these issues are life and death for many of us adoptees.

Another avenue I explored is researching how birth mothers felt before and after relinquishment. I wanted to take myself from my shoes and put myself in hers so I could TRY to gain empathy and understanding of what she went through. This helped me with my healing and forgiveness towards her. I would be blind to not take these things into consideration while researching all the dynamics of relinquishment & adoption.

I could go into detail about each area listed above but it would take me all day to describe all the issues attached to each of these areas. If you do the research and read adult adoptee blogs you will be able to connect the dots yourself and see how relinquishment impacts us.

When I share in my writings I’m not speaking for all adoptees. I’m speaking from a place of my own experience and the fact I’m in contact with hundreds of adoptees all over the world and our stories line up with more similarities than you could ever imagine. I founded the “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted” Facebook page, as well as the “Ask An Adoptee” Facebook page. I see thousands of comments weekly from adoptees who are sharing the same stories in different context. I can’t UN KNOW what I know. I can’t turn a blind eye to all the heartache and pain that adoptees share on these pages.

Let’s talk about “ADOPTION”

The word “ADOPTION” is simply a cover up for the REALITY and TRUTH of what adoption really is. The WORD ADOPTION is glamorized in the world, agencies, churches, the institutions, etc and glossed over to be highlighted as something “Wonderful”. The truth is rarely recognized by the world, and the adoptee lives with the truth deep inside our entire lives. One day the fog will start to lift and the word “ADOPTION” isn’t seen as something wonderful, but it’s replaced with the reality and TRUTH of what adoption really is to us, the adoptee.

Some of us are hit with this reality sooner than the others, but it usually comes out in certain places of our lives, and sometimes we don’t even know our issues are tied to being adopted, but most of the time they are. They are intertwined, tight and deep in our souls. I’ve done the research and I know hundreds of adoptees all over the world who all agree, adoption has impacted every area of our lives.

For the adoptee, if we are going to be truthful adoption is rooted and grounded in loss & trauma. Loss of our identity, medical history, genetic mirroring, ancestry, relationships, memories, connection to our roots, and the list could go on. The word ADOPTION is simply a cover up for all our pain. If the world removed the word, and took a look at what it costs for adoptees to be adopted, they would recognize our trauma, grief and loss much earlier on so we would get help much sooner. They would ACKNOWLEDGE we have every right to feel the way we do.

The WORD ADOPTION is filled with secrecy, lies, hidden agendas, corruption, and put in place to simply avoid the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH.  Half-truths seem to spin webs of lies in the adoption industry, and this causes many issues when adoptees search for their truth.

Adoption causes countless issues for adoptees and we are talking about things that happen AFTER relinquishment takes place. We’re handed over the genetic strangers, whom we share no DNA with. We don’t mirror anyone. Expectations are set HIGH as to how we are supposed to be, depending on what our adoptive parents have in mind for the child they want. We come with countless differences than the adoptive family we are raised in, yet many times our differences are dismissed because it might not line up with what our adopters want. We don’t blend in, yet we’re expected to act as if we do. Our feelings are silenced with sentiments of gratitude for our adoptive parents for “Saving Us” from the life we would have had before being adopted. We’re expected to be grateful someone wanted us when our own biological families didn’t want us. We never become NOT ADOPTED and these negative impacts are things that reoccur at different times in our lives. Our trigger list are a mile long, holidays and birthdays never stop coming. Searching is a daunting task filled with highs and lows, followed for some of us reunions that bring the same impact.



Many times our adoptive parents greatest joy is a result of our biggest loss. How do we disappoint them and let them know how we really feel?

We don’t…

This leads to internalized feelings of shame, guilt, grief, loss, trauma, abandonment and rejection issues. As children we learn to internalize everything and all our pain stays deep inside until we reach adult hood. Many of us start acting out in our teen years because our hormones are raging, and we have no healing outlet or tools to work through our issues. Anger, rage, anxiety, depression are all issues adoptees face AFTER RELINQUISHMENT. 

If anyone wants to read up on the statistics of adoptees over populating the prisons, jails, treatment facilities there is a lot of information out there. Adoptees are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees. Here are a few articles to read.

Toward Preventing Adoption Related Suicide By Mirah Riben

We Need To Talk About Adoptee Suicide By Angela Barra

Keep in mind these issues happen AFTER THE RELINQUISHMENT…

Adoptees can have the most wonderful adoptive parents and adoptive homes and many times still have severe issues. Help is lacking for adoptees, and therapist seem to be oblivious to the fact that ADOPTION is the ROOT cause of most of our issues. Adoptive parents are not prepared to handle all our issues and most of the time the adoption industry hides the TRUTH about what adoptees face, because they are in denial themselves and because adoption is a multi-billion dollar industry. Selling babies is their paycheck. That’s the TRUTH.

I’m not saying adoption is 100% the ONLY issue but it is the root cause of many areas of our struggles. The sad part is adoptees most of the time don’t even understand adoption has played such a significant role in all these areas. When they finally figure it out is when the connect with other adoptees. Then and only then do they know they aren’t alone in feeling the way they do.

Don’t think for a moment we haven’t already thought about THIS. We wake up with the realities of adoption and go to bed with them. We can try to escape this TRUTH but it’s part of who we are. What I would like to ask the readers to do is THINK ABOUT listening to adult adoptees next time they share their heart with you. THINK ABOUT acknowledging their pain when they share their pain. THINK ABOUT the reality to this thing is a reality you really can’t understand because you aren’t adopted. THINK ABOUT gaining the WILLINGNESS to want to learn and try to understand adult adoptees. THINK ABOUT reading adult adoptee Blogs and Adoptee Stories.

We’re the ones who have lived being adopted, yet we’re the most silenced in the adoption equation.

So here you see, ADOPTION & RELINQUISHMENT are very much intertwined in the fabric of an adoptees experience. To say one or the other hasn’t impacted us is not acknowledging a very critical part of our stories. ADOPTION comes with it’s own set of issues and so does RELINQUISHMENT. TOGETHER they make life extremely difficult for adoptees, especially when non-adoptees want to assume the issue is really with relinquishment and adoption is just a wonderful thing!

I haven’t even talked about adoptees who have HORRIBLE adoption experiences piled on top of relinquishment. I haven’t mentioned adoptees who have had HORRIBLE reunions on top of HORRIBLE adoptions. For us, it’s a life sentence filled with grief, loss, trauma and no acknowledgement in the real world from most non-adoptees that we should have any issues at all with adoption or relinquishment which is a trauma in itself. How would you feel if you had cancer and the world all around you celebrated that cancer? Well that’s how adoption is for us.

The world has no problems GLORIFYING the act of ADOPTION, yet the FAIL time and time again to address the real root issues of what adoptees experience before and after the adoption takes place.

This is a HUGE part of why the adoptee attempted suicide rate is 4x more likely than non-adoptees. This is why I keep writing. This is why many adoptees keep sharing. We have a moral obligation to think of our brothers and sisters who are adopted and who are stuck in a hopeless and helpless place.

If you are a non-adoptee reading, or someone who is impacted by adoption in some way please understand RELINQUISHMENT and ADOPTION go hand in hand with their own set of issues. ADOPTION is simply a WORD that masks the TRUTH of what ADOPTION really for adoptees. The SOONER we can remove this glorified word and be HONEST about what the realities are THE SOONER ADOPTEES will begin to share their real raw feelings of the damage adoption has caused, and the sooner they will begin to heal.

Half-truths, secrecy and lies stall our healing.

Hopefully this cleared up some confusion regarding adoption, relinquishment and how both of these areas impact adoptees. Please never think for a moment we aren’t already THINKING about these things. We think of them every single day all day long. I challenge the non-adoptees reading to THINK about learning from adult adoptees. We have lived adoption. We hold the most valuable experiences, yet for many years we have been silenced by the world.

Not today.

Today I share.

Today WE share.


Thanks for reading!


Pamela believes all adoptees deserve to know their truth. She writes, blogs, and she reaches out to other adoptees so they know they aren’t alone. Thanks for reading Pamela’s blog and please let her know you were here.


Pamela Karanova, Lexington, KY

You can look her up by email


Twitter: @pamelakaranova

Article About Pamela Featured on

Adoptee in Recovery Blog Post Featured on Huffington Post

Pamela Was Nominated for the Best Articles for Adoptees 2015 Check this link out!



We’ve heard it all for centuries, especially in the adoption community.



Well I’m here to express my desire to not only have love but my truth. Love wasn’t all I needed.

I needed my truth


Yes, you guessed it. I’m an adult adoptee who has grown into my own woman. I have developed my own opinion, and I have been on a healing journey for 3 years now, attempting to heal from the lifelong struggles being adopted have brought my way. When I was growing up you weren’t supposed to talk about it. The less adoptive parents talked about it the better. Well, that was probably the worst advice that could have ever been given to adoptive parents.


I don’t have to be quiet, because it’s not a secret anymore. It might have been in the 1970’s but those days are over.

John 8:32 Says, “We shall know our TRUTH, and our TRUTH shall set us free”.

This scripture is what I stand on for all adoptees all over the world that are fighting to find their truths.

Love is good. Love is great.  Love isn’t everything. Love definitely wins. But Love isn’t all I needed.

I believe all adoptees are different. Some are perfectly content with not knowing who they look like or where they come from. They don’t need to know their answers. A lot of times adoptive parents come to me and say, “Jonny is fine with being adopted, I ask him how he feels and he says “Fine”, and he never brings it up. He appears to be happy.”

I think parents, adopted or not naturally want to protect their kids. I find this to come natural as a parent of 3 children. I would never want my poor kid’s hearts broken, but the truth is when you adopt a child, you adopt their broken, tainted, tore history while you adopt them. You also adopt the beautiful history some of us have.  It’s a part of them. I believe when you adopt a child, you have to accept this as a part of the child, and learn that there will be a day that child will start asking questions about their first family. They deserve to know their truth.

If LOVE was all I needed I would have been in great shape growing up. I believe with my entire heart that my adoptive parents and family LOVED me with everything they knew how. I have always been closer to my adoptive dad, yet he has always been so far away. But he’s been amazing. His wife, my step mother of over 35 years has also loved me the best way she knew how. We’ve all had a roller coaster ride over the years, but at the end of the day I know they have loved me, and they haven’t lied to me to gain anything. I respect them for that.

I still needed all the answers to my history. I needed my truth. I needed to know who my siblings were. I wanted to meet my biological grandparents. I have searched for every clue to WHO I AM and learned that I’m not like anyone of them! I’m the child God created me to be, but I needed to know and see this for myself. I needed to make the choices on my own, without everyone telling me and making the choice for me.

Saying “Love is all we need” is like putting a band-aide on our wounds. They are still deep down there and will surface as root issues later on in life.



I experienced failed reunions and rejection from both birth parents, yet I am happy every day I got one AMAZING brother out of the deal, and his AWESOME siblings have accepted me as their own.  I will always be grateful for them, and their relationships. ALTHOUGH THE TRUTH HURT, I WOULD RATHER KNOW IT, ACCEPT IT, AND BE ABLE TO HEAL THROUGH JESUS AND MOVE FORWARD WITH MY LIFE!!!!

We can’t heal if we don’t know our truth.

If I can share something with all my fellow adoptees out there, I would like to say to never give up hope in finding your truth and as much as it hurts to say, be prepared for anything. Most of the time relinquishment isn’t a “Pretty Story”.  I most certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from searching, but reach out to another adoptee that can pray for you, or help walk you through the emotions of the reunion and search experience.

My reunion doesn’t define me. My biological parents don’t define me. My adoptive parents don’t define me. My history doesn’t define me.

They are indeed a part of my Her [Story] – History! 


I learned I’m really not like anyone, yet God made me (and YOU) special and unique in his own way. After learning what I know about my birth parents, TODAY I’m extremely thankful I’m not like any of them. The difference is, I know JESUS and neither of them did/do. I have his peace. I don’t have to drink today to handle these emotions, and the pain that goes along with this journey. Being adopted is a lifelong thing, it doesn’t just go away. This is something I will be working through for the rest of my life.


But LOVE isn’t all I needed.

I needed my TRUTH

I thank GOD today, I’m no longer fighting for my truth.

How do my fellow adoptees feel?

Is love all you need?

Pamela A. Karanova,

Adult Adoptee Reunited

Please read “About” section of both pages

Twitter: @pamelakaranova<– FOLLOW ME!

Photo By: Salvatore Vuono

Pamela Karanova: Welcoming the REAL TRUE ME!

I’m coming out of the anonymous ADOPTEE CLOSET!

Yesterday was a BIG day for me!

For those that don’t know, I’ve always blogged under an Alias. My reason is because I have never wanted to hurt my adoptive family, or biological family’s feelings by sharing my truth.

Let’s just face the facts. Growing up in a closed adoption is everything  but normal!

I’ve been working through my second step study in Celebrate Recovery, a ministry I’m very involved in. Through this ministry God has moved mountains in my life! I’ve been able to work through some deep rooted things I thought I was going to take to my grave. But God had other plans for me. I don’t know what I would do without my step study sisters! They are amazing and they have helped me so much.

By working through these “things” I’ve been given a new confidence about myself. I’ve been given more of God’s grace to work through my issues. I’ve been able to feel strong enough that I don’t have to hide behind an alias anymore. This is a PRETTY FREEING FEELING!

Ever since I’ve been sharing my adoptee feelings, I’ve basically been living a double life. “Pamela Jones” was the adult adoptee, hurt, broken, angry, and very wounded from her adoptee experience. Pamela is my adoptive first name. Jones was the “Pen Name” I chose. I picked Jones because it was my biological father’s last name. His rights were stolen in the 70’s and my birth mother signed me over, without his consent. I have always had a strong disliking for my adoptive last name, it just never fit me. It actually despised it. It linked me to a whole lot of pain growing up. As I chose “Jones” to write under, it had a nice ring to it. It was my TRUE last name, but there is one problem. My birth father never accepted me as his so why would I really want his last name? It worked for 3 years. I hid behind it for 3 years. I made a lot of adult adoptee friends behind “Pamela Jones”, hundreds to be exact. I created an anonymous online name for myself, and it was a way of protecting my true self from those who might not agree with me. It was a way to hide behind my TRUTH. I had many adoptive and biological parents lash out at me for creating “How Does It Feel To Be Adopted” so the “Pen Name” protected me from a lot of things. The most important to me, it protected my adoptive parents, specifically my adoptive dad whom I adore from every finding out how I truly feel. I have never wanted to break his heart.

I woke up a few days ago, realizing that if I desire TRUTH in adoption for all adoptees, I owe myself, my fellow adoptees, and the WORLD to know who I truly am! No more hiding. No more secrets. No more being scared of what those close to me will think. This has been a huge decision for me. But without God and his grace, I never would have been able to make this decision. His Grace, has brought a whole new perspective to my life. I believe Pamela Jones was there for me to process my anger, rage, and really deep raw feelings. I HAD TO GO THROUGH IT because you CAN’T HEAL unless you do. I don’t want to erase Pamela Jones. She was part of my life. She helped me get through some really deep dark times. All you have to do is look over the last 3 years of blog posts. You will read heartache after heartache in my writings. But if I could tell my fellow adoptees one thing, it’s going THROUGH the pain, CAN AND WILL bring you freedom. But we have to go through the pain.

As I write to my blog readers and the world today, I’m here to share my REAL TRUE identity. I’m here to tell you where I REALLY live. I’m here to invite you all to join me in the next level of my adoptee healing, and recovery journey. The one to FREEDOM. One of my favorite quotes is:

“You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it!”.

WOW WOW WOW! To all my fellow adoptees reading this, WE MADE IT! WE SURVIVED! How amazing is that in itself!

My true identity is “Pamela Karanova”. On my 40th Birthday I made the decision to legally change my last name. The name I was given at birth- I hated it! It was nothing personal against the family who gave me the name but it never fit me. It tied me to the city and town I grew up in, where I have so many bad memories. I just didn’t want the name anymore. So I prayed and asked God to help me come up with a new last name. I wanted it to be unique and pretty, just for me!

He gave me the verses, Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”

The word “PURE” stood out.

Then he gave me the verse. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

The word “NEW” stood out.

I looked up the meanings to “Pure” & “New” and “K A R A N O V A “ was born!

I wanted to make sure no one else had the name, or it wasn’t common so I Googled it, and didn’t find much at all aside from “Kara Nova” who happens to be a “Pole Dancer”. LOL

This change and the new name has a very BIG significant meaning to me. Not only in my adoptee world and journey, but in my Christian journey as well. Today I’m not the person I used to be. God has recreated me to be the person HE intends for me to be and I believe the new name is a symbol of the NEW ME.

My fellow adoptees can relate to the name change in the adoptee aspect. I feel so much was taken and stolen, lost never to be found again. PEOPLE made this choice for me. They erased my history! I had no choice! They gave me a new “fake” name & a new “fake” birth certificate! PEOPLE of the world have even tried to control how I feel about it, “JUST BE THANKFUL” using the WORD as a weapon to silence me from sharing my feelings. Sorry, but Christians are the worst! (Yes, I’m a Christian!) God has given me the grace to be able to use the WORD right back at them! Praise HIM!

The old me couldn’t have a conversation about adoption without getting angry, and wanting to scream or cry or throw something. Because people just don’t seem to “Get It” unless they are adopted. My fellow adoptees, my saving graces have taught me to stand up for myself, and God has taught me to do it with his grace. This has allowed me to feel like I’m in a confident place to be able to do this on my own, without hiding behind a “PEN NAME!”

So here I am. WAVING HELLO to the world! Sharing not only my real true feelings, but the REAL TRUE ME! So long to Pamela Jones. So long Pamela (____)


From now on I will use my real name in my online adoptee world. I will sign my blog posts with my real information. I want all adoptees all over the world to reach out to me because only WE know HOW IT FEELS TO BE ADOPTED!

I have had to understand, that the WORLD has no idea how we feel or what we go through being adopted, and all the heartache that goes along with it. But my fellow adoptees get it. We have to be there to lift one another up, in times of crisis, and when we reach our all time lows, and they do come!

As for the few adoptive or biological family I am in fear of offending, I’m sorry in advance. If you find my blog, you find my true feelings. The feelings I’ve had to hide my entire life. One thing I can say is they are real. Living a lie wasn’t real. I know it wasn’t talked about in the 1970’s, but it’s talked about now. I think of the small handful of you all that might get offended compared to the HUNDREDS of adoptees I am in contact with that I have relationships with, and I KNOW I can help them by sharing they aren’t alone. Sorry, but my fellow adoptees are the reason God put me on earth. To help them break out of a lifetime of silence, and provide them with one person who GETS IT, who UNDERSTANDS, who LOVES THEM and doesn’t judge them anyway. While I navigate this journey in breaking out of hiding behind a pen name, I will be praying you all understand why I’ve had to do this. If I don’t do this, I have no purpose on this earth. That’s truly how I feel. I can’t worry about how other people respond to my decision, family or not. This is what God has called me to do, and I am going to spend the rest of my life reaching out to my fellow adoptees and sharing with them what God has done in my life, because he can do the same for them.

Living this double life has been painful. It started the moment I was forced to make a split between the REAL me, when I was born, and the NEW ME, when my adoptive parents erased the REAL ME, and falsified everything. As I’ve grown up into a woman who can chose for myself I’ve grown into the person God intended for me to be. It’s neither of the people from my past. So I’m no longer going to live the double life. I was forced to growing up, and have always felt like I had to protect others in my adoptive and biological families, but today I am living for God, and for myself, and my kids, and my fellow adoptees. No more double life.

I’m no longer hiding! Yay!

Signing off as PAMELA KARANOVA, Adult Adoptee

Lexington, KY

You can reach me at: ßFellow Adoptees, add me to your Facebook by this email!

Twitter: @pamelakaranova

Adoptee, Healing Inner Child Wounds

Healing My Inner Child…

If you look over my blog posts, or if you are someone that’s kept up with them you will see the roller coaster of emotions that I’ve experienced in the last 3 years. The last 3 years I’ve embraced the recovery lifestyle as a way to heal my adoptee and life wounds that have kept me in bondage for far too long!

Today, I still experience those same roller coaster feelings. Some are improving while others aren’t. I feel like certain areas are holding me down like a ball and chain while others I’m receiving freedom from.

I’ve tried everything to get to a place of healing.  When I experience the “Lows” they are really low. The dark cloud never leaves. Let me explain, I have a great life. Aside from this I’m an extremely happy person. Aside from this I love people, I love so many things in life. I love my career. I love my kids, and my family who I have in my life. I love serving in Celebrate Recovery, and mentoring women with Chemical Dependency issues. I love being outside. I’m totally head over heels in love with the sky but I just can’t seem to shake this sadness that seems like it’s here to stay.

I refuse to sit here and accept its here to stay!!!

I’ve had adoptees who are older than me, explain there adoptee pain went from a sharp knife, to a dull ache as they got older. I can take the dull ache.. And I believe I will always have that, but I can’t take this deep dark sadness I’m experiencing.

I stopped drinking on August 12, 2012. What has that felt like? Like a ton of bricks have come smashing me straight in my face. Some days it’s extremely difficult to get out of bed. But God gives me the hope I need and my kids give me the motivation. As for me and myself.. I wouldn’t even be here if I didn’t have those 2 things in my life.

Recently I’ve discovered by reaching out to other adoptees, that it may very well be I have unresolved inner child wounds that haven’t been healed. The feelings I can describe is a deep inner sadness that I just can’t shake. It hangs over my head all the time. It feels like a broken heart each and every day that will never go away. The low points seem to come and go, but when they are low, they are LOW and they bother me the most when I’m alone.

Of course when I’m now in recovery, no longer drinking or drugging to numb my pain, I know I’m feeling everything. That’s to be expected. But I am also doing so much at working towards HEALING in all areas, but I just can’t shake this feeling. I have prayed to God, and asked him to please help me figure this out.

This picture speaks to me…

I believe the responses of my fellow adoptees to be the closest thing I have experienced regarding an accurate description as to what is going on in me, unresolved childhood wounds.

If I think about it, from the moment I was conceived my birth mother rejected me and the pregnancy; she drank alcohol the entire time. I was a secret conceived in shame. She hid me from the world. I was told she was an extremely negative and mean person and it was verified after I met her one time and I got to see that for myself.  My feelings of low-self esteem began way before I was ever born. My feelings of worthiness began to diminish when I was in the womb. The trauma that happened the moment I was born, stuck with me in my subconscious memory as well as the damage done in utero.

My childhood wounds add to this trauma. There are a TON of inner child wounds from my childhood. Let me share a few. My adoptive parents divorced when I was 1. SO much for the “Better Life” promised to my birth mother. My adoptive mom who was infertile used to tie us to chairs when we were “Bad”. She would try to commit suicide in front of us. She battled depression, and had manic-depressive episodes very frequently. She is a hypochondriac and was sick every day of my life. She was a mastermind manipulator and loved seeking attention from everyone around. She never was capable of being a mother. I lost my childhood because of her. I never could go outside and play. I never could watch cartoons. My life was centered around what I could do for her and how I could be of service to her. Whether it be massaging her body, rubbing lotion all over her, rubbing her feet and back, or giving her enemas, or popping pimples on her back, or running her bath water.. There was always something that needed to be done for her. ALWAYS. I took care of her, she never took care of me. Not to mention her low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness spilled onto me as a little girl, and this had a direct impact on my life in many ways. She cried every day and said over and over she wasn’t worthy of being a mother. My sadness and tears didn’t matter, my feelings didn’t matter. I had to be strong for her. She talked from the earliest days I can remember, about not wanting to go to a nursing home when she was old. This is truly why she believe she adopted me. I believe she’s a narcissistic to the fullest degree, and she never recovered from her own childhood wounds, and the divorce and not being able to conceive her own children. I also believe she had some severe mental illness in her.

As you see, I had no mother. I lost. It was never about me or my feelings. I never received the unconditional love a child was supposed to receive from their mother. My original bonding with my birth mother was severed, and trauma occurred. That trauma never went away, it was tucked away and now it’s surfacing. The trauma that was inflicted by my adoptive mom is different. She made me feel like I didn’t matter, my feelings didn’t matter and this increased my feelings of being important to anyone. I have written about not being able to “FEEL LOVE”. I believe all these things are connected.

I spoke to my lay pastor the other day about all of this, and she said it all makes sense. I’ve been attending the same church for 3.5 years. I have an amazing church family who listens to me, supports me and I KNOW THEY LOVE ME. It’s just that I have never felt that love. I know God loves me, but its hard for me to FEEL IT. I know my kids love me, but it’s hard for me to FEEL IT. My last blog post was about “Finally Feeling Loved”. I’ve been in a relationship for 9 months, and I know he loves me… And God has given me glimpses of what LOVE FEELS LIKE. He’s done the same with my kids. When I feel it, it’s like my heart fills up and I get really tearful and overfilled with emotion, but then it goes away really fast.

Why can’t I feel love all the time like other people do? I mean I know I love people, and I know they love me because they say they do and they show it. (sometimes). But I know this has to do with being adopted, and going back to unresolved childhood wounds, and trauma in utero and being rejected by my birth mother in the womb, and after. It has to all be connected. The great part is, now that I have identified at least I hope I have where this is coming from now I need to take the steps to heal in these areas.  God has brought me so far. I have a desire to be whole and I know I deserve to FEEL LOVE like everyone else does.

So my next question is to my fellow adoptees. Have you ever experienced this type of feeling? If you have done any inner child wound healing, what has worked for you? I’m a Christian and I know there are a bunch of “New Age” healing ideas out there. I know Jesus Christ is my healer and for some reason he keeps telling me I need to go THROUGH this pain again to get to a place of healing. I have to relive each situation, and share my feelings regarding each trauma, and cry and scream and get angry and share feelings I had to keep locked inside my entire life. Do any adoptees reading this have any experience with this? You really don’t have to be an adoptee to have experience with it, so please share with me either way.

This picture absolutely teared me up when I saw it. Something about it made me weep with sadness because I have never felt anything like this in my life. How does this picture make YOU feel?


This revelation has given me hope and I’m thankful for my fellow adoptees on the page who have helped me get to the root of this issue. Now onto the healing.

Thanks for reading. Please share your opinion and advice if you have experienced anything similar. Please share any techniques you might know about healing your inner child, regarding in the womb or being separated from your birth mother, as well as wounds outside the womb.

Many blessings,

Pamela Karanova


What Can Be Done By Society and Our Adopters to Make Our Journeys Not So Painful?

Adult adoptees views are often ignored but we hold a very valuable view because only we know how it feels to be adopted. Adoptee voices are the voices that SHOULD be listened too.

 We’ve lived it & our voices matter.

As a way to help bring awareness on how adoptees feel, I asked them one question in a poll.

“What do adult adoptees feel can be done by society and our adopters to make our journeys not so painful? How can they HELP US?”

Here are over 30 responses.

To all the brave adult adoptees, thank you for sharing your feelings with the world so we can help others understand how it feels to be adopted.

  • Please don’t tell adoptees like me to be grateful and that we should thank our lucky stars that we were “rescued” from a life in an orphanage. Please don’t say we are “hurting” our adopters by seeking the truth of our origins. After being in reunion for 6 years and after a lifetime of lies about my blood ties, I have learned the truth and I realize the lengths to which adopters and adoption trafficker$ will go to procure a newborn. My adopters were (and still are) abusive, self-absorbed alcoholics who only wanted the appearance of normal couple with a child: the perfect family. The RCC helped and continues to help adopters at the expense of the blood family. I have nothing to be grateful for and nothing to feel guilty about. People who use those lines to make adoptees stop looking for and/or having healthy relationships with their natural/bio families are manipulative baby trafficker$ living in a fantasy world. The “As if born to” and “In the best interests of the child” are myths perpetrated to cover up the real motives of these slick business people. Take the money and lies out of the system and it will disappear.
  • I agree with what everyone else says about helping existing adoptees. But going forward I will dare suggest that the best way to help future adoptees is to not create adoptees in the first place. Focus on family preservation. Also, perhaps even offer better/more birth control education and free birth control in high school. If you’re not going to take care of your child, don’t create one. As someone who was very careful and never once had an accidental pregnancy, I really don’t understand how some people can be so careless, especially repeatedly. It’s not fair that the child pays for the irresponsibility of others.
  • There should be provisions in the law to UN-adopt oneself as an adult; especially if there was abuse or they are deceased. Otherwise we feel like slaves. As adults we should have the right to define who is our family when a legal contract was made about us when we were a minor. It is like gay people not allowed to marry. I have a 25 year reunion, both my adopted parents have passed away, but I don’t legally belong to my birth parents. We should have he right to define who is family as an adult. It is the only legal contract as an adult that one cannot get out of. It is a human rights violation. As ‘if born to’ is a big lie.
  • Acknowledge that we suffered a loss.
  • I wrote a book about it and out in public talking and talking to raise awareness…come on….why hide.
  • Don’t make us feel guilty for wanting to know where we come from.
  • Grief and loss needs to be part of the discussion from the start!! most of us are born into grief yet it is ignored. Talking about being adopted cannot be a onetime discussion. Acknowledging adoption is not the same as acknowledging the grief and loss. Adoptees are a special needs population in my opinion and we have different needs than non-adoptees
  • Society can try to acknowledge our pain and loss, and stop telling us we should be thankful we weren’t aborted, and someone took us in when our own families didn’t want us. Help is grieve our losses at an early age, so we aren’t numbing the pain as we grow up with substances, and develop unhealthy ways to cope. We don’t know what to do as children. Read THE PRIMAL WOUND. Get educated and keep reading this page on how we feel.
  • You can’t teach your children not to lie, but expect adoption lies to be okay. Lying is never okay.
  • After a certain age…adoptees should have access to the adoption records…
  • Talk, talk talk. Don’t assume – or expect the child to be first to raise the subject! Too many exclaim ‘she didn’t say anything’ well, you know what? Kids need help to articulate the feelings they have.
  • There needs to be transparency with adoption. Agencies aren’t as open as they should be, and put the BM before the adoptee when it comes to information, the lack of which inhibits closure.
  • The MAIN and most important thing that society can do to help us is to RECOGNIZE that adoption means LOSS, is painful, that it is NOT a win-win arrangement, and that it should be a LAST RESORT.
  • Society needs to recognize the fact that in order to be adopted, we had to lose EVERYTHING, and that our loss and our pain are REAL, even if we don’t remember the adoption process or what happened prior to it.
  • They need to recognize that their attitudes towards adoptees needs to change. We are NOT perpetual children who should never have the right to make our own life decisions, and expectations that we OWE it to our adoptive parents never to search, reunite, and know or embrace our TRUE identities is a form of slavery!
  • They need to stop telling us that we were given up because we were unloved or unwanted, or because our mothers were selfish, or because our mothers loved us so much that they wanted better for us. They DON’T KNOW why any of us were given up, so they need to STOP MAKING IGNORANT ASSUMPTIONS.
  • They need to stop telling us to be grateful. They need to stop telling us that our adoptive parents’ feelings are more important that our happiness. They need to stop telling us that our natural parents’ anonymity is more important that our happiness. They need to stop telling us that we have an obligation to go along with the secrets and lies. They need to stop telling us how they think we should feel.
  • Then, they need to recognize that MOST adoptions are NOT necessary. They need to know how most of us are acquired through coercion, or force, or because our natural mothers were not given enough help to allow them to keep us and how so very few are actually aware of all of their options. And they need to know that we deserve the right to know and embrace our own true identities from the very beginning, regardless of who raises us and regardless of whether or not we have contact with our natural families.Once society realizes and begins to accept that our loss and pain are real. they will also begin to see all the travesties that are done to adoptees, and will begin to see current adoption practices as offensive and barbaric.
  • Awareness of society to not call us special and lucky and tell us we should be grateful towards our adoptive parents because otherwise we would have been homeless without them. This puts such a stigma on us and piles on the guilt if we are experiencing any trauma or troubles with our adoptive families and causes us to feel at fault when we should not be made to feel this way. Better counseling for the birthparents and adoptive parents to make them aware of the identity issues that adoptees go through, perhaps some mandatory reading even before things are final of books that resonate with adoptees such as the primal wound to ensure that they all understand a little more of the perspective of the unborn child who cannot speak for themselves. Meetings with adult adoptees for the birthparents and adoptive parents so that they can hear an adult adoptees perspective as well. In general more education for everyone. Extreme encouragement for more identity type information to be made available as the adoptee grows up and for the birthparents to keep in touch with the adoptive parents and vice versa to help everyone with the trauma that they experience which will also help the birthparents know that their child is ok and healthy and thriving.. Adoptive parents to be implored to not ever put the children in the position to be made to feel like they shouldn’t ask questions or want to search for their origins and birthparents. The adoptive parents should aid the child in their search and put the child’s feelings first, regardless of whether it feels like betrayal to them. The adoptee had no choice in their destiny and they should be allowed to make choices unimpeded and without guilt and shame laid upon them. Support from adoptive parents towards movement of more open records for adoptees rather than the shroud of secrecy and shame that adoption was based on when I was born (1977).
  • Adoptees should have identity rights. We should know our cultural and medical history at time if adoption so we don’t feel like aliens. Adoptive parents need to normalize and facilitate adoption conversations throughout developmental milestones. Be supportive of openness, it makes us feel more loved, that you love everything we belong to, our history, culture, connections; understand our life began before we met you.
  • Open adoptions and acknowledge adoption as a last resort and a sad thing for the child.
  • Please stop treating us like were a piece of property. We aren’t YOURS! We are human beings.
  • Adoptive parents could support us by putting more emphasis on family preservation whenever possible, with the understanding that adoption always has far-reaching consequences that are best avoided. It would ease my mind a lot to see society finally trying to do better for children. As far as how they could help those of us who have already gone through it, just listening and not discounting what we say would be a huge start. Recognize us as the *true* adoption experts and learn from us.
  • Adoptive parents could support us by validating our feelings.
  • I was lied to when I was told by family that I was willingly gave up for adoption, when I was actually a forced adoption. To me that’s a pretty big lie. Adoptive parents can support us by stopping the lies.
  • “I’m so sorry you lost your family’” would have gone a long way. That kind of acknowledgment would have meant so much.
  • Firstly, the “adoption industry” as we know it needs to be abolished. The money needs to be taken out of adoption. A complete overhaul with family preservation as the main focus with adoption being an act of last resort. As a society, if we started to view adoption as a last resort, an option that is painful and fraught with problems and lifelong issues for the adoptee, the nuclear option so to say- i think we could make strides. Instead the adoption industry pushes an agenda of “it’s about love” when in reality that is just a marketing propaganda.
  • Society: open records, which, whether we choose to search or not, gives us the freedom as adults to decide. My biggest annoyance was feeling controlled by society/ adults in general. Feeling made to feel like a worthless child by the law. Adoptive parents: no judging of birth family who may have a diff lifestyle/ set of norms. Being open and honest without being condescending toward us would help us.
  • Get them to therapy for infancy abandonment issues as soon as feasibly possible. It’s the buried trauma that needs to be addressed.
  • Open records, medical records and health history given to adoptee at time of birth. Mandatory parenting classes for the A-parents, as well as for the adoptee. Counseling and support groups etc. should be continued throughout the life o Tell us the truth, as much of it as you know. Accept that we are grieving, we have suffered a loss that you can’t replace. We don’t want replacement parents so much as we need caregivers – especially applicable to older children who can remember our original parents. Give us a safe place to be alone and don’t try to force attachment if we don’t want the adoptee.
  • Adoptive parents need to realize that we’re adopted to be almost as good as a natural born baby & it just isn’t that easy. As soon as you tell the child he/she is adopted that separates the family.
  • Industry/money out of adoption, open records at age 18 at the latest, adoption as a last resort and for the CHILD, not because adopters think they’re entitled to be parents. If we’re wishing big, we need to change society so people don’t feel like they have to have a child. Infertility rates are increasing at an incredible speed. We know there’s already an incredible amount of demand for babies, or even older kids as people get more desperate. That demand is only going to get worse over the next decade plus. I fear we are heading back into baby scoop era theft of children. Only this time they’re using “child protective services” and they’re reaching above the newborn age to try to meet demand.
  • Demand an end to the secrecy and lies in adoption. No person should ever have their name and history removed from them. Ever. If .the want to be adoptive parents knew this going in that would take so much of the pain away/ Then again, the majority of them would not want to adopt thus “orphans” would not be created to meet their demand.
  • Give all of us our Original Birth Certificates (OBC’S) already!!
  • Please stop saying “Love is all we need” & “Love trumps all”. Love is not all we need. We need our history, our OBC, our TRUTH, and acknowledgement of our losses in order to feel WHOLE as a person & to be able to heal and move forward with our lives.

If you are an adoptee and have anything you would like to share or add your voice matters, please email it to:

-Pamela Karanova


Adoptees, Why Are You So Angry?

If we can’t learn from one another, what good is our existence? As a way to assist society on learning how it feels to be adopted, I decided to ask one question to generate some responses why adoptees might be angry or hurt by their adoption experiences. These responses have been kept anonymous for confidentiality reasons. Each person that participated knew their response was going to be posted on a blog and shared with the world. To my fellow adoptees, thank you for sharing such a personal piece of your hearts to help others understand us better. If we don’t who will? Also, remember you are never alone. The way you are feeling is natural for a not natural situation. Much love from me to you!<3

I asked one simple question, “WHY ARE YOU ANGRY?” over 50 adoptees chimed in. Here are their responses.

  • Lack of identity. Lack of origin. Adoption being about our adoptive parent’s pain which eclipses our own. Feeling like an outsider. Feeling helpless. Bullying. Discrimination. Systematic discrimination. Legal discrimination. Being forced to lead someone else’s life and not my own. Searching for an identity in all we know. Having to identify with painful back stories of pop culture icons who’s worlds have been destroyed (superman, Mr. Spock, starlord, the punisher the list goes on). Feeling like your life is a movie because we’ve been introduced as a supplemental character in our own story with no history. Having to grow up too fast. Being told we’re lucky. Being asked about our ‘real’ parents. Being looked at like an alien. Being told there’s a reason for our suffering without being told the reason. Feeling worthless because nobody values OUR needs. Feeling like there’s no end in sight. An inability to believe in ourselves because we believe there is something intrinsically wrong with us. Having to constantly wonder if the people you may know on Facebook are somehow related. Feeling the same feeling when walking down the street. Having to wonder when starting a new relationship whether or not they’re your sibling or cousin. Never being able to feel 100% comfortable in said relationship because of that. Feeling like love is someone leaving you. Never finishing anything because of a lack of closure.
  • There are SO many reasons, I probably can’t list them all in one go. But the things that come to mind are:
  • My own FAMILY gave me away to strangers.
  • My own grandmother lied to and coerced my mother so that she felt she had no other choice, and all because my grandmother cared more about what the neighbors thought than she cared about my mother or me.
  • The government colluded with my grandmother to ensure that my mother wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone unsupervised by my grandmother, so she had no opportunity to discuss or truly discover what SHE wanted.
  • Even though the government KNEW full well that my father wanted to raise me even if my mother didn’t, they told him he had no rights to me, and gave me to strangers when they COULD EASILY have allowed me to be kept within my own family.
  • The government TOLD my adoptive parents that they shouldn’t tell us we were adopted, that we never need know, AND told them that even if we did know, that if they were good parents, we’d never wonder about our pasts.
    The government LIED to me when I tried to get information.
  • The manager of the government’s post adoption registry LIED to me, and acted like he was god by flaunting all the information that he had about me that he wasn’t going to share with me.
  • Some members of my adoptive family always treated me like an outsider.
  • I never fit into my adoptive family. I’m not like the rest of them – even the ones who have been nice to me.
  • All the other kids at school knew I was adopted, and would tell me that their parents had said that my real mother didn’t love me and didn’t want me.
  • Other people have always acted like THEY know better, and have told me how I should feel, and what I should or should not do.
  • Other people gave me search advice that I wish I hadn’t taken, because my mother DIED before I found her, and if I’d just called around, I’d have found her before that.
  • Other people told me what to call my natural family, and I wish I hadn’t felt obligated to listen, because it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.
  • People do not allow us to grieve. Try telling someone your mother died and hearing “It’s just as well.” or “You’re over reacting. You didn’t even know her.”
  • I’m angry because my right to grieve was stolen along with my history. If I was allowed to grieve and share my feelings as a child I may not be as angry as an adult. Unfortunately I’m just now grieving my losses… And yes, ANGER is a stage of that grief.
  • I’m angry because I was told a lie most of my life by my adoptive parents. Why are we raised to tell the truth and not lie but adoption lies are okay? Lying is not okay. I would rather know my hard core history [My truth] than be lied to my entire life by those who are supposed to love me the most.
  • Could it be we have not been allowed to grieve our loss? From our birth mother. In Grieving anger is one of the stages in grief. People have not allowed us to share our loss and validate loss. People dismissed our loss as important.
  • I personally am angry because I was not told I was adopted until I was in my 30s and it’s very disempowering, plus quite a shock to find out at that age.
  • I’m angry because I grew up feeling completely out of place and have ALWAYS wondered about where I came from, and here I am- a grown adult who is STILL being denied that knowledge by other people. I am angry because I have had to put myself (and private information) out there for the world to see for only a tiny CHANCE of finding my biological identity. I am angry because I have feelings that get poo-pooed by other people who have never been in my shoes. I am angry because I am being treated like a perpetual child. Like I’m not “allowed” to want to know and that I don’t deserve to know and most of the people with those thoughts get to know exactly where THEY came from!
  • I’m angry because I’m in my 50s and still not allowed access to my own birth certificate – even though I found all of my family member’s years ago. I’m angry that there is still a lack of support for family preservation in favor of adoption. I’m angry that having more money allows certain adopters to pull wanted children away from their families. I’m angry that so many childless people that claim to care about children really only want to get themselves a baby and not actually help older children in foster care or even just vulnerable families in their own community. I’m angry that whenever adoptees attempt to speak their truth and call for changes in the system they are silenced, called “ungrateful” and “angry” and told they just had a “bad experience.” I’m angry that the industry is pulling in thousands of dollars at the expense of vulnerable children. I will continue to be “angry” in order to try to affect change for today’s children and those yet unborn.
  • I’m angry because everyone expected me to forget my first family & expected me to be thankful for the biggest loss of my life. An entire family.
  • I’m angry because of my adoptive parent’s gain I lost a lifetime of memories that can’t be replace with my biological family members.
  • I’m angry because I was taken away from my country, my culture and my native language. Not only that but I was lied to which was pretty stupid as I was transracially adopted! My name was taken away from me I was taken away from me and I was renamed if they had used my Chinese name as a middle name that would have been fine but I wasn’t even afforded that option. What makes me even more angry is I see 21st century white adoptive parents making exactly the same “mistakes” or decisions as my unenlightened 60s adoptive parents did. At least they had an excuse ideas about culture and identity had yet to be formed etc. But today what’s the excuse there is none.
  • I’m not angry. I’m hurt. I’m hurt that my birth Mother thinks the system failed her. I’m hurt that my natural citizenship from Canada was taken away from me. I’m hurt that I was taken away from my birth father. I’m hurt that I was discarded both as a baby and as an adult after reunion… I’m hurt that my birth mother cares more about what others think than how I feel. I’m not angry please don’t mistake hurt for anger.
  • I’m angry because I’ve found and been reunited w. Both birth parents but the state of Iowa continues to keep my birth records sealed. Why am I unable to get my information? There is no reason behind this. I want MY OBC!
  • I’m angry because if we feel any negativity towards being taken from our roots, our heritage, our FAMILIES, it’s seen as anger and dismissed. Why can’t we just be sad that we have lost so, so much?….so mostly I am sad, but I am very, very angry that the government decided I would be better off with a married couple without any other support than my loving single mother who was capable of raising me herself, yet had a HUGE extended family. I’m angry that no checks were done, other than to check their marriage cert. That certificate didn’t take away the dysfunction and abuse in the marriage.
  • It gets me angry that I fucking don’t know the beginning of my own life! How am I supposed to live a life when I don’t know how it started!
  • I am angry that we are made to feel ashamed if we express anger because we should be grateful. That our anger is seen as unjustified and that we must have some mental health problem if we are so angry; rather than a normal reaction to a tragedy.
  • I am an angry adoptee because not only was I given up for adoption, but so were my 4 siblings, thankfully I did find them all.
  • Well, I have struggled with anger my entire life. I am a 48 year old adoptee and my Adoptive Father was also an adoptee. We BOTH had/have anger issues. It stems from fear of abandonment, I believe. Anger can creep up at the strangest places. I call these “triggers.” Because we have experienced abandonment at birth, we may not remember it, but it is imprinted on our psyche and we carry that with us our entire lives. Our brains are also hard wired around this event. I also believe that we somehow intuitively know that we do not want to be abandoned ever again and so we will do everything humanly possible to avoid anything we perceive as abandonment.
  • I have read tons of books on the subject of adoption and its effects on the adoptee and this is the conclusion I have come to for today. Our brains are not fully developed at birth. When we babies are taken away from our birth mother, we immediately go into fight or flight mode. Our brains at this age are not able to regulate and handle all the stress that we are experiencing and our systems become overloaded with cortisol and it actually changes how the pathways in our brand-new brains are wired. As a result, I also believe that experiencing this at birth tells us that we are not worthy, capable, entitled, to basic necessities and comforts in life.
  • Anger is also a mask for other emotions that we “believe” we cannot or are not allowed to feel for fear of abandonment. I “can” become angry whenever I am feeling sadness, fear, loneliness, STRESS, being left out, (This is a HUGE, HUGE trigger for me…) or many other feelings. If I stop and think, “What is the underlying emotion that I am feeling right now” or “What is causing me to feel anger right now?,” I can most times avert the anger and deal with what I am really feeling – not always though. Asking for help is another HUGE trigger for me simply because I have three teenaged children who do not always want to help out at home. I f I am having a low energy day and cannot follow through with asking for what I NEED help with, I often become angry. I become angry when I am overwhelmed. The thoughts in my head also tell me incorrect ideas that lead me to believe: I cannot ask for help – for fear of abandonment. I am learning to overcome this, thankfully, after many, many years of hard work. My thoughts also tell me that I cannot do nice things for myself because 1. I cannot afford it, 2. I do not have time, 3. My chores are not done. Etc., Etc., Etc. I also have a VERY bad habit of reading into the thoughts and feelings of others. I f these people do not read my mind and act the way I “Need” then to, I become angry.
  • I have been married for 25 years to a wonderful man who is patient and kind. I STILL, to this day, become very angry over silly little things – all because I do not communicate my needs, feelings or wants (in a healthy way) AND I am able to provide myself adequate “Down time” on a consistent basis due to fear of abandonment. Here is one example. My husband is a hunter and every year he plans two hunting trips. Every year we talk and put the trips on the calendar. Every year I become angry at him during this time for several reasons: 1. He is preoccupied with planning for and packing for the trip. (I feel left out) 2. I have not planned a “Get away” for myself in YEARS! (This makes me feel guilty and sad and worn out etc., etc.)
  • In a nutshell, I think we adult adoptees have hidden triggers that creep up in several predictable and sometimes unpredictable places in our lives. These triggers cause us to feel anger because we are covering up emotions that we do not feel we should feel for fear of abandonment.
  • The bottom line is that we had no voice & no choice. It left most of us feeling disenfranchised. It affects every aspect of our lives & our sense of self-worth.
  • It’s as though we were just thrown away to be bought & sold to fulfill someone else’s needs, rather than ours. Even as adults we have to fight to gain any knowledge of our own personal health & family history, our nationality & religious backgrounds, much less to know if we have biological relatives, & to claim our own birth certificates. To get anywhere on our searches costs money & we have to face the potential for rejection from both our adoptive & biological families for doing it.
  • People who were raised in their own family of origin get to take all of that for granted.
  • I’m angry because I don’t have the basic right to be who I am and I have a law that prevents me most of my life from talking to my own mother and father, while strangers who were married took me because they wanted to and because adoption is a form of slavery and child trafficking.
  • Ambiguous grief. Why can’t you be grateful? Most adoptees are.
  • Coercion. *No one* offered to help my first mother raise me. So much for helping “widows and orphans”
  • Hijacking holy writ for personal or financial gain. Interesting that “orphans and widows” are more often than not mentioned together in sacred text, implying vulnerable mothers and children. I remember one important man turning over some tables, or something, with the money changers.
  • Hijacked identity. Give me my OBC.
  • Decades lost with my siblings that wouldn’t have been without closed adoption.
  • I’m angry that the state feels I’m incapable of knowing who my biological parents are, that the adoption industry is profiting by human trafficking and that so many adoptive parents are so insecure that they are threatened by us wanting to know our truths.
  • I’m an angry person … Not sure what it is .. I think people expect you to be thankful, to a certain degree, yes I am but they forget the impact that adoption has on people… All adoptees have issues growing up
  • I am not angry…. I am at loss because I cannot live up to the expectations of the family who adopted me and I can’t go backwards into my biological family because they also had/have certain expectations … who am I
  • I am not angry I am hurt. I grew up in complete filth. I was abandoned at the hospital when I was born.
  • My adoptive mother was in and out of psych wards by whole life and my adoptive father was Satan in disguise.I had no upbringing. I searched not for wants for my health I was told by my adoptive mother I would not be able to walk when I hit my thirties and at 34 I lost some vision and live with extreme muscle pain.
  • I have a hard time because at 78 my birth mother and I am 36 what is the problem….
  • I am angry because I sound desperate. I almost feel like a person begging for food.
  • Am I wrong because I want to know where I come from?
  • Am I wrong because for once I want to feel like I belong?
  • I am more desperate now than ever I wonder all the time looking at my 17 and 14 year old. R they ok. I cry secretly because I wish I could be a better mom like I used to be without these health issues.
  • Every day is a struggle. I just want to know. I will not burden my birth mother. I would never blame or yell I just want answers a right to know.
  • Because anger gives me energy to handle all the hurts, if I were to just feel my sadness I would fall into a depression. A bit of anger helps me keep my head above water to fight for adoptions laws to change for adoptions to be open, ethical and more support services. I work in adoptions because I am angry with people not doing adoptions correctly and I want to be a part of the solution and help change, influence those around me. I am angry because I did not get a say, my loss was and still not validated. I still don’t get a say. Reunion 24 years. Adoptive parents died 20 years ago; yet I cannot unadopt myself. I cannot legally be my mother’s daughter or my father’s daughter. This makes me angry that I do not have the same self-determination than non-adoptees.
  • Sometimes I have no idea why I am angry, self-worth and abandonment seem to be at the center of the feelings that do not always make sense.
  • Angry because we are told how we should feel, but our own feelings are not validated, even in our own families.
  • What causes me anger as an adoptee was having to hold back my feelings as a child, and of course still now as an adult, with my adoptive parents in order to protect their feelings, as if theirs were the only ones that mattered, and they certainly made it loud and clear that theirs mattered more than mine when it came to wanting to search for my birth mom and asking too many questions about her because they made it very clear from the get-go that they would be very hurt if I searched for her (which I did anyway in secret and found her as an adult)…..I am also angry that the adoptees voices count for nothing, even when they get older, even though it is their fate that is decided by others, and then if we as adoptees want to search, we often have to pay for our own records or in order to search for our birthparents. I am angry that adoptees are now being denied passports; I would have been one of them due to how my birth certificate was filed had I not already had a passport prior to 2011 when they changed the criteria. I am angry that the stark truth is coated with sugar to make everyone feel better when all it does is suppress a lot of feelings in everyone that fester and come out in other ways. I am angry that adoptive parents are told and believe and preach that they can and have loved the adoptee like their own. They have loved to the best of their ability, some of them, but it will never be the same as their own biological child, and everyone knows that somewhere deep inside. We as adoptees were most of their second choices after they tried and failed at having a biological child of their own. We were their second choice and we will always feel second best through the rest of our lives for everything. And at the same time we were their savior, saving them from childlessness which is a huge burden to place on a child, and they do place a lot on our shoulders. I am angry that so many people think we as adoptees should be grateful because our adoptive parents saved us so we should shut our mouths to any gripes we have about them and be eternally thankful towards them. I am angry that I never felt like I fit in and that I had a huge identity crisis my entire life until I found my birthparents to confirm what I did internally know about myself so that I felt explained and I felt like I understood why I was the way I am so I didn’t feel so out of place, I finally feel accepted and finally know why I was drawn to all I was drawn to, why I react to things as I do and where my talents and interests and values and quirks come from. I am angry that I have to live a double life as a 37 year old to hide from my adoptive parents that I have found my birth mom to protect their feelings because it’s all about them (which as a parent of my own biological child, it should never be that way imho)…….
  • I’m angry that when I say these things I get told I just had a bad adoption, angry that adoption truth is hidden along with my identity and family. The most sacred bond of family is destroyed by adoption, cruel and barbaric, extreme, insanity; imagine preventing family association, absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I’m angry because the government says I have no right to know who I am or where I came from….that the 14th amendment doesn’t apply to me.
  • I’m angry because I’m expected to be grateful for losing my mother. Non adoptees take so much for granted and are not willing to understand our loss and our grief. If one more fucking person tells me I’m lucky I’m about ready to give them an earful. I had to disguise my grief so as not to upset my adopters. I’m angry that I was given to people old enough to be my grandparents who thought a shed was an appropriate home. They didn’t legally adopt me till I was 16 and they kept that a secret, although all my ‘friends’ knew. I’m angry that I don’t belong with either my adoptive or birth families. They’re aliens to me. I didn’t search till it was too late. My mother was dead. I delayed because I didn’t want to hurt my adopters! My male adopter (wouldn’t dignify him with the title father) was an abusive drunk. They were totally insensitive to my feelings. They never talked about my adoption… Well there wasn’t one when I was growing up. They were totally clueless that I was seriously depressed. I hate them and I hate my birth relatives. They too are totally insensitive. My cousin showed me a ring of my mothers, never thinking that I’m her daughter and it should be mine. Why am I angry???? Sheesh!
  • I think frustrated is a better descriptor than angry. Frustrated and over being silenced, lied to and treated like wayward children.
  • I’m angry because I’ve never seen my own birth certificate.
  • I’m angry because I was lied to for 34 years. I didn’t discover I was adopted until I was an adult when my birth mother found me. The “better” family I went to was emotionally and physically abusive. I’m angry that I missed knowing my biological family for so long. Birth mom searched for ten years before finding me. Numerous relatives including birth father died during that time. Health history that would have been very valuable (and thus avoiding several tests I “needed” based on adoptive family history) to me. I’m angry because no one supported my mother in raising me instead of making me out to be a shameful secret. I’m angry that my adoptive family denied my mental health issues when they would have been addressed openly in my bio family (all my siblings have some kind of issue that the family deals with openly and honestly). I’m angry that my birth mom didn’t make the cake at my wedding. I’m angry that we have missed so many important days together.
  • I’m not angry as much as hurt. I believe I was discarded and sold (that’s the way adoption agency’s work)I was raised in a VERY dysfunctional family and as a result I feel like I can’t speak the truth to my bio-family as to how I was raised, bottom line I don’t think anyone has ever loved me, wanted me, cared about me without ulterior motive. I’ve been alone my whole life. I’m hurt because I people use words like we know what’s best for you, and that’s a lie they know what’s best for them or what they want. And now I lie-to my adopted family, that it’s ok that I was raised by a mother with mental health issues and I lie to my bio-family that I had a childhood(I’m trying to protect them) The truth is I was born alone and will probably die alone and everybody will say they did their best.
  • I was told as a 9 year old when my ‘adoption issues’ first presented, that adoption had nothing to do with any of my issues. A lock step of denial that adoption had any ill effects at all was the party line in my AP’s house after that. My adoptive mother abused and neglected me and my adoptive father did nothing to stop it. Yes I have anger at the adoption industry that continues to profit.
  • I’m angry because I’m in-between two females being my mother yet when I met ones family they all say I look like them and to top it off I can’t have my obc adoptive parents know what lady it is and her last name but will not tell me . I’ve been lied to abused and I’m down right sick of the lies.
  • I’m angry because my birth fathers rights were stripped. In the 1970’s things were much different, but it’s still happening today! This makes me angry. I missed out on a lifetime with him, and my sibling. This can’t be undone, or replaced.
  • I’m angry, because the government does not deem me worthy of having my original birth certificate. Even my dogs have their original birth certificates; I, however, am not allowed to. I would NOT change anything about my life insofar as being adopted, my adopted parents – who were the best parents anyone could have ever have — the only thing I ask for is be treated with respect as a human being – I have the right to know who I am, where I come from and who I come from and my ancestry – I don’t think that’s asking too much.
  • My parents adopted me, and then treated me like shit. People always ask me “Why did they adopt you?” It’s the million dollar question. The closest I could come to was that I was a lemon for them and they had buyer’s remorse. For some reason I still hung on, from the fringes and it wasn’t until I read this page that it occurred to me that I could simply let go and just walk away from the pain of being an outcast in my adoptive immediate family. I haven’t yet let go, and maybe I won’t but it really sucks to feel like you were rejected twice and still feel a connection to people who for all insensitive purposes…don’t want me. It does give me some measure of comfort that at some point, should I chose to I can decide to divorce my family and just be me, not defined by them and all that I endured as their “Mistake”.
  • I’m angry that my adopted Mother was so desperate for a child that she ignored the wishes of my natural Mother. I know she knew. I’m angry that my natural Grandmother was a coward who sent the Doctor in to pull me away. I’m angry at my natural Grandfather who said he’d throw my mom out on the street if she kept me. I’m a angry that there was no advocate for her and me and that it wasn’t anyone her family. I’m angry at the pain she went through, enough to experience the feeling of not wanting to be because I love her.
  • I’m angry because I was robbed of my culture and heritage, and I’m not a transracial adoptee. I was adopted to a couple who were not good parents – they were extreme narcissists who demanded a culture of denial. I figured out early that it was my job to meet their needs (not the other way around).  They allowed a grandfather to sexually abuse me, and although they knew it was going on, they kept that man as a member of the family. Just another indignity an 8 year old had to endure to keep the peace. I was verbally ridiculed and minimized, and physically abused. I kept quiet until I was in my 50s. Now old family friends don’t want to believe it and want to cast me as an ungrateful adoptee. Ungrateful for what??
  • I’d like to add that I don’t thank my biomother for giving me life. I don’t know why this is part of the social myth of adoption. Either have us and keep us or don’t have us, but don’t have us and give us away, and try to claim some moral high ground. Being abandoned and left to strangers creates deep wounds that last a lifetime, and are passed to the next generation. Many times I considered suicide, after all, my history, culture, and identity were killed, what part of me is left?
  • This is the anger talking, which comes from the deep well of hurt we carry. We may be fortunate enough to find our strength and self esteem, but we often don’t feel valued by the world, so our self-worth sucks. I am angry that we have to work so hard to overcome adoption in order to survive and thrive. I’m angry that many of us can’t.
  • I’m angry because a social worker shut down my search when I was 15 by telling me that my biomother probably wasn’t as interested in me as I was in her. Forty years later, I searched again, only to find both parents dead.
  • I’m angry because the loneliness and genetic confusion of adoption is passed down to the next generation when our kids don’t know who their true ancestors are unless we undertake a financially and emotionally costly search that is fraught with obstacles, rejection, and ignorant “experts”.
  • I’m angry because the non-adoption community is so bloody ignorant, yet full of self-righteous opinions. I’m angry because adoption is child trafficking pure and simple, and has become glamorized by Hollywood and the powerful – so that adoptees don’t have a voice.

Can any adopteees relate to these posts?

For any adoptees who read this that would like to be added to this poll, feel free to email me at

Many Blessings to all, and thanks for reading!

Pamela Karanova AKA @pamelakaranova