“What is this about?”
When a child is surrendered to adoption, all legal recognition that he/she is part of his natural family is terminated. The child and his natural family become “legal strangers” to each other. When adopted, the child is considered “as if born to” the adopters. The technical term for this legal relationship is “Filiation“:
“577. Adoption confers on the adopted person a filiation which replaces his original filiation. The adopted person ceases to belong to his original family, subject to any impediments to marriage.” – Civil Code of Quebec, S.Q. 1991, c. 64, Book 2 The Family, Title 2 Filiation, CHAPTER 2 ADOPTION, SECTION III EFFECTS OF ADOPTION
Legal recognition of a family relationship is similar to the difference between marriage and living common-law. One is recognized by the Law as existing, and the other one isn’t. One has legal rights and obligations, and the other one doesn’t.
Is this a step in healing for natural families separated and/or damaged by adoption?
“Who Would do this?”
Who would adopt-back? Exiled mothers and the adult sons and daughters they lost as infants to the adoption industry (via agencies, maternity homes, social workers, hospitals that routinely removed babies from unwed mothers, etc.)
Who would want to terminate their adoption? Any adopted person who believes in self-determination and chooses this action for themselves for their own reasons. An adoptee was never given a choice whether or not they wanted to be adopted.
“When Would this Happen?”
For adoptees terminating their adoptions, why not allow them to have this choice at any age?
In adopting-back, for a closed adoption this would usually take place after reunion, when the adopted person is a legal adult. In a society valuing rights and freedoms, two consenting adults should have the right and freedom to choose to re-establish a family relationship which was previously removed from the two of them by force.
Also, when the child is still a minor, if/when adopters realize that the natural parents of the child they are raising were coerced or forced to surrender and give their consent to the adopting-back process. The adoptive parents’ parental rights would first have to be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated.
“Why Would You Want To Do This?”
There are four parties in any infant adoption: the agency, its customers who wish to adopt, the natural parents, and her baby.
Two of these parties held power: the agency and the adopters. Two held little if any power: the natural parents and her infant. The agency (maternity home, social workers, government, hospital etc.) obtained the baby and had the power to broker it as a commodity. The customers had money and societal approval and the “purchasing power” to pay the fee for the commodity. The infant had no power to make any decisions and most times the natural mother didn’t either. Most surrenders were, and still are, coerced, with mothers losing children they loved and wanted to keep. Others made decisions affecting the mother and child.: including terminating their legal parent-child relationship and thus making them legal strangers to one another.
A natural mother’s love for her child, her desire to reunite with her child, is proof that she never wanted to lose this child to begin with, that her child was not unwanted or unloved.
Now that many natural mothers and the adult children they had lost to adoption are reuniting and re-establishing loving family relationships, some reunited families are taking back what had been been forceably removed from them: Filiation, the legal recognition of being related to another person.
The once-powerless now have the power to make a decision for themselves re the legal status of their personal family relationship.
“Where Would This Take Place?”
Anywhere that families were separated against their will by the adoption industry, which includes most major English speaking countries.
“How Would This Happen?”
Restoring the legal recognition of a family (parent/child) relationship could be done by either (1) adoptees terminating their adoption, or (2) natural parents “adopting-back” our adult children (with their consent).
Issues You May Want to Discuss
When they were infants, “adoptees” were not given the right to choose to be adopted. They were traded as commodities in many cases, with money changing hands between customer and business. Shouldn’t they, as adults, have the right to choose their legally-recognized families? The once-powerless should finally have the power to decide.
- Is there any reason to limit anyone to having only two legal parents?
- What about name changes?
- What about inheritance rights?
- Sealed adoption records from infant-adoption: Shouldn’t they be opened if you’re being “adopted back” by your natural parents or terminate your adoption? Why should they be closed at all?
- What about the people who have adopted?
- How might this affect the adoption industry if its “commodities” can decide to return to their natural families again as adults?