sweethearts, very much in love. We all know how strong those
emotions are when you are 16 or 17 years old.
Nothing and nobody can keep them apart. Now add pregnancy
to the equation and see how fast the once approving parental
figures turn on the young couple.
school Senior on the football team and an outgoing, artistic
Junior find themselves in “trouble.”
Both are willing to face this challenge head on.
Both want to get married, after all, they love each other
and, though it all is coming about sooner than anticipated, they
want this child.
plans are not fully accepted by the girl’s parents.
In a clever move they convince the father-to-be that he
must join the military as an acceptable way to win their
approval for the marriage and guarantee he will be able to
provide for their daughter and the baby. Both the maternal and
paternal families are military, so this option was not thought
to be out of line. So,
the father-to-be joins the Air Force after graduating from high
While the birth
father was away at boot camp the girl’s parents began their
psychological warfare. The birth mother, who all her childhood
tried desperately to win her father’s approval submitted to
the constant pressure to give up her child to adoption. The birth father’s attempts to obtain leave from his duties
in order to get married only led him to be shipped off from one
training camp to the next; this is believed to have been
arranged by the girl’s father.
father wrote letters and called as often as possible, until one
day he could no longer reach the girl. she was gone, but to
where? Attempts by
the birth father to contact his bride-to-be was thwarted by the
girl’s parents. It was not until Christmas day 1966 that he
learned of his son’s birth and spoke with the mother.
She told him the baby had big feet, just like his daddy.
Then the shock came..the baby was being placed for
adoption! The words stung worse than anything ever felt before.
This cannot happen, but what can an 18 year old do about
father was never notified of the intent to adopt. He was not
even named on the birth certificate. This is how things were done in Louisiana when a child is
born illegitimately. With no legal representation or the ability
to afford an attorney, a birth father is not told that he has
the right to register as a putative father and contest an
adoption. All hope
is lost and a deep wound is cut in the heart of the birth father,
only to remain forever open, always questioning how this could
have happened? Where is his son? Did he have a good life? Was he
placed in a good home? How can he, the father, be found if his
son is looking for him when he wasn’t allowed to be named on
the birth certificate? A lifetime of hurt, anger and pain in losing his child
birth father found and made contact with the birth mother. This
has been healing in a way, because so many unanswered questions
have been resolved. Plus, the anger is subsiding now that her
story is known. The
birth mother has been through Hell and back, dealing with her
own sense of guilt and emotional trauma over the ordeal. She
left home and had no contact with her family for nearly 20
years; the emotional scars are still there.
Then the past rears it’s head and threatens the
stability she felt she finally accomplished when the birth
father attempts to make contact.
At first she wanted him to be told she was dead. But,
fortunately the friend who help initiate the contact refused to
do that. Slowly,
the two reconnected and began the painful process of grieving
together; something neither had the opportunity to do and has
been much needed in order to let the wounds heal.
But both are
still burdened by the pain of their loss and want very much to
be reassured that their son had the happy life he deserved.
Both would welcome him in their lives, at whatever extent
he would be willing to put forth.
There are two half-siblings on the paternal side who have
always known about him; the birth mother never had any other
children. She said she could not emotionally go through another
pregnancy. What a
tragic loss, all due to the trauma of a forced adoption.
parents be allowed information on their adopted child? Perhaps
not. But, should an adopted person be allowed to know who his or
her biological parents are? Most definitely YES! Adult adoptees should be afforded the same right to lineage
as non-adopted adults, if they choose to know.
Some adopted persons have no desire to extend their
family, or obtain information about their parentage, but for
those who do want to know they should be allowed this
information once there is not further need to “protect”
them. There is no
further need for the state’s protection once a person is a
I am the wife
of the birth father. I have witnessed his pain, watched the tears stream down his
face over the loss of his son.
He is a wonderful man, and very devoted father. Since
making contact with the birth mother she and I have become close
adoptees were allowed their original birth certificates, their
son would have his birth mother’s name and have a chance of
locating her if he wanted.
Isn’t it time to allow adults to make their own
publication by Michelle Gross