Surviving the Traumas of Adoption
"Billie's Kid" is the true story of my adoption as a baby and my search in later life for my biological parents.
In tracing my blood family and doing research for my book I found a number of organisations, online communities and other resources that may be helpful to other people starting their own search or dealing with the traumas of adoption. I've listed these in the Links section below.
Adoption is a traumatic event, for the adoptee coming to terms with feelings of abandonment and rejection by their B-parents (their biological, birth or blood parents) and wrestling with deep issues of identity and belonging. It is also traumatic for birth parents who have made the difficult and painful decision to give a child up for adoption. The guilt and pain of
relinquishment often results in psychological damage, leaving scars that never fully heal.
It is also traumatic for A-parents (adoptive parents). Often they have faced the sadness of being unable to conceive their own children. They decide to adopt but may find their adoptive child in moments of anger says they are not their 'real' parents. The adoptive child may later decide to trace their blood family, leaving the adoptive parents feeling inadequate and betrayed
despite having given their child as much love and attention as a biological child.
Reunion with one's biological family is not always possible for any number of reasons, but even those adoptees who are successful in tracing their blood relatives may face great disappointment or distress. The traumas of adoption can be eased by sharing experiences with others who have faced similar challenges. My book "Billie's Kid" is a candid account of my own experiences that I hope others involved in adoption will be able to relate to.
FOREWORD from the Book Billie’s Kid
Adoption doesn't mean very much to most people. At best, we look upon those people who choose to adopt, and either we think that it is nice that they can have a child, because they clearly couldn't have had one naturally, or we are grateful that some people seem keen to foster and adopt kids from troubled backgrounds.
In many ways, adoption is a tragedy. The need to adopt and the availability of the child for adoption are both founded in a tragedy of circumstance. I can’t think of an example of where someone would voluntarily create life in order to give it away to another; it is simply not the nature of things. It, therefore, follows that adopted children are the product of a life gone wrong, poor decision making, societal norms, bad judgment or poor timing. In essence, we adoptees are the by-products of non-conformism.
Steve Tucker is a child of the 60s. That, to most of us nowadays, is a long time ago – perhaps even an irrelevance in today’s hectic world, something we only relate to in terms of rock ‘n’ roll, The Beatles, the Cuban missile crisis, to name but a few. However, in the world of adoption, it was the start of a new process that took over from the naming of illegitimate children as younger siblings, cousins or servants, as had been the norm. This was a time, barely 30 years on, from when, in 1928, women first got the right to vote. If you think 30 years is a long time, I still remember, in 1987, my mother having a conversation with the bank manager, where she was told he could only speak to the “man” of the house. My point is that 30 years is nothing in terms of social change. It is simply the time it takes for a baby to become a grown man; it is a generation.
I say all of this simply to put the idea of adoption into some sort of context. It is only since 1926 that we have had any legislation from parliament that puts adoption on a legal footing. The first adoptees are now, like our First World War veterans, coming to the end of an era. There is no question that adoption was a superb solution to a social problem – a win-win in modern parlance. Those in need were provided for by those who were also in need, but in a different way. But, along the way, we forget some fairly deep-rooted and fundamental aspects of this service.
For adoptees, whatever and however the idea is presented to them, will at some stage in their lives, no matter how good their lives have been, reflect on the fact that they are a result of rejection. They are all rejected, either consciously or through tragic circumstances. Both of these options are a source of hurt to the adopted child, and play a role in shaping how the child sees the world. Adoptees will seek their biological parents in order to answer questions they have about either who they are and where they come from, or why they were given up for adoption. Each child, whether consciously or unconsciously, must reconcile this in some manner in order to find some acceptance of his or her circumstances.
Billie’s Kid is such a journey. Like Steve, I was adopted in the 60s, but my reconciliation was very different in that I had no desire to search for my biological parents.
Steve has a story telling gift. By his own admission, he is not a writer, and struggled with the writing of the book. However, something inside him clearly needed to write about his experiences. As a fellow adoptee, I don’t mind admitting to being deeply affected by his book. I learned a new perspective and a new level of sympathy for my biological mother that I had not considered before. It helped me to explain my attitudes towards, society, dishonesty and women’s rights and went a long way to explaining some aspects of who I am. If, like me, the reader is adopted, then it will be difficult not to be affected by the story and many of the issues raised in it.
As adoptees we are silent and willing participants in our own care. We are at one level survivors and at another a gift, a special person, a giver of hope, love and joy to our adopted parents. We are a living paradox of our circumstances. At some level, the adopted child has to be extraordinary because of these relationships. You will find a bit of everything in this book depending on who you are and what your attitude is towards the subject matter. As such, I have no hesitation in recommending it to you.
Billie’s Kid is now available to buy in paperback or as an eBook
You can read the first 2 chapters of Billie's Kid for free -
please click here
UK ADOPTION RELATED LINKS
POPULAR ADOPTION FORUM FACEBOOK SITES
Adoption Voices – UK and Ireland
I Am Adoption
Adoption in the UK
I Love Adoption
Billie's Kid on Facebook
Author Steve Tucker