When a child is adopted no matter how they came into that position, it is always done in what is believed to be in the child’s best interest. The adopted family can provide a loving family home and nurture them, support and encourage the child. They have gone through rigorous vetting and training to ensure that they are able to provide this. They are then matched up with the child/children with consideration for what is believed to be the child’s needs. But what can not be factored into this process is how that child will feel about the adoption.
For many adopted children having a family who loved them, supported them through the childhood and into adulthood, this is enough and they are not affected by their adoption. For others growing up adopted is not so easy. The age at which a child is adopted does not seem to matter. Someone who is adopted as a baby can have the same feelings as others who were adopted when they were older. No one can predict how a child will feel and react to their adoption.
There are children who have grown up in a family not knowing they are adopted and with no visible reasons to suspect they are adopted.They have been loved, brought up equal to their siblings but just sense they don’t belong and have no connection with their parents and siblings.
For others, as in the case of Spencer Brown, the former England rugby player who recently featured on Long Lost Family, it was obvious he was adopted. His adopted parents who already had a daughter were white and Spencer is mixed race. Spencer was adopted by Brian and Ruth Brown as a baby and they gave him a loving supportive family life. This did not stop Spencer from growing up experiencing feelings of rejection from an early age from being given up for adoption and feelings of not belonging, from knowing that he was not theirs and that he was different to them, by the colour of his skin. He struggled throughout his childhood with these feelings and grew up with anger inside him that grew as he grew. Because of his anger, he was unable to concentrating causing him to fail at his schooling.
Brian suggested Spencer join the Marines which allowed him to play music and sport, two things which he knew he could do. He credits the Marines with allowing him to change his life around. The Marines and later playing rugby allowed him to feel part of a team and gave him a sense of belonging. However despite his success he still felt a mess inside, he had a loving family and good friends but this did not stop him feeling alone at times.
Spencer always knew he had a sister called Margot. He had hoped that one day he would find his birth mother and sister. It was a friend who suggested Long Lost Family .
It is only when Spencer found his birth mother and sister Margot that he feels complete inside.
There is an invisible bond between birth mother and child, sometime so strong it can’t be removed, just broken. The bond remains even when the child is taken from its mother and can only be fixed when they are reunited. Sometimes the relationships are a success like Spencer’s and can grow from that moment. For others they are not so successful but at least they get closure on that part of their lives.
When an adopted child searches for its birth family they are not necessarily looking to find a new family but to find answers about themselves. Find the missing pieces in their lives to make them complete and allow them to accept the past and move on in the future.
For some adopted children, like myself, this bond is not with their birth parents but with one or both adopted parents. This bond is not down to how much love an adopted parent can give the child but down to how much love the adopted child feels able to give the adopted parents.
Please watch the following link of Spencer Brown. He talks about his feelings and it shows the deep emotions involved when he meets his sister Margot for the first time.
You can remove a child from their birth mother/father but you can not always remove a birth parent’s emotional tie to that child or theirs to their birth family.