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  • Megan Harman

Closed adoption and my journey

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

The period following World War II and ending in the early 70s was known as the baby scoop era. The baby scoop era lasted from about 1945 to 1973. In the US approximately 4 million mothers placed their children up for adoption during this period however 2 million children were placed up for adoption in the 1960s alone.

It is said that over 80% of these were closed adoptions. Meaning the records are sealed and closed.

In the baby boom of the 1960s, premarital sex was common but birth control was hard to get and abortions were illegal.

The original purpose of these closed adoptions was to protect the child from stigma of being born out of wedlock, not to deny them of their birth right. Sealing records in the US spread quick from state to state after World War II.

Original birth certificates were stamped from courts as illegitimate. A new birth certificate was issued at time of adoption with adopted parent’s names. I have heard some adoptees even having the wrong birth dates or birth place on their new certificates. This can lead to more loss of self.

Before the 80’s and 90’s things were really different adoptions most were closed. This means most adoptees have no knowledge of their birth story or their heritage.

When I was born in 1967, I was a ward of the State of California and placed somewhere for 2 months before I was adopted. I had no name and I really have no idea where I was for the two months.

My adoption was a closed one and I was issued a new birth certificate with my adopted parent’s names on it. I do have one piece of paper from the court when I was ward of the State and being placed with my adoptive parents before I had a name. I was called baby girl Loeber.

My mother always said that name should have been blacked out. This was the only information of my birth heritage that I had for 46 years. If you are adopted you understand how this affects you and if you aren’t adopted think about only having one piece of information about your birth and heritage to be able to talk about for your life. Some have nothing or wrong information. No, I remember the day you were born, or you look just like…. Nothing this is what lead me on a journey to find my sense of self, as well as who I was and my birth heritage.

Adoption is a wonderful choice to have on both sides but what we must really think about is the child. Open adoption's where information is freely given shared and talked about. Their birth story is shared hopefully adopted parent or parents are there at the birth and birth mother has time to connect with the child before it is able to connect with adopted parents. I understand there are all kinds of adoptions not just at birth, but at the core of it all we have to do better to educate adoptive parents as well as birth mother to help adoptive children.

In the end it is all about LOVE and CHOICES.

When we know better, we do better.

Books I recommend click link to purchase if you are adopted. looking to adopt or want to educate yourself

I also recommend the podcast ADOPTION the making of me

it follows along reading The Primal Wound



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