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I am just wondering if anyone else is watching Dr. Phil right now? I am tearing up about this poor little boy (that was adopted from India). His adoptive Mom tells him he is stupid and that she wishes they had never adopted him. She wants to send him back!!!

I am appalled!!!!!!!! I am going to keep watching in the hope that a positive adoption story will be shared.

Please pray for this little boy and his adopted parents. He is a special needs child that needs lots of love. I pray that his adoptive parents will find acceptance and bond with him.

The more I watch the more shocked I am! Oh, me!!!

What do you all think? Let's hope the rest of the show is uplifting and shows adoption in a positive light.

Elaine

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Today’s show was absolutely heart wrenching. The subject is one that I don’t like to discuss or think about often because honestly it is my worst fear…but we won’t go there. Although this was a very sad, heart breaking show what I appreciate about it is that it is very real…sometimes adoptive parents have a hard time bonding with their adopted children (maybe not nearly to the extreme as this adoptive couple…they were unbelievably cruel…in my opinion). Of course no one likes to talk about it (here I go again… bringing up the unspeakable) but it’s the truth and it does happen. Didn’t I say I wasn’t going to go there?!? I’ll shut up now!!!! ohmy.gif

... Now where did I leave my favorite rose colored glasses? biggrin.gif

Edited by scs
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I didn't see the show but it is a shame people would not only treat their child like that, but then also air it all over the country via a TV show!!

But it does raise a good point about how to not treat your adopted child. Not only is it horrible to tell them they are worthless and shouldn't have been adopted, but it is equally as bad for adoptive parents to go on and on about how the child should be grateful for the way they "rescued" him/her from a life of poverty, etc., etc. I have seen this done to a child and it is very detrimental to his self esteem because instead of making him feel grateful, it makes him feel guilty and makes him wonder if he even deserves to be where he is (versus back in the "other" world). Even though this kind of treatment is more common with international adoptions from 3rd world countries, I could see it happening with well-to-do families whose children's birthfamilies are in a lower economic strata.

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I will say it once and then shut my mouth-

As a birthmom,, the idea that adoptive parents would do that makes me wanna go smack them. And then on the other hand you have parents in waiting who tend to ask why they have to go through such rigamaroll to get approved to adopt.

Thanks for all the agencies that check up on potential AP's and that require checking in with info regularly.

And for the child- I dont think that there is anything short of removing the child from such a detrimental situation, that will fix this. The child deserves to fell like they are worthy of their own skin, much less life. And people wonder why children who feel detattched from family members due to emotional abuse are more likely to commit suicide.

That little boy will be in my prayers and the parents, I pray will get mass amounts of therapy.

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What I am in shock about is that the parents admitted to saying those awful things, and yet the child is still living with them. They are abusing that poor little boy. Of course he doesn't smile, I wouldn't either if I was told the things they say to him on a daily basis.

And did I hear correctly, he was taken out of his foster home while he was sleeping???

I just can not imagine treating Grace Ann or any child like that! I feel like at times that we spoil Grace Ann way too much because we did have to wait so many years for a child.

This little boy needs all the prayers in the world if he is ever going to thrive in the environment that is he now exposed to.

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I didn't see the show, but I did handle the intake call we received from a desperate mother who was watching it, and called to ask about placing her (already born) baby for adoption because she'd gotten the message from Dr. Phil that it's selfish not to place if you want more for your child than you can provide...

And I did read a tragic story yesterday out of England about a couple getting sentenced to five years imprisonment for having "salted" to death the child they were trying to adopt in 2002.

I understand why good people sometimes resent the intrusiveness of the adoption application process. I know that all the screening seems unfair, when the world is full of unfit parents who didn't have to prove their medical status or open their bank records or document the number of bathrooms in their home before they got to have children.

But I also know what it's like to be charged with the awesome responsibility of verifying that the homes you're vouching for will truly be loving and safe, and staying awake at night sometimes, worrying whether you're doing the right thing. Because anyone can "talk the talk" but knowing who's really going to "walk the walk" and guessing based on paperwork and personal impressions who will genuinely make good parents is the ultimate test, with the highest stakes of all. (So thank you, adoptive families, for enduring it and helping us trust you for all the right reasons.)

Fortunately, the incidence of child abuse in families formed by adoption is significantly lower than in biological families... and post-placement contact in open adoptions affords loving birthfamilies "proof positive" that the children they placed are, indeed, happy and well cared for... but with the huge surge of families who seek to adopt internationally because they don't want openness in their adoption, or because they cannot meet domestic adoption standards and find the foreign adoption process more accessible but then seek to discard their foreign-born children afterwards because the poor kids don't "measure up" to their expectations, I worry that stories like this one may become more prevalent as these children get older and are able to speak for themselves.

I think the issue scs "didn't go there about" is the challenge I struggle with: helping ensure that the families who adopt domestically bond appropriately. "Matching" cases well is essential, because a good "fit" can help facilitate good attachment between the prospective parents and children, even before birth! Bonding doesn't always "just happen" right away, and adoptive families are sometimes scared to let the agency know when they're having problems connecting, and yet, we can't help them if we don't know!

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I too, am appalled. I watched the show, and coudn't stop crying thinking about this boy. Dr. Phil was SO right, its not the boy's job to love them and make them feel good. Its there job to love and make the boy feel good. I just couldn't relate. We bonded so quickly!! I think that nothing short of removing the boy would that family work either. I just wonder what happened with all the post placement visits? They must have shared there feelings with there case worker if they were able to share them with millions of people watching on TV. My heart wrenched for the boy, BP's around the world wondering about there children, and for AP's who DO NOT feel this way.......yikes! It was not good all around. This why I tell anyone who asks about our adoption, open is the only way to go. I think these situations are far and few between b/c of it. sad.gif

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I just have to say that NO child (adopted or otherwise) should have to endure, what I gather from the posts here, that this child has had to endure. I don't care if the child was born to you or dropped out of the sky into your house, no child deserves to be abused, mentally, physically or sexually!!!

Sorry after reading a few of the posts I just had to mention that!

mad.gif

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I didn't see the show either, but after reading about it here I decided to check out the summary on Drphil.com. It broke my heart. I'm glad they're getting help...hopefully it's not too late. A lot of damage has already been done to this precious boy. sad.gif

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I missed the show also...Dr Phil comes on at 3pm here, right after Catherine gets home from school, so I focus on spending some quality time with her then.

I did check out the Dr Phil website, and the first thing I noticed when I clicked on the "adoption" topic link was at the bottom of the page...it says Thanks to the Gladney Center and gives their web site. Apparently Gladney has been advising Dr Phil. Hmmm.....that explains a lot....

Back to the family in question...after reading the summary, what I came away with was that the a/mother kept saying she didn't "feel" anything for the child....

Well, I just want to say...

LOVE IS A COMMITMENT, NOT A FEELING!!!

May I repeat that...

LOVE IS A COMMITMENT, NOT A FEELING!!!

You cannot always trust your feelings...but you can ALWAYS honor your commitments!!

But, I would like to know....what kind of an agency would allow these people to take a child in the middle of the night while he was asleep?? Was there no preparation for this child?? Didn't he have the opportunity to at least meet them first, so they weren't total and complete strangers??

I believe I read that for Russian adoptions, the adoptive parent(s) make at least 2 trips over....one to meet the child and begin the required in-country paperwork, then the second trip after it is approved. (Maybe this depends on the particular country). In the meantime they can keep in touch through letters and pictures. This seems a much "kinder and gentler" way to do it.

I hope Dr Phil will do a follow-up on this one...I think all of America feels for him.

Edited by marthaj
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  • 2 weeks later...

Today's show is titled "adoption updates". Maybe they will be updating families from a few weeks ago. I will be watching!

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Ok, about that little boy they had an update on that little boy adopted from India. The family is doing much better, and the little boy is happy and telling his AM that he loves her. And the AM can't believe she ever said that, and that she can't imagine life without them.

So at least that story has a happy ending.

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Oh shoot! I missed it. I don't watch Dr. Phil (I'm NOT a Dr. Phil fan - can't stand him) but wanted to see the update on him. I did tune in to the first 2 updates they did (beause of Jennifer's post that he'd be doing adoption updates) and got disgusted with the 2nd update so I turned it off.

Here's what bugged me (like anyone cares).

The first lady on there was a birthmother who is now 35, placed when she was 16 and she has this very strong need to have a presence in her son's life...so much so that she sort of crossed the line (at least that's how it was presented on Dr. Phil but who knows). Anyway, he's telling her that she is not his mother (true, I'll agree with that), the adoptive mom is his mother (yep, I agree with that) and it's his adoptive mom's perogative (I never spell that right) to deny her to have contact with her son (not so sure I go with that - he's 18 so I think it's actually his decision, not hers but whatever). The son asked her to not contact him any more (which she hasn't) and she's just trying to figure out now how to move on (if she ever gets that answer, I'd love to know for me too! Do birthmothers ever move on?) So - don't have a huge problem with that although he just seemed to talk down to her or something even though he kept insisting he "appreciates her emotions". Spare me!

This is what bugged me. So - the birthmother, not his mom. Fine. Then - he goes on to do an update on a couple who had matched with a birthmother then she changed her mind...I think after she had the baby. He started off by saying, "now here's something I have a really hard time getting my head around" or something like that then goes on to introduce the story, etc. It's like he acted like the birthmother that changed her mind (who actually, technically is NOT a birthmother yet - she is the MOTHER! She hasn't signed anything, relinquished her rights - she's no different from any other mother other than she feels as though adoption is best for her child/her.) doesn't have the right to do that - like she isn't the mother. I was like, hey wait a minute - the adoptive mom is the mom. The birthmother who placed the little boy isn't the mom. But the expectant mother who hasn't actually placed her baby yet isn't a mom - like he totally disses her for changing her mind! This is the problem with certain agencies, attorneys, and people! Will this mindset ever go away?

I won't lie and say I wasn't praying like a crazy woman when I was waiting to find out whether or not Kayleigh's birthmother had signed her papers or not. But! It is 100% her right to change her mind - so had she done so, I would not have hated her for it or even questioned her decision to do so. Would I have been devastated? Oh my gosh yes, beyond belief - it would have traumatized me in a big way. But - as long as a birthmother enters into a match with every intention of placing her baby for adoption then later changes her mind - that is okay to do (I'm not so in agreement with when a birthmother is unsure, goes ahead and matches all the while being uncertain about her decision but never tells anyone then changes her mind - to me, that's a little misleading - if in doubt, I think they should wait or at least be up front about their uncertainty). Oh yes, then - at the end of their update (which was very touching - I"m very happy for them) not a peep about how Amanda, the birthmother is doing. Ugh! Hello! WHO made this happy little family even possible? It's like HE took all the credit! I don't think ole Dr. Phil was in hard labor pushing out a huge baby feeling like he was about to die. Nope - all he did was air a TV show which gave that couple and the birthmother a chance to hook up - to me, the true hero in that story is the birthmother for coming forward and opening her heart to these people and by having the strength to place her child for adoption - she even said, "You're a Mommy!" to the adoptive mom right after she gave birth. That takes courage!

Okay - off my soapbox - that probably doesn't even make sense it just seemed to me like he was talking out both sides of his mouth.

No more Dr. Phil for me - I'll stick with Oprah!

Lisa

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Hey guys! I had a faculty meeting after school, so I just caught the tail end of Dr. Phil. I was hoping I would see an update on the little boy from India.

I wondered after the first show why she (the adopted mom) was not more guarded in being so blunt about the abhorrence she felt for her adopted son. That was very bizarre. I know sometimes with editing a person can be cast in a bad light...but no one made her say "I don't love him", "I tell him he is stupid", "I tell him that I wish we hadn't adopted him", "I wish we could give him back", etc. Then, I finally thought that maybe she actually hoped to sabotage her position as his adopted mother. Maybe she hoped that the state would come and take him away after the show aired. I don't know.

I was very relieved today to see her treating her son like a son. I just hope it was genuine. I wondered if she watched the show of herself (from the first time) and nearly had an aneurism! I have heard people on T.V. say before that watching themselves on the tube is a big wake up call.

Whatever the reason for her change of heart, praise God! That little boy deserves the best! smile.gif

Elaine

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I agree with everyone about Dr. Phil being incredibly insensitive about adoption issues...

but on another note, Lisa makes a good point! Even though I frequently refer to our infertility trials and the whole adoption process as my "labor pains", may I never forget who had to endure the physical challenge of birthing my child!! When we were in the waiting stage, I remember people telling me, "Oh, now that you're adopting, you'll probaby get pregnant" and my reply was, "I hope not!" because I was just fine with the idea of having a baby WITHOUT the pregnant body and labor pains! It's so easy to forget when we are holding our little babies, thanking God for such a miraculous blessing, about how much pain - both emotional AND physical - their birthmoms had to endure. May we take the time to remember JUST how much of a sacrifice they made in order for our dreams to come true.

Linda

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Well, I didn't see Jennifer's post until this morning. I DID tune in to Dr Phil, but it was about 15 minutes into the show. I tuned in just in time to see the couple, named Jack and Jill, who eventually adopted a baby boy who they named Jack.

I didn't realize at first it was an "update" show...when I tuned in, Dr Phil had 2 pregnant teens on, both named Amanda, who were considering Jack and Jill to adopt their babies. They were eventually chosen by the blonde teen, Amanda. (I make that distinction because the a/mom Jill was also blonde. I remember Abrazo telling us that sometimes the b/moms will look at the profiles for adoptive parents who share the same physical characteristics....like hair color, height etc. Not always, of course, but sometimes.)

Then the show features Jack and Jill at the hospital with Amanda, and the cameras were there recording it all. Amanda asked Jill something like "Do you want to hold him? You're his mom." Jill had even made a comment earlier about open adoption being the "way to go" or something to that effect.

Then the show came back to the present and Dr Phil invites Jack and Jill and baby Jack out on stage. (Of course the audience all "oohs" and "aahs.") He holds the baby, and even invites his wife Robin up on stage to hold the baby. Dr Phil then presents the couple with a gift...their first family portrait to be taken by the same professional photographer who has done all Dr Phil's book covers and family photos.

But, in the back of my mind, I was asking "Where is Amanda? Where is the birthmother?" What a wonderful testimony it would have been to open adoption if the birthmother would have been in the audience or invited up on stage too. (Of course, perhaps she was invited back but chose not to come, but the moment didn't come off like that.) Once the couple were on stage with baby Jack, it's like the birthmom just didn't exist anymore. How about a family photo including Amanda?

I just don't think Dr Phil truly believes in open adoption...if he did, his shows would come off differently, and there would be more emphasis on the birthparents' role.

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I was so upset by what ya'll were saying that I went to Dr Phil's site and read it, I never get to watch. I was even further irritated by the story on the woman who is in need of a relationship with her son that she placed, that she stalks him! How dare he give this airtime! Is it what the typical b'mom does? NO!!! So I emailed the show and asked them to consult with an agency other than Gladney- I suggested Elizabeth/Abrazo, and that they also do double the airtime on positive adoption stories covering open adoption and such. Maybe if we all do that then Dr Phil will get the Idea that this whole story line is not okay with the adoption community.

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I watched the show yesterday too, I was happy to see that the family with the adopted boy from India that "they didn't love" and wanted to send back, they have made a complete turn around. Dr. Phil sent them all to couseling and I guess the family is now very happy and the boy is now doing well. I was SO concerned about this boy, and couldn't believe the first show, and was relived the follow up show as positive on this story.

I, too, wish that Amanda would have been invited to the show, so everyone could see how open, open adoption could be.

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Well, I watched the show and I was not that impressed either. If they chose to show the birthmother that "stalked" her son's adoptive family then they should have at least shown what happens most other times. Dr. Phil really does not have a clue about open adoption because if he did then he would know that open adoption helps with the fear that many adoptive parents have about this as well as it makes it so that there would not even be a need or desire or slightest inkling to stalk. Basically it should have not been given air time.

As for the couple that adopted recently. I also wondered where the birthmother was and why they did not even mention her. I was hoping there would be a reunion. I was very much struck by the fact that there was no mention of her. I was NOT happy about that. Then after thinking about it I thought that maybe she (Amanda, the birthmother) just was not at a place where she could handle it and asked that nothing be said. Maybe even saying that she was too upset at the time to come to the show would make her feel bad. Maybe I am just dreaming, but who knows. One thing is for sure is that we Forumites are all thinking about her and how wonderful and strong she is.

And finally for the couple that adopted the little boy that did not bond. I have such a hard time believing anything they say. To have such strong feelings I would think they would not go away that quickly. My guess is that they had death threats or at least horrible letters sent to them and they were embarrased how utterly pathetic they were and in my opinion still are. (Not that I would condone that, but we live in a crazy society). On the one hand it is certain that not all families bond and they were good in that they addressed this. Why on earth did they not address this sooner -before the horrible remarks that can NEVER be taken back and why on TV? Work with a counselor or your social worker. Surely they were prepared by their social workers or reading or something. Even for our adoption everyone said to constantly hold Andrew and have someone set up in case you just loose it and need time away or be able to put him in the crib and walk away if you can't handle it. (Not leave the house or anything--just regain composure). Just things to be able to deal with issues that could arise. What happened to this couple and more importantly to this poor child.

Well, enough time on the soap box.

Lisa

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dry.gif Interesting, our BP called me to ask if I was watching the recent show on Dr Phil (I was at the store) and reminded me that she would never be "the stalker." We have a very open relationship and she and I can't imagine life any other way. She was disgusted at the show and the lack of discussion, positive influence and feelings with an open adoption. I realize that in the future we may face some adversities, questions, etc, but we have our eyes open and won't hesitate to seek help, counseling, etc.

We realize that open adoption is not for everyone...but to not discuss the BPs or the positive role of open adoption (like the couple with Amanda) makes me think they were going for "wow" factor, lacked time on the show and didn't think it was necessary to bring that aspect up...too bad.

I hope you all have written Dr Phil -

S&L

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I want to say one more thing. We have an open relationship with ongoing contact. I completely trust our birthmother and would never even give it a first thought that she would stalk us. I would not even think that if the contact ended. That is because she knows she is ALWAYS welcome in our family. After all she IS one of the family.

I also never worried prior to meeting our birthmother or even starting the adoption process that we would have a birthfamily that would stalk us. I guess I went into it knowing deep in my heart that all would be ok. I hope that anyone out there that is questioning open adoption really sees how wonderful it is.

Lisa

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I guess I want to try somehow to try to shed a little light on the birthmother on the Dr. Phil show. He used the words stalk - I do agree she crossed the line but I sort of cringe every time he said she stalked her birthson.

For someone who placed their child in a closed adoption that didn't realize there was another option out there (i.e. open adoption) so they actually didn't want the kind of situation a closed adoption presents - it is EXTREMELY difficult to manage the thoughts and feelings and curiousity you continually have over your child. I don't think I can even explain it here - and I don't want to come across as defending her but I guess what concerns me a bit is that someone may think that birthmothers in closed adoptions who try to find their child and find out how they're doing are stalkers. I think there was an angle presented on the Dr. Phil show that emphasized her obesession with her birthson and to the audience, it came across exactly how the producers of the show wanted it to, someone on here said something about "the shock factor" with regard to this show and the lack of mention of the birthmother in the open adoption (Amanda). I think they were also going for shock factor on her story as well. Again, I agree she crossed the line by continually trying to contact him but I can also see where she is coming from. What she said (and Dr. Phil quickly dismissed this and moved on to other things) was that she needed to hear from her son directly that he didn't want to have contact with her. Once he told her that directly (through a letter), she claims she stopped everything. At least that's how I heard things. She did go to his football games, she did call, send him letters, even sent him a picture of him that she took when she went to his football game (that was a little creepy to me), she left him her business card when she went to his game, etc etc etc. From what I understood, she stopped all this once he told her he wanted nothing to do with her.

I think some people have better self-control than others - thankfully, I so far have managed to suppress my curiousity and just hope that someday, I will meet my birthdaughter and find out that everything is okay with her (and of course, I'd love for more than that to happen but just knowing she's healthy, happy, and had a good life and to see what she looks like would satisfy this extreme curiousity I have about her. The thing is, for me (and I think other birthmothers in closed adoptions where there's no contact or information) I struggle with whether I'm a weirdo or not for having these thoughts and feelings - sometimes, I would like to hire a private investigator to find her and take a picture of her just so I could see what she looks like. Noone has any idea how much it would do for me just to see what she looks like. So, to some - that may sound like stalking, especially if her parents didn't give permission for me to do that. But - it's natural (I think) for the person who gave birth to a child to want to know what that child looks like. So, then I think well, maybe I'm not such a weirdo because what mother doesn't want to know (this is why I struggle so much with Kayleigh's birthmother not wanting pictures - that baffles me!) However, there's a more rational side of me who says to me that hiring a private investigator to take a picture (she's only 16) is a little on the weird side so I know I won't do it. What will I do? I know I won't go find her when she's 18, or even 20 or even early 20s if she hasn't already found me (I've signed a mutual consent registry so if she wants to find me, it should be pretty easy for her to do once she's 18). I've read that this is one of the worst times in a child's life for a birthparent to search for them because at that age, they have so much going on in their lives and it just is a little overwhelming and I probably wouldn't be welcomed in her or her parents life. If she hasn't found me by the time she's 30, I will probably search and do whatever it takes to find her and write her a letter. If she doesn't respond, I will respect that but if I'm honest, I must say that I will probably hire someone to take a picture of her so that I will know what she looks like. I certainly wouldn't send it to her though nor would I want her to know I did that. Anyway, not to ramble on about it but I just don't think it's possible to understand the damage a closed adoption can do to someone's life and their well-being and sadly their sense of self. There have certainly been times when I've just become completely obsessed with wanting to know my daughter's name but it eventually passes and I go back to just accepting that I don't know what it is and will just have to wait.

So, the closed adoption birthmother on the Dr. Phil show may actually be considered a stalker by most people's standards but to me, she is just someone who got pregnant as a teenager, placed her child for adoption in a closed/confidential adoption only because she didn't know there was anything else out there and also, because back when she placed...most birthmothers didn't even have a voice and were so shamed by everything they just went along with what the people told them to do, and now is haunted by her decision, to a point where she can't control her strong desire/ need to know her birthson and to have a place in his life so she went a over the edge and probably ruined any chance she may have had if she would have waited until he was older and more mature. Now, he and his parents think she's a complete nutcase (which she may be??) and will certainly stay very far away from her regardless of how sincere her intentions were.

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Lisa,

I can't imagine what it takes to get through placing a child and even more through a closed adoption. You are a very strong person.

To me I did not see the going to the games too odd nor taking pics. I guess if her birthson did not know who she was then she was just another spectator. If she was doing this all the time and taking pics all the time then that seems to cross the line. What was very weird to me (as well as creepy to you) was sending pics that she took with the jersey. WEIRD. I would freak out if anyone did that to me.

I am sure she was trying to let him know that she cares and wants to see him and just how much she wants to see him and be a part of his life.

I find myself often thinking of you and all of the other birthmothers (and birthfathers) out there. I pray that you have the strength to get through the bad times.

I am glad that you are on the forum and speak up as to how a birthmother feels as well as the many others that share their views and emotions. Thanks for your comments.

On a positive note about closed adoptions. I live in Alabama and they just changed the laws here and once you are 18 you can get into your closed files. It turns out that one of my ex-coworkers has a birthsister that was placed at birth. My ex-coworker decided to search for her and actually the child that was placed was searching as well. They found eachother and plan to meet. The birthmother is very excited, but did not make contact for fear that her birthdaughter did not want contact. It is a great story all around.

Lisa

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Dr Phil had a show on yesterday (Jan 29) of adoption failures. It had 2 couples that were having to return their adopted children because of failure of the lawyers to dot their I's and cross their T's. One child the paper work was completed, but NOT In front of a judge, so the adoption was overturned (it also involved the Native American Adoption laws). The fight has gone on for 3 years. The child is 4 years old and will have to be returned within the next 30 days. The second case was a case where there was failure to obtain consent from the birthfather, and he (along with the birthmom) are contesting the adoption and it looks like they will be able to overturn the adoption, again a 4 year old child. I was yelling at Dr. Phil through the TV to have Elizabeth on the show so she could spell out the proper way to complete an adoption process. Both families used private lawyers that were experienced with custody issues, but had not real experience with non-relative adoptions. I felt horrible for the families and even worse for the children.

When these cases happen.... who is protecting the kids????? it appears that is no one... something is wrong with this picture!

Just my 2 cents....

Jeannie sad.gif

P.s. Lisa, I am not a fan of Dr. Phil either. Much too full of himself for my liking! dry.gif

Edited by Mommy2(again)
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