An Open Letter to Indiana Adoptees and Legislators

BABY HELD BY TWO SETS OF HANDSWhenever a newborn cries, she expects someone will take care of the need, whether it is for food, a clean diaper, or touch.

Sometimes, a baby’s cries aren’t attended to. The baby cries and cries but no one shows up. In time the newborn gives up crying and “goes within,” into survival mode, developing strong self –trust and a resistant heart.

That was the case for me. I don’t know whether it was because I was so small, whether the nurses couldn’t hear me cry in the incubator, or whether they neglected my cries.

When adopted at ten days of age, I refused to eat, which I believe was a sign of deep grief from losing my birth mother. I was called a “failure to thrive baby.”

Just think…When an adopted baby cries in the hospital after birth, who is responsible to meet her needs? Of course, it is the caretaker–either a hospital worker, the adoptive mom, or the mother.

Let’s speculate. What if the newborn represents all the adopted newborns in the State of Indiana? Who will hear their cries? Who will attend to their needs?

Imagine someone representing Indiana, standing by the bassinet of this newborn while talking to the mother who just gave birth.  The child is red-faced, screaming bloody murder, but her needs and cries are being ignored.

Sound ridiculous?

baby hands

Who would ignore a newborn’s cry?

My fellow-adoptees from Indiana, don’t stop crying! Don’t stop screaming about the need for open birth records. Don’t give up! Don’t go within and internalize.

Indiana legislators, we know you’re trying to do the right thing with legislation about opening our birth records, but you’re not hearing our cries, our needs. It’s like you’re standing over our proverbial bassinet and protecting our birth mothers while ignoring our cries.

Adoption is about the child, not the mother.

Please don’t stifle our cries.

Please open your hearts to us so that we don’t become “failure to thrive babies.”


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