Jaycee Dugard … a DIY adoption

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Recently, the world recoiled in shock when a young woman named Jaycee Dugard, age 29, was rescued from a filthy back yard where she was held captive for 18 years, imprisoned by a convicted sex offender, and forced to bear two of his children.

When the story broke, all I could think (and feel) besides relief that Jaycee had been found, was: I know exactly how her mother feels. That crushing feeling of hopelessness, a soul-destroying grief that has no end and no resolution, a feeling of being entirely helpless when you cannot find your child — even to find out if they are alive or dead — and no-one can help you. Physically and emotionally, reading her story, I felt an a echo of the long years of living these emotions.

The world sympathized with her parents — even more when it was revealed that Jaycee had bonded with her abductors and had even worked for them. She was introduced by her abductor as “his daughter,” and he even stated that she was part of his family and that her story of abduction was even “heartwarming.”

The abduction also destroyed Terry’s life. Carl said that every year after Jaycee was taken, she would stay away from work on the anniversary of the kidnapping and spend the day at home, in tears.”

Jaycee was kidnapped at age 11, before she could give any consent to leaving her family (much like an infant taken for adoption), and before she could speak out to anyone against it (ditto). No minor can make this type of decision.

Eighteen years … not much shorter than the 20 years I remained in limbo, not knowing where my son was, if he was alive or dead.

Not that I didn’t try finding him, as as Jaycee’s parents must have. I scoured major B.C. newspapers, searching for “birth” announcements that may have been placed by people adopting. I found an adoption reunion registry, which I applied to in hopes that the people who had adopted him would have a heart and conscience and also apply while he was still a minor — I could not imagine anyone would intentionally or even inadvertently be so heartless as to put me through that torture willingly. I placed “happy birthday” greetings in newspapers, hoping he or his adoptive family would see them and contact me. When he was about 9, I spent several hundred dollars on a retainer for a private investigator … who found nothing. I studied the faces of every male child I saw who would be of his age, throughout the years. He was never absent from my mind — not a day went past without him being in my thoughts. How could it be otherwise?

I am certain that Jaycee’s parents felt exactly the same way. Except they had police to help them … not that it helped much.

So, tell me … why is our loss considered any less — any less tragic, any less traumatic, any less involuntary — than the loss experienced by Jaycee’s parents? Why are we expected to shut up about it? Why are we written off as nothing more than an incubators? Why do people willingly and happily adopt the babies of women who have had just as much choice as Jaycee’s mother, Terry? I am certain that these same people would feel for Terry, and meanwhile tell me that I have no right to talk

Why is the pain considered to be any less?

[Mr Garrido] told us up-front he works with his daughter.”

Jaycee Dugard was abducted, and then treated as both a sex slave and an adopted daughter by her abductors. Let’s call it what it is: A do-it-yourself adoption. And when there is no choice on the part of the mother, how is either situation anything less than abduction?

“(281) Abduction of Person Under Fourteen – Every one who, not being the parent … unlawfully takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives or harbours that person with intent to deprive a parent … of the possession of that person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.” – Criminal Code of Canada

ETA: A person who had adopted made the comment on another blog, “Regardless, signing ‘sealed the deal’.” Well, in B.C., I have heard many stories first-hand of what was done to single mothers who refused to sign while “customers” waited. Their babies were put into foster homes, and government social workers then went to court to terminate the mother’s rights on grounds that her baby’s best interest was to be with a married, stable, 2-parent family. Also, 3 months of your baby in a foster home you cannot find, and your rights could be automatically terminated on grounds of “abandonment.” Signatures were moot, especially when given while one is medicated to the gills. If one level of coercion did not work, a stronger level was applied until it did.

Taking babies right at birth while the mother was medicated and tied down was abduction. This happened across Canada.

7 thoughts on “Jaycee Dugard … a DIY adoption

    Mei-Ling said:
    September 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Because people have to believe that if you relinquished, you [obviousy] didn’t care enough and therefore your pain is inferior.

    That myth is still permeating everywhere. *sigh*

    angelle2 said:
    September 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    The comment about signing sealing the deal does make me laugh. Yes, and at the same time they changed all of the DNA and genetic heritage as well.

    So there you go stupid woman thinking you have a connection to the child you gave birth to!

    Jen said:
    September 17, 2009 at 9:56 am

    This post makes me sick. I am a birthmom and although we as birthmoms “lost” our children to adoption, it’s disgusting to compare that to a child being snatched off the streets by some sick preverted man who spent years abusing that child.

      Cedar said:
      September 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

      Jen, this post was NOT about how our children were treated by the people who raised (held) them. It is about what the mother of that child went through, in trauma and grief, and how that is no different from what mothers who lost children to adoption go through. The treatment of that child is not the subject of the post, but as you raise this issue, remember that adoptees can also be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused by the people who adopt them. I know many adoptees who suffered these consequences at the hands of their adoptive parents or adoptive siblings. Just as you hear about foster children being abused in foster homes, it is no different for adopted children. What about my friend “F” who was raped for years by her adoptive father and her 2 adoptive brothers, from the age of 5 onwards? My own son has told me about the emotional abuse he suffered — the reason why he has cut his former adoptive parents out of his life entirely. There is nothing guaranteeing that an adopted child is safe.

    Lynnzy said:
    November 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    The writer of this blog is right on the money with her assessment. I felt the same way, but I am an adoptee. I know who my blood parents are though now and have talked to them in the past. That said, I can see myself in Jaycee. I had to ‘pretend’ to be someone else’s daughter and I knew I was not their daughter so it was tough for me. I knew deep inside that it was wrong, and adoption is wrong. I do believe that a ‘kidnapping’ like this is a ‘do-it-yourself-adoption like the writer says.
    I am also unhappy and pissed like the writer is that my pain is regarded as ‘less’ than Jaycee is putting up with. I to needed counselling to deal with who I used to be, who I was supposed to be in a new home, and who I really was. Many of us adoptees are raped and abused by the adoptive family so we should not sugar coat this subject and I think that it’s time that society does look at adoption as a form of ‘kidnapping’ and quit perpetuation this nonsense that it’s good for people cause it’s not. The only people that it’s good for is the adoptive parents and I’m really tired of everyone dancing around their rich spoilt needs and not looking at the victims in the picture.

    halforphan said:
    December 31, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I’m with Lynnzy, and the writer of this blog. I’m an adoptee. Despite the fact that my natural father relinquished me after the death of my mother, I do not blame him at all. He was coerced, victimized by a woman he did not know who approached him at his wife’s funeral, “I know a couple who will take your baby.” Take, they did: no effort was made to keep my natural family intact. I grew up an only child, with full blood siblings just six miles across town. My entire adoptive family knew the truth, but I was never supposed to know. Adoption is nothing but kidnapping. Abuduction. Pathetic. I’ve spend the majoirty of my adult life in therapy, too, trying to make sense of what was done to me. It effects my children, too, for they (and I) want no part of extended family of my adoptive famiily. For that matter, adoption destroys the natural family left behind. No one is whole. We are fractured people.

    I am not dancing around adoption: yes, the only people to benefit from adoption is the adotpive parents.

    Linda Webber said:
    June 7, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I agree with the assesment made here.I also lost my daughter to the adoption industry and she did not have the life I was led to believe she would have.I believe there is a disease of perfectionism that gets acted out with infant adoption.It begins with the over 3 billion dollar infant adoption industry playing on the fear of new mommies and convincing her that she won’t be a good enough mother/parent to her own baby.Now to the rescue is the agency knows of some perfect adoptive parents and it won’t cost the mother a cent.Well, except for the life time of pain,which will be minimized if mentioned at all.The PAPS will be encouaged to write the perfect” Dear Birthmother” letter and BTW the agency will be more than happy to include this service in the “fees”.Do you think it is an accident the pregnant Mother is already referred to as a “Birthmother” even before she has signed on the dotted line?I think it is good marketting.The same good marketing when referring to the infant as “your baby” that encourages
    the PAPS to slap down the non-refundable deposit for the perfect infant.And so what happens when this less than perfect human being grows up to be less than perfect? Who gets the blame?Less than perfect genes? Why don’t we place the blame on the disease of perfectionism that is at the very core of removing infants from their good enough Mommies?Yes,that wouldn’t be good for the business of infant adoption but it would sure be healthier for families.

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