Natural Parents Adopting-Back / Adoptees Terminating Our Adoptions

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[Update of July 2012]   This post was originally published a year ago, to announce that the Facebook group that was formerly called Adopting-Back Our Children” changed its name and expanded its focus to become “Adopting-Back Our Children / Adoptees Terminating Adoptions.”  As the Facebook group and the accompanying website have both grown and changed over the past year, it is time for an update.

This group has a history dating back to 2002, when it was an MSN Group of the same (old) name hosted by a natural mother named Scarlett West and myself.  When MSN shut down its groups, we moved onto Facebook to continue there.  I fell out of touch with Scarlett.  Once she had adopted back both her stolen twin daughters,  I think she was able to finally able to put adoption entirely behind her and focus on the rest of her life.  Her family has been healed from adoption separation, and her daughters are back home with their mother again, healing from the abuse they suffered at the hands  of a racist, unbalanced woman who should never have been allowed to adopt.

Anyway, back to the topic of the group.  For years, the group and the site focused on the legal process of adopting-back, which of course has always been the “second-best” option, because the very best option would be for all adoptees to be able to terminate their own adoptions as they saw fit.   But, we were unable to gather much information about this being done — until an adoptee joined our Facebook group and told us all about how she was able to legally terminate her own adoption via a Private Members Bill in Alberta.

So we found out that terminating an adoption is not only possible, but it has been done with some frequency in Alberta.   One of these Acts was passed fairly recently in fact, in 2009, the Beverly Anne Cormier Adoption Termination Act.    This excerpt from the Standing Committee on Private Bills  proceedings gives some details of why a private members bill was used:

“Ms Dean: Certainly, Mr. Chair. As all committee members are aware, a private bill seeks something that’s not available through the general public law. Bill Pr. 1 is seeking the termination of an adoption order because, basically, the petitioner is unable to get recourse in any other way. A person is unable to set aside an adoption order after one year unless it has been procured by fraud. Now, that’s not the case here. There’s been no fraud, so this is the appropriate tool by which one goes about terminating an adoption of this type. It’s a fairly rare type of bill, but these have come before the Assembly before. The most recent one was in 1998.”

Other adoption termination acts have included:

In addition, Mike Chalek was able to get his adoption terminated in a Florida court. , which provides a different means that adoptees can try.   The problem in Mike’s case is that it took the proof of fraud for the judge to grant the petition.   It is uncertain what type of proof other judges may deem to be “sufficient grounds.”  Also published this year was an E-How article, “How to Nullify an Adoption for an Adult.”  I do not know if this article is actually based on real experiences or not, or is  (as many E-How articles appear to be) just a “spam page” having the sole purpose of  displaying a profuse amount of advertising.

But I cannot think of why anyone would deny that all adoptees should have the option to choose whether they want to remain adopted or not.  If they were adopted as an infant or young child, no-one asked them if they wanted to be grafted into a family of genetic strangers.  Some adoptees may choose the termination route, and some may be be perfectly happy with how things worked out in their adoptive families.  But all adoptees should be able to make that decision, unilaterally, of their own choosing.


14 thoughts on “Natural Parents Adopting-Back / Adoptees Terminating Our Adoptions

    eagoodlife said:
    June 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Well done and good news.Couldn’t you just call it “Parents adopting back”?

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 14, 2012 at 7:00 am

      Good idea. I have always felt uncomfortable with the term “children” when applied to an adult adoptee.

    Lori said:
    July 8, 2011 at 2:21 am

    One question – when a child terminates their adoption (okay, pardon, an adult adoptee) then what birth certificate is treated as legal?

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 8, 2011 at 3:00 am

      Good question. I have just posted that on the Facebook group. My guess is that the OBC then becomes legal again, but I would like to hear from someone who terminated their adoption to find out what happened for them.

    Dolly said:
    July 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Is there any requirement that the adoptive parents must terminate their parental rights? How can an adult adoptee inherit from adoptive parents if the adoption is rescinded/nullified?

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 14, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Answers to your questions:

      (1) No, there is no requirement for the adoptive parents to terminate their parental rights. Parental rights expire when the adopted person reaches the age of majority. However, filiation does continue of course until it is changed by the adoption being terminated, at which point from what we have seen in these cases, filiation is restored between the former adoptee and his/her natural family.

      (2) The adult adoptee will likely regain intestate inheritance rights to their natural family once more — but, again, a judge may rule otherwise, we just don’t know if this is a “given” for all cases because we have found so few examples. An adoptee could inherit from their former adoptive parents if he/she is named as an heir in their will.

    Justine said:
    July 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Your online petition is not available for people to sign.
    The websute needs some clean ups to enable this and other input.

    We also suggest there is no one who wishes to harm their born infants by causing tug–0-war between natural and adoptive parents, that;s unfair to all concerned

      Adoption Critic responded:
      July 14, 2012 at 7:08 am

      An adopted person choosing to terminate their adoption would not cause a “tug of war.” Ideally it would be a decision made by an adult based on his or her own freedom of choice.

    tim said:
    July 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I’m pleased to see you carrying this forward. I had initiated some correspondence about adoption dissolution some time ago. But, as is typical in my life as an adult adoptee, the stress of it became unbearable. It’s unfortunate that it requires a bill to be passed, but I’m pleased to see there is a direct avenue for those with money and adequate emotional resources – it’s better than nothing. Now what we need is a more straight-forward, and broadly accepted, mechanism to bring this about. IMHO – it should be no more than a notarized form that can be filled out by the adult adoptee.
    I’ve seen a few angry online posts over the years from adoptive parents. It’s no wonder when they are given letters like the one’s my a-parents: “he has become for all purposes your child, and you have become his parents as if he had been born to you” (June 8, 1973 J.V. Belknap, Superintendent of Child Welfare).
    For me it’s a lot like the mistaken assumptions that were made about first nations children placed in residential schools i.e. the belief that a child’s identity is a blank slate that can be filled in with the identity of the people who “raise” it. Unfortunately the private and public interests in north America surrounding adoption are massive when compared to what occurred with first nations peoples (who are always in my heart). As such, bringing about change is much more difficult than administering some financial compensation, making a public apology and closing the schools. Those of us who know people affected by the first nations residential schools are also painfully aware that the damage will never be fully healed, but at least in that situation it has stopped. Not the case for adoption!

    tim said:
    July 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I should add to my last line, not the case for “closed adoption”, as I believe adoption is necessary in some situations. However, the stripping of personal identity, the locking of adoptee’s into the families of another for the rest of their life, and immense social pressure to be a “grateful adoptee” that comes along with it all is a social systems error too often overlooked.

    Bill said:
    December 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Amen Tim, the time has come for the truth to be told. I have abused myself and others in my life as a result of a lost sense of self. Nobody ever thinks about the ugly side of this institution and the damage to the ones separated. I can’t think of a time when being the odd man out was not a reality. There is a very human cost to being torn from your mothers womb and sold to a more deserving family, and that is self. We are guaranteed, if there is such a thing, Life , Liberty, AND pursuit of happiness and for us that is being free of a burden put upon us by ignorant people in powerful positions playing GOD with our lives. What was done in the name of “best interests of the child” is nothing but kidnapping and should be prosecuted as such.

    Gordie said:
    January 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I hear where you all are coming from but I dont think all cases fit into a neat little box! We are caucasion parents who have adopted a first nations baby in Canada. We did not rip him from his family we were approached by them and ask after they carefully made there informed desisions as far as the rights for themselves and the little guy. We have an open door policyand the natural mother and her family have full access to him, the natural mother is very young and it was an unplanned pregnancy, the birth father is no where to be found which is sometimes the case in both first nations and caucasion!. We see the family at least once a month and our little son (which he is!) will always be plugged into his culture, as he gets older he will have freedom to find himself and also guidlines as to what he shouldnt find such as drinking, smoking and drugs! again plagues found in all cultures. We are a middle class income family which is required to adopt! so we are not rich (stigma often given to whites who adopt) but perhaps have a bit more money than his natural mother, this should not be judged as his natural mother may grow to be a lawyer or a doctor which will pass our income. Scars last forever but healing starts in the heart! people need to find themselves and move forward, I am not saying to forget everything that happened but find the peace that allows happiness for you and anyone you touch in the future. I am white and have no family! I do not know where my people come from and have verylittle peace because of it, although it does bother me I have come to terms with it and focus on the future. I wish I was first nations quite often, I find them a proud people with a sense of national pride, I believe they have been wronged but the pride has always remained and I admire that! Hudson is my son! I do not own him! He will be given the tools to grow and become his own man, he will remain an indian and I will love him for that! Like an eagle he will someday spread his wings and fly away but I hope he knows he will always have a place to roost with us and that he doesnt find the need to un adopt us because we are a differnt color. Love you all and may peace surround you on your journeys!

    fake name said:
    March 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I’m a clerk in a court I will not name but I know of a case that the judge refuse to give a single father his daughter because hi is a Mexican an possibly undocumented, even after he prove fraud to him and to the court, I’m shame to be part of this court system where the lawyers for the adoption agency make deals with judges to walk all over this poor Mexican men here is the link to the case I can’t believe the racism and actions of this corrupt Court that even after the Appeals Court vacated the Order of relinquishment the judge refuse to fallow the law and refuse to give this man his daughter his been fighting for her custody for over 4 years and she is only five years old I feel so bad that I’m unable to tell anyone of what I seen in this case because of my oath to the court I hope god punish this corrupt judges and lawyers of their bad actions dyeing this single father the right to be a father and this little girl to meet his real father, well the case is in the Colorado Appeals Court now and I hope they uphold the United States Constitution that every parent has the right to parent their children, I just hope this child is not been abuse like many adopted children are, please don’t judge me but I need it to get this off my chest thank you anonymous.

    michael R/K said:
    January 13, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Dear ppl who created this good website,

    I was adopted in 01′ and when ever I found my birth mom in August 25,2013 that is when I found out a truth that was explicably disgusting that I have deeply built so much anger for the state, it is a nightmare. To put it a short summary, I was illegally kidnapped by Dfs. I have the tpr that states it all. A 22 page police report of the beginning of the investigation.

    My mom got judges and social workers cut from the case in the middle of it.

    I have it all.

    So I need help to be re-adopted back into my birth family. I need the right form to get Adult adopted. However, I was adopted already. Where is this form. My mom has 4 other children. She isn’t poor, but isn’t rich. So it’s tough this month. She doesn’t want to pay 3,000 for a lawyer to adult adopting.

    I’m also not wanting anything to do with my adopted parents. Please help, anyone 

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