Adoption Horror Story

I am writing to adoption organizations trying to promote some unity for this next presidential election to bring adoption reform to the forefront. If you would like to use my adoption story on your website, here it is.

My parents met in Morningside Hospital in Oregon. My mother was there because of epilepsy, my dad because of depression. When they were both released they went back to their families in Anchorage, AK. They married, and soon I came along. Everything was going great, my dad had a good job working for the State, they were happy. When you've been in a mental institution in the late 1950's early 1960's you are treated like a prison parolee--you have keep regular contact with a social worker.

I'm not sure what happened, but things got rocky in the marriage--my dad had another breakdown, and locked mom and I outside in the snow. My mother's parents came to get us. Soon after the marriage was dissolved. My mom lived with her parents and two teenage sisters, they watched me while she worked two jobs. We were happy. However, this wasn't good enough for the social worker.

The social worker called my mother and family in to her office on Christmas Eve, 1961 and informed them that the living situation was not good enough, and for my mother to keep me she had to get remarried. I was to be placed in foster care until she could come up with a marriage license.

My grandparents were denied adoption because they were too old--they were in their early 50's. If my mother gave them any trouble she would be put back in a mental institution for observation. They had no choice but to give me up.

I was soon adopted out to a waiting Sergeant and his wife who was stationed at the local Air Force Base. My mother did get remarried, and brought my birth certificate to the Department of Health and Human Services, and they denied any knowledge of me or of her. Outraged, my step father and grand parents hired an attorney and went to the air force base--where they found me--but they were thrown off by the MP's. They got a court order and went back to get me--and I disappeared (1963). I was flown either to my adopters' grandparent's farm in Illinois, or to Southern California. Regardless, my name was changed so my family couldn't find me.

The next Christmas eve (1963), my mother was found dead--at 27, no cause of death was ever identified. April, 1964, my step father was on his fishing boat off Kodiak Island in Prince William Sound--he was fishing on his fishing boat, it is believed that he was in the epicenter of the Great Alaska Earthquake--he was never seen or heard from again.

In 1968, my father was working for the State of Alaska and had made about $8,000. He was bragging that he was going to find his daughter. After work, he went to a bar with some friends that he worked with. Later that evening--he was found in back of the bar--nearly beaten to death, drugs (LSD) had been put in his drink--he died 1998 in a mental hospital--where he spent the rest of his life. My grandparents never stopped looking for me. They heard that I was in Southern California, so they moved to Hemet--partly because of Grandpa's health and also to look for me (I was in Rialto). In 1994, my aunt and grandmother contacted Alaska. They were told I was looking for them, but refused to give them any information--EVEN AFTER I HAD TOLD THEM TO IN WRITING! (OBTW Alaska is an OPEN state!) Only that I was looking for them. My grandmother died without EVER seeing me or her great-grandchildren--IN POVERTY! They had spent their life savings looking for me! I was finally found by my aunt--after searching for 36 years (1996)! That's another story--but it's awesome! It's an overwhelming feeling to find that your WHOLE immediate maternal birth family is dead, excepting two aunts! No one had EVER signed anything relinquishing me to the State nor had ANY notice given to b-family about any court hearings regarding adoption placement! I had been in contact with my paternal family since 1984.

Now, I was raised in what I was told was a "perfect" home. Both parents worked, I had every material thing a child could want. I was told all of my life that I was so "lucky" because I was "chosen", etc. My male adopter was insanely jealous of my love for my female adoptier and believed that I was trying to split them up. He was abusive in every sense of the word--including attempted strangulation, he had put a butcher knife to my throat twice, and pointed his gun at me and clicked it (several times). I had also been slapped so hard I hit the wall, and was repeatedly molested until 16. Not to mention the emotional abuse.

Where was my adopter? She many times WALKED AWAY! I was told that they paid more for their dogs than they did for me--they only paid $250.00 for the adoption. When I became an adult--I was to become a nurse and live with them until they died. I could get married, have kids, but I wasn't suppose to leave until they died--then I could do whatever I wanted. I found that I couldn't be a nurse because of a congenital birth defect in my joints--which has now crippled me, I moved out at 22, got married and had 4 kids. For that, my parents disinherited me and gave my inheritance to the social worker who arranged the adoption (2001) 40 years later! Nothing was filed with probate court. I contacted several attorneys--there was nothing I could do--I had no rights--it was ALL LEGAL INSPITE OF THE ADOPTION DECREE! I found the hard way that if I was a BIRTH CHILD--I could have faught--Because I was ADOPTED--I HAD NO LEGAL RIGHTS! I HAD NO LEGAL INTEREST IN THE ESTATE!

YES! The system needs some serious work! After two years--feeling like I was going to loose my mind with all this, suicidal, lots of counseling, some antidepressants, and support from an awesome Rabbi and Synagogue--I am at a place where I can be pro-active and productive. Therefore I'm writing to anyone who will listen----

Together--With a UNITED VOICE--we can EFFECT CHANGE! You leaders! (Smile) Contact each other! Communicate! We can organize--contact our legislators--tell them THROUGH OUR LIVES what needs to be changed. England has recently passed some very powerful legislation. Similar laws would be wonderful for all of us. The website is: http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2002/20020038.htm.

We need to contact our congressmen--tell them we want adoption, CPS and foster care reform NOW! Give them suggestions, then remind them that THEY are in and ELECTION year! If they want to stay in office--THEY HAD BETTER LISTEN! Also, on this website, there is a form for reporting CPS and adoption abuses to teh United Nations--I did and I urge you to also because the U.N. is listening!

I hope this helps encourage you, and I hope this inspired you to help effect change!


Dorothy Carlson

(Source :  http://www.amfor.net/AdoptionShockers.html)

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