I really do wonder what people REALLY believe about adoption? Its ironic that people everywhere pay lip service to those of us who have adopted. Making statements about how our adopted children are our real children (duh?) and comments about how those of us who have adopted are real mothers and fathers & yet when an adopted child grows up to be an inherently evil person, the first thing that people focus on is the fact that they were adopted. Which leads me to believe that deep in the core of all people, there is an inherent belief that adoption somehow makes a child less than or that perhaps it makes those of us who have adopted less equipped or proper parents?
Case in point – Johan Kotze, you can read the victims account of what he did to her here. After the details of what he did started coming to light, one of the first things to be reported was that he was adopted.
As a mother through adoption and also, I think, a fairly intelligent person, I really do wonder what the link is between the crime and adoption? Personally, I think that him being adopted is irrelevant. Anyone can grow up to be a monster, both adopted or biological. It’s the age old debate of nature versus nurture. Some people are born with mental illness, of psychopathic tendencies and being adopted will have no baring on how those tendencies will play out. Deviant genes are past on from biological parents and not from adopted parents, this in turn means that a child with these genes is more likely to display deviant behavior regardless of his adopted status. Granted, being born with deviant genes and having ones adopted status handled in the wrong way could be the very trigger to bring out the deviant behavior but then any kind of trauma could lead to the display of this deviant behavior in both an adopted or biological child.
I started doing a bit of research into this topic and the findings were shocking.
- In a study of “Serial Killers” on Internet by Dr. Mike Aamodt, Radford University, 14% of (225) serial killers are adopted.
- The FBI estimates 500 serial killers currently in the U.S; about 80 or 16% have been identified as adoptees. Since government stats indicate adoptees represent “only 2-3% (5-10-million) of the general population,” 16% that are serial killers is an “over-representation” compared to the general population.
- Most adoptees who kill were adopted at birth.
But on further reading, I also learned some interesting information on how all of these ser.ial killers found out they were adopted and none of them learned about their adopted status from their adoptive parents sharing the truth with them from the very beginning. All of them found out, either by accident or through the unraveling of lies, in a traumatic fashion when they in their very impressionable teen years.
According to Bundy biographers Michaud and Aynesworth, Ted’s emotional growth was stopped in its tracks after he learned that he was illegitimate at age 13. “It was like I hit a brick wall,” Bundy had said. Of course, he tried out every excuse he could rummage, so it’s difficult to take his word on this when his family life appeared otherwise healthy.
The other thing that became abundantly clear when reading up on this topic is that all of these killers, both adopted and biological, experienced some kind of trauma as children which seems to have been the trigger for their deviant genes.
From a legal stand point, there seems to be arguments both for and against Adopted Child Syndrome. With many arguing this is just another excuse, in the vein of abuse etc, to explain away a crime.
By now, all of you who are secretly “against” adoption are probably nodding your heads in agreement but on further reading into ACS (adopted child syndrome) I was relieved to read that experts are all in agreement that
generally children adopted before the age of six-months fare no differently than children raised with their biological parents. Later problems that develop among children adopted from the child welfare system at an older age are usually associated with the effects of chronic early maltreatment in the care-giving relationship; abuse and neglect.
Which once again brings me back to my point that any childhood trauma suffered by both adopted and or biological children, can trigger deviant genetics and or/behavior.
Its a very interesting topic for me but the one thing that is very very clear in all of this is that the handling of a child’s adoptive status is very very important and that is should be done in the right way. Ava already “knows” that she is adopted. Both Walter and I agree, and our SW concurs, full disclosure of the truth is the best way to go. She will grow up knowing that she is adopted, granted, right now, she doesn’t understand what it means, but as she grows and matures, she will gain a deeper and deeper understanding of what it all means without the sudden and painful disclosure of her adopted status when she is older and when it is far more likely to have a negative impact on her sense of security, self worth and sense of self.
I guess, in the long-winded way, what I’m trying to say is that I would love to know what people REALLY believe at the core about adoption and that I wish people wouldn’t focus so much on the negativity surrounded adoption. Biological children have just as much tendency to grow up damaged as adopted children do.
We are all, after all, a product of our upbringings.
Disclaimer – the words above are based on MY opinion and are by no means scientific fact.