I am both adopted and found my mother in 2011, ironically when this bill last reared its ugly head.
I went through the process to find my mother and spent a lot of time with a representative from Catholic Charities who does reunions. There are a variety of reasons for this, most of which are emotional. Some mothers moved on and had families and a life. Others never move on. Some mothers can go back, some cannot. Many who go back cannot continue the relationship. Very few reunions ever end well.
Currently there is a process for a child to find his/her mother. The process works. I completed it.
With Catholic Charities, you would contact an intermediary and that person would contact your mother. This is a good thing. Imagine giving up a child and 35 years later that child wants to meet you. You have to buffer that landing, which is one very hard one.
It is also a horrible idea to have the child contact his/her mother directly. There is way too much emotion. I did not have the ability to use this for my father, whom I found. I have written many op-eds, many hundreds of letters to the editor, spoken at rallies with thousands of people, call radio shows regularly, and been on television. I could not write the letter to my birth father letting him know I exist. No one is equipped to make this contact. Let this sink in.
Back in the time frame that this law would cover, mothers gave up their child and moved on. They need to. Giving up a child is a major emotional experience. Staying involved in the child’s life is confusing to the child and cruel to the mother. The child can ask questions when he/she is ready to. I cannot explain this unless you personally go through it.
If a mother wants to be found, there is a process in place where she can be found.
What this law does is force the issue for people who do not want to be found.
This law came up previously when I was in the process of meeting my mother. I publicly stood up against it. I worked with some great legislators and they helped stop this bill.
So you have to ask yourself a question: Why would I want to defeat a bill that would have given me access to what I wanted: my mother?
Answer: Because I understand that I had no right to just show up in her life. That is selfish and cruel. These things have to be handled very carefully and this bill does not. It forces a one-size fits all response to a hugely emotional issue. Life does not work this way.
Sean Murphy lives in Southbury.
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