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This is the pile of bills for one year of medical and psychological services. There have been many years like this. Being adopted has cost me a fortune. The most annoying thing is that no-one ever saw the link to my adoption. Nobody told me depression, enormous loss and grief reactions, thoughts of suicide, feeling lost and bad were common things for adoptees.

It seems there is a big baby-marketing industry out there which does not want adoptees to talk about their troubled lives. They find young people who will say publicly they are OK and unaffected by their adoptions. Some are even happy they were adopted. I would have said my adoption had not affected me when I was younger. It is a pride that you believe you create your own destiny - and you don't know the effects of adoption because they are not talked about publicly. These same people who think adoption has not affected them will at times be found talking to other interviewers about their serious spells of depression! I want to suggest to them that the two things might be connected because others have found this to be the case.

I am not the only person who has paid highly for my adoption. My adoptive family without birth family history, struggled to have medical conditions diagnosed when I was young. I was ill for many of the primary school years and the doctor was a regular visitor at our house. My medical record card is full of the pharmaceuticals that were injected into me. Among other things I was allergic to the most common foods fed to me – grains and dairy products. I was full of inflammation, had asthma, was covered in sores and had continual ear-aches.

When I eventually got off dairy and grains as an adult, all those problems went away. When I eventually got some family history, the story of the childhood illnesses made sense. Meanwhile, I wonder if my adoptive family would have gone ahead with the adoption if they knew how much they would be paying in medical bills for me.

How do you measure the cost of family break-ups? In spite of psychiatric intervention and other loss and grief therapy, I had a breakdown after my adoptive mother died. I could not maintain the marriage, and my three children have been raised by a single parent. These are costs of my adoption that have been passed on to the next generation, and an innocent spouse.

Who profits? I can’t say my adoptive family profited. They got the baby they wanted, but not the lives they expected. But many therapists and medical practitioners who charge more than the standard fees have been collecting money for working with a client with a life experience they are not trained to understand.


So many years of my life I've spent in therapy with therapists who could not link my current condition with adoption. The Federal Apology got me in touch with the enormous loss and grief of adoption that underpinned every new occasion of loss and grief in my life. I feel cheated by their ignorance.