Ending Shame & Secrecy: A Discussion About Adoptee Rights With Rich Uhrlaub Transcript


Episode 4 Podcast > Full Transcript


How would you feel if you decided to pursue your genealogy, and in order to do that, you had to go to a juvenile court judge and prove you were worthy to do your search, and THEN get permission from other adults to be your intermediaries between you and the information about you?” Rich Uhrlaub, adoptee and activist, asks this question as he helps adoptive parents like me feel what it’s like to navigate some states’ laws around adoption secrecy. He notes: “You’re presumed guilty, not innocent. You are presumed to be a homewrecker.” Now we may say that things are better today, in this era of openness, but Rich connects the dots from where we have been to where we are now. Let’s hear from Rich about shame & secrecy vs truth and transparency when it comes to the people we are raising: our adoptees.

Lori Holden:

Hello and welcome to this episode of Adoption: The Long View, a podcast brought to you by Adopting.com.

Whether you've been married or not, you probably have an opinion on this question: is a wedding the ending, the happily ever after ending? When I ask that in workshops I lead, people laugh and say No. Sure, they say, the wedding is the end of the journey to the altar, but it's just the beginning of the journey of the marriage

And that's the focus of this podcast. Once you fill the crib and are legally joined to your beloved child, your journey is not over. It's just beginning. We cover many of the things you need to know to navigate adoptive parenting over the long view. Starting with things you need to know now, perspectives you need to hear now.

I'm your host, Lori Holden, the author of the book The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption and longtime blogger at LavenderLuz.com. More importantly, I'm a mom through domestic infant adoption to a daughter and a son, now in their late teens. Let me tell you, it's been a ride. Think of any road trip you've ever taken. There are ups and their downs and it's always an adventure. You're always glad for the trip and afterward, you might on occasion, thinking, if only I knew then what I know now. Regarding your adoptive parenting journey, we aim to help you know now.

I'm so excited for our guest today. This is Rich Uhrlaub. Rich has dedicated himself to support and effective advocacy for the interests of adults impacted by relinquishment and adoption for over 20 years. He currently serves as President of Adoption Search Resource Connection. Relinquished and adopted at three weeks old, Rich located and connected with his family of origin 25 years ago.

​Rich has testified before legislative committees and presented and facilitated at various conferences nationwide. He has been interviewed for local and national radio, television and newspaper stories. He was instrumental in getting laws changed in his home state of CO so that adoptees born in this state now have the same access to their birth records as non-adoptees do. Rich, welcome.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Thanks. Great to be with you, Lori.

Lori Holden:

I'm so excited to talk with you today. This is such an important topic for people like me, because even though everybody listening may have different stories, what so many of us have in common is that we're raising -- or we hope to have the privilege to raise -- an adopted person, an adoptee.

I want to discuss some things today from an adult adoptee perspective. It can be hard for hopeful or new parents who are at the baby stage of things to look ahead to their baby, their child being a teenager and maybe even a young adult. So let's talk about issues that will affect those who are now babies or children.

How about starting by briefly telling us your story of becoming an adoptee activist? And what exactly that means

Rich Uhrlaub:

Well, I kind of fell into it because I hit a point in life where I wanted to know more about my origins and where I came from and who I looked like typical questions that come up for adoptees. And when I went to a group then called Adoptees In Search, I found out that records were sealed. And there was a big nationwide initiative at that time that would have sealed original birth certificates from adult adoptees for 99 years. So I got on the bandwagon and decided, hey, we've got to fight this. This is not right. And not only did we want to resist that really terrible idea, but we also wanted to move the ball down the field toward getting access to our own records once we were adults. So that passion really drove me.

Lori Holden:

Let me ask you something here because I think, from where I was at one point in time, when closed adoption was the way we did things. Why Is that wrong? Why is it wrong to seal records?

Rich Uhrlaub:

Well, it's a nuanced question and thank you for asking it. I absolutely support sealing records from the general public. There's no reason that anybody should be able to walk in and find out the details of your adoption. Whether you're an adoptive parent or an adoptee or a relinquishing mother that should stay private

But within the parties themselves, that's kind of a different level of importance of access to information. There's a lot of different ways that this is framed. I like to frame it in terms of truth and transparency in adoption. Most people are not corrupt baby sellers, but it does happen in the world. Most people have great motives about why they want to adopt. And I honor that At the same time, without truth and transparency, really the opposite is shame and secrecy. And so when you create a system based on shame and secrecy that creates psychological ripples, legal ripples, all kinds of implications down the road that people who back in the days these laws were sealed, say in the 1930s and 40s. In the US, they weren't really thinking long term about the impact.

Lori Holden:

Yeah, and also when you have that shame and secrecy and the ability to do things in the dark. That's when the bad things can happen when there isn't that transparency in the process.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Absolutely. Transparency creates accountability. And secrets imply there's something wrong. So many adoptees I've interacted with through the years. Have said, so what was so horrible about this blessing event that it had to be sealed away and I can't know who I am and what my roots are. When I've testified before legislative committees, one thing I pointed out is that I've kind of posed a question, but why, why is genealogy normal for everybody except adopted people?

Lori Holden:

That's a great question.

Rich Uhrlaub:

It's a basic human instinct. One one minister at a church I went to years and years ago said, life's three biggest questions are: Where did I come from? Why am I here? And where am I going? And if you can't answer number one, it's a lot harder to get to number two and three. And we see adoptees really struggle with that over time.

Lori Holden:

And that really speaks to me as an adoptive parent. Especially of teens, because in those teen years they're doing that identity building. And to the degree that I can help them find all of their pieces, have access to all of their pieces, you know, helping them pull it all together. How much they want it -- it helps me to know that.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, I'm a fan of Erik Erikson's developmental tasks. He himself was an adoptee and he points out that in the teen years, that's really when you start to develop abstract reasoning. And a lot of kids who are seemingly very happy and well adjusted as adoptees, apart from maybe some crying jags at age 7 and 8 when children develop the ability to grieve, those early to mid teen years can be really difficult because you can conceptualize the abstract question.

A common thing adoptees in my generation were told was, she loved you so much she gave you away.

Lori Holden:

Wow, what does that say to you?

Rich Uhrlaub:

Now think about that as an organizing principle for your life and relationships. And the notion of the noble sacrificing birth mother is a shallow, broad brush at best.

We've come a long way. But I think that's where the rise in open adoption has been driven by the recognition of how, in many ways -- even though it's often harder for the adoptive parents -- it's really better for the adoptee to integrate their truth from the beginning. And it's also that not all birth parents want to stay in an open adoption and I can get that it's hard to grieve and hard to watch your baby being raised by somebody else.

But at the same time, that spirit of openness, that spirit of transparency parents says that nobody is anybody's dirty little secret. Nobody is anything that has to be sealed away by the government and hidden from the very object, ie the adoptee, who all this fuss is about. It really sets a whole different culture and a different stage for human development and honesty in relationships.

People who've attended our group, and I can't count how many this has happened, have arrived, shattered in their 50s after attending a funeral when a cousin walks up and says, So now that your parents are dead, are you going to look for your birth family? --never having been told they were adopted.

Lori Holden:

Oh my gosh. Talk about shame

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, and there's no way to resolve that. You can't have that question. And all you do is spend the rest of your life saying so what else did they lie to me about?

Lori Holden:

Right, it rocks your very foundation of trust.

Rich Uhrlaub:

And the irony is that, that in that time, a lot of people were well intentioned with this, they were saying, well, let's just let's just create this normative family. And we're going to seal up these records. The interesting history is that the records were sealed not so much to protect a birth parent identity as to prevent the birth parent from finding out the adoptive family identity and trying to come back and reclaim the child.

And in an open adoption, when everybody knows who everybody is, and there's informed consent, and people have been counseled through a lot of the emotional implications, again, that wall is taken down. Not that there's not grief, not that there's not trauma for the child and everybody involved, not that there's loss in the midst of the game. But the whole culture that was set just by these often well intentioned, but short sighted laws created ripples or tidal waves that made for a very, very unhealthy system.

Lori Holden:

Yeah I took us off on a tangent, talking about why it's wrong to close records. So let's get back to your journey to becoming your story of becoming an activist in this area.

Rich Uhrlaub:

So as I got more involved, and I'll give you a little background about my story because that's a question that often came up at the legislature. Some of the more curmudgeonly old guys who were always very suspicious of why we were there and what we were doing, would say, you know, what are you getting out of this? Why are you here? Don't you care what your adoptive parents think about this? Won't they be upset?

And my personal experience was I was adopted into a 2-parent home. They were wonderful people, hardworking, devoted parents. And then their generation, it was a very different process. Basically, they had a home study, the social worker came in, they said, You seem like nice people. Dad, you've got a job. Mom, you keep a clean house. Here's your baby and have a great life together.

Nobody understood anything about attachment theory. Nobody understood anything about trauma and loss. Nobody understood there's so much that has changed since then and so many great resources are now available to adoptive parents that I hope your listeners will take advantage of.

But that's kind of my framework. It was assumed that nurture would triumph over nature. We were assumed to be blank slates. And I think this is still kind of a modern myth, though, that adoptive parents go into it, believing my love will conquer all. And love is amazing and it's wonderful and it's powerful, but -- and and I want your listeners to hear me right on this -- in several important ways it's not enough.

Lori Holden:

That's a harsh truth. That's a harsh truth.

Rich Uhrlaub:

And the reason I say that is that loving someone doesn't necessarily mean you're equipped to understand the differences in how you're wired and how your child is wired. One thing I've said to the legislature is, I love my family, they will always be my family. But the weird thing about being an adoptee is your family are not your ancestors. They're not your tribe. And so, from the moment that you're adopted, you really have two sets of parents from the get go. And you will always have two sets of parents,

Lori Holden:

Whether you know them or not,

Rich Uhrlaub:

Whether you know them or not.

And the more we understand about the power of genetics, the more we see -- it took my mom oh gosh, when how old was I when she said this? My older sister had a son, and when he was about six or eight, the lights came on for her. Because she said, you know, he is so much like your sister. And the power of the gene pool that they were both swimming in and really would just was right up there in front of her face to face. And I think it set her back. I think it was kind of hard on her.

But in a graduate level course I took and this is, there's no way to be exact about this. But I think psychologists estimate that it's really about 65 nurture and 35 nature. And if you come into it thinking that you're going to be able to reshape or reform or somehow influence that 35% nature, you need to step back and give that a hard look. And you need to prepare yourself as a parent to be ready to flex to that nature that is not wired like you are.

I have memories of really growing up believing that in certain ways, I was just crazy. Because of the responses I got from my parents that you know, didn't have to say anything, just the way they looked at me or the non responses I got when I would say something that felt totally normal, or tried to express a need in my not really great way as a kid. The message I grew up with was: it was mostly nonverbal. But it's kinda like, well, that makes absolutely no sense. We're doing it this way. And you start piling those things on, and it really takes some emotional and psychological savvy to move into the task of being an adoptive parent. It's not going to be all nurture and no nature.

Lori Holden:

How do you think things are different today for new adoptive parents today, as opposed to when your parents were in that position?

Rich Uhrlaub:

You know, there are so many wonderful resources out there about, things we know about brain science, things we understand about trauma and how to address trauma in children, things we understand about attachment and bonding, identifying your child's attachment style.

If you're adopting as an infant, it's a little different than if you're adopting from foster care. I'm a huge proponent of adopting from foster care. I think that there's a real purity about that spirit that you're providing a home for children who clearly need them. As opposed to, and hear me write on this, but I've seen couples who were peers of mine and even younger friends who kind of got lost in what I would call Gotta Getta Baby syndrome. And it almost blinded them to the focus long term being on to benefit a child. It's absolutely normal and natural to want to build a family. And I applaud that and there are a lot of people in the world who would love to give, who are pursuing adoption. So in no way am I condemning adoption as an institution. But in terms of what's available today, I really encourage people with several important points.

One: reasons not to adopt right now. And some of these may be hard to hear. But, one if you are trying to replace a child that was miscarried, this is not the time to adopt.

Lori Holden:

Let me just say something on that. I've heard that. I can't remember who said it, but somebody said, No child should be born with a job with a job description.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Ah beautiful.

Lori Holden:

Not OK to be born with the job to heal the parent. It’s just a little too much to put on a baby.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Exactly. Particularly without telling them the rules of the game emotionally.

Two, if your desire is to basically just look like a normative family, or recover from some sort of inadequacy over infertility, this may not be the time to adopt. Infertility is a big deal and it's a deep wound and it's an emotional loss for the parent. And as a parent, I believe you need to have the emotional bandwidth to be ready to absorb the emotional losses of your baby. And if you aren't at least a fair way down the road with infertility and how you're managing that, that's again putting your child at a deficit in terms of what you have to give them, not necessarily that something that stops you from adopting, but but look at where you are in that process internally, with yourself and with each other. Does that make sense?

Lori Holden:

Absolutely. No child should be born into a shrouded home that is grieving. And I can attest in my own journey that I had to do a lot of healing from infertility with therapy and being willing to feel the feels before I felt like I could be joyous. Because as we say in infertility, adoption doesn’t resolve infertility. It resolves parenting, but it doesn't resolve infertility. You still have to do that work alongside... it's part of the journey.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah. And then I know of stories where the child -- and I don't think any of it was intentional, but because people had not done that work. The child became the symbol of what the parents could not create. Or it got kind of the blame from the fertile parents. There was almost a resentment there of well, wait a minute, I like baseball and you like art. If I'd had my own kid, you'd be like me.

Lori Holden:

Right, that sets up for a lot of dysfunction.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, and then you've got it. You've got to be ready to be able to flex to who your child is not who you want them to be because it probably isn't going to be quite the same thing.

Lori Holden:

Yeah, there's no guarantees of a mini me in any scenario, but especially

Rich Uhrlaub:

even in biological family

Lori Holden:

right right.

Rich Uhrlaub:

And the biggest thing I would say is just avail yourselves of the many, many great resources about effective adoptive parenting, brain science, attachment theory, those are really three of the big keys. And four, now that I've said all these horrible scary things, Relax. You know, kids are resilient. We're gonna make it, most of us. There are always bumps and conflicts and things that you would have without adopting. And that's just part of being a family. And if you're acting out of love and communicating clearly and age appropriately, things overall I think can be really, really great.

There's a transracial and international adoption is a whole different category in terms of identity, and mirroring. That's something that all adoptees lose in an adoption. If there's no one in the world who looks like you, that's a big piece of identity formation. And probably some we don't have time to get into here. But those are, those are some initial thoughts.

Lori Holden:

I like that fourth point about Relax, because you're not going to get it all right, but you're going to get enough right. And I think your point that you can make lots of mistakes with tactics and strategy-- as long as your orientation and your view is along truthfulness, transparency, working through my own stuff. And seeing things as they actually are not how we wish they would be, if you've got that orientation, you can make a lot of mistakes in the little ways, but that orientation will kind of carry you through the love and the the, the bumps and things like that.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah. As you were talking, the metaphor of flying an airplane came in that you basically, the first time I flew in a small airplane with a friend, he, here's how he described it to me. He said, Well, you've got the goal, here's the city that you're headed for and you get up in the air and the wind blows you around and you get off course and it's basically a sideways skid most of the way there. But somehow you find the airport and you land.

But it's not an exact science by any means.

Lori Holden:

Absolutely. And there is no there there. My kids are on the verge of being adults. And the airport's not in sight yet.

So let's talk again about what are some ways that adoptees are discriminated against? Why is there even a need for activism for adopted people?

Rich Uhrlaub:

You know, that's a really interesting question and the use, I struggle with use of the word “discrimination” when it comes to adoption, because to me, that implies some sort of intent, and I'm not sure that when lawmakers sat down to write unjust laws, they said, Okay, how can we tilt this toward making adoptees feel discriminated against?

But the outcome really was the same point. And so in a very practical way, I think, let me put it to you as a non adopted person to your audience, those of those who are not adopted: how would you feel if you decided to pursue your genealogy. And in order to do that, you had to go to a juvenile court judge and prove to them why you were worthy to know where you came from. And once you prove that possibly have them appoint a third party intermediary who you had to pay to do the search for you, in order to get permission from other adults to release their names to you.

Lori Holden:

I would not like that at all, especially if my friend over here has no difficulty doing this at all. No cost. No hurdles.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, and that's the world adoptees in a good 30 states -- really almost 40 states -- are still in in the United States. This notion that one, as adults we can't handle the truth. And two, as adults, once we find out the truth, we're not capable of managing those relationships or approaching those other adults with the tact that we hopefully were taught by our handpicked adoptive parents.

And three, everybody's presumed Innocent unless proven guilty unless you're an adoptee. You're presumed a homewrecker, you're presumed somebody who doesn't have the skills or the sensitivity, which is totally counterintuitive. If I'm looking for a possible relationship with a mother I never knew or a father or a sibling I never knew what would be the point of crashing into their lives and blowing up a possible secret. How does that benefit me?

So this is where this is where I think the laws were short sighted. The people, like a lot of adoptive parents look at the adoption on the front end, but they really haven't thought about it down the road.

Another important question is, how do I know that I'm not dating or about to marry my sister? And I've had people say, well, how often does that really happen? Well, it's happened enough that it's a problem. And my response to that is: so that would be okay for your adopted child to go ahead and date and marry their sibling without knowing it, and produce children.

Lori Holden:

Wow, all of that just from having things kept a secret from people whoIt affects so implicitly, in their eyes integrate

Rich Uhrlaub:

And, and that of course ports and a few people have said, Well, now you can do a DNA test. And I say, Well, I'm glad you brought up DNA.

Lori Holden:

Yeah, I wanted to ask you. We've had two big shifts in our lifetime yours, yours in mine, with DNA testing, and the internet, which means: is closed adoption even possible these days? How does that fit in with the advocacy work you're doing?

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, it's really kind of a myth. I mean, there's from a legal standpoint, I totally understand in support there are people who adopt from foster care. And the parents of the children that they adopt from foster care have been proven to be a danger to those children and are very real potential danger to those adoptive parents. Those adoptive [birth] parents should never know where that child is, or maybe not till way down the road and lots of rehabilitation and change. For the safety of the family, that should be a closed adoption. No question about that.

On the flip side of that, once those children become adults, they have the right to reach out to their family members, too. And the same laws that protect non adopted families, also protect adoptive families. Not always perfectly but that's that's the world we live in. When it comes to DNA, the internet -- those are huge changes and they basically blow apart the myth that there's any secrecy and adoption. We've really hit the tipping point where enough people have done DNA tests that you can find almost anybody in the North American European realm, not so much in Africa and South America and Asia yet.

And so there's this idea that sealed records somehow protect identities is a myth. And ironically, the whole the whole paradigm has been flipped on its head where now, if I'm looking for you through DNA, if there's a good chance, I'll get like a second, third, fourth cousin match, and I find you by going sideways to three or four families going, Hey, do you know anybody who might have given up a baby back in 1965?

And that's not very secret.

Lori Holden:

Right? It's almost like it takes if it were a legitimate process, you wouldn't have these sideways surprises for people who did something, you know, 40 years ago or whatever and had the shame and secrecy on them. And if it was all open, that wouldn't have to happen that way we've made it you have to go through awkward means to get this.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, there’s usually an aunt or a cousin or somebody who knows the story and hasn't been talking about it. Whereas now if you have if adoptees, as adults, have direct access to their records, that allows them to make a discrete approach to a parent and have a quiet conversation with that parent, and allow them some time to adjust. Allow them some time to tell family members if they haven't.

And that's a mix. The people in our group who find family have ranged everything from you know, the two birth parents were deeply in love. They just couldn't keep the baby. They got married, they produced other full siblings. One of them owns a chain of restaurants down in Texas and the guy, the adoptee, stood up in his full brother's wedding.

Lori Holden:

Wow.

Rich Uhrlaub:

And this is a story to people who found mothers who were in mental institutions and had been raped. And sort of had the capacity to understand who this baby was coming back to them sort of had the capacity. There were other mothers who were in mental institutions that once their child found them, they got better.

Lori Holden:

So that not knowing becomes part of the illness.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, moms in our group have said, you know, every, every year on my birthday, I cried on my child's birthday, I cried for three days. But now that we're reconnected, I've lost 25 pounds of weight off my shoulders. My secret is out. And I've been able to move on with my life.

And that's a really important distinction.

The fact that something might be painful to revisit doesn't necessarily mean that it's harmful.

And most cases, it's actually really healing.

Lori Holden:

I think Angela Tucker said: for adoptive parents what's most fearful is the knowing but for adoptees, what's most fearful is the not knowing.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Right. Because you can can process the truth.

Lori Holden:

Yeah.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Ron Knight, who is a therapist, that has done a lot of study and work around adoption has a great phrase. And it goes like this, he says, any news is good news, because it's real news. It's not about finding a happy story, or a happy ending and it's so normal for a parent to want to protect their child from an unpleasant story, and and yeah, you want to unfold that age appropriate and emotional capacity appropriate, if that's the case, but I guess I would urge adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents listening to this podcast to consider what are your stereotypes of birth parents? What are your assumptions about them?

Do you assume you're a better parent than they would have been?

Had they had the resources to parent their child? That's a huge question.

Because in many cases, that is not proven to be true.

Lori Holden:

While there's so many other things I'd like to explore with you of what we're just about out of time, Rich, and we may have to have a part two at some point, but I want to ask you the question I asked all of my guests which is, and maybe you've already told us this, but I'll give you another chance. If there's something else unsaid what is the best piece of advice you have for adoptive parents about the long view?

Rich Uhrlaub:

You know this seems really simplistic, but I think the answer is built into the question: approach it with the long view.

Lori Holden:

I love that.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Adoption is not an event. It's a journey.

Lori Holden:

Yes, and you make me remember that to adoptive parents and often looks like a one-shot, a one time deal, something that happened -- but that's not necessarily the case for how adoptees feel about it right.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, it's I think many adoptive parents and again rightly so because it's not easy to adopt.

I've seen so much joy. This is theirs now, mine now. This is our baby. We're gonna celebrate Gotcha Day. That may be my second biggest piece of advice. Do not ever ever, ever have a Gotcha Day.

Lori Holden:

Yeah. Tell us why. I think I know. But tell me why.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Do you want to celebrate a birthday? That's great. Adoptees who are willing to let themselves feel the feels and think deeply enough about it, once they understand -- I'll use this illustration really quickly. My dad used to say, in his in one of his many less emotionally aware moments, he would say, well, you cost us $10 and you've been worth every penny

Lori Holden:

Ouch.

Rich Uhrlaub:

And now, and it was a joke, you know, but not not a great joke for an adoptee and some parents may be going oh my gosh, $10 That's fantastic. You know, they just paid a record fee to the state, as opposed to thousands and thousands. But think about it now, how the money goes up and as the money and adoption goes up, the sense of commodification on the part of adoptees also goes up.

And and kind of the sense of look at all we paid for you look at all we've done for you. Look at all we sacrifice for you. Therefore, it's your job as the adoptee to sacrifice your identity and your heritage, because you owe us because of how much you cost and what we invested in you.

And that's that how Gotcha Day becomes a symbol of what all that is about, is the day we acquired you. As opposed to, here's the day you were born. And I know it's another one of those things that often has good intent. We're celebrating your adoption. It's a beautiful thing. The way it lands with many adoptees is, it's a phrase that's a symbol of our commodification.

Lori Holden:

How would Family Day strike you?

Rich Uhrlaub:

Um, that's interesting. It's way better than gotcha day. That's for sure.

Lori Holden:

And I'll just say that for our friends and our family, we didn't really feel like we needed anything besides the birthday. So yeah, not been a thing for us. I could go back in my journals and find out what day that happened. Those events happen but they're not in my consciousness.

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah there when I looked at when I finally got my records and looked through them, and by the way, I did it through court order after finding out that my birth parents were deceased.

And thankfully, the culture has changed at Vital Records, but the woman who gave me my birth certificate was hostile about it. She said, How did you get this? This isn't real. It's missing the stamp from the court. I'm calling the court right now. She was acting like they were her records and in a sense, she was custodian of them. But she she was invested in her position as defender of secrecy.

Lori Holden:

And it sounds like she treated you as though you were a child. And I think it's interesting. We don't actually have a word for an adult adoptee. We have to call them -- when we say “adoptee” we think of a child. “Adult adoptee” when we're talking about somebody who's an adult.

Rich Uhrlaub:

The Denver Post did a story years ago when I was active with the legislature. And they came to my place. It ended up on the front page of the paper, and they sent a photographer to my place and I opened the door. And the photographer said, you know, I'm here to take some pictures of an adoptee and he was looking down at my knees.

Lori Holden:

Oh my gosh. Oh, my gosh.

Rich Uhrlaub:

What does that say about our assumptions of the word? Another and that's another thing about sealed records. They were perpetual infants. We were perpetual children. having to go back to the juvenile court to plead our case, about why we're worthy to find things that other adults can find online.

Lori Holden:

Hmm...Well, we'll need to do this again because there's so many things I'd still like to talk with you about. Can you give us (I will put this in the show notes) but can you tell us how people can reach you?

Rich Uhrlaub:

Yeah, absolutely. Our organization is called Adoption Search Resource Connection. ASRC.

Our website is asrconline.org, all one word. And we've got email connections and phone number listing down under contacts at the bottom and page. We have a Facebook page, please follow us and like us, we post a pretty wide number of perspectives, a pretty broad set of perspectives on adoption. We're certainly promoters of ethical adoption, you'll see a lot of not very happy stories about child trafficking and unethical adoption but also great reunion stories, tips on on healing resources, books, films coming out that sort of thing. So we really welcome any and all questions and hope it can be a great resource for you.

Lori Holden:

I have found it to be an excellent resource so I vouch for it. I want to thank each of our listeners for tuning in and investing in your adoptions long view. May you meet everything on your road ahead with confidence, capability and compassion. Thanks for joining us.

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