Mothers Who Lost their Children to Adoption

~ A Bill of Rights ~

A document created by the members

Canadian Council of Natural Mothers

  1. The right to create our own language which defines ourselves and speaks the truth about our experience as mothers who lost our children to adoption.

  2. The right to know if our children lost to adoption are alive and well.

  3. The right to define our own experience as mothers and to seek to understand that experience, and our situation, without the judgment of those who have not experienced the loss of a child to adoption.

  4. The right to reject definitions and research by members of government, social work, medical or other professions that reflect bias, indicating failure to adequately consult those who experienced first-hand the trauma of losing a child to adoption.

  5. The right to denounce the methods by which a "decision" to surrender the right to raise our children were extracted.

  6. The right to declare that a piece of paper or a law made by a government agent cannot sever the physical, emotional and spiritual bond between the mother and her child lost to adoption.

  7. The right to obtain our children's original birth certificates, to have a copy of all documents pertaining to ourself and our children, including but not limited to, the Consent to Adoption, court transcripts, hospital records, and any other documentation that we may have signed in the process of surrender.

  8. The right and obligation to provide full knowledge to our children of their origins, ethnic and religious backgrounds, their original names, any pertinent medical and social details and to update as necessary, as this information is essential to their identities.

  9. The right to receive a copy of the non-identifying information received by our children or our children's adoptive parents, to correct it, and to receive accurate information required for search.

  10. The right to seek reunion and personal contact with our children and to build a lifelong relationship providing the opportunity to heal our children and ourselves.

  11. The right to determine, while respecting the rights of our children, how and when reunion will take place without unwanted mediation or compulsory counselling by government agencies.

  12. The right and obligation to share our adoption experience with our adult children, their families and their adoptive parents to create mutual respect and understanding in reunion.

  13. The right to an equal voice in the adoption constellation without being silenced to maintain the 'status quo' or adoption illusion.

  14. The right to express and have acknowledged the grief, trauma, repression, emotional numbness and other health issues caused by surrender that profoundly affect our lives.

  15. The right to educate the public about the secrets, silence and shame imposed on ourselves that maintain the deception and illusions in adoption.

  16. The right to denounce the wrongs that were perpetrated upon us in the name of "the best interests of the child", or in the name of 'morality', or in the name of what is a 'normal' family.

  17. The right to expose the harm that was done to our children by the adoption system.

  18. The right to expose unethical and illegal adoption practices, to expect accountability from the perpetrators, and to take legal action where necessary.

  19. The right to educate, counsel and advise single pregnant women in the creation of real options or alternatives to adoption.

  20. The right to fight for full disclosure in all adoptions, past and present, and to demand legally binding contracts for contact between the mother and her child in present open adoptions.

©The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers

Permission to copy the Bill of Rights may be given to those who request it but will only be given if full credit to the members of the CCNM is acknowledged in the copy. Please contact the President of the CCNM to obtain permission.

The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers was created in February 2000 to provide a voice for women who lost their children to adoption. We lobby for open records across Canada and operate an e-mail list to discuss and heal from the trauma visited on us by adoption.

September 8, 2000