FREE monthly open support group for ADULT ADOPTEE MEMBERS of the Adoption Constellation.
A place for Adult Adoptees to come together to share stories, feelings, and ideas; to receive psycho-education, process grief/loss, build strong bonds and connections.
WEDNESDAY 5 pm – 7 pm PDT 8 – 10 pm EDT
Time and place are also shown in the Events Calendar. Meetings held virtually via ZOOM until further notice.
Please register below to receive your ZOOM link for the event.
Cathy Leckie Koley BIO:
Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor, Adoptee Speaker/ Writer / Educator. After reuniting with her birth family at age 43, Cathy found herself on an unexpected healing journey related to her own relinquishment. The process included yoga, through which she found significant healing, and a new career path.
As a yoga teacher since 2012, Cathy now teaches others about the adoptee experience, strategies for unearthing and healing adoption wounds, and mind-body practices that help with adoption-related difficulties. She trained in Trauma-Sensitive in 2014 with Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, and David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga.
Cathy is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
There is no societal, cultural standard for the treatment of adoptees. There’s no Dr. Spock’s handbook for adopted parents, nor one for children. How could there be a way to communicate with newborn babies to teach them what is about to happen to them? Teach them coping mechanisms for being abandoned without explanation, often for a decade and many times longer. It is left to chance and we all just shoulder it to the best of our abilities. So, often people just ignore the adopted person as if you don’t exist. I can honestly say that because I am adopted, I have personally experienced being denied these rights, suffering repeated traumas and rejections from my adopted family and extended adopted family, and my birth families and extended families as well as my husband’s family.
This is a declaration of the daughter’s bill of rights. It is a list that few people discuss and many people take for granted; if you live within a normal, blood- related family you will rarely encounter these barriers. But, if you are adopted, your rights, continuing into adulthood, remain compromised. It is quite easy for a male dominated court to determine that a human child who cannot speak nor write, nor hire an attorney to represent their own rights should have their rights removed and maligned for the sake of other adults, those who did conceive you, or cannot conceive. The practice is inhuman and wholly unfair to the children. Scientific research is opposed to the practice, as it is proven to invoke long term psychological damage to the child. Family members from the adopted side as well as the birth side don’t know what to do. I am a member of an adoptive family in which there were two adopted children both products of church accessed closed adoption in the 1960s. My adopted mother had several siblings that could
not conceive, so we had three adopted cousins. All quite hush-hush. I always aspired to be a good daughter; but it was an unachieveable goal. I worked extremely hard to be a good daughter and failed miserably. I wish I had known at 20 what I know now. It took society almost my entire life to begin the groundswell of truth surrounding adoption.
Thus, I courageously add to the movement. I’ve created the Daughter’s of Bill of Rights for my own declaration of independence, to elevate the reality of adoption for every adoptee and prospective adopted parent, in the hopes that the suffering will be understood and lessened for those following me until adoption can be eradicated and honor returned to families.
The Daughter’s Bill of Rights
Right to the TRUTH about what happened and why this child was given up for adoption Right to be part of an ever-lasting family Right to receive unconditional love by all family members
Right to know that I’m adopted Right to counseling throughout my life with a counselor who understands adoption from my adult point of view, from the adoptees viewpoint Right to my own real birth certificate Right to reject a falsified birth certificate Right to know my own real name Right to change my name and use my own real name, or name I choose
Right to use that name as my identity, fragile as it is may be, and for others to refer to me as the name I choose Right to know my birth families when its right for me Right to know which family you’re a permanent part of
Right to a forever home Right to know your family histories and to be a part of that history Right to know your ancestry, your ancestral locations, to know where you’re from, A right to choose which family and history feels most right to me, should I feel I have to or need to choose; Right to be treated equally with other children in each family or extended family Right to be treated equally by all adults of those families, to be held in esteem openly and outrightly, not quietly in secret, in shame. Right to be invited to thanksgiving and Christmas dinners where family is celebrated; Right to receive invitations to weddings of family members; Right to attend weddings of family members; Right to be in family pictures at those weddings; Right to receive birth announcements; Right to receive graduation announcements; Right to attend graduations;
Right to receive notice of deaths in family; Right to receive invitations to funerals; Right to attend family celebrations; Right to attend funerals;
Right to be seated with the family at those events Right to inheritances in every one of my families, adopted and birth families; Right to be accepted as a family member to those family members in hospitals and nursing homes; Right to interact as a normal family member would and from time to time; to ask for emotional support, maybe even financial support; Right to be informed when a family member is in the hospital; Right to visit them as a family member in the hospital; Right to be with a family member when they pass away; Right to be treated like a family member at my death; Right to be buried with my family; Right to have society know the burden that is cast carelessly on adopted children; Right to affect legislation to remove the burden from the child; Right to have my birth family redeem the past, to break the cycle and include the adoptee and their other children equally Right to be included by all
Right to be loved Right to be
For without all of these rights, society continues to degrade the child given up for adoption throughout their life with mistreatment and abandon, despite the intentions of love by the adopted family. While the birth parents ‘go on’ with their lives, and face their own demons, they often believe in forgetting the past. The child has no opportunity to forget, the issue is front and center every day. The child carries the burden their entire life, passing the pain into future generations, making that child pay dearly for the transgressions of their birth parents. I am a good daughter who was robbed, at birth, of my full potential. I was thoughtlessly tossed away like a piece of trash, unwanted. I was pre-meditatively sacrificed by at my birth by my birth family to save the reputation of my teenage mother. In doing so, I was cast into a world where my rights were forever changed. I was robbed of the opportunity that every other daughter has, to have emotional familial fulfillment, to fulfill the simplest of human needs to, in the end, be a good daughter to my parents.