Skip to comments.The Cole babies: Years later, they search for identity
Posted on 11/07/2010 7:43:38 AM PST by Saije
Cyn Bird grabbed a torn piece of notebook paper to scribble the secrets spilling from her mother's mouth as she neared death: The mysterious Miami doctor named Katherine Cole who delivered and supposedly sold babies to couples. The phone call on Jan. 12, 1962, that a baby girl with sky blue eyes was available. The $2,500 price tag.
After 46 years, Bird had learned the stunning truth about her birth from her mother. Bird was adopted. Illegally. ``How do you wake up at my age and realize you have no idea who you really are?'' asks Bird, a New Jersey wife, mother and artist who discovered her adoption in March 2008, four months before her mother's death. ``I am still trying to wrap my head around this.''
She turned to the Internet and found others like her. The people of this new community even had a name for themselves: Cole babies.
In what authorities call one of the most haunting, widespread cases of illegal adoptions in Florida history, Cole reportedly placed more than 1,000 babies, most without legal documentation, out of her two-story Southwest Eighth Street clinic from the 1930s to the 1960s. She died in 1981, leaving no records and without ever admitting the full scale of the shadowy operation that created three generations of Cole babies struggling to piece together their identities. For most, the discovery was triggered by a revelation and a birth certificate on which Cole listed the adoptive parents as the birth parents.
``She absolutely played God,'' said Josette Marquess, a retired Florida adoption official who shepherded dozens of Cole babies through mostly fruitless state searches for family. ``We have no official record of their adoptions -- like they never happened -- which makes it nearly impossible to help these folks find their birth parents.''
(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...
“The truth” is that they were raised by a pair of loving parents who didn’t share their DNA.
“The truth is that they were raised by a pair of loving parents who didnt share their DNA.”
How do you know they were “loving”?
I was rasied in foster care, and, I’m an adoptive parent of two Chinese children who will likely never know the circumstances of their births.
Parenting comes from the heart, not the uterus.
Really? Just becasue you found out you were adopted in an unusual/illegal manner doesn't mean you suddenly don't know who you "really are". Learning this information was no doubt startling and even shocking, but it does not negate the 46 years you have lived so far. The life you have lived, the things you have learned, the things you have done, the people you have met who affected you and who you affected: THAT defines who you "really are".
Had to be better than no parent at all, ever, or being aborted.
Dr. Cole made it so that couples who couldn't meet the financial standards, could adopt. I think she was actually doing the new parents and the adopted child a favor by not recording the biological parents info.
I ‘think’ that this ‘cause celebre’ that all adopted children need to return to their ‘roots’ to be made whole is a bunch of HOLLYWOOD CRAP.
Every case is different, but most of the time, the ‘feeling’ that you MUST go back and find the parents who gave you up, seems to be very unproductive, in the long run.
I am not adopted, so my opinion is really irrelevant, but I said it anyway.
Sounds like she provided a simple paperwork free service. I can’t get too worked up about it.
“``We have no official record of their adoptions — like they never happened — which makes it nearly impossible to help these folks find their birth parents.’’”
Dear Cole babies: If you are happy with what you are now, why try and find a way to change that? What if the info you seek unsettles you?
For the most part I agree, altho I think there is a natural curiosity about your ancestors. My mother was very interested in family history and spent her life researching it. It was always fun when she found out about people we didn’t know we were related to.
But, in addition, there can be medical reasons to want to know close family relationships. Of course, with DNA science where it is that may be less and less important.
>> How do you know they were loving?
I don’t, but what I DO know is that childless couples don’t go through all that krap unless they really, really want to be parents. I saw this firsthand; my older brother adopted two. Alternatives?
Is it better to whack the little piece of human trash in the womb?
Is it better to have the Gummn’t support welfare “baby cannon” mothers who krap one out every 10 months? To have 10 kids (from 8 different fathers; none of which are present) sleeping on the floor of a dump with 8 different fathers? (I’m not kidding here - talk to any small town or urban EMT.)
Sounds to me like these kids had a pretty good deal in life. As my adopted nephew said once: “I know who my parents are, and they aren’t those anonymous DNA donors”.
I have a friend who was adopted. She was an only child and both of her adoptive parents had passed away. She managed to find her birth family, and altho her birth mother also was dead, she now has half brothers and sisters and cousins all of whom never knew she existed. It turned out wonderful for her (it could have turned out badly tho).
I don’t think any of us can judge this stuff if we aren’t in the situation. I don’t know what it would feel like to wake up one day and discover that the people I thought were my parents weren’t. I can’t imagine I would love them less but I suspect I would have a great deal of curiosity about the people who WERE. I simply don’t think those who are not in that position can tell those who are how they should feel.
This was the goal and normal for adoptions until abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court.
The overpopulation believers don't like adoption. They want those babies dead. So, they set out to turn adoption from a wonderful, respected and permanent thing to a desperate search for lost identity. Feminism joined in to make single motherhood acceptable (which it was not).
It has all done the hard work of making the family less respected and important in America.
According to family legend, I have an ancestor who—as an infant—was picked up from a destroyed wagon train by the next train through and raised as one of a new family.
As I see it, adopted families are just NEW families for the adoptee.
I guess, though, because I’m not adopted, I can’t truly understand.
Government should have been involved in this, and gotten its cut.
And CPS! They ALWAYS have the best interests of "the children" at heart.
If the government had been involved these children would have lived far better lives.
Maybe not. I wonder if/how many “missing” children were adopted out by this woman. I dread to think there were parents out there never knowing what happened to their children; thinking the worst....
If you noticed, I already said that I wasn't adopted, therefore my opinion was irrelevant.
I wasn't judging. I was asking them to think of whether finding some biological parent is that important an issue for them, or whether it's the heat of the moment. (such as the case in this type of group action)
I am adopted, I found my birth family at age 43. You can’t understand the rage at being denied your own biological origins, given a fake birth certificate and told it is true, and being an adult and never being old enough to know the truth about your own history because of archaic laws and court orders, unless you have been there. Adoptees are the only class of people who are not allowed their own, unamended birth certificate in 47 states. How is that for less government control, all of you conservatives?
Adoptions are handled much better now in the modern era. I suggest those of you who know so much about how adoptees “should” feel or be grateful for, read “Journey of the Adopted Self”. Also my mother was 17, raped, and sent away to deliver me. The shame heaped upon women in those days was crippling. I support adoption, but not the way it was done in the 60’s. I feel for the Cole Babies.
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