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Adoption Anxiety

May 22nd, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

Accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was adopted at birth. New studies suggest adoptees face a higher risk of mental illness and suicide, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, efforts at the state Capitol to help adopted children find their birth parents, which could reduce some anxiety, have gone nowhere. 

 

For the second year in a row, state lawmakers failed to give a full hearing to legislation that would allow adoptees access to their original birth certificates. Sponsor Richard Stark was adopted.

“Statistics are higher for mental illness and, um, things like suicide among people who are adoptees” says Stark.

 

“I searched for thirty years” says adoptee Dr.Mark Pamer.

Not knowing their birth parents leaves many adopted children feeling lonely, restless and with a sense of not belonging.

“You have all these questions but you have no answers, and it nags at you, It nags at you” Pamer told us.

 

Adopted as a child, Pamer has made researching the impact of adoption his lifelong past time.

“In my own case, there was always a drive to know who I was from at a biological level..” 

 

Pamer didn’t speak specifically about accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz. Cruz was adopted at birth.  

“You see an over representation of adoptees in the mental health systems, which all occur when the person finds out they were adopted, because at some psychological level, the rug is pulled out from under you as to who yo are in a biologic level.” 

Many adopted kids don’t want to find their birth parents, but those that do say it does provide closure.”

Lee Peterson’s son found her 49 years after he was adopted.

We’re developing a relationship. We’re had a lot of building blocks, We’ve had a lot of up and downs” says the birth mother.

Sponsor Stark plans to reintroduce the birth certificate legislation this fall.

Stark is one of two Florida lawmakers adopted at birth. He is term limited out of the state House after this November. The other, Orlando Rep. Jason Brodeur, is running for the State Senate. 

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