Artwork for podcast Once Upon A Time...In Adopteeland
142. Michelle Madsen Hinton: "Belonging"
3rd October 2023 • Once Upon A Time...In Adopteeland • Jennifer Dyan Ghoston
00:00:00 00:48:58

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Michelle M. Hinton was born to a 17-year-old, at 8 weeks premature, and relinquished to social services. Her adoption court documents state that she was born out of wedlock, illegitimate, and her only name was “baby girl”. She's never seen her original birth certificate.

After birth, Michelle remained in an incubator, in the NICU for 2 months. No kangaroo care, no biological recall, smell, feel; alone. She still can’t acknowledge that the baby was her. Michelle was released to her adoptive parents care from the hospital. Less than a year later her adoptive parents welcomed their biological daughter, her little sister. Michelle has always known she was adopted and told that it didn’t matter, but they sure didn’t talk about it.

At age 19. Michelle was surprised into reunion with her biological father and most of her paternal family. Michelle's biological parents married after she was born, and had two more daughters, 8 and 10 years younger than her. Her biological mother passed away when she was 11 and never met. Nine years later her older sister found their biological father. Two adoptees in one family. She is in contact with some biological family, some have since rejected her. "This is what makes being an adoptee so fucking hard"; having to protect everyone's feelings while ignoring her own. Michelle has been juggling everyone's feelings for so long that when she started to express her truth, she angered a lot of people.

Music by Corey Quinn