What Can Drive a Mother to Give Up Her Daughter?

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Ariel Rice
disrupting grace.gifOne topic I found very interesting in the text was located in Chapter 3 discussing Nature and Nurture, which is the debate over how genetic inheritance and environment factors contribute to human development. The reason I found this section interesting is because an old family friend had to give up their adopted daughter with reasons pertaining to the nature and nurture debate. Before the family had received their adopted daughter, she had been sexually abused as a very young child. However, the family was unaware of this at the time and adopted her and raised her with nurture and love for six years. The daughter as she grew older was extremely aggressive, disconnected, and unable to show loving emotions. She soon became dangerous that it destroyed the family and tore them apart. They ended up having to give her up because as the mother says in her book she was "broken" and they were unable to help her anymore. This is a representation of nature overcoming nurture. Even though this family gave their adopted daughter love and care, she was unable to overcome the terrifying environment she had been exposed to when she was young. Because of the traumatic events at such a young age, they shaped the young girl for the rest of her life; even through extensive workings with therapists she was not able to overcome her past upbringing. A question to consider is, is it possible to move past a horrific past environment (as seen with this daughter) and be able to move forward and get on a with a normal and healthy life, or does your past environments stay with you the rest of your life?
This is a link to the book written by the mother of the adopted daughter which explains what she went through and how she had to give up her daughter. http://www.disruptinggrace.com/Disrupting_Grace/Home.html


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This is a very interesting and sad story and I can sympathize with the family. However, if you claim that the sexual assault is the only cause of her aggression, then wouldn't that be nurture? Nature implies that the characteristic is embedded in your DNA, while nurture is something in the environment you live in. Sexual assault wouldn't change her genes, it would be a very unfortunate consequence of the environment that she lived it.

I feel like it can be almost impossible to fully move on from the environment that you grow up in at a young age. No matter how much things change in the future, where you were originally raised sticks with you forever. That is a very unfortunate story though and it saddens me that a harsh past has such long lasting affects on one's life. It really shows how fragile we all are.

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