Friday, September 24, 2010
Hard Truths About Adoption
I was responding to a comment regarding an article post about the hard truths in adoption and it turned into quite a lengthy response. It was then I realized I'd really written a whole adoption activism blog. Just add an adoptee poem and VOILA!
I never deal in absolutes and view anything as black or white nor do I with adoption either. Each of us have our own stories and experiences however, there is no question that adoption has long been in need of a major overhaul and that is greatly understated. This is the bottom line for me in what I have learned, experienced, and have seen over my 51 years of being adopted, along with, being educated in adoption activism and reform.
There are variables in adoption that makes creating families very different. I state the obvious first. There is a constant comparison to the poor formation of biological family in comparison to adoptive families. They are apples and oranges. Adoption brings to the table factors, large important ones, that are missed and overlooked by those that create adoption law and policy. Our world revolves around family heredity, rituals, and celebrations. Only those of us who have been disconnected from it truly see this and it is magnified in our pain, loss, and sorrow.
There are no biological or genetic connections to an adoptee's adoptive family and much, not all, of the time adoptees “feel” it whether in good adoption situations or not. In studying child psychology even prior to my venture into adoption education and activism I learned that children raised outside their families of origin attachment disorders and abandonment issues occur no matter the health of the relationships and bonds from adoptee to adoptive parent. It's hard to develop a sense of self when you have no idea who you are. Only in adoption are genetics whitewashed as unimportant.
When we allude to the fact that money is that factor in relinquishing a child to adoption yet give tax breaks for adoption it's hypocritical to say the very least. I am not here to argue the fact that there are children in need of good homes. I am here to try and change the way it is done IF it needs to be done at all. Family preservation should be first and foremost especially if there are extended family members who are willing and able to care for the child.
Adoptee's are bound by contracts made by other people they had no say in. Adoptee's are restrained by laws that only apply to them while every other citizen of this country enjoys the freedom to contact their biological family and, we can even be penalized and jailed for it. This freedom is taken for granted by the rest of the nonadopted world. Adoptees are treated as commodities and property. If adoption is to function at all this needs to stop.....now.
The evolution of thought and practice in adoption has not even begun to function in the best interests of the child it is supposed to provide for. It still operates for the best interest of adoptive parents and the agencies and institutions that proft from it either monetarily and or, in maintaining control of the status quo and perpetuating it's existence. I was more than surprised and excited to see in 2000 at an adoption conference workshop and seminar when the question was asked how many people attending who were first parents and adoptees becoming adoption professionals two thirds of the room raised their hands. Encouraging to say the least that if adoption has to be it will be done by those whose are not ignorant, uneducated, or whose interests are perpectuated by monetary gain.
The voices of adoptees have long been ignored. That will be no longer be the case as we are here to continue to be heard and acknowledged in our quest to make certain the archaic and outdated system of adoption changes if not for ourselves for others.