Assembling Self

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Angry Adoptees!

Of the many labels, like ungrateful and bitter, given to us adoptees angry is one of the most used.  Anytime we appear unhappy with our adoption situation in almost any capacity, and voice our angst with anything about adoption, immediately we are branded "angry".

There was a recent debate on an adoptee support group about us angry adoptees.  This is not unusual with the exception that it came from a fellow adoptee.  Also, not that unusual.  There are many adoptees who are perfectly happy to have been adopted.  I have no problem with that if it works for you more power to ya.  For a great amount of us adoption is ridden with emotions we work to understand.  And, anger is a large factor in those emotions.

Below I will adress some of the statements about our anger as adoptees we hear often.

1.  Put it in the past get over it and move on.

Adoption is not a one time transaction it is a lifetime event.  Many of us we would love to do just that, put it in the past.  Unfortunately, when you are dealing with adoption court petitions, search and reunion issues (or lack thereof), being unable to locate your biological family, Holidays, birthdays, and the deaths and loss of biological relatives you will never get to know, this is in the present obviously.

2.  You should be grateful.

Grateful we had our biological families taken from us?  That we have lost our roots, our heredity, our family histories?  That no matter if we find our first families we can never get back that time, who we might have become, and the connections we did have the chance to form with them.  And, I am grateful for MANY others things in my life.  Adoption is NOT one of them.

3.  I refuse to live my life being angry.

There is a difference between being an angry person and being angry ABOUT something.  If you are spewing hate and animosity at the world THEN you have a problem.  Venting and discussing how you feel about your anger is a another animal.  People can be angry about something and still be fully functioning healthy adults.  Quit judging a portion of the person you see in regards to adoption and don't know in totality.

4.  You could have been aborted or left in fostercare.

Everything in life is perspective.  Adoption is no different.  Some people are happy they were adopted.  For me left anywhere else as in in foster care, an orphanage, or a home probably could have been no worse than the adoptive family I was placed with where I was abused in every way, and then rejected.  And yes, many days I wish I would have not been born.  People don't want to hear that, but that is how many of us feel.

5.  Get counseling or therapy.

Who says we haven't done that?  Ummmmm and I thought that part of "healing" was a good support group.  That is why we are here.  If you don't need support or to talk about your adoption issues why are you there?  And lastly, are you a psychologist or do you must play one online?

6.  I don't see you doing anything but wallowing in your anger.

Then you've got your eyes closed pretty damn tight!  And yes I AM angry so are MANY of us and we ARE doing something about it!  My apologies to my fellow adoptee activists in advance, but I would like to also speak for many of you too.

We are angry we are denied their OBC's.  We are angry we are continually lied to from birth by our adoptive parents, by adoption agencies, and our birth certificates falsified.  We are angry there are biological parents who can not find their children relinquished to adoption.  We are angry adoptees will languish ill or die, or their children will, trying to obtain current family medical background.  We are angry that biological parents will try to have important family medical history passed on to their natural children and will be denied this by adoption agencies and courts and instead it will be tossed into an old dusty file.  We are angry that adoptees are pawns in a system that profits off our pain and loss and then are expected to be thankful someone "took us in".  We are angry adoptees have to spend vast and enormous amounts of time, energy, and money searching, seeking, and begging for any and all information we can get about our biological and family backgrounds.

Anger is a natural human emotion.  What we do about it makes all the difference.  Many of us in adoption activism and reform use our anger to speak out about, and work towards, the absolute NEED for truth and honesty in adoption.  For many of us online and offline support groups nurture and support us in a world that casts our dilemmas with adoption aside as exaggerated and unimportant.

We can look to many leaders that have changed and revolutionized the world out of their anger over injustices and mistreatment of  themselves and others.  Like us, misunderstood and judged, we work for our cause and let anger light our fuse to facilitate positive change.  Perhaps this is a good time to post this in honor of Martin Luther King day.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable.  Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.  


  1. Emotions are never ever to be judged with a right or wrong status. What we do with the behaviour resulting from an emotional experience in a moral sense is a different story. Sadly many in society are emotionally unconnected to themselves and have a hard time coping with other folks emotions. It was easier for me to view these folks as unhealed and not as an attack on me. Only hurt people "pause" hurt people, was a quote that that helped me process this. Anger informs us we have sensed an injustice but it must be guided by reason to make a good choice. Nice to meet you. I am an adoptee and new to the blogs and facebook. Where is this offline group support that you speak of.

  2. Faith I love that quote. I may have to steal it. :) The support group is on Facebook. I have been in many online and offline ones that are wonderful, as this one is. You can reach me at and I can send you the link to it. Nice to meet you as well.

  3. Adoption is not unlike an arranged marraige, well my adoption was anyhow.....didnt want to have a relationship with their retard son when I came of age...yes we arent bro & sis in bio terms, so no use for me, get lost orphan

  4. people just don't want to hear us. if they listen to and validate our anger they have to see that what society tells them about adoption is a lie, and they are too scared to do that.

  5. Thank you for your input Kat and Jay. Our stories and our voices are necessary to educate others about what needs to change in adoption and for us to be able to heal from our experiences.

  6. I believe this is one of your best posts my friend. Lately, when I will hear someone say, "I love my adoptive parents so much," it makes me very sad. In my particular circumstances, it wasn't ever about loving one more than the other or being ungrateful. I needed to be treated with more respect and my parents not keep the truth from me. For me personally, I never wanted to feel like I had to choose. Angry, perhaps more disappointed and hurt.

  7. Thank you so much! I think we all get tired or being expected to feel grateful for being LIED to and deceived by those that claim to "love us". I will never ever understand adoptive parents who teach their children to tell the truth and then lie to them. And, we are not expected to be angry about it when we get old to understand that we were manipulated! I appreciated the comments guys. :)

  8. Preach it, Sister! I'm still trying to feel safe enough to reach my anger. Blogging helps though.

  9. I agree that people have a right to their anger. They don't have a right to spew animosity at others, though - just as you said. It is a huge myth that all infertile people are looking to adopt a child. Infertiles are largely targeted as the "problem". Did you know many infertile people have no desire to adopt? Stop pointing the finger of judgment at them. Many of those who demand adoptions already have biological children.