Monday, April 09, 2007


These days I wouldn't recommend an AP-centered adoption discussion forum to those curious about adopting. However, for anyone who is interested in adoption ethics, I think perusing them on a regular basis is a good idea, for an almost-complete education in 'What's Wrong With Adoption'. I've been stewing about several comments on one such forum since last week. These really aren't anything's just that they pop up right when I think progress is being made as far as wider discussions about adoption.

There is a post from last week that I would love to copy and paste here, but it's lengthy - so I'll just quote a few portions of it that I have continued to stew about since I first read it. It's so sad (beside the point that this in-your-face-toned 'bomb' was dropped into a decent discussion about whether we know as much as we think we do about adoption. From one who, apparently, knows everything she needs to know...)

We chose international adoption for several reasons. One reason that played a big part in our choice was the view that birthmothers should have the "right" to an open adoption. While many adoptive parents feel comfortable with this, we did not.

No offense to my cyber-friends/acquaintences who may have initially chosen international adoption because of real or perceived/feared issues with the US domestic adoption system, but when I hear of folks choosing international adoption as a way around dealing with 'birth'parent issues, it hurts. I guess because when I think of 'birth'parents....well, I don't actually...I think of my son's mother! When people 'in the process' prance into a discussion and declare their willfull choosing of international adoption for its benefit of 'no birthparents', they are in effect stating that they have a certain disregard for the mother and father of the child they may adopt, and for the child, as well. I guess, even though I can only hope to meet my son's Korean mother some day, I still view him as an extention of her; in my mind they are connected in a meaningful, important way. People love to make this a simple issue of 'some people are comfortable with this, and some are not.' What a tired old cliche has become in the world of waiting-to-adopt (and post-adoption)! Accepting, fully accepting, the fact that an adopted child has biological/natural/first parents should not be optional. It can't be brushed aside as something that some people can 'handle' and others can't.

I'll just throw this next quote in because it shows a little more of the author's perspective/intentions:

People that constantly have to announce they feel a loss for their child that they gave up should not make those who feel a gain for the child they are raising feel guilty. We are the parents. We understand the love you had to have in order to do what you did.


As I stated earlier we are about to become parents. The only thing different is that we are using adoption as our means to becoming parents. It is not what will define our child or us.

"Using." Interesting choice of words.

Yes, she will know she is adopted. Yes, we will celebrate her country, entertain her questions, take trips and fill her life with those of her heritage.

So vague and non-commital, yet sadly it is still seen as the recipe for success. I would love to be able to 'celebrate', 'entertain', take trips, and 'fill [my son's] life' with every good thing. That still won't make the brokenness of adoption 'whole' again.

I would like to point out that as a future parent (through the means of adoption) there is a vast amount of education expected by our agency. We even have had financial checks, psychological status checks, background history, police checks, home inspections, and both required reading and parenting classes to continue in the process. We have had every aspect of our marriage and social relationships questioned and recorded. Our education on this event is not lacking as you kindly inplied.



At 10:09 PM , Blogger Kahlan said...

I think through her words she showed just how lacking her education was. And I do not say this in anger or spite; it just makes me so sad.

At 6:20 PM , Blogger Erin said...

I post on that board and am known by some there as "the bitch" and I'm fine with that.

I am sad, SO sad when I see posts like this, but they are on there a LOT.

I wonder if these people are unwilling to listen to any of the adoptees from the closed era. I doubt it sometimes, but then again I look at myself, and see the changes I've made in my thoughts on adoption. I'm sure at some point I wanted to be "done" with the birth parent, but now I'm totally on the other side.

However I do get frustrated when people come into boards like this talking about how educated they are and make dippy comments like this, then get all upset when someone points out that they are perhaps no right. It turns into stupid bickering about how people have the "right" to feel this way about birth parents.

Actually I don't think they have the right to feel this way because their children should come above themselves and if they aren't willing to put aside feelings for their children, they aren't ready to be adoptive parents.

At 6:24 PM , Blogger Paula O. said...

***Sigh*** So much to be learned. So much to be understood. . . really understood. And so much to be heard. It is disheartening to say the least when the adopted child's wants and needs aren't even on the radar.

Thank you, Zoe, for your voice.

At 4:36 AM , Blogger Mo said...

I hope that this parent loves their child enough to realize the damage that he/she might do to the child with such a closed attitude.

At 6:01 PM , Blogger Third Mom said...

These comments fill me with great discomfort.

First, it breaks my heart that there are people adopting today who are so out of touch with the reality of adoption.

And second, because once upon a time that was me. I can remember thinking those thoughts because I simply knew no better. I'd had no experience with adoption, our agency provided no real information about adoption loss, and I was too stupid to get outside of my desperation to seek the truth.

It hurts to admit this. And then it hurts to know I haven't figured out a way yet to reach these new parents, to save them from themselves. Otherwise they'll have to learn the hard way, like I did.

At 9:48 PM , Blogger zoe said...

K- Exactly. And you know, I'm finding that there is no gentle-enough way to try to point that out, for some people. When I made mention that her recipe for success (as I call it) is something that most all PAPs proclaim, I was accused of writing her off simply because I'd 'heard it all before'. It became impossible to explain myself.

Hi, Erin! What a frustrating discussion that was.

Mo - I hope so, too. All I can hope is that other people sit and stew over these discussions as much as some of the rest of us, and that maybe in the privacy of their own thoughts, they will at least ponder the counter-view.

Paula - that's just it. No regard for the child whatsoever. :(

Margie - you are right. I think we all can admit to a pretty steep learning curve! I should say that the impetus for this blog post came pretty much strictly from circumstances under which the referenced forum post was made: Someone 'in the process'(i.e. new) making such a proclamation to those who are trying to branch out and learn about things that were mysteriously skimmed over in our agency-provided educations. In fact, it was such an 'outstanding' post that several of us thought there was a troll in our midst - until we found out that wasn't the case :O It wasn't really the ignorance that prompted me to blog about it, but rather the arrogance.

I do think some people will insist on learning the hard way.

At 9:05 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

I am one of those aparents who was "out of touch with the reality of adoption." I am ashamed of the way I use to view adoption. I was so selfish, uneducated, in it for myself without looking at all sides. Ugh, it saddens me to know there are so many of the old me's out there in la-la land.

At 3:44 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Zoe and Kahlan - I have passed the thinking blog award onto you guys. :) Check it out.


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