September 8, 2016
Wanting your input on adoption and ethics… — The adopted ones blog
Thanking good friend, Tao for this shout out. Indeed, what makes an ethical adoption!?!
Let us know!
Good morning, today, I’m asking you for your help. For you to share the wisdom you’ve learned being in adoption. Things you’d wished you’d known going in – that you only learned after. For you to use your words in ways that are constructive, productive, definitive, and most importantly of all – can be heard by those new to adoption. […]
via Wanting your input on adoption and ethics… — The adopted ones blog
I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom.
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September 9th, 2016 at 4:27 pm
Something I’ve encountered only a few times, and it’s really surprised me, has been the bitterness of some adopted children – I mean, as adults. They’ll admit that their adoptive parents loved them, did well by them, and are wonderful people whom they love … yet their message seems to be that adoption is, for all that, just wrong. So after talking to a few I’ve come to understand that, in some cases, it’s reasonable to be outraged that the greater community didn’t help their parents cope with a difficult situation. I’m talking about people who wanted to be good parents but were too young, too broke, too alone, too scared, too whatever. And I get that … I think – and I’m speaking as someone completely outside the world of adopting or being adopted – that the first priority in a healthy society should be to try to help good parents raise their own children. But I still find the rage and bitterness hard to understand in people who were loved and provided for by their adoptive parents. I hope someone who responds here will be able to share insights.
September 10th, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Let’s say you work in the medical world, you’re a doctor. As a doctor you’ve had a great practice over many years, you’ve grown to love the families you are entrusted to care for, treating their medical needs. You love being a doctor. You can’t imagine doing anything else.
Can you also be against the way medicine is practiced in the country, the unfairness of the poor not being able to afford insulin or dialysis to sustain their life, or even just to be able to see a doctor when they are sick. The systemic injustices that are visible to you because you are a doctor practicing in this system, have affected your very practice, stymied your ability to provide the best care to your patients. In fact you get downright angry that the systemic problematic practices favoring the rich over the poor grow more widespread every year.
Different example but very similar…it’s easy to separate the personal from the system.
Does that answer your question?
September 10th, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Tao, thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. And yes, I do get the point you’re making. But … does it answer my question? I don’t know. I mean, sometimes the birth parents AREN’T “good parents”. Sometimes they make choices that hurt their children, they’re self-absorbed to the point of being cruel or neglectful, they get pregnant accidentally and don’t WANT to be parents – or they want to keep the baby, but it appears to be more because they think they own it than because they love it and are willing to make sacrifices.
I don’t want to sound judgmental. I became a single mother at age 22, around 35 years ago. I was subject to HUGE pressure to give my daughter up for adoption, but chose to raise her – for MY sake, not hers, but I recognized and accepted that the consequence of this choice was that I had to make a whole lot of sacrifices myself. I had to go through a major attitude adjustment. She’s now a beautiful woman and I’m so proud of her … and so relieved that she survived my haphazard and largely unaided mothering!
But while I was pregnant I was in an unmarried mothers home, and I saw there that the girls ran the gamut of potentially wonderful to totally unfit parents. There were girls (I’m talking about teenagers, not adult women) who continued smoking because, they said, “I don’t care if it affects the baby. Not my problem! And a smaller baby will be easier to push out.” There was the one who was going to give her baby up for adoption until she realized that it had been conceived on a different date – and therefore by a different man – from the one she’d thought, so she left the home, declaring, “That bastard has plenty of money and he won’t want anyone to know about this. I’ll just keep the kid.”
So while the system is clearly flawed, surely when it succeeds in uniting parents who desperately want a child with a child who gets to grow up loved and cared for, that’s a good thing? I understand wanting change. I don’t understand the rage.
September 10th, 2016 at 6:15 pm
There will always be bad parents, even those who are married, can be bad. The system sometimes deals with them.
As to your parenting successfully it seems, if you did it, don’t you think others in the maternity home did too? Sometimes it takes a while to transition from oh-no I’m pregnant and it wasn’t planned, it’s the worst time to be pregnant – to having your babe in your arms and realizing you need to grow up – yesterday, and they do. You never know.
Even in the best home, one filled with love, commitment, everything on offer, there is a price to pay for the one adopted. You weren’t kept. You weren’t worth scaling the highest mountain to succeed at keeping you. It’s hard to process that your own mother and father didn’t want you enough to do everything and win the battle. I don’t have the ability to create the words needed to explain how devastating it can be. Those feelings coexists with having everything you need, love, family, a good life, safety. Every adoptee processes it differently, different times throughout their life, once or multiple times, different degrees of loss felt – but we all process the loss, live with the loss, it lurks waiting to be triggered and brought out of the dark recesses it lives in while we are living our lives.
Adoptions will always need to happen. Adoptions that don’t need to happen shouldn’t, the cost is too high. The practices surrounding non-CPS domestic infant adoption are now tailored to protect the adopting parents instead of protecting the parents by birth – that causes me anger, deep seated anger. The way adoptees are treated by the state as unable to be civilized enough to know who they were born to be – makes me angry, oh so angry. The way the adoption industry has neglected the education and any timely process to update and forward family health history that doesn’t cease evolving the day you were adopted. I could ramble on here for days on end…
I’ll leave you with a final point to ponder, a valid study on adopted teens in the US (adoptee as infants) are 4X’s more likely to attempt suicide than their non-adopted peers. A previous study in Sweden found the same. There’s a cost to be adopted.
September 10th, 2016 at 6:35 pm
Wow, Tao. Thank you. I knew this was a complex issue, and I will probably never fully understand because I lack the personal life experience. But thank you. You have given me a glimpse of something so much deeper than I had imagined.
September 10th, 2016 at 6:42 pm
You’re welcome – it is very complex including the push and pull…thanks for listening.