gallery Dear Adoption, THIS is an Adoptee Movement



Dear Adoption, THIS is an Adoptee Movement

It’s not surprising to me so many adoptees want to share their stories. It’s even less surprising many choose to do so anonymously. The lack of warmth and welcoming for the adoptee voice within the adoption world is concerning. It strikes me as odd, in fact, and  doesn’t really add up.

Because, without US there would be no YOU, Adoption.

Adoption would not necessarily exist if it were JUST for vulnerable birth mothers who are callously talked out of raising their own children or are unsupported by their families and communities.

Adoption would not necessarily exist if it were JUST for men and women facing infertility or feeling a call to parenthood.

But, Adoption would absolutely NOT exist without adoptees.

What comes first, adoption or adoptees? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that adoption is not adoption without adoptees. And adoptees are not adoptees without adoption.

Why then are so many opposed to listening to our stories, to allowing us to speak our losses out loud, express our grief, and stand up? Why, Adoption, if you are nothing without adoptees, do you seem determined to silence? And why does the largest group of opposers come from within the adoption arena. We are your arena.

It’s baffling.

What’s more baffling, perhaps, is that despite the opposition, despite the turning of a thousand blind eyes,  ADOPTEES ARE SPEAKING, standing up, and refusing to be silenced.

And how beautiful their stories are. How honest and painful and raw. How telling they are of an industry that frequently ignores the fruits of its labor.

We are the fruit. Adoptees. We are creating change. Adoptees. We are determined to rise up.

THIS is an Adoptee Movement.

The intention here is not to inflict upon you, Adoption, what you’ve inflicted on many of us; criticism, dismissal, or isolation. The reality is you have given to many. In numerous cases you have provided love, warmth, safety, and family. It would be unfair to say you have not done any good, as seen in some of the life stories on these pages. You have done some good but you are not all good and we will not acknowledge one without the other, as those in this arena so often do.

The intention is not to promote or credit it with the movement. Dear Adoption, is simply one of many platforms.

The intention is to praise, acknowledge, and appreciate the adoptees who are determined to create and propel a movement for future generations of adoptees.

Yes, it’s good for adoptees to have a platform. Yes, it’s good for adoptees to play a part in educating society on what millions of adoptees experience.

But it’s most important for us to foster an environment in which we are actively creating a safer, more accepting, less judgmental, more loving space for the next generation of the adopted.

And we’re doing just that. And, we’re just getting started…


-Reshma M. McClintock / International Adoptee / Founder at Dear Adoption,


  1. In 2016, I believe the answer to your question, Reshma, as to which comes first adoption or adoptees, is adoption. Adoption drives the market. Demand creates supply. If miraculously countries made illegal the buying and selling (or “fees exchange”) of babies and children, adoption would virtually disappear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Orphans have always been a sad reality in what can be a harsh world – whether as a result of poverty, abuse, parental death, inconvenience, incarceration or indifference – and historically drove the development and practices of modern adoption.

    Historically, adoption began among ancient Sumerians, Egyptians and Greeks mostly as an economic matter when an adult of means with no biological offspring needed an heir. The notion of adoption as a family building strategy came along later, largely driven by efforts by compassionate child advocates (and a few corrupt baby sellers like Georgia Tann) to de-stigmatize “illegitimate” children and “street urchins” from negative stereotypes created by the eugenics movement.

    Removing corruption, commidification of infants and children, and perverse incentives in a global adoption market, rather than the eliminating adoption itself, should be the goal. Much good can, has and will continue to come from adoption done right and involving true orphans.


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