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.
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 DearAdoption.com 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…
We are an ADOPTEE MOVEMENT.
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.
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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.
Rich, I have no clue where your ‘history’ regarding ‘adoption’, but will simply say that it is simply very far fetched at best, not to mention lacking in credibility.
Worse, you seem to suggest that adoptees, for the most part, are orphans. David Copperfield and Oliver were indeed orphans -bereaved of both parents. The prophet of Islam was an orphan having been left with his uncle due to the death of mother who died after the death of her husband, the prophet’s father. And many have been orphaned thru war and conflict-including the too many refugees of the west’s incursion with their wmds into sovereign nations’ territories-the worst of which is the USA! The USA whose soldiers have gone to war, and left their seed in the bellies of the invaded nation’s young woman and thus leaving their children unaccepted, destitute, and often homeless. Or we can highlight And, the decimation of the natives of the Americas which has decimated the real peoples of this region has certainly caused children to become orphans. And what pray tell is your definition of a ‘true’ orphan? Wait! Please don’t tell us. You will only confuse and mislead! Your xenophobia and ethnocentricity is appalling, and your pretentious air of superiority is worse, not to mention your undisguised prejudice. By the way it is the Romans who adopted heirs when they had none of their own to leave their property to. Do bone u on your history-ancient as well as modern!
Now do allow me to burst your bubble. There are more adoptees that are NOT orphans than who are. There are legions of us who were abandoned by those who were very much alive and well and living on this planet-and far too many in the US who tossed us out into the cold with impunity.. Some were abandoned at birth, but others were left on a door step, a church vestibule, wandering, in the street, and so many other ways by those who did not want us. My sister and I were left at a dog pound by parents who once relinquishing us to some caretaker of animals, left with our brother never to be seen by us again. Some of us lived lives of constant terror and fear, others in detention ( fostering, institutions, etc.) and always at the whim of others who had or have no clue how we survive our traumas. and even those who had the good fortune to have been taken is by truly nurturing and loving people want to know who they are and why they were sent away.
By the way, up until the early to mid 20th century in the US, children were NOT adopted but rather given guardians – usually a family member who was to protect them and provide them with shelter, food and a proper upbringing. This was what was done in England, Scotland and Wales -read Dickens!
It would appear that you are either not an adoptee or are one in denial.
PS: Do you mean ‘commodification’? If so, please learn what it means, and correct your spelling! Little boys shouldn’t use words they know not the meanings of! And made-up words should never be allowed in adult discourse!
Reshma, your words ring true and are much needed in this complicated issue of adoption/adoptees. Although we all have our individual stories and our individual perspectives, and even suggestions which may help another find his/her voice in a world that chooses not to hear us-or to allow others to see that their way is not the only way. But the best it does is to acknowledge that a) like DNA we are all 99.1-5% the same and only minimally different. Like musical notes, our voices are individual, but with effort and support of one another, we can become a beautiful chorus. Maybe that chorus can teach the world to sing and in so doing, change its behaviours, which in turn will eradicate the need for adoptees or adoptions. Inch’allah -Arabic for God willing.