Dear Adoption, You Are Not A Saviour
Today, Adoption, We are going to talk about how you, and a majority of society, seem to think you are some kind of saviour. I always hear you referred to in this fashion.
“Adoption saved you.”
“Adoption rescued you.”
“If you hadn’t been adopted, you’d be dead.”
It conjures up images of you, Adoption, dressed in a shiny purple suit and a bright yellow cape, big yellow ‘A’ on your chest, standing atop a skyscraper in the bright moonlight, hands on your hips and cape blowing out behind you. Flying through the night sky, swooping little Ricky out of the hands of his abusive alcoholic father and into the soft kind arms of John P. and Jane Q. Adopter. You sweep them away into a safe tower far far away from the evil, abusive, unfit bios. John and Jane are grateful to you. Little Ricky is grateful for the rescue, and for hiding him away from his evil scary family. Everyone is shiny happy people holding hands.
But that’s not really what you do, is it?
No. You destroy families that, in many if not most cases, didn’t need to be destroyed. You give lazy selfish people another way to shirk responsibility for having unprotected sex. You convince poverty-stricken women that money and stuff is more important than the bonds between parents and children. You bait unstable, infertile couples with the promise of families that will never exist, even if they “get their baby”. You displace us, erase our names, alter our legal documents, steal our lives with our siblings and extended families. You put us into bondage for our entire lives. Once we are adopted, we will never be anything else. Ever. You take away our choices, our voices, and our lives, and replace them with false constructs and paper families.
Adoption, you are not a saviour. You are a destroyer. You are a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And you ruin every life you touch.
Most if not all of us didn’t need to be adopted. Most of us would have been better off with our real families. Maybe we would’ve spent our weekends clipping coupons and helping with our siblings instead of running around with our friends having fun. Maybe we wouldn’t have gotten those cars when we turned sixteen. We might’ve had to get a job instead. Oh horror of horrors, I might have had to share a room with my sister!
I would have loved to share a room with my sister. I’d know her. As it sits now, I know the bare bones. Nothing deep. Nothing real. Nothing more than I might know about a casual acquaintance. That’s not what I ever wanted.
Instead of giving children “better lives”, you draw distinct boundaries between children and families. And even in reunion, adoptees are most often out in the cold, watching the family dinner through the window, hearing the conversation and having no part, knowing there’s no room for you at the table.
Adoption, You didn’t “save” me. You forced me to “reunite” with people I’m related to by blood.
You lied to my father. You told him you would be a saviour and give me “a better life”. It was just different. If having a lot of money and nice things is better, then yeah, I got a better life. If having a mother that loved me, oftentimes a great deal too much, is better, then yeah, better. If having a father that insisted I be educated is better, then yes, better.
However, my real father, while having a different set of priorities, is unfailingly kind. The woman that would have been my step mother seems like a wonderful person, and both of my siblings love her to death. Neither of my siblings is doing badly or uneducated. They were not abused or mistreated. They were loved and cared for, even if their lives weren’t fancy or perfect.
So it seems, Adoption, all you “saved” me from was an imperfect life, from being included in my real family, knowing and caring for my siblings, knowing the truth of myself, my people, and my history. You “saved” me from knowing my real identity or having access to my real birth certificate and records. You’re “saving” me from getting a passport from a country I am a natural citizen of, because my falsified birth certificate was issued too long after my actual birth. You’re “saving” me from being a part of either family I’m affiliated with. My adoptive family wrote me off in 2014 when no one bothered to let me know my adoptive mother died. My real family is already a set unit I have never been included in as more than unanswerable questions. Now those questions are answered, and there’s not a lot of room at the table for me to wedge in. And I’m not sure that disturbing their familial balance is best for any of us.
So thanks, Adoption, for “saving” me from: A) being left in a dumpster; B) being abused and/or neglected (wait… you didn’t save me from that at all!!); and C) dying (because I was told more than once that I’d be dead if they hadn’t taken me).
Somehow that logic feels flawed. Especially considering the two people raised by the family that would have raised me are successful productive members of society who, as far as I know, never ended up in any ditches or dumpsters, and are both still very much alive.
So it turns out, dear Adoption, that you didn’t “save” me from anything. In fact, I’d be better off if I’d never met you.
Sincerely not yours anymore,
(That’s right, I’m taking my real name back, whether you let me use it legally or not.)