gallery Dear Adoption, I Don’t Want to be Spoken For, I Want to be Listened to


Dear Adoption, I Don’t Want to be Spoken For, I Want to be Listened to

My (adoptive) mom writes about adoption. She’s one of the well known adoptive mom’s who writes and advocates for adoption reform, in fact. She is un-fogged and understands the trauma I experience as an adoptee.

I really appreciate her. I am really thankful that she speaks truth even when it’s unpopular. I am glad she seized the opportunity to take a public stand and vocalize everything wrong with adoption.

I wish she would stop though.
I wish she would step aside.

She spends a lot of time talking about how people need to listen to adopted people but she is still taking up too much space. There isn’t room for many of us to speak for ourselves. I don’t want her to stop completely but I do wish she would reexamine what she is doing. A lot of people look to her when wondering about adoption and what an adoptee might think and then she tells them. This is a tricky (perhaps sometimes unintended) way to speak over and for adopted people. The only ones not tricked by this are adoptees.

We see it everyday.
We are silenced regularly.

We can’t compete sometimes even with our own parents.

I am grateful that my parents get it but I still wish they would step back some of the time.

As they share for me they are moving higher up the white savior scale and I am getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

Nobody can hear me when when they speak.
Nobody can see me.

I don’t want to be spoken for.
I want to be listened to.

This piece was submitted anonymously by a transracial adoptee.


  1. I’ve had a similar experience. My adoptive mother was/is a major leader in my family’s church growing up. It made things awkward for me and I repeatedly asked her to step down & just attend the church, she refused. As an adoptee I wish she’d heard my concerns and respected them.

    I’m sorry you had to go through something similar.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I felt what you felt too. I’m with you. Finding ourselves requires to be with people who HEAR us and actually LISTEN to us. Don’t give up, keep fighting. You are not alone


  3. I can totally relate to what you wrote. You’re not alone in this. To find ourselves as adoptees, we need to be surrounded by people who HEAR us and LISTEN to us. Don’t give up, keep fighting…. We are with you 🙂


  4. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    It’s so important we adopted people keep talking our truths.
    My sympathies for what your going through. Hugs.


  5. Yeah. My parents proudly beamed and introduced us “our two little adopted girls” and said it was sooo keeewwttt when I exclaimed “don’t call us that!” (Awwww….LISTEN to her. She just hates that! It’s so cute!”) But you are special, they told me. They want me to know how special I am….. I didn’t want to be special. I just wanted to be.


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