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Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

Surveys…

Yet another survey request to adult adoptees on communication and identity formation.  My first thought is excellent but then after reviewing the questions, not so much…
The first page focused on the adoptive parents communication to the adoptee.  All of the questions are worded based on the assumption that both parents communications were equal in quantity, value, quality…Really, did anyone have parents that were identical and each  parent provided an equal contribution in time spent communicating?  I truly cannot answer questions posed this way.  It would be impossible when the reality is that we are all unique and have different styles of communication, ideas, values, priorities, everyday requirements, personalities, stronger or lesser bonds than the other parent has to the child.  I am simply unable to provide any type of answer that would have any validity and the fact that some of the questions are designed to perhaps get you to answer the opposite of the first question on that subject.
The other comments I have about the questions posed on the adoptive parent communication portion, is that none of the questions centered around adoption related topics, and all but the very last question which could be answered by a newly left the nest adoptee, are questions  created for teenagers or make the assumption we still live at home with our adoptive parents.  Really think about how you would answer questions about the whether your parents encourage you to challenge their ideas or say that every member of the household should have a part in family decisions – when you have lived more years outside of the family home than you lived at home…Those type of questions are not designed for adults - can you remember conversations 30 years ago?  But at the same time you must be 18 or older to take part in the survey so who did they think would be taking the survey?
They do wish to know what memorable statements about adoption were made (and describe what memorable means) and by whom and if it had any impact on you about adoption or helped you understand adoption.  The grateful or lucky comments comes to mind but I am sure they aren’t looking for the negative memorable comments…
The adoptee related questions really are not much better as they are so broad that they also missed the boat, showing how little understanding of the totality of the adoptee experience the designers of the survey had.
They never asked…
What is important to you that should have or could have been incorporated into your childhood.  Which could be followed by ‘rate from 1 – 10 in order of most to least importance with 1 being most and 10 being least’. And then listed: nationality, ethnicity, culture, openness, access to family, validation of feelings of loss instead of negating, allowing natural grieving, nothing her for the intercountry adoptees on language, homeland, culture….you get the picture.
In what ways has being adopted impacted you as an adult.  Which could again be followed by ‘rate from 1 – 10 in order of most to least importance with 1 being most and 10 being least’.   And then listed: Being denied access to Original Birth Certificate and adoption records, being denied family health history, being denied the right to the same feelings of loss and grief any other group would be given on losing their family, the fear of starting a family and not having any health history, being denied the right to know the paths your ancestors walked; never knowing anyone else who mirrors you in any way, for some the loss of their homeland, etc, etc…again, fill in the blanks of all the adoptee’s losses that impact you as an adult.
At what age as an adult or what life event(s) triggered feelings about being adopted…
At what age did you decide to or not to search…
If reunited what challenges did you face…
If you searched and found only grave or rejection how did that impact you…
How have you managed or not managed to incorporate both of your families together…
How did your adoptive parents deal with you searching and/or reunion? 
Do you think adoption needs to be reformed and how?
Do you think adoptees should have access to their OBC and records when they reach the age of majority?
So many questions that they could have added but didn’t…and the questions above are simply off the top of my head.  Just imagine if we all were asked to provide questions that would make a difference…
They never touched on transracial adoptees and/or intercountry adoptees and the added layer that is part of their life…apparently they don’t count very much.  But they did want to know our age, sex, age at adoption, age when told we were adopted, whether we would adopt, type of adoption (where they did include international).  They also wanted to know what the make up of our parents were, mother/father, two mother etc, single, married, divorced…
I just do not understand how anything of value can be gleaned from it, perhaps it is an adoption is wonderful and no problems reported survey…but then they never asked the hard questions so it makes it easy to come up with that win-win-win answer.  But at least the survey was asking for adoptees perceptions rather than the adoptive parents perceptions of how we feel so for that I do give them kudo’s…perhaps next time a survey on what questions should be asked.
 
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Posted by on September 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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