The 2000 US Census shows that there are over 2 Million adopted children living at home with their parents with the vast majority of them being under 18 which means they were born after the Baby Scoop Era – mid 40’s to the mid 70’s. Estimates for the Baby Scoop Era is that there are 6 Million of us, granted some will have died but still, there are literally millions and millions of us living in the USA.
Given the sheer number of adoptees one would think it would be hard to define what the typical adoptee would look like, but looking at the picture painted by the adoption agencies about the prospective adoptive parents, the following assumptions could be made that we would all have taken advantage of the superior advantages our mothers (and fathers perhaps) were promised when we were placed.
As children…we would all
- have perfect parents;
- perfect family;
- perfect siblings;
- be healthy having parents who could afford health care;
- be world travelers and grew up loving our vacations at the cottage on the lake.
As adults…we would all
- be college or university graduates or have gone further than just one degree;
- all hold white-collar jobs versus blue-collar;
- be married to individuals who also hold white-collar jobs;
- have the perfect family that includes 2.5 children, a home that is paid for;
- have swimming pools and fancy cars.
But come on folks – reality is reality…
- Some adoptees may have that perfect family and perfect life;
- Some won’t have that perfect life but a completely happy life;
- Some won’t have a perfect or completely happy life but they will still be content;
- Some will have an okay life and not be content with the status quo;
- Some will be physically healthy, some will not;
- Some will have mental illness that challenges their lives, some will find the way to live with their mental illness, some will just get by;
- Some will be or were abused by their adoptive parents;
- Some will have problems with their siblings or other family members, some will not;
- Some will have issues with the laws regarding their rights to their records of who they were born to be, some will not;
- Some will want to meet their family, some will not;
- Some will feel abandoned and flawed in varying degrees, some will not;
- Some will face feelings of insecuritity of different degrees from being an adoptee, some will not;
- Some will face challenges from being adopted from another country, race, language and culture all different degrees, some will not;
- Some will face challenges of living as one race at home and their race outside in varying degrees, some will not at all;
- Some will forever feel the loss that can come with being an adoptee, some never do, some only for a short time;
- Some will challenge how the adoption industry practiced or still practices, some will not;
So given just the few examples that do not even begin to take into account the realities faced by many adoptees that go far deeper or are multiples of those listed above – why is it so very easy to label an adoptee as either/or OR place them in one of two camps?
Because to many people and especially adoptive parents or prospective adoptive parents, we are either a HAPPY ADOPTEE or an ANGRY ADOPTEE – why is that? Can it really be that simple?