Adoption and the machine

27 Sep
I intended to watch the three adoption related documentaries on PBS. I recorded the first and it took me over a week to get up the courage to watch it. I could not watch the other two, I was not strong enough because I know the message that they contain. That the adoption machine does not work and creates chaos and pain and completely unnecessary suffering.
At the same time adoption in its purest form can work. Adoption as a solution as a last result worked for a long time. Or in other words adoption when all other avenue of support fail. That worked for me until I understood the ramifications of the adoption machine and that overwhelmed and destroyed the true good of adoption, and the impact became too great for me to ignore anymore. Even then it was hard to accept that it could be corrupted by greed and desires instead of the best interests of the child when all else failed.
My life was good. In my eyes the sun rose and set on my dad and if he was still here, the sun would still rise and set because of him and him alone. He was and is still the best man who ever walked on this earth, I have never met his equal and doubt I ever will. The world became less than the day he passed away. But you see, dad was from the era before the adoption machine, so mom and dad adopted to provide a family for a child – not to find a child for their family. It is that simple. To provide a loving home to a child who needs a home. And that is what they did. They adopted and we became family. I am not saying others do not adopt for this reason as I know others that have. It’s just the adoption machine has also created a demand that is unrealistic and to supply that demand, lines that should never be crossed, are crossed.
The act of adoption did not erase my other family, it simply added to it, even if we would never know who my family was. Mom and dad never feared we would leave them if we found our other family, why would they? we were family. They never hid the fact that we had another family, another mother and father. They did not shy away from talking about adoption. They raised me to be a critical thinker with mindful understanding of realities for others. To assess what politics lay behind societies rules. To dig deep and understand core issues before making my decision on any subject.
Today I see parents carefully crafting their child’s adoption narrative. The way they want their child to view their adoption. I can understand this desire but question the motives behind it. Is it for the parents comfort level or the child’s well being or even perhaps both reasons. Again, understandable but desirable? Truly in the best interests of the child first and foremost? Would it not be better to just present the facts and provide the child with the skills necessary to mind fully come to their own conclusion? Or is it the right thing to craft the narrative at an early age and then teach critical thinking later? I wish I remembered more of what my mom and dad said when I was that little. All I can remember is my story and the reasons why society dictated I be placed, nothing about what I was told to think about adoption. Perhaps they just left it up to me to figure out.
What do you think when you read statements like: I was careful to present the birth parent info to my daughter just the way I wanted her to have it…or…I will mould and shape her understanding of her complex past…or…I don’t even want to call them mommy and daddy, but birth mother and birth father.
To me those statements above tell me their feelings are first and foremost but they don’t realize it. They truly believe it is in their child’s best interest but is it? Or is it telling the adoptee how they must see their adoption, and how they will accept their adopted status? Are they teaching their child how to think critically or telling their child what they want them to think? Are all the’ how to’ books teaching this new generation of parents helping or hurting in crafting the adoptive narrative for their child? Am I over analyzing it or just looking at it critically through the eyes of an adult?
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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Ethics, Uncategorized


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