The problem of how an “adoption issue” is viewed by some…

25 Mar


Other children do the almost the same thing so it’s not an “adoption issue”…

So if other children go through a stage are they having a “biological issue” is the retort I say in my mind, and just shake my head in wonder at the denial about being adopted.

The problem is that “issue” has become something to deny happens – because adoption is win-win-win so there can’t be “issues”…and if there are “issues” something is wrong with the child, so then it still isn’t about adoption.

The adding “issue” on for some is like it’s a four-letter-word, and it happens all to often.  Someone talks about the new phase their child is in, and notes something said or done, if you dare to mention it might have something to do with being adopted – then the denials about adoption having any effect at all spring forth, immediately.

You don’t have to take an adoptees word for it – there has been study after study, paper after paper, adoptive parenting classes, lectures, conferences, all stating that the adoptee has many additional layers and challenges to work through over the course of their life, that non-adopted don’t have…

Despite that there is always someone chiming in that it isn’t an “adoption issue”.

I agree – it isn’t an “adoption issue” as you see it – it’s just fact…

Some adoptees have a harder time, some have an easier time getting through the normal phases of life, complicated by being adopted.  We are all unique and we all have to deal with it in our own way, and in our own time.

The use of “issue” in this way makes it out to be something bad, something that means what you are dealing with isn’t normal.  It makes it shameful.  Perhaps we need to stop using “issue” for the normal realities most adoptees will face and deal with at one or many points in their life – either with or without you.

To me dealing with the additional facets is just part of being adopted, and using the word “issue” then becomes a negative in adoption, and yet, in other aspects of life we all go through, the word “issue” isn’t applied.  Why?

When a parent passes away are you going through a “grieving issue”?

When you get in an accident and end up in the hospital, and need physical therapy is that an “accident issue”?

Witnessed something terrible that gave you nightmares for months, is that a “witness issue”?

None of the above are “issues” – just what you have to deal with if life throws it your way.  Being adopted is one of the challenges life threw at me, and I have to deal with all that it entails – dealing with it, going through it – doesn’t make me abnormal.

Did that make any sense?


Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “The problem of how an “adoption issue” is viewed by some…

  1. eagoodlife

    March 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Absolute sense and a very good point.


    • TAO

      March 25, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks Von – my thoughts were pretty jumbled but I wanted to get them out before the disappeared. I think it has to be presented as fact that in some way shape or form the adoptee will have to process through it…


  2. sundayk

    March 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    The other side of this coin is attributing EVERYTHING a child does no matter how many “normal” kids do the exact same thing – to “RAD”. “When my kids do it it is different”. Neither side is honoring OR serving the children.


    • TAO

      March 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Excellent point – all the dx’s bother me – some are warranted but many I think aren’t. (sending you an email)


  3. necessarygrace

    March 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Interesting post. I hadn’t thought about the word “issue” that way before. I definitely struggle as a mom trying to figure out whether my daughter’s angst at any given time is because she is 11, or because she is adopted or because she has ADHD or because of something some random kid said at school… or a combination of all of the above? On the one hand, it would be nice to be able to catagorize and have some way to specifically target the “issue” and deal with it and on the other hand, since when do ANY of us work that way? We all have our “issues” and layers and when I feel angsty I might attribute it to PMS or a really crappy day but in reality it’s probably a mix of a lot of things. So I should probably get over that and just let my daughter feel what she feels, huh?


    • TAO

      March 25, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Necessarygrace – you wouldn’t have thought of it that way because you use the term “issue” correctly 🙂 .

      It is only when it is used to deny anything that might be an adoption issue at all that it is a problem – saying it doesn’t always have be an “adoption issue” when clearly the subject discussed is only relevant if you were adopted. Specifically those who believe there are no added issues for being adopted – just joy, love, happiness 24/7… (someone show me someone who lives that life)

      Totally confusing but everything is confusing in adoption. Just how it is said in the context makes it shameful if a child has “adoption issues” – blaming the victim mentality idea.

      I think you are probably pretty good because you are open minded to reality of life…take care…


  4. c

    March 26, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I take issue with the fact that adoptees aren’t allowed to have issues.


    • TAO

      March 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      You’re funny! 🙂


  5. c

    March 26, 2013 at 8:15 am

    When I think back to my younger years, I was a very odd child lol. However, it is hard to really say what contributed to my “oddness”.

    Was I just naturally odd?
    Was it because my personality was different to my APs and thus to them, I was odd? Would I have been considereed odd if I’d grown up with my biological family? It is hard to know although I was talking to my cousin once and told her that I considered myself pleasantly odd and she laughed and said that describes the rest of the family – I myself feel that there are certainly things about them that are more “familiar” to me than my amom’s personalities. I sort of think my adad might have got on well with some of my uncles lol.
    My amom says my behaviour in my earlier years was related to my relationship with my older asiblings (twins (one girl/one boy)).
    My siblings all seem to have issues as adults but only younger abro seems to think adoption has anything to do with them. My asister sees a psychologist about parent issues but I have no idea if adoption has ever been explored as part of her issues – note I am not trying to say all her problems are re adoption but perhaps some things that are adoption related may be of relevance?


    • TAO

      March 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      I do think personality is inherited – it only makes sense – of course there are families who clash but those I know more often than not – are either versions of their parents with some favoring one side of the family over the other. I do think I am hyper-aware of it because I never had it for myself if that makes sense.

      As to any of us – adoption is wrapped up in our entire life so teasing what is and what may not be is hard – but when it is something many adoptees have struggled with and professionals have all agreed – the common denominator is adoption. To many professionals never even consider it though.


  6. Valentine Logar

    March 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    That made perfect sense Tao.


    • TAO

      March 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Val! Sometimes I never know if my thoughts are just out there…


  7. Beth

    March 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Sometimes it’s really hard not to use the word “issue” LOL And when I do it often derails any point i am trying to point out. i end up using words like adoption “stuff” “things” and those words don’t get as much defensive attention.
    I find it funny that it’s perfectly acceptable that I might be having PMS or menopausal issues… it’s “normal”

    All the letters bug me big time. RAD, ADHD BLAH BLAH BLAH, usually just an easy cop out and something to blame ADOPTION ISSUES on 🙂 Not win win adoption, but RAD/separation. Makes it easier to swallow. But adoption fixes separation… but not RAD.
    You can sometimes get away with saying that RAD and the other usual letters are associated with adoption… or adoption like reasons (separation/ trauma etc)
    RAD does seem to be a code word for an “adoption issue”
    Too twisted.



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