Adoption Forum conversations…

06 May


So-called “adoption positive” language is really just about adoptive parents’ feelings.  It has nothing at all to do with adoptees.”

Most strident response to the above comment on a forum I have seen in long time…

“It has Everything to do with adoptees. Surely you want to validate adoption as a positive way to build a family. That is what positive adoption language is about! We don’t want our children to think they are second best!”

And ended with this

The entire thread is interesting, and worth reading because it has many different points of view on the topic of a recent viral adoption video.  The above comment was on page 2 of this thread…but to discuss this point –  “validate adoption as a positive way to build a family“.  As a kid, whether building a family via adoption was a positive thing, or a negative thing, never entered my head to even consider.  I was far too busy doing kid things with my family to even think such deep thoughts like “building a family”.  I was just a kid.

When did people stop allowing children to just be kids?

Stop trying so hard…just let your kids, be kids.  And consider, if they do have deep feelings of loss at times and you need them to only see adoption as a positive way to form a family – guess what – you probably will never know how they really feel, because you have already informed them of how they must feel.

Adoption is one way to form a family, it is neither a positive, nor a negative, it just is…one way…

And, for the record, positive adoption language is solely for the adoptive parents in my opinion too…they are the ones who are usually new to adoption, are often afraid, and insecure, and no, it’s not a slam, just reality for many, and yes, that’s actually okay to admit to.




Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , , ,

20 responses to “Adoption Forum conversations…

  1. mad momma moogacat

    May 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Nice post! 😉


    • TAO

      May 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Why thank you 🙂


  2. heatherrainbow

    May 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    The wizard of oz and other narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work Love and Family.

    The force of children to see their experiences in a certain way reminds me of narcissists. How many people who adopt are narcissists, I wonder. I know for a fact that the woman who adopted my daughter is a narcissist.


    • TAO

      May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      I think the concern is valid of forcing (perhaps not the right word), reiterating the accepted belief – is problematic. All parents do that in many things but to me the line is – only one view. Just not how you learn to think for yourself. I don’t get the need to see things as black and white as people today – positive / negative? why not just a fact of life.


  3. Scoopy

    May 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I read the thread and some of the comments indeed rubbed me the wrong way. I took issue with the video they were discussing (the boob job video) because 1) the family who made it recently brought home an baby girl from Ethiopia from an agency that participates in unethical adoptions in Ethiopia. An infant. girl. from. Ethiopia in this day and age when it has been shown over and over that the climate of adoption in Ethiopia is rife with children, infants coerced, bought and sold for adoption. That agency definitely is apart of the problem. And so are they. I know more children with fraud and lies in their adoptions than not. And I know more than fifty Ethiopian adoptive families. It’s a hot mess and has been for years. So he adopts anyway, despite the fact that the country sells it’s babies to rich Americans for bribes, and all of a sudden a few months later he is an expert in adoption, transracial family living and then leaves a nice little advertisement for the adoption agency they used at the end of the video 2) barf. 3) equating adoption with breast enhancement surgery was crass at best 4) just stop — thanks as always!


    • TAO

      May 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks Snoopy – outside looking in on all the different countries that have come, and gone, and you can’t help but shake your head and think that definition by Einstein “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity”,and I’m sure that isn’t the exact quote – but it fits IA adoption from developing countries where all the adoption agencies rush in and overwhelm a fragile system and then act surprised that corruption takes over…

      Didn’t you know that newbies know everything in adoption? It’s the old-hats that are just bitter because they had a bad experience (yep, AP’s are now having that statement applied to them by newbie PAPs and APs – if someone hasn’t said it about you yet, it’s just a matter of time…

      If I am correct in my assumption that you meant corruption instead of children let me know and I will edit your comment…


  4. eagoodlife

    May 6, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Totally agree TAO. And Scoopy, ‘the climate of adoption in Ethiopia is rife with children’ -you do have a turn of phrase!


    • TAO

      May 7, 2014 at 3:07 am

      I’m thinking she meant corruption…


  5. Valentine Logar

    May 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

    The list left off my favorite, “Bastard”, one still in use today all to often. I read the link and watched the video, I can only say, WTH. There are good adoption stories out there, yet still we have terrible ones, the producer of that idiotic video, clearly falls to the side of the bad. The lack of sensitivity, empathy and compassion surrounding adoption and adopted children simply boggles my mind.

    Wonderful post Tao.


    • TAO

      May 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      I tried to write my thoughts about that video but I am still stuck at the starting premise of using the concept of using “boob jobs” to against “adoptees” – just kind of made me feel like icky and used…compare like to like – not “boob jobs” to adoptees…one is a enhancement product and the other a sentient human being…


  6. eagoodlife

    May 8, 2014 at 12:10 am

    When you think of boob jobs (if you must!) as commodities, as adoptees are when purchased on the open adoption market, perhaps it makes more sense – it’s not palatable and definitely icky! And Valentine I’m a bastard and proud of it as are other members of my family. Others like to call me a ‘love child’ but I’m not precious about it, nor does it reflect on my adoption. What are you labelling a ‘good adoption ‘ and what is a ‘bad adoption’?


  7. cb

    May 8, 2014 at 1:14 am

    I’ve been trying to think about why I feel uncomfortable about the comparison between boobs and adoptees.

    First of all of course, adoptees are humans and breast implants are inanimate objects.

    Also, when one thinks about women with boob jobs and why they have them and how they feel about them, they tend to have them because they want to feel better about themselves and/or make themselves more attactive to others and they often don’t want anyone to know that they have had a boob job, it is not something they would rather broadcast. Thus asking them/not asking them about their boob job is about saving the feelings of the person WITH the boob job, not the actual boobs themselves.

    Thus, there is the feeling in the video of it being about saving the feelings of the adoptive parents, not the child themselves.


  8. cb

    May 8, 2014 at 1:19 am

    As for the “positive language list”, again it is all about the adoptive parents not the child.
    In regards to the last one, I AM adopted, not just “was adopted”. It is like being married, one was married and one is still married. Now I’m in contact with bfamily, then the fact that I AM adopted is something one can’t really ignore.


  9. eagoodlife

    May 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

    cb -interesting how different attitudes are in different countries. In Australia women don’t care who knows they’ve had a boob job because they’re realistic enough to know that everyone who notices and thinks these things are important will know anyway. How that relates to adoption and adoptees I really don’t know. Maybe we’re open about that too and adoption is mostly transnational now so hard to ignore and often very triggering for other adoptees.


    • cb

      May 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      I’m Australian too. I suppose if you have obvious breast implants then one would expect to be asked questions.

      I don’t know. All I know is that adoptive parents need to get over the “real” question. Just answer or don’t answer the questions, people, no-one’s casting aspersions on your parenthood.


  10. dmdezigns

    May 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    You’re right – positive adoption language is about the feelings of the adoptive families. Wanna tackle paper pregnant next since I was basically told to lighten up on that topic? lol And as an AP, I’m very uncomfortable with the “positive” way to build a family. Does that mean getting pregnant is a negative way to build a family? And that idea just feeds into the concept of APs as saints and saviors that should be elevated above others because they adopted. Makes me annoyed. I’m just a parent. A very imperfect one at that. The way I became a parent matters because it involved loss for both of my kids how is that positive? It doesn’t make me better and it certainly doesn’t elevate this way of building a family.


    • dmdezigns

      May 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      By the way, I meant to type adoptive parents not adoptive families – too little sleep lately with 2 kids sick.


      • TAO

        May 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        DM…perhaps it is that “positive” denotes getting pregnant as “negative” that bothers me most of all. All I know is “positive” was not part of how adoption was viewed in my family, it just was the way our family was formed. It just was – which actually made it normal…

        Oh, and paper pregnant – no, not going anywhere near that one, not even with a ten-foot pole…thank goodness I had normal, everyday folks to raise me. I think they did a damn fine job of it – if I do say so myself…

        Sorry your little ones are sick…


  11. Lisa

    May 9, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Blah…blah..blah….brainwash your adopted kid…tell US How to FEEL.



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