Apparently, times have changed and no one sent me the memo…that the statement below is hurtful and ignorant…according to those on Adoption: Share the Love Facebook page.
“Adoption is a great option…but only in cases where there are no capable and willing biological parents.”
What I take from that, is that if that saying is hurtful, or ignorant, some actually think it’s perfectly fine to give your baby away…even though you are capable (ability and means to raise a baby) and willing (want to parent to that child)…
I’m sorry, I just can’t wrap my mind around that. Either folks don’t understand meaning those words, or someone has convinced them that being capable, and willing, is not enough, that they aren’t good enough. If the latter is the case, shame on whoever is telling them that, and it scares me as much, or more, than the outright blatant shaming, and coercion, mothers of the BSE faced from all of society.
If you aren’t capable of, can’t afford to, or don’t have the skills necessary to parent, and/or don’t want to parent your baby, then for goodness sake, just admit to that. Far better to be honest about it than to make excuses for yourself, some people can’t raise a child, others have no interest in raising a child, it doesn’t make you bad, just honest about your reality. And if I can be so bold, far easier to accept one of those reasons for needing to be adopted.
But if you are capable, and willing, and choosing adoption under the belief that adoptive parents are somehow better than you for your child. Adoptive parents are no better, or worse, than biological parents are. And just like biological parents, adoptive parents can also fall victim to life altering changes including these:
Getting divorced, remarried, lose their jobs, their house, their health, their life, declare bankruptcy, can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, have domestic violence in their home, have affairs, abuse their children.
So now that you understand that adoptive parents are just regular human beings, no better, or worse, than any capable and willing biological parent is, lets talk about the child at the center of it all. Adoptees face additional challenges solely because they are adopted…and you won’t know where your child will fall on the spectrum of how affected by being adopted they will be…
“The loss for the adoptee is unlike other losses we have come to expect in a lifetime, such as death and divorce. Adoption is more pervasive, less socially recognized, and more profound.” (source below)
Fear of abandonment that can weave its destructive thoughts into every relationship they have, throughout their entire life. The words inside my head: everyone leaves, it’s not if, it’s when…
“For children between six and eighteen, though, a number of studies have shown that being adopted is a risk factor for having certain psychological problems, especially low self-esteem, academic problems, and a range of rebellious activities known as “acting out” behaviors: aggression, stealing, lying, hyperactivity, oppositional behavior, running away.” (source below)
It always makes me shake my head when I hear adoptive parents with toddlers speak that their child is not affected by being adopted. I tell myself, lets talk again when your child has gone through the teen years, and then we’ll see if your tune has changed. Adoption starts with loss, it’s inevitable that at some point, or many points we have to deal with that life altering event and how it impacted us.
“In looking at all the data, including the contradictory data, we believe there is indeed a clear tendency among adoptees not only to seek professional help, but also to need it. And we believe the increased vulnerability of adoptees to psychological problems can be explained largely by their experience of loss.” (source below)
Source for the above three quotes from the book: Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David Brodzinsky, Ph.D., Marshall D. Schechter, M.D., Robin Marantz Henig
And lets not forget what adoptees face throughout their lives, from when they are young and the adoptive parents are asked the types of questions in front of them that sparked the making of that “viral adoption boob job video”, but throughout their lives those questions still get asked, and more…
But getting back to the losses…one of my posts said this:
“The life I was supposed to live never happened, so no matter what – I can’t trace that path that I was supposed to have lived. People point to choices made that changed their life, the fork in the road, and speak of it as life-changing, and I am sure it is.
Adoption isn’t life changing.
Adoption changed who you were into someone else.
I’m going to explore how I feel about that…I may find it too can’t be resolved…maybe that’s why Brodzinsky named his book – being adopted – the lifelong search for self.”
Another post of mine that speaks to the loss is this post titled Feelings that was sparked by Rebecca’s post…
Some of us will put the blame on ourselves and try to explain why we weren’t worth fighting for – I speak to believing as a child I had flaw that others could see, but I couldn’t, as the reason my mother didn’t fight for me. It was my fault. That’s what my child’s mind thought – but even today, when I am at my most vulnerable, that child’s mind is always right there pushing against my adult mind that understands why, and, accepts my mother had no choice and it wasn’t me. My need to be the perfect child growing up wasn’t anything my parents did – it was my own protectionist measure against being given away again – because if it happened once, it could happen again. It has also shaped my need throughout my adult life to be the best daughter, employee, neighbor, wife, friend, based on the fear of being rejected – despite my adult brain telling me that people like me, that I am a good person, likeable – I continually strive to prove my worthiness. The flip side of that is that I also don’t want to ask for anything, reach out to keep in touch because I might bother them, admit to any need – because I am afraid to be proven right…
Now you can take my ramblings and dismiss them all you want, soothe yourself that this is the result of a closed adoptee experience, or, you can believe what I and others say. Being adopted is really hard at times, it impacts us in many different ways throughout the many periods of our life. We may not even be conscious of it at times, but all our life experiences play a distinct role in how we react to everyday events. I’m not saying adoption shouldn’t happen, because it must. I’m saying if there is no reason for an adoption to happen, then it shouldn’t. Remember, there is always someone better, richer, more educated, has more toys – but it doesn’t mean they are better suited to be the parent, to your child.