No, adoptees have not been the reason why…

30 Jun


Awhile back, an adult adoptee who writes posts for Adoption Net, wrote a post about how she believes some adoptees is why the public doesn’t have a positive view of adoption…

Sometimes I feel that it is some adoptees themselves that are keeping adoption from being a more accepted part of society. Adoptees who leave those outside of adoption confused about how they should feel about adoption, because those adoptees themselves are so negative. (source)

I don’t agree now, and I didn’t agree when I first read the post and I started to respond in a different way, but then, I got to thinking about the two reasons why I didn’t agree.

The first reason; because just like every other human being, adoptees are allowed to actually speak to how they feel, how they felt growing up, how they felt at 30, 50, or beyond.  How can adoption ever be viewed positively, if you silence the ones who lived it, or require silence from those who think adoption can be done better, or the ones who didn’t get the promised better life.  When that happens, just who does adoption become positive for, is the question that must be asked.

The second reason; adoptees never need to even utter a word about how they feel, or how it could be better, it’s the actions (and the antics) of all the other folks in adoption, that leave the public confused about adoption.  I’m guessing though, that it makes them feel much more than just confusion.  So, I took some time to short list a few goings-on in the adoption world today, things that happened within the last year or so, and these, are just a few of them because compiling all, would take more time than I’m willing to spend…(and no, I don’t expect you to read every link, just including them for reference if you aren’t already familiar with them)

1. Post on why One World Adoption Services (OWAS) lost COA Approval from Alama Ya Kitamani that includes links to the documentation OWAS.  National Writer for Associated Press – David Crary on OWAS deciding to close the doors.  Georgia adoption agency closing after suspension

OWAS is the third big agency to stop doing International Adoptions this year.  Before them, International Adoption Guides (IAG) closed after a federal indictment was served.  Adoption Advocates International (AAI) closed it’s doors in early 2014 as well, citing financial challenges.  Light of Days Stories has posts on both IAG here and AAI here .

2. The Washington State 2012 Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman Report on the Severe Abuse of Adoptive Children and the recommendations that come out of it, is updated here in the 2013 report on what changes have been made or are being worked on.  It’s worth reading and starts on page 62 and ends on page 67.  The legislative changes failed which saddened me no end, perhaps the upcoming session will see a change.  There is also a new recommended legislative change due to the court case of Larry and Carri Williams on the Homicide by Abuse charge, surely that should be changed as recommended to fit the state definition of child.  Another new recommendation is for psychological assessment in the screening process.  Lots more that should be read in the above link. (earlier post on 2012 report here)

3.  The trial of Larry and Carri Williams on the death of Hana and abuse of Immanuel made headline news around the US (rightly so in my opinion). Outcome here.

4.  Light of Days Stories has three good posts on Kristen and Douglas Barbour a Pennsylvania couple who adopted two Ethiopian children, the allegations of abuse, the trial, the outcome, the similarities to Hana and Immanuel except that the Barbour children were rescued not too long after they were adopted (she also covered trial of Larry and Carri Williams).  The first post  here, second, third.

5.  Re-homing of adoptive children.  Time has a short but good article covering the basics that was brought to public awareness from the series of articles in Reuters.

6.  In response to the re-homing scandal, some states have made it a priority to write laws to make it abundantly clear that you can’t just re-home a child you adopted to someone else, without doing it properly and legally.

7.  Adoptive parents writing books about the problems of the child they adopted.  The most recent one, “Saving Julia Twice”, that has also had articles promoting the book in any magazine (or newspaper) willing to publish them, breaks my heart and makes steam come out of my ears just thinking about it, let alone writing about it.  Red Thread Broken has a good breakdown of what she thinks of it here.

8.  Treatment of fathers in adoption has been all over the news, and court, up to the US Supreme Court weighing in.  It doesn’t seem to matter to some adoption agencies (or the prospective adoptive parents) if a father was married to the mother, lived in a different state, was deployed, lied too by the mothers, or, just unable to make sure they complied with the detailed and different requirements of putative fathers laws in states they did not live in.  Some adoptive parents, agencies, birthmothers fought to deny them their right to parent their child.  Just how is the public supposed to see adoption positively, when crap like that is front page news? (some of the stories and links can be found here)

I’m stopping here because I have stuff to do, if the above points don’t clearly show that it’s not adoptees who are giving adoption a bad name, then I don’t think you ever will see it, no matter how much time I spend writing about all the different ways that non-adopted people in adoption have tainted how the public sees adoption…



Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “No, adoptees have not been the reason why…

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    June 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Certainly it should never be all on the adoptees. Adoptees may have some negative feelings and should be allowed to communicate about it, but there are so many additional components which play into this, as you’ve stated so well. Thanks for sharing. P.


    • TAO

      July 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Thank Paige, I doubt that there are enough adoptee blogs getting the traffic required to change the publics perception of adoption. I know I don’t…


  2. shadowtheadoptee

    July 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Hmmm, I’m confused, or, maybe it’s just that I live in a bubble? I had no idea that adoption wasn’t a “more acceptible part of society”. It seems to me that adoption is perfectly acceptible to society. Do you have any idea just how many times I have heard someone say to a childless couple, “You can always adopt.”, or “Just adopt.”?

    Adoption isn’t viewed as a positive thing by people, and society? really? Huh? I had no idea, because people keep telling me how my adoption must have been “God’s will”, and “It was the right decision.”, oh, and my favorite, “I’m so lucky.”, and all this from my, own, biological family, both sides, maternal, and paternal.
    Then there is my adoptive parents, “thanking”, my biological parents for Making it possible for them to have me, and my biological parents “thanking” my adoptive parents for, “taking care of me”, while I’m sitting right there. Oh, and I’m not even going to get into all the things that have been said to me by those I’m not related to.
    I don’t know? It seems to me the adoptee that made that state above, is, possibly, out of touch with the world outside the internet? It seems to me, that in the real world, the majority of people, and society in general, see adoption as the solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy, and children. They see it as a “good deed” that saves orphans, even if they aren’t really orphans, but unfortunate enough to be born into poverty, or conceived in sin.
    What’s not positive about saving us from what would have been our horrible fate, or does she mean adoption isn’t seen as a normal way to make a family? If it’s the latter, uhm, seriously? It’s never going to be viewed as “normal”, because it’s not, well, uhm, the “normal” way to make a family. I mean, really, didn’t we all learn that in , oh, about the 6th grade, maybe sooner, in sex ed?

    I guess, I could be wrong, after all, and according to everyone else, I am the one with the problem. I’m just going to do what they keep telling me to do now, and “get over it”. lol Yah, I’m the one with the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      July 1, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      I know Shadow – most do see it as a solution but recent years have brought that down a notch due to all of the above. I do think though that sometimes people think they are being slighted when they aren’t…cue the violins and all. Making you comment though works for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tiffany

    July 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I’m with Shadow- confused.

    I think what this adoptee was trying to say was that no negative experiences about adoption should be shared. There is definitely a strong aversion in the adoption community to entertain anything other than sunshine and roses, and it reads as though this adoptee has bought into the concept.

    I can’t think of a single thing in life that doesn’t have negative aspects. Perhaps dark chocolate. 😉 To bury your head in the sand and pretend like everything will always come up roses is just ignorant, and it’s why I can’t handle online adoption communities that have nothing but praise for the institution.

    As for speaking positively, my daughter who is adopted, when she is older, she can say whatever she wants about it. Positive. Negative. Neutral. She has as much of a right to her opinion as the next person, even if it is negative. Adoptees are not poster children or ambassadors. They are people with varying emotions, perspectives, backgrounds, upbringings. I bristle at the idea that a box must be put around people’s opinions to tell them what they are and aren’t allowed to say about a topic. As an adoptive parent, I need the truth and reality and the messy stuff, not just pretty platitudes.


    • TAO

      July 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      She’s also an AP which I forgot to include. She can view adoption anyway she wants to – her choice, her story, her life, frankly I don’t care. But you don’t get to blame people (adoptees) who feel differently and pretend that it’s the adoptees who have soured people’s view of adoption. Headline news stories, murder trials, scandals, arrests, countries closing NOT because they ran out of children, AP’s rehoming adopted “forever” children.


  4. Scoopy

    July 1, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I think sadly, the default is for people to think “adoption is wonderful!” that it is saving children, that these families are beautiful. How odd right People simultaneously makes adoptees feel less than, use qualifying language when describing their families, but then act like “it’s TOTALLY GREAT and natural!” Adotpes have less rights than the general population, but we think they should feel so grateful because their alternatives were imagined to be so bleak.

    I try to be honest for the sake of my children about how this is indeed not the case, and that adoption as an accepted and lucrative institution undermines support for first and birth families who deserve to stay together. That adoptions take place not as a last resort for children who need families, but to serve the interests of adoptive parents. This is not a concept that our society understands. The voices of first families and adoptees are so important in this regard. But we adoptive parents get so much more air time, and it’s disheartening.

    Also, that woman who “saved her daughter twice” is DISGUSTING. She approached me last year to use my blog to advertise for her book. She wanted to write a guest post. I told her no matter what she was writing, I found the title “I saved my daughter” to be offensive and would not sit well with me nor with my readers. She wrote back the most appallingly unprofessional scathing email. It was so frighteningly psycho I am sad I didn’t save it. I could use it to call her out publicly.

    But this is what I told her

    “Hi Tina,

    Your interest in using my blog is understandable. I am sure you are well intentioned and I am sure you have a great story. I appreciate the difficulty of adoption attachment and early childhood trauma. The impact on the child and his/her family is all encompassing. We know that in our family. I will say this: I find the phrase “saving” in adoption upsetting. It is a problem in adoption where trafficking is a huge issue right now and many parents proclaim from their blogs, like yours, that they are saving children, when in fact they are taking children away from their country, family and culture because of blindness, corruption and a sense of White Rich American Entitlement.

    I could never publish an article and stand behind it that uses the phrase “I saved my daughter twice.” I would lose my friends and readers. They would think I had lost my mind. If you were offering me compensation to run your advertising on my blog, and I took it, then at very least I could say “Readers, I sold out. You can now pay me and I will run posts no matter the content.” But are asking for advertising space for free, with my readers.

    Good luck in your endeavors. I do not run guest blog posts from strangers who have zero interest in my writings and my community.

    Scooping it up Blog”

    In response, she flipped out. Not a great person. It makes me sad she’s made so much money and gotten so much attention from this. Yuck.

    As always, love your thoughts TAO…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      July 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks scoopy…that woman bothers me no end…and I wonder…who it was that didn’t “bond” the child wasn’t even a year old and MANY of us didn’t come home from the hospital, many of us have NO idea where we were for months and now that I have done more research from my era – I’m not sure I want to know. I just can’t imagine being a pre-teen and having my mom write a book about me and how troubled I was and promote it all over the place to “help” others in her position.

      I just get tired of being told “adoptees” are the problem and I just had to turn it back and say…we talk, but hey, it’s you not us that creates the public perception issue…take a gander in the mirror.


    • Beth

      July 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Scoopy for attempting to explain some sense to that woman.
      I have a feeling that money won’t make her as happy as she thought.
      Ohhhh how I would love to bond with her 🙂


  5. Brent Snavely

    July 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I was going to submit a comment to the original post, but decided that would entail a waste of time and energy. I’m glad the author is so self-satisfied — too bad she had not adopted me…


  6. Beth

    July 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Someone called me bitter this week. During a lunch meeting four mature women were talking with me, and my greatest neighbor/friend in the world, not adopted, about birth records being opened here and there. And then they threw in a bunch of racial crap too.

    One ole B said I should be happy, I was lucky to be adopted, ( just like all these lucky little black kids getting adopted around here lately) lucky, deal with the present not the past, move on, you make adoption sound horrible, why are you so negative, you will turn people off about adoption, (basically saying that women will not choose adoption if I don’t shut up), blah blah blah.

    Of course I respond with, well good!, I hope they don’t choose it if it’s not right for them, and if the only reason they want to choose it is to make other parents happy, and the only reason they don’t want choose it is because they will be identified to their child… GOOD! All the better for the child!

    She stated we were harming all the good parents who need to adopt.
    I point out that no One actually NEEDS to adopt. Many want to.
    Then we argue about Needing to adopt some more.

    My friend asked her why she thought I, or any of us, should be happy and positive about such sad and negative things as sealed records, and so many children loosing their mothersandfamily unnecessarily.

    I, and every other adoptee, should just be happy, grateful, get over it, it’s not that important, because I was lucky to get parents that wanted me… (she had absolutely no idea who they are, what they are like, how long I was with them, and just assumed they were a white married man and woman with plenty of money and time in church – wth?!!)

    My friend, boiling with me at this point, said;
    You are lucky I don’t push you in front of traffic right now.
    (I know she really wanted to LOL and we were standing on a corner, and there were big trucks coming, I was worried enough to reach over and hold her arm/hand!)

    Then she says; I suppose next that you will call me an angry black woman?
    Fine by me if you do B, I’d rather be seen as a negative racist pot stirring angry black woman, than someone’s property.
    Then she went on her spiel about how stealing someone’s identity and ancestors by adoption, isn’t any different than when Slavery did the same thing to so many. Except it’s 2014, not 1814.
    It got pretty ugly
    IMO we “won”
    I love my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Valentine Logar

    July 4, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I think I have only one word for that person.



  8. eagoodlife

    July 7, 2014 at 5:23 am

    So sad that even an adoptee can ‘forget’ and become an adoptee blamer. The power of the myths and the propaganda will be hard to break but we have to keep going…..

    Liked by 1 person


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