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…