What happens when you ‘share’ your child’s personal story…

24 Jan

Just reading the comments on this article Are Americans Who Adopt Asian Children Robbing Them Of Their Actual Identities.   

As an Aunt of 2 “American” adopted boys and a cousin of an little girl adopted from China, I respectfully disagree. My nephews were both adopted from the same state we live in, but are not the same nationality as my brother and his wife. Obviously their upbringing would be completely different had their birth mothers made a different decision. The oldest’s mother have birth addicted to crack and had no idea who the father might be. The youngest was born while his birth mother was in jail. They are now in a drug free, loving home. Their identity will be based on being raised by a loving family. Same deal with my cousin. Her identity will be based on that, and not growing up in an orphanage. I understand where you are coming from, but I still disagree.


Who knows what their life would have been like if they hadn’t been adopted.  Perhaps their level of tack, respect for someone else’s privacy, and being circumspect may have been significantly higher…


Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: ,

14 responses to “What happens when you ‘share’ your child’s personal story…

  1. adoptee...

    January 25, 2015 at 2:57 am

    This person is clueless


  2. Almost

    January 25, 2015 at 3:40 am

    I realize there is a whole lot of “wrong” with the Aunt’s comment. But, I wonder just how much disrespecting of the kid’s privacy is going on here.

    First–and most importantly–did the Aunt give any identifying information that would allow anyone reading this comment to figure out who her nephews and cousins are? If not, then failing to respect privacy isn’t an issue.

    Second, it could seem like the adoptive parents are oversharing about their children. But do we know what was really said to the Aunt? I think that telling your sister that you are adopting a baby that was born addicted to crack is not really oversharing. Crack babies have issues in early life, and disclosing that problem to a close family member seems legitimate, especially if you stress that that tidbit isn’t for public consumption. (Some people feel that anonymous comments aren’t really violating this rule.)

    And for the baby born in jail, that also seems like something an adoptive parent might reasonably disclose to a close family member, again with the caveat that it’s not for personal consumption.

    For the cousin adopted from China, well, that one is hard to miss. Family needs to travel abroad to get the baby, and you can’t really hide where your internationally adopted child came from.

    I disagree with the aunt’s black-and-white take on adoption, but I’m not sure we can fairly assess whether or not the adoptive parents have appropriately respected their child’s privacy.

    What I really have an issue with is adoptive parents–and biological parents–who blog under their own names or write for other online publications (like the New York Times) and divulge all sorts of private and potentially embarassing or hurtful things about their kids. Just. Plain. Wrong.


    • TAO

      January 25, 2015 at 4:00 am

      She used her name – and even if she didn’t – that was an massive oversharing of personal information about SOMEONE ELSE. If the adoptive mother shared that info with her sister then she also did it knowing what type of individual she was.


  3. yan

    January 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    People underestimate, by so so so much, how important it is to control your own narrative when your origins are uncertain. Having a family member — and not even an immediate family member — willing to tell random strangers on the internet about your first family’s drug history or jail time or anything else? Pretty uncool.

    I think it’s generally unintentional, but when adoptive parents repeat the story they’ve created (often with help from the adoption facilitators) as the full truth, and tell that to others, it makes it harder to own your own truth. I don’t know how you, as an adoptive parent, balance telling your kids what you know about their origins with not “owning” their stories, but it’s one of the hard things to figure out when you decide to adopt. And maybe it involves not “justifying” the choice to adopt with a pat story about how bad your child’s first family is — a story that your family hands out like cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      January 26, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      I do agree that it is largely unintentional because they haven’t been properly educated, which must be an anomaly because AP’s today are so much more enlightened that the AP’s of any era before (must find a sarcasm emoticon).

      It is important to own your story.


      • yan

        January 26, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        I think it’s possible that half of the adoptee-written internet would be written in *sarcasm* were that a font.


        • TAO

          January 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm

          You made me laugh out loud – thank you so much!


  4. Jess

    January 26, 2015 at 12:49 am

    “Having a family member — and not even an immediate family member — willing to tell random strangers on the internet about your first family’s drug history or jail time or anything else? Pretty uncool.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Also agree that whatever she’s disagreeing with is largely in her own mind. Tao, someone told a few commenters on Dawn’s post about adoptee suicide you linked to in your previous post not to crank up “the greatest hits” of the anti-adoption machine because the adoptive family of the young man profiled would be grieving his loss (and, if was implied, might read that thread). I thought the same thing here: Hardly the time or place for “Adoption is Fantastic” on autoplay. Read the adoptee’s post again and try to learn something. Or else STFU.

    I loved the piece.


    • TAO

      January 26, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Jess, the longer I’m on-line, the more I think common sense, and reading comprehension are relics of the past…

      I read the comments and I didn’t hear anti-adoption rhetoric, I heard, being adopted adds loss and when possible family preservation should be the answer. That’s bloody common sense…

      I also heard Dawn put a public face to a deeply sorrowful subject, adoptees taking their lives. Sometimes being adopted you feel like no one will ever actually understand – so why bother trying to talk about it, they can’t fix it…being a teen was hard…I wouldn’t wish it on anyone…the turmoil inside…just thinking back I want to throw my coffee mug at the wall. Teen years and early adult years are so hard – I look back and wonder why I’m still alive. Being adopted made it so much worse…


  5. Jess

    January 26, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I was very impressed with the way Mya responded to the follow-up questions.


    • TAO

      January 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      So loving the generation coming into themselves. THEY will be the generation where so much changes and hopefully crush the “Adoption is Fantastic” autoplay <-love this…


      • Jess

        January 27, 2015 at 2:16 am

        You know, I think they will too. They have the mentors, the tools, the vocabulary–the literacy–to say whatever they need to say because those things have been provided by the generation of adoptees that came before. Much like LGBT kids. And also like LGBT kids, it won’t always be music to the ears of the parents raising them but it’s something they’ll have to negotiate.


  6. Heather

    January 28, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Last November I was in a line up for a ride at Disneyworld. I don’t know how the conversation began however I heard a man behind me talking to a woman about her grandchild who was visibly an International adoptee about eight years old.

    The grandmother spoke about the child’s origins and about what a saint her daughter was for adopting her. The man repeated many of the saviour type comments we are familiar with. The entire time the child stood there not saying a word. Neither of the adults spoke to her, just about her. It was horrific how these two strangers felt this was an appropriate public discussion to have in front of the child.

    It was a disgusting invasion and violation of the child’s privacy. I was absolutely sick to my stomach and I still am very disappointed in myself for not speaking up on her behalf.


    • TAO

      January 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Heather, why am I not surprised – it’s such a pervasive belief in the public. I am appalled that the parent of the child was not there to nix any such nonsense in the bud – but, who knows, perhaps they like being lauded for doing such a good thing for a child who no one wanted – for SOME it is what they want to hear, despite any faux-protests made…

      What you should have done is so easy to arm-chair but being stunned at the despicable words often mutes you in the moment…



Tell me your thoughts, but please be nice...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: