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Did anyone stop and think of intent vs. impact on the one adopted?

26 Sep

The misguided #ShoutYourAdoption as a rebuttal to #ShoutYourAbortion on both Twitter and Facebook has brought out the angry in me, and deep disappointment too.  It doesn’t seem that anyone participating thought about the impact to the one adopted.  Did any say: Is this going to stereotype adoptees?  Is this damaging to them?  What is the impact on the adoptee?  Did intent vs. impact even enter their consciousness?  To me, it doesn’t seem that anyone participating thought of the potential impact on the child, only what it could do for them.

I’ve noted countless times how using words like ‘she chose life’ is problematic because it’s just a shiny version of the stereotype put on the adoptee ‘she could have chosen to abort’.  Which then takes you down the rabbit hole of the impact that stereotype does to the one adopted.  The you should be more grateful than the non-adopted, i.e. indebted.  Not to mention all the lucky comments that is standard for the adoptee to hear their whole life.  Now add in the fact that this whole campaign is a direct rebuttal to the #ShoutYourAbortion.  Misguided, is the kindest term I can use.

So with my dander already up, I’m going to add in this dichotomy, or contradiction if you will, in two different sayings on America Adopts! facebook page that also come under the intent vs.impact.  Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.

The first saying found on this post:

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” superimposed over the picture of a baby.

The above quote sharply contrasts with the opposite message in this post:

“Adoption is not a birthmother’s rejection but an unconditional love that inspires her to put herself last and do all she can for her baby.”

So the first saying obviously only applies to adopting parents and the second to soon to be birth parents – but aren’t both the people wanting to become adoptive parents and soon to be birth parents human beings?  Why would each saying be opposite unless the two groups are divided into two different classes of people?  Those better – the ones who never give up, and those lesser – that realize they aren’t good enough to parent their own child and give up?  What message does that tell the child?  What is the intent and the impact?

The first saying tells the one adopted must always consider how much they were wanted by the adopting parents which isn’t a bad thing, whatsoever, but with adoption being complicated, being the one in the middle ends up making sure neither set of parents gets their feelings hurt, dismissed, it’s easier to just make everyone else happy, at the cost of your own feelings.

The second saying, comes right out and tells the adoptee what they must feel, despite the reality that rejection is one of the seven core issues adoptees have to deal with, we aren’t allowed to feel rejected.

See how stereotypes can impact the adoptee, regardless of the intent?  Adoption is far too complicated for the adoptee to apply blanket statements, and further perpetuate stereotypes.  Can we just get back to when adoption was finding the right home for that specific child who needs a home?

I do want to give a shout out to this parent who took the time to think of the impact this campaign would have on the one adopted.  Why I Find #ShoutYourAdoption Problematic

Note to readers: Some reading this post  may have formed a rebuttal in their minds while skimming, wanting to chime in a say, they are just wanting people to consider other options than abortion.  If they wanted to do that – it would be #ShoutYourParentingOrAdoption, but they didn’t.

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23 Comments

Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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23 responses to “Did anyone stop and think of intent vs. impact on the one adopted?

  1. eagoodlife

    September 26, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    ““Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” superimposed over the picture of a baby.”

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  2. L Wise

    September 27, 2015 at 12:39 am

    I personally would like to see some #ShoutHowYouHelpedSomeoneKeepTheirBaby instead of the selfish posts of how you took the baby off their hands, changed their identity and molded them to suit you.

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  3. chicken2003

    September 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I keep mulling this post over and hope my response comes across the right way.

    I will not and cannot tell you that you are “wrong” in how you see those statements because I have no idea what it is like to be adopted. One of the many lessons I have learned is that you cannot understand what you have never experienced.

    I am an infertile, adoptive mother to two children in open adoptions with contact with both birth mothers and extended families. It was 6 1/2 years of heartbreak before our son was placed in our arms. That first quote has stuck firmly in my head as a reminder of the amount of faith it took to not give up. After 3 1/2 years of trying to get pregnant I had a hysterectomy. We were not sure we were ready to head down the adoption path when out of the blue we received a phone call asking if we had interest. In the end, that mother choose to parent. So many times I wanted to walk away but I always felt that somehow it would someday work out. It took a tremendous amount of faith to meet with our son’s birth mother for the first time. Again it was a situation that came privately, out of the blue less than a month after the first mother choose to parent. We were still grieving, but knew that if we wanted to parent we were going to have to face the fear of more loss and go forward.

    The second quote reflects the choice of both of our children’s birth mothers. They were both young and for various reasons the birth fathers were not good my to be involved in the children’s life. One of the reasons that they both had in common was the desire for the children to be raised in a stable, two parent home. It was not something they could provide. Neither had their fathers involved in their lives and wanted different for their children. Both loved their child deeply and choose to put themselves in a position of grief in order to give their child the life they envisioned for them. Thankfully, they are both a part of our lives and they can help explain it from their perspective to their child as they get older and begin to understand adoption more. (They are only 4 & 2)

    I have the unique vantage point as a child of teen parents, in a family where teen pregnancy was the norm for four generations. I was fortunate that my parents were married and still deeply love each other. But, I know how much of a struggle it was. We were very poor. Many fights about finances erupted. And, although never once did they indicate this, my childish mind accepted responsibility for it all. After all, had it not been for me they would have been able to go to college and have stable jobs. I now know that it wasn’t my fault, but as children we sometimes internalize responsibility of things we have no control of.

    This is not to say that I wished my parents had choosen adoption, just that I understand the life that lay ahead of these girls and see why they might have wanted to choose a different path for their child. Certainly, if anything, the birth mothers are “the better” for setting aside their own hearts in the interest of what they felt to be a better environment for their child to be raised. That is what I see that second quote depicting.

    We collaboratively have the privilege of explaining both side is adoption to our children. Hopefully, hearing their birth mother’s perspective will help them realize they were never unwanted, unloved, faulty, etc; that there were no winners or losers, but a joint effort in providing the life that they live. We parent them with more of a community approach than presenting ourselves as the supreme authority. We can only provide certain aspects to our children. They need their biological side to provide others.

    I enjoy reading this blog because it helps me see how adoption may be perceived from their point of view and what struggles that they may face. Thank you for your candid portrayal that helps us better understand something that we have never experienced. Hopefully my children are blessed through your words!

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    • TAO

      September 27, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Chicken2003 – whatever the intent was, the impact is up to the one on the receiving end – and in this case it is the one adopted.

      For myself, logic always told me my mother had no other choice, I was educated about why, and they were real cold hard why’s; legal discrimination for both the mother and child, the lack of being able to rent an apartment, get a job, the child to have friends, lack of getting support from the father because they were protected by law against claims for a child they had not legitimized, the lack of social safety net – that was the world I was born into. Understanding all of that – the heart says she could have fought, climbed the proverbial mountain because I should have been worth doing that. It is what it is for me…
      perhaps it will be different for your children – only time will tell.

      I’m just deeply disappointed that in 2015 when adoption is supposed to be so much gentler, better, it isn’t. It’s a business and it should never have been allowed to become what it is today, a market, instead of a true child welfare endeavor.

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    • TAO

      September 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      Chicken2003 – I thought I’d come back and tell a story that happened to me not to long ago.

      Someone posted one of those sayings – this one said something to the effect that you aren’t a mother if you aren’t parenting your child, i.e. getting up in the night, etc.. I responded and disagreed with her that you are only a mother if you are doing/did the daily grind and something to the effect that I’d lost my son, but I was still a mother. She doubled-down and decided I was a birthmother and therefore I was not a mother. It went back and forth several more times until I got through to her that I was not a birthmother, my son had died but I was still his mother and will always be his mother.

      Her intent in posting that meme vs. the impact on me reading it as ‘I was not a mother’. Her intent in posting it wasn’t mean spirited, even if her responses after were lacking – yet the impact to me being told I was not a mother certainly did not match her intent when she posted it.

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      • chicken2003

        September 28, 2015 at 1:39 am

        I think we are somewhat making the same point in different words, which is why I prefaced what I was saying with me being unable to fully grasp what it is to be adopted and know that the same words are going to come across differently according to where you are in the adoption triad. I was trying to explain what those same words mean from this side of the spectrum according to the experiences I have had.

        In struggling with infertility, I very much can appreciate how many well intended comments make me absolutely cringe. Even in my few years as an adoptive mom, I want to just shake people sometimes! I try to remind myself that in their minds they are doing what they think is best. Few are actually attempting to be malicious. If I see a chance to educate, I do.

        I second your opinion about the industry side of adoption. I had a hard enough time trying to make sure both of our children’s birth mother’s knew that if it was simply that we were meant to support them through their pregnancy and they chose to parent, that was okay. With seeing so much teen pregnancy, I know age does not equal parenting ability. I did what I could to encourage them that it is possible, but what they envisioned they did not feel they could provide – thus choosing an open adoption plan instead.

        We were contacted privately with our adoptive situations. We were open with our infertility struggles and have been plugged into a youth camp since I was very young so we had several ministers aware of our infertility. Like I said originally, we were not entirely sure if adoption was the right route for us verses fostering verses being a “complete as two” family. I am not sure I could have gone through the more traditional adoption agency route with the need to essentially present our family as a sales pitch. It does not feel right. The agency we used was 2 1/2 hours away, but known to work well with birth mothers. There is a whole aspect of the adoption world that I am just not sure what the right answers are, but I know we certainly are not there yet! Social programs offer some solutions to eliminating the need of using adoption as an option, but they do not always solve the environment in which birth parents would like their child to be raised in.

        Hopefully with open adoption becoming more common we can all work together to make it the best situation for all three aspects involved. Adoptees have no real say in it all until adulthood when we adults figure out that what we were hoping to achieve actually had a detrimental effect. I pray that I am able to be as emotionally available as my children need me to be as they grapple with the ways adoption impacts their life.

        Like I said earlier, having blogs like yours helps me to see things from an entirely different angle. Thank-you!

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        • TAO

          September 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm

          Thanks Chicken2003 – glad we are on the same page that intent doesn’t equal impact. And the industry…

          But…shouldn’t people who hold themselves out as professionals in adoption recognise that there are three distinct positions in adoption which often are going to react opposite when you give those type messages (and that particular rejection meme is a common one used by many). Don’t they understand that by using that specific message they are telling the one adopted that – no – you are wrong to feel rejected – that they are using their power to silence the one adopted? To me, it shouts that your feelings are invalid, let me tell you what you should feel and any deviation from the script prepared for you means something is wrong with you. Historically and today – the one who lives the life and is most directly impacted has not been the one who has ever truly had a seat at the table, Even had their feelings considered or acknowledged other than a passing nod because to validate it, means they would have to accept that adoption can be hard on the one adopted and that would ruin their marketing.

          And by extension, the parents on both sides of the table participating in this ill-conceived idea – have by their acceptance – sent the message of what is expected of their child – thereby shutting down any chance at actually hearing the heart of the little one. I give my parents a lot of lee-way because they didn’t have the knowledge half a century ago that is around today – and yet – they still exceeded what I see all around me by miles upon miles – just by being real people, working solely on instinct and removing any ego-centric feelings from what they were willing to do for us.

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          • chicken2003

            September 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

            It just occurred to me where you saw those quotes. I saw them on Pinterest so they just had a generic audience, which is what I had in mind when I wrote my reply. If I am correct, it was on an adoption website. Of all places that should be a place where adoptees can safely turn to for support and validation. I very much agree with you that the adoption world does not do much to address the adoptee’s point of view.

            In open adoption (and I can only speak for ourselves) I am hoping that we can better validate our children’s feelings about their adoption. I hope it sends the message that we as a-parents understand that this is not something that is easy for adoptees and we are open for whatever conversations that need to be had, with both positive and negative feelings about their adoption. Their feelings are valid and real and perfectly acceptable to have. I do not want them to feel like they have to push away their feelings if they are having negative ones regarding their adoption or if they are longing for their birth parents. I want them to see that their love for their birth parents is not threatening to us. I want them to see the love we have for their birth parents, not just because of their choice regarding adoption, but our love for them as fellow human beings.

            I do not even pretend to know how to do adoption best. I just keep trying over and over to educate and equip myself as much as possible so that when the tough stuff comes, we are ready to handle it in a healthy, productive manner. I desperately long for a checklist that says how to make the best decisions, but to date, still none exists.

            Are there any parts of open adoption that make you concerned about where the trend is going?

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            • TAO

              September 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm

              So many adoption websites had that quote. Why I was so deeply disappointed…

              I was on the fence about open adoption for a long time. I think it is better than closed but comes with different issues so it’s not a panacea. I think if you are attuned to the little things that can combine into bigger issues – you can make it work. My biggest fear about open adoption is that people will assume it makes everything better – but the same dynamic is in play, a child born into one family is raised by another – you can’t change the basics. Hopefully that all made sense because I overdid it yesterday and am tired.

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    • cb

      September 28, 2015 at 12:08 am

      To me, it is the constant abortion vs adoption thing that irritates me. There is obviously an assumption that every birthmothrer has made her choice between abortion and adoption, as if her mindset is “which way will I get rid of this baby, abort it or give it to someone else”, whereas for many women, the reproductive choice is made first and then the parenting choice. Yes, both are options for those with unplanned pregnancies and parenting is another option for those with unplanned pregnancies, in fact the vast majority of those who consider abortion then not go through with it actually parent. Also many of those choose adoption are those who feel that abortion could never be on the table – I know I was a late bloomer because I didn’t want to be a position where I couldn’t parent a child because I knew that I would be then forced to choose between parenting and adoption and I really wouldn’t have wanted to choose adoption if I didn’t have to (yes I had a good upbringing but adoption isn’t just a simple trade-up).

      Now in regards to your situation being the child of teenage parents, how would you feel if you told people the above story about how you felt growing up in your household and everyone you came across said to you “well just be thankful you weren’t aborted”, “would you rather they aborted you” or things like that. . Now your parents might have never considered abortion, but what if everyone kept making the assumption that they must have done so because they were teenage parents?

      As for your parents’ actual situation, I am sorry that they struggled. But wouldn’t the best alternative have been for them to be able to get better emotional and other type of support? Why would the best alternative be adoption? And when you say this: “my childish mind accepted responsibility for it all. After all, had it not been for me they would have been able to go to college and have stable jobs. I now know that it wasn’t my fault, but as children we sometimes internalize responsibility of things we have no control of.” have you ever thought that is similar to how an adopted person might feel as well? Isn’t it possible that if you had been adopted and the reason given was “wanted to go to college”, that you might have internalised that and perhaps felt like ballast thrown overboard to keep a sinking ship afloat? Do you think adoption means that none of the types of feelings you had would have existed?

      Now I know the reality is that unmarried mothers throughout the ages have been treated appallingly and been forced to make some very hard decistions – this exhibition about women in the mid 1800s is heartbreaking.
      http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/19/victorian-women-forced-to-give-up-their-babies-new-exhibition

      I know that even in the 60s, my own bmother probably felt as if she was caught between a rock and a hard place. I also know that there was an “air of adoption” i.e. she probably would have made to feel that if she really loved her child, then it would be best to let the child grow up in a two parent household (some of my non-ID gives the above impression). My bmother died a long time ago so I will never know the truth although I am in touch with extended bfamily Now, I as a woman feel a great deal of compassion for her. Does that mean that I don’t feel something? I personally don’t feel abandoned per se or “given up on”. I’ve tried to put a finger on it and I think the fact that I was adopted does send the message that, in effect, I came along at the wrong time. I think that one of the effects of that is that in IRL, i have often tried really hard not to “overstay my welcome” or to be inconvenient. And that’s the thing, it doesn’t matter how much our bmothers may have loved us, the fact that we weren’t raised by them meant that we came along at a bad time. That’s not their fault either, it is just how things are. Will today’s adoptees feel different in their open adoptions? Perhaps so, perhaps not, time will tell and each adoptee is different. It can often be hard to tell because many adoptees do play the comparison game.

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      • chicken2003

        September 28, 2015 at 2:21 am

        Part of my concern in my response was that it would not be taken as I intended, which is what I think may have happened. It was more to explain what those very same words mean from where I stand in the adoption triad and from the experiences I had in growing up. I know with the infertility aspect, many well intended words made me cringe because the message received was certainly not what was meant.

        I presented my upbringing simply to say that I understood what lie ahead for both birth moms if they chose to parent which made the adoption choice more understandable. By no means was it meant to say that I think one way is better than the other, just that I understood why adoption was an option in the birth mother’s minds. Some of the reasoning both girls mutually had for choosing adoption is something we can solve with more support for unplanned pregnancy, but some were not. Adoption is an option for unplanned pregnancy, but it comes with an entirely different set of difficulties that one needs to be aware of.

        The adoption vs. abortion argument is being approached in an entirely wrong way. They are not equated with each other. Choosing adoption does not mean that abortion was ever even an option that the birth parents were considering. Children need the facts surrounding their adoption and not be used as some agenda.

        Unaware of all of the current hashtag pushes (Have you seen the meme that says “I am surrounded by small children all day. If Dora didn’t explore it and Bob didn’t build it, I have no clue what you are talking about!”? Story of my life!) I wrote a post about abortion in relationship to adoption more in the context of seeing our son’s birth mom’s understanding of what it is to be a mother morph as she has matured. At placement, she had no interest in becoming a mother. She didn’t feel any maternal side to herself and could not foresee wanting that even in the future. As she has matured she now can see that side of herself and longs to impart more of the love she feels for him. After wrapping up that conversation with her, I remember randomly thinking to myself that for her sake I am glad that she chose adoption instead of abortion because 5 years later she can say I want to play a bigger role in his life. Abortion would have eliminated that as an option. But, that is about her, and her feelings, how she is processing motherhood not about our son.

        Placing some sort of anti-abortion agenda on the shoulders of children is absolutely sickening. As a mother, I work to figure out how to help our children as they come to terms with their adoptions. There is something way too intimate about it to ever use it to promote something. My children have no need to feel anything indebted to us as adoptive parents or society for their adoptions. Their adoptions came at a great loss to them. If down the line as adults they want to use their adoption stories that is theirs to own, not mine to use.

        I sincerely hope that the open adoption trend opens the communication lines that have been so closed off in previous generations. I am sure like all other things in life, we will learn as we go what to and not to do. It seems like the best option to help our children understand their roots and direct access to the questions they may have about or for their bio-family.I pray that God helps me as I work to help my children navigate what this means in each of their lives.

        I am so appreciative to hear the perspective of adoptees because it gives me some ideas as to what to anticipate in the future and how they may feel. Thank you for being willing to speak out and educate!

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        • cb

          September 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

          “I presented my upbringing simply to say that I understood what lie ahead for both birth moms if they chose to parent which made the adoption choice more understandable. ”

          Actually, I did get that that was your point. I can also understand why my own bmother chose adoption given the circumstances. My frustration wasn’t really with you but more at the way adoption is presented to expectant mothers as being a way to save their child from having worries. I’ve read a few testimonials from bmothers who have chosen adoption because of having similar situations to you growing up and one can see that they feel that they have saved their child from having the same worries as them. I can see that these bmothers have truly done what they feel is best based on the advice they have received but I just think it is irresponsible of adoption professionals to present adoption as being a way of guaranteeing their child has no worries.

          “By no means was it meant to say that I think one way is better than the other, just that I understood why adoption was an option in the birth mother’s minds.”

          And I too can understand why many bparents choose adoption. In regards to my own bmother’s situation, I suspect I would have done exactly the same as her under the same circumstances. Having said that, I try to think about what would be the best approach for all emoms considering their options. Thus if I had been pregnant and turned to an organisation for help, I would have wanted someone to identify my situation (i.e. talk about fears etc), help me to help myself in a general way move forwards during the pregnancy so that I could have gotten to the best place possible by the time of the birth as if I were any other person in difficulty – for example, if I had a non-pregnant person who turned to a welfare organisation, then it is possible that that organisation may have done things like help with a savings plan, advice on resources and assistance and also discount places to buy things in general so that I would be in the best position to make a non-compromised choice and be better moving forwards regardless of the decision. I just don’t know that an adoption industry that is largely made of up of stand-alone adoption agencies is in the best position to help women considering their options. I’ve looked at multitudes of US adoption agencies online and only a very few seem capable of providing an unbiased approach. To be honest, I find the concept of stand-alone adoption agencies being entrusted to assist women re adoptions to be rather bizarre (which probably has to do with my not being American (I am a NZ born Australian)).

          “Some of the reasoning both girls mutually had for choosing adoption is something we can solve with more support for unplanned pregnancy, but some were not.”

          But with the way you do adoptions in the US, it is hard to know that the truth is half the time. Of course, some women will always choose adoption but what percentage would it be if there was true unbiased counselling done?

          “Adoption is an option for unplanned pregnancy, but it comes with an entirely different set of difficulties that one needs to be aware of.”
          But hardly any adoption agency etc will ever acknowledge that. If an adoptee has difficulties, it is either their fault or has been fixed by open adoption. However, I’ve been on enough AP-heavy adoption forums to know that in fact, even today’s young open adoption adoptees still have feelings re being adopted.

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          • chicken2003

            September 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm

            How are adoptions handled where you live? Here in the states it is very much an industry mindset where the agencies benefit when an adoption is completed. I cannot imagine that many of them are capable of looking out purely to help expectant parents make the best decision possible for them when it is to the agencies advantage to have an e-parent choose placement. I do not know the fix, but it is something I struggle with.

            We were matched privately with both of our children’s birth mothers through mutual acquaintances. We used an agency to complete the adoptions due to the better social options that the agency provided vs. a lawyer. I am not sure that I could have put together a profile that would essentially be trying to sell ourselves as a “better” option than the birth parent(s) choosing to parent. I grew up with too many unplanned pregnancies to feel like adoption is the best option. It is an option which is sometimes best to the birth parents, but much of the time, with the right support, parenting is right choice.

            In being matched privately, we spent quite a bit of time with the birth mothers prior to the children’s birth (which I know is also controversial, but it was right for our situation due to the need to see if our relationship was sustainable in an open-adoption). I have also had many conversations with each birth mother in regards to where they are at at an emotional level regarding their choice to place the kids with us. I feel it is important to hear their point of view so I can better help our children when they have questions that I cannot rapidly point to their birth mothers to answer. It has helped us to understand in a way that we probably would have never been able to with an agency serving as a mediator between us.

            I have no illusions of open adoption fixing the worries of adoptees. I can only speak for myself, but to me open adoption is my way of saying that I understand that they will have times where it is difficult for them to come to grips with adoption and we want to provide them with the best resources to help them sort out their feelings. I want them to know that I see their birth parents as parents to them as well, and that they don’t need to choose between us. We want them to know that we are open to dialogue, even about the tough stuff and want to help them however we can. My mother-in-law is a child psychologist and we have asked her to point us in the right direction if she starts seeing anything behaviorally that might indicate a problem. We just want everything as open and on the table as possible so we are equipped to do whatever it takes for our children have a healthy understanding of the impact of adoption in their lives, both positively and negatively.

            I am sure that we will down the line find that there are struggles for adoptees in open adoption. One of the most unsettling parts about this is knowing that the pendulum may swing too far in our generations attempt at opening up the adoptions, we just don’t know at what point that may be. I want to troubleshoot it before it gets that far, but there is no specific guidelines as to how to do it best yet.

            Are there any points of open adoption that concern you as an adoptee?

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            • cb

              September 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

              Each state is a bit different so will include NSW only (where I live):

              http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docs_menu/parents_carers_and_families/fostering_and_adoption/adoption/are_you_a_birth_parent.html

              http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docs_menu/parents_carers_and_families/fostering_and_adoption/adoption/want_to_adopt.html

              NSW may be slightly different to the other Australian states because even though Dept of Community Services is in charge of adoptions overall, one can adopt through two “private charities”, i.e the charities belonging to the two major Christian denominations out here (Anglicare (Anglican) and Centacare (Catholic)), in all cases the expectant mother would contact the charity and if any assistance as a person is required it would be done through the charity. Adoption is done as an auxillary service (I think it costs about $2000 through the Dept of Community Services and about $4000 through Centacare:
              http://www.centacareindustries.org/files/files/CYS/Adoptions/03.08.09-Centacare%20Adoption%20Services%20-%20Eligibility%20Criteria.pdf

              Independent adoptions aren’t legal. I personally believe that any woman considering adoption does need proper counselling etc regardless of how committed she is to her adoption plan.

              As for open adoption, I do think it is better in general but I think that for an open adoption to be successful it has to overcome the constricting constructs of post-war western adoption which was not designed for openness, quite the opposite. Open adoption is quite normal in societies who practice simple adoption (where the person’s identity is not changed) eg Polynesian societies but it is more complicated in western society.

              One problem is that “open adoption” is used as a hook – today’s adoption sites says things like “Adoption has changed – today’s adoptions are open” as if that is the cure for everything. Also even though most agencies promote open adoption, it isn’t always for the same reasons. Some do so because they genuinely believe it is in the best interests of the child but many do so because they know they have to. It is similar to those wishing to adopt, some want open adoptions because they believe it is in the best interests of a child and others would rather not have to but know that their chance of adopting is Buckley’s unless they do have an open adoption. It goes without saying that those who have a genuine commitment to open adoption are going to do better those who do so because it will get them a baby quicker.

              As for what you said here:
              “One of the most unsettling parts about this is knowing that the pendulum may swing too far in our generations attempt at opening up the adoptions, we just don’t know at what point that may be”.

              Actually, from what I’ve seen the most successful open adoptions I’ve seen are those where the bfamily is like a part of the family and I think one does have to think beyond the usual concepts of western adoption (where traditionally one family replaced another). The concepts surrounding Western adoptions aren’t and have never been about the child and we probably should scrap the system and start again and create a better system altogether. At the moment, we are trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

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  4. cb

    September 28, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Also, this sort of crap has to stop:

    Using those beautiful children to push an agenda is beyond reprehensible. Adoptees are just fair game.

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  5. onewomanschoice

    September 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Good Stuff Tao! Right on point as usual. I did post on the “Shoutyourabortion”. It was my 17 year old son that brought it to my attention and told me it was trending on Twitter. So I hopped on Twitter and posted. After all, I am “One Woman’s Choice.” And… one woman’s voice who felt the need to add my voice to this campaign. BTW…I’ve talked with my son and made it clear to him that while I am pro-choice, that he does not have to agree with my views and that he has a right to his opinion. He supports my story, my views and women’s rights to choose.

    You are sooo right about Shoutyourparenting/singleparenting/adoption. It seems some think it is only a two way street or a fork in the road with two options, an either/or, and that’s what has been the problem for so many years. My opinion. Why do people feel the need to create a campaign against the “Shoutyourabortion”? I am a birth mother also. I have chosen to single parent too. I made all these choices. People want to see adoption as positive, but abortion (and sometimes single parenting) as negative. Both adoption and abortion are legal.

    I am also very careful to read between the lines of the new “adoption lingo” and how sometimes it appears to be carefully rehearsed kind of like the race verbage as to not offend anyone, versus the babyscoop era when women were “fill in the blank”. It seems before they were able to shame women into relinquishing their rights. Now some use the “salesman” approach. While AP’s have always been the spokespeople for adoption. But not anymore. Adoptees and birth parents have raised our voices. But for so long, we were quiet, silenced and disregarded.

    I also speak as a women whose birth was not planned and abortion was considered for me. But for whatever reason, I am here. Life has not been easy but I am here because of a choice made. So I make the best of this life that God has created for me, learning and hopefully teaching, sharing our collective voice.

    Sending much love to you for sharing your story about your baby. I am so sorry.

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  6. pj

    September 29, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Yes,I believe many people don’t and stop and think-or really don’t want to stop and think-because they have their own agenda.
    I live in Florida, where the Choose Life (pro-adoption/pro-life) license plates originated.My mom,who was infertile and adopted four children,was pro-choice and amazed that this type of message was allowed to be….

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  7. onewomanschoice

    September 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    p.s. I read the link you posted from the AP parent. That was a good article. Lots of great points made. And I appreciate the AP’s courage to post openly and honestly. The point the keeps ringing over and over again in my head is how those people (using meme pics) use their adopted children to advance their own agenda. And it’s a dig at birthparents, It’s a double sided sword. With the AP (not all but some) holding the handle in the middle. Three sides to adoption. We have a crook (scapegoat), a pawn (victim), and a champion (hero).

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. beth62

    October 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    So many different views from different places to see and consider.

    ““Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” superimposed over the picture of a baby.”
    When I see this one, as an adopted person, I see me (the old lady) as the baby and immediately think of my many decades long and draining search to find my family of origin. Very first thought that pops into my head.

    🙂 and then I break out in tears, and song… Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no river wide enough, ain’t no valley low enough, to keep me from getting to you……

    My adult sons, Not by birth or by adoption, by life, see it from a different place too. They’ve had fun with this one and took some pics with signs saying “I’m alive because of food” “I’m alive because of the farm” “I’m alive because of dirt and water” “I’m alive because of goodness, love and hard work”
    and of course then there are Bob’s…
    “I’m alive because I was born, duh” “I’m alive because of FEAR – Mz B said if I ever let myself die she’d kick my ass.” Gotta love ((((Bob)))))

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    • TAO

      October 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      I love it Beth – you’ve raised them well…and you always seem to make me laugh…

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  9. Esha

    October 16, 2015 at 12:32 am

    http://adoptedintodeceit.blogspot.com
    I was adopted and didnt know it for half my life. I am currently writing a book and started a blog a while ago about the affect it had on me. I also found out about my biological maternal side. I went through and continue to go through a lot of confusion and thoughts at my age noe regarding my adopted life.

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    • TAO

      October 16, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      You should have been told, I’m sorry.

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      • Esha

        October 18, 2015 at 10:34 pm

        Yes thats how I feel. I shlda bn told especially since my adopted father was also adopted and told at a young age and knew who his real family was becz my adopted grands made sure he was informed. They didnt want him to find out any other way and lose their trust.

        Like

         

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