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.