Adoption Group dynamics…

05 May

Every time I see a new Facebook Group for adoptive families that includes the term support (or SUPPORT), I cringe inside.  When it is further described as a POSITIVE group, it makes me want to sigh, and when I go read the description and it makes it clear that it is really just for Adoptive Parents (not adoptive families) – then I shake my head, and acknowledge that for some, adoption hasn’t changed since my era. 

Positive only adoption groups can’t fully explore what adoption is, which is incredibly complex with many layers of both loss and gain for everyone involved.

I think about all the future adult adoptees who may be raised by parents who can’t deal with the complexity of adoption, or the challenges being an adoptee brings, ones who flee any group at the first hint of disagreement.  Those who use words like Haters (rolling my eyes).  Complex, challenging discussions are the pathway to growth.  Conversations between those holding different positions in adoption can be enlightening – if you open your mind.  Those conversations give you a chance to see where you agree and where your feelings and beliefs diverge.  Disagreement is not a bad thing.  When you have many different views talking it leads to better understanding and empathy and that’s important, even if you don’t get it at the time.

If you can’t hear diametrically opposed views, experiences and feelings – how will you ever understand the feelings your child may hold being the child of both?

I understand why some want a safe place to talk, and if you are someone who needs that, by all means, join them.  Just don’t limit yourself – we all need to be challenged.  We all need to be uncomfortable.  Having said that, I don’t hold with piling on (although I’m sure I’m guilty of having done that).  I don’t hold with people using absolutes like ‘all’ or even ‘most’ as I don’t think they exist in adoption.  I do like; some, may, potential, possible, even the word ‘many’ will work in some contexts.  I don’t hold with being mean.

How can we all get along?  Anything I missed that would improve conversations?



Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , ,

13 responses to “Adoption Group dynamics…

  1. kased777

    May 5, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    While I agree with you on “all” of this, if some are like me, I try to belong to different groups so I can see all sides of the issues. Just keep in mind maybe some of them do too, hopefully.


  2. Lara/Trace

    May 5, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I recall an adoptive mother writing in Mother Jones magazine (Years Ago) and she finally “got” it and then she wrote about it with such deep regret. I saved her quote (somewhere) – and it hit me that adoptive parents are not educated on adoption for the adoptee. I went through foster care training and there was NOTHING about how an adoptee feels. So we are at a crossroads in many ways. And that road can go in any direction which is why adoptees need to speak up, use their voice, like this blog Tao. ❤


    • TAO

      May 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      I think you are right – they do have adoptee panels but I’d guess they aren’t going to hard-hitting (even if they seem like they are at the time). Thank you…I appreciate the support.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. eagoodlife

    May 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Never making assumptions would be a good start!


    • TAO

      May 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Yes, this! It makes it so much worse applying old worn out stereotypes. Benefit of Doubt is so much better an assumptions – or asking for clarification.


  4. eagoodlife

    May 5, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Never making assumptions is a good place to start! Being courageous enough to face the differences in experience helps but not all can do it. Genuine respect and interest helps, there’s no need for mean. And I really dislike the use of the word ‘positive’ suggesting there is good and bad; a full picture contains all stories whatever the content. Such a judgemental way of looking at things. How do we all get along?


  5. iwishiwasadopted

    May 5, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    My adoptive mother said she would not have adopted if she knew how bad adoptees felt. I’m not sure if that’s true, but she said it.

    We were, and are not considered as humans, just babies, who only need love to survive.


    • TAO

      May 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      I hope the agencies do a better job of explaining how complex adoptees feelings can be.


      • iwishiwasadopted

        May 5, 2016 at 11:49 pm

        I hope they do too, but when I look at agency websites, that doesn’t seem to be the case.


  6. Rachel

    May 6, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Thank you for posting this. As an adoptive mother, I am just starting to peel the layers of complexity through two visits so far with our sons birthparents. He is 6 months old. My goal at this point is for him to feel as comfortable as possible with them, know their names and faces when we show him pictures and when we visit, and ultimately make sure they never feel like strangers to him. I feel like that is the best I can do for now. The future holds much more chances for growth. It is such an unknown path, so I know it will be uncomfortable and hard and wonderful at times too.


    • TAO

      May 6, 2016 at 12:57 am

      Thank you – sit with the complicity – it will get easier.


  7. Heather

    May 6, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I enjoy having conversations that challenge my thinking. I want to learn and see things in a different light.

    I have said “disagreeing is not a bad thing” so many times yet when the word “haters” comes up it’s usually the end of civil discussion.


  8. Nara

    May 6, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I’m in a few and quite frankly I’m finding it stressful. There is lots of in fighting even amongst admins. I’ve been told how to feel by adoptive parents. I think there are inherent problems in group discussions because there are always imbalances in power and voices get shouted down… I guess the only way to know that you can say anything you want is on your own blog!

    Liked by 1 person


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