24 May

Still pondering the rhetoric and sayings commonly used in adoption that sparked a memory of a conversation a while ago.  It started something like this: Adoption proponent asked adoptees on an adoption forum if they were proud to be adopted. 

To me that was a bizarre question to ask.

I think adoptees can be: angry, thankful, sad, happy, even grateful to have been adopted, but proud to be adopted? it just seems like a term that doesn’t work with all that being adopted is.  You can take pride in your accomplishments, be proud of what someone else did, be proud of what a group accomplished, etc., but proud of something you had no say in, did nothing for, lost your family for, and at the most basic is just a legal status awarded by the court.

That stand alone statement also asks the one adopted to ignore the complexity being adopted brings, it comes very close to asking you to say you are proud not to be part of your family of birth, to deny them as having any importance to you.  It asks you to make an either/or judgement call and that’s just not fair.

I’m thankful that mom and dad were the ones who adopted me.  I’m proud of them, who they were, what they did to make the world a better place, their legacy of helping they left behind, to be their daughter.  I’m proud of being adopted by them and into my family, but no, I’m not proud to be adopted, that’s a bridge too far.

What say you (anyone):  Can you just be proud to be adopted as an adoptee?  Can an adoptee be proud to be adopted?  Am I overthinking this?


Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Adoption


Tags: ,

22 responses to “Words…

  1. shadowtheadoptee

    May 24, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I am a little, confused? What is it about being adopted, that I should be proud of?


    • TAO

      May 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      I don’t know Shawdow. We aren’t supposed to be defined by being adopted either, but if you’re proud of being adopted (which makes no sense either) then how can’t you help but be defined by being adopted. Run on sentence, my brain is weary.


      • cb

        May 25, 2018 at 12:51 am

        makes sense to me 🙂


  2. AdoptiveBlackMom

    May 24, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Very odd question. I wouldn’t be OK with someone asking Hope if she was proud of being adopted.


    • TAO

      May 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Thankful it isn’t just me and that I actually made sense with my overly tired brain. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. gooddaytotry

    May 25, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Well you decide if it’s too mean. Ya not mean as hell to take away a baby, but be sure to talk nice about it. You know proud that people took you away from someone so evil and worthless that they didn’t deserve their baby and gave you to someone respectable that would cause a mom a lifetime of pain.


    • TAO

      May 25, 2018 at 3:07 am

      I’ve put any future comments from you on moderation.


  4. cb

    May 25, 2018 at 6:18 am

    When I went to google “I’m proud to be adopted”, I found a few posts by various adoptees.

    In general, the posts encompassed a number of views.

    1) they were proud of various aspect of their own adoption, eg they may have been proud of having parents who were very supportive or perhaps if they had an open adoption, proud of both lots of parents being there for the.
    2) they were not ashamed of their adoption, i.e. they knew that some people looked down on them because of their adoptee status and they were saying “so I am adopted, so what”.
    3) they felt the alternative would be worse (whether known or not) so they were “proud” of being in the family they were in compared with “the other family”.
    4) they equated “being proud of being adopted” with “being proud of being wanted”.

    In all cases I read, the posts by the various adoptees were generally more complicated than just “being proud of being adopted” and all were worth reading by those particular APs/APs and others in adoption who are only interested in the superficialty of a situation.

    In regards to myself and the above points, I might say that 1) I am proud of how my parents have handled adoption situations (and the longer I spend on adoption forums, the mroe I realise they did a good job. I am proud of myself for how I have handled by my own reunion experience and I am proud of both my amum and my extended bfamily for how they have all handled reunion.

    With 2) I am not ashamed of being adopted and no-one should put me or my fellow adoptee peeps down for being adopted. I wouldn’t say though that I was “proud” just that I wasn’t ashamed.

    3) I have a lovely birthfamily and afamily so I don’t play the comparison game.

    4) I sort of feel that it is sad if one is proud of being adopted because it means they “were wanted”. It makes me feel that the adoptee may feel that they aren’t as worthy of some.

    Unfortunately re 4, I think that are still quite a few people out there who feel that adoptees should feel proud they were adopted because it means they were “wanted”.


    • cb

      May 25, 2018 at 6:22 am

      I was just thinking that if you look at things like marriage, people may be proud of their husbands/wives, they may be proud of what they have made of their marriage (especially if they have had a long one) but we would normally assume that if a wife in particular said “I am proud of being married because it meant someone wanted me”, we would think that she had low self esteem.

      Yet with being adopted, that sort of view seems not just accepted but considered ideal for an adoptee to have.

      In fact, a lot of behaviour that we would consider a sign of low self esteem in the average human being is often considered as ideal in an adoptee.


  5. beth62

    May 26, 2018 at 3:32 am

    I’m proud of searching for and finding my original family members, and our ancestry 😀

    I think that question comes from the ancient. Wanting to know if Adoption worked or not. Another way to ask if you’re still ashamed of being born illegitimate, or whatever the reason. Or if you think of yourself in that way with your new birth certificate, when you shouldn’t. Or if other’s still put shame on you. Asking if it worked.

    The question really doesn’t make much sense tho! Got too twisted over time. Probably twisted with good intentions.


    • TAO

      May 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      All of what you said,,,


  6. Pj

    May 26, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I’m proud of the person I’ve become, despite being adopted 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. beth62

    May 26, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Which is worse? The history lady, or the annoying word lady? 🙂
    Merriam – Webster says there are many kinds of proud. Quite a few not so nice synonyms.

    I actively discouraged my kids in being most of the kinds of proud!
    Insolent, haughty, arrogant, disdainful, supercilious little #$%!&$! 😉

    Definition of proud
    1 : feeling or showing pride: such as
    a : having or displaying excessive self-esteem
    b : much pleased : exultant
    c : having proper self-respect

    Are you proud to be Adopted?
    Are you having excessive self-esteem about being Adopted?
    Are you much pleased, or exultant with being Adopted?
    Are you having proper self-respect for being Adopted?

    I’m still not sure what peop!e mean or want when they ask that question, now.
    I choose to think it’s usually asking if Adoption really works as originally intended, or not.

    I’ve been asked that question many, many times. I’ve claimed to be a proud Adoptee in the past.
    It was all about defiance for me.
    I’m proud to be born to my mother. Try saying that instead, and see how far you really get.


    • TAO

      May 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      People like to twist adoptees in the pretzel shape they need them to be – I’ve always preferred the straight pretzels vs the ones contorted into pre-determined shapes.


  8. Brent Snavely

    May 26, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    >It started something like this: Adoption proponent asked adoptees on an adoption forum if they were proud to be adopted.<

    I see a "problem" in connection with A) who framed the inquiry and B) the setting in which it was posed.


    • TAO

      May 26, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      I took issue with it at the time…that didn’t go well either… 🙂


      • Brent Snavely

        May 26, 2018 at 4:34 pm

        I can imagine that any opposition, or even a gentle challenge to the “adoption is good” mantra would be treated like a lead balloon.


        • TAO

          May 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

          Good analogy – even received a private “talking to” by someone half my age with no lived experience to pontificate from. It’s amazing how quickly you develop thick skin when you get involved in adoption conversations. Cheers!



    May 27, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    I don’t think you’re over thinking. It’s an odd question. I wouldn’t ask a non-adopted person if they were proud that they were born.


    • TAO

      May 27, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      You made me laugh out loud! You’re right – no one would ask that question except to an adoptee = othering… cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Drayn

    July 16, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I just read this, from my side (AP) I am proud of my kids(no titles added, adoptive, bio, step, etc) and I just hope that they will feel proud to be themselves, (as in proper self respect). I know it does not compare to adoption but it would have been so weird if someone asked me: are u proud of being the daughter of divorced parents? People is just weird. I hate when they call my sister your half sister, or my kids’ brother their half brother, it’s my sister and it’s their brother period (I always think jokingly which half would we choose, their right side or their left side?)

    Liked by 1 person


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