I’m in a few adoption groups on facebook, closed groups. Groups that lean-to opposite sides of adoption, i.e. adoptive parent heavy or first parent heavy. The message promoted in each group is often weighted on based on the predominant voices in the group. I hear a very different message presented in each, two sides of the same coin where the scales tip to the side of the prominent voices in the group.
Each group has their own flavor, focus and intent – they serve a purpose, they both need to exist. They also serve as echo chambers and you need to be in many different groups to see a wider picture. To see the middle ground. To learn what slippery slopes exist in adoption.
As an adoptee, it seems my role in both of these groups often comes down to pushing back on the we are the good guys being hard done narrative I hear on both sides of the aisle. Trying to remind them that they need to take a step back and focus on the impact to that child. A focus that is often lost in the clamor of what about me and how I feel.
Both seem to forget that there’s a little adoptee who is living through the challenges of growing up being the child, who, once adopted, has two sets of parents.
Adoption is about the one adopted first and foremost. Parents on either side of the aisle would be well served to remember that and that both sets of parents matter to the one adopted. Treat the other fairly and as you would like to be treated, it will serve you well in regards to how your long-term relationship is with your child. Disrespect the other set of parents at your own peril, and please, please, don’t put your child in a position where they need to choose between parents.