I’m tired, but I’ll keep trying…

15 Jun

I’ve lost faith that most private adoption (DIA and DYI/DIA) will ever change to be child centered. Based on what I see, there seems to be little to no rigor in requiring people wanting to adopt be of a certain caliber, or have the ability to step outside of their wants, as long as they can tick specific boxes they get their homestudy approved, regardless if they are AP material or not. And when that happens only the industry wins, the child surely doesn’t.

I’m tired of trying hard to find words to explain the nuances being adopted can bring, only to have them fall on deaf ears. There’s a subset (at least I hope it’s a subset) wanting to adopt that despite the many adoptee voices raised, the lived-experienced adoptive parents speaking up too, embracing education and a willingness to be humble and learn about the many losses in adoption an adoptee may struggle with throughout their life, the difference between being an adoptive parent and a biological parent, or the mistakes you can easily make without even realizing, all seem to be merely optional to them, instead it’s all about them, their needs, their wants that matter most.

And this free for all DIY DIA adoptions happening now proves my point. They don’t ask about what it is like to be adopted, things they need to know, they ask how to find a “birthmother” and how quick before they get a baby. They create cringe worthy celebration adoption notices that they’re on a quest to find their baby, they crudely message expectant mothers on closed FB adoption pages to give them her baby, but they won’t put the same effort or time to educate themselves on how to raise an adopted child, and how to be there for any struggles they may have. They don’t feel they need to because adoption isn’t like it used to be (ugh, they’re right, in these adoptions, it’s far worse). If anyone tries to suggest education is needed, it is met with either anger or blank stares. And oh yes, an air of entitlement to be adoptive parents, who, with zero experience know better than those who’ve lived it in any position in adoption. To these newbies, people aren’t being positive and must have just had a bad experience, but they won’t because they just love “birthmothers” and “adoption” is just so beautiful, always, no loss, just gain.

And then, after they’ve adopted they find their way onto a closed FB adoption page and want to be supported in closing the adoption because the “birthmother” crossed the line…the line that hadn’t been drawn or even discussed…

It’s not what adoption is supposed to be, and I have to disclaim that while I’m not a fan of the current way just plain old DIA is practiced today, there are some agencies (a very small minority) who value making sure their clients are educated and exposed to all voices in adoption and how being adopted affects the child, their clients are well served as long as they’re willing to embrace the knowledge offered.

Adoption is supposed to be in the best interests of the child, if you aren’t willing to embrace the brokenness and loss interwoven in all aspects of adoption – don’t adopt. We can’t replace the baby you never had, we aren’t supposed to. We are unique little human beings with our own history who’ve just lost everything, some of us at birth, others when they are older, but we aren’t replacements for the child you wanted to have. We deserve better than being a substitute, we deserve parents who’ve got to a place of acceptance and who’ve taken the time to not just embrace the education begging to be received, but also to hear all the many varied voices, especially those of adoptees.

Being humble about your ignorance shows an inner-strength and willingness to leave your ego at the door, and a willingness to listen too, and try to really imagine the pain and losses that is adoption when you’re adopted, whether it’s losses that show up in in childhood, teen years, middle-age or beyond. Those who are humble and willing will be there for their children both in the good times and especially the hard times – that’s who makes a good adoptive parent. Be one of those or don’t adopt at all.


Posted by on June 15, 2019 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

21 responses to “I’m tired, but I’ll keep trying…

  1. Pj

    June 15, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Tao, what does DIA and DIYA smear? I get what you’re saying but I’m a VERY literal person and trying to translate= does not always compute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      June 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      DIA = Domestic Infant Adoption and DIY = Do It Yourself (as in not through an agency etc.


  2. Pj

    June 15, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Smear = mean..darn auto-correct !


  3. Frank Ligtvoet

    June 15, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The painful irony is that the parent centered adoption practice bites back when the child grows up and expresses these feelings of loss to the parents.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TAO

      June 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      True Frank – happy to see/hear from you again. Hope all is well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    June 15, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Tao, I think you are doing more to educate about adoption, especially from an adoptee’s viewpoint, than any other source. I am grateful and will keep reading and learning (and sometimes reinforcing). Civilization and society will have advanced when your ideas will have reached formerly deaf ears. Still, I’m afraid there are too many people profiting from adoption and money always talks. I’m afraid there will always be the powerful and the powerless, and the more powerful usually wins.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. jacqelinewilson

    June 16, 2019 at 2:47 am

    Thank you for this. You explained it all so clearly.

    I knew a woman once who had both a biological and adopted child. She was a kind, loving, understanding, empathetic woman. I was talking to her about being adopted myself and about her children. She freely explained to me that she loved each of her children differently. Not more or less, but differently, because one was adopted and two, I think, were biological. She had kindness and understanding for each child’s individual needs. I talked with her a whole and it was refreshing to hear her talk about her children’s needs rather than what the children did for her. I wish all adopted parents had that understanding. I wish mine did.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. cb

    June 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    “I’ve lost faith that most private adoption (DIA and DYI/DIA) will ever change to be child centered. ”

    So have I. There seems to be a lot more effort put into “reframing” adoption rather than reforming it,

    ” . Those who are humble and willing will be there for their children both in the good times and especially the hard times – that’s who makes a good adoptive parent. Be one of those or don’t adopt at all.

    Well said.

    Liked by 4 people

    • TAO

      June 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks CB and agree with the reframing…ugh

      Liked by 1 person

  7. L4R

    June 21, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Tao, This might be the best piece you’ve written yet. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      June 21, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you L4R, that means a lot coming from someone whose gift of words is something I wish I had.


  8. anenomekym

    June 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    TAO, I absolutely LOVE your words, your compassion and your generosity, even if I don’t comment or share. There’s sadly so much ugliness in adoption sometimes, but I come to your blog to read a nicer, gentler, softer, less-triggering tone, knowing that you care, are open, are fair, kind, and loving with your heart and your words, and that your blog will be a safe space where the world seems gentler, kinder, but still righteous and good.

    Thank you so much for all your efforts and your openness in sharing your story and other people’s stories, perspectives. I also wanted to let you know that your efforts DO pay off, although we don’t always feel or see it. Yesterday, NY passed a clean adoptee rights bill, which will soon be signed by the governor. I’m rejoicing that so many NY adoptees will finally be able to see something so basic as their own birth certificate. This was a long, ugly struggle spanning decades for those advocating for adoptee rights in NY.


    • TAO

      June 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Anenomekyn – thank you, you are very kind and I appreciate that more than you can know. Thanks for being you.


  9. Mary Arbutina

    June 21, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Tao,
    You may be tired, but I’m confident the warrior in you isn’t giving up.
    Another warrior, Lorraine Dusky has fought 43 years for open records in New York State. That effort is coming into law.
    Your Journey (and others) influenced my decision to NOT pursue Domestic Infant Adoption in 1998. It was clearly baby buying and I could not have ethically raised a child coerced from their Mother.
    Your Journey has also helped me raise my daughter (adopted from China) to understand what governments and society did to her and her first family.
    Thank you for your efforts.


    • TAO

      June 21, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you Mary, nice to meet you, and yes, Lorraine never gave up once and has kept on keeping on and I have appreciated her voice for years. Welcome


      • Momengineer

        June 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm

        Woops. I’m Momengineer. Friday afternoon and I can’t remember my screen name


        • TAO

          June 22, 2019 at 2:54 pm

          Too funny – cheers!


  10. L4R

    June 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm


    You have the gift of being able to reach across the aisle and get others who may not agree with you to see your point of view. You bring people together…. And, you are very gifted with words.

    Liked by 2 people


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