Microaggressions in Adoption

02 Apr

Adoption Microaggressions Parents Need to Know About podcast on Creating A Family with guest Dr. Amanda Baden, interesting and worth your time, it ends talking about Chimanda Ngozi Adichie and The Danger of the Single Story (her Ted Talk on it is linked below).

Adoptive Black Mom did a post on Adoption and Microaggressions back in 2015, ABM is always worth your time and you usually learn something you didn’t know, or maybe see something a different way after.

I’ve done many posts on The Danger of the Single Story over the years, it doesn’t mention adoption at all, and yet, it speaks so loudly about it and the power structure woven into the culture of adoption as it’s practiced now. Always ask yourself yourself who has written whatever adoption story or message being told, who determined the message to be given about adoption or an adoption, and most importantly, ask yourself, what is missing in the story being passed on, and why is it missing. Always know you don’t know enough from any single story to believe, or not believe, what that message is the teller wants you to believe.

On another post I spoke about my adoption story I lived for decades -> As an adoptee in a closed adoption with knowledge that I would never know my family, my ancestors, or my nationality, I had one Single Story of them. A Single Story passed to my mom and dad from the social worker. That story consisted of four sentences. Once the court opened my records and I met my family, I learned that story had no truth to it at all. But it had been My Single Story of my family for over 40 years. The power was held by the social worker who crafted my story, each sentence had the smallest grain of truth and a liberal helping of borrowed or changed information designed to ensure that even if I searched, with those facts, I would fail.
“It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power. There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think about the power structures of the world, and it is “nkali”. It’s a noun loosely translates to “to be greater than another”. Like our economic and political worlds, stories too are defined by the principal of nkali: how they are told, who tells them, when they are told, how many stories are told, are really dependent on power.” Chimanda Ngozi Adichie – “The Danger of the Single Story”


Posted by on April 2, 2022 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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12 responses to “Microaggressions in Adoption

  1. sobazee03

    April 2, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    I would like to ask you to be a guest on our podcast. Please let me know if you’re interested.


    • TAO

      April 2, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you for the offer, but I’m not good with the spoken word, especially when under stress which would be me trying to formulate an answer on a podcast. I have aphasia.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cindy621

    April 2, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    It makes me sick to my stomach regarding the tiniest blip of a story given to us regarding our birth parents. And it’s supposed to be sufficient enough to nip our search for the truth in the bud.

    I heading over to check out the podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lori Lavender Luz

    April 3, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Creating A Family’s episode with Dr Amanda Baden was so good.

    It’s so important for us to understand the “single story” bit from this viewpoint — that too often, adoptees (and birth parents and adoptive parents, for that matter) get only a teeny bit of information from a gatekeeper, and often that teeny bit is not even accurate.


  4. Lara/Trace

    April 4, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    I remember my adoptive mother telling me she saw papers on my adoptive brother, name, details, etc. but SHE FORGOT! I didn’t have any of that, thank god. Was she lying? I searched for papers in the house and never found any. Even a scrap of paper with a name would have helped my search.


    • TAO

      April 5, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Mom and dad didn’t have any papers either, but dad did keep the receipt for my hospital stay. He also kept a paper with our last names.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lara/Trace

        April 6, 2022 at 12:56 am

        It’s sad that it didn’t occur to them we’d need the paper to live a full productive life and not have to worry about marrying a cousin or some other blood kin.


  5. beth62

    April 6, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    I too had a single story to live with for 40+ years, a very twisted tale of it all.
    Thanks TAO, I love it when words and things finally come together like this 🙂 Especially after so much time spent poking at it!


    • TAO

      April 6, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      Anytime my friend.



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