Do you ever have the thought that we Adoptees are a bit like Ginger and do it backwards in high heels? Life that is! Dancing through life is just that bit harder, just that bit more difficult to get a handle on, just that much harder to understand and we usually can’t see where we’re headed and our vision of where we’ve just been is often obscured.
I’ve just read over a research paper which indicates that it is just as important to know where we’ve been and come from, as it is to know who we are i.e. our history is as important as our identity in forming our sense of who we are and will become.(‘I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from’: the meaning of place in social work with children and families – Jack – 2013 – Child & Family Social Work – Wiley Online Library.<) No surprises there for most adult Adoptees! For all of us who have had our identity changed, our story rewound and the first chapter deleted and in addition had wiped out our culturally connections, history, language, sense and knowledge of homeland the tragedy is enormous, profound and deeply wounding. How anyone can possibly think otherwise is a mystery, an oversight so enormous and an act so injurious, it is a wonder it is not illegal! That Adoptees have been made out to be the crazy ones, the angry odd-ones out, the not normal, the maladapted, misinformed and misguided in the face of the huge quantities of double think, ignorance, deliberate lies, cheating, bluffing, huff and puffery, bigotry, patronisation, condescension, adoptism, adultism and so on, has been immoral, inhumane, unethical and generally brutal. How anyone who claims to be a 'good person' can support such an institution is hard to comprehend!
Those of you who have been following the blog Land of a Gazillion Adoptees will know about the launch of the new online magazine. I hope you will all be able to support this exciting new venture. This is the Brave New World of Adoption – the one in which we will have truth, enlightened attitudes and informed decision making. Hopefully one day ethics will appear in American Adoption and we will no longer need to exclaim at seeing those words in the same sentence – ethics and adoption, in case you weren’t clear!
Here’s some quotes from the promo –
“For too long adoption policy and decision making have been fueled by altruistic and often misguided practices. Now a cadre of hip, articulate, smart, and focused adopted adults and allies have come together to make sure that unfortunate dynamic changes. They have not just focused on one voice. They have come together to be a chorus for change, enlightenment, and truth. If you are one of the one in six Americans touched by adoption – you have an adopted child or grandchild, niece or nephew, student, patient, employee or friend, or you are a state or federal legislator or regulator – you need to support Gazillion Voices.” – Maureen Flatley
For its part, the blog quickly became one of the most read and influential online spaces for adoption by becoming a place to highlight the expertise and experiences of adoptees and their allies: a “go to” partner to those in the adoption community who wish to quickly and widely disseminate information; a space for serious, in-depth discussions about adoption practice, ethics, policy, legislation, and research; and a “tool” to question and hold accountable the traditional adoption narrative and those who adhere to it. As a result of the blog, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) hosted an unprecedented meeting between adult adoptees from across the United States and congressional staff in Washington, DC. Minnesota Public Radio and The Kojo Nnadmi Show hosted stand alone programs featuring adult adoptees. And an unlikely team consisting of adoptees, adoptive parents, and staff members of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), was formed to draft and legislate an amendment for the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 in order to offer all international adoptees retroactive citizenship
You might ask why your Blogger, an Australian Adoptee, cares about what happens in America, about the flourishing of the adoption industry, the expansion of transnational adoption, the commodification of Adoptees, the denigration of Adoptees as second-class citizens and the lack of civil rights my fellow Adoptees endure and about the selection of the prospective adopters of the new generation of Adoptees. It is because I care about injustices, truth and ‘a fair go’ which we ‘ordinary’ Australians value above most things. I particularly care about Adoptees and what is happening to them wherever in the world they are, wherever they are losing their identities, their lives, their mothers, families and motherlands. I care and am deeply troubled that people continue to inflict abuse, harm and the results of their lack of knowledge and caring on Adoptees, both young and adult. It is time for it to end. It is inspirational to see Adoptees taking the reins, unwilling to wait any longer because change only happens if we make it happen……..this time Adoptees know where they’re headed and their vision of the big picture is not obscured. Maybe now it is a definite decision or choice to go dancing backwards in high heels, if that is your thing. Have fun!