Wrought With Talk

To begin, thank you to Tracy the author of the previous post here at The Life of Von and for the ideas and feelings expressed. (https://eagoodlife.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/the-war-on-national-adoption-month) The writer makes many points, all worthy of discussion, here are a few. – “I don’t want adoption to be wrought with talk about how wrong it is, but the fact is, there is pain surrounding adoption. In most cases it isn’t in the adoption itself that causes pain, but in the events surrounding the adoption. Yet, there’s so much that is beautiful about adoption, and I feel it’s beginning to get lost in the muddle, in the anger, in the “political correctness.” It is not possible to put out such views and expect them to be accepted by all. Those of us who know adoption from the inside, who live it daily and will do so, without choice, for the rest of our lives, know that pain surrounding adoption, but we also know the pain of adoption, the actual act of adoption, which severs us from our families forever in some cases, removes us from our motherland, takes away our language, our mother tongue, our culture, our community and everything we know in life. In my case, I was with my mother for four weeks, she cared for me, breastfed me, bathed me and put me to sleep. She was not allowed to cuddle me, love me or show affection to me and my care was set as a punishment to deter her from ever becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock again. She was ‘a bad girl’ at 23 years of age, not allowed to exercise her own free-will, keep her own child or make her own decisions. She, and I, along with all the other mothers and babies, were described by the founder of the Home we were in, as ‘the unfortunates’. My mother came from a hard-working, resilient family, who were never out of work, without a home, a job or resources. They were not drinkers, drug abusers, law breakers, gamblers and made their contribution to their community and their country. On the day of my placement my mother took me to a room, put me in a cot and left me there for my adopters to pick up and take home. I was immediately weaned, some say abruptly and instantly, and she did not see me again for 50 years. Was that beautiful or cruel, designed to cause pain and distress? Am I angry, distressed, bitter, twisted? No. It was what it was. The practice of the times – wrong in it’s abusiveness, but it cannot be changed and has to be accepted.
Some say adoption is different now. It is not. There is nothing politically correct about adoption, quite the opposite. What is correct about the removal of a person’s rights, making them second-class and unable to access the same information as others, to have the same rights to have a passport for instance? In my State we have had access to our birth information etc for decades, that is those of us who are not amongst the 150 or so who are not vetoed, blocked from receiving knowledge of who we are almost automatically in 5 year blocks, forever. Yes, adoption is a ‘muddle’. It is complex, full of contradictions, lies, deceit, falsehoods and deliberate misinformation. Some of us will never know who we really are. We are blocked by legislation, deliberate lies and misinformation and actions which protect our progenitors, our adopters, but regard us a blank slates, commodities without rights. Wouldn’t you be angry if you were in that position? Wouldn’t you feel anger if those you care about were in that position? Adoptees these days benefit greatly from the social media and are able to form close communities, groups and alliances which support, validate and give strength to a minority group of people who have been stigmatised, ridiculed, brutalised, abused and forced to live by a script written by others. Many do not know who they really are, where they came from, who their relatives are or who to be. While as an adult adoptee, you might fully appreciate the beauty in the life you have made for yourself, the identity you have constructed and the success you have had as a survivor, you might be very grateful for the fact that your adoption happened well before social media was invented. Those of us who have not had our stories told by others across Facebook, blogs and Twitter might well be very grateful for the lack of exposure, the privacy and the lack of fuel for bullies, future employers, the happy ending addicts, paedophiles and the idle inquisitive.
Anyone who doesn’t want adoption to be ‘wrought with talk about how wrong it is’, needs to get a handle on the balance between the efficacy of good adoptive parenting and the reality of the adoption industry which impacts all adoptions and will increasingly do so. In my country, a well-funded lobby group now has the ear of the Government and those who can effect legislation and intend to do so, seemingly without regard to actualities, practicalities and the realities for adoptees. The lobby group believes the propaganda about there being 153 million ‘orphans’ in the world or whatever the current count stands at. Many of those ‘orphans’ have parents, maybe parents who live in poverty and are unable to support all their children for a time. Why not put the money spent on adoption into supporting parents who are struggling? Why not stop the agency employees who recruit parents into giving up their children? Why not help countries to find another profitable export commodity other than children? Why not do something about foetal alcohol syndrome, drug abuse, reliable contraception, abortion, parenting skills, attitudes to disability and the conditions in orphanages? All these things are possible with commitment and possibly the same amount of money that is spent world-wide on adoptions. What is wrong with attempts to keep families together? There are of course some parents who cannot or should not parent. They are unsafe for children to be with and for these children secure loving homes will always be necessary. Those who parent in this situation need to be carefully selected, skilled, experienced and with commitment, dedication and exceptional patience and endurance. They need support, skilled professional input and the understanding that those things need to be in place for life. They deserve all the support their community can offer, if they are to raise children who are healthy, living to the best of their ability and not brainwashed into believing adoption is beautiful. Adoptive parenting is hard, painful, difficult, rewarding and everything parenting is, but with the added twist of there being no biological connection. How many times have you heard adopters say “I love them as if they’re my own”? Biological connections matter, otherwise you would not have so many adult adoptees attempting to find their relatives, longing for reunion, struggling for decades to ‘know’. Those who raise children they have no biological connection to have extra tasks and challenges as parents and need understanding, support and acceptance.
“adoption should be a last resort, but isn’t that what it is? What about the mother who decides she can’t parent her child and chooses adoption? Isn’t that her last resort? What about the children in foster care? Isn’t foster care the last resort, and then if the parent can’t get it together, isn’t adoption the last resort? I’ve heard an adoptee who was adopted from another country say her family was waiting for her back in “her country.” Where was her family when she was in the orphanage? Wasn’t adoption by a foreign couple a last resort? Because I hope we can all agree that an orphanage would not be the best solution” See above!! Adoption is profitable, a good earner for orphanages and for facilitators. Orphanages are never the best solution, always the worst and they seem to be made as bad as they can be in some countries and as exploitative as possible in others. Orphan tourism is big business, orphanages justify the exploitation of ‘orphans’ by saying it makes it possible to feed and clothe the remaining. No doubt true in part. Are ‘orphan’ adoptees supposed to forget their motherland, their parents because they have had the ‘good fortune’ to be taken to America or some other country where adoption is big business? That is beginning to sound like a call for gratitude for being rescued! Or an acceptance that America is some sort of Utopia for adoptees – how very insular and dismissive of other cultures that would be!
And some last thoughts from our blogger before she disappeared her post –
“I never wanted to shut out adoptees voices.
I never said they weren’t worth hearing.
I’m sorry for the adoptees who feel so scorned and angry.
I’m thankful for the millions of positive adoption stories out there.
I’m VERY thankful for the first comments I received on this post from adoptive families who felt guilty and shamed for being happy about their adoptions.
If you’d like to support my views on twitter, you can check it out. https://twitter.com/TracyDeeWhitt They are using #flipthescript to gain momentum against me and my views.”
You have no need for concern Traccy, it would take more than your lone voice to ‘shut out adoptees voices’ or to make them feel they weren’t worth hearing. Adoptees have found their voices in recent years, thanks to the social media. The world-wide connections are strong, supportive and unbreakable. Adoptees are bound by their understanding, their knowledge and their commitment to change. That must seem scary for those who have not fully informed themselves on the whole picture of adoption, who cannot conceive of the extent of adoptee abuse, lack of rights, the adoption industry, the effects of adoption, the stages of adoption, the complexities of the adoption journey and the fullness of life for adoptees who are survivors, living rich, full lives in which they contribute, raise children, achieve, write books and do what other people do, but with the added challenges of simultaneously living the adopted life. Adoptees do not need your pity, you don’t need to feel sorry for the feelings we have about adoption. We own those and don’t need to be disempowered by pity. Most of us would welcome your understanding, your acceptance and your willingness to learn and especially your attempts not to tell our stories or tell us how to write our stories or how to behave! Most of us too are thankful for the ‘positive adoption stories’ although we are concerned that those adoptees are still living ‘in the fog’, are living to an already written script not their own. I’m not sure there are millions of them though! Those adopters who ‘felt guilty and shamed’ will perhaps have pause for thought and learn to be happy about their adoption, while seeing the reality of adoption for adoptees, the loss and grief in every adoption, the truth about the adoption industry and the lack of ethics in adoption. Too late to feel guilty once you have adopted, but there is plenty you can do to support change, alter legislation and ask for and support equal rights for adoptees.
Tracy, our Blogger, seems to think #flipthescript is being used to ‘gain momentum against’ her and her views. The objective of #flipthescript is to have the other parts of adoption told, to balance the stories of beauty and wonder which leave out the realities and create a false idea and untruths about what adoption really is, what is does, it’s effects and it’s legacy. The objectives are far bigger, far more optimistic, far more hopeful, far more validating, far more ambitious and far-reaching, than setting up some sort of twitter campaign against the views of one person! I hope Tracy comes to grasp it, embrace it and support it once she understands it.
And another view you might enjoy – http://mediaconnections.com.au/press-room/mission-adoptable-3-girls-pull-off-a-sneaky-sin-city-operation-all-in-the-name-of-national-adoption-month/

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