But I can't stay away completely this week because the folks over at Land of Gazillion Adoptees have declared this the unofficial “Why the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me” Blog Week. How can I not participate? So, in the spirit of "Five for Friday," here are links to five "annoyed" posts that particularly resonated with me, followed by five "annoyances" of my own:
(Here's a quote from the fifth post on this list: "A dream of mine is to see in 2012 the launch/beginnings of a national organization that represents a diverse body of adoptees.... There are so many great adoptees, with such wonderful experiences, expertise, and drive… An organization like that would be amazing!" Amazing indeed! Where do I sign up?!)
Five Reasons the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me:
1) Adoption is a solution that does not take into account the full range of needs of the adopted person. Though many needs, both external and emotional, can be met in an adoptive home, the need to know where we come from and the need to see ourselves reflected back by way of genetic mirroring are given short shrift. Too often, biology is not part of the conversation of adoption. Open adoption is a step in the right direction, but we should not assume that the adoption establishment has been "fixed" simply because open adoption exists and works in some families.
2) Adoptions frequently occur as a result of a lack of resources (money, housing, etc.) on the part of the biological parents. Adoption moves one person (the adoptee) into a situation in which some of his or her basic needs can be better met but does not examine the larger social and political issues at work. It is a tragedy, and a societal failure, when biological parents cannot raise their children because of lack of resources, but the seeming "fix" of adoption prevents us from seeing it as such.
3) Coercion of first mothers: I wish I could say this was a thing of the past, but it's not. Too many women dealing with unplanned pregnancies still find themselves pressured, and even manipulated, into relinquishment.
4) Lack of knowledge around adoption issues in the therapy world. Therapists typically receive very little training in adoption-related issues, but that doesn't stop some them from presenting themselves as "experts" in adoption and even disseminating stereotypes and platitudes, effectively becoming mouthpieces for the adoption establishment. Too often adoptees and first parents find themselves the position of seeking help for adoption-related trauma from professionals who just don't get it.
5) The OBC (Original Birth Certificate) issue. Look at the smiling picture of my family in the side
bar. We look pretty happy and normal, right? What the picture doesn't reveal is that of the four of us, only one (my husband) has an official birth certificate that accurately reflects birth circumstances. Even my older daughter's step-parent adoption resulted in a new birth certificate that essentially rewrites history. As Amanda of Declassified Adoptee says in this important post, "We're talking about birth certificates here, not 'I'm the real parent' certificates." Adoptees are the only U.S. citizens denied access to their original birth certificates. That's just not right.