Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Feeling Celebratory This November About Adoption?

It's November. That glorious time of year when our nation has decided to dedicate the entire 30 days to a celebration of the joys of adoption.  A month-long pro-adoption promotion of separating families in order to recreate false ones!  Hip-Hip Hooray.

A joyous tribute to the baby brokers, flesh peddlers, kidnappers and child traffickers who make it all possible!  Hallelujah!

A pat on the back to all the egocentric, affluent, privileged who can afford to use their money to exploit and destroy families instead of using it to help them battle the crisis they face....and a major recruitment effort to encourage more and more and more loss and grief. Yipee!

Americans will tsk tsk as numbers of kids allegedly languishing in orphanages worldwide and photos of foster kids are USED (in the most negative sense of that word)  in every form of media and venue eager to focus on this heartwarming save-the-children story...while in reality those in need are ignored and left behind because they are too old, or to "damaged" or because their mothers are too close by. Whoopie!

So what will do about it?

The Adopted Feminist has a brilliant idea for "those of who find nothing to celebrate in adoption...  those of us for whom adoption just equates with grief and loss... those of us who want adoption stopped" or drastically changed!

She (or he) came up with some things that might help us deal with it:
  • Sign up to National Blog Posting Month and blog your feelings around adoption every day for a month
  • Light a candle for someone or something you lost through adoption
  • Make a collage
  • Raise money for a family preservation charity
  • Cry
  • Write a letter to someone adoption separated you from
  • Volunteer for a charity that mentors/supports families at risk of family breakdown
  • Plant a rose
  • Take a whole day out of your life to pamper yourself in
  • Buy yourself a book on dealing with adoption issues
Any one got any other ideas?

 Here are mine:
  • Call a freind you know is suffering adoption loss
  • Support a unmarried mother 
  • Wear black all month (or a black arm band) and hope lost of people ask you why
  • Donate to an organization such as Origins-USA, the ONLY voice of activism for mothers who lost children to adoption
  • Write to Hillary Clinton and Michelle and Barack Obama; your Senators, Congresspersons and Representatives and tell them to stop increasing the tax credit every year:  For details and letter-writing suggestions, go to: Fight Proposed Adoption Tax Increase
  • Donate to SOS Village or Save the Children - organizations that help children remain with their families!
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper
  • Remember that the best revenge is not letting the bastards evil doers get you down! 
  • Explain Family Preservation to as many people as you can (see explanation in right hand column here) 
  • Pass this one. Blog all month. Be a myth-buster! 
Thank you Adopted Feminists for a giving me a welcome kick in the ass to do this!! 


Cassi said...

Great suggestions from both of you.

This month always makes me cringe with all the happy, happy, adoption banter seeping through every area of our lives. How anyone thinks it is great to promote more loss and heartache is beyond me, especially since this month does nothing to help those children TRULY in need.

Though, it wasn't planned this way, I will take great satisfaction on the 28th of this month when my family celebrates the one year anniversary of adopting back my oldest son. While others celebrate adoption, we will celebrate our family being brought back together again after adoption did all it could to separate and destroy us.

Great post!

AdoptAuthor said...

Cassi, your comment makes a great letter to the editor!!

Anonymous said...

Mine was a wrongful adoption after seven years in foster care. It took me over fifty years to find my families; I started when I was eight years old & realized I had to stay in that awful family for the rest of my life. It gave me more clinical abnormalities than people believe because when I tried to "tell" what had been done to me, the usual reaction was "That's your imagination. Nobody does things like that to little girls."

AdoptAuthor said...

Any and all child abuse is reprehensible...but abuse at the hands of those who adopt, who do not have their children "by chance", and who are expected to "save" children who are who might be abused by their natural the hardest of all and the most awful IMO.

AdoptAuthor said...

Here's another suggestion:

Write a haiku:

AdoptionTalk says:

"A haiku is a non-rhymed verse genre, conveying an image or feeling in two parts spread over three lines. There are 5 syllables in the first sentence, 7 in the second and 5 again in the last sentence. Here's my poor example:

November is here
Adoption Awareness Month
Reminder of loss

"Haiku is simple, so everyone can play! Post your poem in the comments. Prize is an adoption book of your choice from! I'm the sole judge, but will consider words of praise from other readers."

(Make sure you copy/capture the entire link above!)

Cassi said...


I honestly hadn't thought of that, but you are 100% right. For every story hailing the greatness of adoption this month, I have my own story to submit about another side - you know those pesky little truths the adoption industry doesn't want anyone to know about.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to do just that as often and in as many places as I can this month. That will be part of my contribution to adoption "awareness."

Cassi said...

Anon - I am so sorry that happened to you. It's wrong in every way.

I will never understand why so many refuse to believe that adoptees can face abusive and/or neglectful lives with their adoptive parents.

At fourteen, my oldest son, after a decade of abuse from his adoptive mom and step-dad, found himself at one of his lowest points in his life and turned to cutting himself in his grief. His adoptive mother took him to a "Christian" counselor who never cared about what was driving him to such a low, desperate point and instead made sure he understood that "God" expected him to be even more obedient to his parents as an adoptee and if he didn't start "behaving" he would end up going to hell.

It's no wonder he has walked away from his faith in God now.

You deserved better anon! Nobody should ever be disregarded in such a cold, uncaring way.

Anonymous said...

The best medicine is not letting the bastards get me down?

Well, I AM A BASTARD. My bastard friends NEVER let me down.

We should use this month to eradicate the usage of "bastard" as a derogatory word.

AdoptAuthor said...

You are SOO right and I humbly apologize and have edited that out! Yes, language is part of what we can use this month to bring attention to!

Celeste Billhartz said...

Mirah .... here's a bumper sticker:


AdoptAuthor said...

LOVE IT! I used that phrase in my presentation to feminists at York University last week!

Let's all come up with bumper sticker ideas and I will print the ones judged as best!

I already have "Adoption Sucks" tee shirts at:

My suggestion for a bumper sticker:

"Family Preservation not Adoption Separation"

AdoptAuthor said...

Two Haikus I tried:

Child of mine is gone
My pain remains forever
And all was for naught

adoption took you
my heart ached and cried for you
your pain was greater

Anonymous said...

"Family Preservation Not Adoption Separation"

That's Brilliant!!!!

Jerry said...

Is every adoption bad?

AdoptAuthor said...

Every adoption represents a tragic loss. For those who lose, it is nothing to celebrate.

Separating families should always be a last resort after all resources to keep them together and help them resolve any crisis and have them remain together safely, have been exhausted.

However, even when it is is necessary to find alternative care for children, it is never right or necessary to expunge their roots, eradicate their heritage and their truth. That is not good jerry - it' a violation of human rights and commodifies human children.

Jerry said...

I understand what you are saying. My question is kind of philosophical I suppose. Does every adoption expunge their roots, eradicate their heritage and their truth, or is it possible to preserve each of those things in the context of an adoption?

I suppose the other question that is also philosophical is the flip side of your first statement. I agree every adoption represents a tragic loss. Even an adoption after horrific abuse represents a loss because the resources failed that family. But can an adoption also lead to a gain for the adoptee?

Thanks for such good information and a thought provoking blog.

AdoptAuthor said...

Adoption almost always leads to a gain in socio-economic status for the adoptee, but at what price. It is a trade off not a sum zero. Give up your family, identity, heritage, culture...for THINGS. And it's not your choice to do so!

CAN adoption exist more humanely, without destroying all of one's past? of course it can. It did in this country prior to the 1940s. It's purpose was - as it should be - to find homes for children who needed care outside their kin circle. Neighbors and parishioners provided fpr them and it was known that the Smith boy was being raised by the Joneses.

Does so-called "open adoption" accomplish that? Sometimes. So some extent. But they are promises that are often broken - not enforceable - and the adoptee and his original family are then left the same as if it were never open to begin with. The adoptee still has no access - forever, in most states - to his own birth certificate. just false one issued by the state. Too often it is used to convince a mother to sign over her child ad then immediately violated.

If you read the history of adoption and the history of the sealed record, you see clearly that as the records were sealed to protect the one paying client in adoption: the adopters. You also see that the privatization of adoption which allowed for corruption - such as georgia Tann - it favored these baby brokers to keep things sealed and hush hush. No trails to follow to see the crooked goings on.

In order to fix adoption we need to remove the profit motive. Plain and simple. As long as money is involved mothers are exploited and children are treated as mere commodities. it is not in their best at all. They are adopted by anyone who afford them - including pedophiles and those who abuse, torture and murder them. I'm not suggested that screening can avoid such tragedies, but it would do a far better job if we at least TRIED and had home studies, for instance, not paid for by those adopting - as is any legal representation for mothers relinquishing.

Note also that adoption - while it seeks out young babies - even kidnapping them in many parts of the world - ignores the children who really need adopting: those in institutions, orphanages and foster care, while the demand creates a fresh supply. And our government encourages and promotes adoptions of this sort with tax benefits and the like without limiting such incentives tot the adoption of the children such legislation was intended to help...but who are instead used as pawns.

Yes, adoption often gives adoptees more material "things", including often better education, etc. But how much more good could be done for how many more people (an entire village?) with the $40k spent on one adoption?

Yes - we need to do far more PREVENTION and preservation of families - something the US does almost nothing to provide or care about. No profit in that!

Jerry said...

Excellent points. I spent some time doing pro bono representation of children who had been removed from their homes and placed in the foster care system. I was shocked at how little existed in the way of resources for these families to get themselves together, reunify, and move forward again. Often the caseworkers wanted to terminate the parental rights from the very first. Moreover, if the parents had a bad encounter with the caseworker early on, some caseworkers would have a personal vendetta against the parents and actively try to set them up for failure.

I also agree that sealed records should be a thing of the past. I do think there are some circumstances where adoption should be a potential option, and maybe even the preferred option. Older children who are at risk of being "warehoused" AND who are given the absolute right to say yes or no to the adoption, should be much more of a focus than the practice of seeking out babies.

AdoptAuthor said...

Family Finding is an excellent and very successful program used for children aging out of foster care. I believe that part of the reason it is not in place automatically earlier on is discrimination and a false belief that if the parents are unfit that the entire extended family is of no use as a resource for their children: wrong! Finding family not only helps the kids, but is also far more cost effective.

Other cost effective programs involve in-home care for families in crisis.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget