Friday, August 16, 2013

Adopter Entitlement: The Bold New World is HERE

The late, great Annette Baran often used the phrase "child-centered adoption."  It seems that the concept (or was it always just a pie-in-the sky dream, an ideal, a goal?) died with her.

We all know that the Brave New World of creating human beings is here, but along with it we also have a BOLD and BRAZEN new era of adopters entitlement!

Of course, adoption has operated at the behest of the adoptive parent(s) - the only paid client in the alleged "triad."  But the arrogance, self-centeredness and self-indulgence of these people has gone off the charts lately. There is no shame.  Just me, me, me. The Internet is littered with "my adoption journey" blogs depicting every step of infertility struggles and the trials and tribulations of "excruciating and embarrassing scrutiny" adopters must "endure"...the exorbitant amounts of money they spend, often on failed adoptions...and on and on and on.... with them at the center of the drama seeking public sympathy for every indignation they "have to" suffer to simply become parents, all the while of course, ignoring the fact that they could more easily, quickly and far less expensively adopt from foster care.

And, if all that's not bad enough, we are subjected to those seeking our sympathy when they give up on a child!  We are supposed to understand and support them in their "difficult" decision to bail on their commitment of "forever" and dump the child entrusted to them. We are supposed to be supportive of their right to SUE adoption agencies for making false promises to THEM while they break their promise to an innocent, at-risk child!

The Unrelenting Battle to Adopt Veronica Brown. 
This case violates all sanity. I cannot imagine arriving from another planet and hearing of these non-related strangers fighting for their "right" to a child who quite obviously has a loving, caring family!  Isn't adoption - this alien might ask - supposed to be to help orphans and children who are unwanted, abused or neglected?

And the center ring of today's adoption circus, ladies and gentlemen, kids of all ages...I give you Matthew and Melanie Capobianco, who held onto Veronica for nearly two years after knowing that her father wanted her and was doing everything in his power to stop them from adopting her. Now, they have the audacity to call the recent actions of Veronica's father, Dusten Brown, "kidnapping." ! ! !

After two years without allowing Veronica's father to visit, they now have the nerve to thumb their nose at Dusten's offer of visitation with this retort:
"Now that we were at the point where they knew the adoption would go through, they offered this as if they've been thoughtful and considerate to us all along." 
First, this sounds like kids in a schoolyard saying you hit me first. Secondly: Where is King Solomon when you need him? Does this statement not scream that they seem to believe this case is - or should be - all about THEIR best interest? Who are they thinking of here - Veronica or themselves?  Why do they presume that they deserve thoughtfulness or consideration in this matter at all?

But they are not alone. One of their supporters presents a classic case of the bold new era of adopters. Alicia Towler, bragging about "battling the tribe" for a child says: 
"Adoption has this unique dimension of connection — not only to your own family, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, family ties, and community. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others."  
This woman's words could not be more ironic if she tried.  

Does she even hear herself?!  What about the "connections beyond" of the child??? What abut HER widening scope, love, family and community; her "larger embrace" her "belonging to others." ?

All meaningless. Only those of the adopter count.

The TRIBE that is this child's extended family fighting for her; her connections, her family, her roots, and her heritage.... are all exactly what these people are proudly bragging about fighting to TAKE HER from. Do they really have no inkling of that? Are they THAT blinded by their LUST for a child; their own neediness and desires?

Alicia ends by saying how blessed she and hubby were to have been "victorious" in their battle over the tribe.  Yes, it's all about WINNING the PRIZE!  It's all about THEM!
This is the tone of adoption today!  

There is no shame in fighting loving mothers, caring fathers, bereft extended family...whatever it takes to get what you paid for and feel you somehow DESERVE. And the public awards them with support and accolades for their "altruism." And our US government rewards them with tax credits!

This new bold breed of child snatchers not only wants to be patted on the back for paying for and fighting to take what they covet, but they also want our sympathy and pity!

Alice Hubbell writes about "Healing After Adoption."
We had been through the infertility roller-coaster and were still trying to recover from that when we got the call that we were going to be parents...
As a social worker I struggled with feelings I was not prepared for. Both my husband and I realized we needed to open our hearts and heal after our adoption.... As an adoptive parent, it took time for me to feel connected completely to this little baby and feel like he was really my son.... It took patience with myself to realize I also was grieving the loss of carrying my son in my own womb. I needed to allow myself to grieve and find peace... 
She realized "she" was grieving...but as an adopter and social worker she never gives one thought to the loss and grieving her baby is experiencing. No, again, it is all about HER feelings and how we, the public, should feel sorry for the loss she suffered and even adoption did not instantly heal.

This next example is second hand. It comes from Adoptionmania where it is copied from an online conversation elsewhere on the web. It goes like this:

 @gsmwc02 @anditweetsalot @shanellelittle @mrsrenkert actually; there are mental health criteria one must pass to b an adoptive parent

@WeMonetize: And what in your mind would deem them “mentally competent” to parent? And how does an evaluation ensure that?

: Do you just think agencies should place kids to whoever knocks on their door and asks for one?

Greg: No, don’t think I ever said that. But you also don’t want to discourage good candidates.

Courtney: If they’re good candidates they won’t have an issue being evaluated

GregAgain you have children and are clueless on the mentality of an infertile considering adoption.

Courtney: to be perfectly frank; I’m less concerned with adults fellings than I am with children’s welfare.

Greg: Less? I don’t think you do at all. You live in that bubble where no one else’s POV matters.

Courtney: read it again. I am LESS concerned about adults feelings than a child’s welfare.

Greg: Don’t have to read it again. You’ve made it clear you don’t care about pain or grief of infertility. We just need to suck it up.

Courtney: what do you think the adoption industry needs to do to accommodate infertility grief?

Greg: Recognize and support that grief. Don’t outcast the childless and look down on them as you. It’s an extreme hurt.

Courtney: I’m not understanding how the infertile are outcast in the adoption industry; I actually would say quite the opposite

Greg: It’s a society issue. Adoption community can help demand of adoption by not contributing to outcasting infertiles as u are.

Courtney: I am not outcasting infertile people; I don’t know where you get that from. I just don’t put their needs ahead of kids needs

Courtney: in what tangible way do you want support? This is what I’m not understanding.

Greg: Recognition of loss and not try to tell them they should just adopt a child in need.

7rin at Adoptionmania calls Greg and others like him "Poor Entitled Infertile (PIE for ease)." I call them Pathetic, Pity-Seeking Arrogant Child Snatchers. 

I am only surprised that Greg did not pull the infamous ace in the hole comment here that fertile folk who are able to reproduce don't have to jump through the hoops those seeking to adopt have to. This is the crux of much of the emboldened anger over in PIE-land. They refuse to recognize that adoption should at least maintain a semblance of a PRETENSE to be making the best choice for the child!  

But why should they recognize that when the entire process of American adoption practice revolves around them. It starts with their demand and serves to meet it. The entire adoption industry - every mega-billion dollar of it - is there to serve their every whim. What color, age, etc. do you desire? Here's a menu of options to serve you. Like customers seeking to purchase real estate, or a new vehicle, they are asked to consider how much they can afford to spend and how much time they can invest in waiting and are given lists of countries with prices and time factors to choose from.  

If there was ever a doubt in anyone's mind that children are simply a commodity in adoption - a product to be contracted for - it is evaporated now. Children are the product - with no rights allotted other citizens -- and their parents simply the disposable containers they arrive in.

Adopters like these EXPECT the public to both applaud and pity THEM, and, they call us bitter and angry! Damn right we are! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

PUBLIC PLEA to Matt & Melanie Capobianco

Dear Matthew and Melanie Capobianco,

In response to Sadness, joy inherent in SC couple's adoption case which is getting mass coverage in the media:

I know you love Veronica. And I believe that you sincerely thought you were helping a single mom who already had two kids. You thought you were helping a mother and you fell in love with her beautiful daughter.  I beg of you too see that you have been used all along as a tool of a vengeful woman, Christie Maldinado who was far more intent on vengeance for her ex than in doing what is best for veronica or her other two children. She deceived Dusten from the start and has used you to fight her battle and hurt Dusten, and made you paid the bills for it all!  It is never in a child’s best interest to speak badly of their parent as she has done.

Adoption is about helping children who are “unwanted" or not being well cared for. veronica was not wanted by her mother, but that has never bene true of her father. This little girl is happily with FAMILY who love her and are caring for her very well. Why take her away from that? Why would you do that, because you CAN?  How will you tell her later WHY you fought to keep her from her blood-kin who wanted her so very desperately? Is that love?

Stop the insanity! 
This is not adoption in the child's best interest. This is not "rescuing" an unwanted abused or neglected orphan.  This is a cruel TRAVESTY. She may be yours “technically” and “legally” yours, but she is not a piece of furniture. She is a little girl who has suffered enough already and is in a safe, loving place. Let her be! If you love her you’ll let her go. To take her is selfish. Have a heart and put HER needs first. That is true love.

Mirah Riben, author and adoption researcher...also a mother who made the greatest sacrifice and let my child go when I was told it was the unselfish thing to do and best for her....

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Harm of Labeling Adopted Children

Candigirl 63 writes on forums:

i know this sounds awful but i feel like giving up. i am disabled and adopted a baby girl 11 years ago. the adoption people told me her mom was a little slow. met the mom and indeed a little slow. i trusted the adoption people and adopted the little girl. as time went on she screamed and cried all the time. arching her back like she was possessed. i dug into her past and medical records and found mom was an alcoholic. looked up alcohol effect on babies. found fetal alcohol syndrome and saw facial pics. she had all the facial deformities as well as scrambled toes. i got her into counseling starting at 3 years old. although she was slow to learn, the worst was the horrible violent tantrums over little things. time goes on and her tantrums are still 3-4 times a week. she still arches her back violently and throws her head back and forth screaming high pitch screams. banging her small body into doors and walls. still. she goes to counseling as well as i do too. i learn as much as i can. by the time she is 11 i am the professional on fas and have to talk to the counselers about fas. but i am 50 and her violence is too much now. she rages at least once a week. she has taken a knife and threatened to kill me and herself. she destroys things and still throws the same violent tantrums like a rag dolls possesed. here it is now she is turning 13 . is now stronger than me and i am fearful. when she is not raging she is a wonderful loving and helpful daughter. but if i catch her stealing or lying and try to punish her its all over. even at school (special ed) she is throwing these rages for getting in trouble for minor things that most people wouldnt even give a second thought too. i dont know what to do. social services only offers the counseling. there is no respite. i live in calif. i am desperate. i forgot to add she was diagnosed fas at 3 by a geneticist. and i have had in home services twice.
In this case, the alphabet soup de jur is FAS. Oftentimes it is one of a litany of common victim-blaming labels placed on adopted children, such as ADHD and RAD, as if inability to bond after years of depravation in an orphanage, never being touched or held is not a 'normal' reaction to the circumstances; as if inability to trust after multiple abandonments isn't a 'normal' reaction to what life has presented.

As if the "cure" for children who cannot "bond" as a result of repeated abandonments is to abandon them yet again!

As if a label gives the adopter an EXCUSE TO BAIL!  After all, they were not properly INFORMED! It wasn't what they "signed up for" - as if those who raise children we birthed always get a child with a guarantee.

The labels serve to shift the focus to a "syndrome" that requires special treatment. In this case it shifts the focus of the mother to become an expert of FAS. Labels shift the focus away from adoption loss as the root of the issue, because after all adoption is what "saved" the child. Adoption is GOOD, not the problem!  Couldn't possibly be!  But what is at the root of every adoption is LOSS and separation.

So what about becoming and expert on adoption LOSS and GRIEF? What about considering the POSSIBILITY that not all of this child's problems are attributable to pre-natal alcoholism or "bad blood" but that perhaps her rage and tantrums are a result of early TRAUMA caused by SEPARATION and loss?  Her inability to express her grief and her need to be given "permission" to grieve.

I suggest this mother, CandiGirl, and other adopters dealing with challenging children read Primal Wound as well as books by adult adoptees like Jane Jeong Trenka to understand what it is like to be separated and live without knowing who you look like, and WHY you were given away.

This is a teen in agony and pain.  This is a teen who is at high risk for substance abuse and self harm including suicide. And the causes are not all organic or hereditary. Adoption loss is a social issue - a psychological issue - that faces ALL who are adopted no matter how healthy their parents were.

Recognize the loss and get her help to deal with THAT.

Mom says she met her daughter's first mother. Does she ever talk to her daughter about her? Does she ask her if she wants to meet her mom and ask her why she wasn't able to keep her? Or does she assume, like far too many adoptive parents that her child does not care because she doesn't outright asks? Children are very sensitive to unspoken cues and can sense if the subject is difficult for their adoptive parent(s), especially if it brings tears to their eyes, or they quickly change the subject or just avoid it to begin with. Silence equates to shame. Adopted children easily interpret that the subject of adoption is TABOO, thus it means there is something BAD about it and something bad about ME. Their fear of being rejected - yet again - keeps them bound to the secret tone set by their adoptive parent(s).

One clever adoptive mother found a simple way to let her teenaged son know the door was OPEN for those discussions by doing little things like when seeing him looking in the mirror saying: "I bet you wonder who you look like. I do."  These little gestures let a child know it is NOT a forbidden subject and that it won't ruin his or her relationship with you to talk about "it" or ask questions, expressive of NORMAL, health curiosity. Another approach might be at or following a family event such as a wedding, or when looking at a photo album, to say: "Gosh, all these people are my blood-related kin, I bet you must wonder about yours!"  Or, perhaps at your son's piano recital or your daughter's soccer game to ask if he or she is curious where he or she got that special talent!

Curiosity is normal! Where did I get my nose, eyes, hair or strong math sills?  Why do I hate the sports or political views or food my adoptive family all love?  Recognize it! Don't let it become an elephant you and your child trip over to avoid talking about.

Open the door for them. Let them know it's a safe topic of discussion just as you might do to help start a conversation of sex education or drugs in school, or safety on the Internet and 'strangers'.  All of these are tough but necessary conversations for parents to have. Adoptive parents have two added one: adoption and birth families.

If it feels too hard to have this conversation, start with therapy to deal with your fears.  Perhaps you have unresolved issues over your infertility; the loss of the child of your "own" you couldn't have. Perhaps you harbor fear that blood is thicker than water and you will loose your child to their "real" parents and become a mere long-term babysitter. While unrealistic, these fears are not at all uncommon and need to be dealt with in order to help your child deal with THEIR fear of rejection and abandonment....which are palpable when you are in fact at the point of considering the option of bailing on them!  When you are thinking and talking about not being able to "take it" anymore.  The more you think that way, the more your child will push and test to see if you will in fact abandon them yet again. Start with some therapy for mom and some reading and educating about adoption loss issues, and then apply some compassion and help for your child to deal with their very issues of loss and rejection and abandonment.

Instead of seeing your child as label, as a "patient" with a "disease" or "syndrome" that needs to be treated, think of them as a scared, lost child in pain who needs understanding and acceptance.

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