Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

A Safe Place for Adoptees

with 4 comments

This post has been written specifically for inclusion within Weekly Adoption Shout Out #32.

Being as ‘lucky’ as I have been throughout my life, I was fortunate to first arrive on the Internet at uk.religion.pagan; a Usenet Newsgroup comprised not only of pagans, but of intellectual Geeks. It was through these wonderful people that I learned rapidly there is no such thing as “safe” on the Internet. No matter how locked down we may think something is, if it’s on a computer connected to another computer then it’s no longer “safe”.

All that being said, Social Networking now has all sorts of niches for people to more or less ‘hideaway’ in, even if they’re not entirely secure. Adoptees are no exception in finding places to go to meet other adoptees because it is mindbendingly awesome to be able to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t need everything explaining.

My early experiences of discussing adoption was, again, on Usenet within the uk. hierarchy. I did take a nose over at alt.adoption, but wasn’t too keen on the insanities that seemed to permeate alt. in general. I drifted around the adoption communities on LiveJournal and such like, and even created one too, but it wasn’t until I found the Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change fora that I first felt I’d found somewhere where I could feel “safe” sharing my whole experience as an adoptee.

While the growth of social networking media has increased the places available to adoptees for meet in, as different people sign up to use different services the ability to connect has become more disparate while seemingly more accessible. I think this is why I’ve settled so firmly now over on Facebook, since it’s the most people I’ve encountered in one place that’s at least relatively easy (for me) to keep track of. While access to personal accounts is dependant “friendings”, the ease with which both groups and pages can be created has lead to an explosion of adoptee and adoption related places to be able to go. Indeed, in an effort to get as many linkable places as possible in which to be able to ‘direct’ adoption related traffic, I’ve done my fair share of page and group creation[1], several of which are adoptee specific because my time on AAAfC has taught me how vitally important having somewhere to go to be able to talk with other adoptees has been.

All is not peaceful over within the multitude of groups, however. There is an assumed (false) dichotomy between the so-called happy adoptees in relation to the angry adoptees that leaks over these groups and creates rifts severing adoptees from other adoptees. Being a designated “angry adoptee”, I have often been at the booted end of such rifts, with the latest being my expulsion from I AM ADOPTED over on FB as a result of my refusal to accept adoption being the wonderful option that seemingly grateful and happy adoptees deem it is. Yet this dichotomy appears somewhat one-sided as I don’t recall encountering “happy” adoptees being booted from those places that don’t insist on a state-of-mind for its adoptee members. Indeed, I consciously make the point within the adoptee-specific groups that I run that the only defining factor for membership is that someone actually is an adoptee (apart from in Adoptees Against Adoption, obviously). Then again, I have had adoptees leave them because I do not reign in those who pour disdain and scorn on the institution of adoption, claiming that they are being bullied because they’re happy and/or grateful for adoption.

So is there a win-win situation where ALL adoptees can come together to improve the institution of adoption for those that follow in our adoptee footsteps? I’d like to think there are, and part of the raison d’être for the vast majority of the groups I create is to provide such spaces where ALL adoptees can gather. Unfortunately, I’m not (yet) convinced that such a place will truly exist, at least not in the near future, as there are far too many people who get bent out of shape by the perspectives of others when those perspectives fail to match-up with their own views.

I find that to be a saddening conclusion to reach.



 
The following are pages I happened upon while seeking out links for the creation of this post that I haven’t used, but that I still want to share.

An adoptee model for activism @ Harlow’s Monkey

The Adoption Cyber Bully Map @ MotL



 
Footnotes

[1]
My (adoptionesque) Pages

Adoption Answers & Adoption UK & UK Adoption & UK Adoptees & Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change – UK & Adoptee Awareness & Post Adoption Charity & Abortion, not adoption & Adoption hurts kids! Support Adoption Reform now. & Adopted in the UK & The Lucky Adoptee

[*mine] (adoptionesque) Groups

Public
Adopted in the UK & *Adoptee Awareness & Adoptees on Adoption & *Adoption Mania & Adoption Sucks & Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Network & Adopting-Back Our Children / Adoptees Terminating Adoptions & Alt.Adoption & *Anti-Adoption & Bastard Nation & *I AM ADOPTED TOO & Life….Adopted! & *Pimping Adoption & Stolen Children of the UK & Stop Forced Adoption – JFF Awareness Week – it could be you

Closed
*Adoptees Against Adoption & Adoptee Support & Adoption and beyond & AdoptionUK & *Midlands Adoptees & *UK Adoptees & You Know You’re Adopted When… & You know you’re an adoptee when…

Written by 7rin

Sun, 1 September, 2013 at 6:40 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Sadly my own experience is similar to yours.I set up a number of groups after a number of adoptees were deleted from an Australian specific group run by Origins mothers who became abusive when adoptees challenged their stereotypical views of adoptees and adoption.Those new groups had a use-by due to dissent over what adoption is to adoptees. Some of us were accused of having had ‘good’ adoptions whatever they are!! In attempts to keep the groups user friendly as Admin some hard decisions had to be made about members who were abusive.As a result I am it seems still mentioned disparigingly from time to time! I shut down some groups because of the continual invasion of threads by one or two members who wanted only to tell their story over and over and take an opportunity to be abusive to others.Eventually one group settled and membership closed – a good option. You mentioned Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide, a group I find unsafe as it has members of Origins who can be abusive to adoptees.Since their views won’t change I have found the only way to have productive discussions is to avoid those people in the places they hang out.I have found that mixed groups don’t work, maybe one day mothers and adoptees can have truly productive discussions.With adoptees, we are all at different stages in our journey, a significant factor in whether a group works or not.Maybe the next stage is for adoptees to form groups with people at the same stage for a while.There is often not enough empathy or tolerance to make things work well. Maybe one day….

    eagoodlife

    Mon, 2 September, 2013 at 12:52 am

    • I’ve found the mixed groups to be useful for publicly scrutinising the true depths of feeling that gets kicked up by adoption, and for finding links I might not otherwise find. It’s why I’m in the UK forced adoptionesque group too. However, I also find myself only able to continually converse with a select few (which is, naturally, growing over time) non-adoptees on a serious basis. Sadly many still result in me reaching for the clue by fours, but then again, that happens in the adoptees groups too (I am adopted being the ultimate example, but have experienced same happenings across many, adoptee voices, etc.).

      At least with running my own, those who know me know that they can come in and say pretty wtf they like as I just dish abuse back at anyone who issues it (and welcome it back on myself when I start spouting crap ;)), no matter whether they’re bmom, adoptee, whatever. In fact, with the exception of true spammers, I’ve only ever blocked two people, and that’s ’cause they’re past even my insanity levels.

      I do thoroughly miss having the sort of connections I had over on AAAfC though, but it’s like I was talking about with Daniel t’other week, ’tis the nature of these things. ‘Evolution’, for want of a better word.

      I think perhaps these multitudinous groups are serving the purpose you’re describing in your last bit, without many people really realising. I also think that like IRL living, people’re splitting off more from groups to live on their own, such as in blogs. This is why I like the idea of Transracial Eyes, Lost Daughters ‘n’ LGA, and what I keep hoping to turn UK Adoptees into (but failing miserably ’cause no-one wants to play with me ever *pout* ;)), because it gives somewhere where several can aim their voices, which stops it just being a swamp of everyone.

      {Comment now to wider audience, not specifically replying to Von}

      Don’t s’pose anyone knows of a compiled list of these multitudinous blogs, do they? If not, we could probably do with a list building. Of course, that way could lead to madness, with lists of blogs listing infinitely smaller lists of blogs back down to the individual blogger. ;)

      7rin

      Tue, 3 September, 2013 at 2:45 am

      • I think we find our people eventually, the ones we feel comfortable with, who stretch us, make us think and give us support.Perhaps that is a good result at this stage.We keep trying things to see what works and it feels quite remarkable that we’re worldwide and can find a common voice, agreement and common experience.

        eagoodlife

        Tue, 3 September, 2013 at 8:13 am

  2. ‘N’ to answer the ‘nother whine “nyer nyer nyer nyer bet you won’t post this comment”; I always do answer any relatively sane comments, however I don’t give everyone unfettered access to comments on my stuff. Thus, the following was the comment:

    {quote}
    perhaps the “angry adoptees” wouldn’t be booted off sites if they would stop calling people names, telling them they are “rainbow farters” and “Kool-Aid drinkers” telling people they are delusional (or worse) if they say they are happy in their adoption, etc. etc. etc.
    {/quote}

    1. It wasn’t a whine, it was a look at adoptee-related places that’re available, since the theme of #WASO32 was “safe places”.

    2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every ‘fight’ has its extremists. I’m one of the adoptee ones. Deal with it. I do.

    7rin

    Tue, 3 September, 2013 at 3:15 am


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