Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Lost Daughters: Baby Veronica: What Adoption Does to Adopted Persons from a Legal Perspective

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Lost Daughters: Baby Veronica: What Adoption Does to Adopted Persons from a Legal Perspective.

This post from Julie details much of why my Petitioning Parliament post was written. This is the basis of many of the issues created by adoption, some of which I extrapolated upon in my reply to Sir @martinnarey (who still hasn’t responded to my My Heart’s Desire post).

Julie’s post over on Lost Daughters (and the comments that follow it) talks about the impact that the act of being adopted will have upon Veronica’s life. The act of adoption changes the status of a person in ways that are more than just legal. The societal aspect of living as an adoptee is a minefield. If we’re happy with adoption, then we’re happy with the fact that a child is growing up unrelated to their own kin – whyever this happens, it is something sad. If we’re pissed at adoption, then obviously we must have “had a bad experience”.

One of my more recent FB page creations is The Lucky Adoptee, who – contrary to popular perception – I consider myself to be. I did get the steady life that adoption promises. While we weren’t by any stretch well off, my APs were excellent at juggling money (a trait I sadly missed out on picking up ;)) and so the life I lived was comfortable. In fact, were it not for the issues that BEING ADOPTED has caused for my life, I actually would’ve had that fabled “better life” that is the lure of adoption.

#WASO40 hints at posts relating to the future, so for inclusion I’m finishing where I started; wanting to get legislation changed so that the ADOPTEE is the one who ultimately gets to decide what they want for their life. Giving adoptees the chance to annul/overturn/however you wanna phrase it THEIR OWN adoptions scares people though – any of us could become ungrateful bastards if we can all undo what’s been done to us, think of how the number of adopters’d plummet if they knew we the adoptees could have the final say over whether our adoptions’re “forever” or not.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 26 October, 2013 at 7:22 am

Support 4 #WASO

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This is my post supporting the Weekly Adoption Shout Out (#WASO), episode #36, whose suggested theme is “support”. :}

I could, to fulfil this theme, go over the many points I’ve made under my Post-adoption support tag, but those who’re already reading me ‘ve probably read much of that lot already, and those who’re new to this blog via this post aren’t gonna wanna wade through a tag’s worth of posts before you’ve finished reading this first post. Thus, instead of talking about the lack of post-adoption support that adoptees receive, I’m going to talk about the support that I have had. Predominantly, this support has been from within the Adoption Community, however, I do have the privilege of having some exceptional non-adoption related friends, many who have seen me at the lowest points of my life. That those people are still willing to be associated with me is in itself is priceless support.

The Adoption Community is, like all niches, a conglomeration of extremes. I’ve been lucky enough to find some of the sanest (they’ll deny every word of it ;)) of the bunch that there is. I’d love to do name lists ‘n’ stuff like that, but when I do that I’m always worried I’ll upset someone by them not being remembered in time for listing, so instead I’m going to talk about how important the type of support that adoptees can give other adoptees is.

I haven’t, sadly, had all that much opportunity to talk to adoptee-comprehending people in Real Life(tm), thus the virtual support I get through my Internet connection is pretty much the only chance I get to acquire conversations with people with whom I don’t have to preface everything I say about my life with why it’s adoptee-triggery. I am talking to people who’ve accepted that no matter what their current station in life, the effects that adoption and all that it entails has had upon their lives actually has influenced the way they deal with Life(tm) and the triggery things it throws at us. This is what we mean by adoption honesty.

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been ‘lucky enough’ to have ragingly successful careers, or managed to bag a Job For Life as soon as we left school, or not found a Job(tm) until we’re beyond 40; our adoption continues to impact us on a daily basis in ways that the non-adopted don’t (usually) realise. Genealogy is big business and there are ad’s from Ancestry and Genes Reunited across T.V., radio, everywhere now – yet what does the adoptee get told? this yearning for some stranger who gave you up because of a biological link is a slap in the face

Adoptees have to deal with this sort of stuff often, and so finding educated adoptees who’ve been able to help me learn where the information about $subject is has been incredibly helpful in learning how to deal with such seeming dichotomies. We aren’t supposed to want to know from whence we came, unlike the rest of the population. We’re instead supposed to form an attachment to our adopted lines, which stops when it hits us anyway ’cause we don’t count. We’re not blood.

If bloodlines don’t count, then why is 23andme and all t’other tracing companies growing so fast?

Other adoptees understand how confusing these thoughts get, and the gamut of emotions they can engender. Other adoptees help guide us down in ways others can’t begin to get near.

Written by 7rin

Sun, 29 September, 2013 at 5:16 am

My heart’s desire

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In the thread from which https://twitter.com/martinnarey/statuses/375024235753639936 descends, there’s the usual bunch of us complaining that Sir @martinnarey isn’t listening to us and doesn’t want to help any of us get anywhere ’cause we don’t fit into his “helpable” category of #adoption stuff. The linked post is the first time he’s commented directly to me to do anything other than answer ‘easy’ stat’s/yes/no stuff since my 7rin respecting Narey? post, a point upon which my protestations have been based on.

I’m guessing from his response that Sir @martinnarey hasn’t been reading too many of the links I’ve been posting with his @ name attached. Then again, he may’ve just been confused by me pointing out that I actually wasn’t fighting for face-to-face time with him, unlike so many of the others within the thread. My fight is not personally for me, and so doesn’t need to be conducted behind closed doors in order to protect identities or ongoing cases nor any such things, which is why while I understand his request to take this to email, I’d actually rather not because I need *MY* comments open to others in order to make sure I’m not missing any fundamental points out from my reasonings during my arguments.

Thus, this post is answering what it is I’m hoping that Sir @martinnarey may be able to help current and future adoptees with.

For those who’re unaware of the extent of my ‘relationship’ with Sir @martinnarey, https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/tag/martin-narey/ will give you a brief run-down. I don’t dislike the guy, and think that actually yeah, his heart is (generally) “in the right place”. However, I do think he is deeply misguided in his belief that the impact of adoption loss on adoptees is “minimal”. There is a massive collection of voices out in the adoptee blogosphere explaining quite how much simply the act of getting adopted hurts in ways that the unadopted usually fail to comprehend, and even those like Michael Gove who’re Adoption Poster Children(tm) demonstrate quite how much pain even the “happy” adoptees get. Adoptee socialisation is insidious, and unrecognised as trauma by far far far too many.

I summarised the two small changes that *I’m* wanting to be made to adoption practice in the UK (heck, in the whole world, actually) in https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/stop-trashing-adoption/ but for Sir @martinnarey and anyone else who might not’ve read the post, I’ll quote it here:

I’ll stop trashing adoption when just two very very simple things happen.

1. I’ll stop trashing adoption when http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38120 has been passed into law, thus giving the ADOPTEE the right to make THEIR OWN choice.

2. I’ll stop trashing adoption when https://adoptedintheuk.wordpress.com/tag/post-adoption-support/ is available to ALL ADOPTEES from professionals fully conversant with the devastating impact that the process of adoption can have upon the psyche of the adoptee.

That’s it.

Nothing more.

However, back in the 7rin respecting Narey? post, Sir @martinnarey conceded that despite his position as the incumbent UK Government’s Adoption Advisor (and not an Adoption Tsar as suggested by some press :p), he:

can’t help you with your wish to change the law so that an adult can annul adoption.

What I don’t understand, and what I’d like Sir @martinnarey to explain to me (and anyone else willing to read his words) why it is the UK Government’s Adoption Advisor *can’t* help with such a thing?

Of course, personally I believe that such moves should come with a whole other bunch of changes in legislation about how getting names added on/taken off BIRTH certificates, but that’s a whole ‘nother bunch of posts on their own.

I’ll also keep fighting until adoptee get access to specialised adoptee-comprehending psych mental health support from people who understand the true depth of issues that adoptees grow up experiencing. While I know budgets are being cut left, right, and centre, and that even juvenile adoptees are going short on the help needed, if you’re (generic Governmental Minister/Advisor etc.) going to be creating more of us faster – at least give us all the tools to be able to deal with it.

What I’d really really REALLY like from Sir Martin Narey is the support to get these two significant but minor changes through, even if only eventually (I know legislation can take years of pushing), but I don’t think I’m gonna get it. What I’d at least appreciate is an answer to the points I’ve raised in this post, taking into account the stuff said in the 7rin respecting Narey? post. Such an answer doesn’t need to be on here, it can be one his wonderfully crafted over at SlideShare or anything like that. My only requests are that such an answer is both publicly available, and a continuation not ending of discussion.

This post also being added to http://theadoptionsocial.com/weekly-adoption-shout-out/weekly-adoption-shout-out-waso-week-33/

Written by 7rin

Sun, 8 September, 2013 at 1:07 am

See, Joss DOES grok adoptees

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In the Jezebel post Joss Whedon Is Pissed That There Aren’t More Superheroine Movies, Joss yet again demonstrates (again inadvertently) that contrary to the belief of some he DOES grok adoptee stuff.

How can I tell this? From his quoted comment that says:

I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”

Ok, so this is probably intending to be from a “feminist” angle, but given that the two other tabs I’ve had open for the past few hours are Adoption is a Feminist Issue and Mother chimps crucial for offspring’s social skills, I think they all fit well into one post. Of course, I could waffle trying to artistically tie it all together, but I’ve been stuck here ages trying to clean up enough to be able to respond to Sir @martinnarey’s call for explanation, and so I’m knackered, so I’m just linking ‘n’ going to bed.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 7 September, 2013 at 4:08 am

Suitable Adoptees

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Alternatively, fostering can be a staging post to adoption (for example, until suitable adoptees are matched).

Maybe NOW people’ll start believing that adoption is FUCK ALL to do with what’s best for the damn kid. WTF should the damn ADOPTEE be the one who has to be suitable?????

> >Linky < <

(Old post I know, just tripped over it going through me drafts folder.)

Written by 7rin

Sat, 7 September, 2013 at 1:50 am

A Safe Place for Adoptees

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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

How Fallopian Tubes are like Holocaust Cattle Cars

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I don’t often to reblogs on to my own adoption blog (don’t need to ’cause I’ve got so many other places I can send it ;}), but this post is so very much in tune with my perspective I was attempting to describe in my recent An update, of sorts post that I just HAD TO share it right here with y’all. :D

boof & monk-monk

Trying to conceive is a strange experience. The more I learn about my body, the more I realize that junior high and high school health/biology class are severely lacking in the information department. Or maybe I was too busy doodling the name of my dreamy crush on my pee chee. Or both.

But seriously, it was only this week that I learned how…um…dumb (for lack of a better description) the whole getting pregnant thing really is. I mean, you have unprotected baby making sex, hopefully at the right time for the stars to align, and when you’re finished you go and get a drink of water, or take a shower or eat a sandwich. And meanwhile, if you’re the lady, there are are these microscopic swimming things just…oh you know….hanging out inside you. I mean, that’s like something from a B level Science Fiction movie…from the late 80’s.

So there…

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Written by 7rin

Mon, 26 August, 2013 at 10:34 pm

A picture of 7rinness

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Once upon a time, long long(ish) ago, Daughter created a chibi avatar of me for me at my request.

Despite me being artistically retarded, I actually really really like the picture that she created and’ve been using it for my 子rin page pretty much since the day she created it.

I’ve had my Trinity Gravatar that I’ve been using around for almost as long as that picture’s been available as an image. It’s a picture that’s stood me in good stead, but has slowly been creeping beyond its sell-by date for a little while now.

Today I had an(other) epiphany. Thus I printed out an A4 copy of the original chibi that Daughter had created (that actually printed pretty nicely), then tore it in half like I did to create the Adoptee Awareness picture, and then stuck it back together with a single strip of Sellotape ‘n’ scanned it back in.

7rin adoption reunion chib

I am extremely pleased with the resulting image which demonstrates that once torn apart, no matter how carefully adoptees are stuck back together, we’ll never quite be as whole as we once were.

Written by 7rin

Mon, 26 August, 2013 at 8:40 pm

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An update, of sorts

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My reply to a question in an adoptee group about our love for animals (or not, as the case may be) garnered the following response from me:

“I’m not a great lover of much of anything tbh.”

It’s true, I’m not. I’m not exactly enthralled by kids, animals’re just like people, I’m fine not having to live with them. Some of the are nice enough, but there’s not many I particularly enjoy spending my days around, too often.

I’ve been reflecting on that initial reply since I wrote it, and it’s true. While I do love my daughter, I do so by default because that’s what moms’re meant to do. It’s certainly not the fawning adoration that some moms inflict on their kids. Yes, I’d probably kill and/or die for her if needed, but that’s because it’s what I as a mom am s’posed to do.

The only person I do think I really love is mbro, with whom seems to be the only person on the planet I can truly really relax with. It’s horrific that I was 37 before I even knew he existed.

Anyway, yes, Life(tm) has been taking it’s usual twists and turns. Remember the Happy mothers’ day post where I said “oh woe, it’s all over”? Well, as predicted by The Reunion Textbook, it wasn’t really all over.

Me ‘n’ bro went round after she replied to my poking on my Happy fathers’ day post, and I wound up pointing out to her exactly where her reactions make the rest of us think she doesn’t care, ‘n’ so we go into don’t give a fuck mode too. So she’s taken note that the levels of contact aren’t as extremely horrific as she thinks, and has agreed to get counselling too (trauma counselling, not bmom counselling). Oh yeah, ‘n’ she wants me to go along to the counselling with her.

I am gonna have to make sure it’s not too close to my own counselling though.

Yes, I’m having counselling. Not, as I am so desperately in need of, adoptee specific counselling, though. Counselling this time is just about trying to find tools to help me manage the stress of it all, rather than dealing with the stressors. My counsellor’s willingly taken Primal Wound to read, though has cautioned he only plans to skim some ‘n’ not get engrossed. It’s an easy read though (unless you’re an adoptee, then you have to keep going to get new boxes of tissues every few pages), and so I’m hoping he might start to be able to help with some of the stuff at some stage in the future. Even if he doesn’t get there for me, he might be more aware for someone else in future.

Dad’s still confussling me some though. I *know* he loves me, and that he loves all his kids (perhaps in the same way I mentioned ^up there, who knows), and that like the rest of us, he does have a life to live. But … <sigh> … some contact ‘d be nice. Yes, I know I can go over, but … … … *waves hands around ineffectually* I was waiting until my birthday to see whether I’d hear from him before I started this post that I knew was coming at some stage to see if I’d get any contact. I did. I had a brief call (’cause I was about to drive or summat) so he could ask me to send our address so he could send a card, and I’ve had a card. Of course, now I’m left pondering if that’s ’cause Mrs Dad got it of the calendar, or whether Dad actually remembered ‘n’ thought of doing it himself.

No wonder amom says I think too much. She’s fine, if tired, ‘n’ still lovely, btw. :}

Written by 7rin

Sat, 24 August, 2013 at 1:49 am

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Adoption teaches

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Adoption is what you do when you can’t have kids.
Fostering is what you do when you want to help kids.

Those are two of the things I “learned” growing up as an adoptee.

I also picked up many other things too, but I’m writing about these things because they came up in my answer on one of the FB groups I’m in. The OP itself was about whether adoptees have their own kids (IF they can have their own kids) whilst still young, or whether they wait until they are older.

The following two quotes are the answers I gave within that group, and I’m sharing them here as an example of how the socialisation of adoptees happens.

{quote}
Caught at 17, had Daughter at 18. Then again, that was only ’cause me and her dad did an experiment based on the fact that I knew a’rents couldn’t have kids (which is why they had me). We went without sex for one whole month (a bloody miracle for 17 year olds ;)), had it once at an optimumly calculated time in the next month, and went without for the next month too. Mainly based on the premise that there’re people like my a’rents, and people who can (almost, it seems) get up the duff just from looking at each other across the dancefloor. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether Daughter resulting means the experiment or a failure though, since as a far more learned (at the time) friend pointed out, we didn’t have a null hypothesis.

Only had the one though, and that was only because we tried. Of course, it’s far more by luck than judgement that I never wound up pregnant again, ’cause really, I come from a whole stream of moms that really should never’ve had kids.

Once we found out I was pregnant, the choice to not abort came far more from the part where I was finally gonna have someone I was related to in my life. However, whilst amom was adamant that I should’ve got an abortion (and in 20/20 hindsight I agree with her BECAUSE I love my daughter), not once was adoption ever put on the table as an option.
{/quote}

{quote}
Reading [A.N.Other Poster]’s comment reminded me of another part I missed in the decision making of whether to continue the pregnancy that resulted in Daughter.The thought I had once we found out I was pregnant was along the lines of “oh well, I’m gonna have to have one at some stage, so I may as well go with this one now it’s happening.” That perspective was based on the fact that I’d “picked up” that if we can’t have our own kids, we have to adopt if you can’t have our own (presumably picked up from a’rents having picked adoption as their second option, after all, why would anyone want someone else’s kid?) I didn’t really want/wasn’t all that interested in having kids, but had “learned” that it’s just something we do. IF ONLY I’d heard of childfree a decade earlier… <wry g>

Then came the “yay, my first relative tha I’ll know.” :)

It’s a sheer miracle I never fell pregnant again.
{/quote}

I know from discussions since with amom that she has absolutely no idea where or how I picked up the idea that if we can’t have kids then we have to adopt, and despite me trying to explain it, I still don’t think she really understands how I “learned” some of the things I came away from childhood “knowing”.

I stand by my two sentences that began this post however.

Adoption is what you do when you can’t have kids because it means you get to take someone else’s kid on “as if born unto” yourself. It means you get to pretend that you’ve got a kid of your own, who you can try to mould into some resemblance of yourself, and who you can pretend will take after you.

Fostering is what you do when you want to help kids because it means you get to give kids a solidity and stability that they may not otherwise attain. It means that you are there for them for as long as they need you, and you treasure that person as their own entity, refraining from trying to make them into copies of yourself, or pretending that there is anything other than love and care between you.

Adoption means that the kid is beholden to you for the rest of their life, no matter how your relationship goes. Fostering means that your help forge an independent spirit who comes back to see you in their happiness at having your aid during their start in life.

The fostering part is how it should be done, the adoption part is just what happens to many of us.

So beware, adopters. Despite thinking that you’re teaching the child you’ve taken on the best things in life, you have no idea what they’re really picking up – not just from you, but from the rest of the world around them.

Written by 7rin

Fri, 23 August, 2013 at 6:13 pm

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