Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

All joking aside …

with 3 comments

All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing.

So sayeth Arse-bot, over at Big Shiny Robot.

The comment has, of course, really really annoyed me – but not just because it’s yet again someone who has no experience of what it’s like to be adopted telling everyone the complete opposite of what it’s actually like to be adopted.


Much more important is the fact that the final paragraph – the one that begins with the that heinous, quoted phrase – is the only thing marring an otherwise accurate account of some of the recent bitching from some within the adoption community about Joss‘s new film, ‘The Avengers‘.

Now I know what you’re all wondering – how could anyone in their right minds bitch about anything Joss has ever given to us?

Were it only adoptees complaining, I would point out that actually, many of us aren’t in our right minds – not least thanks to the pressures applied through socialisation upon the adoptee to ‘become’ this other person that is not the product of their own biological parentage. Of course, by making such a statement, I too would likely be slammed by some of the adoption community for daring to feed into the stigma already faced by adoptees – so it’s probably a good job that not many people read this blog. ;)

It’s not just from the adoptees though. One of the links included within this post – Rage Against the Minivan – is an adopters blog. It is also the first blog I encountered issuing complaints against The Avengers.

So why are there so many complaints?

I think probably the most important part of the answer is that – due to wads and wads of abuse directed at adoptees – many involved with adoption have become over-sensitised to what may or may not be an actual insult.

Unfortunately, adoptism, like tallism and fatism and gingerism is one of the last bastions of insult. In a world where being racist and sexist and disablist is frowned upon, there is a shortage of candidates for the butt of jokes, and since so many people believe the hype about adoption being all rainbow-farting unicorns, being adopted is one of the fastest growing jokes. Of course, should people – especially those who are adopted – dare to speak out about such negative stereotyping, they are almost inevitably chastised, and reminded that adoptees should be “grateful” that they weren’t aborted/thrown out with the waste/left languishing in an orphanage/etc.

Great, eh.

Problem is, these jokes that adoptees grow up hearing, are a part of the socialisation that we experience. From these jokes, we begin to learn from an early age that we are second best, the booby prize, and almost certainly doomed to become either a serial killer, or some other form of insane-off-the-rails mess. It matters not whether we love being adopted, or hate being adopted, or even don’t really care about being adopted – all the time we are the “final resort”, the “last chance”, or perhaps even the “cure for infertility”.

In other stuff: It’s taken me almost a whole day to write this one post, which clearly indicates that my head is still not working as well as I would like. It also means that this post, like many others I attempt to write, has become almost as lost as I have been in recent years – thus I’m quitting now (just this post, not bloggin’ as a whole), while I’m still at least vaguely ahead and have produced something vaguely coherent.

I started writing it, not just in answer to Arse-bot’s article, but because I wanted to say something on here about the petition anyway. It just so happens that many of the points I was going to make were far more credibly covered by Arse-bot, and so instead, I ended up heading somewhere else.

Of course, being Lokean and a lover of Joss also gives me an alternative perspective on this than many of those who’ve complained about The Avengers, but it looks like that’s a post or another day. For now, I’m off back over to Arse-bot’s article to attempt to construct a coherent response to that bloody annoying quote that I started this post off with.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 12 May, 2012 at 6:54 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Hi There,

    First off, thank you for the (hopefully non-sarcastic) compliments to my coverage of this issue. I obviously found my way over here from the link you left on the article.

    I have read both this response, and “Big Shiny Adoption”. I understand your annoyance with my final comment on the issue about adoption and you have done a really good job covering exactly why you have an issue – which I respect.

    I would just like to comment that I actually do have at least some experience with adoption. While not adopted myself, several members of my family have adopted children, are looking to adopt children, and of course -like so many people out there- I have been very close to some people who were adopted themselves. Does this make me an expert on the subject? Not by any stretch of the imagination. My immediate “experience” with the adopted community has been generally positive, hence my generalizing, one-sided comment there at the end is admittedly skewed.

    As I was writing that final statement, I wanted to end the article on somewhat of a positive note. While adoption has brought a lot of joy to my family I did think about all of the actual impacts adoption has (as you covered in your other post, the financial impacts, the emotional toll it can have, etc). I chose to focus on the positive to wrap-up that post for two reasons: 1.The focus wasn’t necessarily on all that adoption entails, and 2. While having some involvement with the adoption community, I by no means have any direct involvement with it and would be far from the person who should be speaking to how lives are impacted by this in both positive and negative ways – thus, I chose to share my own thoughts brought on by my own experiences to end that article.

    In your other post you left a quote:
    “Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful” – The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE

    This quote was alone worth the trip over here. I can honestly say I have never really thought of adoption in this way before. There does seem to be that attitude in society of “Hey! You have a family now! Be happy!” This certainly is not the case and I can honestly say this statement will stick with me.

    I am glad though, that as an adoptee yourself, that you understood that my article was about a group of people taking a line from a film out of context to find offense – not saying that “Hey, ALL adopted people, deal with it!” And, again, thank you for taking the time to write thoughtful responses to my closing comments on the subject. We don’t see this often enough in the world of anonymity we call the internet.

    -“Arse-bot” aka Tyson


    Mon, 14 May, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    • My immediate “experience” with the adopted community has been generally positive, hence my generalizing, one-sided comment there at the end is admittedly skewed.

      Y’know, it’s nice to read that. There’s not many who actually admit that their “experience” is potentially colouring their perspective. I think this is why I like your post so much (iow, no, I wasn’t being sarcastic :)), even if I didn’t agree with one small bit.

      I’d just like to suggest, before you go, that you take a nose at this thread on the AAAFC forum, as it deals with the topic of how much other people within our families know about our own personal feelings wrt adoption.

      Finally, yeah. I thought it was such a good quote, I made it into a t.shirt . Feel free to buy one and help spread the idea. ;)


      Fri, 18 May, 2012 at 1:43 pm

  2. […] Or maybe he really wasn’t adopted and this was just someone’s snide comment, like in The Avenger’s movie (He’s adopted – oh that explains everything! Laugh laugh, giggle giggle – Don’t be offended, it was just a joke!). Yeah, blame it on the adoptee. Everyone knows adoptees have “bad blood”.  See a few bloggers’ takes on the subject: […]

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