Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

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My heart’s desire

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In the thread from which 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, 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 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 has been passed into law, thus giving the ADOPTEE the right to make THEIR OWN choice.

2. I’ll stop trashing adoption when 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

Written by 7rin

Sun, 8 September, 2013 at 1:07 am

Contact: Summary of feedback and Government response

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Call for views: adoption contact arrangements and sibling placements
Summary of feedback and Government response
February 2013

Kinda saddening that there were only “received 102 responses on
sibling placement and 125 on contact with birth parents”.

Government’s .pdf available here.

Also, there have been key changes to adoption, published today in Children and Families Bill.

I have no comment to make on these yet because I haven’t read them yet. No doubt that when I do read them, I’ll agree with a lot, but have my blood boiling while I’m reading them because of how weasley they tend to be written.

While they’re making all these changes though, the one thing I can’t understand is why they don’t bring in while they’re at it. At least then it gives those who’re made into #adoptees the chance to make THEIR OWN decisions as to whether they want to STAY adopted once they’re adults.

Of course, it’d also be nice if they’d sort post-adoption support out so that I don’t NEED to try to get Post-Adoption Charity up and running.

Somehow, sadly, I don’t think they’ll do either though, since it means then that they can’t be pimping adoption as wonderful and loved by all us spoken-for adoptees. After all, how can it be wonderful if so many of need therapy because of it?

Written by 7rin

Tue, 5 February, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Explanations

Tagged with ,

Adoption Blogging – It gets complicated

with 4 comments

I have, despite my seeming protestations to the contrary on Twitter, been putting off writing somewhat deliberately. Not that I’m particularly convinced I have my writing head back on now, but I need to get a post out about the dangers of blogging for the adoptee, ’cause without it, I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna be able to write another damn thing.

Which reads far more dramatic than intended.

So, these dangers then? Well they’re probably not just limited to adoptee bloggers, to tell the truth. They’re the usual issues of how much of our personal life do we put into our blogging life? However, the adoptee blogger hasn’t just got the usual amount of family members to navigate, but can have double the amount. Being an adoptee in reunion means that not only do I have to balance protecting my afam from any potential fallout my online activities might have, but I also need to add in balancing both mat and pat bfams too. This gets even more precarious when so many in the families are also online residents. How much do you say? How do you phrase what you say? Admittedly, this should also be general thoughts when blogging even anonymously, as care is needed to cater to ones audience, but for the adoptee trying to navigate the waters of reunion, the results can be catastrophic on a deeply personal level.

Yet if I don’t reveal these issues – issues that are a direct result of my adoptee status – then who will? Certainly the likes of BAAF and Pact and Adoption UK don’t care about the issues faced by adoptees who are beyond their sell by date, as evidenced by their blocking of me across a wide range of mass social media for raising such problems. Sir Martin Narey, thankfully, has showed far more fortitude in putting up with me (potentially helped by the limited amount of characters I have available to whine at him in one go with :p), yet squares my blog away firmly in the realm of a bad/rare/unusual experience. I’m not having a bad/rare/unusual experience though. I’m having a perfectly normal reunion, to go along with my perfectly normal adoption. Not a bit of it has been in any way exceptional to any Rules(tm) I’ve encountered. My story echoes many of those found in the blogroll listed at the side, yet TPTB still think adoption is a panacea. While I don’t think my voice alone will be enough to engender the changes needed to the current adoption system in the UK (nor even anywhere else in the world, for that matter </optimist@heart>), I hope that being one of the collective voices helps us get heard eventually.

So I wind up having to share details of how my reunion is going, because if I don’t, I can’t write on reunion without missing massive chunks out. Yet how much do I say? How much do I reveal? More to the point, how do I reveal? After all, this is the Internet, and it’s par for the course to link to things that are being used as an example, but to do so links these people that I’m discussing to me in ways that they may not want linking. So where is the line drawn? How do I avoid over-stepping it so much that I don’t bring my own reunion crumbling down in flames of hatred – or do I even try to avoid it? Do I instead stick to skinning away to the bare bones of an issue in order that I can both clearly explain that which is a problematic area, hoping that others find the knowledge helpful, even though it may cost me dearly to share that knowledge?

A precarious path to tread, exacerbated by the fact that BECAUSE I have been “blessed” by “the joy of adoption”, I barely know these people, and so barely know what their reaction to such postings are likely to be. Yet until I meet them more and interact with them more, I won’t be able to learn how much is enough, nor how much is too much, until I go there and make the post that either does or doesn’t result in recriminations – and even then I may not know as they may not encounter the post for some time. This is why it’s taking me so much effort to write. Trying to get a post out and written is no longer just a battle to get my head working enough to write in the first place, but there’s also this minefield of potential future trauma and angst to navigate, too.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 2 January, 2013 at 7:09 am

Posted in Explanations

Tagged with ,

7rinformation alert!

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I’ve just decided that I give up on “conventional” adoption bollocks speak, ‘n’ I’m going with me own. From now on, it’s genealogical ‘n’ sociological families, them being the logical choices. ;)

Posted from bed using the Android WP ap. Thank you technology. :}

Written by 7rin

Thu, 11 October, 2012 at 1:52 am

Posted in Explanations

Tagged with ,

Contrary to popular belief…

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It’s often suggested to me that I must have had a “bad” experience with adoption. People tell me often that “not every adoption’s like yours“, and they’re right – not every adoption IS like mine.

Unlike me, not every adoptee gets adopted into a healthy family, that has strong enough family dynamics that it can teach even someone who recognises nothing how much that family unit means to each other.

Unlike me, some adoptees are taken in by highly abusive families, in which alcoholism and other “acceptable” addictions run rampant, and narcissism is the genetic trait that shines through.

Unlike me, some adoptees are adopted into families that divorce, further compounding any issues already faced while living “as if born unto” both their adopters.

Unlike me, some adoptees are physically, emotionally and sexually abused by their adopting family.

Unlike me, some adoptees find out that their entire life has been a lie – discovering in their 50s that the reason they always felt so damn weird was because they were adopted. This is also risking that adoptees’ life by the perpetuation of invalid health ‘facts’.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I actually did get the good afam. in which there was solidity and safety and love and care and acceptance. It’s because I did get the good afam. that I am petitioning Parliament to help adoptees by revoking the irrevocability of adoption. If I was doing it for myself, it would be far ‘easier’ to use my own adoption in an attempt to establish Case Law, but I’m not doing it for me. I’m not doing it because “I had a bad experience”, I’m doing it because other people HAVE had that “bad experience”. I’m doing it because I know damn well how lucky I’ve been in my adoption. I’m doing it because I know not everyone else gets that.

And no, Mr. Narey, being adopted doesn’t “compensate”, not even when it’s a bloody awesome adoption like mine is. It just gives us fuck-ups that no-one wants to accept exists.

Thus, before I close, I reiterate the question I asked on Twitter; what’s the definition of a “successful adoption”?

Finally, I ask Mr. Narey to please continue to discuss that actualities of adoption itself, since that’s the part that impacts the adoptees, and it *should* be something that is within the remit of whatever you actually are. Note, I’m saying change it, ’cause I honestly don’t expect to be able to stop it. To change it though, it’s GOT TO BE recognised that it is adoption itself that does much damage. This is the part that you’re seeming to miss!

Written by 7rin

Tue, 9 October, 2012 at 1:34 am

Loki: God of Adoptees?

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Okay, so it’s not unknown that I’m Lokean, and have been for many years now, and so obviously some’re gonna say that I’m suggesting this *just* because of that, but I’m not. Nor has this just cropped up because of the whole Loki/adoptee “slur” in the recent Avengers film, as mentioned in the previous couple of posts, either. Nope, this is something that’s been long on my mind because of how much I know about Loki and his life from the research I’ve long been doing ’cause of being Lokean. It’s just taken me until now to get some kind of post about it sorted in a place that’s likely to be seen by adoptees.

Doing a Google search when trying to find out if there was any such things as a God of Adoptees wasn’t at all helpful. All it kept coming back with is “God is a God of Adoption” (I’m assuming that the sites’re referring to the Xtian gawd, rather than any other). Of course, it also makes soooooooo much sense, that I don’t know why it surprised me very much – after all, only a jealous and possessive god can think it’s ok to steal other people’s kids away from them in order to exert their own influence, and that’s pretty much adoption in a nutshell.

Now I know WikiP’s hardly what one could call a trustable resource, but it is a helpful place to start, and thus first things first, a snippet from WikiP’s Loki page:

In her review of scholarly discourse involving Loki, scholar Stefanie von Schnurbein (2000) comments that “Loki, the outsider in the Northern Germanic pantheon, confounds not only his fellow deities and chronicler Snorri Sturluson [referring to the Prose Edda] but has occasioned as much quarrel among his interpreters. Hardly a monography, article, or encyclopedic entry does not begin with the reference to Loki as a staggeringly complex, confusing, and ambivalent figure who has been the catalyst of countless unresolved scholarly controversies and has elicited more problems than solutions”.[60]

Additionally, Loki’s “known” to be “adopted” as the blood-brother of Thor Odin.

[Correction added 07 Sept 2013 after @damberdrake pointed it out somewhere not linkable. :p I blame too much Jossverse. :p]

Finally, where all else may fail, I think most adoptees’ll recognise this and be able to exchange Loki for themselves.

Norse Crisis Flowchart

Initially discovered on (my *squee*) LiveJournal Lokeans community, but shared with you here as a final nail in the coffin kinda thing just to show how much Loki actually SHOULD BE Patron God of Adoptees. ;}

This post was planned to be a whole load longer, but it’s Sunday, and I’ve gotta do the going spending time with t’other half while he’s not at work/asleep from work, thus this initial post’ll have to do, and anything else can get thrashed out in the comments.

Written by 7rin

Sun, 13 May, 2012 at 2:27 pm

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

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