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 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

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 http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38120 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

{quote}
All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing.
{/quote}

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.

No.

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

An open letter to APs, PAPs, and anyone who has even considered adoption

with 7 comments

I’m a bit late jumping on the re-blogging of this letter’s bandwagon, but since it’s such an important and well-written piece, I’m finally getting around to it.

Original version by Lillie over at Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change

(What you are about to read may shock you. It may challenge you. And, hopefully, it may inspire you to educate yourself further on the realities of adoption. Please read the following with an open mind, and try not to take anything said here personally. Because this is not meant to be an attack or a judgment; it is meant to be an honest and heartfelt expression of one adoptee’s experience that would hopefully bring understanding and respect for the often ignored portion of the adoption equation.)

To all adoptive parents, hopeful adoptive parents, and anyone who has ever even considered adoption:

Being adopted hurts. Being adopted is hard. It is not beautiful; it is brutal, it is tragic, it is a cause for great sadness. For in order for a child to even be available for adoption, that child must first go through some sort of tragedy; whether that be abuse, hunger, homelessness, neglect, or even the simple fact that he or she is losing the life and family he or she was born into. This makes adoption a thing to mourn; not a cause for celebration or joy. To be joyful about adopting a child is to be glad that this tragedy happened.

I don’t think there’s a soul alive who would actually choose to be born into a situation where being relinquished for adoption, voluntarily or otherwise, was necessary.

Of course there will always be a need for children to be removed from their parent(s) and placed in safer, more stable, loving homes – but please understand that no matter how good and loving and wonderful the adopting parents are, nothing will ever erase the pain, the grief, and the loss that comes with being adopted.

The very foundation of adoption is that of loss – a child loses his or her mother, father, and entire family; a mother, father and family loses one of their children. And, yes, even a loss for the adopting parent – sometimes the loss of the expectation of having their own, biological offspring, the loss of a dream of having a baby of “their own.” A separation of one family MUST occur before a new one can be built through adoption. Maybe it isn’t a voluntary destruction, maybe the destruction is necessary for the health and safety of the child – but it is still a destruction of the very core, fundamental foundations of that child’s life that will forever be altered.

Think of it this way…one of your parents dies, and your surviving parent eventually goes on to remarry. Though you might grow to love and have a great relationship with your parent’s new spouse, no amount of love and happiness in this present situation will erase the grief you feel over the loss of your other parent. So please, if you have adopted or are considering adoption, keep this in mind.

Adoption should be the very last resort after all other options have been tried. Ask yourself this – does an adoption HAVE to happen? Is there anything I can possibly do to help this young mother keep her child? Are there resources I can direct her to, items I can supply her with, can I offer her the support and encouragement she needs to be a good parent? If so, then pursuing adoption is not the right choice. Too many unnecessary adoptions happen as a permanent solution to a very temporary problem. Adoption, after all, is forever – while a current living situation, job situation, etc., is temporary and can be changed and improved. Most women who relinquish their children do so because they feel they have no other choice…but what if she does have another choice, and only needs the support and encouragement to make it?

Adopted people know we are a second choice, a “Plan B,” a solution to someone else’s problem. While there are some people out there who would choose adoption first, most only do so after failed attempts at pregnancy or to “complete” a family of all boys or girls or to give their current child a sibling. Adding to your family through adoption should never be about meeting some need of your own…it should always and only ever be about providing for the CHILD’S needs. Please don’t put the added pressure on an adopted child by forcing them to live up to the unspoken standard of the child you couldn’t concieve or the son or daughter you couldn’t produce. Adoption is not a cure for infertility, nor are adopted people “gifts” to be passed around in order to complete somebody else’s life. We are human beings in our own right, with our own feelings, needs, and wants. Don’t add to an already painful situation by expecting us to be something we weren’t born to be.

Please be willing to be completely open and honest with the child you may someday adopt. It doesn’t matter how horrible of a situation they came out of; tell them the truth, and tell them early. For the truth can be dealt with, it can be processed and closure can be found; but nobody can get closure from fantasies and daydreams. Adopted people are stronger than you give them credit for; believe me when I say, we imagine and prepare for every possible scenario when it comes to our families or origin. Don’t think we haven’t entertained the idea that our biological parents were the worst of the worst, or idealized them as some sort of saintly creatures, and everything in between. We have already survived the loss of our original families; don’t for one minute think we can’t survive knowing the reason why. And on that note, if an adopted person ever chooses to search, reunite, or just know more about their family of origin, don’t guilt them into not doing it or make them feel beholden to you. It has NOTHING to do with you. NOTHING. Human beings are born with an innate curiosity about who and where we come from. For some adopted people to feel whole, they need to know their own personal history and explore their roots. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, you, as the parent, are responsible for your adopted child’s happiness and well being…not the other way around. Swallow your pride, put away your jealousy, and support your adopted child in any quest for truth they may wish to undertake. Believe me, they will thank you for it.

Don’t fall into the terminology trap. Adoptees know they have more than one set of parents…two that created them, and the parent(s) who are raising them. ALL are real to the adoptee. Don’t get caught up in who is “real” and who is more important; let your adopted child choose the terminology that suits THEM. If you have been a good and loving parent, that’s all you need. Besides, a parent can love more than one child, so why can’t a child be allowed to love more than one parent? The heart has an infinite capability to love. Don’t begrudge your adopted child the possibility of loving people he or she may not even remember.

And don’t disparage the biological parents or family either. They may be evil people, the scum of the earth…but to say anything bad about the biological family is the same as saying something bad about your adopted child. The child did come from these people, after all; and better or worse we did inherit parts of ourselves from them. The old saying applies here more than anywhere else…if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Adopted people experience a range of issues from having been adopted…many suffer from the fear of rejection and abaondonment, have problems trusting others and forming relationships. After all, our very mothers could walk away from us, so what’s to stop anyone else? Though not all adoptees experience these, many do, and to varying degrees. Just because the adopted person in your life hasn’t mentioned it, don’t think they don’t feel it. Many will never, ever talk about their negative adoption issues for those exact reasons…fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, and just the overwhelmingly negative response they expect. If the adopted person in your life (your child, a friend or other family member) ever does talk about it, take your personal feelings and judgments out of it. Resist the temptation to say things like, “But you had such wonderful [adoptive] parents!” or “but you could have been aborted/thrown in a dumpster/etc.!” Adoptees are the only subset of society who are wholly expected to be grateful for our very lives, and with this expectation comes the need to try to suppress any negative emotion or feeling. Most adoptees won’t even admit to themselves, let alone other people, that they are hurting. After all, we got this “better life,” didn’t we? We don’t have the RIGHT to feel sad/angry/depressed. So many adoptees choose to stay silent and instead live a lie.

And, yes, that goes hand-in-hand with the child-parent relationship thing…remember, the PARENT is repsonsible for the health and well being of the CHILD, NOT the other way around. Only in adoption are adoptees somehow expected to always be careful not to “hurt” their adoptive parents; not to rock the boat or bring up something about their adoption because their PARENTS might not like it. This is another reason so many adopted people don’t speak about adoption…we are afraid of hurting our adoptive parents. I know that as a parent myself, I would never expect my children to be responsible for my well-being…so please, don’t ever place that expectation on adopted people either. After all, their adoptive parents WANTED to adopt, they WANTED a child, and chose this path for themselves. The adoptee most often did not choose it and had no say in the matter. Don’t expect gratitude. ANYONE could have been aborted, could have been abandoned, could have been abused. These are not phenomena that are solely related to adoptees. Just because a person was adopted doesn’t automatically mean they were unwanted, that they “could have been” anything…they are just people who are being raised by a different family and are living a DIFFERENT life, not necessarily a better one.

Please, if you are considering adoption or have already, educate yourself. Read books such as the Primal Wound. Read blogs by adopted people and relinquishing parents. Go into it with an open mind and open heart. Understand that there is the very real potential that the child you someday adopt might just struggle with it. And while you can be a terrific parent, a wonderful guide and mentor, the damage has already been done. Be prepared to do the hard work of helping your child deal with any grief, anger, and other issues he/she may feel. TALK to them about it. Adoptees are notorious for keeping things bottled up…let them know it’s OK to talk with you about them. Reassure them that you will NOT be hurt, offended or damaged by their feelings. ALLOW them the freedom to feel whatever they feel.

If you are considering an open adoption or have entered into an open adoption, HONOR that. Unless there is some clear and present danger to the life of your child, KEEP THE COMMUNICATION OPEN. Don’t cease contact with the biological family because it’s an inconvenience for YOU. Understand that yes, at times it might be emotionally trying for your adopted child, your child may come away from visits or reading letters and feel depressed and angry, but don’t take that as a reason to cease contact. TALK to your child. Help them understand WHY they are feeling this way. It’s only natural that this might happen; and in the same breath, the biological mother/father/family may also feel overwhelmed at times and pull back, but do what you can to keep the lines of communication open. Remember, adoption is based on loss, and being reminded of that loss can be overwhelming. But that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Your adopted child will thank you someday for sacrificing your own happiness and comfort to allow him/her to keep this very important connection.

Try not to make a big celebration out of your child’s adoption day (and PLEASE don’t EVER use the horribly offensive and insensitive term “Gotcha Day). The same goes for birthdays. For while it may be a happy occasion to remember, keep in mind that it also marks the day that the adopted person was permanently and forever separated from their mother, their father, their original family. Birthdays are especially hard; for most adoptees have the knowldedge that our births were not cause for celebration; nobody was bringing our mothers flowers and balloons and offering congratulations; our entrance into this world was one of sadness and trepidation. And it marks the day we were phyisically separated from our mothers; for many of us, it was the last time we ever saw her. So if the adoptee in your life withdraws around his or her birthday or doesn’t appear to like celebrating, respect that. Understand that to many of us, it is not a cause for celebration.

I am not trying to tell anyone not to adopt. I am not saying, “shame on you” to anyone who already has adopted. What I am saying is, please step back and really think long and hard about the ramifications of adoption on the very person who is at the center of it all – the child you hope for or the child you have brought into your home. Be ready and willing to put a lot of hard work into helping this adopted child heal, to feel whole and complete in themselves. Be prepared to put your own needs and wants on the shelf and to put away your expectations, do what it takes to attend to the needs of your adopted child. All the love in the world, all the toys and gadgets and material things you might provide will never replace or erase what was lost.

Family preservation should always be the goal. Adoption should never, ever be utilized unless it is the last and only option left. Because adoption should be about finding homes for children in need; NOT finding children for people to fill a need. Jesus commanded us to help the orphan AND the widow…we as a society should do more to help famlies stay together instead of tearing them apart. Nobody really wants to be adopted…if given a choice, they’d rather their family situations could improve so that they wouldn’t have to be separated. Would YOU have liked it if your mother gave you away?

Sincerely,
An adut adoptee

Written by 7rin

Thu, 12 January, 2012 at 10:43 am

Screaming

with 3 comments

… frothing with incoherent rage that I can not – by myself – control.

And I feel utterly impotent.

I can not obtain the ‘professional help’ that my detractors over at Y!A Adoption insist I am so thoroughly in need of because my local doctors’ practice, which is supported by the local health authority, does not consider my needs for specialist help to be important enough.

It’s not for the want of trying.

When I was at uni. doing the civ.eng degree (I failed), I saw a counsellor, but I knew a lot less about me then, and so just utterly confused her. I was beyond her level of help.

I managed to get myself in to see a psychsomething meeting (after going through interviews with both the doctor and a Community Psychiatric Nurse), only to be told that I’m pagan because I’m rebelling, and I’m polyamorous because I like being walked over. I’m not sure I’d’ve even let her near my adoption.

She told me the only thing she could do for me was recommend I read some books on how to be a happy-clappy rainbow puker, because I was too intelligent for her to be dealing with. I declined, and told her I’d already found enough of my own reading material to know that she didn’t have a clue.

During reunion, I saw the college counsellor, but I’m not someone she could deal with. We mutually parted company.

And then there was Chase Wellbeing (after another round of doc/cpn interviews). Oh that was a joy. That’s where I encountered a professional telling me that I should just be grateful to be adopted, because things could’ve been worse if I hadn’t been. I told her point blank to never ever ever try to counsel an adoptee ever again because she’s too dangerous.

I offered her reading material, but she declined.

I’ve since tried to get funding to get help off Adoption Support, but the doctor and LHA won’t fund it. So I tried calling After Adoption, who said all they can do is tell me to call Adoption Support, as that’s the organisation that deals with my area.

I’ve even asked the local council’s adoption worker that I saw when trying to get records of my adoption if she can help get me any help, but she didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t.

So I’m left here still cracking up whilst trying to hold it together enough in life to be able to do something. Anything.

I did post, a while back, that I could take the fight to get help to the media, but tbh, I’m not all that sure they’d listen. Adoptees are expected to be screwed up, but *yours* will /never/ grow up to feel like that. Bullshit. But I’m too tired, and too busy concentrating on trying to get through living the life I’ve got, to have time, headspace, and energy to try to fight the world.

I’m raging at the moon, and no-one gives a shit because it’s not important enough.

Of course, if I became an alcoholic, then I’d get no end of help, but I currently can’t afford to do stuff like that.

Written by 7rin

Fri, 31 December, 2010 at 1:22 am

7rinsensibility

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This comment was originally posted in the replies section following the Guardian’s blog post, Daddy’s adoption stories (I’ve read stories with titles like that :p), but (typo aside), I like it so much, I’m adding it to my wall of fame – ish thing.

Hardworkinhippi said:

Now I have said before, I do not deny that there are mistakes made, that there are over zealous SWs who err on the side of caution, but after Victoria Climbie and Baby P, do you really blame them?

Getting it wrong and over-compensating by taking too many is just as destructive as getting it wronging by not taking enough – possibly even more so, since the risks are under-accounted for in making decisions. Adoptees have a higher suicide risk than non-adoptees, they’re also over-represented in both the prison population and the psych.therapy arena. Thus, increasing the number of adoptees by getting it wrong and over-compensating can lead to harsher long-term effects.

Hardworkinhippi said:

99 times out a 100, there for a bloody good reason and that when they can no longer go home, that they need loving responsible new families, not foster care, not group home, but permanent new mums, dads and homes.?

I don’t disagree that there are always going to be those kids who are going to need someone from outside their own family to do the raising and loving and nurturing that their own parents can not or will not do. However, adoption is nothing more than a legalised lie that pretends the child is “born to” the adopters. It’s a legal fallacy, and is unnecessary, since if someone is willing to do the raising and loving and nurturing and supporting, then they should be able to do it without “ownership documents” that simply reinforce the fallacy of being “born to” those parents. Good parents are Good Parents no matter what bits of paper they do or don’t have – they certainly don’t need to legally obliterate the child’s history (which is what adoption does) in order to be able to provide unconditional love for that child.

Get rid of adoption. Go to how it’s done in Aus. where they have next to no legal adoptions because the legal obliteration will then not happen. Lose the legalised lie, and everything else should be covered by adequate child protection laws. :)

Re: Specifics on cases – I don’t know what of the information that I do know is public, and what bits are ‘protected’ by gagging orders, thus all I can currently provide is the links I’ve already provided, which within their own pages have links to at least some ‘facts’.

Written by 7rin

Fri, 5 November, 2010 at 3:00 am

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