Sunday, November 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo/NAAM Day 11: Personal Opinions Regarding Adoption

Today's Lost Daughters prompt is about personal opinions regarding adoption. Here's a reprint (with a few edits for clarity) of something I wrote back in March.

Five Reasons the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me:

1) Adoption is a solution that does not take into account the full range of needs of the adopted person. Though many needs, both external and emotional, can be met in an adoptive home, the need to know where we come from and the need to see ourselves reflected back by way of genetic mirroring are given short shrift. Too often, biology is not part of the conversation of adoption. Open adoption is a step in the right direction, but we should not assume that the adoption establishment has been "fixed" simply because open adoption exists and works in some families.

2) Adoptions frequently occur as a result of a lack of resources (money, housing, etc.) on the part of the biological parents. Adoption moves one person (the adoptee) into a situation in which some of his or her basic needs can be better met but does not examine the larger social and political issues at work. It is a tragedy, and a societal failure, when biological parents cannot raise their children because of lack of resources, but the seeming "fix" of adoption prevents us from seeing it as such.

3) Coercion of first mothers. I wish I could say this was a thing of the past, but it's not. Too many women dealing with unplanned pregnancies still find themselves pressured, and even manipulated, into relinquishment.

4) Lack of knowledge around adoption issues in the therapy world. Therapists typically receive very little training in adoption-related issues, but that doesn't stop some them from presenting themselves as "experts" in adoption and even disseminating stereotypes and platitudes, effectively becoming mouthpieces for the adoption establishment. Too often adoptees and first parents find themselves the position of seeking help for adoption-related trauma from professionals who just don't get it.

5) The OBC (Original Birth Certificate) iss
ue. I believe that birth certificates should be just that: documents that accurately record the circumstances of a person's birth. They are not "I'm the real parent certificates." Adoptees are the only U.S. citizens denied access to their original birth certificates. That's discrimination.