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Will an adopted child grow up and “choose” not to be yours later on?
Posted: 14 October 2009 07:30 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  8
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I’ve been reading some posts on here and many are very informative and helpful. I have to admit, however, that as a woman considering adoption some of the posts from adoptees are a cause for concern. I always thought that once you were adopted, your adoptive parents were Mom and Dad. However, the sense that I’m getting from some posts about “two sets of parents” and “origin” and “adoptive dad” not understanding me…makes me think that perhaps there is some resentment involved? Which is confusing, because adoption is such an ultimate act of love and altruism and I thought that the children of adoption would automatically feel that way. Is it wrong to love an adopted child “as your own” or is that somehow not politically correct? I would love to hear from both parents and adoptees on this puzzling terminology.

Posted: 14 October 2009 07:52 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  27
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I always thought that once you were adopted, your adoptive parents were Mom and Dad.

I don’t understand - or perhaps I’m misinterpreting your post - why an adoptee cannot choose to love two sets of parents. This isn’t to say ALL adoptees will even want anything to have to do with their biological families, much less use the word “love.” But there will always be an adoptee who wants to be incorporated into both families equally.

To me, my adoptive parents are Mom and Dad. That doesn’t mean my original parents cannot be. True, they will never be “Mom and Dad” in the way a parent is when raising a child, but in their own respective roles, they are still my original mom and dad. How does that make my adoptive parents feel, you ask? Well, even my adoptive parents call them my mom and dad. Classifiers aren’t necessary.

Which is confusing, because adoption is such an ultimate act of love and altruism and I thought that the children of adoption would automatically feel that way.

Is it wrong to love an adopted child “as your own”

Those two statements contradict each other. You first state that adoption is such an ultimate act of love and sacrifice by the biological parent. Then you go on to question whether or not it’s wrong to love an adopted child ‘as your own.’ The first statement is referring to the biological parent’s act of relinquishment, and then the second is asking about being able to love an adopted child - but in terms of the adoptive parent. The adoptive parent didn’t relinquish, so your statements aren’t parallel to each other.

However, I do know what you are asking.

Giving up your child is called an act of love, of sacrifice. But there’s no real logic to it; since when do mothers give up the children they love?

This is often when someone else says “You don’t get it. The mother had no choice so the best thing for her was to give up her child. She loved her child SO MUCH she gave him up.”

Hold it.

“The mother had no choice.”

Therefore, there is no real selflessness in the act of sacrificing a child. If there is no choice and the decision is ultimately between death and adoption, then the very act of life in terms of basic fundamentals to survive is considered a privilege. If there is truly no choice, if it is truly an act of desperation, then the act is not a sacrifice because there are no alternatives that it can be compared to. Desperation is not a real choice.

It’s too easy to make a “birthmother” into The Other, usually indicated by these statements:

“I could NEVER give up my child.”
“She did such a courageous thing in giving up her child - I’d never be able to do that.”
“How could she have abandoned her own child?”

Love isn’t in line with abandonment. Love has nothing to do with selflessness. Political policies, cultural mindsets, social stigmas, lack of assistance… these factors are what cause relinquishment, not love.

You don’t give up someone you love. That’s not how it works.

http://sisterheping.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/first-saint-then-sinner/

http://sisterheping.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/adoption-logic/

http://sisterheping.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/the-very-idea-of-adoption-abolishment-pfft/

http://sisterheping.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/perceiving-adoption/

黃 美玲

Transracial Chinese adoptee, in contact with her original family for 3 years
~ reunited overseas for 3 months with a culture/language barrier

Posted: 14 October 2009 08:17 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  47
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I don’t understand how accepting reality could be defined as resentment, or how an act could be considered altruistic if you expect the other person to disavow their own ancestry.  If you expect to control the thoughts and feelings of another person—whether you adopted them or not—you’re not being realistic.  Political correctness has nothing to do with it.  The reaction to being displaced from one’s family is a very individual thing.  Maybe you’ll adopt someone who rejects that part of their humanity that involves their own origins.  Maybe you’ll adopt someone who absolutely refuses to stop searching until they find their origins.  There’s really no way to predict.  If you believe there is only one acceptable way for an adoptee to react to adoption, you’re likely to be disappointed by the end result.  You can’t force your will on other people.

Posted: 14 October 2009 08:38 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  8
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Just for clarification, I am new to this and am asking for viewpoints. Please don’t attack me for being naive - I don’t have any frame of reference for an adoptee’s feelings and I want to understand. I am very interested in hearing about your feelings.

My reference to love and altruism meant only the act of raising and caring for someone else’s child. Not the birth mother’s situation, because currently for me that is an unknown. I feel that it is not about selflessness, because I see adoption as a mutually beneficial endeavor.

As for the adopted child’s freedoms, I would have no intention of restricting them or driving any decision. If my husband and I choose open adoption, I have heard many positive things come from the knowledge and relationship with birth mothers and/or fathers. It’s the aspect of them being parents that I don’t get. They didn’t do any parenting. I too would want to know my genetics and geneology, but how are they family? To call adoption being “displaced from your family” uses a very traditional definition of family that I didn’t anticipate adoptees subscribing to. Do go on.

Posted: 14 October 2009 09:03 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  27
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It’s the aspect of them being parents that I don’t get. They didn’t do any parenting. I too would want to know my genetics and geneology, but how are they family?

Because they are where the adoptee originated from. You cannot just erase them out of the picture - they are a part of your child. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have your child.

Of course, there are adoptees whose biological parents didn’t bother to care about them enough that they ended up being neglected. I have often seen this as a moral standpoint for which adoption is based upon. I disagree - not that the child should remain with parents who obviously didn’t care enough, but WHY they didn’t care. Some facet of that is likely to hurt the adoptee involved and so their psychological well-being is forced to go into a state of, “Well, they’re not my parents anyway! I don’t care.”

My reference to love and altruism meant only the act of raising and caring for someone else’s child.

Here lies another contradiction of adoption in general. We say adoption is like “our very own”, treat the child as IF she was born to you, as IF she is your very own and no different from a child that was birthed and raised by her biologically-related mother. Yet - as indicated in the statement you have used to clarify your language, as implied by society - the way we differentiate is backed up by “Well, I just mean the act of raising someone else’s child. Isn’t that a loving and caring thing to do?”

Ah, but in adoption, they “aren’t” someone else’s child - they are yours “as if.” Isn’t that what society tells all of us? So therein lies yet another contradiction in the myths of society. They are yours but they are forever connected to their biological mother.

To call adoption being “displaced from your family” uses a very traditional definition of family that I didn’t anticipate adoptees subscribing to.

The tradition of family is blood-kin - being raised by one’s biologically-related mother and father. It can’t always happen, and in many cases, there is where people will say “Well, adoption is a perfect solution.” Blood and DNA matters - except in terms of adoption. Then all of a sudden, it’s like saying “Who cares? Not every parent should raise a kid.”

If adoption is a tradition family formation, then why are our bodies designed to nurture our own?

I am not “displaced” in the family sense, and yet I am. Sometimes I feel as if I should not be here - as though I should be with my blood family speaking my mother tongue and living a life overseas. And other times I feel as if I was not meant to have lived a life anywhere than where I ended up at. This is called cognitive dissonance. I don’t know how else to explain it.

I recognize that my adoptive family is family, my adoptive home IS home. But somewhere out there, there exists a previous home where I was born and would have been raised. There exists a family who wanted and loved me even before my prospective parents entered the picture. One life parallel to an existence that might have happened. Another life where I was relinquished - but NOT forgotten.

Perhaps it’s easier for people to say “Well you don’t know them, you don’t know that life.” I beg to differ - I lived there WITH MY FAMILY for a few months, which is far more than most transracial adoptees ever get to have. I saw what it was like, what the people were like. I was able to physically touch my mother and talk with my siblings (in broken Chinese). The reality is that it was the life I was born to have. For reasons known mostly to close family, it did not happen, and so here I am, adopted. I am told it does not matter, I am told this is the only life I really have.

But then again, they aren’t me.

I will not believe I was born just for the sole purpose of being separated from the life I was born to have.

Adoptive family is family, yes. But it doesn’t have to ignore the sometimes tragic beginning of the original family which LED to the adoptive family. For an adoptive family to occur, there is an equivalent break and displacement from the original family.

黃 美玲

Transracial Chinese adoptee, in contact with her original family for 3 years
~ reunited overseas for 3 months with a culture/language barrier

Posted: 14 October 2009 09:13 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  8
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Iggy thank you so much for expanding on your thoughts. It seems you have done a lot of soul searching, which is encouraging.

My question to you would be regarding this statement, “The reality is that it was the life I was born to have.”

I guess that depends on your viewpoint, doesn’t it? To me, spiritually (regardless of one’s specific beliefs) God or the universe or fate, or what have you, changed your course and placed you in that adoptive home. How is THAT not the life you were born to live? After all, it’s the life you did live.

 
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