I have recently tried nicely to make the point that adoptive parents need to put themselves last in the adoption discussion. I have tried calmly to suggest that we need to curb our tongues a bit. I've tried my best to put these thoughts out there without preaching.
But in the past week I’ve read things on blogs and forums that beg a different approach – like maybe a plank to the side of some heads.
First there was the forum thread, specifically set up to discuss heavier issues and clearly named, that crashed and burned when adoptive parents drove it off topic. And another thread that also derailed when an adoptive parent got into a “sticks and stones” kind of debate with an adoptee.
Then, there was a comment on an a-parent blog directed at a first mother that thanked her for not aborting her child, and then stated that women who “give up” their children for adoption aren't mothers.
And finally there were the comments of yet another adoptive parent to a post on a KAD blog that so disrespected the author and all adoptees that it literally stunned me. This one ended with a self-pat on the a-parent’s own back for adopting a child that had been abandoned by her “real” parents to the mercy of strangers.
Enough. Let me repeat the sentiments I shared earlier this week, this time with my 2-by-4 in hand:
- We adoptive parents are not the stars of this show.
- We have no right to expect to be understood by first parents or adopted people.
- We have no right to invalidate or otherwise judge the adoption experiences of adoptees and first parents.
- We have no right to expect respect from first parents or adopted people beyond that which civil behavior affords everyone.
And let me end with a plea to the a-parents who seem to be fueling this fray: Disrespecting those whose opinions about adoption differ from yours doesn't prove you love your children more, and listening without judgment doesn't mean you love them less.