February 27, 2012

Why the adoption establishment annoys me

Kevin and Shelise at Land of Gazillion Adoptees have had another terrific idea: a blog week dedicated to “Why the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me.”  A number of bloggers have already published their offerings, which I will do my best to keep up with below. If you’re interested in joining in, head on over to LGA and let them know.

Let me start by giving you my definition of the “adoption establishment:”
A collection or community of individuals, organizations, legal entities and governments who, through action or inaction, benefit from, support or work to preserve status quo adoption laws, policies and practices.
The adoption establishment is populated with adoptive parents, adoption facilitators and agencies, and people and organizations who promote adoption. All we APs are automatic members, whether we want to be or not, because we gain rather than lost from adoption. Adopted people and first parents, on the other hand, are generally not invited into the club, because they tend to bring the hard stories the rest of us would rather not hear.

Although I'm not a gung-ho adoption promoter, I don't believe that adoption is inherently bad or wrong. It can, in my opinion, be a positive alternative for children who truly need families. How we define that need is what gets us into trouble, and leads me to my biggest problem with the adoption establishment: it focuses its energy on encouraging adoption and on the process of adopting, but doesn’t fix what it breaks.
There is, in my opinion, absolutely no excuse for organizational or individual silence within the established adoption community on issues like for-profit adoption agencies, abusive surrender tactics, denial of original birth certificate access to adoptees, denial of citizenship to intercountry adoptees, or adoptee deportation.

There is simply no excuse.

And what really infuriates me about this is that high among the members of the adoption establishment are organizations and individuals who have close ties to and even work in the U.S. legislative system. Even if they are doing good work in other areas, I am not buying it anymore.
People and organizations who claim to be leaders in adoption must be held accountable for where they lead the adoption community. If it is only toward more adoptions, without concern for justice for those adoption has harmed or hurt, they fail.

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Other annoyed points of view:
If you're participating, please leave a comment with a link to your post and I'll add you to the list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From a fellow AP, thank you for articulating it far better than I am capable.