Thirdmom you talk now because all of your children are grown and have their loyalties in place to you. Also, let’s not forget that you possibly adopted from Korea because at that time there were no "open adoptions" holding you hostage.
It never amazes me how aparents sing the "evils of adoption" but yet adopt from overseas to avoid bparents/open adoptions...seems hypocritical to me.
I’ve talked about and danced around hypocrisy before. This comment gives a good reason to talk about it straight on. So here goes.
Guilty as charged
The adoption path my husband and I chose is a result of what we knew about adoption, but more about what we didn’t know. The pre-adoption view isn't pretty.
We knew what we saw in the media (mostly sensational and wrong), what we learned from the very few people we talked to about adoption before we moved forward, and then from our agency and the adoptive parent organizations we found. Every source of information was adoptive-parent-centric. The internet was in its infancy, never mind the fact that the only PC I had access to, for work, only had modem access to company systems. We got our information from people and print media. It was most definitely skewed.
Our criteria were simple: we sought a program that we believed was ethical (as I understood “ethical adoption“ back then) and would accept PAPs in our age bracket.
We were pulled to intercountry adoption from Korea, for several reasons: we met a local program’s requirements, particularly age; as a couple made up of an immigrant and the child of immigrants, we understood at least a little of what it meant to be an “other” and felt we could be effective parents for a child of a different race and ethnicity.
We believed what we were told about our children's mothers, which is that they had absolutely no choices but abortion and adoption because Korean society would never allow them to parent and would discriminate against their children throughout their lives. The possibility that their families might be intact didn't come into any discussions. We understood that the loss of family would be a serious loss for our children, were open to contact from the start and did what we could to leave a trail in our children's files. Conversely, perversely, we viewed the ability to parent without interference as a positive.
Before we completed our homestudy to adopt from Korea, we were presented with the opportunity to adopt twin girls, the daughters by another father of the significant other of an acquaintance of my husband’s. They were beautiful, adorable, and we seriously considered adopting them. We met their mother, liked her and were fine with continuing an open relationship with her. But we learned along the way that their foster mother, with whom they had lived for over a year, was hoping to adopt them. We believed that the best thing for those girls was to stay with her, which is ultimately what happened.
It is therefore correct that we saw the ability to parent on our own as a good outcome of adopting from Korea. It is also correct to say that our minds were open to other possibilities and we were open to contact. It is what it is.
So what next?
My hypocrisy is clear: I adopted from Korea knowing that the likelihood of first family interference was slim to none, but I'm here and elsewhere working on adoption reform and hoping for my children's reunions with their Korean families. Why?
Because I have learned a lot since those pre- and early adoption days: about the issues, and about how easy it is for group-think to make you believe things that are simply wrong. Most of all, I realized early on that lies are more common in adoption than we want to believe, and that being a continent away doesn't make my children's mothers and families invisible.
When presented with adoption injustice, there are several paths an adopter can take. We can pull away from the entire discussion and live our lives as far away from adoption as possible. Or we can build our own universe, so to speak, and surround ourselves with people who think and say things that make us feel better.
We can also face the bad stuff and our role in it, and do something about it. Our adoption choices will rightfully be called out, but we just need to accept it. It’s a better route to go than silence.