I recently came across another blog entry on the so called merits of positive adoption language. I left a comment directing the author of the blog to this piece of writing. She didn’t post my comment but she did send me an email.

Thank you for your comment on our adoption blog. I am not sure if you are the author of the article you referred me to, or if you are a member of the antiadoption group. I know that some adoptees have not have good experiences, and I am sorry if you are one of those people. This article was obviously written by a person with a lot of anger about his/her own adoption.

I could see how some of what I think is “positive” adoption language could be hurtful to someone who was partially raised by their biological parents before being adopted and may feel strong loyalty to them.

I don’t think this article pertains to most international adoptions, and definitely not to my daughter’s adoption. Most children orphaned in China are orphaned at birth. Obviously, many of those birth parents probably wanted to raise their child but couldn’t because of the one child policy or because of low income and potentially expensive requirements of a child’s special need. I know that our daughter was left at birth. She never knew her birth mother and most likely never will. I would love for them to meet some day as I know my daughter will always have a hole in heart for this women and her biological father, but I am the women who has chosen to love and raise her, and I am her mother, parent, adoptive mother…..whatever you want to call me.

I think the list I provided is very helpful for adoptions like ours, and is meant in the best interest of my child, not me. I can stand being offended, but I don’t want her ears to hear comments about me not being her “real mom.” I am the realest mom she has.

Thank you, Kelly

It irks me as it always does that the assumption is made that I am not worth listening to because I must have had a bad adoptee experience because I am anti adoption. There’s a whole bundle of assumptions there, firstly why does objecting to “positive adoption language” mean I have had a bad experience? And secondly so what if i did have a bad experience? Are adoptees who had bad experiences not worth listening to? Those of you reading this who think that the only adoptees who want adoption reform or who are anti adoption have had bad adoption experiences and are not worth listening to because of this might want to read these two posts: You must have had a bad life… and The Value of the Abused Voice

I don’t see what being raised partly by my original parents or not has to do with anything I have no loyalty to my first parents but that doesn’t mean I don’t think of them, as well as my adoptive parents, as my real parents

The third paragraph uses nonsensical double speak and flags up the selfishness of adopters. If your child has a mother in China who is still living she is not and never was an orphan. If adopters really cared about the children they adopt and their families, instead of adopting they would pay the second child fine which would enable the families to stay together (The fine is income based so the poorest families who are overwhelmingly the ones that have to give their children up, have the smallest fines.)

It seems to me that this adoptive parent isn’t bothering to read any of the excellent blogs or books written by Transracial adoptees and then she will be surprised at the issue her adopted child will be dealing with as she gets older. From what I understand trans racial adoptees have more identity issues to deal with, not less, than domestic adoptees and using language that is designed to placate adopters rather than support adoptees is not going to help her with those issues.

I was discussing the post and the email with some of my fellow adoptees and one of them responded to this part of the blog post:

It is common for people to make comments to adoptive parents and their children that are rude, invasive or just accidentally hurtful.


This is so true. People often make really hurtful remarks about my adoption. People often tell me that my “real” parents are the ones who adopted me, and don’t let me hold the beauty of having 4 “real” parents. It is hurtful to be still seen as a child, and not recognized that my voice as an adult, and an adoptee (who IS adopted…cause it’s an awesomely hard life-long experience for me) is just as valid as those who actually had a say in the terms of the adoption. I’d like to think people labelling me as “angry” or “anti-adoption” are simply being accidentally hurtful, but sometimes I can’t help but believe they are just being rude.

Which just says it perfectly. “positive adoption language” is and will always be about the adopters and not the adoptees, nobody cares about how adoptees feel over the language used