I don’t talk about my feelings around adoption much off line, when I do its only to very close friends who I trust and who I know understand where I’m coming from. Online? I talk about it loads and the way people react to it is…odd. people get so angry, circling the wagons type angry, protect the status quo at all costs type angry that anger frightens me, even online, It has an edge to it. A “we will do anything to shut you up” edge. It’s that anger that people use to tell me I’m crazy, illogical, irrational, stupid, evil, because of the way I think about adoption. This is often people who have nothing to do with adoption and as well as finding it frightening I find it really perplexing.

At first I thought it was just the adoption issue that was making them angry but critiquing adoption also entails on some level a critique of the nuclear family and it seems that people really, really can’t cope with that

we have been fed the lie that the way white middle class westerners do family, two parents and one or more children pretty much in isolation is the best, the healthiest, often the only way to do family, that other ways of doing family are wrong, immoral, unenlightened. From where I’m standing this is actually a terrible way to do family, with the best will in the world two adults bringing up one or more children on their own is going to cause unnecessary, unhealthy stress. Family the way we do it or the way we are supposed to do it doesn’t work. It creates incredibly dysfunctional people who then go on to create and raise more dysfunctional people

yet people are so invested in this damaging dysfunctional way of running society that it doesn’t occur to them ever that their might be other options and they get really angry about how I “want babies to be abandoned or to grow up in abusive environments” etc etc. and if you say “well there are other options” they invariably reply with “no there aren’t” or “well what are they then?” as if you are lying. Things people have said to me include

Yeah exactly! WHAT DO THEY DO WITH ALL THE KIDS? force parents who don’t want them to take care of them? what if their parent’s are dead? HOW IS IT EVEN AN ISSUE?

of all, it’s just plain fucking delusional to think that we will ever live in a world where adoption is not needed. JFC, there are just some situations where there are no other options

So please tell me! If you are 100% anti-adoption, where will the abused children go? Or if their parents died, and there are no family members that can take them (financial reasons, emotional reasons, whatever).Tell me, what then?

It just totally startles me that people cant take one step sideways out of the box to think about the other options , see that families are not just made up of parents and children but cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, all who could support the parents in bringing up the children and if things are really desperate take the children into their homes while the parents sort their lives out. That people have friends and neighbours who could also support them.

In fact if there was Less emphasis on how this peculiar insular nuclear family ideal was the right way to do things and more acknowledgment that its okay for family and friends to take part in raising a child a lot less children would need to be taken from their parents in the first place because the reduction of stress and the presence of other nurturers would massively reduce incidences of abuse and neglect, and would cushion the effects of poverty