adoption


Artem (Artyom) Saveliev/Artyom Justin Hansen’s adoptive mother decided she didn’t want him so put him on a plane back to Russia With him traveled a letter that read

The fact that the child has phsycological difficulties is disputed by Russia’s Ombudsman for Children’s rights,Pavel Astakhov. According to NIKTO NE ZABYT/Nobody Is Forgotten

Astakhov, barely containing his disgust, told RT (video, not print) that Artem’s orphanage records indicate he had no health or psychological problems and was “normal” when he left Russia.

but even if it were true that he had psychological issues that his adopter wasn’t aware of does that justify sending him back? I don’t think so and if it does dosentt that tumble down the lie that adoptive children are “as born to” and “just the same as if they were biological”? Because how many parents of biological children disown their children when it turns out they have disabilities or mental heath issues? I’m sure it must happen sometimes but with adoptees it happens frequently: this product is defective, send it back, and very often when the adoptee is acting out in completely understandable ways that are logical reactions to abandonment, institutionalisation and attachment issues.

Did the poor kid even know what was happening? did he know he was being abandoned again? What did they tell him? Did they tell him that they didn’t want him anymore? That he wasnt good enough, that sorry I know we promised to be a “forever family” but we changed our minds?

Acording to the The Guardian

This had pushed russia to call for a freeze on international adoptions though Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in televised remarks that the ministry would recommend that the U.S. and Russia hammer out an agreement before any new adoptions are allowed.

“We have taken the decision … to suggest a freeze on any adoptions to American families until Russia and the USA sign an international agreement” on the conditions for adoptions and the obligations of host families, Lavrov was quoted as saying.

Lavrov said the U.S. had refused to negotiate such an accord in the past but “the recent event was the last straw.”

Which is about bloody time considering how many internationaly adopted Russian adoptees die at the hands of their adoptive families

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A social workers plea to potentialy adoptive parents explains that adoptive parenting is hard work.

But these issues became “too much for the family to handle,” so they send their daughter back into the child welfare system. Let me tell you something here: Adopting a child is not adopting a pet. A child is not a puppy from a rescue shelter and you take it home to see how it adapts to your environment or if it bites the other puppies or kitties and if the situation doesn’t work out, you can just take it back. When you adopt a child, that child becomes yours. That child is a part of your family. You can’t just “return” a child like a Wal-Mart purchase or a puppy that chewed the leg of your grandmother’s rocking chair.

If you had two biological children and one of them started displaying violence, threatening the life of their other biological sibling, constantly running away, or destroying your house, you would be hard pressed to convince me that you would disown your child and terminate your legal parental rights as their biological parent. You might remove the child from the other children and take the child to a more secure, structured environment like a residential treatment facility to address their mental health issues, and keep the other family members safe. But I highly doubt that you would give your child up and turn them over to the child welfare system.

Yet, for too many people, if your child is adopted and displayed these issues, it’s a different story. There is something so sick and disturbing about that, it makes me want to vomit.

A letter to my local protesters describes the experince of working in an abortion clinic in an anti abortion culture.

8. Because of you, when I leave the clinic, I look both ways exiting the door.

9. Because of you, when I leave or arrive at the clinic, I speedily get into the false safety of the building or my vehicle.

10. Because of you, when I drive home, I check my rear view window to see if I’m being followed.

11. Our doors are a little tighter. Our windows shut harder. Our curtains drawn darker.

12. Because of you, we can’t have normal glass. We have bullet proof glass.

13. Because of you, we have panic buttons.

14. Because of you, I may get a home security system. And I live in a very nice little neighborhood with no other need for a home security system.

15. I really think I hate you.

16. I want to spit on you when I see a woman weep (who was raped by her father; or found out her wanted pregnancy has anencephaly; or who just got her lights shut off because she can’t pay any bills, let alone keep another baby; who can die for our country in battle, but is about to get court marshalled if her country finds out she’s pregnant; or who slept with the wrong guy on the wrong day and realized she really wants to finish school and make something of herself; or who might even be your daughter or sister or niece or granddaughter) after listening to you scream at her, judge her, beg her not to have an abortion. FUCK you for hurting her.

God Doesn’t Do Adoption, Part 2 is one of the best refutations of christian adoption rhetoric I’ve ever read.

So yes. Paul says “adoption” right there in the Bible. He actually uses it a couple of times, but if one examines the text as written in the original Greek, one begins to understand that Paul didn’t mean “adoption” like the modern world means “adoption. ” His original Greek word huiothesia meant something else entirely.

The original Greek word in this scripture (and the others where Paul was translated as saying “adoption”) is huiothesia, derived from the huios (“a son”) and thesis (“a placing”), so literally the placing of/as a son. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985).

The “placing as a son” imagery was something Paul and his readers of Galatia would have been entirely familiar with (Mitchell, 1993; Zanker, 1988). Basically, it was a ceremony that occurred within the Roman culture in which a male child of a citizen achieved the status of manhood. Prior to the ceremony, a son was considered to have the status of a slave in his father’s house (The Story of Civilization, Vol. 3: Caesar and Christ, 1972, p. 57), even though he had the potential to inherit his father’s wealth. The “placing as a son” ceremony occurred around a boy’s teen years, when his father determined it was time for him to pass from being a child (and under the absolute power of his father) into adulthood.

mary

I am so sick if hearing “we are all adopted by god, therefore we should adopt children” rhetoric that floats around in christian circles, it drives me mad

I also find it ironic that examples from the bible of people who were adopted usually focus on Moses and Jesus. Really? Moses? Moses killed someone went back to his first family and called down devastation on the family and community he grew up in, If this is supposed to be an example of how adoption is supposed to be a positive thing you are doing it wrong.

And Jesus? Seriously? how is he an example of adoption? he grew up with his biological mother and with Joseph his step father. Jesus Knew who his real father was and had an ongoing close relationship with him. That’s the point of the story. If you don’t believe this why are you Christians exactly?

Being adopted by God is not at all the same as earthly adoption. adoption by God does not entail loss of history, culture, names, bloodlines and a lifelong feeling of abandonment

Some of the way adoption is talked about sound suspiciously like a new spin on saving the heathens

What started as a way for them to add to their family after Shonni had complications with a pregnancy has become a Christian mission to help the orphans of the world, as written of in the New Testament, and to raise children strong in faith.

“This is our answer to the great commission, but instead of going out into the mission field, we are bringing them to us to raise them up as disciples of Christ, and then let them out into the world,” Steve Hassoldt said.

people who talk about adoption in these terms seem to have no idea of the effect adoption has on a child

the Biblical foundation for Adoption page says

Children placed in adoption experience God’s grace in a similar way to children who are born into a family. Adopted children can feel comfort and love, knowing that a future was planned for them that was in their best interest. As children grow older this can be palpable evidence of God’s direction and sovereignty in their lives.

I think these people have never talked to any adoptees, none of the adoptees I know, including the ones who grew up in good adoptive families do not feel that adoption was some positive preordained plan and lots of them do not feel that adoption was in their best interests.As a young adoptee growing up in a christian household I was furious with god. i didn’t feel any comfort and love when i thought about being adopted, I felt abandoned, unwanted, awkward about my very existence.

for some of us adoption isn’t a wonderful thing to be celebrated or encouraged, lots of adoptees do not see adoption as a good thing, as something to be happy about. It’s painful, confusing, identity annihilating. I am a colonised person, I lost my name, my culture, a language connection, a religious connection, my bloodlines. There are griefs that I cant even name.

The societies we live in are so invested in the lie that adoption is a win/win/win situation for everybody involved that it is totally ignored the two of the three parts of that triangle loose something irreplaceable. And its totally unacknowledged that we might grieve this forever, that it’s not always something we can or should “get over” or “work through”

I always thought Frodo Baggins said it best:

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back? There are some things time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep that have taken hold.

I’ve meditated on this quote a lot and come to the conclusion that some pain doesn’t go away, that for some of us who have been deeply and repeatedly wounded grief is not a season but a thread, a bass note in the structure of our lives and part of healing is coming to terms with that, of building something positive out of that grief and sadness, but also just living with it. I’ve learnt that if i don’t acknowledge it as part of myself, if i don’t honour it I get depressed I go blank, I don’t feel all the good sweet ,positive things about my life either, cutting of my grief cuts of all my emotions. Grief is part of the kaleidoscope of who I am, I wouldn’t be myself without it.

so it’s national adoption month. Yay!..only not. I keep stumbling across ways to celebrate adoption month

But what about those of us who find nothing to celebrate in adoption? What about those of us for whom adoption just equates with grief and loss? what about those of us who want adoption stopped? how do we negotiate this month?

I came up with some things that might help us deal with it.

Sign up to National Blog Posting Month and blog your feelings around adoption every day for a month
Light a candle for someone or something you lost through adoption
Make a collage
Raise money for a family preservation charity
Cry
Prite a letter to someone adoption separated you from
Volunteer for a charity that mentors/supports families at risk of family breakdown
plant a rose
Take a whole day out of your life to pamper yourself in
Buy yourself a book on dealing with adoption issues

Any one got any other Ideas?

Mirah and readers over at Family preservation advocacy are coming up with more suggestions.

These days adoption agencies and social services routinely use what is referred to as positive adoption language also sometimes referred to respectful adoption language. Examples of this can be found here, and here (that whole second website disturbs the shit out of me) and its really clear just by looking at the lists that the language is only positive and respectful for adoptive parents, not for adoptees or first parents.

According to Perspectives press:

Respectful Adoption Language (RAL) is vocabulary about adoption which has been chosen to reflect maximum respect, dignity, responsibility and objectivity about the decisions made by birthparents and adoptive parents in discussing the family planning decisions they have made for children who have been adopted

So firstly it doesn’t take in to account at all how the adoptees are going to feel about the language used and secondly referring to someone as a birthparent is not respectful or positive, almost all the adoptees and firsts parents I’ve come across hate it. This article written from the perspective of a natural mother argues that using the prefix “birth” biases the way society thinks about adoption in favour of the adoptive parents:

When the word “parent” is used for a prospective adopter who is unrelated to a child and the “birth” term is used for the child’s own mother, it is just expected a mother must surrender her child. “Birth mother” is like a job title or worse – she is merely a “thing” whose function is to make a baby for others.

Everyone recognizes that a parent has a right to raise his or her own child. Yet in court when the foster caregiver or prospective adopter is called a “parent” and the true parents are called “bios” the outcome is predetermined. After lengthy delays initiated by those in the “system”, once they are finally in court the true parents of a child may be proven to be fit in every way yet still have their parental rights terminated.

Every citizen has a right and even an obligation to call a natural mother a “mother” or “natural mother” and thus prevent the temptation for others to separate children from their family any time they feel like it or can profit from it. Using the term “adoptive” for someone who has adopted is not disrespectful but honest and will avoid confusion about relationships. Any person who has adopted and who truly cares about children should be in favor of adjusting their language accordingly. Those who have not yet adopted of course must be called “prospective adopters”, not “parents”

But also as an adoptee its a term I hate, I much prefer to use Mother, it is almost always obvious which mother I’m talking about. My post adoption social worker insists on referring to my father and my siblings as my “birthfather” and my “birthsiblings” which apart from being really fucking disrespectful makes absolutely no sense.

perspective press weighs in on the matter saying

Those who raise and nurture a child are his parents: his mother, father, mommy, daddy, etc Those who conceive and give birth to a child are his birthparents: his birthmother and birthfather.

Why is it the natural parents that need the qualifier and not the adoptive parents?

Back to the lists, whats with the phrase “Adoption triad”? This probably isn’t a phrase people who aren’t involved in adoption have heard, but it is always used to mean the three parties involved in the adoption are equal and have the same amount of power. Well adoptees have no power (even adult adoptees because no one listens to us), first parents have very little power and adoptive parents have all the power, so there is no triad.

I have real issues with the “was adopted/is adopted” thing as well. Perspective press says:

When it is appropriate to refer to the fact of adoption, it is correct to say “Kathy was adopted,” (referring to they way in which she arrived in her family.) Phrasing it in the present tense– “Kathy is adopted”–implies that adoption is a disability with which to cope.

But I am adopted, it wasn’t a one time deal that didn’t effect anything else in my life, and while maybe not being a disability, being adopted is always something that needs to be negotiated, it effects all my relationships and will do for ever because it is such a profound life altering thing to happen to someone.

Perspective press then decides to continue injecting its own bias on the subject of homestudies:

The process by which families prepare themselves to become parents is often referred to as a homestudy. This term carries with it an old view of the process as a weeding out or judgment. Today, more and more agencies are coming to view their role as less God-like and more facilitative. The preferred positive term, then, is parent preparation, a process whereby agency and prospective adopters come to know one another and work toward expanding a family.

In light of the adoptees I know and how so many adoptions end up as car crashes because of abusive or just clueless adoptive parents, trying to make a home study less judgemental or less of a weeding out process is just fucking immoral and criminal, home studies should be more strict not less. I don’t want adoptive parents to think that “parent preparation” is some cushy thing that they wont get judged on.

Back again to perspective press on how to talk about reunions:

Frequently news stories refer to reunions between people who are related genetically but have not been raised in the same family. In most such instances these encounters do not carry with them the full spectrum of understanding that the usual use of the term reunion implies. While children adopted at an older age may indeed experience a reunion, most adoptees join their families as infants, and as such they have no common store of memories or experience such as are traditionally shared in a reunion. The more objective descriptor for a meeting between a child and the birthparents who planned his adoption (a term which neither boosts unrealistic expectations for the event nor implies a competition for loyalties between birthparents and adoptive parents) is meeting.

How is meeting the woman who gave birth to you, who carried you for nine months. who was the first person to hold you not a reunion exactly? Quite apart from the fact that lots of adoptees were with their first families long enough to remember them. The last sentence in the above quoted paragraph is really telling though. There is no such thing as “objective” language, the language we use both shows and shapes the way we see the world and here it appears again that the important thing about the language is how the adoptive parents feel, nothing about how the adoptee feels. Quite frankly how any of my parents feel about any of my adoption issues doesn’t matter to me. I use the language I need to use and I actively resist language that adoptive parents use to try and shape the world to the way they want it to be rather than seeing and respecting the lived reality of the adoptee