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Archive for the ‘adoption’ Category

I talk about adoption a lot on this blog and will continue to do so. Its no secret than I am not an advocate of adoption and I think its really important that adoption is crtitiqued through a feminist and social justice lens but I find what often gets lost in anti adoption/adoption reform positions is the idea that we should also look at the reasons and the drive for people adopting through a feminist and social justice lens. The virulently misogynistic way in which women who want to adopt is talked about in some anti adoption circles disturbs and saddens me.(and it is almost always the women who are ripped apart, once again the men become invisible) Recently the improper adoptee left a comment on one of My previous posts that said

Unfortunatly, sisterhood was destroyed by another monster. The green eyed one. Infertiles hate fertile women, because they are so jealous, bitter and feel so put upon because they can’t conceive, that they throw all their morals out the window. The retreat into the state of mind of an enraged 10 year old child, who wants to do bad things because they can’t have what they want.

firstly I think calling women jealous bitter and childish for whatever reason is really misogynistic but this is is not just about this comment, I have seen the same things said elsewhere numerous times, I have seen infertile women bee blamed for their infertility because they are too fat, don’t look after themselves, are too old, have had eating disorders, or who have spent time on their career when they “should” have been having children.

and this all seems like a kind of victim blaming to me, No I don’t think infertile women have a right to adopt, but I also don’t think its their fault that they are infertile, this kind of rhetoric takes no account of the world we live in, that we live in a world full of chemicals that fuck up our reproductive system, that we live in a world where a woman cant, unless she is extremely wealthy, have a child and a career because good child care is way to expensive, and women in the workplace are still seen as expendable.We live in a world where women are incredibly disconnected from their bodies so we do do damaging things to them, we live in a world where women don’t have their own places to live until relatively late because house prices are so expensive.

We also live in a world that tells women that motherhood is everything, that sells the ideal of motherhood as what makes you a real woman, we live in a world that doesn’t tell women that their are other just as valuable ways of giving to the future and supporting the communities we live as having a child we can call our “own”. We live in a world that individualises child rearing rather than seeing it as a communal effort.

None of this is the fault of infertile women, these things are the fault of individualist capitalist patriarchy.
also something else that’s often missed here is that not all people who are infertile want to adopt and not all people who adopt are infertile

Being infertile hurts and for some women it hurts more than others and I think that should be acknowledged and there should be compassion for that. I’m infertile myself and if I wasn’t an adoptee i might well have thought about adoption because i wouldn’t have known otherwise.

I think people who adopt do by and large think they are doing a good thing for society, it isn’t their fault that they live in a society that tells them this, and there are ways of making clear this is not true without woman blaming.

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Adoption induced rage!

Today I hate social services and if I don’t get this out of my system I wont de stress

I wanted my pre adoption files and to do this I had to go to the local social services because theyd been passed on from the social services who dealt with my adoption. But its not simple and straightforward no, I had to have a discussion with a post adoption social worker on what my motivations were and what I wanted out of the information, so social services could judge if it was appropriate to give me my information. Because clearly I am not an adult and cant judge or decide my own motivations for my actions. I think post adoption support is usefull for those who want it (of whom which I wouldn’t be one) but it sure as hell shouldn’t be mandatory.

And the woman I was talking to pissed me of so much, I was trying to ask her why I had to go through this palava and she kept just saying “I cant give you the information about anybody else in your family” when at no point did I ask for the info on anyone else in my family, and then she said “well I have to follow procedure I cant make a special case for you” I wasn’t asking her to make a special case for me, I was trying to have a discussion on why there was this procedure and why any adult adoptee should go through it. Then she was all “no one else complains about it” Really? Gee that couldn’t be because you tell them that if they have the wrong attitudes and motivations you wont give them their information or help them search could it?

And she seriously fucking said “we have to go through this because for all we know you could be a mass murderer, and we need to make sure you are not” ! wtf. What kind of thing is that to say to someone? Way to show you don’t trust adult adoptees

So I had to give her loads of personal stuff about my life, that was none of her business and that I don’t really like sharing, stuff about my relationship with my partner and my siblings and my parents. I told her I didn’t see my adoptive parents much because they were not good people and she kept pushing and pushing me to tell her why which I refused to but she still felt the need to tell me in relation to this “lots of adoptions work out really well and everybody is happy with the arrangement” firstly why the hell did she feel the need to impart this piece of information? What was it supposed to achieve, and secondly “everybody”? really? Everybody involved is happy with the arrangement? Even with adoptions that work out well most adoptees aren’t “happy” they were adopted, but also lets take a poll of first parents shall we and see how many of them are happy about the adopotion., because I’m thinking that number will be vanishingly small.

And then she asked me if I was “content” with my life. What does that even mean, I don’t think humans are supposed to be content, I don’t think that’s part of the way we are built, but also what does it matter? No I’m not content, I’m restless and flighty and insecure and don’t ever belive that what I’ve got is here for keeps and all those other good things that kids who spend large chunks of their formative years in care are, but what business is it of hers and what does it have to do with me seeing my file? (I lied and told her that yes I was mainly content with my life)

Seriously information about me, should be available to me on my terms, not on the terms and whims of social services

And then I had to explaining the nature of my adoption and who I was reunion with and who I wasn’t etc and she was all “oh your adoption sounds really unusual” yeah no shit because all adoptions have their individual quirks so you know possibly the adoptee knows what best for herself support wise and should be forced into “support” from people who have no fucking idea what they are talking about and who treat her like a child

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I am part of a growing number of adult adoptees who view adoption as a feminist issue, part of a continuum of reproductive rights. This perspective extends to the right to raise one’s child the same importance as the right to choose whether or not to bear one.

In her book “Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States,” feminist historian Rickie Solinger examines adoption through this lens of reproductive rights. She states, “I believe it is crucial to consider the degree to which one woman’s possession of reproductive choice may actually depend on or deepen another woman’s reproductive vulnerability.” In other words, how might an individual woman’s right to choose adoption actually exploit another woman’s lack of rights?

In an interview with Mirah Riben, Solinger stated that “adoption, as a social practice, absolutely depends on the existence of groups of women rendered deeply vulnerable most essentially today because of their poverty.” Some critics of intercountry adoption have noted that historically the streams of children have run one way-from the so-called Third World to predominantly white adopters-and likened it to a form of modern colonialism.

Writer and educator Sun Yung Shin, who was adopted from Korea, framed it this way: “How do white women-whether adoptive mothers, social workers, psychologists, nurses or missionaries-serve the needs of the white patriarchy by mobilizing resources (birth mothers, social workers, the children to be adopted)? How does this hive of activity serve the controlling white masculinity?”

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this is fromhere

Does the woman who decides to resolve her infertility by adopting really manage to kid herself that the donor of an adoptable child has a ‘choice’?. Would any woman with a choice put herself through nine months of pregnancy and go into labor having made the decision to surrender her child, if in fact there was another way? With the rare exception of surrogacy, carried out for money, no woman would knowingly, willingly do this. Does the infertile woman have the moral right to complete her family with another woman’s child? I think not.

Whatever happened to sisterhood, that brave frontier of gender equality where women banded together to fight the monster, that oppressor enabled by a structural inequality that collectively used woman’s fertility to keep her oppressed, uneducated, downtrodden, poor. I put it to every woman, that any woman who expects to exercise a ‘choice’ to fulfill her maternal needs with another woman’s child, has herself become that oppressor.

Adoption is the last resort for fertile women too young, too poor, too oppressed to have fertility choices; women lacking in self-esteem, in societal support, and in a belief of themselves. They come from all ethnicities, all cultures, all countries. The woman without choices – surrendering her child for adoption in 2003 – is actually the woman every woman could have been, had the feminist revolution not happened.

Until every woman, everywhere, has the right to raise the child she carried and birthed, the patriarchy is alive and well, still using ‘good’ women to punish ‘bad’ women – through the role of adoptive applicant. The personal remains political; adoption is a feminist issue.

(This article is very US Centric and like a lot of US anti adoption positions comes uncomfortably close to blaming women for their infertility but the piece I quote here is spot on)

It really, really bothers me that adoption is hardly talked about in feminist spaces, and when it is talked about it is uncritically with the classism, misogyny and racism totally unexamined and it is all too often about middle class feminists right to a child, not about the fact the system is so broken that children need to be adopted, or that there could be better, much more healthy alternatives to adoption.

taking a child away from a woman because she is young, poor, un(der) educated, disabled, has mental health issues or is otherwise disadvantaged is the antithesis of feminism to me. The feminist response and the anti consumerist response would be to support her in bringing the child up. (and no this is not what “open” adoptions are or do) children are not commodities and disadvantaged women are not baby providing machines

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Adoptee experiences

This is a beautiful post on how it feels to be a transracial adoptee

Identification Proclamation

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or something.

In the UK this week is National Adoption Week and in America there’s a whole month of it

And pretty much all of it is aimed at prospective adoptive parents about how rewarding adoption is, how it gives unwanted children a chance, blah, blah, blah

and a lot of adoptive parents or prospective adoptive parents are talking about it and even first mothers

I celebrate and promote everything adoption related just because I love the act of adoption in general and what it represents.

Adoption truly is a blessing in so many lives!

Adoption is a wonderful thing.

but something conspicuously absent is adoptees voices or feelings in this

well for some of us adoption isn’t a wonderfull thing to be celebrated or encouraged, lots of adoptees do not see adoption as a good thing, as something to be happy about. Its painful, confusing, identity annihilating. we were not something to provide adults with a sense of purpose. We were not something to be “saved” (and then more often than not be forced to be “grateful” about being “saved) And we do talk about this. There are lots of us blogging about our lives, our experinces, but we dont get listened to, we get dismissed by prospective adoptive parents, by adoptive parents, by agencies and by people who have nothing to do with adoption because the societies we live in are so invested in the lie that adoption is a win/win/win situation for everybody involved when usualy two of the three parts of that triangle loose something irreplaceable.

And I’m not just talking about adoptees who had abusive or bad adoptive parents, while we do exist and our voices are important, there are many adoptees whose adoptive parents were good people. but that doesn’t negate the adoptees sense of greif and loss

For some of us this should be a time for grieving not celebrating.

and because it is important to me that the voice of adoptees get heard this week/ month I’m linking to a couple of posts by other adoptees

Peaches Post the Living Doll Talks about her personal experience of how being an adoptee can feel

and Possums post Bitter, Angry and Ungrateful Adoptee writes about how important it is that adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents listen to us so the next generation of adoptees are better understood than wee were

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What she said

This pretty much summs up my stance on it too

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