Monday, May 20, 2013

If you are here to learn about adoption ...

(photo by George Bosela; used with permission)

I talk about whatever is floating my boat at the moment.  Sometimes I'm purposefully not talking about something because it's a current struggle.

Adoption.  A current struggle.

Certain topics come in waves throughout social media, and sometimes they come in waves because of atrocities occurring.  In adoption, atrocities are always occurring.

Beauty, love, thoughtfulness, justice ... these things also occur all the time in adoption.

However, that is the default conversation.  To truly support and help these things stay a constant, we must have the conversation around the things that can never and should never be okay.  Acceptable.  Ignored.

I have very little to add to the conversations which have already started, so I wanted to share the words of others.  I hope to continue to add to this post, and make it a good gathering place for those who are just learning or who are looking to better educate themselves an advocate.  Please, take the time to read through each post.

"But birth families are not prioritized; adopters are. The system is geared to make us happy, to keep us coming. There is this silent belief that kids are better off with us, period. We say, “God chose this child for me. She is mine. She was always meant to be mine.” No. Our children were meant for their birth families, the way every child ever born is. God did not intend these children for my wealthy home and accidentally put them in Ethiopian wombs. Does God not weep for birth moms who were tricked? Who were coerced? Who were so vulnerable? Were their children gifts for us and not them? This perspective insidiously tricks us into overvaluing our "rights" and devaluing first families or reunification efforts."

From "Examining Adoption Ethics:  Part One," by Jen Hatmaker

"I would heavily discourage independent adoptions. I know they are faster and smoother and maybe the only possibility in certain countries, but we want more oversight, not less in international adoption. The more people, systems, and organization in place, the higher the accountability, and I cannot stress this enough: we want the highest possible accountability here. If adoptions are not possible through formal channels, there is probably a reason. This ball is in our court, PAPs. Of the few things we can control, this is one."

From "Examining Adoption Ethics:  Part Two," by Jen Hatmaker (If you are considering adoption, start here!)

"I am expressing things that make some folks feel defensive, I recognize that.  I am sorry that is the case but I believe that in order to be truthful with myself I need to be wrestling with a lot of these things and trying to live honestly in the difficult tension of this truth: Adoption can be redemptive and beautiful AND adoption can be painful and destructive. To claim it is all glory and all beauty is incredibly insensitive to those that have lost much."

From "Of Reunions, Clarification and Closure," by Tara Livesay

"I am concerned about something. I am finding that some first world parents feel like they are generally going to be a better answer for a child born to a poor mother.  And there, we part ways. Au revoir. It is almost like they believe materially poor people cannot love their children adequately.  (To clarify, we are not talking about abusive parents or mentally ill parents here.) 

For whatever reason, there is an undercurrent that involves privilege. American privilege, consumer privilege, born into money and things privilege, white privilege, Christian wanting to convert others privilege, whatever it is... probably some combination of all, that says, 'I am better for this kid than you, poor person.' 

I'll submit sometimes that is true; sometimes a materially poor or mentally ill or terribly abusive parent cannot care for a child - but not always and not even usually. It doesn't take all that much to love a first family and give them a hand up, it doesn't take much to encourage and cheer on a first mother. We just have to be willing to do it."

From "The Ongoing Adoption Ethics Discussion," by Tara Livesay

"There's always lots of talk about ethics in international adoption, and that's great because there always should be. But what does that word mean: ethics? I'm pretty sure that people use it to mean many different things. So, 
this is my attempt to answer the question: What am I talking about when I talk about an ethical adoption? To me, an ethical adoption starts with one simple thing: A wall. A great big, unclimbable, immovable, unbreachable wall."
From "
The Wall: A Map Of Adoption Ethics According to Me (Part One)" by Claudia. 

The best way to address a problem is not to pick up the pieces, it's to stop it happening in the first place. If we are looking to have long term, big-picture impact on children's lives, we want the swamp of adversity to dry up. We have to build a dam."

From "The Periscope and The Dam: A Map Of Adoption Ethics According to Me (Part Two)" by Claudia


Von said...

You'll find more at

Susie said...

To claim it is all glory and all beauty is incredibly insensitive to those that have lost much."

Yes!!! This!