Very little bothers me in AdoptionLand, Maybe I’ve been around too long. Maybe the infamous Adoption Fog descended on me late in life. Maybe I don’t care, I have sought in vain for a trigger so I would fit in. Even the most vile, ignorant, or politically adoption-stupid comment or act leaves me unmoved. If I want to respond, I respond with ridicule. I am incapable of hurt feelings. While I am capable of disgust; I am incapable of blowing my top.
Then today, as I was scrolling Facebook I ran across a posting by Zara Phillips and K-Boom! I cannon went off in my head.
Zara posted a meme that we have all heard hundreds of times in this or in different forms. (“Your mother loved you so much she gave you away,” is its cousin.)
Every time someone claims these sentiments we “hear” that adoption is normal social practice, and if we have a gripe or grievance, there is something wrong with us. At best, our “story” is an “anomaly.” Or we are mentally ill.
Moved to its logical conclusion then, every parent with resources of less than fill-in-your-personal-discomfort- zone would hot house their kids at the Happy Unicorn Adoption Agency. to be handed out at the back door for $40,000 a crack. Parents who “loved us so much” are heralded as heroes for not aborting us (and even moreso if they safe haven or baby box us) and we are ungrateful if we complain.
On such mythology is contemporary adoption built. I cannot think of any other social justice movement that is built on such sand as adoptee rights in the eyes of the public. Does anyone other than the do-gooders who write these memes believe what they say? Even women who are comfortable with their relinquishment decisions know this is BS.
The above meme comes from bravelove,.org a pro-adoption agitprop non-profit that panders to birthparent guilt and discomfort.Its mission is to erase the stigma of adoption for “birthmothers” (a term lots of “birthmothers” reject)/ There is nothing wrong with stigma-removal in theory, but in practice, bravelove and similar projects, especially church-based, do just the opposite. They de-politicize relinquishment and adoption. They stress individual “healing,” rather than addressing the sexist, class, and racist roots of adoption. They fail to address poor government services, low income, abuse, social displacement, coercion, and misogyny. Not interested in challenging the status quo they embrace it. They seek, in fact, to increase adoption numbers by sending out its acolytes to convince the vulnerable to believe they do not possess “more” for the benefit of the worthies who do. They are the ones who want more.
Adoption is a complex issue, and no child equates giving away something you love with loving that thing, especially when you give it away to strangers. Adoption instead is equated with abandonment and worthlessness. Not a consumerist “more.”
braveheart just needs to shut up. You aren’t helping.