What’s in a NAAM?

On November 1, The Daily Bastardette kicked off National Adoption Awareness Month by urging Class Bastard to hijack NAAM and turn it into an adoptee-centric month. I wrote:

 I believe that since NAAM was established, the month has slowly become ours—despite the refusal of lawmakers, “pro-choicers,” and entitleds to grasp that we are hijacking their celebration. Sure, there is definitely a happy-dappy overlay, including National Adoption Day, but over a 20 year period, I’ve seen a lot of change. Class Bastard has stepped forward and grabbed the narrative. Politically, we went from quiet frustration, anger, and internet mail lists to Oregon and Alabama (and more states now) to Flip the Script to Fuck the Script (courtesy of, I believe, Daniel Drennan ElAwar).

I’ve promoted NAAM hijacking for several years, and I’ve seen subversion take hold more each year. This year with only 5 days down, our voice is louder than ever. As truth-telling  “ungrateful adoptees” we are making the happy-dappys squirm. In this happiest of commemorative months we insist that adopted people be centered in the adoption narrative–our narrative– not adopters and colonizers, or adoption agencies or “pro-lifers” and their ilk glowing in savioirsm, pecuniarily accumulation, and beatitude.

Confucious said, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”


Names are a keystone question for adoptees.

  • What is my name?
  • Why is my name a secret?
  • What are my parents’ names?  ,
  • Why does my OBC say I have no name?
  • Why was I given a new name?
  • Why is my name blacked out and sealed, by the state?
  • Why is my name locked up in a government vault?

Knowing how important names are to us, I’m a bit baffled by my lack of imagination the other day regarding the name of NAAM itself. I was looking at NAAM subversion as action, not branding. It never occurred to me, to twist up the NAAM brand name itself to represent Class Bastard resistance. .

Moses Farrow suggested that “our” NAAM be re-branded as Adoptee Appreciation Month.  As much as I admire and like Moses, that is just too nice, calling up an image of up a Hallmark moment, or even worse–a Hallmark movie.

This morning my Twittermate Schrodoinger’s adopted Jesus, won my heart.  He  posted:

Schrodinger’s adopted jesus@SnavelyBrent   12h

It is natural for the flotsam and jetsam of a sick society to organize and speak for itself. We adoptees have eaten enough of society’s sins — it is time for atonement. National Adoption Atonement Month


Atonement:  amends, apology, expiation, penance, recompense, redemption, redress, reparation, restitution, satisfaction

We are indeed sin-eaters, and I’m on a serious diet.   

National Adoptee Atonement Month names what we want. Taking that name turns the “original NAAM “on its head. It reflects the deeper process of reclaiming our histories. original identities, and names. It is the rejection of the celebration of a mismanaged, money-grubbing. discriminatory harmful public policy created by adoption industrialists, their trade associations and hangers-on, and the state. that crosses party lines and ideologies.  Adoptee resistance is a revolutionary act.  National Adoptee Atonement Month is not a publicity stunt or ego massager. We will not be adoption’s poster child.


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