I’ve written a handy guide for the identification and interaction with the elusive adult adoptee.
This post is part of the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival. Anyone can join in. If you’ve got something, anything to say about Adoption and Racism, get over there and participate. Just click on Mr. Linky near the bottom of the page.
Like Claudia, I have some reservations about writing about racism in adoption. I’m at least as white as she is, maybe more. Try to keep that in mind.
Beyond the obvious, you know, white babies cost more than black babies. That whole stupid thing that doesn’t make a bit of sense. Especially since most perspective adoptive parents declare they don’t care what the baby looks like, they just want to raise one. If that were true, folks would never pay the premium for white kids. Oh but they do.
I’m not going to get into that. It makes my head hurt.
I’m not going to cite instances of racism in adoption that I’m all too familiar with. Other folks can address this better than I can.
I will say that there is a subtle feeling of racism with all things adoption. I’m not saying that all adoptive parents are racist, or even that most adoption agencies have any kind of overtly racist agenda, I’m just saying it’s out there, and I think it’s something many of us feel. It’s that insidious non-specific kind of racism that comes all mixed up with privilege and money.
You hear a lot about how we are living in a larger post racial society. I think that fact is, as best, debatable and more likely total bullshit, at least for a good portion of the population. I know we aren’t in a post racial adoption society. In adoption race issues are obvious, and discussed frequently. We know color blind doesn’t exist, we know everybody doesn’t come into the game on equal footing, we know it’s more complicated than that.
I think we know this because we have to deal with it. We can’t just declare that we are done with all that stuff. Maybe that’s good, we are at least not BSing ourselves.
Do we have any kind of understanding? I’m not sure. But at least I think we are trying.
We should try harder.
Things that need reform, as simply as possible….
Birth Certificate Access
C’mon people, this is obvious. The sky has not fallen where access by adult adoptees to their original birth certificate has been granted. It’s simple, and it’s the right thing to do. Which leads to….
Uniform regulations on all adoptions
Honestly, it’s like the wild west out there. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about adult adoptee issues, foster care adoption, agency adoption, private adoption, international adoption, anything adoption related. When the first thing you have to ask someone is “Where are you at?” there is something very wrong. We are talking about human beings here. Can we come to some general guidelines please?
Yeah I know, I’m dreaming. So what? You asked me.
Doing just these two things would do more to make adoption more ethical and humane than anything else. Honesty, equal rights for all involved, and a standard set of rules. Simple and beautiful.
There are many specific things that need to be changed in adoption, but most could be cleared up if these two things were in effect. If it’s about the children, and I have to think the adults these children become, give us our rights and a standard way to access them. Not only would this make things better for those already adopted, it would make things better for future adoptees, and those who relinquish, or adopt. From every perspective in what is good for adoptees is good for everyone.
OK, so it’s not like he’s avoiding anyone, or anything. But I did get a chance to speak (well, exchange e-mails) with Bert Ballard. He edited PIECES OF ME; WHO DO I WANT TO BE, a new book aimed at adopted teens.
I tried to go beyond the standard “oh I see you have a book out, what makes it so great?” thing with this. Bert is an international adoptee, writer, perspective adoptive parent, one of the subjects of a documentary on Operation Babylift, and a contributor to Adopted The Comic, among other things, so we had a lot to talk about.
Check it out here….
I guess I had better start with folks not getting too upset with me when I am late.
Yep we’ll go with that.
I’m also thankful for, in no particular order…..
My husband’s patience.
My friends support.
Places that I can say whatever I want.
Good fitting boots.
That cats sleep sometimes.
National Adoption Month is almost over.
I didn’t have to work on what may the last 60 degree day this year.
Availability of Mexican Coca-Cola.
Old friends with new tricks.
My attitude problem.
And lots and lots of other things.
I just finished up an interview with Bert Ballard, editor of Pieces Of Me; Who Do I Want To Be?, the mucho fabulous book that I have an essay in. Buy early, and often, it’s just perfect for everyone on your holiday list. Seriously, it is a good book, not all happy-dappy, like you’d expect. Go get one. It should be showing up on Grown In My Heart any time now. I’ll let you know when it’s up, and share my thoughts here a bit later, maybe.
I’ve got a post going up there about National Snake Oil Adoption Month too. Look for it on the 26th.
Oh yeah and they have a Carnival thingie on the 28th, me and all the gals will be sharing what we are grateful for. this promises to be diverse, I’m sure. Please feel free to participate too. We need to represent as adult adoptees.
Other than that, making cassoulet for Thanksgiving, because it’s so traditional.
I’m worn out. I’ll get something more substantial up soon.
This is for the Grown In My Heart Blog Carnival. If you’d like to share just head right there and they’ll hook you up.
Me, I’d love to share. But I don’t have much. Being adopted and all. Here’s a pic of my mom as a child…
That’s her standing in the middle.
Here’s a photo of me at about the same age…
That’s all I got.