Friday, March 16, 2007

As An Adoptee - I NEED TO BE HEARD

Over at 'Mia's Saving Grace' there has been a hot discussion about 'correct' and 'incorrect' adoption practices - see posts "And then I wept" - then "Reply" - and the comments have really got me thinking. (and a little bit heated - I must say!!)

The discussion has also bought up many points which DO need to be discussed in the open - there are things that do need to be set straight - there are real FACTS and MYTHS that need to be spoken about and pulled apart - and the TRUTH does - finally - NEED TO BE HEARD.

There does need to be honest and open discussion - and emotions need to be kept at a reasonable minimum - so very hard when we are talking about an issue with SO many different raw emotions - often lurking just below everyone's skin.

And sometimes we do need to step back - and try - very hard - to step into the other persons shoes - to 'try' to see where they're coming from.

I am trying to see things from others perspectives - and I may be a little stubborn at times (I'm a Taurus - just to warn you now) - but if we can all take a breath and some space at times - maybe we can 'hear' what needs to be heard. Only then we can all try to find some solutions to the very messy way that adoption is carried out to this day.

Anyway - back to Mia's 'discussions'.

Mia was asked -

“Would it really make you feel better about your adoption if your parents adopted you because they primarily were just looking to “provide a needy child with a home?”


"As an adoptee - yes - I think this would help.

I truly believe - that if my first mother had been given the support - had been explicitly told - “YES - you very well could raise this child yourself - AND do a damn good job at it too” - and the means to do it - I think that I would NOT have been a child 'in need' at all.

I would NOT be an adoptee.

Society have placed the banner of ‘child in need’ on so many children’s heads because the parents are deemed to be too young - be in college - be single - not to have ‘enough’ money - pregnant at the ‘wrong’ time in their lives. But if these young mothers/fathers were told the truth about adoption - I believe that most would step up to the plate - and parent the child that has come into their lives.

When infertile parents want to have a child - pressuring - even slightly - these young parents - is the worst thing that can be done. Too many emotions running way too high - decisions being made at inappropriate times.

First mothers are NOT told about the extensive psychological effects that they WILL be subject too, on forever separating from their child - or the extensive psychological effects that the adoption WILL have on the adoptee.

If the child is truly 'IN NEED' - that is - the parent can NOT in fact parent - then another plan needs to be put into place.

I think the term of ‘needy’ needs to be pulled apart - to really get at the crux of what people perceive adoption to be.

As long as society has such little respect for the mother/child bond - adoption will always be deemed as the ‘next best thing’ - when that judgment is often taken far too swiftly - without proper disclosure of ALL the facts.

And I also strongly believe that if adoption was not a commercialized venture - there would NOT be as many adoptions taking place as there are to this day.

JMHO - from an adoptee who has felt the pain from being absent from her first mother - every single day of her life.

Especially when it didn’t really need to happen.



Blogger Rebecca said...

Poss, I hear you honey. Well said. I've purposely tried to avoid some of the drama in Mia's blog. She is a damn strong woman for facing it and taking it head on. I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed so I haven't chimed in. SO glad you've got her back. Hugs, Rebecca

16/3/07, 3:19 pm  
Blogger Between Myself said...

Amen! That was beautifully put! I couldn't have said it better myself. This is something that I too notice alot is the clumped idea of "needy."
I wasn't needy for anything or anyone except my natural mother. Its like place the label "needy" on them and we'll just turn our heads and pretend its true.

Thanks for telling it like the way it is girl!

still between myself, trying to get out ;)

16/3/07, 4:30 pm  
Anonymous mia said...

Thanks Possum, what a great post. This is probably the most important subject of all. Pregnant mothers need to be left alone by agency and PAP involvement. Period. How in the world do you make the most important decision of your life when you feel like you are being circled by happy vultures? And how many pregnant girls being circled by happy vultures are offered cover by well rounded, objective truth givers?
Not many I would guess.
Have I told you lately how awesome I think you are?

17/3/07, 8:35 am  
Blogger Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

I am so grateful that you can write the things I feel. Because when I try, it all comes out dead cow-ish.

I actually had a longer comment but it wasn't right. This is right:

"emotions need to be kept at a reasonable minimum"

You're right. And I just can't do that. So I'm just going to take my cow self and moooo-ve on along.

Thank you for this post.

17/3/07, 9:22 am  
Blogger Possum said...

Rebecca - yeah - I totally understand. We can only fight when we feel we have the strength. It is incredibly draining. And I know you're never far away!! You just being here in Blogland is fighting the fight. It's being heard. YOU matter. And I KNOW you always have my back!! Take care of you.

Between - thank you. Mia is one of my pin-up adoptees!!! She has so much more strength than I.....but she gets me thinking.....and sometimes I get to say a little of what I want - and luckily - it sometimes comes out the right way too!!! It is wonderful to have yet another adoptee joining us in blogland. Thank you for telling your truth.

Mia - I think we're in a mutal admiration jive here!!!! It's so wonderful to have you here in blogland. You have a most amazing voice. Thank you for fighting the good - and so important - fight. You also get me thinking about the issues that need thinking. That is often the key. Thank you.

Theresa - sometimes - yes - as I said - emotions do need to be kept in check - but damn it - sometimes emotions also need to be blurted/shouted/yelled. It depends on the place - it depends on the time. We all speak our truths in different ways. And just by having us all stand together - and say it any way that we can - I think that is the most important thing. In doing my education degree at Uni right now - I'm reminded often how we all have different learning styles. So we need to produce our TRUTH in our various styles - so that hopefully - WE WILL BE HEARD.

17/3/07, 12:17 pm  
Anonymous Geek said...

Hey Poss
Yep it the trouble makin adoptee from Qld...Geek aka Matt...I think I may have a way of breakin the govt back with their own laws...its only taken 17yrs, but I think after talking to some others in the legal profession I may be on a winner..I hope all is going well.... Nobody every looks at the long term affects of the adoption from the Adoptee's perspective...
"Best Interests of the Child" bum it is....

Geek aka Matt

17/3/07, 2:13 pm  
Blogger Possum said...

Matt - how you doin?? So glad that you dropped in. Yeah - sadly - in truth - it is usually not in the best interest of the child. Keep fighting the good fight Geek my friend!! One of these days those QLD-ers will open their eyes and see what wrongs have been done - we gotta live in hope, hey????
Thanks for dropping in.
Poss. xx

17/3/07, 3:33 pm  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Great post Poss...I am still leaning toward advocating taking all adoption initally out of the free marketplace because of the reasons all of you cite. Parents, first and foremost, are responsible for their bodies, their pregnancies and their children. Beyond that, the government has the responsibility to protect its citizens of which children are probably the most vulnerable. That responsibility should not be abdicated to the free market enterprise where the dollar is the bottom line.

When I read many blogs of adoptees, the two things that really make current adoptions so harmful are: secrecy and lies. If we start with the premise that no adoption is healthy, then we have to look up stream and see what happened to lead to the adoption being the least of unhealthy options and for whom. In the instances described in many of the adoptee blogs I have read, the parents were usually younger (teens or early twenties), single, few, if any resources, and influenced. They were lead to believe that adoption was in their child's and their own best interest...because someone better could raise the child and give the child more opportunities then them.

We all know that is a pile of manure by the adoption agency to influence the mother/father to give up their rights so that they can collect $$$ from the adoptive parents who will then have the child of their dreams.

I have seen prospective adoptive parents and social workers utilize class discrimination as a way to justify the adoption option as in the best interest of the child. They reason that: Would you want your child living with "that parent" under those conditions? What chance in hell does the child have in making the most of themselves? - those are the questions often posed.

I am ranting a bit on your blog Poss...I will say that many social workers and prospective adoptive parents are not in agreement with the current federal laws regarding the Safe and Stable Families Act which really promotes maintaining intact families. Removal of children from their parents should not be the job of private entities. That is a governmental role and one that should be highly regulated and monitiored to ensure that removal whether voluntary or involuntary is done with full disclosure of all information/options to the parents. I don't think adoption agencies should be in the picture until a governmental agency has worked with the parents to ensure everything has been done to keep the family intact before allowing a relinquishment....once that is done, then the private agencies can do the adoption but only if full disclosure is made about who the real parents are to the child...and the parents know where and who the child is with.

No easy answers to be sure but I have found your blog and others a real learning experience!

17/3/07, 10:46 pm  
Blogger Andie D. said...

What pisses me off is how some adoptive parents are seen as "do gooders" for taking in a child.

As though they've rescued a stray animal or something.

And the recent round of international baby shopping done by the likes of Madonna and Angelina makes it seem as though babies are a commodity instead of a PERSON.

I too think that if first mothers were given more support, then and now, there would be less adoptions. The truth of the matter is that there is pretty much never a good time to have a child for anyone. You'll never have enough money, time, space, etc. But long term? Long term you will always have enough love.

Sorry to rant.

18/3/07, 12:28 am  
Blogger Possum said...

Leroy - you have my permission to rant anytime you like on my blog. I value your input greatly - and as you have a bit of an insiders view into the workings of adoption (knowing policies etc) it is great to know that someone out there is trying to get an education in the truth. I think discussion is an extremely useful tool - and being a ranter myself - encourage the practice as often as possible!!!! Thanks for checking in.

Andie - oh - why don't people remember that most of the time - all we need really is love (with a little validation/understanding/care thrown in for good measure)!!!
The Madonna/Angelina business makes me one very cranky adoptee. I saw a news article this evening about the new name Angelina is giving her new acquisition. She was gloating about her new choice of name - his given name obviously wasn't good enough - or was it just the fact that she didn't choose the given name - therefore a change was needed.
So very very wrong - and all acceptable to the masses because she has some UN title.
Oh - and as stated above to my dear friend Leroy - ranting is always allowed here at Possum's Place!!!
Thanks for stopping by.

18/3/07, 12:59 am  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Thanks Poss....I keep forgeting that you are on the otherside of the world when I talk about federal regulations here in the I just realized that after I posted. Oh well, I think you get my drift - or is that too old of a slang term these days? :)

18/3/07, 2:16 am  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Wow, I love the pic on profile, you could truly be one of my children you know..they are all fair like you were. Although, I am 35 yrs old, so I doubt it very much :) I was fair like that too but hormones kicked in and I am dark haired now.

I scanned a little of your blog here. I will come back when I have time to read more as I have 4 kids killing each other here right now :(
Suffice to say, my Aunt was adopted out and then she found my grandparents when I was 16 years old. Until then, my dad and his brother thought they were the only children born to their parents.
I love my aunt with all my heart, she is the apple of my eye. Life is lovely with her in it. She was lucky, lucky to find my grandparents had married and stayed together.

18/3/07, 6:03 pm  
Blogger juliaNY07 said...

I have a question, I saw a movie it was just a funny story really but there was an adoptee. He never found out until he was an adult and his birth mother died and left him property. Would it be better to never know, or do you just somehow know that you are adopted - or that something is just not right?

19/3/07, 8:19 am  
Blogger angel said...

Hola sweet one.

I absolutely think that many of my generation (and prior generations) would not have been adopted if their parents were given more support and less judgement.

It appears to change with the times, however. In earlier times, children were cared for by other relatives if something happened to their parents.

I will write a post about this I think... I have more to say!

Hugs and chocolates!!

19/3/07, 3:52 pm  
Blogger elizabeth said...

I hear you too.


19/3/07, 4:43 pm  
Anonymous Paula O. said...

Beautifully written, Poss and SPOT-ON. Adoptees unite! Our voices need to be heard!!! Huge hugs to you for speaking your truth and for being the amazing woman you are. ((((Poss))))

20/3/07, 7:40 am  
Blogger Possum said...

Leroy - yes - different country - different legislation (very few domestic adoptions take place in Australia these last some people are getting the message) - but very same social values - of - "oh - adoption is such a wonderful thing" - PUKE. I love that you're along for this bumpy ride!!!!

Cazzie - hey there - thanks for dropping in - where did you pop in from??? Lovely that your Aunt is now back within the family that she belongs. And yeah - hormones have completely ruined my once beautiful natural blonde locks - thank goodness for hairdressers!!! Thanks for saying hi.

Julia - I know quite a few 'late-learning' adoptees. OUCH - finding out that you've been lied to your entire life - now that would really play havoc with my mind. Interestingly, all have said that when they found out - besides feeling immense anger - they immediately realized that now so many things made a whole lot of sense. Would an adoptee feel less pain if they NEVER knew?? - how could we ever know. I'm positive there are many adoptees that have never been told. Perhaps it could forever feel that you're a square peg - just NOT fitting into the round hole (your adoptive family) and you'd never be able to know exactly WHY. Even though some days I really really hurt - at least I can voice that - at least I can say - yep - damn it - this shi@t shouldn't have happened. With that knowledge I can also say - well - hell - what's happened - has happened - (as sh@t often does) - I can deal openly (at times) with my grief - and I can try to move on. Healing can only happen when you are allowed to acknowledge that something went wrong. We're allowed to grieve for loved ones that have died (although sometimes even then people imply that you should have 'gotten over it by now') - but often adoptees are not ALLOWED to grieve for loss that they feel. Grief, as you know, never EVER goes away. It just becomes a little easier to bare. Thought provoking stuff though - a very good question.

Alex - what you say is so true. In earlier times - the idea of 'family' was sacred - and you would be always looked after by your 'own'. Sadly - this is now less and less the case. We adoptees will just now have to look after each other - and become a family of our own!!! Hugs & chocolates - my favourite things in the world!! (and a little champagne at times!!)

Elizabeth - thanks for hearing me.
Being 'here' makes me feel a lot less alone. It's so nice to know that I'm not just saying/yelling/screaming/whispering this out to an empty universe. Others really do know and feel very similar - and NO - I am not alone.

Paula - wow - thanks. You inspire me - and your complements make me shy!! I'm so glad that you're here - together with our band of cranky adoptees - we'll take them all on!!! (no - we're not always cranky - and perhaps so many in blog land see us that way as out in the real world - we put on our happy adoptee smiles - and people don't ever get to see that we have real hurts deep down inside. But hey - so does everyone - but maybe with us finally telling our truth - people will start to realize that adoption isn't really the happy theme park that it's always made out to be - oooo - I can feel a post coming on - LOL) As always - thanks for dropping in.

21/3/07, 1:08 am  

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