Sunday, November 15, 2009


One of the things I worry about in talking about issues in adoption, particularly my issues, is that I'm going to over-pathologize adoption.

I do think that adoption harms children. I think its harm is real, describable, and something to avoid. But I do not think that adoptees are irreparably broken. I do not think we are damaged goods.

Adoptees are some of the strongest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. They are resourceful. They deal with adversity, and they fight for what they believe in. They are competent, functioning, and contributing members of society. They are not hopeless and broken.

Having said that, they shouldn't have to have put up with the adversity that they have. They shouldn't have been put through that emotional turmoil. They should have been free to grow and develop without losing their identity.

Adoptees are survivors. But they shouldn't have had to be.


Anonymous said...

Wow, your last line struck me.

As a member of an email list of mothers who lost a child/ren to adoption I've heard the survivor comment more times than I would like, and it doesn't make me feel good. It reminds me of all of those who haven't survived adoption. I truly believe that suicide is a high statistic among mothers and children involved in adoption separation.

Being a survivor is such a high price to pay for being alive.


maybe said...

On the flip side is the over "normalizing" of adoption.