It’s been an amazing time the release of two publications to which I am a contributing author Adoption Therapy and Dear Wonderful You and then National Adoption Awareness Month 2014 #NAAM14. Even though it’s now come to an end, I think I can safely say that adoptees will continue to #flipthescript, even if the hash-tag fades from memory and social media.
In the good old U of K, as I’ve mentioned previously we don’t get a month we just get adoption week. So I followed the example of my US cousins and spent the month tweeting, re-tweeting, writing, participating in interviews and posting on social media about adoption. Not the idealised, sugar-sweet and “they all lived happily ever after in their forever families,” but taking the reader away from the ‘adoption-tourist trail.’ Talking about some of the more unsavoury realities and consequences of transracial adoption, that many don’t want to countenance.
Society does all that it can to ensure that animals are not removed from their natural habitat. The millions of pounds and dollars raised from donations and public subscriptions, freely given by concerned citizens is helping to ensure that our wildlife is cared for and nurtured where it belongs and where it should be.
A shame that the same cannot be said of the worlds most vulnerable, its children. Apparently we are incapable of applying the same “best practice,” logic and good sense to foundlings, orphans and children in care. Instead of helping countries to better care, house and home their lost, orphaned and displaced children. The west finds every more inventive ways to facilitate (or try to) methods of allowing people to adopt babies and children. Basically allowing them to remove a country’s most of precious assets their children, their next generations, for a pittance.
As I’ve said before and will keep repeating, I am not anti transracial adoption. Neither am I pro transracial adoption either. Even in an “ideal” world there will be the odd circumstances that might arise, where there is no other option (after all other options have been exhausted) but for that child to be adopted and travel away from their country of birth. But I would like to hope in that ideal world, that child would be raised far better than we raise and care for our existing transracial adoptees.
I consider adoption to be an extreme, a violent, intervention that is not reversible. Once done there is no going back. I was adopted over fifty years ago and from what I can see for all the sophistication and front line public relations many of the agencies that offer global childcare solutions, have not changed that much. In fact many have become the legalised face for what is in essence child trafficking.
We know that many of the institutions that were formerly held above reproach, who performed childcare functions, such as the Church (whatever denomination) are far from reproach or serious wrong doing in their historical treatment of young mothers their babies, orphans and foundlings.
Adoption is still subconsciously stigmatised within the communal and cultural way of thinking. On the face of things we are all about diversity, multiculturalism and equality – or we’d like to con ourselves into thinking that we are. Yes everyone should grow up in a family, in a community not as an institutionalised child or young person. But does it have to be at any cost? And what is that cost for the thousands of children that are uprooted, displaced and dislocated from their roots, their heritage and their birthright?
Surely in this modern era there has to be a better way? But I guess, given the fact that we have the means to solve world hunger and world poverty now, says it all. We just don’t have the will.
So I’ll continue to open my adult adoptee mouth when many would prefer that I didn’t. I will continue to #flipthescript.
If I can reach just one person, just one prospective transracial adoptive parent and make them think it will have been worth while.
No one should be forced into an in between existence of neither one identity or the other.
Everyone deserves to know their own history, to engage and communicate in their own native tongue.
Do not forget me and MY HISTORY. It and I are not secrets to be ashamed of or hidden.
MY HISTORY is a part of YOUR HISTORY – that’s why I am here.