Denial About Adoption is Pathological
From: luminaria, "Empty Cereal Box"
September 24, 2008
For the life of me I can’t understand adoptees with their “I’m so much better off because I was adopted” mantras. Here’s one I snagged from a comment on another adoptee’s blog:
I came to realize I will never know the answers to those questions but I am VERY LUCKY. If I had not been adopted I would have grown up in an orphanage and I would not have had the life I had, which was and is a very good life. … I don’t think I missed out on anything important. I have family, friends, a career, probably more than I would have had there. Do I wish I had been left in the orphanage? Of course not. Do I wish my birth family had tried to keep me when they had no way to support me? No. Everything worked out for the best for all of us.
I have written elsewhere on this blog that I as an adoptee I would have preferred to have grown up in an orphanage because at least no one would be fooling anyone. I would have been an abandoned child, a bastard waving out there in the wind for all to see. None of this whitewashing, none of the denial and lies, none of the selfishness and insecurity that goes with signing papers to call someone else’s child your own. You have it in our face, pure and simple, with orphanages: the system does not serve people without means.
Instead, people with means are “relieving” those without means of their children so they don’t have to go to orphanages. The myth is that those children were unwanted. The myth is that giving a child to people of means is “for the good of the child.” Really? If prospective adoptive parents really cared for the good of the child, they’d offer help to those who are struggling to keep their families together. But no, all they care about is themselves and their treasure. But they’ll never admit that.
The author of the above comment is drowning in his or her own denial fed to him or her by parents and social rubber stamping. I feel sorry for adoptees like this who are so out of touch with themselves and their own feelings (no wonder, since they have no identity to begin with) that they can’t even feel the pain. Not feeling the pain will forever stand in the way of any possible healing. Unfortunately I’m not one of those Pollyannas who thinks there’s much possibility for healing from a gaping, life-long wound.
Have you, or has anyone you know, ever lost a child through death? Can you even comprehend the agonizing life-long grief that haunts anyone who has lost a child through death? Losing a child through death is the same endless agony experienced by parents who have had no choice but to give up their baby or babies to strangers because they couldn’t afford to raise them. The difference is that they know that their child still lives and breathes somewhere in the world. Their child is alive but untouchable, unreachable. In such a state of grief they either shut down altogether, living their lives like zombies, or they begin to advocate for the eradication of the practice of vanity adoptions.
Whether you’re a first parent who has lost a child through adoption, an adoptive or prospective adoptive parent who feels it your right to obtain and keep someone else’s child for the child’s “own good,” or an adoptee who feels similar to the one whose comment I quoted above, the healthiest attitude you can possible adopt (pun intended) is to first admit that a wrong has been or is being done.
The pathological denial that has driven the adoption machine for so many decades must come out of the closet, and all the lies, secrecy, shame, guilt, and rage must come out with it.
Pathological adjective 1. of the science or the study of the origin, nature, and course of diseases. 2. of the conditions and processes of a disease. 3. state of any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition.