Looking more closely at angry adoptees
A series of comments have been made in a very busy thread following the article, Lid lifts on the anguish of China's stolen generation. As more members of foster/adoption community have added their personal experiences and opinions, the various issues behind angry adoptees became noted.
the label "angry adoptee" is easily pushed on each adoptee that speaks out about the negative sides of adoption, as if that anger somehow invalidates the issues being forwarded. I see that as part of some sort of kill-the-messenger-syndrome.
[From: Angry Adoptees ]
As one who has often been criticized, shunned and even attacked by fellow adoptees and AP's alike, I have found those attacks to be insulting and hurtful, but never discouraging enough to make stop, quit and say, "F-it, I'm done!" [But oh how I have cried and stormed.... as those very close to me know!] The more I was attacked and criticized, the more I knew people needed more proof to see just how some adoptions give no reason at all for celebration. The Masha Case alone illustrates just how much gets ignored and dismissed and just how an adoptee has every right to be royally pissed, not just "angry". However, Masha is not alone. She never has been. For generations foul-play has been taking place behind closed-doors, just so an adoption can be made in the name of saving a child's life (from abuse or abortion.)
So, why are some adoptees so angry?
In some cases, that anger stems from the legal issues associated with Closed Era adoptions. Marley Greiner, best known for her efforts through Bastard Nation, has become a house-hold name for those pushing for adoption reform (Open Records) in the United States.
But adoption as a continuing practice is much larger than the United States, and as such, not all adoptees identify with the wants of angry adults who happen to be American Bastards. So one must redefine what Open Records means to the adoption community, as a whole.
I know from my own experience, AP's I know who adopted in America or abroad have told me the Open Record issue is not something that really applies to their own adoption-story because theirs was an open adoption and they have their adopted child's original birth certificate in their possession. The general attitude seems to be these adopted children will get these original records when the child seems "ready". I think it's very lovely so many modern-day AP's want their adopted children to see and know information about their birth-families after the age of 16 or so. [According to my own discussions, 16-18 seems to be the age-period many AP's feel as though their children are ready to handle more information. In my own case, I was told it was wrong to want to know more about "those people".]
As good as it is AP's want their adopted children to know the truth, there is a question that must be asked: what if that "original" document they have in their possession has been
amended falsified? What if the name of the adopted child was changed, birth dates and times were altered, and fictitious parents were named because that child was stolen and sold through an orphanage affiliated with a highly successful adoption agency?
Only recently are more media reports revealing disturbing truths behind modern-day adoptions. For instance, even today, AP's and adoptees alike, are learning (after-the-fact) the information written by an placement agency is not at all correct. Inaccurate documentation of existing health/medical conditions is lacking; significant information like types and times abuse was inflicted is often missing. Critical information is missing or has been falsified, causing all sorts of unpleasant surprises for many shocked families. What is a person to do when one discovers lie after lie?
[Are these not good reasons to be angry? Shouldn't these concerning issues anger more people so more don't have to struggle and suffer? Or are so many under the comforting belief that no such "bad" thing can happen if a person is smart? What will it take for angry adoptees and AP's to be taken more seriously? More "smart people" need to be fooled?]
As I see open records as being the measure that helps define a placement/ adoption agency's honesty, commitment, and integrity, I notice a new-yet-not-so-new theme making news in the media again, and it's making many angry. AP's are choosing to return their adopted children because they do not know how to handle the situation they were given. Not enough support is made available and mothers and fathers are finding they just can't handle the child brought to them through adoption. As a first and only mother to four, I can say the same problem exists for first-families, as well. There is a general lack of support for families who have no extended family members willing to help when times get hard. We (parents without help/support) are on our own and all alone, and it is scary!
So it seems, as times change, a new approach and attitude towards "good parenting" is being adopted: Recycling children (disrupted placements) is a socially acceptable practice because many are "coming out" and admitting good parenting is a very difficult and humbling experience.
Here's the bitter twisted irony I have always known as my own reality -- when I was a child, I WISHED my Amother sent me back. It was obvious to me she didn't know what it meant to be a "good parent" on a long-term basis, and it was obvious to me she was in WAY over her head. The sad thing... I tried my best to be the child she wanted me to be. I followed all the orders and tried my best not to complain or ask questions and I tried really hard not to show others just how angry everyone in that dysfunctional family was making me. The worst part was knowing I could not complain to anyone because I knew how I was viewed: I was the lucky orphan who was already saved by a "good" adoptive family. By all appearances, I was given all a child could hope to receive. I had every reason to celebrate, and not be angry. No one ever cared to see just how much was denied me. No one cared to see the reality of my adoption-story -- newly infertile insecure and emotionally needy woman with a hidden history of parental alcohol/physical abuse was chosen to be a fit mother to a child who had very special needs. (I needed a family that would not give-up on me.) She and her husband had the money and the contacts to get what it was that was supposed to make her life complete.... a healthy baby girl with no family history of any medical problems.
23 years later, I got what I always somehow expected from my adoption-story: my "forever" parents gave-up on me, and walked away, just when I needed them most.
Are we to believe variations of this adoption-story is limited to those that took place only in the late 1960's?
Are we to believe bad adoption stories, made possible through shady adoption agencies, should not make people upset and angry?