Learning from others and creating change
From another thread, a new reader/poster had the following to say about the way in which PPL presents itself, and how PPL, as a free informational resource, can improve:
What you offer should not be on the fringe or beyond. Meaning the content. Niels' concern with the original article - namely it's bias - is also apparent in what he wrote. I'm not suggesting we can't write in a way to express our own experience. But we have to be constantly aware of how our audience changes and if we want connection with them, we must change how we communicate.
1) attacking adoption itself - the values that it requires - will get you black sheep status
2) expressing personal pain in an angry or in-need-of-therapy way will not gain you friends from the happy-with-adoption camp
3) consciously avoid expressing even implied solidarity with groups that don't need your support, but will garner you the ire of adopters (in this case DoS and USCIS)
Since behind-the-scenes work is being done to improve both the format and user-ability of the site, I believe this is a good time to discuss what can be done to bridge two very different sides found in Adoptionland, without going OT within a post that originally critiqued an article written for The Christian Post
One of our regular members, an abused adoptee, had this to say in response to the above three observations:
I love it when APs offer unsolicited -- also predictable -- advice to the Angry Adoptees™ on how we must communicate with them in order to spare them the indignities of having heard a perspective different from theirs, or one considered socially beneath theirs. Especially when it's the same old shut-ups that characterizes our entire experience as adoptees in the first place: SHUT UP YOU DUMB BASTARD and behave like we tell you to, or else.
"Adoption itself" has not been "attacked" at PPL, though practices of the industry and related state agencies are regularly critiqued. Even if it ever was, those who are overidentified with the adoption industries promises of family-making and beast-building need to learn better communication skills to express their frustrations, while posting here.
Expressions of personal pain are part of the range of human emotions. When adopters such as the cases found in the annals of PPL stop being the progenitors of such pain, APs overidentified with the promises of the adoption industries and related state agencies won't ever have to hear them.
As for the ire of adopters, who's afraid of it?
In the spirit of opening communication, I'd like to add my own thoughts to the points both parties made.
First, I agree with both people in the sense that there is no need to attack adoption itself; doing so serves no purpose other than creating a sense of unnecessary alienation. However, that is not to say adoption practice itself is above criticism. Another person posted a link to an article about the difference between adoption, as an institution, and the adoption industry... readers ought to review it as it's a pretty interesting look at how other countries approach adoption as a legal arrangement, without the use of privately owned/operated organizations. See: http://readerinternationaladoption.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/attempt-to-answer-a-readers-recent-question/
Second, I believe the personal expression of pain and anger is very necessary, when showcasing what happens after faulty and problematic adoption practice. I think the visiting AP's remark related to those "in-need-of-therapy", and whether they should speak-out, or not, is very telling. Such a position indicates to me how little so many newcomers read when they visit the PPL pages. After reviewing our abuse archives alone, I can't imagine any adoptee put in such homes NOT requiring extensive specialized therapy to help undo the damage caused by many people "on a mission". Unfortunately, not that many therapists are trained adequately enough to deal with many of the more complex adoption issues that exist post bad adoption experience. The same truth applies (there is a lack of effective help) to those who have been victimized by child trafficking, father's rights violations, disruptions, deportations, wrongful removals/adoption, and wrongful medication cases. What fascinates me most about this particular topic is the one-sidedness that gets perpetuated by the adoption industry and their very powerful adoption lobby, itself. It seems as though few adoption advocates have a huge problem with the angry criticism and frustration voiced by fed-up adopters, (or those who want to adopt) especially those who are single, homosexual, infertile, or follow an extreme form of a religion. In my mind, many stories covered by the media featuring angry and upset adopters are examples of individuals who'd do far better in long-term therapy than at home with an adopted child. [After all, I believe one must try to fix and heal his own unresolved issues and problems before he tries to fix or help some one else... especially a child.] So if media is going to cover anguish and pain, as it's experienced in Adoptionland, it behooves all media outlets to expose ALL sides that have experienced anguish and pain, not just those who, by some means, help fuel the multi-billion dollar adoption industry and the pro-adoption movement.
Last, I'd like to address the ire of certain members of the pro-adoption community, and how PPL is perceived. Organizations like DoS and USCIS do a dis-service to all touched by adoption when they don't address some of the more disturbing facts featured on PPL. I think we very much need first the interest then the formal support from such groups. In fact, such an arrangement has always been my personal goal: "our side" meeting with "their side" so a sense of same-page solidarity can begin. I have told Niels, my co-founder, many many times, I would LOVE it if Pertman or better yet, DoS invited (and dare I dream, hired) us to be part of a think-tank that worked and studied the more serious adoption issues. In my fantasy, reports generated by people like Niels and myself could be published and discussed openly, making their over-all efforts much more comprehensive. Given the power, the support, and resources available to these pro-adoption groups, much can be done to make real radical adoption reform a reality. But first, those groups need to acknowledge the information archived on PPL is truthful, it is ugly, AND it has real value.
So the question has to be asked: is PPL, created by two people, not doing it's part in reaching out so future bridges can be built for a greater good that keeps a child's best interest in mind and heart, or are the pro-adoption camps not doing their share in doing what needs to be done to help resolve the most serious of all adoption issues? If they are not doing their part in bridging gaps and engaging in open, yet sometimes very difficult communication with sides that reveal very different (not desirable) experiences, what is their reason? Problems #1 and #2?