LGA monthly contributor, Farnad Darnell, cures our bad case of the Mondays with Part 2 of his response to a recent article in the Washington Post. This will definitely get your brain working for the rest of the week!
If you haven’t had the chance to read the Washington Post article “Born abroad, adopted teens find home in multiple lands,” then please read it before continuing with the post. My write-up is a continued response to the piece.
In my previous posting I addressed Ms. Bahrampour’s article as questionable due to the fact that she wrote about a lighter side of being adopted. Her focus was about a Kazakh teen who recently found her biological family and went to visit them in Kazakhstan. My first contention was: “How do any of us know what is in fact the best interest of the child? What legitimate authority could possibly know the best interest of the child? She was abducted, but the doctors told her mother she had died so she need not come back to see if her child’s health was improving. The best interest of the child? It is nowhere to be found on either side of this story.”
This brings me to my second contention of the article: the author wrote one sentence regarding HOW the child was put up for adoption and, without missing a beat, continued with the story. How the adoptee came to be adopted is an important part of the adoption story and adoption narrative. She states,
“Deanna, her sixth child, had been born prematurely while Maryam was traveling in a distant city, she recalled. Doctors had put the baby in intensive care and sent Maryam home, telling her to call and check in. She called often, but one day the doctors told her the baby had not made it. She went on to have more children, and she told them about their sister who had died.”
Her child had been abducted by a system that takes without giving and feeds the same system without regard to biological parent(s)/family, adopting parent(s)/family, or the child. This history is an integral part of an adoptee’s identity, nay, adoption story, and it’s dismissed with the slight of a new sentence.
My points are these: First, we need to pay more attention to the story/narrative of the adoptee and not dismiss HOW they came to be adopted. This is their story and their identity blossoms from every detail of “how.” Second, we need to create more awareness of child kidnapping and abduction for the purpose of trafficking and selling to orphanages and waiting parents. This practice is very prevalent in various parts of the world and more attention is needed to address it. The author of the article had a great opportunity to expound on abduction in a pivotal part of the story; instead, she is given one sentence and then moves on.
Personally, I’d like to know how the adoptee reacted when she was told by her biological mother that she “did not make it.” I’d like to know how the biological mother reacted when finding out about her seemingly dead daughter. And I’d like to know what the adoptive parents told the daughter about her story and, in fact, what was told to them by the orphanage workers. This is, after all, the adoptee’s identity and voice, and it needs to be heard.