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Bottom line: Being Adopted Isn’t as Simple and Loving as Some Stories Make it out to Be – Part 2

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.

Read article here >>

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.

2 Comments on Bottom line: Being Adopted Isn’t as Simple and Loving as Some Stories Make it out to Be – Part 2

  1. I had the exact same thoughts about the article Farnad.The article completely glossed over those very important queries. Thanks for putting them to paper. It goes back to the idea in the adoption vernacular that adoption has only one side, or rather that only one side is palatable for the general public, that of the “saving,” “virtuous act,” side..etc. But not the pain, suffering, loss..etc way of looking at it. My opinion is author of the piece falls into the trap of emphasizing one, while dismissing the other.

    • Psychobabbler // February 13, 2012 at 10:08 am // Reply

      Excellent post. That was what stuck out for me about the article too – it was like the pink elephant in middle of the living room that was being ignored. I don’t know how the author (or perhaps, the editor – don’t forget that it’s ultimately the editor who decides what parts of the article to print) was able to acknowledge that fact and not address it further.

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