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Why the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me – Final Thoughts

We’ve had a great week here at Land of Gazillion Adoptees. I’ve really enjoyed reading and admire the wonderful insights our community of bloggers has shared as a result of our theme of the week – What annoys me about the adoption establishment. Thanks, again, to everyone who participated and we hope you keep in coming well after this week is over.

Here are a few things touched upon by our community this week:

I’ll offer this final annoyance of the adoption establishment – The adoption establishment creates a reality about adoption that is not sustainable. It starts with the over bright picture of adoption they paint for prospective parents on their shiny, happy websites. Bus loads of smiling children are just waiting for their forever families to be forever grateful to. It’s a simple equation: child + you = happy forever.

Too simple. If agencies revealed the real adoption equation it might look more like this:
birth family – child + ethical violations + outdated practices and inadequate education + you + trauma + abandonment issues + grief + loss + attachment issues + race + scarce post-adoption resources + your child grows up + birth family (again!) = a sometimes happy family.

My parents recently visited me. Over the past several years, we have developed some skills in talking about adoption. Sometimes these conversations are painful and awkward, but they are also rewarding. We all have so much at stake and so much to learn. We don’t know what we are doing exactly, but we are making it through and strengthening our connection, as a result.

The adoption establishment did not help my parents and I get to a place of understanding about our adoption experiences. No agency had a class to teach me how to tell my parents that the experience that was one of their most joyful was one of my most painful. My parents have no place to turn to for support. If they asked the agency they worked with for some kind of support, I’d be surprised if they even got a response. Most likely, they’d be asked to pay for whatever meager resources available to them.

I’m lucky that I have the community that allows me to go to tough places with my parents. I have support and resources when I am challenged. Some adult adoptees I know have completely given up on ever being on the same page with their parents, resulting in strained and/or superficial relationships, or, in some cases, no relationship at all. How does this result equal a FOREVER family?

The adoption establishment allows agencies and other adoption facilitators to do the ole “bait and switch.” They tell you (and they even get adoptees to tell you) that adoption is this bright, shiny thing and then they jump ship when you discover it’s really a gray, tangled mess and you need substantial help.

Seriously, how can an institution supposedly dedicated to “forever” abandon us (orphans!) when we really need it? No wonder I have issues! I’m so annoyed >_<

5 Comments on Why the Adoption Establishment Annoys Me – Final Thoughts

  1. Mary A. Coyle // March 1, 2012 at 7:24 am // Reply

    Keum Mee: I’m an adoptive parent and I feel much of the same frustration that you do with post-adoption support. Now with this economy, it is even harder to gain post-adoption support from the adoption agency. As parents we have to try to find assistance through other aveunues — like CASE here in VA. I am hoping that with sites like this one more agencies will be open to partnering with post-adoption help like CASE so that support can be had by all involved — adoptive parents, adoptees and birth families. I believe that great connections like these between support agencies and adoption agencies can only strengthen our education. I am ever hopeful as we continue this journey with our kids. Mary Coyle

    • Mary, thanks for your comment and I encourage to keep speaking up to your agency and other professionals you know about your frustration and keep encouraging partnerships. In my opinion, the demands of adoptive parents will be more readily met than those of adult adoptees. The more vocal APs are about the more agencies will listen. Keep up the good work!

  2. Agencies won’t provide post adoption services because we are products to them, they made the transaction, they received their hefty check and now it’s on to finding the next child to sell.

    • Gravatar, It certainly feels that way, but I won’t ever stop asking agencies to change their point of view and look for ways to provide education and support beyond placement. If not for me, then for those children agencies keep seeking to place.

  3. Spot-on post, Kevin. I’d quote the parts that resonated with me, but I’d have to quote the whole thing.

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