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Harry Potter Has Nothing on Me

Kevin is a dick – see here, here and here, but he isn’t the only one who has a bone to pick with adoption, adoption agencies, adoption professionals, clueless parents, etc. There are days when all I can dish is cynicism and snark and only the unwise would dare to ask me a “stupid” adoption question. Those are the days I wish I had a magic wand (preferably with a unicorn hair core) to make all the annoying things in adoption, i.e., annoying to me, disappear.

Today I am brandishing that wand with fury and conjuring the disappearance of “good intentions” from adoption. I don’t want people to have only bad intentions in adoption, but I do want good intentions to disappear from the list of excuses as to why an agency, professional, or parent didn’t do their job. Good intentions can no longer be a shield from accountability or responsibility.  

Adoption agencies can’t ignore due diligence and ethics because their intentions are good. Nor can they escape accountability for disruptions, coercion, fraud or trafficking because their agency has good intentions.

Adoption professionals cannot tell parents that love is enough when it comes to race, loss, grief, etc., because they have good intentions. Professionals don’t get to hide behind good intentions when adult adoptees are calling them out on their lack of foresight on behalf of the children they placed. They have step-up and advocate for the adults that were once were those children.

Adoptive parents don’t get to adopt children of color and live in an all-white community just because they have good intentions. Good intentions are not a replacement for developing the skills to talk about race and adoption with their children.

Adoptees don’t get to use their agency’s or their parents’ good intentions as a reason as to why we should be grateful about our circumstances. Good intentions are not a balm to soothe grief, loss, trauma and sadness.

Good intentions need to disappear and be replaced with research, reason, logic, education, ethics, morals, hard-work, responsibility, accountability and critical thinking. If good intentions pave the road to Hell, then the adoption community must have a twelve-lane highway to take us there.

2 Comments on Harry Potter Has Nothing on Me

  1. Brent Snavely // March 27, 2012 at 6:16 am // Reply

    Biggus Richardus,

    I love it when you act up!

    My A-father loves to speak of his and my A-mother’s “good intentions”. With an utter lack of comprehension they expect/ed praise and gratitude for all the good things that resulted from what they do/did and reject/ed all responsibility and blame for negative results. “We had good intentions, but”, he qualified, “you had a problem.”

    He cannot fathom “my problem” may relate to having a strange body walking in a strage land.


  2. Mary A. Coyle // March 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm // Reply

    Keum Mee, once again a great post. Sometimes our good intentions do get the best of us–especially in families. I think that this so why we need to listen to what our kids are saying, and pay attention to the times and behaviors that should ring the warning bells for us as their parents. If we aren’t listening or being aware of behaviors, we will miss an important opportunity to help them.

    I think that it is important for adult adoptees in this community to also talk about how helpful counseling can be for adoptees and their families. Unfortunately, even today this tool is not used as efficiently as it could be to help families with adoption issues to deal with like grief and search as well as other issues centered around adoption. Adoptive parents should be careful to choose the right counselor for their families and kids–someone very knowledgeage in adoption–not just any counselor.

    I will differ slightly with you on the neighborhoods. Sometimes, as in our case, it is a matter of money (mostly money we don’t have) as to the area in which we can live and raise our family. It was way too expensive for us to qualify for buying any house in an area inside the Beltway which consisted of neighborhoods that were more diverse. We did not have that kind of money. So we had to choose the next best thing and find an area farther away which was less diverse. Our neighborhood has currently grown more diverse, and our kids have chosen to have more friends of color than they did before when they were younger. These kids also “clue” our kids in on some aspects of race and racial bias that we as their white parents may not have experienced or realized.

    Thank you, Keum Mee.

    Mary Coyle

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