Considering I am an adoptee what I write is fact simply because of the fact I am adopted. Yes, some things are opinions and some things are facts. Of course, too many in adoption land want to think their opinions are equivalent to facts. However, in this scenario if an adoptee tells you it’s happening, it’s happening. If an adoptee tells you things need to change, such as what I’m about to discuss here, then it damn well needs to change! Adoptees who have done their research, such as myself, are those you should be listening to and literally nobody else because not only do we have the research down we also live the experience. Yet, our voices are the ones most often muted because as I’ve stated before people prefer comfortable lies over uncomfortable truths. I’ve discussed before the problems with children’s books for adopted children but now I’m going to delve deeper.
Adopted children deserve the truth. What do I mean by this? Well, several things in fact. Adopted children of today, well most, are endangered. Their psychological well being and therefore their well-being altogether is very much at stake. This is because the vast majority of out of family adoptions occurring today are not by people who adopt to help a child but adopt a child to help themselves. This very fact can be seen by the fact that nationwide U.S. an approximate 75% of open adoptions close by the time the child is in kindergarten and nearly always by the adopters. I have explained in a previous article why closed adoptions are never necessary and why they do not protect children from unsafe biological family members, nor does an open adoption mean contact with unsafe biological family members. The multibillion dollar loosely regulated and uncredentialed adoption industry has tricked adoptive parents into thinking withholding the truth from their child is acceptable. Let me assure you, it is fucking not. Now, I’m not saying that you need to tell your six year old PG-13/14A/R rated facts. However, what I am saying is, for example, if the first mother is in contact via letter writing and you communicate with her but don’t let your six year old read and write letters to her, or inform her she now, for example, has a baby brother who is her half brother this is barbaric and withholding the truth from your children. It becomes quite clear at this point that the adoption is about you, and that you do not care enough for your child. A hard pill to swallow, but swallow you must. I’m sure someone will come up for an excuse. You can sell your excuses with those who try to sell ocean view property in Arizona.
Adopted children deserve the truth in knowing that they are adopted. They deserve to know this without the nauseating lies of “your first mother loved you so much”. To a child, and to many adult adoptees, you don’t give something away you love. Also, do not lie to your child and tell them that they were adopted so they could have a better life. A life with more materialistic goods isn’t equivalent of a better life. Adoptees do not have better lives, they have different lives and often those in out of family adoptions have much higher rates of anxiety and depression, astronomically higher and four times higher suicide rates for White adoptees; six times higher for people of colour.
Adopted children in an age appropriate sense deserve to know the truth surrounding their adoption. My agency, Catholic Family Center, lied numerous times and stated that I was given away for adoption out of love. This is extremely untrue. My biological mother and biological father are vile, disgusting human beings; a mere faeces who used closed adoption as a legalized form of abandonment. They then proceeded, when found to invent lies about me, convince others to hate me and have nothing to do with me after I was incredibly nice, not care whatsoever about adoptee inequality and my biological father to threaten me with prison time and invent legal lies about me. My agency made them out to be something they are not; good people. As a child I deserve to know the truth. You came from families made of money. Your biological paternal grandmother was a vicious child abuser who had children with various men. You have an enormous amount of royal blood in you. You were given away because your out of wedlock status is a stain on a Catholic family. As a child I should have been told they were very bad people who show clear signs of narcissistic personality disorder.
Children deserve the truth no matter how ugly it is. They deserve to know if they have selfish, abusive, drug addicted biological parents. This is not to say all or even most biological parents are like this because most are not. Also, being a drug addict does not make someone a bad person, just someone with a problem. Children also deserve to know the truth if you did all you can to adopt them when you know in your heart you did all you can to bring them home when they could’ve stayed in their biological family. Did you encourgae and persuade them to give you their baby? Did you incessantly text and act like a best friend just to make sure they didn’t change their mind? Did you have plenty of money and instead of offering to help with baby goods offered to take their child instead? It’s going to be an uncomfortable conversation but it needs to be discussed with your child whether they are young or a teen, and open and extremely frank conversations about adoption need to be discussed often over the years.
Adopted children deserve freedom to express all emotions. Do you know the problem with all children’s movies and children’s books on adoption? They do not allow adopted children to express their negative emotions and trust me they all have them. Various negative emotions that come now and then. There is no doubt in my mind, but the adoption media is made not for the children but for the adoptive parents and adopters in mind. I make a distinct difference between adoptive parents which are those who try to learn and try their best and adopters those who adopt for purely selfish reasons and do not care. Why do I say this? Because the emotions of adoptive parents are so fragile, well most. Even my dad said this to me a few Septembers ago. That most adoptive parents can’t handle the truth about problems in the adoption industry and their adopted child’s trauma. Everything is written in the sense of “make the good biological family members disappear” and “adoption rescued you and you are loved so don’t care about anything else.” I have written children’s books for adopted children that will address their negative emotions and teach them how to handle them but not a single literary agent wants to pick it up because it doesn’t display adoption in the perfect light. This isn’t to say that adopted children never have positive emotions about adoption, it’s to say they all have negative emotions and these deserve to be acknowledged and respected.
What are some of the negative emotions adopted children will feel at some point or now and then?
*Feeling like they can’t discuss the adoption with you.
*Knowing they were abandoned.
*Feeling they were abandoned.
*Not having contact with biological family members.
*Not knowing how they ended up in the orphanage.
*Being angry for being put in an orphanage because they are special needs.
*Being angry for being put in an orphanage for being female.
*Wondering where they get their eyes and nose from.
*Learning you withheld the truth from them.
*Missing the homeland or place where they were born even if they were adopted as infants.
*Having a very bad biological mother.
*Having a very bad biological father.
*Having to say goodbye and not being able to live in the house of their first mother after she visits. Although open adoptions with visitations are excellent when safe for the child or children. If applicable.
*Not looking like the rest of their adoptive family especially in transracial adoptions. For some this bothers them, for others it doesn’t.
*Ignoring the culture they come from. A problem often seen with White saviour complex. Please see my article about Asian and Black Children Adopted by White People it got great recognition from African Americans deeply rooted in their culture.
*Wondering if their biological family members especially their first mother is alive.
Will adopted children feel every single one of these emotions? No, but they will feel at least one and likely more.
In conclusion, society and adoptive parents owe it to adopted children to tell the real truth and to allow them the freedom to explore and express negative emotions. This will help eradicate, or at least lessen, the trauma that adopted children carry around when so many are unable to speak up because they have been inundated with be happy you’re adopted and say nothing bad. Explaining the truth when they are young, no matter how bad it is, prevents them from trauma in the future.