Late December 2020, Asian adoptee Christian Hall went to a bridge with a gun to end his life. Tragically, he died not by his own hand but by that of a police officer. There’s a lot to be addressed with that, but what also needs to be addressed is why is the media ignoring the mental health crises of adoptees?
Yes, a huge chunk of why Christian Hall was on that bridge was because he was adopted. This comment I’ve stated before has pissed off some Asian people who don’t understand adoptee trauma or about adoption. Numerous Korean adoptee acquaintances have informed me that when it comes to at least Korean society, just like American society, how adoptees are viewed and how adoption is viewed often disregards the mental, emotional and physical well being of the adoptee.
Without a doubt, mentioning the fact mental health is an epidemic in the adoptee population pisses off pro adoption White people I know who need some lube cos they are so butt hurt over facts I present. Yet, we cannot stand idly by and continue to ignore the mental health crises of adoptees. We need to speak up and hold adoption agencies accountable for telling blatant lies such as “kids adopted by gay couples do better than kids raised in biological or adoptive heterosexual homes”. There are so many factors that come into play this statement is grossly negligent and was pushed as a pro adoption agenda and not in detailed scenarios that would make complete sense such as LGBT children being adopted after rejection from biological family or LGBT children being adopted and saved from abuse, although adoption isn’t a guarantee of a safe and loving home either. Another lie adoption agencies that is “adopted children do better in school”. Again, this fact isn’t a fact and there is no research on it. If you know an adopted child who is doing well in school it’s because that particular school fits their learning style well and they are unaware of the discrimination adoptees face, or have an infamily fully open adoption that is absolutely nothing like a semi closed or especially a closed adoption. Don’t try to make it seem similar because it’s not. Many adoptees live with their head in the clouds completely unaware of the damage of adoption until they reach adulthood. They see the benefits it might, and I emphasize might, have brought them but not the numerous issues I’ve mentioned before too many times to count.
When it comes to the media they want to share the feel good stories. The “I loved my parents so much I waited until after they died to search” and the “I’m so happy we found each other” reunion stories. Those stories sell unlike the fact that many times finding can mean finding a bunch of horrific, abusive nimrods or more so often things seeming well at first and then dissipating quite quickly.
But let’s be honest with each other. If the media were to share the truth, the horrific truths that children adopted by murderers is not uncommon, that adopted children especially Asian children are constantly being resold online and that adoption has turned into another foster system, that there’s a whole history of stealing Native American, First Nations, and Metis babies from the United States and Canada and forcibly raising them White as a purposeful means of cultural genocide by the American and Canadian governments, that adoptee suicide rate is four times higher for White adoptees than non adopted people you know, without a single damn doubt, the adoption industry would be sending their $14 billion dollar lobbyists and bigshot, completely unempathetic, attorneys to the media moguls to attack them. The lawsuits would be nothing but a headache. No, no CBS, no no CTV, no no ABC, no, no Fox you can’t tell the truth! Adoption is rainbows, rainbows shining through happy children on a merrygoround munching on fairy floss.
Yet what does this image of adoption do? The why can’t you just be happy? I wish I had good parents like you, why can’t you just be happy? I’m adopted and my life was nothing but a string of luck, why can’t you be happy? Have you sought counselling? What does this image and these constant barrage of questions asked to enlightened adoptees do? It’s a mental strain. Adoption is the only trauma in the world where the people are expected to only be grateful said one African American man extremely well trained in adoptee trauma.
That last line and the adoptee suicide rate is what we need, not should, what we need to focus on here. Not us adoptees who are knowledgeable, I don’t write on a soapbox for people already aware of this shit, but I write for those unaware. Enough of using your non adoptee privilege to decide not to be an advocate for change. Adopted people are dying at epic proportions. No more of this luxury of turning a privileged blind eye by saying nothing.
“White adoptees are four times more likely to commit suicide than non adoptees” proven by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This doesn’t only relate to adoptees adopted after several years of horrific trauma in some faraway orphanage or being pummeled by their original parents. High suicide rates exist even among those adopted as infants into loving families. Part of this trauma is because, according to a psychology professor at Perdue whose name I’m purposely excluding, “humans are animals. Like all animals you cannot take away a young from his or her mother at birth as it results in trauma and lifelong behavioral complications. This is why one must wait a certain number of weeks for cats, dogs, pigs, whatever to be weaned from its mother. Humans are no different.” The adoption industry pushes the false blank slate narrative. Of course, some mothers are literally dangerous to the very life of their baby and the baby must be taken at birth, but no matter how much you try to explain that to someone who comprehends it when they are older the trauma is still biologically and organically rooted in the brain because reasoning ceases to be there. Infants and young children are biologically programmed to want to be with their parents, especially their mothers, even when they are abusive. The younger the child the more they want to be cuddled with their biological mom or the surrogate who was pregnant with them, who may or may not also be their biological mom. Part of the reason the suicide rates are high is because there was no weaning period. Other factors for a high suicide rate among adoptees include:
*lack of knowledge of one’s roots
*being othered and excluded by adoptive family
*cultural and/or racial genocide
*lack of one’s origin story
*child abuse including racism by adopters or adoptive family
*a history of mental illness within the biological family.
*horrific upbringing in a biological family, foster home, or orphanage prior to adoption.
*Deep rejection after being lied to that their biological family was loving and nice.
*Being kicked out of their biological family as an adult and made to payback their adoption fee.
I mentioned White adoptees and I purposely put us White adoptees in our own bracket. Adoptees of color, Black, Asian, Native American and I’m not sure about Latino or Latina are six times more likely to commit suicide than non adoptees, twice the rate of White adoptees. I will let adoptees of color speak on why. My only guess would be prevelant racism within the adoption industry and adoptive families as many are not fortunate to be raised in loving homes that honor their culture, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that.
LGBT adoptees also have higher suicide rates than non adoptees even LGBT people who aren’t adopted and higher than White adoptees who are heterosexual and cisgender. LGBT adoptees of color have the highest suicide rates in the country yet this is completely and quite purposely ignored. Do a quick Google search and type in “LGBT adoptees”. Ok, now try Bing. Did you get results on adoptees, adopted people who are of the LGBT community? No, you did not all you got was a barrage of adoption agencies informing that they accept LGBT people who are considering adopting. All you got was questions answered like which countries allow gay people to adopt? Try something more precise such as “adopted people who are gay”. I know, I know there’s a lot lot more to LGBT than just gay but I’m proving a point here. Again, only about LGBT people who want to adopt. You want to know why LGBT adoptees are killing themselves at epic rates with them being adopted being more of an issue than them not being straight or them being trans? Because to society, to media they don’t even fucking exist! Everything is centered around those wanting to adopt. When I type in LGBT adoptees Google, Bing, whatever you use should pop up suggestions like
“Coming out as lesbian after my adoption”
“Connect with other LGBT adoptees in your area”
Okay you get my point.
We have to stop saying, oh but non adoptees commit suicide tooooooooo. It’s dismissive just grow up. We need to start getting uncomfortable with truths and start addressing contributing factors to the high adoptee suicide rate and non-adoptees need to understand how their privilege has played a part in those suicides directly or indirectly and adoptees who wish to never rock the boat and act like adoption is rainbows farting out of the butts of unicorns contribute to those suicides as well.
Hey, I have an idea! What about a psychologist? What about better access to mental health care? That is actually a great idea and awhile back I wrote an article about how getting adoptees psychological care is more important than unsealing birth certificates, but the problem with that is majority of psychologists, therapists, and counselors are incompetent in adoptee trauma and completely untrained. In fact, a lot of counselors and therapists out there are basically untrained because the therapist who agrees with you on everything, and doesn’t push you past your comfort zone and call you out on your shit isn’t doing their job. You can get As in school doesn’t mean you’ll be good at your job whether it’s therapy or teaching or what have you. I can’t even say any form of therapy will help. I know adoptees who have gone to therapists who have been dismissive who say comments such as “well, what’s the problem you were adopted at birth” and “I think you’re blowing this way out of proportion. Not knowing what day you were actually born isn’t a big deal, just what you do in life is” or some similar who fucking gave you your freaking license comment. You also have some adoptees who have gone to therapists who do care tremendously about adoptees and are good and loving people but have this ill provoked thought that every child should’ve stayed with their biological mom and every biological mom never wanted to part with their child and that is quite frankly untrue.
I guess this time I’ll let you discuss among yourselves solutions for tackling the high adoptee suicide rate and lack of appropriate representation of adoptees.