A Place at the Adoption Table

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Is there room at the proverbial adoption table for all of us? Or are we striving to exclude those who have a different story from our own because we fear hearing the innate difference that might actually change or evolve the way we think about adoption, even our own adoption experience?

There is a lot of rhetoric about anti-adoption in the community as a whole. The reality of adoption is that it isn't a perfect process. There are many bumps in this road, and there are many things that still need to be changed in order for it to be ethical, and fair to all parties. The recent Baby Veronica trial was proof that there are many milestones left to go before we can accurately say that adoption is a fool proof method of creating sound, whole families.

In order to change this method, we need to stop speaking in extremes against those who are talking about the ugly side of their adoptions. When those who have been slighted, or burned by the adoption system speak out, they’re not doing it to personally insult your choice of adoption. The goal is not to take away the adopted child, or to tell those that they are inherently wrong or evil for choosing adoption. The goal is to be heard, so that ultimately the face of adoption can change.

The adoption table, as we see it now, is crowded with individuals who believe they fully grasp the enormity of all roles in the adoption community. These are the very people who are telling the rest of the community to be quiet. This is not the face of adoption. In order for change to take place, we need to allow all the members of the triad, the birthmothers, the adoptees, and the adoptive parents to take a seat at the table, willingly, and we need to be open to discussing the issues they faced without taking personal insult.

Just because someone speaks out about the unethical practices they faced in their adoption does not mean that they are to blame for the way their adoption story wound up. If you aren’t willing to hear the harder sides, be it a happy story about adoption, or a story that is full of sorrow and heartache, the responsibility lies with you to figure out why you cannot open your mind to understand their side, even if it doesn’t relate to your own.

Let us all sit at this table together, with our happy stories and our sad stories, and let us be open to admitting that we simply don’t always understand the other side of the spectrum. Let’s change the dialogue for the long term so that we are able to make adoption a process that isn’t held up on a pedestal, but a process open to all members of the triad to live, heal and grow through.

Credits: Danielle Barnsley-Cervo

Visitor Comments (1)
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Taryn - 4 years ago
0 0 1
Thank you for these words! My family and I adopted three siblings, trans-culturally. It has been a very, very difficult road and I do feel that changes to how adoptions are done are needed, but would never, never say that this takes away from our family being exactly as it was planned to be. When I speak out about our difficulties, my hope is that others will learn and be more cautious, be certain of their calling to adopt and know that loving even a very difficult-to-love child will be worth all of the heartache in the end. #1

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