adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
[personal profile] adoptedwriter
It's probably not a secret that I am in the home stretch of writing a sequel memoir about being adopted. The first book was about growing up as an adopted kid in the "Baby-Scoop Era" of closed, secretive adoptions. This current book is about life as an adopted adult in the work place, as a parent and friend. It ties up loose ends from the first story and enlightens readers to the fact that as adopted people, the stigma and shame can do away, but the status never does, and it permeates into our careers, our parenting, marriages and friendships.

In order to write this memoir, I have leaned heavily on my personal experiences and research done by observing conversations that go down on adoptee websites and Facebook groups in which I participate. The best experts on adoption are not social workers and psychologists but instead are actual adopted people, their birth and adoptive parents, but mostly the adoptees themselves.

Unbeknownst to me, when I started down this path, there was/is a lot of bitterness and anger out there about being adopted. (This is worse than I ever felt, and I absolutely HATED it as a kid.) Some adopted people had miserable experiences growing up due to not being their parents' biological child. Others had OK experiences but just feel bad and annoyed that adoption had to happen in the first place. Also there are many who feel that, regardless of having a "good" or "bad" growing up experience, thanks to adoption, they feel irritated by some of the language and assumptions tossed around in the adoption community by the non-adopted folks who do "not get it" but appear to have authority on the matter.(I can relate to this part a lot as an educator by seeing who is and has been dictating teaching practices my whole career.)

One example is Simone Biles, the USA Olympic gymnast in 2016, who was technically adopted by her biological grandparents. Sports announcer, Al Trautwig, who has no connection to the adoption world, referred inaccurately to her parents as "not her real parents", or something to that effect. http://www.shrinktank.com/olympian-simone-biles-real-parents-adoption/ This caused quite a disturbance in the adoptee force last summer. Some adoptees would argue that her biological grandparents who raised, educated and provided for her are her parents. By law this is true. Others would cling to the notion that her mother who gave birth to her but was unable to care for her is the "real" mother. There's some truth to that as well.

Adoptees are a challenging bunch to satisfy in these matters.

I have learned to keep my mouth shut as a result of the great sensitivity of the Word Police who try to dictate the language of adoption websites and social media groups. I listen. I read. I learn. Then I go off and write.

I have my own opinions, which mostly fall somewhere in the middle regarding most of these arguments. If adopted adults want more rights, recognition and credibility in society, the bickering and divisiveness needs to stop now.

As adults, we are no longer adopted "children", and the states' laws need to reflect this regarding opened records. At the same time, if adoptees continue to argue and over-react due the terms "birth mother/father" as opposed to "natural" or "biological", their bigger want and need will be ignored while they waste time quarreling. (Having all states open their adoption records when adoptees become adults.)

Unfortunately, there are some adoptee/ birth/first/bio/natural parent groups that want it all, and they want it now. I don't think state government works that way.

In the meantime, I know my personal situation and stance best. I lay low on the interest group pages and sites, watch and assimilate. If I don't feel free to speak my mind I will save it for "the book".
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