18 April 2010


I just read an article about adoptive parents sympathizing with other parents who "give the child back" to the orphanage - agency - whatever - and even relaying stories in which they, themselves, have done the same thing or thought about doing the same thing. In most cases, the children are unruly and have problems - also, they are normally international adoptions - a large number of them Russian adoptions (with severe behavioral issues, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.), like the little boy in the news who was put on a plane by his adoptive mother and sent back to Russia with a note saying that she no longer wanted him.

I want to know, as an adopted person AND as a parent, why these people who do this - abandon their adopted children - are not held accountable in the same way a biological parent would be?! They are parents (and these "monsters" they describe are KIDS) - they signed up for the joy and the challenges - professing to accept the difficult with the smooth sailing - just like any new parents who are expecting a child. They legally adopt the child - bring him or her into their homes and then.... decide not to keep him / her - ???? So much for being "mommy and daddy". What does this mean / imply for any of us adoptees who consider ourselves no different than our non-adopted brothers and sisters? Are we really NOT part of the family? Are we easier to discard? Is it true what so many ignorant people have implied over the years - that we are not our parents' "real" children - that we belong with someone else - that we have no background - that any argument or misunderstanding with our parents is because "we are adopted" - that only the "blood family" matters - blah blah blah. I KNOW there have probably been some difficulties - kids who need therapy - kids who are violent, etc., but... again - you signed up for it.... and wouldn't you stick it out with your biological child? You wouldn't have a choice. If they need psych help, they need psych help - very sad - very scary - but YOUR responsibility - the hand you were dealt...

I know that most of the ridiculous, uninformed comments I have been subjected to over the years don't bother me. I'm secure in my relationships, AND I am aware of those family members who didn't accept me (they also have a long list of racial biases, don't like "yankees" and have been divorced numerous times - oh -I'm so hurt - and, remember, I NEVER use sarcasm ;-) were vocal about it, and... were chastised and looked down upon for their comments. Most of the time, my cousins - my siblings forget that I'm adopted - I've even begun filling out medical history on forms before and... then catch myself. I forget to disclaim why I am Italian, and my family is not.... No worries - totally second nature to me.

It does bug me, though. This type of article makes me think that it's not only idiot comedians or cheap jokesters in crappy comedies or movies that say things like "you're adopted - your parents don't even love you" like it's the mother of all insults. Give me a break; you just made yourself look like an ass - not to mention insulted a large number of the population. It's not funny to joke about the Pitt-Jolies and which kids are "theirs" or not - it's not appropriate to make a big deal out of a biological child when you don't of an adopted child (still give a baby shower - still give presents - offer congrats - send food - same schtick as if the couple went through a 9 mo. pregnancy).

Just my two cents. What do you think?


Kim said...

Some of the most beautiful families I know have adopted children and their connection seems stronger than some biological parents/children. I agree with everything you said. This is not a pet they have adopted...it's a child that calls them Mom/Dad. How sad.

Linda Pressman said...

I'm with you 100%, Sherri. That's the most hurtful stuff, really. Talk about needing sensitivity training! And you're right - if an adopted child is "just like" they'd had the baby biologically, then why this "return" idea? Ignoring, of course, how much I might fantasize about sending my teen away till he grows up... :)

Sherri said...

I know - right? We all have those days during which we want to send our kids to military school or something, but... we don't. Just odd to me.... Thanks for support, all.