This is the 14th question in the series: “Anti-adoption month: 30 answers to 30 questions on adoption” [link].
The following reply was posted in response to a topic at Fodors.com in which a woman was wondering whether she should write a letter to the mother of the child temporarily in her care in order to “thank” her.
I’m afraid that the mother will fall in love with the twins and not want to give them to me….I’m afraid that the twins will not believe that I can love them as much as she can….I remember how calm and unemotional the mother was after delivery….I don’t understand why she doesn’t want contact with me….
Answer: There is no way to mediate yourself out of what you’ve done.
Here’s a redefinition: Adoption is based in the leveraging of inequality by a dominant class in order to procure children for those who have none from those who ideally would keep their children, except for circumstances that are a direct result of this class difference to begin with.
As such, to write such a letter is only to gloat, and rub in the face of those who are on the receiving end of your excess that you have stolen their children. The power differential here is not equal, and as an adult adoptee, I am hard-pressed to imagine the selfishness of those who would prefer to take someone’s child rather than correct the social and economic situation that might force someone to give in to the dominant societal pressure that tells them they are not worthy to be parents and so make such a “difficult decision”. Decisions made under duress, extreme pressure, or torture are not even admissible in a court of law, yet they fly when it concerns adoption.
If this woman were a mother whose children were kidnapped, you would be falling all over yourself empathizing with her grief and anguish. But because we are dealing here with a class of people who are considered marginal to the society and class that you are from—in general, the poor, the disenfranchised, the foreign—then somehow it is okay to abduct their children, using all of the legal, social, medical, and governmental systems that are stacked in your favor, and against theirs. Relinquishment papers? How many lawyers, agency workers, government officials were part of this crime? Why should it surprise anyone that the children’s true family should not make contact? It’s like asking why freed slaves don’t come back to the plantation to thank their former masters.
I have to ask—why make this public? Why mediate this in a public forum, this, what should be so completely private, and personal, and of family? This is the fatal mistake, that adoption is about “children”, or that adoptive parents are somehow selfless. This is testament to the exact opposite.
Why is your self-righteous indignation more valid than mine? Simply because you have the entire culture on your side? The whole culture which, by the way, formerly believed that the races shouldn’t mix, and that slavery was justified, and that kings had a divine right to govern? Why am I singled out as the “exceptional case” that doesn’t prove anything, while the adoption in this instance is the “exceptional case” that proves everything?
Why is the onus on me to prove my humanitarian integrity? I dare you to come live my life in Lebanon. I dare you. My neighborhood, and those of the other dispossessed people I work with certainly do not show up in any Fodor’s guide, that’s for sure.
How do you determine the limits of this, a public discussion on the web? If you are having a private conversation at a party, that’s one thing. If you are talking so loud and I overhear you, I have the right to comment. I’m tired of “walking away” from it, and so this time I commented.
To culturally make relative what I am saying in an attempt to dismiss it is invalid from the get-go. Four-fifths of the planet thinks the way I do. Most every adoptee I’ve come in contact with from my birth country to other countries to domestic adult adoptees all carry the same burden with them, one that is made no easier by those who think we shouldn’t have a right to speak out.
Conceiving the New World Order, edited by Faye D. Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp.
The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, by Frederick Engels.
Debate Tactic: The entire pro-adoption discourse is “hostile”. It’s time to balance the equation.