What if I make every effort to help my child through their grief?

This is the 18th question in the series: “Anti-adoption month: 30 answers to 30 questions on adoption” [link].

The following reply was posted to a blog whose author doesn’t seem to mind the pain and loss adoption would bring to her adopted child as well as to her family:

I do want to be as prepared as possible to help my child grieve and empathize with his or her loss. I know that no matter how much we love our child he or she will still have an incredible loss. I know this. I understand this. I want to learn more about it so I can help. That is very clear from my blog. I have said nothing other than just that. so I don’t understand why someone would infer the total complete opposite.

Answer: The “inference” of the “total complete opposite” comes from the fact that your statement is what we call an “inversion”, a reversal of logic that is designed to be the “correct” response, to fall nicely on the ears, while continuing down and covering up the same destructive path that is represented by adoption. By this I mean to say that it becomes obvious at some point when someone has studied the “talking points” of a discussion and thinks they have come up with the “correct answer” that will allow them to do what it is that they want to do while simultaneously ignoring the basic gist of the argument, as well as the negative fallout thereof. If I realize the mistake I make in a logic problem after I am finished solving it, and correct it, this is very different from cheating before I begin working on it. A more honest approach, as offensive as it might be, would be that of horrifying web sites like this one: “Homestudy Boot Camp“.

Anyone who is attuned to this as a tactic is thus left completely befuddled and nonplussed by the abject hypocrisy and double-dealing of such a statement, as in this reply, which is attempting to show some kind of empathy, but for pain that she is directly the cause of. It’s like a biologist feigning pity for the insects he skewers in a display case; it’s like the famous Walrus and Carpenter from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, crying over the oysters they led out of their homes and plan to consume. These are the tears of a very dangerous crocodile; this is stacking the deck; this is gaming the system; this is an Orwellian inversion bordering on propaganda. There’s work for you in the Democratic Party if you should want it.

It is very telling that you are willing to put into question the relationship of a child to her parents and family, require that a mother make a decision that no mother should have to make, and remove said child from her community, all based on your seeming needs that you feel compelled to blog about and present in the public realm. How many people is that who are directly effected by your decision? Three at minimum? Three lives, not counting the extended family and community? Let’s say, five. Or ten. Do you really care? Do you not see the inherent imbalance here? To understand is that you are able to do this because systemically, everything is in your favor. You win. It’s all yours. You even get to crow about it, unlike the Voiceless who are the target of your machinations.

The child’s family? They do not have the same access to health care, or to legal support, or to agencies willing to bend over backwards for them. If they did, then the child probably would not be given up in the first place. Shouldn’t it be an even playing field for such a momentous decision? For such a life-changing process? Shouldn’t you avoid taking advantage of an unfair system? If indeed you decide to continue, given the odds against this child and her family, and the complete unfairness of the whole exercise, what does this say about you? About your sense of justice, and empathy; about your worldview? Would you really carpet the entrance ramp to a slaughterhouse and call this charitable? Whom are you trying to save exactly? At what point do you realize that your needs should probably come last? Finally, what gives you the right?


The Essential Works of Anarchism, by Marshall S. Shatz.

Social Anarchism, by Giovanni Baldelli.

Debate Tactic: This is one form of “backlash”; trying to appease those making the argument against their very action, and we need be wary of it. I am drawn here to the quotation of Josiah Warren, a historical figure of American anarchism, who stated in the above referenced title:

No body talks of the principles of Arithmetic having failed: if results disappoint the operator, he attributes it to some mistake of his own; because he knows that Arithmetical laws never fail. The blunder of [the] critic [of our movement] is in not knowing that our enterprise is not based on human inventions, but on Natural Laws, that are as old as the creation; and yet so new to most people’s comprehension that the whole subject appears to them at first like a dream.

Adoption is a “human invention” that supporters attempt to make into a “principle of Arithmetic” and a “Natural Law”. It is our duty to show how horribly failed this equation is. Giovanni Baldelli (link above) sums it up for us: “Imperialism, however, is not a token of ethics but a characteristic of power. Ethics does not advise the enslavement or elimination of competitors. A monopoly is always bad, and a monopoly of goodness is worse than a monopoly of evil.”


About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
This entry was posted in Q&A and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What if I make every effort to help my child through their grief?

  1. Dana says:

    Oh, there’s work in the Republican Party too, and then some. Sheesh.

    • Agreed. :-)

      My point is more that we “expect” this from one party, and perhaps not the other. That both do the same thing means that one is on some level more “honest”, and the other more “duplicitous”. Malcolm X referred to this as the difference between the wolves he knew to be wolves, and the “smiling foxes” who pretended to be friends.

  2. eagoodlife says:

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Speaks for itself! What more is there to say? Just read….

  3. lara/trace says:

    This is brilliant Daniel, so I shared a link at American Indian Adoptees blog.

  4. This comment could have been made by me at a certain point after our adoption, though I readily admit I was more clueless than this poster about the damage I was inflicting by adopting at the time we adopted. It’s embarassing to read those words knowing I could have spoken them. I know I can’t turn back time, but with what I understand now I can’t participate further in such a flawed institution by adopting again. The things I can do? I can try to limit the damage I’ve done (1) by speaking out about the institutional wrongs being perpetrated in a macro sense; and (2) in our micro situation preparing my daughter the best I can for what life holds for her in light of what I and the international adoption system have done to her.

    And totally agreed on the Malcolm X quote. I often speak of this concept with relation to US politics–the racists, sexists, homophobes, imperialists etc. of the Tea Party Republicans are easy to see and deal with. It’s the more subtle racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ, pro-imperialism sentiments among alleged progressives that are much more dangerous and harder to reach and eradicate.

  5. Andrea says:

    It’s like people using the term “family preservation” as if it’s wonderful and altruistic. In fact family preservation wouldn’t exist without adoption. It should be the default, not something the supposedly enlightened promote to make themselves look good.

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