This is the 20th question in the series: “Anti-adoption month: 30 answers to 30 questions on adoption” [link].
The following reply was posted to Psychology Today‘s web site, in response to an article that focuses on the pitfalls of adoption that concern, among other things, its cost:
Cost is a significant barrier for many families that would like to adopt. According to adoption.com, “Adopting from the U.S. foster care system is generally the least expensive type of adoption, usually involving little or no cost, and states often provide subsidies to adoptive parents…Agency and private adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000 or more depending on a variety of factors including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, requirements in the state, and other factors. International adoptions can range from $7,000 to $30,000.”
Answer: The time has come to shift the focus of adoption away from the adoptive parents and their supposed needs, backed up as they are by social, medical, and legal systems, the government in the form of rebates and tax incentives, the entire spectrum of media (like this magazine), and the general cultural norms that not only support adoption in all of its forms, but actively seek to quiet any resistance to this, the mythology of the adoption discourse.
For there are many others involved in the story, and no matter how adoptive parents may try to include them as part of their “plan”—using offensive terms such as “birthmother” and “triad” and “constellation” and “those touched by adoption”—or justify what they are doing in any way, the sad fact is that adoption violently intrudes on a family, on a community, and on a culture. Their losses are not considered valid because these are the abject masses who exist primarily to work, slave, and endure their condition such that the dominant classes of the “First World” can maintain their lifestyles and a standard of living that could never be extended to the rest of the planet equally.
To complain about the price of adopting is therefore a disgusting non-acknowledgment of the trafficking that is taking place. I fail to understand how prospective (such an appropriate term) adoptive parents are unable to find empathy for those who are asked to give up what is most precious to them. The manifestation of this selfishness in “dear birthmother” web sites and the mediation of young children on the web as if they are ethnically evocative dress-up dolls is a shameful condemnation of a consumerist culture with no sense of what is appropriate, what is valid expression, what is beneficent action, indeed what is selfless charity. Vultures and hyenas have more sympathy and candor than this.
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. So this class of adopters doesn’t get to have an objective position removed from the fray, when the class position that allows them to adopt creates the problem they are trying to “help” with in the first place. On the international level, this same class is the one that enables, funds, equips, provides for, and sustains economic and political wars around the world that are a direct cause of the very “orphans” that they claim to “save” by adopting them.
This is like a pyromaniac firefighter complaining about his work, sighing: “Someone’s gotta do it”. And the culture pats him on the back and congratulates him for his efforts. This is twisted and immoral, and cannot go on. Adoptive parents wish to fill a “hole” in their lives. In so doing, they create multiple holes in many peoples’ hearts much less lives, and consider this somehow fair. As a magazine supposedly based in uncovering the psychological reasons for our behavior, please, at long last, explain to me how this is in any way valid?
On the false equality of the adoption “triad”, by Daniel Ibn Zayd.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): the alienation and resistance of the adoptee, by Transracial Eyes.
On “radical psychology” and adoption, by Daniel Ibn Zayd
Debate Tactic: The psychology/psychiatry wings of the dominant discourse are only worthy of particular mistrust. The question remains why there is no internal dissent within such ranks; alternative models of mental health that do not just assume the validity of the dominant culture. As such, they are simply aiders and abettors; co-conspirators, and need to be challenged as such.