I am privileged and honored to be included in this anthology of adoptee voices from around the globe. Quoting from the book’s web site:
For the first time in adoption history, families of adoption-loss from all over the world unite, each sharing a unique perspective. The anthology’s contributors are emerging, educated, and established writers, promoting the right to original family.
Our anthology condenses the topic of adoption–a global movement of children–into a revealing look that identifies and acknowledges a crisis specific to orphans who have been torn and isolated from our first families.
Families separated-by-adoption face unique concerns, rarely recognized by the mainstream. Some of the issues we face include forced and coerced relinquishment, child trafficking, reassigned identities, falsified birth records, inaccessibility to one’s family lineage, lack of citizenship, void of cultural connection, belittling of the trauma caused by adoption, resistance toward reunions with family, denial against justice.
All humans—including orphans—should have a right to know and have access to our first family and to ancestral roots. The demand-driven adoption market ignores childrens’ rights.
My contribution is excerpted from the article entitled: “The New Abolition: Ending Adoption in Our Time”, which can be found at Dissident Voice online [link]. Below is a portion of that excerpt:
THE NEGATION OF IDENTITY
The nuclear family defines the basic unit of Anglo-Saxon economic and political systems, and the rise of suburbia/exurbia in a post–World War II economic boom further equated “family” with economic arrival. Adhering to this “American Dream” required a very particular assimilation of those ascribing to this ideal, even when it ran counter to source countries and cultures. In immigrant communities, this transition often required generations; in this light the adoptee becomes an idealized “new citizen”, acculturated from the very start in the mores of a new and dominant culture.
This “benefit” runs both ways: Adopted children, as compared to immigrants, can thus be defined as stepping stones for the assimilation and advancement of the adoptive class, a leap-frogging of our progenitors who failed to “make it” in this type of globalized society. Providing such a status on our adopters, we can thus be catalogued as “class markers”, along with the house, car(s), major appliances, lawn, pool, summer home, and pedigree dog. Disturbingly enough, American Kennel Club certification of such animals contains more genealogical information than our own birth certificates.
This cataloguing is exemplified by the “Dear Birthmother” letters that litter the Internet. These atrocious human “fishing schemes” demonstrate to the subsisting mother-to-be how unfit she is to parent in the New Economy. The huge price of adoption, and the heinous exaltation of those who can pay such a fee, further manifests itself in fundraisers for adopter wannabes, as well as in T-shirts which gloatingly boast: “Adoption: The New Pregnant”, thus separating consumer purchase of a child from a more base procreation thereof.
Everything about the business transaction that is adoption—based on the Anglo-Saxon notion of children as property—attests to this concept, with its associated implications of ownership, transfer of title, racial authenticity, etc. This is represented by adoption brokers who, like their cohorts from the days of slavery, list the newborn or not-yet-born biological product for public viewing, including vital statistics such as gender, race, weight, health, and a price that repulsively varies based on the above parameters.
It should not surprise us then that we are given little sympathy when we speak out about losing our culture, language, or identity since many of our adoptive families, via generational erasure of an immigrant past, negated their own ethnicity to climb this same class ladder. This was done during times of social upheaval when those who resisted were violently put in their place, thus revealing the one valid path to take, now literally embodied in the economics of the adoption industry. To be told we were “chosen” or “lucky” is thus to emphatically berate our ingratitude concerning an instant economic arrival which often took generations for our adoptive families to accomplish.
In stark contrast, a sympathetic response to our question of identity is often worse than the outright dismissal thereof, especially when it involves the abysmal simulacrum of offensively named heritage camps. Similar to the historical segregation of immigrant minorities, these provide the very caricature of our ethnicity which, locally lived, is the source of the racist stereotypes directed against us, and that we are defenseless to counter in any significant way. Further to the point, they often reflect themes offensively removed from our originating nether-class communities, gleaned instead from the aristocratic, upper-class, or royal realm of our lands of birth. More insultingly still, they often employ references to culture completely disappeared or radically altered due to the onslaught of globalized cultural production.
The economic and political basis of such dictatorial indoctrination directed toward these “blank slates” and “impressionable slabs of clay” is evidenced in strikingly similar types of “children-gathering”: the semi-adoption of “summer camps” for the very children victimized by imperial forays into countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, etc., as well as the cultural funding and “brain drain” scholarships from North America and Europe meant to win over “the hearts and minds” of those young people yearning to leave their birth countries as much as we might hope to return to ours. The similarity here is not innocent nor coincidental, and we can see that the displacement of immigration and adoption are two different sides of the same imperial coin; and it is expected that we, too, must render unto Caesar.
Please visit the web site for more information: AdoptionLand