By insisting on letting the voices of adoptees and of first/birth parents be heard.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, an event which, like adoption itself, is far more complex that it may seem on the surface.
The word “awareness” is pivotal. Originally, the month was intended to bring focus to the need for adoptions from foster care. That focus, like the original intent of the adoption tax credit, has grown much larger, blurrier, and even controversial. What could be controversial about adoption, you ask? Children in families, feel good narratives, tear-jerker holiday specials, cute videos, win-win. Here’s the thing: there are valid elements in all that. There are also harsher realities that are often excluded in the understanding of the adoption mainstream, and we all have to be willing to look at and acknowledge them, perhaps especially this month.
So, as an adoptive parent myself, I urge adoptive parents to look for and listen especially to the voices of adult adoptees and of first/birth parents this month.
Here are a few sites, in random order. There are many more. I’ll be posting more though the month, as well as interviews with adult adoptees and with first/birth mothers.
Dear Adoption (Essays by adoptees)
AdopteesOn (Podcasts of interviews with adopted adults)
The Adopted Life (Blog and more by a U.S. transracial adoptee; subject of Closure documentary)
I Am Adoptee (Resource group created by adoptees for adoptees)
Musings of the Lame (Blog by a U.S. birthmother)
Saving Our Sisters (Family preservation site working with women considering placing their children for adoption)
Anti-Adoption (Facebook group focused on publicly exposing the problems in adoption)
Only Black Girl (Blog of U.S. transracial adoptee)
Adoptee Rights Campaign (Advocating for U.S. citizenship for all international adoptees adopted to the U.S.)
First Mother Forum (Where first/birth/real/natural mothers can talk and vent)
There are many more. I urge adoptive parents to use this month to learn, to feel uncomfortable and challenged, and to seek ways to educate themselves and others about the full breadth of adoption.