When in a room filled with members from the adoption triad or adoption professionals, you always know when an adoptive parent speaks. No serious, it is so true. Every time I read through the comments on I Am Adopted’s Facebook page, immediately I know which group of the adoption triad is commenting.
Adoptive parents are always the ones sticking up for the adoption industry, preaching about the orphan crisis, praising birth mothers, trying to compare an adoptees loss to another loss that that they may have experienced, invalidating adoptees, arguing with adoptees, calling adoptees names, the list goes on.
Do adoptive parents genuinely want to hear what adoptees have to say? Some, not all. However, thankfully more and more adoptive parents are turning to groups like, I Am Adopted
for guidance and delving into the adoptee experience in hopes to understand their adopted child. But what about the other ‘know-it-all’ adoptive parents? You know, the ones that say the absurd comments and the ones that like to spend hours debating with adoptees just to prove how necessary adoption is and how many children are being saved by two parents that aren’t qualified to be parents because they are either too young, unstable, or uneducated.
I find that adoptive parents often say the darnedest things that can be very hurtful to adoptees and they almost always makes me SMH (shake my head). It lead me to create the hashtag #ThingsAdoptiveParentsSay
when I was tweeting on my Twitter.
Here are some things that adoptees tweeted including myself that annoy the crap out of us about adoptive parents:
#ThingsAdoptiveParentsSay...that shouldn’t be said ever again.
- I know what it feels like to not know my birth family; my dad walked out on us.
- Adoption trauma isn’t real. It is just a feeling that will pass.
- My child tells me all the time how thankful he is to be adopted. He is so happy to be chosen.
- If you don’t start acting right I am going to give you to another family #rehoming
- What are you talking about, my child is happy and grateful to be adopted and has never experienced any trauma.
- We don’t see color, all we see is love.
- Why do you want to search for your birth family? Were we not enough? What did we do wrong?
- I chose you; you are special.
- Why would you want to find your birth mother? She gave you up. Obviously she didn’t want you. We love you and we are your family.
- I saved you from those horrible conditions in your country. Why would you want to go back there?
- I gave you everything you could ever want….
- I know plenty of happy adoptees; you guys are just bitter.
- God told me….
- Every birth mother has the right to choose whether she wants to parent. I would never judge her choice.
- Not everyone deserves to be a mom.
- Why would you search for your birthmom? She’s probably married and has family. Can you imagine how that might disrupt her life?
- If your birthmother really loved you she would have never placed you for adoption.
- You are so angry, bitter, and ungrateful!
- My child doesn’t need to know they are adopted. We are his family and that is all that matters.
- I will tell my child he is adopted when he graduates from college this way it doesn’t interrupt his life.
- Why do I have to read about adoption? I have children of my own, I know how to parent.
- I just spent thousands of dollars to adopt my child from _____, at this point we cannot afford to just up and move to a more diverse community.
- We were ‘called’ to adopt.
- Adoption is in the bible. It is natural.
- My child’s birth parents were becoming disruptive and were not following our rules. We had to cut off contact #openadoption
- We are your real family. We have been there for you through everything and have always taken care of you.
- These children deserve to have a better life. I am blessed to give them that.
- I know what it feels like to suffer loss my (insert family member or pet) passed away.
- Your mother loved you so much she gave you away.
- We have prayed for you for so long! You have no idea. Thank you Lord.
- I adopted because I didn’t want to ruin my figure or go through pregnancy pains.
- Every year we celebrate Gotcha Day with our little one. We are so blessed to have gotten him.
- You need to let go of the past.
I know I may have ruffled a few adoptive parents feathers after writing this, however, it needed to be said. Some (not all) adoptive parents have no filter and just say anything without even thinking about adoptees or their own adopted child. This goes back to my previous post, putting your child first. I cannot stress how important it is to listen to the narratives of adoptees even if it makes adoptive parents uncomfortable.Some of the things I have heard adoptive parents say are just disturbing leaving me to wonder how they even passed a home study or who they paid off to pass it. Goodness. But again, adoption agencies are primarily focused on the needs of adoptive parents, not adoptees.
While adoptive parents are celebrating their ‘gain’ their child can be drowning in his or her loss. Not to mention what that child’s birth mother is experiencing. Please be mindful of the words you choose. Also, be mindful that while you are celebrating these Gotcha days and telling your child that they were chosen that adoptees are aware that thousands of other children weren’t as ‘lucky’; there is nothing to celebrate knowing other children will never have a forever home.
Adoption is a journey, and parenting an adopted child takes patience, openness, education, understanding, and of course…UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Adoptive parents cannot ignore the fact that their child is adopted and just plan on raising their adopted child as if he or she was conceived by their adoptive parents because they don’t see them any different. Adopted children are different and will always be different in some way. I don’t mean ‘different’ in a negative way just to be clear. The point is adopted children need to be aware and told that they are adopted. They need to know what it means to be adopted, and their narratives need to be validated and honored. Adopted children will always be adopted children even if they bond with a great family. Adoptive parents must never ignore the fact that his or her adopted child has feelings about being adopted. It needs to be talked about over and over again.Be slow to speak and easy to listen. Be cautious of your words. Remember that adopted children have feelings about their birth parents no matter what may have been done to them in their past prior to being adopted.
Adoptees: What are some things adoptive parents say? What would you add?
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