Besides being a big money entity, society is more accustomed to hearing about adoptions going through than they have been to listening to people’s actual experience with adoption. From all 3 perspectives, it is not the win-win that it has been portrayed. Parenting an adopted child has its own set of unforeseen challenges, and the adoptive parents I have met and/or whose stories I have read who have had the courage to be honest about that have my utmost respect.
There is a completely different set of challenges for those growing up adopted – and the challenges are ongoing. I do not pretend to know what it is to walk through these challenges, but I am aware of many of the challenges.
The other party in adoption – and perhaps the not completely silenced but definitely muffled or even muted voice and/or the voice that is the least likely to be heard – is the voice of the mother who looks into and ultimately chooses, for whatever reason, to give up all of her parental rights – and quite often, whether knowingly or unknowingly, any and all chances of ever seeing her child again. Unfortunately, she cannot know the magnitude of how devastating this choice can be until it is too late.
The voice we are starting to hear more that was hardly ever heard before is that of the father who was either tricked into signing away his parental rights – or who was not even given the chance to sign because he was listed as unknown.
The other voices in the adoption scenario are those of the deceived and the deceivers who keep the myth afloat that everybody wins, when, in fact, everybody loses to some degree or another – except for those whose livelihoods are dependent on facilitating adoptions – and we all know that a baby fresh out of the womb is preferred over those coming out of “broken homes” (which is a topic that is as wide and varying as the number of people involved, but this is another conversation altogether) or those who who have no living relations (since, after all, they have been in a few foster homes before they are adopted, usually, and, therefore can be “damaged” or at the very least have special needs). No one likes to talk about the issues adoption creates in the lives of families – whether it is the family being “created” by adoption or the family that has been torn apart in order to make adoption possible. Not talking about it does not mean the realities cease to exist. It is most unpleasant to hear about and unpleasant to truly think about. So we, as a society, generally choose to avoid the unpleasant business of hearing and/or truly thinking about it – thus the tradition carries on largely unchallenged.
So when I say NPR chose the chicken train in not allowing the truth to come out about what adoption creates in the lives of the people involved, NPR is not alone and not necessarily to blame. They are, after all, just going with the status quo flow of the world we have created that says that the unacceptable consequences of adoption are all okay and what must be when, in fact, it is not okay what adoption has wrought in the lives of so very many – and doesn’t have to be.
We can do better!
The thing is, the doors and walls of the adoption closet cannot hold up under the weight of the bones that have been collecting for all these decades. They will not continue to remain out of sight and out of mind for very much longer. They are already starting to press through to come out into to the light. NPR just missed an excellent opportunity to do what must and what will be done – with or without them – that’s all.