Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Adoption: No Big Deal?

An (odious) online column by psychologist John Rosemund, titled "Don't Make Adoption Into a Big Deal," came to my attention thanks to Wraith.

And just in time for National Adoption Month, too!


And while I better not cut and paste the whole thing, here's my favorite quote:

"Today, however, adoption-babble uses words and phrases like "attachment disorder," "bonding issues," and, of course, "trauma" - all of which greatly increase the likelihood that adoptive parents will tread on eggshells. It is almost always the case that these eggshells eventually crack and beasts emerge."

One such beast is the adopted teenager who suddenly decides, in the throes of the "Poor, poor pitiful adopted me" soap opera, that all of her problems would be solved if she could find and go live with her "real" parents. Every single time adoptive parents have asked my advice concerning this adolescent drama, they have affirmed that they followed the standard advice and made the adoption a Big Deal from day one."


1) Adoption babble? Is he referring to important advances & contributions made in adoption (triad?) research and literature by respected experts such as Brodzinsky, Schechter, Lifton and Verrier (herself an adoptive mother), etc., etc. etc.;

2) Being educated and mindful adoptive parents who understand the importance of the way adoption is communicated is a GOOD THING. It doesn't mean they are wimps or sissies or afraid of the subject or their children. They are empathetic.

3) Send this man back to pre-Lifton adoption dark ages, puleeze! Children who are upset by the revelation that they are adopted are BEASTS? For what? Expressing natural curiosity and understandable sadness that they were relinquished? My how these children are villified and cast out of the human race! For their impudence they are called crude lower animals. Or perhaps he was talking about the other beast? Satan?

4) And then he attacks the ultimate loathesome creature...the teenager! The confused and hormonally challenged teenager, trying to grapple with his identity while it is both hidden from him and emerging, merits a mocking?

and finally...and then I'm DONE with this noxious column!

5) the very real feelings of young people troubled by or grappling with their status as adoptees are dismissed as nothing more than manipulative conspirators in an "adolscent drama" and their adoptive parents scolded for botching things up by making a fuss because.....adoption is no big deal. Except to the adoptee.

Any adoptive parents out there? Don't listen to this man or people like him! Educate yourself. Try listening to some of us older adoptees from the failed social experiment that is closed adoption...learn from the mistakes made by pioneer adoptive parents and don't repeat them. Adoption IS a big deal. You can make a big difference in the life of your child if you are open, honest and EMPATHETIC. So you walk on a few eggshells. What the hell. Maybe a whole person will emerge and not a beast!


Blogger Celera said...

Wonderful blog -- I am also a child of adoption, and have begun telling some of my own story on a similar site. So much of what you are saying and what you have experienced is familiar to me. Keep writing!

if you are interested, you can see my blog at celera.eponym.com. I'm still learning now to do links and trackbacks and all that fancy stuff. :)

9:32 PM  
Blogger MaeDay said...

new to your blog...like it!

As for the article by inept, self centered, psychologist:

"""""I have a friend who did not discover that he was adopted until he was 19 years old, and even then quite by serendipity. When he asked his parents why they never told him, they answered that it made no difference to them."""""

Imagine it made no difference to the aparents ...yup apars rule, only thier feelings count.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Andy (echaos) said...


I'm an adoptee and I've enjoyed your Blog. I would like to invite you to come join our discussion forum at Soul of Adoption http://soulofadoption.com/forum/index.php I think you would have a lot of great insight to offer.


7:55 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

Very good response Nina, my eyes just dance over some of this kind of stuff, it is so ummm is evil the word? Not sure, I mean it is the lynch pin in the modern adopto mom's engine, the justification for using the child she "loves, needs, wants, caters to" to meet her emotional needs.

Of course not all adoptive mothers are adoptomoms, but there are lots and lots, I am sure they will find this very helpful.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous daughterof2women said...

Oh my! I hope no adoptive parents fall into this trap. I wish that my parents would have understood these issues so that they could have helped me to process them. I know that if they would have been able to help me then it would have only strengthened our relationship. Of course,they didn't know any better. They were doing what they were told was best. Even today, we can't talk about adoption issues. There is a huge, important part of me that cannot be discussed with them. What do you think that does to our relationship? I hope that adoptive parents listen to the voices of adult adoptees. The research is going in the right direction - with the exception of this man.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous kim.kim said...

Adoption is no big deal? It's a big deal to me, I lost my child. How can adoption not be a big deal? You lost your mother.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Wraiths said...

Amazing what the uninitiated, the unknowing, or the uncaring will spout to get paid. This man needs his license pulled.

I've met very few adoptees who suddenly their "problems would be solved if she could find and go live with her "real" parents." Many just want to know where their blood comes from and who their people are and it doesn't really matter whether we had "good" parents or "bad" parents.

He's such an A$$.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Nina, I found you from Joy. I'm an a-parent, and I'm listening!

I haven't ever heard of this guy, and after reading the quote in your post, I'm glad I haven't.

I'm looking forward to reading more here.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

Visiting his website I see he can't seem to get off of the Ego Train long enough to post anything even remotely resembling a varying opinion in his guestbook. They should have stopped production on Cracker Jacks the day he pulled his liscense from a box of them.

2:36 PM  

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