Saturday, November 18, 2006

Challenges of Foreign Adoptions

With LeRoy Dissing's permission, I am posting his comment because I find it very hopeful. A sign that adult adoptees from the Closed Era can contribute to the discussion on current adoption practices and that there are people who are willing to listen to our stories without minimizing, marginalizing, dismissing or correcting. And to any prospective adoptive or adoptive parents, I understand that it must be very hard to hear that the child you love may feel pain and a host of other uncomfortable and confusing emotions...despite your best efforts. But take heart. You can avoid some of the whopping mistakes made by pioneer adoptive parents. Think of it this way: You can blaze ahead like you know what you're doing and end up in Donner Pass and watch the victims pile up. Or you can ask for directions.

By LeRoy Dissing:
We (my wife and I) considered adopting two Ukrainian teenage siblings this past summer. We hosted them for five weeks here in the USA. While I know most families wanted to adopt pre-school or infants, we felt it might be easier (for us and them) to adopt teens. I often asked folks why did they want to adopt from Ukrainian. Much of it had to do with adopting someone who looked like them.

After reading some blogs written by adoptees and bmoms, I am rethinking this whole notion about closed adoptions. I know the primary reason given for closed adoptions is that it provides the adopting parents privacy to raise their adopted child without any interference by the natural parent(s). I have also known of independent open adoptions and they do appear to do well. I do not believe one shoe fits all feet when it comes to adoption. T

he general rule today is that adoptions are closed. That is too rigid. Each situation probably needs to be decided on what is brought to the table (family dynamics; maturity of adopting and natural parents; extended family, ect.)I am not a big proponent of foreign adoptions because of the cultural divide, language barrier, cutting family ties by distance and time, ect.....and most importantly how these adoptions are done and followed along.

Many, many failed adoptions in this country are foreign adoptions. Why??? For the reasons stated above and also there is no pre-placement of any kind to speak of. People fly overseas "blind" to pick a child from a series of photos, adopt them and then bring them here. No nine months of getting ready, bonding or anything.....just whosh and here he/she is with new parents who have good intentions. Some work, but many have multiple issues and that is right from the get go.

From what I read here and on other blogs, all the issues you mentioned Nina are probably compounded in a foreign adoption. What do you think?

Nina's reply: I suspect that's true...especially reading about the experiences of adoptees from Korea. The Evan B. Donaldson hosted a "Gathering of the First Generation of Adult Korean Adoptees" and much can be learned from their insights.

Even when social workers "matched" us to our adoptive parents and we looked something like them...the similarities were often superficial. Dark hair to dark hair. Brown eyes to brown eyes. But then are face shapes, body types and temperaments. Not seeing yourself mirrored does something to a child. It's confusing and disorienting. I can't imagine being a different skin color or of a different ethnicity. It would be some formula like, Regular Laundry List of Closed Adoption Stressors X Scary Unknown Factor plus I Really Oughta Be Grateful Because I Could Have Died in A Third World Country baggage.

LeRoy Dissing continues:
BTW, we had a wonderful time this past summer but decided not to adopt and after reading what you folks have written, I am much more inclined to aid children in their own families rather than re-create a substitute one for the children. Probably better for all concerned.


Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

Nina...a new study was just released today regarding rights of birth parents that I think you and your readers may find interesting. I have copied an article in our local newspaper on my blog which describes the study and recommendations. I think that people are listening to birth parents and perhaps this is a prelude to listening to adoptees. We can only hope...

11:04 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

These posts are amazing. I feel like I am going to be spending some time here reading through your old posts so if you see someone staying for a long peroid of time you won't think its a stalker or angry adoptee! lol I added you to my links too.

2:23 PM  

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