There is a common narrative around adoption that romanticizes the adoption process and enforces this idea that adoption is a happy time for everyone involved. While, some adoption are beautiful and happy, a vast majority of them are not. Now, that’s not to say that these adoptions are horrible and should’ve never take place, but the reality of adoption is that it is a very difficult and emotional process for everyone involved, especially adoptees. This is why it is so frustrating and absurd when people expect and demand, adoptees be happy or grateful for being adopted.
Adoption involves four parties, the birth family, the adoptive family, the adoptee and the agency. Of those four, can you guess which one has zero rights or say in the process?
That’s right, us, adoptees.
We don’t get to choose if we want to be adopted or not. We don’t choose which family we end up with. We don’t choose whether or not we get seperated from our birth siblings and placed in different homes. No one came to us and says;
“Hey how do you feel about being taken away from the person who gave birth to you and sent to live the rest of your life with some white people you’ve never met? Oh and by the way if you have siblings, they will be sent to a different family of white people across the country and you won’t ever be allowed to talk to your birth family until your 18, and that’s only IF you can find them by then. Let us know by tomorrow, thanks”
We have no rights or say in anything. So why should we be expected to be eternally grateful to anyone involved?
Everyone else involved chose this option on some level. We just get picked up from one place, without warning, and thrown into another. Sometimes several different homes if we don’t fit the perfect image of what said adoptive family wants to adopt. If they’re not happy, they can just stamp “return to sender” across our foreheads and ship us back to foster care or wherever else we are being held until someone decides they want us. If that even happens.
I see comments reflecting this narrative all the time, and have directly been told things like “well, if you hadn’t been adopted, you might have died” or “shouldn’t you just be happy, someone decided to welcome you into their family?”.
No, adoptees are not in debt to adoptive families or anyone else. Y’all did this to us. In fact, y’all should be thanking us for putting up with all this bullshit we didn’t consent to. Even those adoptees who do land in great families, and are happy and running through fields of daisies, still are never under obligation to thank anyone for being adopted.
So please leave us alone to process however we choose and maybe one day, we will be happy, or maybe not. Either way, our emotions are valid and we should not have to deal with the savorism and romanticizing of adoption that erases our experiences.