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I Hate Adoption -/əˈdäpSH(ə)n/

I hate I was born into adoption. I hate I bore a son into adoption. These were the first two statements that came to mind this morning when I woke up at an uncharacteristic 7:41 am. My body usually is like clockwork, and regardless of the day or the activities of the night before, 5 am resonates in my body, and I have no choice but to arise.

I am unsure what dreams played out in my mind while sleeping. I fell asleep during the Oregon State, Washington football game, turning it off before I knew who won, so no movie I could relate to adoption seeped into my subconscious. Yet I woke up hostile towards a word, a practice, a feeling that permeates every part of my life even when I don't want it to. This feeling caught me off guard. After all, I don't hate that I was adopted or that my son was adopted into a family. I hate that we were both born into it. If I am confusing you, forgive me. Please read previous posts, and you will understand how as an adoptee and birth mother, sometimes my perspective is tinged with the complexity of these roles.

This morning, I lay there in bed imagining some people would wonder why I still felt anything about adoption. I'm sure others would remind me that I have a choice, and I can choose not to think about something I cannot change. That sounds so easy, wonderful but impractical, at least to me. I wanted to be "normal" this morning. Yeah, I have no idea what that word means, but I wanted to be it. I wanted my spirit to be free of the heaviness of a word that has been part of my existence for as long as I can remember. So I set out to look at adoption definitions to help clarify exactly what I hate about it this morning.

a·dop·tion /əˈdäpSH(ə)n/
noun 1.the action or fact of legally taking another's child and bringing it up as one's own, or the fact of being adopted. "she placed a child for adoption when she was a teenager" --Oxford Languages Dictionary

I was curious about the definition of adoption in the state that introduced me to the word, so I looked it up on the Colorado Department of Human Services website. If I hated the word adoption at 7:41 am, now at 9:27 am, I loathe it. The last statement of this paragraph triggered me in a way that I didn't need.

Private domestic adoption is a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights by biological parents placing a child or youth into the custody of a child placement agency that is licensed to complete adoptions. These placements are arranged and managed by child placement agencies and private Colorado adoption attorneys. Colorado is an agency to agency state, which means that no facilitation from private stakeholders is allowed during the private adoption process. Generally, agencies are involved to provide support to the adoptive family prior to and after finalization of private domestic adoptions.--Colorado Department of Human Services

The last sentence is why many adoptees feel betrayed by the adoption process. Maybe I am misinterpreting the intent of that statement. It's possible. Support to the adoptive family with no mention of the birth family. Where is an acknowledgment of the support needed for the birth mother? Where is an acknowledgment of the support needed for the relinquished child or youth?

Adoption from foster care: The primary goal of foster care is to reunify children/youth with their parents. However, if that option is not available, adoption or another type of permanent home is the secondary goal. Adults who are interested in adopting through the foster care system must first become a foster parent. Adoptive and foster parents must be at least 21 years old or older, pass a background check, complete training and receive a home study. Foster parents must be able to use sound judgment like a prudent parent and demonstrate a responsible, stable and emotionally mature lifestyle.--Colorado Department of Human Services

I was in foster care with another family for 15 months before being placed with my adoptive family, having my adoption finalized 11 months later. "Sound judgment like a prudent parent" stood out to me, and I had to delve further to understand what they meant by this.

A reasonable and prudent parent standard means careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child or teen in foster care, while encouraging their emotional and developmental growth.

This makes me wonder why the system seems to believe that after adoption, a child's emotional and developmental growth ceases to be important, and they began falsifying records of an adoptee's existence pre-adoption.

This morning, the only definition that resonated with me was from the website.

Adoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family.

Reading my previous blogs, you will know that I have always felt adoption is complicated. I hate the hold adoption has on me. Maybe the cool, cloudy Colorado day has tempered my mood this morning. I plan on watching as many football games as possible, having a couple of bowls of chili, and waiting for this mood to pass.

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1 Comment

Mary Ellen Gambutti
Mary Ellen Gambutti
Nov 05, 2022

Good stuff! Thank you for your injection of clarity :)

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