Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Please stop glamorizing adoption!
I cannot turn on my t.v. or go to the movies without an adoption theme running through the story-line. What is the obsession with adoption in this country?
I purposely watched Switched At Birth last night as I tuned out for most of this season and watched Smash and now that Smash was cancelled, I'm back to Switched at Birth. I love the way the writers can capture what it is like living with people you are not blood related to. It doesn't mention adoption but it really captures the essence of what adoptees feel. It shows the difficulties inherent in switching children in families. It does not glamorize adoption per se.
But back to my rant . . . . .I'm Having Their Baby? The title is so disgusting to me that I can't bare to even watch it one time. No, honey -- you are not having their baby . . you are having your baby. If you want to hand the baby over to strangers, then it is your right; however, let's not try to white wash reality -- you are not a "birth mother" until you sign the relinquishment papers, and even then the term birth mother really annoys me. You are actually a mother. Plain and simple. You just chose not to parent.
I know that my opinion is probably not P.C. but that is how I see it. You are a mother if you give birth. Even if you never hold that child, you are a mother. Even if you deny being a mother because you want to erase that time period from your mind, you are still a mother. Even if your child's birth certificate does not list your name and instead lists the adoptive parents -- you are still a mother.
But why glamorize this truly sad start to a child's life? It is not glamorous to be an orphan. It is not glamorous to feel "saved" by people who, hopefully, but many times do not, love you and raise you well. It is not glamorous to find out as an adult you are treated like a second class citizen under the law. It is not glamorous when friends and strangers cannot understand why you are not deleriously happy about their questions and comments about how lucky you are and asking where your "real mother" went.
If I weren't such an open book by nature, I think I might give myself a do-over and NEVER tell another soul I was adopted. Not one kid in middle school who could use it against me and not one adult who could project their own ideas about adoption onto me. I can totally understand why adopted kids don't want to talk about it. I completly get it because it's like opening the door to a bombardment of questions.
Just sharing with people that I was undergoing dna testing, the questions hit me like a ton of bricks. I instantly felt defensive, although I try not to come across that way, as my hope is to educate. But really, why do I have to explain why my dna is important? Why do I have to explain why I want to know who my father is like you do?
The fact that adoption is glamorized in the media is one of the biggest reasons I think people want to know about the adopted life. Because it is so interesting. I admit, my life is interesting, but in a weird way like I'm a fish in a fishbowl and everybody is staring down into the bowl trying to figure out why fish don't enjoy fish bowls.
Yes, in a way, I've brought this on myself because I write about adoption. But trust me -- this was not a life plan by any stretch of the imagination. I have fought against it. I have told God no! I will not continue to do this. I quit. As soon as I quit, somebody asks me to write something for a blog, a book or asks me to join a committee. So I am now cooperating with God instead of fighting him, but one thing that I just can't take while I'm here trying to change laws, discuss myths and write honestly, is this glamorizing of adoption.
So please, just knock it off.