This. This is our why.
“As an adoptive parent I’m always striving to learn more and do better, which is great individually and it will certainly have a large impact on my son and his birth mother. That said, for radical change to happen, we need agencies to start talking about the ick.”
This was a comment we received on our blog, Where Dreams Come True, last week. It stood out to us because we’d never heard it stated quite this way.
We can work all day long to provide better adoption education, support, more ethical practices, and individual experiences within the triad will hopefully improve, as this comment states. But, for sweeping, radical change in the adoption field to happen, professionals have to start being more honest. We have to be willing to risk something for others to gain.
Let’s take a moment and clearly define the ick. As entire adoption industry, it’s the mistakes we’ve made. The hurt we’ve caused. A history of less than ethical practices. It’s the sunshine and rainbows version of adoption that dominates mainstream culture. A myth we perpetuated at times.
We don’t want to center ourselves in the conversation. That’s not our goal. We should always be leading you back to the most important voices, adoptees and birth parents. But, there is a need for adoption professionals to step up and take a turn at the mic. For two specific reasons.
One, we’ve caused some of the hurt. And, when you’re the one that’s responsible for it, you’re the one who needs to take responsibility, apologize and then actually start to change. Only our voice can aid in that specific healing.
And, two, adoptees and birth parents are currently out there fighting the good fight. They are not always met with a warm, loving embrace. Sometimes, the exact opposite. Their experiences aren’t believed, they’re called ungrateful, angry. If we, as adoption professionals, raised our voices, validating the lived experiences of adoptees and birth mothers in even more visible ways, giving a more honest, accurate picture of adoption, would the masses start to say, yes, we hear you? It seems like it’s worth a try.
We’re not kidding ourselves. We’re not leading this movement. There are birth mothers, adoptees, even some adoptive parents and professionals already paving the way, boots on the ground, fighting for adoption reform. However, we believe for a specific part of the healing and change to happen, adoption professionals have to roll up their sleeves, put on their gloves and get into the freakin’ ring.