The power of equality

Adoption is one of those situations where equality just does not happen. There is no way it can. So at different times, each member of the triad walks on egg shells in an attempt not to offend the other, fearing consequences which may arise from that.

In these days of open adoption, the hopeful adoptive parents tiptoe around the pregnant woman, sugar coating everything they say and do in the fear that one wrong move will cause her to change her mind and parent, or choose another set of parents for her baby. Sometimes they gang up on the father with her, because nothing says solidarity like the demonization of another. Fair enough, they want her to know they are on her side.

Then the adoption occurs, the baby is theirs, and suddenly the balance of power shifts. Now it is the birth parents who bow and scrape as they live in fear that one wrong move will mean they are cut off and they will have to wait the inhumane 18 years that so many unfortunate mothers and fathers were forced to wait in the past. Meanwhile, the adoptive parents have forgotten what it was like to live completely at the whim of someone else. That, no matter how logical or justified or right your actions are, it is the perception of your actions by the other party that is important. They make their choices based on how they feel, on what they perceive as the level of safety to the child, because the child is after all the important party. Any choice they make is totally justified if they can claim it is in the best interest of the child. A substance abusing birth parent, well that is just a massive threat. So you can imagine how carefully that person has to tread.

The last player in the cycle is the adoptee. Particularly in closed adoptions, the adoptee has to make the choice of whether or not to search for their birth family. Often they feel guilty by even thinking of searching because it would be seen as not valuing the family they have grown up with. The adoptive parents in this case still have a hold over the adult adoptee. Whether or not the adoptee is comfortable with searching often depends very much on how supportive their parents are. Some never search, for fear of upsetting their parents. What a burden to have thrust upon you.


3 Responses to “The power of equality”

  1. I’d like to link to you but want to know how you want to be labeled on my links list. Could you wander over there and let me know where you’d like to be? 🙂

    (I found you via the comment on Cecily’s blog)

  2. I was just told yesterday that an adoptee was looking for her “birth” family and her adoptive mother committed suicide over the weekend. How do we help her?

    (found at Cecilys)

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