Fraternizing with the “enemy”

One of the more interesting developments for me at the Ethics and Accountability conference was meeting some awesome adoptive parent allies. Yes, you read it and it’s true. I talked to adoptive parents!

I won’t name them all, but they know who they are, and it was refreshing for me. I tend to be very guarded when talking to adoptive parents and sometimes I think I come across as being rather, er, terse (to put it lightly). That is because I have endured years of talking to adoptive parents only to feel exploited, used, grilled, attacked, or on the receiving end of a punching bag when I challenge myths about adoption.

I understand that often this is a case of "I’m rubber, you’re glue" and that it’s the result of an adoptive parent’s feelings of guilt/defensiveness/intimidation/insecurity or maybe it’s just the idea that I might represent their child’s feelings some day and it’s easier to make me the scapegoat rather than imagine that your child might some day grow up and question adoption.

This is one of the reasons I don’t read adoptive parent blogs much anymore, or engage often in on-line discussion forums. I do have those certain blogs or web pages bookmarked, though, because I want to understand what is going on in the community of adoptive parents. That’s often how I know what to discuss at a training or when I’m on a panel. So I check in once in a while to see what’s happening there. But most of the time, especially on the forums, I get angry. Yep, I used the "A" word. Angry. That is when I become the dreaded "angry adoptee."

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