Relative choices?

** Edited at 9:07 pm. It seems several comments were "added" back in to the comments section, so I guess someone at the NYT is "reviewing" some of the comments that were previously sent. I know at least two people whose comments were previously not published are up. Still, both of these were from adoptive parents. I find it sad that none of the adult adoptees I know who commented were published, but at least I am pleased that some of the adoptive parent allies were.

** Edited at 1:36 pm. Count is now up to 11 13 adult adoptees and adoptive parents [that I know of – who knows how many others also tried] who have been censored by NYT. As you can all see, I have been tracking this closely.

This was posted by "Phil" today:

I’m struck by how few comments from adoptees are showing up here. As an adult adoptee, I have two real moms. Neither one gets any realer. Neither one loves me any less. And though the one that raised me and cared for me is my mom, that doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something missing in all of that. It isn’t because we didn’t bond. It’s because I was missing a piece of who I am.

If this was written by Phil Bertelson, of Outside Looking In, (I hope it is, I loved your film) -come on over here! I want you and everyone else to know that WE ARE TRYING to get in, to comment, to let our voices in. The New York Times is certainly not going to publish that they are censoring us, so of course, people are going to assume that we don’t care or that we agree with this point of view.

** Edited 11/13/07 at 12:10 pm to add that I now have it confirmed that another three four people I know (including adoptive parents) have been censored from the comments for this post.

Also, Ed, I disagree with you. You stated "Seems to me if you get past her dismissal of important issues for TRAs, her point that parenthood is always a struggle and most all children rebel against their parents rings true for me. Is there not something more constructive than poking out one’s eyes? I’d hope for more of an attempt to understand."

I’m not going to "get past" her dismissal of important issues for TRA’s. I don’t have that privilege because this is my life and the life of the hundreds of thousands of others in this country who were adopted transracially. Yes, I understand that parenting is always a struggle. Remember, I am a parent too.  And I do make an attempt to do something constructive – for instance, responding to her post.

However, it seems the New York Times doesn’t like it when people critique, because now 7 8 people I know (including adoptive parents) have been barred from responding to this piece. I get that the author is trying to be funny and to "relate" that parenting adopted children is no different from any other kind of parenting (as much as many others would disagree with that, but that’s not my point today) – I just don’t feel it has to be done at the expense of laughing off and/or dismissing the very REAL realities we adoptees of color living in white homes and communities face or through making fun of or disparaging the countries we came from.

** Edited on 11/13/17 7:30 am.

The New York Times, a paper I once held in great esteem, has completely lost all credibility to me. Just so all you readers now know, at minimum at least four (if not more) comments to this post written by adult adoptees have been censored and/or not posted. This continues on a history that the NYT has for not representing adult adoptees in their coverage of adoption.

I’m stepping in to do something I wouldn’t normally do – postpone a link I’d set to publish, and taking a break from studying, to comment about the New York Time month long blog feature, Relative Choices.

In particular, I’m here because the newest post, "The Real Thing" by writer Tama Janowitz, embodies the adoptive parent perspective that makes me want to poke out my eyes and pull out all my hair. And when I read this kind of stuff, I have to remind myself that NOT ALL ADOPTIVE PARENTS ARE LIKE THIS! But it’s hard to remember when this is published in the New York Times, for criminey’s sake, the supposed beacon of fair and honest journalism. I happen to know that I was considered too "out there" for this series, but somehow Ms. Janowitz was approved. I guess when you have friends in high places . . .

Anyhow, Janowitz, in her trademark sarcasm and f-you attitude that made her a once-famous author in the heyday of the late 80’s, writes:

A girlfriend who is now on the waiting list for a child from Ethiopia says that the talk of her adoption group is a recently published book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly about being treated as if they did not come from a different cultural background. They feel that this treatment was an attempt to blot out their differences, and because of this, they resent their adoptive parents.

So in a way it is kind of nice to know as a parent of a child, biological or otherwise – whatever you do is going to be wrong. Like I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

And she says — as has been said by children since time immemorial — “So what, I don’t care. I would rather do that than be here anyway.”

Gee, I wonder what "book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly" she is referring to? And don’t you love her response? I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

How great that this adoptive parent has now made her daughter feel like she was saved from something so horrible! Whew! Great job, Ms. J. I’m sure you’ll have her never-ending gratitude forever!

She also considers issues of race, adoption and identity as something she can dismiss as easily as other "parenting choices" like making your child be a vegetarian or sending your child to school in a tutu.

I get that she’s trying to be all funny and "ha ha, all kids hate their parents" here, but sadly, with her attitude, she might actually be telling the truth. And that’s sad.

I left a comment, but I know that the New York Times isn’t publishing all the comments because a friend of mine was censored. But I left my two cents anyway, and I encourage others to do so as well.