For the sake of brevity, I posted the bulk of what I want to ask here over here. The summary version might be: whether the “worldview” of a child (adopted or not) fundamentally agrees or disagrees with the “worldview” of that child’s parent is a central determinant whether one’s childhood (adopted or not) is deemed “good” or “bad”, respectively. Insofar as I am pointing only to one factor (“worldview”), albeit one with a sturdy carrying capacity for meaning, more articulation of this might be in order. And maybe that mostly would belong over at the other post noted above.
If there’s merit to this distinction, I would suggest it also illuminates the sometimes painful, sometimes contentious gulf between adoptees who “defend” having been adopted and those who “criticize” that experience. The irony of this situation is that defenders almost always would never wish their experience on other children despite their defense while critiquers are often hard-pressed to find any justification for why a child shouldn’t give up on life in the face of enduring such a genuinely true wrong being committed against them.
For this reason, I’m motivated especially to expose the gulf of opinion regarding “adoption is good” or “adoption is bad” as arising from a single source (“worldview”), so that the discourse about adoption doesn’t lose sight of the forest of adoption (as the social consequences of it in different societies) for its trees (as the personal consequences of it in the experiences of individuals). This, especially since the brutal collision of these two factors–of the effects of the social and the personal on the world in which we live–isn’t represented and can’t be represented by those who most exemplify that collision: the adoptees who rendered their verdict on adoption by committing suicide.
Whether we believe adoption is good or bad because of our experience of it, we arrive at that point by being (at least for now) survivors. By our very existence, whether by finding our separate peace in some way or by succumbing to the Devil’s Bargain of assimilation, we are (literally) living proof that adoption can be looked at in strictly personal, rather than social, terms. But this involves a social injustice. Because it is those who are no longer with us, who many of us might nearly have been, who must be spoken for most vociferously. Not simply because they cannot speak for themselves, but because those who do speak for them are most complicit in their absence. Their absence is our loss, everyone’s loss. It is not just a personal matter, whatever our experiences of it.