“All Bears Need Love”: anthropomorphism and adoption.

We’ve already discussed food analogies that are used as metaphors for interracial adoption; we’ve discussed how pet adoption is similar to human adoption. Now it’s time to talk about metaphorical comparisons to animals used to “help” the transracially adopted child [link]:

Despite the grumblings and protests of the other animals, Baby Brown Bear learns family is family, no matter the differences, and all bears need love.


4 thoughts on ““All Bears Need Love”: anthropomorphism and adoption.

  1. What saddens me most here is the POV, which is still from the adoptive-parent side, especially concerning a child who, historically speaking, is still looking to establish such a view, such a voice. James Baldwin said: “It is not the black child’s language that is in question, it is not their language that is despised: It is their experience.” How would a children’s book by James Baldwin read? More importantly, can we imagine a white adoptive parent considering this valid, culturally speaking? Here is the dilemma.

    • I followed the link you provided, and my eye went from the text:

      “Every child deserves a family” (at which I thought, “who says you’re providing one?”) to the sidebar:

      “Win the NEW 2014 BMW 428i Coupe – and change a child’s life”

      then the testimonial by Linda Q:

      “For us, Kinship Center was ‘one stop shopping’ as we saw our child psychiatrist, therapist, and received psychological testing and OT through them. I cannot stress enough how important post adoption support is for the success of the family!”

      I feel like I don’t need to add any further comment to this involuntarily constructed chain of texts on that site.

  2. For me, the recent (since 2005 or so) revelatory experience came with my identification as “Furry”. As something implicated in identity, I could go on for too long with details, but a key experience (not language) involved experiencing a genuine sense of “my people”; The most concrete expression of this involves my wearing daily, and almost all the time everywhere, an imitation stuffed snow leopard tail. At this point also, it sounds strange when I use my actual first name with someone; almost everyone I know now calls me “Snow”.

    I’d guess that Furry has no more or less adopted people in it than one would expect on average; all the same, the social “carrying capacity” for varieties of individual types as it plays out in Furry is highly unusual. In general, Furry functions as a place that allows far more of a person’s “total self” to show up in uninhibited form, so that any of the stereotypical and familiar sense of rejection or “don’t talk about that here” one encounters around adoption in non-Furry settings (in this country at least) like would never happen.

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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