Adopter “slumming”.

On Twitter, I came across a discussion of adoptive parents talking about the questions they get asked about adoption; they were defining themselves as having been “ostracized” for their adoptions.

I asked myself—and wanted to ask them, but 140 characters is dismal for this kind of discussion—is this at all valid? When you have the luxury and privilege to adopt, do you get to then complain about that act?

Especially in comparison to what adoptees go through? It struck me as a kind of “slumming it” at our expense; delving into our ostracism knowing that at the end of the day they are not adopted….

Any thoughts? Please expand at will.

5 thoughts on “Adopter “slumming”.

  1. While it’s probably of limited benefit for me to judge the experiences of people I don’t even know, this smells like bullshit to me.

    If people are giving you a hard time because you’ve adopted, maybe it’s because even they can see how wrong adoption (usually) is when viewed close-up instead of through a lens with Vaseline gooped all over it.

    • I don’t doubt that adoptive parents have to “put up with” the societal reaction toward adoption. I just found it a bit … untoward to complain about it.

      Especially given their self-same acclamation of the act. Plus, it seems to say “look at what the riffraff are saying to me”; I have a real issue with this idea that adoption is a) a bourgeois conceit and thus b) everyone else has to suck it up and swallow it whole.

      Maybe it’s the adopters who need to “suck it up” and realize, like you are saying, the “wrongness” of it all. The culture is then just channeling this truth….

      • Untoward, indeed. Aren’t *they* the ones who should be expressing all the gratitude we’re expected to vomit forth on demand?

        Reminds me of the current spate of “one per centers” talking about how *mean* the rabble are to them lately.

  2. Remembering the general observation (often reiterated by Daniel) that the plausible innocence of adopters circa the 1950s &c is more and more becoming an untenable position for adopters these days (or as a point of departure that those critical of adoption should take into account or bear in mind), we still encounter the awkward situation that the angst of adopters (like the angst of the 1%) is experientially real, no matter how steeped in completely whitewashed premises we know it to be.

    At the broadest scale, this has to do with a discourse that treats the victim as sacrosanct, which means not only must we not touch it (attack it) but we must not complain when it tyrannizes us. Partly this is because we understand that when it comes time for us to be in pain, we too want to be allowed to act like the Queen of the Universe, because only in such circumstances can we practice such unmitigated egotism. A current historical case in point of this of course involves the occupation of Palestine.

    When a child screams to a parent or when a burn victim howls in agony to nurse, the responsible party does not adopt a hands-off policy. In fact, the person called upon to be the adult in the face of the (ultimately childish) egotism of that pain means a sort of heartless but compassionate response: the parent is called upon to invoke a boundary, the burn nurse is called upon to issue a section. In no case should either accept at face-value the howling, agonised egotism, and it is perhaps only our own vanity (at being perceived as an asshole) or our sense of powerlessness (to do anything about the agony) that makes us take it at fee-value.

    One may feel sorrow for the agony of the screaming child, the burn victim, the 1%-er, the adopter, the Israeli soldier, but the mature responder in the situation does not address the pity-pot in the terms presented—one restrains the egotist if they’re getting destructive (of self or others), one attempts to ameliorate the symptoms, one doesn’t argue with the premises of the agony as presented, and one needn’t add fuel to the fire by answering howling with howling. Except for the burn victim, we can tell all of them, “You’re being childish, and I need you to grow up.”

    For those who would adopt, one might say, “You’re acting childish, but if you’re going to adopt, then you need to be a grown up.” And that’s only 67 characters.

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s