I’m touching back here to a discussion we had about AP entitlement [link], and how our discussions, which we would hope help us “break out” of the status quo discussion of adoption in fact feed back into the “adoption loop” as it were.
Recently the reactions to NPR’s mediation of transracial adoption, as well as the co-ordinated response to the death of a Korean-born adoptee, seem to moving the discussion concerning adoption into a different realm, although still “among” those whom adoption has had an impact on.
But this too is changing. In the current issue of the Counter Punch newsletter (Vol. 21 No. 1; print only) there is an article by Ruth Fowler entitled: “The Rescue Fallacy: Race, Privilege and Adoption”; this topic will also be taken up in the upcoming Adoption Initiative Conference in May.
We seem to be reaching some kind of critical mass in how a) adoption is addressed and discussed politically and economically, moving us away from the purely personal, psychological, and individual, and b) that from the unique perspectives of those in the adoptive realm, usually focused on P/APs.
In her article, Fowler quotes UK-based poet and playwright Lemn Sissay who states: “taking a child from another culture is an act of aggression”; she also writes “raising children is a basic human privilege we continually treat (incorrectly) as a right.”
This is refreshing I think, when the response within the greater mediated realm is to continue to perpetuate the idea that adoption in and of itself is a “progressive” act of “enlightened” individuals.
This is pointed up by many of the responses to the topic on entitlement which describe a kind of voyeurism as well as a kind of “Adoption for Dummies” (please tell me there’s no such book) need on the part of P/APs to ensure that their adoption will take.
What I am wondering is whether in terms of mediation, are we seeing a shift where our discussion is moving away from a somewhat co-opted interpretation to one which stands on its own, and reverberates outside of the realm of the “usual discussants”?
Can we imagine the point when the adoption discussion truly breaks free from these strictures? When what we’ve been discussing here for a few years, what has been adoption activism for decades, and what has been adoption resistance for close to a century “opens up” honestly, expansively, and holistically?
What might that be like? What might the response be? I’ll leave this question rather open to be interpreted as you wish.