Facilitating the Facilitation of (Progressive) Adoption

In our postmodern Occidental milieu, the articulation of new “meta” levels (of market) becomes necessary. Thus, it seems inevitable that extended organizational networks[1] to facilitate the facilitation of adoption[2] would come to exist,[3] along with the usual sorts of fees, such as $395 to attend a mandatory orientation workshop before even being allowed access to the network’s resources.[4]

While critical discourse surrounding adoption will often focus on politically conservative adoption organizations, at least one[5] group now pointedly markets itself both as pro-choice and a “a recognized Leader in supporting and serving LGBT Families.”[6]

A critique of second-wave feminism by later feminists asserted that second-wave feminism functioned ultimately as an only “for us” politics rather than a “for us all” politics.[7] In this way, it threw under the bus the usual marginalized subjects (women people of colour, LGBT people, &c) in order to elevate itself.

And we see that pattern repeated in a “progressive” adoption that positions itself as pro-choice and LGBT sensitive, while throwing under the bus the one group that has been—since the dawn of human sociability—humanity’s originally marginalized and enslaved person: the child.

Politically, this becomes awkward as people who otherwise embody desirable social stances turn that boon into a bane, because it is turned merely (and all over again) to the end of reproducing same old oppressions that “pro-choice” and “LGBT-sensitive” are supposed to combat. It makes (adopted) children into subsidies to cover the externalized costs associated with the (theoretical) middle class social membership, identity, and social reproduction.

What sort of ways might we negotiate this peril? And especially without feeling there is no other resort than the adopted child’s hat-in-hand petition and saintliness (Oliver Twist) or the risk of being pathologically labelled as ODD?

[1] I really don’t believe we are “post” anything of the sort.

[2] There’s the meta part.

[3] E.g., Friends in Adoption; I’m leaving the link out because I’m not interested in generating traffic there. It’s easy enough to find if you want.

[4] This seems to me like charging $395 before one can put a personals ad up on an online dating site.

[5] Likely catching the wave of current conceits of progressivism that offer acknowledgment of a basic human right (i.e., marriage equality) in exchange for grotesque increases of austerity and reductions of other civil rights—a move familiar to African-Americans, who received the War on Drugs along with the Great Society, such that the dismantling of one comes also with the dismantling of the other.

[6] A seal parceled out by the HRC, which has its own bevy of critics vis-à-vis marriage equality.

[7] The total history of twentieth century feminism is too complicated to bear such a simplification, but my claim (and the critique by third-wave feminists) is certainly not wholly untrue just for that reason.

2 thoughts on “Facilitating the Facilitation of (Progressive) Adoption

  1. The other perils for the adopted are being used and abused as poster children, walking advertisements for whatever group is promoting itself and forever being expected to educate others.

  2. So well stated. I think the answer lies within the question itself. It is a peril. For negotiation? I’m not sure. But I do think it’s important to remember that we’re talking about two sides of the same coin.

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

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