I was thinking about all the adoptees I’ve met who have no contact with their adoptive parents. No calls, no visits. How does this happen?
Well, we first have to go back in time!
Let’s pretend we are a young couple (early 30s) who get the devastating news we can’t have a baby.
We see on a TV commercial there are poor orphans out there (to save) so we are determined to adopt one of those abandoned babies. Our first contact is the social worker in our state and the adoption agency we choose from the phone book or on the web. Next we enroll to become certified foster parents and do a home study. We watch the movie JUNO and get excited a teenager might choose us. We soon find out there aren’t babies available in American and a private adoption could cost up to $80K plus attorney fees. We see another TV commercial and consider open adoption but friends warn us we’d have contact with the baby’s mother and we can only imagine how awkward or risky that could be – what if the mother changes her mind and takes her baby back. (and we’d be out of all the money we spent, too.)
In our foster training classes for several weeks, we decide an older child is not going to work for us. Some of them come from broken homes and drug addicts. We want a baby or young child so they will bond with us.
So we decide on international adoption after watching another TV commercial. We know it’s expensive so we start a blog to raise money and friends at church hold a pancake breakfast. We think we’ll adopt from Russia or China so we meet with a new adoption agency, recommended by our other adoption agency.
At this point, we have no clue what it’s like for the adoptee and what hell they have been through.
We (the couple) can only imagine how grateful the toddler will be to come to America and have us for parents. “We’ll give them everything they need and love them unconditionally….” (You can say it over and over but what happens when your child doesn’t bond with you. This fantasy failure was never mentioned in the TV ads.)
OK, that’s it. This is the extent of their education, only what they are told by a few friends, the social worker, websites for adoption agencies and TV commercials.
The couple gets defensive when someone posts a comment on their fundraising-to-adopt blog that they should really investigate and learn more about adoptees, what they are really like. Someone else suggests they need to know more about adoptee disorders like severe narcissistic injury or reactive attachment disorder. (That is not considered by the couple as even remotely true.) They are not interested in hearing the bad stuff. They are good people and won’t be discouraged by some angry adoptee or mother who claims she was coerced into giving up her baby. They aren’t aware there are baby brokers in some countries who steal babies to be sold into adoption to rich US couples? (Every single country has had some scandal about child trafficking.)
Fast forward a few years: They are very surprised their child cannot bond as they were expecting and disappointed their child is not happy to be adopted or grateful. The couple was not advised they will need therapy for this child. Their social worker is not required to check on the baby or the couple. Their lawyer gets paid and he’s gone on to the next couple. (Then they hear adoptive parents complain about their international adoptee when they join a support group. They learn some parents re-home their adopted child by placing an ad on the internet!)
They never imagined adoptees would have difficulties or how they will ask and want to search for their families and could end all contact with them once they are reunited.
END RESULT: complete ignorance, greatly encouraged by the booming billion dollar adoption industry.
How many times has the Fantasy-Failed adoption happened? Too many times to count…
(an edited version of THE END RESULT was also published on Lost Daughters last year…)