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Old 09-14-2012, 07:59 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,596,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
This is what I see:

Adoptive parents who say, "My child will NEVER think/feel that." Are not really being open-minded & do not appear to be concerned with fostering an environment in which it is okay for adoptees to think or feel whatever way they need to.

Do you see the problem with adoptive parents speaking for their children? Do you see how it could have an impact on society & other adoptees when this sort of discourse (adoptive parents saying their children will NEVER think or feel anyway) takes place publicly & is deemed acceptable?

No one is saying, "Your child WILL/MUST think or feel that."

Instead they are saying, "Your child COULD think or feel that someday." & somehow this very reasonable, well-researched fact gives cause to hostility & defensiveness. Why do you think that is?
I can see how that would be the case, but have you also considered that Sheena just knows her daughter very well? My dad would probably say the exact same thing about me and he would be right. And if my feelings changed, I would tell him, and then he would say something else. How do you know that is what Sheena is saying in spite of what her daughter feels? Do you somehow know that they don't have open communication? How do you know that if her daughter's feelings changed, that Sheena wouldn't also reflect that in her posts? Sheena's daughter isn't on these forums, or she could speak for herself. None of us one these forums know exactly what Sheena and her daughter's relationship is like, so it's not really fair for any of us to make assumptions about their relationship, including their communication about adoption. I will use myself as an example, since I do know what my relationship with my dad is like. If my dad is having a discussion about me and I'm not there, then yes, he can talk about how I feel about the adoption based on what I've told him. And if my feelings changed, we have open communication, so I would tell him, and then he would talk about me differently to other people, reflecting whatever feelings came up for me.

A lot of what kay said isn't factual--saying that Sheena is "living a lie" is an opinion, not a fact. That is what I disagree with, not the facts. I realize that it's factual that all adoptees have a biological set of parents and one or two adoptive parents. I don't think anyone is denying those facts in this thread, merely debating the role those biological parents should have in an adopted child's life.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:03 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I don't see it as a threat either. I just think that every adoptee should have their feelings respected and it should be their choice how big of a role their biological parents play for them.
I see what you are saying & I don't think Kay disagrees with you here. But do you think denying them as parents, or down-playing biology respects the adoptee & gives them a fair choice in determining the role/meaning their biological parents play for them? Can you see how down-playing the importance of biology in any way could be detrimental for young adoptees?
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,204,400 times
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Hi all. Sheena said back in post 74 that she is done discussing her relationship with her daughter, at least in this thread. Please do not continue to talk about her personally. Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:31 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,596,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I see what you are saying & I don't think Kay disagrees with you here. But do you think denying them as parents, or down-playing biology respects the adoptee & gives them a fair choice in determining the role/meaning their biological parents play for them? Can you see how down-playing the importance of biology in any way could be detrimental for young adoptees?
I don't think biology is THAT important and I don't feel like I've ended up all messed up because of it.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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You're right, Julia, because this isn't really about anyone's daughter personally anyway.

The point is that it is wrong for any adoptive parent to say that an adoptee will never think or feel a certain way & it is wrong not to encourage an environment in which it is okay for adoptees to feel biology is important & their first family is meaningful. That does not mean every adoptee will feel that way or agree with that sentiment, but to diminish the importance of it all at such a young age can be truly damaging to an adoptee's sense of self, which has been well researched.

I have actually been told by several prospective adoptive parents, "MY future child will never feel the way you do." As if they can control how anyone feels, or as if the way I feel about my biological family is inherently wrong or shameful. The truly ironic thing is that for most of my life I was one of the "disinterested adoptees," too.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:53 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,855,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
No I did not think you were saying that, but Kay clearly said over and over again that Sheena is "living a lie" which I just think is not true at all.

I don't see it as a threat either. I just think that every adoptee should have their feelings respected and it should be their choice how big of a role their biological parents play for them.

I honestly do think adoptive parents have the right to remind their child that they are their parents. There are so many people in society that only view parenthood through the genetic model, that adoptive parents should be presenting the other side of the issue to give a more balanced view. If you are adopted then you know how many people think your relationship could never amount to a true biological parent-child bond or whatever. So yes I do think adoptive parents have the right to present the social/love model to their children, to help balance out the messages that adoptees get from society day-to-day. It's like with same-sex parents--there are so many people out there saying that same-sex parenting is unnatural and a sin and wrong and so on that same-sex couples do have a responsibility to their child to remind them that two men or two women can raise a child as well. Society already does the work of presenting the biological model of parenting because that's how most people seeing parenting. Just yesterday, in linguistics class, my professor asked everyone to define "father". Everyone, literally, except for me and my professor (whose same-sex partner also works at our school), gave a genetic-based definition of "father". That isn't to say that definition isn't there, but my point is that there is a tremendous bias towards biology as it is in our culture, which leaves adoptive families, single fathers, step-parents, and same-sex parented families out of the picture. The work to acknowledge the biological side is already done--it's the other pieces that have to be filled in.
If I were in your class answering the question, I would say that the dictionary defines father as both

1) One who begat a child
and
2) One who raises a child.

Thus as an adoptee, I have two fathers. I have two mothers. I call my aparents mum and dad but consider both sets of mothers and fathers my mothers and fathers.

However, I've been on other combined triad forums for a few years now and there are some APs who will tell adoptees that mother and father should ONLY be used for those who raise the child and that our biological parents are just sperm and egg donors. To me, that is going too far the other way. Thankfully, not all APs are like that and your own parents sound like gems. My APs were always very objective as well.

I believe it is up to the adoptee to decide whom their mothers and fathers are. I am clear as to the separate roles they play in my life and there is no confusion at all.

What does also happen often is that many people seem to think there is a correlation between one's love for one's aparents and one's desire to connect with bparents. I don't know how many times I've heard online APs say "my friend is adopted and loves his family THUS he has no need to know anything about his biological family". As I said above to Warren Zee, there is no connection between one's love for one's family and one's desire to connect with biological relatives and I always felt sad when those APs couldn't see that because I always felt if they could separate the two actions, then they would feel more at ease.

Just as a side note: I am an adoptee born in the 60s and thus when my mum and dad told us 4 children about our various situations, they said "your mother was" etc - words like birthmother etc had not been invented. I do know that there was no confusion for me.

Btw if I do talk about my bmom, I usually just use her name, just so I don't have to use prefixes and all that stuff. If my bfamily talk about her they usually use her name or say "your mother". I would think it weird if they called her "your birthmother". However, when it comes to the general population, it doesn't really bother me if they call her your mother or birthmother but that is just me.

My main bug with titles is if someone specifically TELLS me I should call any of my parents such and such because it is my choice what to call them - no-one elses.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,204,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
The point is that it is wrong for any adoptive parent to say that an adoptee will never think or feel a certain way & it is wrong not to encourage an environment in which it is okay for adoptees to feel biology is important & their first family is meaningful. That does not mean every adoptee will feel that way or agree with that sentiment, but to diminish the importance of it all at such a young age can be truly damaging to an adoptee's sense of self, which has been well researched.
I understand what you are saying, and for the most part I agree with you. I don't think anybody could reasonably say otherwise. Nobody can say that even about themselves, because we do not know the future. However, when people argue a statement like, "This is a true statement," and "This is not a true statement," there can be no winner when they are speaking of a subjective truth, such as the faith in what will happen in the future. You have made your stance very clear. Let's have a constructive discussion instead of singling out viewpoints and attacking them. This board is meant to be a place where people can learn from one another. You are here to teach us that people who were adopted, as well as their biological relatives, have feelings and motives that deserve respect. I think that is a good thing to say. What I'm hearing others try to say is that they prefer not to be approached like enemies. Just as you have a message to give to others, others have messages to give as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I have actually been told by several prospective adoptive parents, "MY future child will never feel the way you do." As if they can control how anyone feels, or as if the way I feel about my biological family is inherently wrong or shameful. The truly ironic thing is that for most of my life I was one of the "disinterested adoptees," too.
That's the truth to them. Surely you can agree that most adoptive parents would strongly feel that they understood the children they had raised, biological or adopted, better than a stranger would? You do have the perspective of also being an adoptee, but the parent shares a long history with the child that is important and relevant. When you argue with someone about how someone else feels--or, more crazily, will feel-it's pointless.

I think it's really sad that people have been thoughtless and hurtful to you. I prefer to think that people tend to be more stupid than evil, but then again I'm an optimist.

Last edited by JustJulia; 09-14-2012 at 09:24 AM.. Reason: an optimist who makes dumb typos
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:24 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,116,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
You're right, Julia, because this isn't really about anyone's daughter personally anyway.

The point is that it is wrong for any adoptive parent to say that an adoptee will never think or feel a certain way & it is wrong not to encourage an environment in which it is okay for adoptees to feel biology is important & their first family is meaningful. That does not mean every adoptee will feel that way or agree with that sentiment, but to diminish the importance of it all at such a young age can be truly damaging to an adoptee's sense of self, which has been well researched.

I have actually been told by several prospective adoptive parents, "MY future child will never feel the way you do." As if they can control how anyone feels, or as if the way I feel about my biological family is inherently wrong or shameful. The truly ironic thing is that for most of my life I was one of the "disinterested adoptees," too.
And I've heard many non-adoptive parents say things like, "My child will never do ....." and "My child will never feel ....." -- it's not exclusive to adoptive parents.

*I* really feel you're over-reacting about this. (Remember that I'm an adoptee myself.)
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:25 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,596,155 times
Reputation: 12532
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
You're right, Julia, because this isn't really about anyone's daughter personally anyway.

The point is that it is wrong for any adoptive parent to say that an adoptee will never think or feel a certain way & it is wrong not to encourage an environment in which it is okay for adoptees to feel biology is important & their first family is meaningful. That does not mean every adoptee will feel that way or agree with that sentiment, but to diminish the importance of it all at such a young age can be truly damaging to an adoptee's sense of self, which has been well researched.

I have actually been told by several prospective adoptive parents, "MY future child will never feel the way you do." As if they can control how anyone feels, or as if the way I feel about my biological family is inherently wrong or shameful. The truly ironic thing is that for most of my life I was one of the "disinterested adoptees," too.
Knowing how your child feels now about adoption does not preclude being open to the idea that his or her feelings may change in the future. An adoptive parent could be aware of how his/her child feels now while still being aware that his/her child’s feelings may change. In fact, adoptive parents could even be aware that their child’s feelings are likely to change.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,126,842 times
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I really, need not explain why I chose the type of adoption I chose, international and closed, and the type I continue to chose to anyone but those who love me, especially my children, who are well aware of the difficult path we took to parenthood.

We have loving and mature tennagers who are also sensitive to our needs, as we have taught them by example,we are sensitive to theirs. Our daughter is already interested in adding to her family when the time comes, through adoption. Through international closed adoption. She too does not want to share parenthood with "some random people". Her words, not mine, and is horrified by television reality shows that act as though disgruntled adoptees who are "reunited" with the people who gave birth to them.

They do not speak for my daughter or for the countless other adoptees who have no desire for such drama in their lives.

My daughter and I frequently watch such shows, We saw one about the adopted child of convicted child murderer Diane Downs, whose daughter abandoned all common sense and perused a relationship with the incarcerated Downs.
Needless to say, she regretted ever doing so.
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