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Old 09-23-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
Does adoption mean loss? Or does abandonment and separation from the family of origin mean loss?

I think some of the disagreement and intensity here is in definitions. Adoption means that a child is taken in by another family. Certainly that is not a loss. The individual experiences of those involved will be debated as to whether the specific adoption was a loss or gain.

eta: Or rather, whether the adoption proved to be of benefit or not.
Adoption never comes without a loss beforehand.

It is probably true that at least part of the problem is that often when talking about adoption, some people will be referring to the simple act of a child being taken in by another family and others are referring to both relinquishment as well as to the modern form of adoption where that child is also then to be "as born to" that family and "as if" no longer born to the previous one. This can make discussion about adoption a bit difficult because quite often people are talking at cross-purposes.

specific adoption was a loss or gain

Actually, I read something recently which used the terms "net positive/negative" and "net gain/loss" re adoption which might be a more accurate phrase as it acknowledges that there are positives and negatives but that one outweighs the other.

Just because an adoption may be a net positive for a specific someone doesn't mean that they can't grieve the losses that came beforehand.

One thing I've noticed is that if a particular person isn't sure whether their adoption was a net positive, it is assumed that it is because something has "gone wrong" in their adoptive family.

However, often it has nothing to do with the adoptive family at all - it may in fact be more that the alternative may not have been so bad and that the separation from their first family was not done so much out of necessity because it was deemed best by society.

Even in the cases where there is a net positive, it doesn't mean that one can't grieve the fact that their bparents were in a position that abandonment was necessary.

Btw Nim, just reading what you said about your bmom giving birth to you prematurely, do you think that it is possible you may have been left at a hospital and then sent to the orphanage or do you think she tried to take you home and then realised she couldn't cope? My asiblings who are twins were very premature (they weighed less than 4lb combined) and their mother tried to take them home but they were taken off her out of neglect - which back in the early 60s probably meant she was trying to care for them without any sort of support whatsoever and just couldn't cope.

Btw this Korean adoptee blogger has some interesting posts about the paradoxes of adoption for an adoptee, some might find them of interest to read.

Yoon's Blur: Why being adopted as an infant does not nullify adoption loss
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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I understand that being separated from the family of origin represents a loss. My question is perhaps there is a misunderstanding between some of you based on whether adoption itself represents the loss rather than the initial separation? Just running that by you guys. Perhaps I'm not phrasing the question properly.

And I do appreciate the responses to my posts. Thank you.

Last edited by winterbird; 09-23-2012 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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I don't understand what you're asking.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:10 PM
 
1,193 posts, read 1,426,447 times
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It seems that the posters are disagreeing over whether or not adoption is a loss. My take on it is that adoption is usually a positive event (although individual experiences will have problems, no doubt). And that the initial abandonment or separation from the family of origin is the real loss.

I wanted clarification on the posters' viewpoint of the matter. I'm satisfied with the responses.

eta: and don't mind further comments...lol
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:18 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,153,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
It seems that the posters are disagreeing over whether or not adoption is a loss. My take on it is that adoption is usually a positive event (although individual experiences will have problems, no doubt). And that the initial abandonment or separation from the family of origin is the real loss.

I wanted clarification on the posters' viewpoint of the matter. I'm satisfied with the responses.

eta: and don't mind further comments...lol
I can only speak for myself. Separation from my birth family was only the first loss of many.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:29 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,863,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
It seems that the posters are disagreeing over whether or not adoption is a loss. My take on it is that adoption is usually a positive event (although individual experiences will have problems, no doubt). And that the initial abandonment or separation from the family of origin is the real loss.

I wanted clarification on the posters' viewpoint of the matter. I'm satisfied with the responses.

eta: and don't mind further comments...lol
I think to clarify, I said also in my post the following:

well as to the modern form of adoption where that child is also then to be "as born to" that family and "as if" no longer born to the previous one.

This type of adoption in itself where one identity is obliterated and another created can cause problems in itself - even in an open adoption. In the past, our whole history was obliterated.

And where you say here:

And that the initial abandonment or separation from the family of origin is the real loss.

It is certainly the main loss, this is why also many of us who have problems with certain aspects of domestic adoption are against the type of counselling encouraging women to separate themselves from their children "in the best interest of the child" because this particular point is almost always never told to the mothers - they are more or loss told that it will have no effect on their child at all - in fact, they way adoption is sold, one would think that we little blank slates want nothing more than to be separated from our original mothers and brought up by others. One domestic infant agency sends out brochures to their emoms where the first line is "For a child, adoption means Love, opportunity and the American dream", making it sound as if adoption is something that a child is striving for when in the womb.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
Btw Nim, just reading what you said about your bmom giving birth to you prematurely, do you think that it is possible you may have been left at a hospital and then sent to the orphanage or do you think she tried to take you home and then realised she couldn't cope? My asiblings who are twins were very premature (they weighed less than 4lb combined) and their mother tried to take them home but they were taken off her out of neglect - which back in the early 60s probably meant she was trying to care for them without any sort of support whatsoever and just couldn't cope.
I know that she left me at the hospital. I met and spoke to my orphanage director directly, who watched it happen (as he went to the hospital daily to take any abandoned infants to the orphanage). However, he couldn't take me home right away because I had to be incubated for a year since I was three months premature. The orphanage director took me home for one night when I was finally released from the hospital and gave me my pre-adoptive name. Then I was transferred to the orphanage at age one and adopted at three and a half, just a few months shy of when orphans get transferred to institutions for the disabled. When I visited my orphanage, one of the caretakers even remembered me by name.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Western Canada
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Three points of view on this, and from each point of view there are at least two ways to consider what you are seeing. This definitely contributes to disagreements as two posters can say the same thing but mean two different things. It's really important not to read anything into a statement that is not implicitly part of it. ie "I'm sorry you lost something." is not the same as saying "I'm sorry you have me."

Adoption is only an event for adopters/relinquishers. For adoptees, it is lifelong. This itself causes much confusion, as parents on both sides will refer to one's adoption as a thing in the past while adoptees don't see that it ever stopped. We are very aware of the timeline of events and are more able to process than most give us credit for. For example, some think there is a choice between adoption and abortion. There isn't. From the moment one becomes pregnant, the baby starts growing. Abortion is only really an option during the first trimester, so the mother makes a decision whether to carry to term or to abort. Until the baby is born, adoption can only be a plan, the child is still physically part of his/her mothers body and cannot survive separately. Once the baby is born, abortion is no longer any kind of option. The choice mom has now is to keep or to place. Two separate decisions, not one. The real confusion around this point is from some of the adoptive parents, who from their perspective are inclined to see the decision differently. As both decisions BEFORE they have even seen the baby, to them the baby doesn't even exist yet. They often conflate the events of the past 9 1/2 months down to one event.

For all parties, there is gain and loss and each must assess this for themselves. These losses and gains are very different and disproportionate. For adopters it is mostly gain, for biological parents who surrender their offspring there is mostly loss and some gain, for adoptees there is a large loss followed by a loss or gain depending on where they are placed.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I know that she left me at the hospital. I met and spoke to my orphanage director directly, who watched it happen (as he went to the hospital daily to take any abandoned infants to the orphanage). However, he couldn't take me home right away because I had to be incubated for a year since I was three months premature. The orphanage director took me home for one night when I was finally released from the hospital and gave me my pre-adoptive name. Then I was transferred to the orphanage at age one and adopted at three and a half, just a few months shy of when orphans get transferred to institutions for the disabled. When I visited my orphanage, one of the caretakers even remembered me by name.
That would have been nice to find someone that remembered you by name.

I was in hospital/foster care for the first 3 months (I had a medical problem) and have always just assumed that the foster carers wouldn't remember me but I sometimes wonder whether they would have. I do know the name of my foster carer but when I checked the BDM index, she passed away in the 70s.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:47 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,863,745 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_K View Post
Three points of view on this, and from each point of view there are at least two ways to consider what you are seeing. This definitely contributes to disagreements as two posters can say the same thing but mean two different things. It's really important not to read anything into a statement that is not implicitly part of it. ie "I'm sorry you lost something." is not the same as saying "I'm sorry you have me."

Adoption is only an event for adopters/relinquishers. For adoptees, it is lifelong. This itself causes much confusion, as parents on both sides will refer to one's adoption as a thing in the past while adoptees don't see that it ever stopped. We are very aware of the timeline of events and are more able to process than most give us credit for. For example, some think there is a choice between adoption and abortion. There isn't. From the moment one becomes pregnant, the baby starts growing. Abortion is only really an option during the first trimester, so the mother makes a decision whether to carry to term or to abort. Until the baby is born, adoption can only be a plan, the child is still physically part of his/her mothers body and cannot survive separately. Once the baby is born, abortion is no longer any kind of option. The choice mom has now is to keep or to place. Two separate decisions, not one. The real confusion around this point is from some of the adoptive parents, who from their perspective are inclined to see the decision differently. As both decisions BEFORE they have even seen the baby, to them the baby doesn't even exist yet. They often conflate the events of the past 9 1/2 months down to one event.

For all parties, there is gain and loss and each must assess this for themselves. These losses and gains are very different and disproportionate. For adopters it is mostly gain, for biological parents who surrender their offspring there is mostly loss and some gain, for adoptees there is a large loss followed by a loss or gain depending on where they are placed.
Well said, Scott.
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