Monday, April 02, 2007

Easy for me to say?

Sometimes I don't say the things that need to be said because I feel like someone could respond "That's easy for you to say." But sometimes I should say those things anyway.

I've been thinking about this since I posted about the reforms necessary for domestic infant adoption, as only a start to overhauling the whole process, the whole paradigm. Rob, and other readers coming for my opinion, had every right to think, "But she doesn't know. She didn't adopt domestically. It's so easy to judge," every right to think that international adoption is even more flawed and far less ethical (lots of people do) and so not to listen to what I had to say. I appreciate that that didn't seem to be the case, but that that possibility exists does hold me back.

I'm thinking about it more now in relationship to Mia's efforts to restore the rights of adoptees to be able to obtain an unaltered birth certificate. I feel unqualified to say "D*mn right she deserves that!" and that all adoptees do, because my daughter doesn't have it either and because we didn't adopt domestically.

Miss I was born in a rural area that didn't register her birth. Her birth was first registered for the purposes of her adoption, long after she was born. But fortunately for her, for the truth, it has a little asterisk that points to us as adoptive parents. And we got to retain that certificate when we applied for a US one. We've already applied for international intermediary services, trying to make contact with extended family. (I've shared a bit about all of this earlier). It is moving far too slowly for my comfort, as things can change, people can be lost and with them, her history. When they are a little older, when we know more, we will go, and we will grab onto any little bit of her story, her history that we can, any contact we can make so someday she won't have to search.

Why should anyone have to search
? Why shouldn't they know who their first parents are? Why shouldn't they have contact, and a relationship to the extent that they choose?

But this is easy for me to say, from continents away. Easy for me to say because in our case it may be impossible. Easy for me to say because it doesn't pertain to me.

Yet maybe we are the people who should be saying it. As parents who believe that it is a basic right and deep need to know, maybe we'd be the best advocates.

Easy for me to say, maybe, but not so easy to explain.


Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

I wouldn't say it's easy for you to say, I would say it's IMPORTANT for you to say, and for everyone to say.

As long as any secret remains, or as long as any adoptee's past is treated as county or state property and not their own, then it effects everyone.

And actually, getting people who are completely not involved to say it is what's validating the most to me. When I have friends who aren't involved in adoption at all sputter with outrage that I can't get my birth certificate - I love it!

Thanks for saying this! :) Now I want to go back through your archives a bit to read about your intermediary experiences again.

rob said...

My only problem with reform comments among those who have adopted internationally in the blogosphere has been when they are critiquing the "marketing" aspect of domestic adoption, which as you have read me say in the past, is (IMHO) a necessary discomfort.

Third Mom said...

Abebech, transnational a-parents should speak out about adoption reform in the same way a childless person should speak out against child pornography. There are injustices in adoption that I believe can rightfully be called human rights abuses. We have a right, and a responsibility really, to speak out against them.

Thank you for posting this!

abebech said...

Thanks, all. That's very validating.