Always a(n adopted) child?

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I was thinking about this issue this morning, and it occurred to me that there may be an analogy to the demand by the adoption industry and its supporters — but others as well including even many adoption-reform organizations — that natural mothers must accept the title (and status) of being nothing more than incubators (a.k.a. “birthmothers).

That analogy would be if everyone who is adopted must always live be referred to as an “adopted child” or “adopted baby” or “infant who was adopted” and may never call themselves an “adoptee” or adopted person” or “adopted adult.”  That they will always be perpetual children and be called that, no matter what their personal preference.

Some adoptees of course may be okay with being called a ‘baby” or “child” for the rest of their lives, finding it “endearing” or “special” — the same way that some CUB members I have spoken to say that ‘birthmother” is “endearing” or “special.”  Some mothers may insist that calling the child they lost to adoption “their baby” all his/her life is “endearing” and want to call all adopted persons “babies” — the same as some adoptees say that the term “birth mother’ is a special and endearing term for their own natural mother and want to call the rest of us that as well.

We know that the adoption industry and its customers want to treat adoptees as if they were children with no power and no voice. WE also know that this same people and its customers want to designated all natural mothers as being nothing more than breeders with no power and no voice.  But adopted persons do not want to be classified as perpetual infants and natural mothers do not want to be classified as being breeders.

Some adopted persons have protested about being called “babies” in online support groups.   I understand their point of view entirely,  and I would never belittle an adopted person this way.  I did not reunite with my “baby.”   I reunited with my adult son.  Society in general, and anyone who personally knows an adopted person, must cease treating  adult adoptees as if they were still children.

So, my thoughts on this are that just as adult adopted persons are not perpetual children or babies, never to grow up; natural mothers are not “birth-mothers,” never to be considered to be mothers.  We all deserve some mutual respect.

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10 thoughts on “Always a(n adopted) child?

    eagoodlife said:
    July 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I’ve yet to meet an adoptee who liked being called a baby or any who enjoy being referred to as ‘our kids’ as Lily Arthur does.Adult adoptees does us well and what’s wrong with sons and daughters?

      Davis said:
      December 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Can’t we just refer to them as they are? Friends, family, coworkers? Is there a need to specify as adults that they were adopted?

        7rin said:
        January 24, 2013 at 12:29 am

        Sometimes the adopted part is necessary for context.

    lktrevino said:
    July 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Sadly, no matter what the mothers and adopted persons want to think – the world will always consider me a birthmother, the adopted persons will always consider me an abandoner and nothing we do will change that …. words are powerful and they are also the only thing that prevents understanding.

      droessle said:
      July 12, 2012 at 1:03 am

      True dat… unfortunately.

    droessle said:
    July 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Words are important. For years it has made me crazy when people refer to adoptees as an “adopted child,” and especially when they refer to themselves that way! It’s like being adopted keeps them stuck in child mode. I also hate the birthmother label, although I have used it, did even in my book — I guess for clarity. I’ve stopped though. Thank you for this post.

    Kerri Small said:
    September 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

    The word Adoptee mean to me a nobody with no name a doll that was handle over from an Department store to a buyer I did have an past but with no roots what my future to be? But one day soon “Within These Walls: of my DNA I will find my true indentity they cannot change my past I will find it . It mine alone to be who nature intended me to be ! 🙂

    SQT said:
    August 5, 2013 at 7:43 am

    My mom (adopted) never referred to me as her adopted daughter and I appreciated that. It bothers me when I read gossip columns and the article goes out of its was to refer to a child as “adopted;” why make that distinction?

    That said, I’ve just recently been reunited with my biological mother (I’m 43) and I have no issue with her referring to me as her daughter. That is how we’re related to each other and I believe she has the right to claim the relationship.

    provplace said:
    October 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

    What if a adoptive parent adopted a child, it does not mean that the entire life they have to hear the same words for their child “adopted child”. After adoption, every parent want the child to be called as their own child. But these words make difficult for them.

    Unnatural mother said:
    November 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    My mother calls me her baby still and she gave birth to me. I think it odd that this is a controversial topic. I am in agreement with 7rin that sometimes you state the relationship for context. We a half-black, half-white woman is hanging out with her very young looking Native American father it is sometimes necessary to clarify the relationship is step-daughter/step-father vs a couple. It comes up. I don’t feel a victim for it.

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