This is not what I wanted my next post to be about but after reading the article I just read I can’t not respond to it, although I know this response has been written thousands of times. Grrrr, so frustrating.
Just a short hour ago I was reading an article I had seen come across my news feed a few days ago written by Dr. Robin Diangelo entitled, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism.” It was a great piece that I feel brings up many good points about the difficulties that surround the topic of race in these United States. After reading it I decided to peruse the rest of the The Good Men Project website since I know a few contributors and have enjoyed other pieces they have published. After just a few seconds on their home page I ran into an article entitled, “The Top 10 Reasons to Choose Adoption” by Mike Berry. If you are familiar with my blog you can probably stop reading now as you already know how I feel about pieces like this one which glorify adoption and actually actively recruit people to blindly adopt because it is their “calling.”
I don’t have the time right now to go through each point but I want to make a few things clear about the viewpoints put forth in this article.
- At the core the article is not about creating a better place for children who are in the unfortunate circumstance of not living with their biological relatives, it is about making each person feel like they have been called to adopt and to ignore any hesitations they may have had. Its essentially an advertisement for making impulsive decisions without thinking critically about any part of that decision. Just a reminder, having kids, anyway you choose (if you are lucky enough to be able to choose) to do it is a big deal! And guess what, when having children its probably a good idea not to just think about what you as prospective parents want out of this experience but what said child will get out of the experience as well.
- The article does not in anyway seem to humanize the children who are to be adopted. The focus of the article is on persuading people that adoption is the right thing to do for the world. It essentially is arguing that there are kids in need of homes (true) and people wanting children (also true) so why not pair both of them, voila happy family. Look, I am in total agreement that children should have families but I am not in favor of blindly calling out to all who want children to adopt because it is the “right” thing to do or that it will make the world a better place. In my opinion, the first and foremost concern throughout an adoption process, from the first time adoption as a means for having children crosses someone’s mind should be the well being of the potentially adopted child. One way to make the world a better place is to create a space in which a child can thrive and succeed, yes that is true. But adopting a kid doesn’t make you a good person and it sure as hell shouldn’t make you feel like you are some sort of savior. Ahhhhh, I want to keep ranting but its probably not even helpful, alas.
- Just, what the fuck!?
- I am immediately skeptical of anything written that just tells people that they should adopt. There are some people who should not adopt children. Is this a hugely unpopular thing to say, yes? Why, well lots of reasons because how the hell do you decide who or who should not have “the right” to adopt a child? I mean even that framing of the situation immediately frames the situation as an issue largely affecting adults interested in adopting not in finding the appropriate home for a child without a family. Adoption needs to be child focused. Every single part of the process needs to be focused on what is best for the child. I believe that when the process focuses on the well being of a child the result is more likely to be positive for all parties involved. Just wanting to adopt a child or just having thought once in your life that maybe you would like to adopt does not mean adoption is the right option for you or the child you may adopt.
- Read through those ten points and count the number of times the author refers to “you” and is talking about your needs, not the needs of a child that you may decide to adopt.
- There is so much more but I can’t keep going it is just making me angry.
I am disappointed that The Good Men Project decided to post this type of piece as a part of its content. They put out a lot of pieces that I feel are critical and difficult reads because they take issues and pull them apart. This article, however, was a complete disappointment that I think does more harm than good.
Blehhhhh, I never feel good after writing like this.