September 11, 2010

Out of Compliance?

"Out of Compliance? ~ Implementing the Infant Adoption Awareness Act" policy report from The Guttmacher Institute is linked at "Once was Von" ~ an eye-opening discussion regarding "non-directive" pregnancy counseling and how "Infant Adoption Awareness Training", funded through large federal grants, may be blatantly out of compliance.

I actually attended one of these trainings several years ago as a social worker. This was at the very beginning of my journey to becoming a more integrated adult adoptee, and may be exactly what set me on the path to becoming more educated in adoption issues.

The training was geared towards any professional who works with young pregnant women in their every day job ~ nurses, social workers, even teachers. It was literally a "how to" in convincing these professionals the benefits of infant adoption and how they could effectively "present" this option to pregnant mothers. They offered those in authority roles over young pregnant women "tools" they could use to convince them that to be "true to themselves" means selflessly looking to the needs of her baby and realizing adoption is in the child's "best interest." Sound all too familiar?

What was even more interesting is that the facilitators also pointed out that some adoptees are speaking out about "open records". They even put up a slide of the "Bastard Nation" (an adoptee rights group) website and made the statement that these groups of adoptees are "not being true to themselves." THAT is when I knew I had to say something.

At the end of this training, a panel of birthmothers and adoptive mothers answered questions. Because the adoptee for the panel did not attend, I raised my hand and asked if I could share as an adult adoptee. The three facilitators met together in hushed whispers discussing the possibility of letting me speak. They finally decided to allow it, but escorted me to the microphone and stood around me like body guards (not kidding) until my shaking voice eeked out the few sentences I could muster. I simply told my story of adoption and reunion. The only thing I remember saying is "please don't tell me I'm not being 'true to myself' for wanting to know my origins'". Then I sat down and shook the rest of the afternoon. I was so exhausted by the end of that day.


Von said...

Brave you and brave us every time we speak out against the misconceptions, the untruths and the assumptions.Thanks for linking.

Lori said...

We, as the actual individuals truly touched and changed so thoroughly by adoption, are the ones that should be speaking out....My very humble aplause and cheers are for you!

Susie said...

I'm glad you were able to speak up. If only more people could read the words of you & others that were adopted. Maybe it would help break through the myths of adoption that most of society believes ~ because of this kind of brainwashing.

If I, and other moms that I know, had known the truth about the effects of adoption on their children, we would have been much less likely to choose it.

I wish I had known the truth, for both of us.