Blog Post

Adoption is not Adorable

A recent story titled, “Boy invites entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing — and it’s adorable,’ started making its way around Facebook. I saw some of my friends share it with comments of “Aww” and “Yep, I cried…” I have nothing against my friends, but quite frankly, I found this article and sharing it in such a way to be very offensive.

It’s the holiday season. Last year my dad died, and due to being in a long-distance relationship, for the time being, I am going to spend most of this holiday season alone. Tonight I was driving home from the store, all of this hit me, and I just started crying in the car. I want nothing more than to see my birth mother again, hug her, and just lay my big head in her arms. Even though I have not seen her since I was three months old, and I don’t remember her at all, there are certain times when I still feel a deep connection to my birth mother in my soul.

To refer to an adoption hearing as ‘adorable’’ seemingly discredits all of the internal feelings that this boy must be feeling. He will always be connected to his birth family, and although he might put on a show on the outside, he is likely hurting on the inside. And to call this ‘adorable’ puts unnecessary pressure on the boy to continue be adorable on the outside in the future, even though he might be hurting on the inside. Because talking about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused by adoption trauma is not socially acceptable.

So, instead of reporting about adoption as ‘adorable,’ perhaps it would be a better use of time to report about the PTSD caused by adoption trauma, or resources available to adoptees and their families. What if instead, the headline read, “Boy invites entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing,” and stopped there? What if instead of focusing on the foster parents and the classmates sitting in the back of the room holding paper hearts, that the story focused on the boy? What if instead of quoting county officials, the boy was asked what he felt about the situation? What if instead of a congratulatory note from the nonprofit running the event, the story highlighted resources offered by the nonprofit for adoptees and their families?

The script needs to be flipped, and adoptees should be the ones telling the story about adoption, not the other way around. 

If you’re interested, in the original story, you can find it here.

By Jon Oaks

College Math Instructor. Tech Enthusiast. Visionary. Creative Genius. But above all, I enjoy what I do. That is why I am a teacher. Because I like to teach.

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