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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I didn't need my biological mother--I just needed a mother

It’s hard for me to believe that I matter. To anyone. 

And I cannot help but wonder if it is in large part because of my experience as an adoptee.

Is it because the relationships that were supposed to matter the most in my life were severed and treated as though they were [are] disposable, replaceable, insignificant? Is it because I was treated as a transferable commodity--one that could be taken from one and given to another without any notable consequences? (I was supposed to never look back. I was supposed to be so grateful to have a family that losing my family was supposed to be a negligible event with very little effect on my life or identity.)

Hasn’t that been the basic premise underlying adoption for decades?

I didn't need my original mother. I just needed a mother. I didn't need my biological family. I just needed a family. Adoptive parents don’t need a biological child, they just want a child.

It’s an anomalous, difficult concept for me to grasp that people are not replaceable, because the most basic, core relationships in my life were treated as though they were replaceable--and I was treated as though I was transferable.

Adoption is built on the presumption that families are interchangeable or replaceable, that parents and children are interchangeable, and that ultimately, family has nothing to do with flesh and blood, or DNA and biology, but that it’s all about proximity, exposure, and amount of time together. (And if you feel it necessary to say that “love” is ultimately all that is needed to build a family, remember that original families love, too--and then, read this.)