Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Relinquishment!

Shocking, right? How could I say such a thing to anyone?

Well, the words, “Happy Birthday!” feel that way to me. That joyous day when we all celebrate our entry into the world … that day eludes me.

My entry into the world was May 24, 1968, the day my baby self appeared at a police station and was immediately taken to the adoption agency …

Each “Happy Birthday!” or the simple question on a form that asks “Birthdate?” slaps me into my reality. I am severed from knowing my past before my six-month-old founding.

Currently, in Indiana, a non-profit has installed a baby box. I understand the good intentions, but sometimes, good intentions disregard the lives of those involved, those little ones without a voice.

In the recent press coverage, a woman stands next to the box, smiling broadly. Her smile seems to mock me. I realize that is not her intention. But just a little thought … research … questioning of Chinese adoptees or other Korean adoptees who were “abandoned” is all I ask. Perhaps, if she understood the impact of the box, she would have thought differently about placing herself in the picture.

If the baby box appears in your feed, please take a moment and comment with a link to this post.

This box is a violation of the baby’s human rights. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, November 1989, article 8, states the following:
  1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference. 
  2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.
Let’s work for all children to be able to enjoy that date in their life where they feel special … their birthday. Everyone deserves to have a birth story and a record of a birthdate. Let’s not rob future generations of this basic human right.

Feminist columnist, Rosita González is a transracial, Korean-American adoptee. She is married to a Brit and is a mother to two multiracial children. Rosita was adopted in 1968 at the age of one through Holt International. Her road has been speckled with Puerto Rican and Appalachian relatives and her multiracial sister, the natural child of her adoptive parents. While quite content with her role as a “Tennerican,” her curiosity has grown recently as her children explore their own ethnic identities. She considers herself a lost daughter, not only because of the loss of her first family, but also because of the loss of her adoptive parents. After her adoptive father’s death, she discovered that he had fathered a Korean son two years before her birth; she is searching for him. Rosita recently returned to the United States after a five-month stint in Seoul, South Korea with her family and their three cats. Follow her adventures as an adoptee on her blog, mothermade.