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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...

Friday, April 8, 2016

"The Un-Daughter: The Legacy of a Non-Father" by Guest Author, Buddhika Arcia

By Guest Author: Buddhika Arcia

The cause of my adoption is essentially akin to the dominant scenario within the Baby Scoop Era, but set in Sri Lanka in the early 80s. My birth parents were not married, and my father, not wanting any responsibility, heard about me and ran for the hills. He was completely absent, not even present during the time that I was in utero. The epitome of the non-father. What really is there to say about a birth father like mine? If something is absent, can it have any effect on you? If a person has no name, look, voice or reference point, does that mean they have no impact?

Yet absence most certainly has an effect. Absence is felt and seen and it can shape you. How many adoptees have been shaped by the actions of their birth parents though they have never met them; maybe because of the fact that they have never met them? And of course, without even knowing the whys and wherefores of our birth parents, we are shaped, at least partially, by their DNA.

NON: Expressing negation or absence

There are many views floated in the world about who constitutes a father and what it means to be a father (and likewise; a mother). People have said it takes more than making a baby to be a father, however that is a purely social interpretation which imports within its definition a value judgement about a good father. That is not a biological definition. Whatever heartfelt notions the word ‘father’ certainly brings up for me in reference to my (adoptive) dad… the man who gave me his DNA, following the biological definition, cannot stop being my father. I am his daughter whether he likes it or not and whether I like it or not.