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Laura Dennis: Adoption’s House Slave?

by Laura on January 9th, 2014

The blowback from last Thursday’s post, Should Adoption Be Illegal?, was felt all the way in the mountains of Bulgaria.* And it wasn’t from the New Year’s fireworks.

“Three Star Firework Explode On Night Sky” by Keerati, freedigitalphotos.net

I had a vague idea that it might be a controversial post, but not in the way I thought. Then I was insinuated? implied? that I was doing the work of a house slave, calling for reform as opposed to abolition of adoption.

At first, I was upset.

It felt like I’d been insulted somehow, but wasn’t exactly sure what it meant, or how to respond. (Sometimes I’m slow on the uptake; I was taught to always give people the benefit of the doubt.) As commenter S.E.L.S. states, “Furthermore, some people don’t take the ‘slavery’ comparison as a metaphor. They take it literally.”

Then there’s MLS who says, “You agree that there are parallels between slavery and adoption but dislike the analogy? I think that both institutions are based on taking advantage of people, on huge disparities of power, and on ownership of other human beings.”

I can see both sides on this. However, as a White American, raised in middle-class suburbia—Who am I to go there? I don’t have the education in post-colonial race relations to navigate such waters, while acknowledging the White privilege I bring to it. I could just imagine comments! Not only am I a snake in the grass, but a racist one at that!

 

So first I did some research

A teeny, tiny little bit of history …

There are also the notions of compradors (China/Asia), kowtowers (from Chinese, to touch the forehead to the ground) and smiling foxes. I had to look the last one up, and found a great speech by Malcom X. Several commenters have referred to Martin Luther King, who was considered extreme in his time. But then, Malcom X considered MLK sellout. Malcom X:

The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf [white conservatives], he flees into the open jaws of the “smiling” fox.

Am I a smiling fox of adoption reform, welcoming abolitionists and using them to my advantage? I’d never thought of it that way, and wasn’t aware that I had that much power. I consider myself “on notice.”

But back to the house slave thing. Perhaps I’d feel less bewildered if I’d been accused of being adoption’s indentured servant? That at least mirrors my own ethnic history, if not actual.

So let’s start with that.

By engaging with adoptive parents and yes, even agencies, am I effectively operating as an indentured servant to adoption? Am I engaging within the existing power structure only? Am I perpetuating injustices by calling for reform as opposed to abolition?

I read some more, and discovered …

“Unfinished Puzzle Shows Solving Problems” by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

Ah-Ha Moment #1: Adoption as a Legal Construct

Let’s return for a moment to the statement: “Adoption should be done away with completely; it should be illegal in 100% of cases.”

It’s misleading and confusing (and therefore often considered absolute, fringe or extreme) for those of us who think of adoption as a concept: a way for infants and children in need of homes to get them.

Now, let’s try reframing it. What if the statement were:

“Adoption as a legal construct—as distinct from the general concept of infant and child adoption—should be outlawed. I

n other words, if we were to remove the unethical aspects of adoption, the legal construct of what we call adoption today would effectively become the legal construct, parental legal guardianship.

This is the reason why I believe adoption should simply be outlawed.”

Ah HA. Okay, I SEE. Now I’m getting somewhere.

Stating “Adoption should be illegal in 100% of cases” is not actually an absolute statement. Rather, it’s a kind of shorthand for those in-the-know about legal alternatives to adoption.

The viewpoint that adoption should be illegal is not a statement that children-in-need ought to be relegated only to their first families. Rather, if we were to remove:

  • Sealed/closed records
  • Falsified documents and erased histories
  • Coercion of expectant mothers (pre-birth placing, reimbursement, no waiting period for finalization)
  • Nullification of father’s rights
  • Adoption fees charged by agencies

If we were to remove these unethical practices (and more!) … Then what we know and recognize today as the institution of adoption would effectively be rendered illegal and outmoded. … It’s not that anyone anywhere wishes for children in need to suffer without a safe, stable home or a permanent family! [Not even being sarcastic!]

THIS is the point I was missing: If we were to reform adoption as a legal construct to make it ethical and respectful of adoptee rights … we would effectively render it illegal.

It’s distinct from “adoption should be illegal in 100% of cases.” I know, right? I really should pay better attention.

 

Ah-Ha Moment #2: Engaging in Discourse

You’ll be thrilled to know that in one whirlwind week I was told I condoned slavery, that I was suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, was in the adoption fog; that I was obtuse and passive aggressive.

As a result, I’ve realized several things:

1. I have thicker skin than I thought.

2. The debate over whether adoption should be reformed or abolished ignites passionate argument.

3. We have to use our words, people! We have to be clear, or we create confusion.

 

Questions:

To that end, and given all that was acknowledged above … Here is my (possibly feeble) attempt at leveling the playing field (but perhaps I’m mirroring the colonizing power differential, I’m not 100% sure):

Is adoption as an institution/legal construct/concept SO corrupt it’s beyond fixing?

To First Moms: If you were to be completely informed and educated by a neutral third party (NOT someone employed by an adoption agency) of your options. If you decided of your own free will (not in the hospital, not with pre- or post-partum depression, with counseling) … If your kid were to have a legal guardian, and you had some type of enforceable visitation arrangement (constructed like custody/visitation in divorces), how would that be for you?

To Adoptive Parents: I have a different last name than my non-adopted kids. They don’t really care; they’ve never seen their birth certificates. If you had “legal guardianship” in which the child retains her legal identity, and you can make ALL necessary decisions for that child, legally, medically, or otherwise. Your kid calls you mom and dad; you love them unconditionally. You put them in your will to ensure inheritance. They DON’T have sealed birth records. You can organize first family contact as you see fit. At the age of consent (varies by state, around 12-14) the teen can choose to change his name to yours, or not. … If this was what “adoption” looked like … What would be your reaction?

To Adult Adoptees: Try to set aside for the moment the cultural mores of the time when we grew up (when it was strange even for kids of divorced parents to have a different last name, and people pointed it out) … If this was what you had growing up (legal guardianship as described above), or if this was what adopted kids today had … How would you feel?

In adoption, we can never be “not adopted,” but with legal guardianship which expires when a person turns 18, you would simply … be. You would simply BE a person who has two sets of parents.

*  *  *

* For all of you who are wondering, Why doesn’t she write anymore about funny stuff that happens to her in Serbia? It’s coming—I’ll be back in the saddle in the next weeks with silly stories, and even some tips on surviving long car trips with small children.

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28 Comments
  1. orphanedheart permalink

    As a late discovery adoptee, it is really hard for me to imagine how I would feel. I cannot imagine that I would not feel "different" from the kids around me. It would remove much of the mystery of not knowing who I am (and thus the anger that goes with it), but I am not sure that is enough. I really think adoptees want to be like everyone else and anything else is just not the same. I still think that kids can be cruel, and I think that in a "legal guardianship" these kids would be subject to ridicule perhaps a bit more by their peers since it would be so obvious. It is something I will surely ponder a lot in coming weeks and months after this week!

  2. Great follow up topic. These are emotional topics that are bound to get strong reactions and have people be upset. Sometimes it’s unavoidable but the short term conflict can lead to long term enlightening.

    I’m none of these but will take a stab at the adoptive parents one since it might be something my wife and I pursue down the road. I think it’s different for a biological parent who doesn’t have the same last name as their children than it is for a non biological parent. In the case of a biological parent they share a blood line with their child. They share some traits and physical characteristics. But with a non biological parent they share nothing with that child w/out the last name being the same or that child not viewing them as a parent. At best they have a friendship but nothing like a familial relationship.

    The concept of adoption is that someone is adopted into a family. They are adopted by a non biological parent(s). Take away the adoption where those people are legal guardians they basically become legalized babysitters. Rather than becoming a mom and/or dad parenting the child they become Ms./Mrs X providers for a child. Similar to what Foster Parents are to children in Foster Care. That’s not to say that what Foster Parents are providing isn’t important because it is important but is not parenting. It’s a

    temporary providing rather than a lifelong commitment.

    If adoption was replaced with legal guardianship, we likely would not pursue that. Our goal if we pursued adoption is to become parents not legalized babysitters where the child would just live with us until they turned 18. We want to committ to that child for the rest of their lives not just until they turn 18. We desire to become family for that person not just a temporary provider.

    With that said for me it doesn’t matter what some who may pursue adoption feel nor does it matter what first/birth families want, it only matters what the children need. Sure the adults (on both sides) comfort level and insecurities will impact the child but that could exist in either scenario. If all they require is someone to be legally responsible for them until they turn 18 then we should definitely replace adoption with legal guardianship. But if they they require families to join with parents who are prepared to make lifelong commitments to them then I think you make the necessary adjustments to the adoption process but don’t remove the adopting. That’s what it comes down to for me what will benefit the child in the long run.

    • jmarie permalink

      Why can't you have a lifelong relationship without adoption? Why can't you make them your beneficiary without adoption? I don't understand.

      • You could have a lifelong relationship with that person but it is one of friendship not family, IMO. By not joining a family and instead being provided for by one the relationship dynamics are different, IMO. Beneficiaries are typically family members and since that person is not family they would unlikely be a beneficiary.

        This is just my opinion though. Others may not feel the same way especially Foster Parents who provided for children who are now adults.

  3. I have an even greater respect for you Laura . . .. even when blogging can be dangerous to one's mental health you keep plugging along. You really want to understand . . . and I'm quite shocked that anyone would accuse you for being a house slave . . .. but back to your question . . .

    as a child I could have cared less what you actually called it (Adoption, Legal Guardianship, Legal Custody, etc) I think having a different last name poses a problem for kids at school . . .just like people knowing you are adopted, a foster child, or you look different from your family but I would not say that the legal status of adoption protects you any better from being made fun of. "I was weird because I am adopted" (Lesson learned: Don't tell people you are adopted!)

    As someone who has been through the actual legal process, step-by-step, I do believe there are positives of adoption as a legal status. I do not agree that it should be abolished 100% of the time. There are older children who want to be adopted and they should have that right. There are adults who want to be adopted. I do; however, think when speaking of infant adoption, since a baby has no idea what they are entering in to legally (somebody on the previous blog pointed out you can't enter into a contract when you are an infant), I do agree the legal status of adoption should not be an option for infants. If adoption were taken off the table for infants, the problems we saw in the Baby Veronica case would be nonexistent. If a mother wanted to relinquish, the family would be the guardians of choice. In this scenario, he father or grandparents would be raising Veronica. If Legal Guardianship is permanent, I am o.k. with no adoptions before the age of consent. Could we abolish adoption and start over with Legal Guardianship? Sure — in a Utopian World we could. But in this country and the thinking surrounding adoption, there is no way that the U.S. will throw out all adoption laws and start from scratch. I can't ever see it happening. I don't see the profit factor ever being removed. We have to be realistic in seeing how this can happen within the legal system the way it currently is. I have hope one day that no adopted person would have ever have their birth certificate sealed. Our identities are ours and the government should never intervene to hide our identities. However, it is not considered fraud as one commenter pointed out. It is currently LEGAL to amend birth certificates because our laws say so. Until we change the laws, we are stuck with adoption as it is currently practiced. Instead of trying to abolishing adoption, we could put energy into father's rights groups to gain better laws to protect unmarried fathers.

  4. MNS permalink

    It all depends on where you focus. Focusing on birth certificates is one spoke of the wheel. Focusing on coercion of mothers is another spoke; the horrid abrogation of father's rights yet another. What is the big picture, though? That's where *I* like to look and focus my energy. How did we get to the place where we think that shuffling children around is the answer to greater socio-economic problems? If we say, "Oh, first families cannot keep these particular children," I look at why first families are in positions that are in crisis. And I see plenty of these situations intimately on a daily basis. It's not just a matter of not amending birth certificates, but of inequality in general, and of people feeling that there's no other way, or of true colonization, in which people with privilege travel abroad to bring children of color back to the United States for a "better" life. Who gets to say what a "better" life is?

    • YES YES YES! This post is so right on. Your poverty is not my reason to adopt. We are so quick to believe that a poor family is a less-than family. Poverty should never, ever be a reason for a child losing his first family. If that family is willing and able to care for their child, then we should be bending over backwards to help them out of their poverty so that they can do so. And just because I can give your child more things than you can does not mean that I should be his parent.

      I know that there are people out there who are richer than I am. Those people could give my children opportunities that I can only dream of. But that absolutely does not IN ANY WAY give them a right to take my children from me and raise them as their own. Yet that is what happens every single day all over the world.

      I am adopted and I am adoptive mother. But I am not trendy. And I find that the trendiness of adoption right now is so scary.

  5. jmarie permalink

    Adoptees get made fun of. All of the fantasy and magical thinking nonsense is not fair to the human being that it’s being projected onto. I, personally, want reality. I don’t want to be a fraud. All of this fantasy causes me extreme anxiety that I will be caught and exposed as the fraud that I am. Why do I have to pretend to be of this last name that I have. If I don’t aspire to pass myself off as one of the clan than I am not well adjusted? It’s completely absurd. This adopted life is a joke. The expectations are unreasonable and crippling.

    I’ve been shamed in the past for comparing adoption to slavery, by a white man actually. As a matter of fact, every time I’ve been disciplined or shamed for saying or doing something considered racist it’s been as perceived by a white man, the only one who objected to whatever it was that I did.

    When you say slavery by the way, I think of slavery that is happening this very minute right around the corner. Even though it’s illegal, that doesn’t prevent people in positions of power from keeping their subservient ones restrained, and restraint can be psychological.

    To shame a white woman for comparing adoption with slavery is a silencing tactic. Don’t fall for it. We are entitled to our claims such as adoption, as practiced legally in the United States, should not be legal for the same reasons that slavery is not legal.

    Adoption is a horrific act of violence. It destroys lives.

  6. A number of years ago, I shockingly learned that I was never adopted at birth by my adoptive mother and my first adoptive father. And that my second adoption with my adoptive mother and my stepfather was a sham as well. My high school transcripts say my parents were only my legal guardians.

    Someone suggested to me recently that I was the lucky one because I have a copy of my original birth certificate with my first mother's name. The birth certificate that so many of my adoptee friends desire and deserve. I don't know if I would feel differently had I not learned by searching for my first mother that she had passed away when I was a little girl. But quite honestly, I don't feel like the lucky one. The term legal guardians feels so empty to me. And to hear that nobody went to the ends of the earth to call me their child has made feel alone and empty, too.

    From my perspective, I don't see any easy answers for adoption. It certainly needs to be overhauled and not be such a lucrative business, with so many ridiculous loopholes. I had two disheartening so-called adoptions.But I know for a fact that I had nowhere to go as well as a newborn within my birth family/relatives.What hurts deeply is to hear the callous one-answer-fits all statements that makes the void/losses feel even more real.

    • eagoodlife permalink

      I see no-one has responded to your comment so I will. The one size fits all is ridiculous and must be very painful flr someone who has come through what you have. Adoption will always be necessary and can be done much more humanely, less profitably and with some ethics. Perhaps one day it will be about finding families for children.

    • I can't imagine how heart breaking that must have been for you. I am an adoptee and have always been proud to be one. But you are right, there are no easy answers. Every child, every family is different.

    • marilynn permalink

      It was probably me that suggested that if one were to look for a positive in a story, like yours that is very sad, it would be that you did not have your identity altered. I think it's entirely possible for people to adopt a child without altering the birth record of that child, it just is not done currently. I think adoption would be much more child centered if the identity of the child could remain intact because then they'd be wanted for who they really were rather than who others want them to be. The rest of us don't have to give up our names and half or all of our relatives in order to be fed and clothed but it seems to me that it's like something adopted people have to do to be loved and taken care of and that is not fair or just and in reality plenty of people would be willing to still adopt if they could not alter the kids name. They'd get over it if they wanted to experience the joy of raising a kid.

  7. anonnynonny permalink

    You show real courage to challenge the comparison of adoption to slavery and those who would abolish all forms of adoption. As you can see, it brings on personal attacks and insults like "house slave." To answer your question, as a first mother if I had been counseled decently I would never have surrendered my child, because it was not what I wanted to do. That would have been the end of it, and I would now have raised all my children and have no connection to adoption. So the rest of your queries to first mothers are purely hypothetical to my own case, but I can see would apply to some others.

    I realize I am not every mother who gave up a child, and that many circumstances are different and much more dire, and that for some, surrender is the better choice. I think we make a mistake trying to generalize particular personal circumstances to fit all. I am one who feels adoption should be drastically reformed, in the ways you have enumerated, but not abolished altogether, and I know that there are some natural parents who cannot or do not want to raise the child they brought into the world, even with the best counseling and real choice. Some children still need other parents, and I do not see legal guardianship, although it should be one of the options, as the best in all cases. It goes without saying that all records should be available to the adoptee, that most adoptions should be open and enforceable, and that secrets, lies, and coercion for profit have no place in ethical adoption

    I can't go back and fix my own situation by assuming that every person with a crisis pregnancy is just like me and wants what I wanted, or that every child should always be raised by natural relatives or be in guardianship. It is not a perfect world, and sometimes with have to make do with less than utopian solutions to complicated problems.

  8. chittisterchildren permalink

    Comparing adoption to slavery is insulting, not only to adoptive parents and adoptees, but to the descendants of those who were forced to live under the horrific conditions of slavery. Adoption and slavery are not at all alike. Period.

    As for your question to adoptive parents, legal guardianship does not offer the same protections to the guardians or to the children as adoption does. I do not agree with the approach you offer. While all types of adoption do have more than their fair share of ethical issues, none of them are beyond fixing. Australia favors guardianship over adoption, and the Australians I've encountered do not agree with this approach either.

    • Comparing adoption to slavery may be insulting, but there are some obvious parallels . . . no choice in the matter . . . money exchanging hands . . .. separating biological families. Laura discovered these parallels as a child and it is logical in a child's mind.

      Wearing my AP hat today — I prefer adoption over legal guardianship only because of the way the laws currently read (although am not in favor of sealing birth certificates). However, if the laws were changed and legal guardianship offered all the legal protections that adoption currently offers, and the only difference is what you are calling it — then sure I would be in favor of it. Most APS would never go for this because they want the child to have their name — not the child's original name. There is something really threatening about a child's original name that the law allows wiping it out. The legislature knows that in order for adoption to continue, we have to keep APs happy. We are not going to keep them happy by telling them they have all the responsibility of the child they are raising and still cannot consider that child "their own" (I've lost count how many times my a-mom has described be as "hers").

      What has been done in Australia would be considered pretty radical here in the U.S. and I don't see it ever happening. Australia has become somewhat anti-adoption as well and makes it next to impossible for someone to adopt, which doesn't really solve the problem that we have here in the U.S. We can't make it too hard or parents will not be willing to put in the time and energy into raising a child.

      Adoption is perceived as a way to create a complete family in a way Legal Guardianship does not. LG or Legal Custody is a good option for family members; however, non-family members will probably always favor adoption over other ways to parent children. I can live with the amended birth certificate for the protection of the child; however, it should never be sealed from the child him/herself.

      • marilynn permalink

        I really like what you said up until the amended birth certificate part.
        What are they being protected from exactly? Because the rest of society does not change their identity when their parents are threatening them. Everyone else has to go to court and file a restraining order if their parent is a threat to their safety. I mean if amending birth certificates and erasing parents names is so necessary for child safety why don't we extend this bullet proof vest of protection to kids who are not adopted when Dad is a really bad guy or Mom is a really bad gal or when Grandma is a psycho? Everyone change their names and revise their birth certificates and the kids certificate so that nobody can find them…..I mean rarely does the government allow people to change not just their name but their identity meaning they get a set of false documents to live their life using so they can pretend to be another person with other parents. They do it with Federal Witness Protection for like Mob informants but other than that society has viable legal methods of placing orders of protection against people who have not done anything bad enough to be incarcerated for but are perceived to pose some sort of danger to adults and children. So why is it that adopted people have their identities changed? For their protection really? From their parents and family? Not abusive enough to be in jail? Not abusive enough for a restraining order? Changing a person's identity is a pretty radical last resort and then it turns the person's whole family into abusive criminals rather than just maybe one abusive parent. Why does the kid need to be protected from their siblings and grand parents aunts uncles and cousins? Life as who they were was so bad the solution is to have them lie and pretend to be a whole different human being? Adoption would be much more reasonable if birth records were simply never amended at all. The adopted person simply remains exactly who they are with hopefully a biologically accurate and complete birth record not falsified with the name of a step father or unrelated birth giver. Their adoptive parents would have an adoption decree signed by a judge giving them parental authority over the adopted kid. But when it came time to show a birth record, they'd just show the normal birth record they would not need to show any sort of adoption decree. The adoption decree identifies the adoptive parents, not the adopted person. It all seems simple enough to me. I reunite separated families and instead of asking for original records to be unsealed I'd like to see adopted people start asking for their amended records to be corrected. Nobody else has two birth records, its part of the problem and challenge adopted people face because they are not asking for equality when they ask to unseal their original records. I think they should just try asking for equal treatment, a medically accurate vital record.

  9. S.E.L.S permalink

    The fact that adoption and slavery share some things in common doesn't make them the same. There are differences between them that are just as significant – IMO even more so – as the commonalities.
    That said, the pejorative connotations of "house slave" should be obvious to anyone and it is especially rude to try to stick that label on Laura who *doesn't* take her adopted status for granted, does asks questions and has opened up the debate for others. She is definitely no "house slave".

    I have often wondered why children shouldn't be be able to keep their original name but "borrow" use of the adoptive family's name for legal purposes until they reach the age of emancipation (or as Laura suggested, until the age of consent, though I'll have to think more about that) when they could decide for themselves which name they wanted to have (possibly both)? Maybe it would be complicated, but perhaps a certificate of adoption would work.

    Some other countries seem to have a much more flexible approach to caring for the needs of children who can't be raised within their original families than America. France, for instance, has Simple Adoption which seems to me to be kind of 1/2 way between American style guardianship and adoption. It allows for some of the legal bonds between child and original family to remain by enabling the child to add the name of their adoptive parents to their own. French law also provides for Plenary Adoption, which severs the legal relationship completely.

    Finally, with all the references that have been made to "Orwellian" language etc, I wonder what Orwell, as an adoptive parent himself, would have to say if he was alive today and could contribute to this discussion.

    • MNS permalink

      Orwell probably would tell all the whiny adoptees to shut up. He burned the names of his adopted son Richard's parents off the decree, and one might extrapolate he was/would be no lover of open exchange in adoption. Unfortunately, we cannot ask him, as he's dead.
      http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/ctc/docs/onlyhei

      That doesn't mean that one cannot use the term "Orwellian," however, without being a hypocrite. It entered the cultural koine long ago, and owes more to the dystopian visions in his novels than to his personal life. He did write rather humorous discourses on English food, as well, if you want to talk Orwell. As far as I know, he didn't write specifically about adoption, however.

      • Laura Dennis permalink

        MNS,
        You are free to express your opinions; and dissenting ones are more than welcome. I'll reply more fully to your comments later; however in the meantime I warn you kindly but firmly to refrain from the name-calling. If it happens again, your comments will be deleted.
        Laura

      • jmarie permalink

        What did you consider name calling in the above passages? I'm curious. I don't want to make similar mistakes and risk deletion.

        What a shame it would be to have MNS deleted. MNS has interesting ideas.

  10. MNS permalink

    In what way did my response engage in name calling? I called no names, merely responded to S.E.L.S. stating that Orwell was an adoptive parent. I know quite a bit about Orwell.

    I was the person who originally used the term "Orwellian" in a comment to your last post. S.E.L.S wanted to make sure that we knew Orwell was an AP. I was simply stating that I did not use the term "Orwellian" naively. If the term hypocrite applied, it would have been applied to *me*. This has come up in discussions before, when I refer to Orwellian language but am told by others that he was an AP. His name and his fame are separate things, IMO.

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      It is hard from your comment to know whether, "Orwell probably would tell all the whiny adoptees to shut up" is stating that Orwell is calling us whiny adoptees, or you are. That's all.

      • MNS permalink

        I am an adoptee, supportive of adoptees and adoptee rights and voices. I apologize if my attribution was unclear, but directly above my response, S.E.L.S. did explicitly ask what Orwell would have to say. I was saying *he* would likely contribute something akin to what you found offensive. He had a sharp tongue.

        That said, I am sure he would have chosen different phrasing; "whiny" is far too modern, American, and clumsy. It was not a comment I labored over, and you misunderstood me completely. You might have asked me to explain myself before assuming the worst. It was poor word choice on my part, yes. I could have spent more time crafting a comment. But your wrist slapping is strange. Enjoy your blog.

      • Laura Dennis permalink

        Thanks for clarifying. It's just that, honestly, I am more wary of those who publish anonymously on my blog … and I don't know who they are, either! I end up wondering what is the hidden agenda, especially if I don't know what part of adoption they identify with. Anyway, I appreciate you letting me know where you're coming from!

        Warmly,
        Laura

  11. AMV permalink

    Laura, I have heard that Serbia is putting Hague into effect on April 1, 2014. Have you heard this? This would mean that an adoption agency MUST be used for adoptions from Serbia and thus adoption agency fees must be paid.

  12. I am an adult adoptee. I am also an adoptive parent. I am also an adoptive parent of both an older child (adopted at 9) and a toddler (who was with us as an infant, left for five months, then came back). I understand what you are saying completely. I am FOR ethical adoption. I am FOR unsealed birth records, no coercion for birth families, open adoption. I am FOR the birth family and supporting them and their right to raise their child. I am FOR counseling for infertile couples seeking to adopt.

    But as an adoptee, I would not have liked to have been raised with a last name that was different than both of my parents and my brother (the bio son of my parents.) It would have been a constant reminder to me that I was different. Even if I had been raised in today's time when many children have different last names than their parents, I would have hated it. I would have hated it because everyone would have assumed that I had a different dad than my brother. Everyone would have assumed that my dad was not really my dad. I would have hated trying to explain that my dad IS my dad and why I have a different last name.

    My adoption was never a secret or a shameful thing. Yes, it was closed and I wish it hadn't been. But it was.

    But I am glad that my parents adopted me and I am glad that I had their name.

    And as an adoptive parent, I feel the same thing. I have two adopted daughters and one bio son. My daughters will always know that they are adopted and he is not. They will have to battle fears of whether he is loved more (which he isn't). I would hate for him to get to have our name, but for them not to. Even if they could change their name at age 12…I would hate it for them.

    For my girls, we did keep the first names that their birth families gave them. My oldest daughter wanted to change hers at her adoption and we asked her to please keep it because it was a gift from her mother. We allowed her to change her middle name and even told her that we could call her by her middle name if she wanted. But she has our last name and she is very, very thankful for that. She hated carrying the name of a dad who she didn't like and who she didn't really know. She is proud to have the name of her daddy, who loves her more than anything.

  13. Housefull 4 is 2019 Bollywood comedy-drama, helmed by Farhad Samji. The movie stars Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde and Kriti Kharbanda in the lead roles. Housefull 4 is a reincarnation comedy spanning 600 years. In the film, Akshay plays a 15-century warriror king called Rajkumar Bala, Riteish Deshmukh essays the role of a dance teacher, Nartaki Bangdu Maharaj, Bobby Deol plays the royal bodyguard Dharamputra while the three leading ladies- Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde essay the role of princesses named Madhu, Meena and Mala respectively.

    Visit more :- Housefull 4 Housefull 4 Housefull 4 Housefull 4

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