is a very coy and popular descriptive term being bandied
around the baby breeding industry. It claims to encompass
the parties involved in adoption, with the seductive promise
that the experience is something to be welcomed. It implies
a gentle stroke, a sensitive maneuver, a soft caress. The
expression is 'touched by adoption'. Personally I don't
think most people whose lives have been derailed by adoption
would remember the experience as a mere 'touch'. Most find
it a lot more threatening than a gentle pat or a friendly
punch on the arm.
in particular are more likely to experience adoption as
a nasty shove, a hostile hit, all the way along the spectrum
of psychological violence to a hard bash with a heavy sledgehammer.
A crack on the head with a baseball bat. A push into a large
pit with very sharp sticks poking out. Or an unpleasant,
one way journey to a torture chamber, all expenses paid
of course. (Of course!) At the very least, any bereft mother
will relate to the touch of adoption as a fearful and very
authoritative tap on the shoulder that signifies her time
is up, it is time to hand over her baby, time for her to
that the expression 'touched by adoption' does not reflect
the actual adoption experience adequately, it should be
renamed. I am delighted to announce a competition with a
prize for the winner of the best alternative term that adequately
describes the major damage adoption brokers sprinkle around
so liberally. I am still musing on what the prize should
be, and favor the suggestion made by a natural mother, that
the winner should be presented with a small creature, as
a suitable replacement for the traditional child often mistakenly
adopted in place of a pet. She holds the view that a pet
could have an educational value and encourages pre-adopters
to enter the competition.
mother wants to implement a non-human adoption policy whereby
pre-adopters are offered alternatives to real live babies
and children. When applying to adopt, they would be sent
the 'pet' along with accompanying pamphlets describing the
importance of allowing their latest acquisition access to
social interplay with other members of their own species.
Therefore adopters would be encouraged to understand that
dogs must be allowed to play with other dogs, and cats allowed
access to other members of their feline family and so on.
process would allow pre-adopters to work slowly towards
grasping an understanding of the very difficult concept
of 'open adoption' as it pertains to humans and their natural
relationships. The huge failure of adopters and their supporting
industry to understand the term justifies the implementation
of a brand new system designed to educate on it's meaning
and practical application.
the meantime, all human adoptions should be halted, to give
pre-adopters time to grapple with these very difficult concepts
and internalize them. Given their rate of progress to date,
it may take a generation or two before these ideas actually
assist in the renaming of the effect the phenomena of stranger
adoption has on its victims; that is, the mothers and their
children who are less than pleased by the transaction outcomes
once they have regained their wits sufficiently to voice
their outrage - a process that takes years - here are a
by adoption' may become an acceptable alternative. Or bashed
by adoption, slayed by adoption, enslaved by adoption, disempowered
by adoption or maybe just plain old 'kicked in the guts'
by adoption. If the last one seems too vulgar, I would be
willing to change it to something more delicate, such as
'repressed in the stomach region' by adoption. It does sound
nicer, doesn't it? And of course the basic fundamental of
adoption is that it is always supposed to be nice. Nice
'waiting families', nice 'unselfish mothers' and 'nice'
social workers, doctors and lawyers. And I must not overlook
family court judges who are also terribly nice.
is of course, an aspiration of the middle class, although
not much valued by the working class. Just reading this
you can very likely tell I was not raised in a nice home
at all. You can tell this from my lack of niceness. In spite
of this, I happen to know that class plays a major role
is no accident that to be 'touched' by adoption is a phrase
coined by the cornerstone of the adoption industry itself
- the social work fraternity. It is their transparent attempt
to dehumanize their victims through the implementation of
minimizing language. It's an old trick of the oppressor.
One wonders, do social workers walk or do they run to take
part in the separation of mother and baby, not to mention
the separation of the baby from all her/his genealogy and
natural relationships through the deliberate severing of
both maternal and paternal extended family groups.
middle class dominates the social work profession. It is
also the class that most readily volunteers it's daughters
as sacrificial offerings when the call goes out for more
stock to meet the manufactured and very false demand for
new infants. Middle class daughters themselves are raised
to be obedient, willing and anxious to please their parents
and other authority figures who always know best. Middle
class girls are afraid to disappoint and anxious not to
offend, all symptoms of the learned helplessness that dominate
middle class child rearing techniques. They are raised to
require approval, much like Pavlov's dogs. It is a major
factor in the signing of consent.
new adoption term that will replace the very 'feely' 'touched'
by adoption could even have a sporty connotation, just for
fun. For instance, a mother and her baby could be kicked
into adoption, a bit like a rugby ball is kicked into touch.
Everyone else on the team just stands around and watches,
and cheers when the ball successfully clears the boundary.
I do not know what the equivalent play would be in North
American football, but the social interaction is the same.
And adoption is almost a national sport although without
the boundaries and the rules that define other sports. Anything
goes in North American adoption. There are no fouls. There
is no referee. Funny that the mothers always get sent off!
you are a victim who has been devastated, brutalized, conned,
punched, drugged or otherwise used and abused by the grim
practices of North American adoption, then send in your
suggestions for a new and vibrant term to replace the misnamed,
inadequate 'touched'. The game rules determine that the
name must reflect the true horror of adoption upon its victims,
mothers and children who were torn away from each other
by a money driven industry steeped in corruption and vice.
'Touched' doesn't really cover that, as you see.
American governments promote the quaint practice of dislocating
families and punishing women by continually refusing to
provide adequate assistance that would enable them to mother
their own children with a semblance of dignity and pride.
Remember those politicians when you next go to the polls.
It's the least you can do.
you marked by adoption? Did you get the tap on the shoulder,
calling you to make your personal sacrifice on the bloody
alter of patriotic loss? I am sorry to have to tell you,
you were had, conned. Had By Adoption. Yes you were. And
it isn't nice.
am hoping that one of my entries including Selected, Tapped,
Conned or Socked by Adoption, will take out first prize.
I can't wait to claim my brand new frog and make the little
darling mine forever. I already have a lovely name picked
out to replace the one that his real mother gave him at
birth. I even downloaded a birth registration form so I
can replace his original correct family information with
the made up stuff. I haven't picked his ethnicity yet but
I think I favor green.
you have probably guessed by now, I am one of those pre-adopter
'waiting mothers' who really have been 'touched' by adoption
in the place where it always seems the have the most powerful
effect - the brain. Now I need a little tadpole as a sister
for my frog. I will remember to tell both my frog and my
tadpole that their mothers' were very, very unselfish for
giving them up of their own free will because they loved
them and did not want them anymore. Confused and waylaid
by adoption? I am. How about you?
Voices From Exile "Touched By Adoption, With a Blowtorch
Copyright © 2004 Joss Shawyer