The glitch in the adoption matrix.

The movie “The Avengers” apparently contains an adoption reference that is typical in terms of the “evil adoptee” trope within American culture. While many find offense here, I have to say I am relieved. It reveals a Truth, after all, that adoptees are not considered as valid as biological children, and that this “2nd-class” option requires much in the way of mythologizing. When it is stated plainly, I respect that. I’m curious to hear from the other adoptees for any cultural references they recall which opened their eyes to the reality of their adoptive culture?

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4 thoughts on “The glitch in the adoption matrix.

  1. Oh god too many to reference, it seems every day I hear something. I am inclined to agree with you though. If I was an AP and I had an adoptling that I took in out of my evah lovin’ look-at-me heart, I would ask my adopted brat how she/he felt about that. The stigma is there every day, all the time, that someone acknowledges it is not a baddie, we already limp around under its weight

  2. For me it’s the musical Annie (among many others).

    The idea that a billionaire adopts one child and leaves the rest is a total metaphor for the First World and the children that are trafficked from the poor.

    It adds to the “savior” myth, and justifies it in the end by showing the poor as scheming, shiftless, “reprobate” hoodlums.

    It might as well come right out of a P/AP forum item named: “Let’s make a musical about our feelings concerning adoption”….

    The setting of the musical and the names of the characters (it’s no accident that we have “Miss Hannigan”) reveal a particular racism toward a group of people who, I would just add, suffered more from Anglo-Saxon indentured servitude and colony populating and poor-house filling than other groups at that time; we no longer think of the Irish in this way, but I don’t think this diminishes the class/race division in the play.

    I don’t think we see it because in American popular culture such racism/classism is sublimated and plus there is no discussion of race or class to bring it to the fore. Everything is entertainment, especially when you can get people of a particular race or class to perpetuate the given stereotypes about them. It’s a kind of minstrelsy that has always ever been there, and is made less obvious by groups seemingly being assimilated into the social fabric (see also: Jersey Shore; Sopranos; etc.)

    I think partially because my adoptive father was third generation Irish-American, and his parents and uncles all grew up in orphanages, that I’m bothered so much by this depiction in Annie. I knew a woman from Ireland when I lived in France who was exiled because of her resistance against the British and for her poetry (written in Gaelic). I compared this to my father who strived his whole life to be accepted by the Powers That Be in the States. It makes me sad.

  3. Well that is a lot to be sad about. I never cease to be amazed at what people live through. How much opportunity there is to nurture others but it is passed up because people have been so shamed.

    I must say, am very fond of the word reprobate, I like to call people reprobate janitors just because it is fun and confuses them. They get offended by the word janitor in general and mostly don’t know what reprobate means, that is the joke of it. Janitors are important and perform a service that we could not function without.

  4. I agree that the adoption reference in the Avengers movie reveals truth, but for me as an adoptee, it was very hard to watch those films when they make adoption almost seem like a joke. I may have been the only person who had gotten insulted by the “adoption joke” in the Avenger’s movie. The part where somebody tries to convince Thor that Loki isn’t “normal,” and that he killed thousands of people in just 1 day. Thor bluntly responds “He’s adopted” and the theatre just filled with laughter. Maybe I am too sensitive, but as an adoptee I just don’t find that at all funny. It makes it seem to other people that all adoptees have “issues,” and I have heard that joke too many times by real people who think it is harmless, but it’s not. Do people think that just because a person is adopted, they are not a human being, so they make it out to be a joke? It seems every movie that is made nowadays has some type of adoption storyline (some told far from the truth) and I don’t think producers realize how much it could affect adoptees who watch them.

    I’m sorry if my comment seemed off topic, but that was weighing down on me and it’s sad that that one joke ruined the entire movie for me. Loki went on a killing rampage because of his hatred and jealousy of Thor, but he also formed a hole in his heart during the process when he found out he was adopted, enraging him more, not to mention he was also angry noone ever told him in the first place that he was adopted. I think that is what most confused people in the theatre (who weren’t adopted) did not get.

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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