Trauma and Reflection

Prior to 2013, I was considered, by some, to be an adoption activist as I wrote and presented about historic trauma, and the role of legislation in determining legitimacy as a family, a person, a representative of an ethnic group. Adoptions were bad, staying within family/community was good. But then a funny thing happened on […]

Why Asian Adoptees Need to Give a Shit about #BlackLivesMatter

I don’t remember the first time someone told me I was White. But I definitely remember the last. It was the summer of my junior year in college and I was a new student orientation leader. My university was diverse but mostly segregated, and this staff was about half White and half Black – plus […]

The Pentad of Adoption: Putting Fathers Back In The Picture

I received my original birth certificate today, which confirmed one of my better guesses (based on genetic testing and genealogical research) about the identity of my genetic mother. However, as I had been forewarned would likely be the case, the document contained no information about my father, since (as in many states) birth certificates in […]

Orphan Testing & the Search for An Origin

Having lately resorted to genetic testing to uncover my immediate genetic family, I confront therefore the panoply of folks, mostly not adopted, who are on a similar (but different) quest for their origin.[1] Compared to whatever conceits are at work in the efforts of committed and serious genealogists, the amateurish, armchair types—the ones who causally […]

Adoption’s Article of Bad Faith

Manifold disclosures about the unethical and immoral practices of those trafficking in human children now make clear the systemic, not merely idiosyncratically aberrant, character of those ethical and moral violations. [1] My adoptive parents paid for a white baby, but they didn’t get one—as 10.4% of my genetic heritage makes clear in its tracing back […]

Disabling Petitioner’s Syndrome: Psychological and Structural Aspects

As I plod slowly along on the slow trail of information-gathering to hunt down trails of my possible genetic origins through different genetic testing tools, I sometimes note an obnoxious petitioner’s syndrome that being adopted [1] can engender. Petitioner’s syndrome points psychologically to having to address a greater power for essential information and structurally to […]

What Good Is Genetic Testing For Orphans?

Several for-profit companies now make personalized genetic testing more widely and readily available than in the past, adding the particularly attractive feature of widespread comparison amongst people’s genomes.[1] The usefulness of such genetic testing (for orphans and non-orphans alike) resides almost wholly in the breadth of participation by other people who have been tested, since […]

When Adoptive Parents don’t come clean, is that abuse?

This is a copy of  my first article for Adoption Arena –  the first of many I hope! Interesting question raised by another adult adoptee that posted a piece in a private forum on social media. It got me thinking. Here in the good old U of K we’re introducing reforms to the Children and […]

Excusing Environments

A recent study on adoption and suicide suggests genetic (biological) rather than environmental factors play a dominant role in risks for suicide. Researchers used Danish adoption data and compared non-biologically related siblings of orphans (children who had been adopted and biologically related siblings that the orphan did not grow up with. Basically what they looked […]

What’s in a name? Re-thinking the terms “adoptee” and “adopted”

I was proactive at a very young age. Ok, full disclosure: I am wordy-nerdy. I have been thinking about how we define ourselves as either adopted or as adoptees. Both of these words feel very much about action that happened TO us. One EFL site referred to adjectives ending in ‘ed’ as words that “show […]

Facilitating the Facilitation of (Progressive) Adoption

In our postmodern Occidental milieu, the articulation of new “meta” levels (of market) becomes necessary. Thus, it seems inevitable that extended organizational networks[1] to facilitate the facilitation of adoption[2] would come to exist,[3] along with the usual sorts of fees, such as $395 to attend a mandatory orientation workshop before even being allowed access to […]