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If you read anything today, read this! A crash course in transracial adoptive parenting, brought to you by Dr. John Raible, a scholar, transracial adoptee, adoptive parent and awesome coffee buddy.
Obtain a kid from overseas recently? Or still fantasizing about rescuing somebody’s orphan? Perhaps you are in the process of saving one of those less expensive kids from foster care?… The unabashed assumption and unapologetic bias behind this Crash Course is that the best teachers of adoptive parents are adult transracial adoptees who have lived through the experiment, especially those adoptees who are also adoptive parents. The second best teachers are experienced transracial adoptive parents who, even though they may not be adoptees or people of color, nevertheless have figured out how to become conscious anti-racist advocates and allies.
Allies, you ask, in what struggles? In the joint struggles against racism and on behalf of adoption reform.
From the press release:
NEW YORK, April 19, 2010 – The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today urged officials in Washington and Moscow to move “thoughtfully but expeditiously” to avoid a cessation of Russian adoptions to the U.S., pointing out that “the victims of a lengthy process will be the children who remain institutionalized.”
Executive Director Adam Pertman stressed that the Institute strongly believes the case of the boy “returned” by his adoptive mother should be thoroughly investigated – as should any other incidents of adoptees being harmed or receiving questionable treatment by their parents. Changes in policies and practices should be implemented as swiftly as possible to remedy any specific problems that are identified, he added.
“Even one child suffering physical or psychological harm is one too many,” said Pertman. “But there is no evidence of widespread abuses of this sort, and we know that living in orphanages is generally detrimental in itself, so this process should be done thoughtfully but expeditiously, so that these children can move into permanent, loving families – within Russia if possible, or internationally if not – because the victims of a lengthy process will be the children who remain institutionalized.”
It’s been a crazy month for transracial adoption with everything in the news about Artyom’s situation, but I just had to post about two blog entries written by respected adoptee, adoptive parent and professor John Raible:
I got into this crazy mess called adoption because I am fundamentally grateful that I was adopted and got a second chance in life, even though I wish I never had to be relinquished or adopted in the first place. Contradictory statements? Of course: that’s the paradox of adoption. It is both a blessing and a curse.
In my view, before we can move forward in rethinking and revitalizing transracial and transnational adoption practice, a significant realignment must take place in the relationship between adult adoptees and adoptive parents… APs must start accepting the fact that we are no longer children, and that we think for ourselves and have our own unique experiences of adoption that may differ significantly from the way they prefer to view it. Furthermore, although we are still and always will be adoptees, many of us are also parents, scholars, authors, film makers, performance artists, social workers, therapists, etc., with unique contributions and insights to bring to the conversation.
Please, if you read anything today, read these two posts – and the rest of Dr. Raible’s blog. And then go read Harlow’s Monkey. And then go read The Language of Blood. And then go read Outsiders Within: Writings on Transracial Adoption. And then go read Tobias Hubinette’s work. And keep reading and watching and listening to the voices of adopted persons.
Got this from Jane Jeong Trenka’s “Adopt a North Korean” blog entry:
An American human rights group is pushing forward with the adoption of three stateless North Korean orphan refugees who are in China. The orphans arrived safely in a third country and received support. It will be the first case of Americans in the U.S. adopting stateless North Korean orphans… Senator Sam Brownback proposed a bill on March 23 to speed up the adoptions of North Korean stateless refugee orphans in the future and said that prospects are high that there will be growing interest in adopting them.
First, if their parents are still alive (living in North Korea) they are not “orphans.” Stateless, yes. Refugee, yes. Orphan, no.
Second, as the article says, I’m afraid we’re going to see a mad rush to adopt these children, as we saw in Haiti and in other poverty-stricken, devastated places. Will people feel they are doing a “greater good” by adopting from North Korea versus adopting “real” orphans (children without living parents) here in the United States? According to research conducted by Trenka, there are more children living in non-family care here in the United States than in many other countries (such as the Republic of Korea, which has about 1/5 the number of children living in non-family care compared with the numbers in the United States, yet has sent the largest number of children to the United States over the longest period of time – almost 60 years), yet the demand for children adopted internationally is pretty high. No doubt children without parents need safe and loving homes. How do we figure out who and where to help first?
That said, third, there’s also the ideological issue: the North Korean president is a little crazy, but is that reason enough to break up families?
I don’t know the answers to some of these questions; I’m just throwing them out there…
This is frightening.
According to this article, many adoptive parents may not have completed the steps to acquire citizenship for their transnationally adopted children because of neglect or not understanding.
Even more difficult to determine is how many adoptees have been deported to countries they have no connection with anymore.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigates, detains and deports, if ordered to, noncitizens who violate immigration laws. The agency doesn’t break down deportations by type, said Lorie Dankers, a regional spokeswoman.
Read the entire article here.