Adoption Survivor

dealing with it

Sage Advice for Adoptive Parents

with one comment

Re: What if? Questions to Adult Adoptees

After reading the heavy traffic that this group generates, I was
wondering if the adoptees would like to share specifics of what was
good and not good, what would have helped, what should have been
avoided, in their upbringings.

Here are Sunny Jo’s perfect answers:

do’s:

keep b-culture alive in daily life through contact with immigrants from
the child’s b-country who can take the contact beyond ethnic food and
cultural artifacts

make sure contact with b-culture (mentioned above) is introduced early
on so to make the b-culture an equally natural part of life as
the ‘culture’ of the a-family

keep in contact with other a-families

live in diverse areas where your child won’t be the only person of
colour. do NOT believe, however, that ‘anything but white’ is ok, an
adopted korean child won’t necessarily have more in common with a
person of african or arab origin than a white person will.

go on frequent homeland journies back to the b-country, and even
(partially) pay for the child’s first (and/or subsequent) homeland
tours as an adult

involve the entire a-family (parents, siblings etc) in the
adoption/cultural activities, without appropriating and appropriating
it (a difficult tightrope to walk)

read ‘beyond good intentions’ by cheri register

if possible, enter your child into a mentor program which gives him/her
a chance to meet adult adoptees (and/or ‘native’ koreans)

encourage language studies

give back to your child’s country of origin by supporting social
change, e.g. through sponsorship through SOS children’s villages or
other charities

read books, articles, websites, blogs etc written by adult adoptees
(and APs with adult children)

support local adult adoptee orgs (e.g. financially) but accept that
it’s up to the org to let you in to their events or not

love your child like your own, but accept that s/he never will be
fully ‘your own’

allow your child to grieve and be angry

seek professional help if necessary

don’ts:

adopt only one child from the same country, esp. in families with bio
children

adopt children from totally different countries/culture (e.g. africa
and asia)

accept adoption agency advertising, information and propaganda at face
value

be possessive, an adopted child will never be ‘yours’ in the same way
as a bio child since the BPs will forever, whether known or not, be
part of your child’s life (and APs can never take their place)

think that food, education and other stuff valued in your culture, will
make up for the losses caused by adoption

ignore or trivialize racism, e.g. by comparing it to injustices you
have suffered

expect your child to be grateful

think you ‘saved’ your child since many adoptees have bio siblings who
stayed with BPs and are doing just fine

feel threatened if your child wants to move back to tyhe b-country as
an adult or young adult

accept any kind of racism or bigotry coming from family, friends,
neighbours or anyone else

accept your child to be treated as an exotic pet, e.g. by strangers who
want to ‘pet the hair’ or ask private questions about the child’s
background etc etc

believe that it was god’s will that your child came to you, b/c that
would automaticly make it god’s will for your child’s BPs to end in the
unfortunate circumstances which led to the abandonment – and no god
worth worshipping should want that on anyone

force your religion, culture etc onto your child since it might
conflict with the child’s original religion or culture. as a family
member the adoptee should ofcourse be part of celebrating holidays like
anyone else, but if the child chooses to opt out of certain regulations
(e.g. dietary regulations which prevents certain foods from the b-
country) then this should be respected

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Written by girl4708

October 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Q&A

One Response

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  1. Is this a new blog? It seems like it; I can’t actually find any intro page to see whom this is being authored by. Either that or I’m blind and just haven’t managed to skimmed across an archives section yet.

    Anyway, I’d just like to comment on one thing:

    It’s not an easy thing to incorporate the child’s original culture into the adoptive home. It’s even more difficult to do if the child rejects the culture. I remember that when I was growing up, I rejected ANY bits of the culture that my parents tried to incorporate. I didn’t see that culture as my own.

    Now that I’ve found and somewhat reunited, I really wish I had cared more when I was little.

    Mei-Ling

    October 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm


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