When looking through the section about adoption at any bookstore, you will find that most of the books are geared towards the adoptive parent audience. You may even find a few written for birth parents. However, you will have to linger quite a while to find books that are written for adoptees. While it may seem that adoptees would be a central figure, the feelings, experiences, and journey of the adoptee are sometimes ignored in the grand scheme of an adoption story. Nevertheless, the adoptee should be heard, and the adoption world should take the time to listen.
An adoptee is the central figure of an adoption. While this fact is not normally denied, it is often forgotten. Adoptees are often treated like a story to tell. Adoptive parents will share way too many details about a child’s life with others and on social media. In reality, an adoptee should have the right to share their story when they feel fit. This is solely because it is THEIR story. Birth and adoptive parents have parts in the story; however, an adoption is changing the life of the adoptee in the most significant of ways. The right of an adoptee to control his or her narrative should be held sacred.
The voice of the adoptee in an adoption will paint the most honest picture. Adoption is beautiful, but it is also representative of loss in every situation. The adoptee unfortunately is the main one who loses. He may lose his birth parents completely, but also biological connection and identity. Letting an adoptee express this loss and seek that connection when possible is incredibly important. Making an adoptee feel bad or letting pride get in the way of her search for identity is selfish at its core. An adoptee has the right and often will have a deep desire to seek support in her quest for true identity confirmation.
Adoptees need to be respected and noticed as the most important voice in adoption. Even if a child is adopted as an infant, it is up to all of the other players in an adoption story to look towards the future and respect that this child will one day be entitled to a voice. Their rights and story need to be respected. For an older child who is adopted, his inclusion and decision making in his own adoption should be heard, not hindered.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on Facebook.