November | 2010 | A portrait of one Korean Adoptee–Kim Yunmi Dot Com

Archive for November, 2010

Adoptism

This was defined as:
http://www.pactadopt.org/press/articles/adoptism.html

Adoptism:

* A belief that forming a family by birth is superior to forming a family by adoption.
* A belief that keeping a child with his/her biological parents is inherently better than placing a child for adoption.
* A belief that growing up as an adopted person is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities.
* A belief that differences in family-building structures or methods produce an inherent superiority in families of a particular structure or method.
* Prejudice or discrimination against members of the adoption triad.

I find it kind of favoritism towards adoptive parents, without recognizing the loss inherent in the other two legs. So I would like to redefine this in better terms that actually looks at the fabric of our culture. Also introduce the terms “taboo” and adoptphilia into the core of the discussion.

How I would rewrite the definition:

* A belief that forming a family by genetics is the only way to form a family.
* A belief that growing up as an adopted person is the primary way to define that individual.
* A belief that there is only one way to form a family.
* Prejudice or discrimination against members of the adoption triad.
* A belief that Adoption is all about Nature v. nurture.
* A belief that a parent or family that gives up a child is inherently unfit to parent in general and should discount themselves as a human being.

Why did I change the definition?
1. The original statement had the word “superiority” putting down families who might have been created by an man and a woman and the birds and the bees. Most of the time it’s not that. It’s the idea that genetics is everything.
2. The original statement disincludes orphanages and seems to advocate stealing children for the lamebrains who want to argue. It seems to say that orphanages don’t exist, or even so, they are happy places, glossing it over. (I also get a rescue vibe from that statement, which I hate.)
3. Because most people say Nature or nurture is the issue, be direct about it, but don’t make the statement favor one over the other.
4. Reincludes the parents that the child came from. Thus covering all the bases of the triad.

Examples:
- I’m often preached at as an adoptee that I should *know* I should love X parent more, because they “raised me” or they “gave me life”. This doesn’t treat adoption fairly and plays it as a grand experiment with several human beings as its subject, and somehow they think they “know better.” So I have to stand their lecturing about nature v. nurture. I’ve gotten this from family members, neighbors, strangers.

- A birth mother is only a supplier of children, belief and once they do they are to never speak of it again.

- Reassuring an adoptive parent that these damaged children are doing well under their care and they look just like them.

Also recognize that any leg of the triad can do this to another part of the leg and just because we’re part of it doesn’t exclude us from doing it to one another. Also, this isn’t a social agenda. Seriously. It’s like the person who says save the whales, and then the person who says, “You want to exterminate all Native American groups” WTH… this is about trying to eradicate injustices, not about a political mindset.

My Position on Adoption

1. I prefer that adoption doesn’t have to happen and to support the parents in all countries and their education systems to support parents to have the ability to keep their children.
2. If adoption has to happen, then I want to make it easier on everyone inside of the triad to deal with the issues and communicate.
3. Since Adoption is a necessity, though we try to make the need for it less, it’ll never disappear, I advocate strongly on education before opinions.
4. I advocate for multiple voices being supported by the stronger groups in the triad. So for example, if you are an adoptive parent, advocate some adoptee voices if you are invited to a program. If you an adoptee, insist that as a guest speaker you’d like them to include the first family and siblings of adoptees on the stage. We should be mature enough as a community to support each other’s differing ideas. For Tim Wise is a stronger voice about racism, than Ronald Takaki.

On if Adoption is right or wrong, good or bad, I say it’s like any human invention. It’s good or bad depending on how its used and viewed by the participants. So it’s both individual and neutral, like a tool. You could use a knife to put butter on your bread or to kill someone. Adoption can be used to create families or sell children into child labor. It can be used to give a child a life they never could have with the same quality, or it can be used to steal children for money. No tool is inherently good or bad, it’s how one uses it and is educated about using it that makes it good or bad.

About Mi

I know that by posting this people are going to 100% assume that the only thing that I am is an International Adoptee, maybe Korean and try to objectify me as non-humans if they think I have an agenda.

So to make that harder to do to me and protect myself, I’ll outline interests outside of adoption so you can’t label me as a non-homo sapiens sapiens.

First of all I am a Korean adoptee that is adopted to a Russian Hungarian Jewish Atheist family who went to a Unitarian Universalist Church for ten years because they liked the free babysitting and the music. I was part of the second wave of adoptees out of Korea, which is part of the 1970′s to 1980′s push of adoption, which is mainly defined by the stealing of children, poverty and the sudden awareness by agencies that their previous practices were wrong.

I have a Korean family whom I’ve met only the paternal side of, though the maternal side of the family still exists–somewhere. My Korean father is a monk and for the purposes of talking about him, I call him “Appa” just like I call my Dad, dad. He is Buddhist and drinks and goes to Noraebang (Korean singing bars) and likes to eat meat, which are all forbidden. I also have a broken family on that side, but that’s not so important.

I also have a brother whom I’ll mention time to time and talk about the pranks we pulled on each other and my protectiveness towards him. He’s Appa’s son as well as my brother–just is my brother.

My Adoptive parents are also mentioned, but never by name. I respect their privacy and thus there will be zero pictures of them (or Appa, etc)

My interests outside of adoption are quite expansive since I have a healthy imagination and I like being creative and trying new things. (If that makes me an angry adoptee, then I’m not quite sure what your definition of anger is).

I like writing the most–fiction. I write a lot of fiction and write pretty much every night. I’ve been making ups stories since I was 5 years old.

I like all kinds of art and crafts, the only failures I have are probably acting and music. Though I did take acting classes, it never amounted to much. (Might have gone better in Korea, who knows) I do crochet, knitting, jewelry, sewing, embroidery, rug hooking, stained glass, etc. If there is a craft I haven’t done, I don’t know about it yet, but probably have dreams to try it out.

I like gardening and cooking, so I often have ambitions to grow things that I can put love into and eat later. (Almost all of the plants I’ve cared for have been for food). I’m a large foodie too.

I am majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Design. So I do drawing, art and I like culture. I use creativity as a kind of therapy, so my hands are usually up to something or other.

With Cultural Anthropology, my main areas of interest are biased towards world building, so religion, language, creative exchanges and food. I like all types of cultures and have collected the most info about East Asia (though anything outside of what I’m used to interests me).

I also have large intellectual interests as well, which include history, and the social sciences.

Physical sciences I know a lot about merely because my mom works in that field, so I know quite a lot about them and because I watched a whole ton of Discovery Channel and cooking shows.

I’m pretty open-minded and I’ll try almost anything at least once before saying I don’t like it. (Not life threatening things though…)

I like celebrating diversity, so even if it offends you, I support Gay marriage, the LGBT community, all different races and ethnicities, and all definitions of gender or what makes humans human. I dislike speech that encourages hate or aids confronting terms, so I tend towards the more blunt, kick your butt and pointing out the White Elephant.

I advocate education before forming opinions and severely dislike misinformation, or opinions formed before reading on resources. Don’t get offended if you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I hate alcohol, and I’ve never done a one night stand. I don’t date over the internet. That’s probably the only thing that’s overly conservative with me.

Fictional Characters most like me… Probably Hotaru from Hotaru no Hikari and Nodame, if they both were geeks…

For the adoptive parent that thinks this is “angry”
And if you think that’s really angry, then let me redefine anger for you–the type of anger you’re addressing is the type of anger where you got it and built it up because you could not work past your hardships in life. This means that instead of getting past the hurdles that life gave you, that you have ended up so afriad that you act like a cornered dog. Maturity is the ability to face problems and overcome them faster if they crop up again, meaning that you’ve overcome the obstacle and opened yourself up to the world around you, gaining strength and understanding. Perhaps by labeling me an angry adoptee, you really are projecting your anger and fear onto me so you don’t have to see the maturity and what obstacles that you might have to overcome. In which case, you really do lack the maturity to handle those obstacles and perhaps me, on the other side of the hurdle can help you to figure a way around, under, through over or break that hurdle and that will become part of your maturity. Are you afraid to not objectify me and call me human?

Besides, I have Cultural Anthropology as a proof of being open-minded and trying new things and this blog to show that I’ve overcome and opened up and I’m not playing victim. What do you have?