'via Blog this'
The Korean War Baby has found this website, Adoption Blogs, to be a great source to find out how Adoptive Parents, among others such as adoption professionals, are dealing with the myriad issues pertaining to This Thing of Ours-Adoption.
I believe that at my age I was not able to understand the reasons that my mother "gave me up". Even as I tried to understand "that she could not take care of me" and gave me up for a "better life", this did not take away the damage. BUT, I had a better chance growing up in the USA than in very prejudiced Korea. In many cases though, it was the case of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Yes, some international adoptees MAY have felt/thought that they wished they were white. NOT ALL, and there are thousands of "successful" adoptions that does not rule out that some desire to "know what happened". Some do not want to know, satisfied with the scant bits of information that they have received.
THAT BEING SAID...I do NOT blame "being adopted for my problems". There are those few in number, who go around blaming their adoption on their "Adopter" parents and family. The old adage "What came first? The Chicken or the Egg?" comes to my mind. The outspoken few seem to claim to speak for "all of the adoptees", but they don't speak for ME. They actually blame the Egg (Adoption to another land) for their very existence, lamenting that they lost family, language, culture and were cruelly taken away from their homeland, ignoring the basic facts that caused them to be "given up for adoption" in the first place.
What comes first? Separation/abandonment OR Adoption? In the majority of cases around the world it is a variety of reasons that cause Separation from mother and child. There is NO ONE reason, is there? ANYONE who uses the word "ALL" is full of crap. Why is it that we cannot use QUALIFIER WORDS such as "some, few, many, a majority, etc" and refrain from using the all inclusive words? The Spectrum of Difference indeed applies to This Thing of Ours-Adoption. Balance in stating our position should be held to, not extreme viewpoints or attacks on 'the other side'.
TO ME, and I am not one gifted with great intelligence just years of making mistakes and trying to learn from them..in MANY cases, women were forced to make decisions to "give up raising their children" for many reasons. The simple fact is that Adoption does not CAUSE the separation. It may provide a solution for a young mother who has few support networks, or a mother who has no SONS, or a child that is born with physical or mental disabilities in a society that rejects such.
Were there cases of out and out kidnapping? Well, duh, yes. Some celebrities of the KAD world claim they were kidnapped but the clarity of WHO is not made clear. In some documented cases it was the family of the mother that kidnapped without her knowledge and sent the child away. In a a great number of cases, mothers were pressured by their own family, friends, government's lack of support, and the general view of Society that being unwed and a mother was not acceptable. What could she do? Let's not forget the married woman who had 'too many female children'. Disabilities led to thousands to be exported thankfully to homes where they just might have a loving home, but in another land.
|The argument of Causality has been|
debated for centuries
The list of reasons and causes goes on and on. YET, throughout the cyberspace of bloggers, activist groups, support groups, etc. we find a common thread that the "EGG (Adoption)" was the cause of the Separation/Loss, the "Chicken", which I believe came first. It is the Whiners Club of KADs who somehow blame their adoptive parents/social workers/government officials, etc. on their sad lives. They lament that IF ONLY we had stayed with our mother...We must go back to the very beginning, the moment of Conception of life when a human egg met a human sperm, eh? Life began, we may argue that it is or isn't a "human" yet but it will once born be a human being, a newborn.
Most societies have moral rules that govern taking care of the child born, not necessarily marriage. In some societies, it is the tribe that takes care of the children and raises them within their small society. Being raised by the biological mother and father is not always the case, is it?
The reasons for a woman getting pregnant...again there are many. Rape, Incest, Pre-Marital Sex between consenting adults but not yet ready to be responsible for raising a family (HEY, I have two t-shirts for that one, a daughter and son that I "fatherered" but did not know, becoming an absentee father). What did adoption have to do in "Causing" a child to be given up? What resulted was a life was produced, a woman had to make hard choices on what she could/would do. In the Republic of Korea, everyday four thousand pregnant Korean women chose to Abort or Terminate their Unwanted Pregnancy, do they live with guilt? Perhaps some do, others go on with their lives, a few to regret later when Infertility after several abortions may cause them to secretly adopt from another unwed mother. Cycles within cycles, in the wheel of life and death.
Yes, it would be great if all countries had a social network that supported single motherhood, but that is not the reality yet even in "modern" societies. WHA? Can we expect them to change their Social and Religious structures when even the USA and European countries are still making major adjustments in Women's Rights, Children's Rights, Welfare, etc? Steps should/could be taken to provide a way out, but again there are many, a substantial number of women who just are NOT READY to raise a child. The bio-logical "father" may be scarce, having run the other direction, or denied being the sperm donor. Not all women were subjected to society's and family pressures to give up their child. Some, may I dare say many, just were not ready to be mothers, yet did not take the step to abort the life growing inside them.
Am I cold towards them? NO, I must give them the benefit of doubt, since in my own life, I was one of the players. I had so many Unprotected sexual experiences that produced two children I am aware of, that I finally took the extreme option and had a Vasectomy at the age of 28. From that time on, I could tell every (yes every) woman, "Want to see my scar? I shoot blanks". (Years later, though, I regretted my youthful folly when I had to have needles thrust into the still producing testicles to try to have a 'test-tube baby', without success). At the age of sixty, I will never be a father, I regret.
In the sixties and seventies in the western societies the attitudes towards unwed motherhood was very different. Single mothers were thought to be 'bad women' and the men seemed to be let off the hook. In Korea adoptee activist groups are advocating for the Single Unwed mothers (single mother could also be divorced mothers since the wonderful advent of divorce appeared on the Korean society's scene just in the last dozen years). This year last May, family month, there was a day for Single Motherhood. SLOOOOOOWLY, Korean society is changing.
Back to the Chicken/Egg analogy...Separation/Loss/Abandonment, in Varying degrees felt differently by the age of the child. Almost all happen to Orphans, both real or created by Relinquishment-designated "Single Orphan" for one biological parent signing away their rights or "Double Orphan" when in rare cases BOTH biological parents sign away their rights. You see some disregard the fact that the designation of "Orphan" is recognized by Hague Conventions on Adoption and Children's Rights in these terms. An Orphan is NOT only those who's natural/biological parent/parents have been killed. Children found Abandoned with no living relative coming forward to support them have to be taken care of by the state.
Adoption, both within the country (which the KWB prefers IF possible), and through International, Transcultural, InterCountry, etc is therefore a NECESSARY way of providing a home. It does not guarantee a perfect 'forever home', as some pro-adoption groups purport, NAY, adoption comes with all of life's hazards, yes, ALL of the risks that natural families have PLUS the additional issues. As my own sister aptly put it "Life is a Crap Shoot". One could wind up having to deal with many problems, adoption may, just though give one a chance they would not have had in their own family or country.
Certainly, let's push for Family Preservation...but what to do when the young mother simply cannot bare to face raising a child by herself? Should motherhood be "forced" on her? Of course not. Each case has its own facts and nuances, as in the case of social welfare and children. Children are taken from their mothers because of dangerous lifestyles such as drugs, abuse, incest, rape from boyfriends, etc.
There is NO ALL in these issues of life, each is separate yet similar perhaps. So let's stop the WHINING and PINING that a few do "I ARE ADOPTED that is why I am all messed up". SOME in fact were kidnapped by their own family and given away without the consent of the mother! BUT NOT ALL. To claim that Adoption somehow caused "all" to be separated from mothers is Wrong. Plain and simply not true in even a great majority of Korean adoptions, InCountry or InterCountry/International.
We who were adopted both secretly, or openly, it is YOU and I who must face our issues, DEAL with the facts but be ready to accept that we may never know "the truth" for certain. Our Adoption Identity is a combination of our ethnicity, culture we were born in and the one we were raised in. Each of us are individuals and face our lives in our own ways. May each of you, dear readers, find your own path to a balanced self-image. Be ready for a rollercoaster ride, read many different viewpoints, keep a forgiving attitude ready, find your own balance, don't take 'sides'. Learn from many, then find your own place. Good luck.
The Korean War Baby- Still working it through.