Friday, December 19, 2008


Im sorry I have not blogged lately. I have been pretty busy. I have found a new "hobby" or interest that has taken a lot of my time recently.

I accidently came across a "movement' I have never heard of, as you can see from my title, the Anti-Adoption movement.

I never fathomed such a movement or group ever existed! Why in the world would you want to put an end to adoption??

Sheer gross fascination drove me to continue investigating, and even replying back to the comments of some of these bloggers.

To my even more amazement, I found that many of these supporters are adoptees themselves!!!@!@!@!!@!!@

I was totally befuddled on how anyone adopted could support such a movement.

I am still trying to learn all of the premises to their arguments and I have broken them down to a couple key "issues":

1. Corruption/cost associated with adoptions could be better spent to help the masses of children in the world (ie feed a lot of kids a couple of meals.)
2. Child abuse/work by adopting parents
3. Emtional/psychological issues such as identity/cultural confusion and abandonment issues.

After thinking about these issues, the only one that carries any merit is #3. Here are my reasons I dismiss the other two options as purely an "adoption issue".

1. Corruption/cost: While I agree the cost to adopt an international child is absurd ($20-%50k), to assume that these big global relief funds are less corrupt and more efficient at using the money is probably a false premise. The bigger the corporation or group the more corrupt and more inefficient they tend to be. Secondly, While it may seem like a humanitarian idea to feed 10,000 kids a single meal with ($20,000, or the cost of an adoption), however, when a couple adopts a child, they are agreeing to take care of that child for the rest of its childhood. Something to keep in mind, from the age of 0 to 18, a child eats 19710 meals! So if a relief fund paid to feed those 10,000 children for 18 years, they would have to raise the funds for $20,000 (total cost per meal for each child) x 19710 (meals each child eats in a lifetime) = $395 million dollars. However, if those 10,000 children were adopted to couples around the world the total cost would only be $200 million dollars, because the cost of the feeding of these children would be carried by the parents and not by a relief fund (For those of you wondering, it doesn't matter w. So which one is more efficient use of money? If you really wanted to help out the masses then we should be making it easier/cheaper to adopt, not abolishing it.

However, there is a fine line. If you make adoption too easy and too cheap, then I believe this will increase the cases of child labor and abuse. So, While I hate that propective parents have to go through all this and costs, I think it is a valuable screening tool also.

2. Child abuse/work by adoptive parents. I have a two sided argument. My first concern with this argument is the fact that the Anti-Adoption movement seems to have forgotten that these same issues are faced in orphanages and foster care. I would even go out on a branch to say it probably occurs more often in orphanages and foster care because how likely are parents who are paying $20-$50k per child are going to abuse them?

Secondly; bad parents make bad parents. Meaning, if parents are going to abuse a child, they are going to do it whether or not the child was adopted or a biological child. So this is an "issue" that is greater than adoption. This is an issue that affects both adoptees and non-adoptees, and should be addressed separate of the adoption movement.

The last argument I can somewhat understand and is a little bit tougher to argue. My belief is that adoptions do not cause more harm than what has already been done. What many of the supporters of anti-adoption seem to overlook is where do these orphaned kids go if there is no adoption? Just because you abolish adoption does not resolve the orphan issue, babies will always be born, babies will always be abandoned, and babies will always need shelter somewhere. Do they get stuck in "the system" for the rest of their lives with no hope of ever being adopted?

3. The one area where I can see adoption adding emotional stress is in the cases where the parents try to "suppress" adoption or birth parents or origin queries of the adoptee. As if they want to forget that the adoption ever happened. I do disagree with this. I don't think that is healthy for an adoptee. However, I would like to think parents are doing this because they think it is what is best for the child to adapt to their new surroundings? So I hope parents are doing this because they believe it is what is best for their child? Based on what I have read and my personal experiences, I would say the best thing about adoption is to be very open about it. If the child wants to explore it, let them. If the child doesn't want to explore, don't force them. I think what many people forget is, just like a newborn child doesn't come with an instruction manual an adopted child does not either. I would also argue that in some aspects adopting a child is even more difficult because of the cultural issues and emotional issues that the parents have to face. I believe the learning curve is much steeper and the parents have to learn much faster with a child that is already starting to develop (say 2, 3, 4, or 5+ years) then an infant.

Besides the "supression" issues that some adoptees face, I do not see how they face any more or harder issues than an orphan child who has never been adopted. In fact, I think adoptees face less problems than and orphan does, just because more of the needs of an adoptee has been met than of an orphan.

Lastly, one of the final arguments in the Anti-Adoption movement is based on the custody battles between biological and adoptive parents. I'm not going to get into that one because it gets pretty messy. Plus I believe my next argument addresses this issue. While I agree it is painful to see a child who is torn between a custody battle between adoptive parents and birth parents, I don't think its right to try to abolish adoption because of these select few. I don't have the exact numbers, but I would venture to say that the vast majority of adoptions do not ever go into a custody battle between parents. In fact, I would also venture to say that there have been more orphans with no biological parent information (such as myself, being abadoned) that would benefit from adoptions, then the children who have been torn in a custody battle. Just because a few adoptions are "sloppy", why should the rest of the adoptions be halted? If this is how society felt than we out to just abolish marraige in the legal sense, because more than half of all marraiges fail and end in divorce. If we can accept those numbers, than we should be happy that these custody battles are in the absolute minority.

After my "research" so far I have come to this initial conclusion on why adoptees would support such a movement. I believe that many of these adoptees have been too long removed from their memories/experiences of being in an orphanage that they forget how much better their lives are now (after being adopted) then before (when they were in an orphanage). I don't think many adoptees could tell me that they know for a fact that their lives would have been better in an orphanage. I hate to say this, but even the ones that were abused; how can we be certain that they or some other child would not have been abused in an orphanage? Factors such as abuse is not mutually exclusive to adoption, so abolishing adoption does not prevent abuse from happening. These are the types of logic(and there are many) that I have seen throughout my research in the Anti-Adoption movement.

I did leave a comment on one post, asking if they had any supporters from children who are actively in an orphanage or adults who grew in an orphanage all of their lives. Until I see a strong support of the "Anti-Adoption" movement from these two groups of people, I don't think I will be able to support this movement. Actually, until I see a strong support from these people, I think I will argue against this movement as much as I possibly can.

If you have read all of this and am interested in this subject, or disagree and would like to rebuttal, add more information and more support for the "Anti-Adoption movement, or maybe tell me how right I am (I never get tired of hearing it!! LOL) please leave a comment and I will respond, or you can email me at:


  1. There is one adoptee out there who has openly admitted they would have preferred the orphanage.

    Here's why:

    "I have written elsewhere on this blog that I as an adoptee I would have preferred to have grown up in an orphanage because at least no one would be fooling anyone. I would have been an abandoned child, a bastard waving out there in the wind for all to see. None of this whitewashing, none of the denial and lies, none of the selfishness and insecurity that goes with signing papers to call someone else’s child your own."

    I personally do not agree with that method of thinking, but it does give me food for thought and I can understand why they would consider it.

    The blogger in question is - You can strike up a conversation with them if you so wish.

    I'd also like to highlight some points you made:

    "if parents are going to abuse a child, they are going to do it whether or not the child was adopted or a biological child"

    Yes, but the whole point of adoption is so that a child can go to LOVING parents. NOT "loving but potentially abusive" parents. LOVING parents with LOVING homes, with no strings attached.

    I do not really care about the activist rights of adoptees as "2nd-class citizens" or closed records because I did not deal with that in my own adoption circumstances. The reason being: I've never felt I was a second class citizen and I've always had my OBC. That said, I do not speak for the discrimination of others. What *they* say is their right.

    "If the child wants to explore it, let them. If the child doesn't want to explore, don't force them."

    Problem is, they'll never know if the child wants to "explore" adoption topics if they don't lead the way. Children are far more sensitive than APs think they are. I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, I did not tend to reveal EVERY single thought or feeling I had about EVERYthing to my parents.

    The same goes for adoptees. Just because they aren't talking about it as children does not mean they are not thinking about it. Maybe they are waiting for their parents to bring it up, because that will be a sign that the topic is welcome. Silence usually gives the "wrong" impression that the topic is an uncomfortable one - children do not like to try and bridge uncomfortable topics. That should be the parent's responsibility.

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  3. I dont know anything about adopted prents...

    But i must mention something about the landlord I'm living with now... the parents are both quite young, the mom 23-ish, and the father about 30.

    ITs a bit annoying, according to my other flatmate who says that every morning, the father scolds the baby for making funny spitting noise when being fed. In return, the mother will scold the father for scolding the baby (who is essentially doing what a baby is supposed to be doing).

    In the end, both end up arguing, (seems that they have been doing since they started feeding baby solids)..

    Regardless, adopted, or not, I think neither one is ready to be a parent, since both come up with the argument "I have so many things to do".. neither want to take responsibility for the child they have. Hmmm.I have nt really seen the father feeding the child... how SAD...

    pity the baby la.

  4. First of all, thank you all for your contribution! I love this open discussion!

    Its easy for us to say we would have rather stayed in an orphanage. However no orphan truly says they wish they could stay and orphan forever...

    In terms of the right to have OBC, your overlooking the fact that its a conflict of "rights". The parents versus a childs. This is a very difficult subject because one person's rights infringes on the other. So its not so easy and clear.

    I think you might have misunderstood my discussion in relation to abuse. My main point is adoption actually reduces the likelihood of abuse to a child, so it should not be used as a line of reasoning to abolish adoption.

    The whole point of this post was to discuss the "Anti-Adoption" movement and the flaws in their line of reasoning. I see small examples of maybe why on a case by case basis an adoption should not be granted, but I have yet to see a logical argument for why adoptions as a whole should be abolished. Most of your statements are examples of how or why adoptions may not go right, but there is no line of reasoning as to why all adoptions should be abolished.

  5. I forgot to mention. The biggest failure to the "Anti-Adoption" movement that I see is the fact that it is comprised of a group of people (adoptees and such) that believe they are more knowledgeable and as such speaking on the behalf of another group of people (orphans) and making the decision for them.

    I don't see any orphans coming out and making their own case. My search will continue to find these orphans who don't want to be adopted out of fear of the many numerous arguments presented by this "Anti-Adoption" movement.

    I don't think we will have to fear that the "Anti-Adoption" movement will gain much momentum for the time being. I don't think much will happen on this issue unless there is overwhelming support from existing orphans, which seems highly unlikely.

  6. The biggest failure to the "Anti-Adoption" movement that I see is the fact that it is comprised of a group of people (adoptees and such) that believe they are more knowledgeable and as such speaking on the behalf of another group of people (orphans) and making the decision for them.

    If I had not been adopted, not knowing what it is to be adopted, I would certainly be saying that I would have preferred to be adopted, just like some adoptees are saying they would have preferred the orphanage, not knowing what it is to live in the orphanage.

    Personally, I would have preferred to have grown up in an orphanage.

    I have lived in orphange long enough to say that what I would have preferred is not based on something that I don't know.

    I lived in an overcrowded orphanage - I dare say it was the worst orphanage of all - where we were punished and humiliated every day: we were beaten when only one child spoke to another, we were beaten before going to sleep to prevent us to speak during the night, we were beaten when we were eating to slowly, etc.
    I lived in an orphanage like in a big family, quite comfortable under the circomstances of Korea during the 1970s, where we were well treated.

    With my adoptive parents, I've had good years (during which I was spoiled and well cared) as well as bad years (during which I was abused by them).
    Albeit horrible the life of an orphanage, I was surrounded by children who were living the same life than me.
    I agree with the person that littlewing quoted "None of this whitewashing, none of the denial and lies"
    By comparing the best moments with my adoptive parents to the worst orphanage I've known, I still would have preferred to have grown up in the orphanage.
    Life at the orphanage would at least would have preserved mu culture and language. The material comfort that the adoption has brought me was not worthy of losing my original culture and language.

    Despite what I would have preferred, I have been "pro-adoption" in the sense that I always thought adoption to be the best solution for the same reasons you cited on your post.

    Since I started reading on adoption a year ago, I don't believe adoption to be the best solution anymore. Now, I call myself to be "anti-adoption" particulary when it comes to international adoption.

    The most recent article that shows how international adoption became a market driven by money is
    The lie we love

  7. Kim Myung-Sook,

    While, I would like to respond to your comments, I could not get by the huge discrepencies in your comments.

    First you claim at the orphanage: "...we were punished and humiliated every day"

    Then in the same exact paragraph you state (again talking about the orphanage): "..where we were well treated."

    Well, what was it? Were you beaten and humiliated or were you "well treated"? Or is your sense of being "well treated" defined by being beaten and humiliated?

    Again, another huge descrepency when talking about your adoptive parents: ".during which I was spoiled and well cared.."

    And in the same sentance you state: "..which I was abused by them.."

    So were you abused or well taken care of? Can you see where I am coming from? To me it sounds like you are wanting to justify your comments by first starting off with the fact that you have experienced every possible circumstance of growing up as an orphan. Im sorry but we all know that is not possible. You were either well taken care of or not. Were you well taken care of in the orphanage or not? Were you well taken care of by your adoptive parents or not?

    I know you may not want to get into the gritty details, but "abused" by adoptive parents after they had "spoiled" you for years? For all I know that could be that you were a spoiled brat and after a few years they had to incorporate some punishment to "straigthen" you out? I've been spanked for doing something wrong, is it abuse? No, its a parents perrogative to raise a well mannered child. If you truly did experience abuse versus discipline (which is too often confused), I do not mean to make light of abuse. But I hope you can see where your comments are too vague and confusing to figure out. If you would be willing to clarify your situation, I would love to read about it.

  8. Here are my responses to Kim Myung-Soon's comments about "Anti-Adoption"

    Myung, you stated:
    "If I had not been adopted, not knowing what it is to be adopted, I would certainly be saying that I would have preferred to be adopted"

    Then my question to you is "Why would you want to legally make it impossible for an orphan to have that opportunity."

    "I don't believe adoption to be the best solution anymore. "


    I'm sorry for the caps. But I hear this argument over and over and over. I have read probably 50+ blogs telling me how adoption isn't the best solution. I have yet to read a single one suggesting a better alternative!

    Lastly: "Life at the orphanage would at least would have preserved my culture and language."

    Your culture and language (I'm assuming Korean) was preserved whether or not you existed. I'm not trying to make fun of this issue, because I understand what you are talking about, but I want to make a point of this and clarify a huge misunderstanding. Just because you didn't grow up with Korean culture and language, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It exists, its out there, and its free and open to all to go and re-discover it. As an adult there is no one stopping you from learning Korean or learning or experiencing its culture.

    I would argue that this should have a lot less weight for an infant adoptee to an older adoptee because an infant did not speak the langauge or experience the culture. It doesn't mean that they can't have an interest, however they never "lost" the language or cullture to start off with.

    I am dealing with this struggle right now. Its a challenge. I have tried Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, and now I take private Korean tutorring. In total I have probably spent well over $2000 this year alone in trying to learn the Korean Language. Unfortunately I have a mathmatical mind, and do not learn languages easily. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Do I wish I just knew how to speak Korean? Yes. Do I envy all of my Korean friends (who were borna nd have lived in the US all of their lives) but can still speak Korean? Yes! But you know what, its just a fact of life. Why sit around complaining that you "lost" your language, when you can go out and learn it again. It takes more sweat than money to learn a new language.

    Ironically, Korean adoptees worry about not speaking Korean and trying to learn it again. While Koreans would cut off any limb of theirs to speak fluent English with no accent. Anymore, its easier for a Korean-adoptee to get a professional job in Korea than a native Korean because of our English abilities. Only a minimal Korean language knowledge is often required, while a mastery of English is highly sought after.

  9. [With my adoptive parents, I've had good years (during which I was spoiled and well cared) as well as bad years (during which I was abused by them).]

    I'm not going to speak for Myung-Sook, but have you ever read David Pelzer's "A Child Called IT"?

    His mother treated him very well until the age of 5. David even make sure to write "I never felt safer than that time she held me in her arms by the Russian river."

    Yet, from the age of 5 onwards, David is abused beyond normal "standards" to the point that he would have welcomed death many times.

    So then would you say it is his fault? Certainly not. His mother's ability to mentally break free of her own disciplined childhood combined with the over-dosage of alcohol and too many kids (5 of them) is part of what triggered the abuse.

    So yes, a mother can take good care of her child and then suddenly turn on them in the next instant. It's not unheard of.

    Myung-Sook didn't explain that she happened to live at 3 different orphanages. That's why you see she has written that one place they were all like family, and that at another they were treated like garbage. Myung-Sook did not explain that very well in her English.

    [Why would you want to legally make it impossible for an orphan to have that opportunity?]

    IMO: To MAKE it possible so that these "orphans" do NOT need to end in orphanages in the first place. Taking "orphans" away from the orphanages is NOT going to prevent the remaining children who are going to end up IN the orphanage after the current generations have all been adopted.

    [Why sit around complaining that you "lost" your language, when you can go out and learn it again. It takes more sweat than money to learn a new language.]

    Because it hurts WHILE you try to learn the language. It is knowing that you're struggling so very much to learn a language that would have naturally come to you if you had been raised IN it.

    [Just because you didn't grow up with Korean culture and language, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It exists, its out there, and its free and open to all to go and re-discover it. As an adult there is no one stopping you from learning Korean or learning or experiencing its culture.]

    But you will always be a bit of a foreigner to it; it has not been passed down to you through family. And that hurts too - being a stranger to something you should "know." You can learn it but it will always be academically achieved and not "real" culture and even if you are to go back, it is still not quite "yours" because you were not absorbed into it as a child.


    Preventing adoption from happening to occur in the first place. Digging to the root of the problem. For every child that is "saved", another child will just be put in the orphanage some point later. When does it stop?

  10. Thank you for helping to clarify Kim Myung-Sook's comments. I do not mean to be "harsh on Myung, it was just very confusing.

    Ironic that you bring up Dave Pelzer, because his example only exemplifies my statements. What Myung-Soo experienced is obviously not mutually exclusive to adoptees. Dave Pelzer experienced something very similar to Myung-Sook. That is my exact point. Adoption did not do this to Myung-Sook, an abusive parent did!

    I would venture to guess (this is not proven because I don't have statistics) but I would guess that the likelyhood of child abuse is less in adoption situations than natural birth. Why? Just intuition tells me. Why would someone go through that financial burden and strain to later abuse it (I'm not saying it doesnt happen), I'm just saying that if your willing to go through the adoption process you obviously really want a child, so the likelihood of it happening is less.

    While I agree that the purpose of adoption is to match children with loving parents. You make a false assume that humans are perfect. Humans are imperfect, so nothing "ideal" can ever really occur because it will always be corrupted with humans' imperfections. It doesn't mean we don't still try.

    I'm going to start a series of posts trying to touch base on each of the comments here soon.

  11. Hi. I'm an a-parent, and just want to say that I've learned tremendously from the conversation here.

    Adoption is a true paradox, and the more I think I understand it, the more I realize I never will. I just hope I've picked up enough to help my kids.

    Thanks for blogging.