I am a transracial Chinese adoptee. My parents and siblings are white. I remember when I was younger, whenever I was out in public with my family, people would often approach us and ask uncomfortable questions such as “Is she your daughter?” and “Do you know/want to find your real parents?” The pain of being singled out for not looking like the rest of my family was very real to me growing up.
So I feel like it trivializes my lived experience when people joke about a sibling being “adopted” because they are weird or don’t show typical physical characteristics of their family. It wasn’t funny to me when random strangers would approach me and my family to essentially ask “Why don’t you look related? Are you a family? If so, why aren’t you biologically-related?”
Even for those who are not transracial adoptees or even adopted, the lack of knowledge about biological parents and family history is a sensitive subject. Furthermore, the implication that by not being biologically-related, one’s ties to and relationships with one’s family are somehow “less” than those of biologically-related families is hurtful and insulting.
agree with all the above.
also people saying lightly that they wish they had been adopted when they’re complaining about their parents just to be dramatic.
also when people joke that they want to adopt someone as a compliment.
please just stop already.
well. i debated whether i should answer this. but i decided to just go for it.
i almost didn’t answer this question because i think it’s an irrelevant question. it’s also a ridiculously simple question for an abundantly complicated relationship. it’s irrelevant because it’s a waste of time and energy to wish that my parents hadn’t adopted me. if i wished that, does it mean that i could go back in time and change anything? if i didn’t wish that, does it mean that everything regarding my relationship with my parents is rainbows and unicorns?
i wrote about why it’s irrelevent in this post: saying that i think korea should stop international adoption doesn’t mean that i denounce my own adoption. i neither denounce it or celebrate it, i simply accept it. nor do i mourn the person i might’ve been or glorify the person that i have become.
it also dismisses the human element from my relationship with my parents. yes, i am disgusted with the adoption industry (let’s call it what it is) although i’ve stated that i’m not 100% against adoption, in theory. anyways, my parents were/are far from perfect as (adoptive) parents. but many people seem to be super concerned with my parents feelings regarding my feelings about adoption ㅡㅡ why?? are their feelings about my feelings more important than my feelings? does that make any sense??
do i view my parents as my parents? yes. regardless of our complicated relationship, i view them as my american parents. but i also think i have more than one set of parents. i do love my adoptive parents, i do appreciate the things they did right. but that doesn’t mean i’m not allowed to be critical about the many and sometimes very serious things that they did wrong.
again, does that mean i wish they hadn’t adopted me? what does that question even mean? you asked the question actually twice in your ask so i’m answering it again to point out the urgency with which you seem to need to know the answer to this question (although you did say feel free to ignore?). again, it seems like a totally irrelevant question to me but it’s one that many seem to want to know the answer to. and i think that that’s almost more telling. why do people want to know this? is it because they want to check whether or not i am appropriately grateful (by whatever standards they are measuring by) to my adoptive parents? to me, in that question, there’s an underlying implication that i should be grateful to have been adopted and therefore did not waste away in an orphanage and/or forced to become prostitute or any of the other horrid outcomes that would have surely been my fate if i had not been adopted. yes, adoptees are fed these stories of how we would’ve ended up if we hadn’t been ‘saved’ by our parents and i think this is to keep adoptees in line and eternally grateful. i think that’s psychologically abusive, but it’s an attitude that is pervasive throughout (western) society and the romance/myth surrounding the adoption story.
do i wish my parents hadn’t adopted me? no. because that’s a pointless exercise. it’s a waste of time and energy. do i wish that poor, women of color had just as much of a right to raise their children as the middle/upper class, white women who eventually get to raise them through adoption? yes.
that is the relevant question. one that can actually be used for change and progress. and that is why i work with kumfa.
because i’ve gotten a couple more asks along this vein, i am reblogging this ask.