20 OMG! comments you might hear as an adoptee/social worker/therapist in the world of adoption:
For the most part, my posts have been personal in nature. But the various hats I wear in this world of adoption has engendered the most outrageous comments and questions. To not feel so alone, I asked my “LIST” buddies to help me out. To a woman, we find ourselves struck by how much our adoption status is the singular frame of reference for our professional peers; not the papers we wrote, the presentations we do, or the actual work. I get it. Being adopted is integral to the work we do, it is the lens in which many of us feel our best work comes through, but these comments reflect a general “discounting of years of education, clinical practicums and actual work experience” (SBA and MS).
So, here goes:
1 – “Go home to that handsome husband of yours and have a glass of wine and forget all about this” – director of international adoption upon learning that a family withdrew from accepting a child in country and took my homestudy document and paid $10,000 for another referral. I wanted to send a letter to the central authority to stop them from leaving the country.
2 – “I am so proud of my orphaned Indian daughter” – social worker, adoptive parent at a gala dinner for JCICS
3 – “You’re being adopted makes this work different for you, you are more invested” – social worker
4 – “I don’t understand why Korea will not place a child with this family (prospective adoptive mom is on anti-depressants)…they need to change their perspectives on medication” – social worker
5 – “Vietnamese adoptees are the most grateful and Korean adoptees are the least. They have no qualms about driving up their U-Haul and taking whatever they want, move down the street from you and you will never hear from them again.” – former executive director and founder of an adoption agency
6 – “This one is in jail, this one had a baby at 15, this one was in rehab…” – therapist/adoptive parent describing her child charms on her necklace
7 – “What will I do if this Hague Convention passes…I will be out of business. I can’t afford to get accredited!” – agency director
8 – “I know what adoptees are like, I dated one…” – director of international adoption program, social worker
9 – “You are a double bonus: a Latino and an adoptee!” – post adoption counseling agency
10 – “You are a great therapist because you are an adoptee!” – fellow therapist
11 – “You shouldn’t scare them (adoptive parents) with all the negative stories out there.” – adoption worker in international adoption agency
12 – “We (agency) didn’t place the child.”- agency staff person after a family returned a child to the birth country and left
13 – “I want to be just like your adoptive parents. They must have done something right because so many of you seem to have issues.”- adoptive parent at a conference after a presentation on grief and loss
14 – “You should meet my daughter from China. After hearing your speech, I think she could learn a lot from you because she is adopted and doesn’t seem happy. Can I get your number?” – adoptive parent/social worker following presentation at JCICS
15 – “It’s because she brings too much of her adoption into this.”- adoptive parent complaint after this worker denied a homestudy
16 – “They had good reasons to disrupt. That kid was not a good fit to begin with”- social worker/agency staff after approving family to adopt again during an on-going dissolution
17 – “She’s so manipulative and not grateful at all. So many of them are like that-it’s too hard to keep track of.” – adoption therapist following a placement breakdown
18 – “You just don’t ask where the money goes when you are over there (overseas). Just remember it means they can have a forever family.”- adoption recruiter in front of prospective adoptive parents
19 – “It is so wonderful that you work in the field – your life really has come full circle”
20 – This last one is a shout out to Susan Branco Alvarado…just where is your naturalization certificate, the world is wondering…are you F—–‘ legal?
I know this list could go on forever….got a good one, send it on!