Sunday, October 17, 2010

SDAFF 2010: Adoption Spotlight part one

This year, SDAFF is focusing on the topic of adoption. With the rise of people adopting children from other ethnicities and countries, you begin to wonder what kind of effect it has on the adoptee, particularly when it comes to identity. Or maybe that’s just me. Personally, I can’t imagine how hard it must be trying to figure out who my birth parents are and why they gave me up on top of figuring out who I am.

I know that in Asian cultures, it is not uncommon to give up an unwanted child (or worse), but I don’t really hear a lot about adopting children. I know from personal experience that open-minded and compassionate families are not against adopting, but I suppose that holds true with any culture. The particular family I’m thinking of never told their son he was adopted. No one in the family ever mentioned it, but I heard that his birth parents tried to make contact with him when he was older. At any rate, when I found out that he was adopted, I never really thought any different of him. He is who he is and I accepted that. How I thought of him didn’t really change and I really hope that how he thinks of his family didn’t change too much either.

When you think about the way Asian cultures have been built, it actually makes a lot of sense that adoption rates are low among Asians. Traditionally, Asian societies have been very family based; parents do not get divorced, families don’t split up, family businesses are passed down from generation to generation, family secrets stay in the family (sometimes only with certain people in the family), and non-family members are looked at as outsiders. With this mentality, there really isn’t a lot of reason to adopt another child, especially if the fear is that the child will return to his or her birth parents or that the birth parents will try to reclaim their child (and thus stealing any family secrets).

Traditional mentality aside, I think I’m ok with adoption as long as the child is raised with love and care. Every child deserves that. But honestly, right now, I am definitely not ready to be a mom, adopted child or not.

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