“Childish Perversions”

Or, The Creepiest Adoption Analogy In The World:

“It has been said that adoption is more like a marriage than a birth: two (or more) individuals, each with their own unique mix of needs, patterns, and genetic history, coming together with love, hope, and commitment for a joint future. You become a family not because you share the same genes, but because you share love for each other” ~Joan McNamara (Adoptive parent)

Wow, this has it all. The passive voice (by whom has this thing “been said,” Ms. McNamara?), the urge to make the adoption the adoptee’s choice, at least in part–not to mention the very special disregard of how fucked up it is to talk about marrying a child.

I was two months old, you silly woman. I did not beam up at my new mommy’s face and croon “I do!” I did not commit to anything. I probably did not hope for anything except my next meal or nap. I could not have loved people I had just met. I did NOT GET MARRIED at two months old, and the legal ceremony by which I was transferred to my new family was nothing like a marriage.

Things I did the day I got married that I did not do when I got adopted include:

Get out of bed, shower, brush my teeth, and dress myself
Walk
Eat solid food
Drive a car to the courthouse
Talk to a judge who was absolutely sure I was performing this ceremony because I wanted to
Say words of assent to said ceremony
Comprehend, read, and sign a legal contract binding the ceremony
Have sex
Put myself to bed

Adoptees can’t choose adoption. The older ones can give their consent, but what meaning does that have? If we give consent the same meaning across the board that we give it in rape cases, no child can meaningfully consent to being adopted; the power imbalance is too great. I’m all for allowing older kids to “choose” to be adopted by their foster families, but let’s not kid ourselves that even they can choose this in the same way an adult can choose marriage.

If adoption were a marriage, we’d apply common sense to it. We’d say things like “But you just met!” and “How can you expect her to give up everything just because you’ve wanted a wife for so long?” And when the deluded partners-to-be said things like “I knew I’d love him forever the moment I saw his photograph” and “This is the woman god meant for me to have,” we’d tell them they were creepy and wonder what the other party was thinking.

But it’s OK to do these things to babies and children because they’re babies and children. See the difference? See how it works? You can’t have it both ways, Ms. McNamara. Because damn is that fucked-up.

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8 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, Stop Saying That, Those Wacky PAPs, WTF?!

8 responses to ““Childish Perversions”

  1. This is perfect! Commitment for the future? Good grief!!!!

  2. Lauri Lee

    Snarkurchin, I think you are failing to see beauty in this analogy, you expect too much of marriage. We were child brides forced into a marriage with a stranger(s) we didn’t get a chance to meet or a choice about. Our adoption agencies were the match-maker who figured we were for the most part interchangeable submissives (like a child bride is supposed to be), and theoretically they made sure they made decent matches for us, but like an arranged marriage we had no input and in the end it’s a bit of crapshoot with the weight of value being put on the financial worth of the husband. Child brides are expected to love and honour their husbands no matter what.

    Most western cultures find arranged child marriages offensive because she is a child entering into an adult contract which she has no consent in. Westerners consider she is being used as a chattel.

  3. I believe I’ve read examples of this utter crapology before.It goes along with the idea of parents and children being ‘best friends’. Doesn’t anyone understand roles anymore?

  4. Good point, Lauri Lee!

    My ex-hub thought I expected too much too. (-:

  5. Snd another thing…a child needs to be with parents, not the creepy confused.

  6. cb

    Lauri Lee, I thought of forced marriages as well. A wife in a forced marriage can end up loving her husband if he is good to her but it is still not her choice.

  7. Love your commentary, as what she says is more than fucked.

  8. Pairing children and parents by adoption lottery and comparing it to a marriage is totally absurd–but then I’m sorry to say that adoptive parents have a lot of flukey ideas about what adoption is: Genetic strangers agree to house, feed and hopefully love an infant who will almost probably not look like them or share many interests. Yes, there is something to be said for nurture/environment but wait til the adoptee grows up–and looks like she wandered in from another family photo.

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