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
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
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.