Adopto-Speak Dictionary

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but Laura Dennis inspired me (and I hope she’ll forgive me). Please suggest terms and/or definitions in the comments.

ABC (amended birth certificate):

Adoptee: An adopted child of any age (adoptees are Peter Pan). Adoptees come in two flavors, Good and Bad. Your adoptee will be Good because you are Good. See Adult adoptee

Adoption: A beautiful thing. The most loving and beautiful way to build a family. I swear I don’t know why people go on fucking, because adoption is so much better. It’s an institution made of fulfilled dreams and fairy wings and moonbeams and kittens and did I mention there are ponies? When you get adopted, you get to live here:

Oooooh! I wish I were adopted!

Typical adoptive family home. Note the two foals don’t resemble the adult pony in the foreground and one foal has a different hide tone.

Adoption agency:

Adoption blog:

Adoption coercion: A very bad, mean thing which never happens, only maybe it happened in the past, but only in Australia where they apologize for it, and definitely not in the US, where we have nothing to apologize for, ever. Well, maybe there was a little of it here in the past, too, but not much, and you have to remember things were different then. No contemporary birth mother has to be coerced to give her child away. Birth mothers like to lie back for nine months and eat bon bons, having their every need met by PAPs, and then not raise their children. Pretty sweet deal, eh? It’s the only reason they get pregnant at all.

Adoption community: A place wherein all people affected by adoption may tell their stories without fear of judgement. Note: Adoption does not affect adopted children or their first parents. In any context imaginable (news stories, internet forums, real life) “the adoption community” will always, always, always refer to those who have adopted or who want to adopt, and often to those who profit by adoption. I mean, really, who else’s opinion means diddly?

Adoption disruption:

Adoption fraud: The practice of pretending to be pregnant and accepting money from hopeful couples. This is the only fraudulent activity it is possible to perform in the adoption arena. Kidnapping children to sell for adoption is not fraud; nor is bribery; nor is closing an adoption one promised to keep open. These three things happen, but the first is A Very Rare Unfortunate Thing that did not happen to my orphan, the second is The Cost of Doing Business in Country X, and the third is a Parenting Decision.

Adoption magic: often (erroneously, of course!) referred to as “denial” or “enough money,” this is simply another term for love. It explains why adoption is the only economic industry in which supply never affects demand; the only transaction between rich and poor that cannot be corrupted because it involves no power imbalance; and the one thing the government of every wealthy, western nation Gets Right. It turns kidnappers into agency workers, non-parents into parents, children with loving families into orphans, and Ethiopians and Koreans into white USAians. Adoption magic is traditionally believed to have been shat out the asses of unicorns. See God, destiny.

Adoption poetry: Poetry produced by P/APs to celebrate the angel-bestowed miracle of adoption. Can you imagine the pony picture above with more sugar? Lots more? Even twice as much sugar? More. …More. …Go get another bag; we’ll wait. OK, that’s enough. Now get some honey and marshmallows and apricot nectar and Kool-Whip and maraschino cherries and chocolate syrup and a can of cond–two cans of condensed milk. Glop it all together. Now, while watching your face in the mirror, put a spoonful of the glop in your mouth. The expression on your face is identical to the one you’d wear if you had just read an adoption poem.

Adoption triad: A phrase, possibly originally well-intended, that offers a skewed version of adoption by A) leaving out some of its major players and B) making it appear that the baby or child, the first family, and the adoptive family are all on an equal footing with equal amounts of power.

Adoptive: See real, natural. Descriptive of the highest love humans can aspire to, yet also of all things shameful and unspeakable. It is a sin to call an adoptive parent an “adoptive” parent…because adoption is the best thing in the universe and the one true way to raise a child and gosh don’t you feel sorry for all those schmucks who had to make their own kids shut up he is too mine none of your business where I got him or what he cost shut up!

Adoptive breastfeeding: Would someone else like to write this entry? I just can’t.

Adult adoptee: A curious phrase denoting an adopted child who has somehow managed to grow up, like a regular person. Adult adoptees come in two flavors, Grateful or Happy and Angry or Bitter. Your adult adoptee will either be Grateful or will, through a miraculous act of love, gratitude, and willpower, break all the laws of the universe and stop being adopted at all, becoming the product of your! special! loins! because you are raising her or him with love, which bio-parental-unit-incubator-thingys (see birth prefix) never do. Adoptive parents who have a different outcome were either deceived into adopting a defective product and/or fucked up because they are not as smart and loving as you are. See baby buying, adoption magic, ABC.

Angry adoptee:

Baby buying: A thing adoption never, ever,  ever is, no matter how much money changes hands. That’s why paying a birth mother’s expenses is totes OK and means she owes you nothing even if you don’t get her baby. See adoption fraud.

Baby Scoop Era: The decades between the end of WW2, when people apparently discovered extramarital sex, and 1973, when abortion became legal. Back then, if you wanted a healthy white newborn, all you had to do was apply for one through the government and wait and hope. Now you have to apply for one and wait and hope. Adoption has changed so much. Sosososo much. Isn’t it terrible? (Seriously: In 196whatever, my parents applied to adopt. They waited eighteen months, which is nowadays considered by many a criminal amount of time to except anyone to wait for something as insignif, AHEM, I mean as important as a baby.)

Baby store: Where some young Baby Scoop era adoptees surmised they came from. The Snurchin imagined it as a combination department store and auction house.

Balancing rights: Some human rights weigh more than other human rights. When the real rights of adoptees to their identities clash with the imaginary rights of first mothers to Double Secret Privacy, the rights of the two parties must be balanced such that the adoptee’s rights are lighter. Oddly enough, when the rights of adoptive parents and first mothers clash, the first mother’s doubly heavy rights become weightless and fly off the scale altogether. [looks up, waves] Goodbye, goodbye….

Bastard:

Best interests of the child: Desires of the P/APs. It is in the best interest of any child anyone wants to adopt to be adopted, because seriously, adoption is that kick-ass. Naah, it’s really because adoption is the taking of children from the powerless by the powerful. You wouldn’t want to grow up poor or not USAian or black or something, would you? Well, it’s not classist or racist or any such thing for you to project those privileged adult opinions onto children in poor families, especially those living in other cultures on other continents without a pony.  On the contrary: it is noble, charitable, and good. It proves how enlightened you are.

Birth father or birthfather: A sperm donor. A man of so little importance he need not be consulted about an adoption. Hell, the kind of guy who impregnates a birth mother, even if she’s his wife, doesn’t want any damned kid anyway. Just go through with the adoption. It’ll be fine. See Utah.

 

“Birth mother” or “birthmother”: 1) An incubator. A selfless, loving, giving, wonderful woman while pregnant; a grasping, delusional pain in the ass after relinquishment, especially if she wants an open adoption. The phrase “our birth mother,” therefore, does not signify “the woman who gave birth to us,” but “the mother or mother-to-be of a child we adopted or want to adopt.” This usage can be confusing until one realizes that incubators are things owned by people, whereas mothers are human women. This is why we have a Mother’s Day and “Birthmother’s” Day.

People who say the term “birth mother” merely means “the woman who gave birth to you, whether you were adopted or not” are liars. If they say they use this term as an everyday way of referring to their own mothers even though they were not adopted, these people are both lying and crazy: crazy enough to think you’ll believe them. Say something polite while backing away slowly.

In popular imagination, “birth mothers” are all crack whores, even if they relinquished before crack was a thing.

2) A pregnant woman who, at any time during her pregnancy, expresses a desire to relinquish her child, wonders out loud what adoption is all about anyway, or has the word “adoption” whispered in her ear while she is asleep. Any of these events means she owes a richer couple her child and is honor bound not to disappoint them. The mother or mother-to-be of a child someone else wants.

“Birth” prefix: A means of denying an adopted child has blood relatives. It is the only acceptable terminology for such relatives. See adoptive and first….

Blank slate:

Celebrity adoption:

Change: A thing adoption has done (for the better, of course!) without doing it at all (see adoption magic). Only one thing about adoption has changed, and that is the number of healthy white newborns available to people who want to adopt them (and, therefore, the price). Nothing essential about adoption has changed or will change until PAPs want it to change. Don’t hold your breath.

China: A country in which maternal love is not love and which hates girls and women so much it currently discards all its females, having found a way for men to give birth without female input at all. Alas, they still give birth to girls half the time, so go getchoo a China doll!

Chosen child:

Chosen parent: An adoptive parent who believes so firmly in destiny or adoption magic or god that s/he believes s/he was chosen to raise their child…by the child, even if the child was too young to speak when s/he was adopted. These children simply chose adoption before they were born. Nobody knows why a child would do this, but I’ve heard some drivel about how our souls needed to learn A Very Special Lesson About Love.

Destiny: The name given by some APs to the time, money and effort they spent acquiring a child, as in “Somehow destiny comes into play. These children end up with you and you end up with them. It’s something quite magical.”Nicole Kidman. See adoption magic, god, red thread.

Different: A thing adoption definitely is now, which is great! and which makes adopting too hard, because adding a new human being to your family should be a cakewalk. See change, baby scoop era.

First mother/father/family: These words are a  means of accepting an adopted child has blood relatives. This is an unforgivable slur against APs, who were so the first, oh yes they were! It’s also a slur because “first” is never used to distinguish an event that happens in time ahead of a “second” event. It, like natural, always means “superior” or “best” or “adoptive parents are losers and they suck.” Likewise, “second” has no other meaning, definition or connotation other than that of “second best,” so insecure APs are perfectly within their rights when they have a hissy about not being first. (Adoptees who point out that they were their parents’ second choice, however, are ungrateful brats.)

Forever family: A thing children available for adoption and shelter pets both need and both sometimes get.

Formula: Fake human breast milk. If there were no infant formula, what would adoption look like? Who would it have to acknowledge? Would there have been a baby scoop era at all? I suspect not.

God: An all-powerful, supernatural being who concerns himself only with satisfying the desires of P/APs, never those of other triad members. Any child someone manages to adopt was made for, meant for and given specifically to that person or people by divine right…unless the child turns out messed-up, in which case its birth relatives are to blame (and God was mysteriously powerless against them). Note that God always has babies born For A Reason and has them taken away from their mothers and given to others For A Reason, but never causes anyone to become infertile For A Reason (unless that reason is so the infertile party can adopt this particular baby made for them in China or Utah or wherever). God is sometimes AKA fate, karma, destiny, the alignment of the planets or a miracle.

Gotcha Day: aka one’s adoption day. Proper terminology makes everything better, doesn’t it? (Warning: It really, really doesn’t.)

Gratitude: The only acceptable emotion adoptees can feel about their adoptions. Compared to other people who were raised in loving homes, adoptees have remarkably short memories. This leaves them at a constant risk of forgetting how great it is to be alive and of blaming every silly little “problem” they ever had on their adoptive parents. Therefore, adoptees must be reminded again and again how very lucky they are to be adopted and how they have to STFU about it. People who were not adopted are born knowing how to shower their parents with gratitude, and they do just that on a daily basis, from the time they can find a way to express it (“ga ga!” is the first sound in “grateful! grateful!”) until they die tending their parents’ graves.

I know it’s true because I remember every minute of my childhood. I was quite exceptional.

Home study: A brief, breezy yet inexcusable invasion of the privacy of PAPs which insures, once and for all with one hundred per cent certainty, that they are fit to parent a child they are not related to. Home studies are grueling, and if you adopt a child, you will have to pass an entire one of them before you bring that child home. One. Once. There will be no follow-up, ever. It’s so harrrd. And if you really did have bad intentions, it would be impossible to fool the person doing that one study, so why do they even bother? Your wanting to adopt is proof of your good intentions!

Hoops: Horrible, flaming, spiked iron rings PAPs must all jump through over and over and over again while those people who don’t adopt just have six or seven kids of their own, can you believe it?! It is so unfair to be held to a higher standard just because you didn’t give birth to the kid you raise. I mean, it’s not like you’re taking on a sacred responsibility or anything, geeeeeeeeeez. And there is poison on those spikes. There is! My adoptive parents had to die three times each before they took me home yes they did there was a law. See home study.

International adoption:
The practice of adopting a child from another country, which was not terribly popular until all those birth mothers back home decided they had rights (see Baby Scoop Era and open adoption). Children available for adoption overseas are guaranteed to be one hundred per cent orphan in composition. That makes them the blankest of slates. Being blank means they will face no hardship at all upon being taken out of their cultures and losing their names, languages, families and homelands. Orphans are also more resilient than other adoptees. This means they thrive on being plunked down in the middle of a country about which they know nothing, among funny-looking, funny-smelling strangers, weird food, and a culture than judges them inferior by their skin color. They thrive even better on being raised by oblivious, enlightened, “color blind” white parents who can’t help them deal with the world in which they find themselves. If the orphan is very lucky, s/he may thrive on being raised by parents who don’t get what the big deal is and dismiss these experiences as the child’s being too sensitive (i.e., feeling things a non-orphan would feel under the same circumstances). See gratitude. Cf. Transracial adoption.

Maraca bop: 1) The act of striking one’s forehead with a maraca. 2) A magico-musical gesture imbued with the power to make the worst things about adoption go away if one does it hard enough, which nobody can. Seen in the first link in this post.

Natural: Superior, the best, the only acceptable way to do anything at all. It is the opposite only of hurtful words like unnatural and artificial, never of positive ones like created, adopted, supernatural, or refined or improved by human intervention/art. This is why it is wrong and hurtful to assert an adopted child ever had any parents other than his/her adopted ones, who were, in most cases, reared by their natural parents. (Ironically, this adjective was once applied to bastard children: to be “the natural child of” one’s father was once to be illegitimate, inferior, the worst, having been born in an unacceptable fashion.)

Non-profit: All adoption agencies, even the private ones, are nonprofits. This means nobody makes any money off adoption. Not your lawyer, not the person you gave a cash bribe to, not the agency head, nobody. This is why so many people become adoption facilitators, finders, agents, etc.: They want to work their asses off for no recompense at all, possibly until such time as they starve; and they must, because, let’s face it, children really don’t have that much value until someone like you wants them. Therefore, all people who are drawn to work with children are, without exception, self-sacrificing, noble, and compassionate.

Only home s/he’s ever known: The adoptive home of a child whose adoption is being contested because somebody did something wrong and illegal and damned well knew or had reason to know it at the time. This term applies no matter how short a period of time the child has spent with the P/APs and no matter how long s/he was in her original family before the alleged adoption. (See grateful for more on the remarkably short memories of adoptees.)

Open adoption: The days wherein women were shunned, shamed and punished for giving birth out of wedlock are over; they were the stick. Open adoption is the carrot.

Note: If the donkey actually gets the carrot, the journey is over.

Orphan: A foreign child a white Westerner wants to adopt. An “orphan” can have no parents, one parent, or two parents.

Out of context: The way to read certain classic works of literature to make them say adoption is wonderful. Did you know this passage from The Profi Prophet is about adoption? Me neither!

Paper pregnant: Descriptive of a female PAP who has achieved adulthood and embarked upon creating a family without ever quite understanding where it is babies actually come from.

Paper orphan:

Positive Adoption Language: A load of doublespeak concocted to make insecure APs feel better about raising someone else’s child despite the fact that said child is one hundred per cent legally their own.

Real mother/father/parents: In the past, this phrase was sometimes used to indicate the inferior family to which an adoptee was born. This is intolerable, because it somehow transforms the people who are actually, legally raising the actual child into not-parents or simulacra (see natural). The only real parents are the adoptive parents. Being told this helps the adoptee adjust to reality by thinking of him/herself as unreal (because s/he’s the product of two unreal people) and by inventing imaginary first families to live in. See gratitude.

Red thread/string of destiny/fate: “According to this myth, the gods tie a red cord around the ankles of those that are to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. […] The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmates or a destined flame.” This Chinese myth about adult lovers is so awesome that white people feel entitled to steal it and ruin it by twisting it to our own ends. So “red threads” are actually for and only for connecting P/APs to their children. Shut UP, Chinese people, your myth means what I say it means, and I say it means I get your kid! (Does this one creep anyone else out every time they hear it?)

Rehoming:

Resilience: A mystical quality denied other children but ubiquitous among adoptees. It means adoptees can be dropped, dribbled like basketballs, and tossed into wood chippers with impunity and they’ll grow up just fine as long as their APs love them. It sometimes means their first parents abused them but now they’re just fine because their adoptive parents rock so very hard.

Return policy: A thing adoptees don’t come with. Just ask Anita Tedaldi, Raymond and Meta Poeteray, Torry Hansen, Christine Svenningsen, Joyce Maynard, Henriette and Gert, and the estimated (because who’s counting?) ten to twenty-five per cent of all APs who disrupt an adoption (see adoption disruption, rehoming, forever family).

Russia:

Solomon’s judgment: [OK, I need to reread this one]

Terminate parental rights: To give up a child. (Protip: For Great Insight, visit any page featuring Positive Adoption Language and read all the entries backwards.)

Utah: A US state in which adoptable children are produced via parthenogenesis and therefore have no fathers. Its adoption laws are not anti-father, but pro-child. See?

White Infant Shortage: Even though adoption is the one social institution containing no evils (or none worth doing much about), women who aren’t forced, coerced, or tricked into it rather rarely give up their babies. This makes no sense at all (see Adoption), and proves that women who get pregnant out of wedlock are even more unreasonable than other women. (The fact that such women want to keep their babies is clear evidence that should be discouraged from doing so.) Many, many, many, many people who can afford to adopt healthy white infants want to do so, but they don’t want to deal with “birth mama drama” (see Open Adoption) or foster care because sometimes Those People get their kids back (see International adoption). They want to be transported back to the Baby Scoop Era, but they are marooned in the twenty-first century. This is tragic and unthinkable. Anything that can be done to turn back the clock  must be done…for the best interests of the child, of course.

77 responses to “Adopto-Speak Dictionary

  1. Sunny

    Very funny, L.
    As an angry agnostic adoptee, I liked your definition of GOD best.
    Hope you’ll add more in the future. 😉

  2. Pip

    I have posted a single one liner with the link to this on my blog (Forgotten Mothers UK) and I hope you get more feedback on this. Hard to choose a favourite so this is one of the ones I particularly like Real mother/father/parents

  3. cb

    Love it – the most hilarious thing I’ve read for a while!

    However, the only reason I noticed it was because of the “latest comments” section. May I suggest the top of your blog where you have this listed, you put “New!!” so that readers will be drawn to it.

  4. cb

    Also, I came across the following article about a new kid’s book for adoptees that an infertile couple are hoping to publish called (I kid you not) “The Family Troll”. It is crying out for an Adopto Snark treatment!

    http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Kaysville-couple-pen-kid-s-book-about-adoption-4275730.php

  5. Oh, my. I started watching the Kickstarter vid, but that couple was too cutesy to be be borne.

    Thanks for the suggestion–I’ll “New” it.

  6. Margot

    You are my hero. This is brilliant.

  7. marie

    My favorite was what you wrote at the very end of “first family”….I just love being second choice! I do think “Amended Birth Certificate” should be added, or you could place it under Fraud….same thing.

    • Thanks for reading, and thanks very much for reminding me I haven’t defined the two kinds of birth certificates. Re: “ABC” and “Adoption fraud,” maybe I’ll cross reference those two entries. (-:

  8. Emily

    Hilarious and spot-on!!!! Glad I found your blog.

  9. Lauri Lee

    This is becoming my go to place when I end up butting heads with dumbass adoptoraptors and feel burned. Not that I’d call them that trying to communicate, but in the aftermath venting seems appropriate. Do you have a term for how I’m feeling right now? I think I need this syndrome acknowledged.

  10. This dictionary made my morning (and any friend of Laura Dennis, is a friend of mine). I read this out loud to my husband this morning and was crying I was laughing so hard. I have a few ideas for the ones that are currenly blank. Use or delete for whatever they are worth! Love your blog!

    Adoptee blog
    An evil place on the internet where ungrateful adoptees discuss things like search and reunion and DNA (see First Family)

    Adoption Agency: A trustworthy institution that opened its doors with the only goal of providing homes for the children who need them without expecting any payment in return (see Non Profit)

    Amended Birth Certificate: a legal document magically transferring biological parenthood to PAPs, and sealed by the State to encourage Good Adoptees of the future.

    Angry Adoptee: a Bad and Ungrateful adoptee who has gone to the dark side and spreads the lie that Adopt-o-Land is a myth. (see Adoptee blog).

    Balancing rights: a balanced and fair system of justice wherein money plays no role in deciding right from wrong and who gets to parent and who does not.

    Bastard: children who were available for adoption during the Baby Scoop Era. The term is no longer in use in modern adoption language as it may remind the adoptee that he has other parents.

    Celebrity Adoption: An interesting phenomena wherein famous people are naturally better at parenting and have more right than others to parent other people’s children. This has no correlation to how much they earn.

  11. On a side note:
    Stray/Stray Dog – Another term for “adoptee”, as we often feel like puppies at a shelter who had to wag their tails happily enough to get adopted.

    • Yes, and like them, sometimes pictures of us “wagging our tails” are put on TV to see if anyone will take us. And like them, nobody wants the grown ones, only the tiny pups.

      Good one!

  12. Actually, Solomon DID rule that the real mother wouldn’t want her baby chopped in half. As in the biological mother. Here ya go… or you could go look up the Bible verse. Or else I am misinterpreting your snark there and never mind. 😛

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Solomon

  13. …Rob, I got your other comment. I’m not publishing it because it contains you email address. It you want that to be public, let me know and I’ll publish it. Thanks!

  14. i laughed so hard at “adoption poetry” i almost barfed

  15. Lauri Lee

    Accidentally read “Adoption Triad” as “Adoption Tirade” as I was quickly scrolling down, backed up and saw “Triad” and then thought, adoption tirade is what you get when you put all members of the triad together (throw in the agencies as well) and let them speak honestly.

    I kind of like your comment that you just can’t write the entry for adoptive breastfeeding, it says so much, but if you wanted an entry here’s an attempt.

    Adoptive breastfeeding – the practice whereby a “paper-pregnant” female PAP pumps herself full of chemicals, or plays with herself (or elicits help with this) to stimulate mammary secretions at an invariably inadequate nutritional level with NO beneficial colostrum so that when the stork express delivers HER baby she can thrust her nipple in HER baby’s mouth with a tubed apparatus that supplies the bulk of the child’s nutritional needs and then extol the virtues of natural breast milk (completely ignoring the transfer of said milk stimulating chemicals into child) and how oxytocin-bonding the experience. This of course has nothing to do with infertility, nor grief over not conceiving naturally and not wanting to be “robbed” of something else having been excluded from the natural process of becoming a parent. Nothing to do with fantasy role-playing, and absolutely nothing to do with fear about failure to bond with a non-biological child. It’s all about the best interests of the child.

  16. This was a great read! I especially adored the way you just don’t understand why people go on fucking what with adoption being ever so grand. What an ever-lovin’ riot.

    Since you invited contributions, here are some of my bitter berry droppings:

    The bio sibs: The kids who are in all the bloodline photos looking like everyone else while the adoptees stand around with the in-laws.

    ABC: “What do you mean I can’t get a passport with this thing?”
    OBC: “What do you mean I can’t have it to get a passport?”
    ABC again now: “Here let me wipe my ass with this.”

    Adoptive Breastfeeding: Primal Wound, Part Deux, “Whose Are Those?”

    Angry Adoptee: Redundant. Of course if you have an adoptee, she’s angry. Save yourself some keystrokes. Just say “adoptee.” Everyone already knows she’s angry and will react accordingly.

    Gotcha Day: The date commemorating being snapped up by your forever family.

    Letcha Go Day: The date commemorating day your forever family gave you the solo one-way return trip to Russia with a note pinned to your coat.

    Re-Homing: Similar to Letcha Go Day but without the transcontinental flight.

  17. I followed a link from a group that I was invited to today – Bastard Nation. Priceless. I didn’t know they existed, nor you. Snarkurchin – brilliant, all….just brilliant. Thank you so much!

  18. I just loved, loved, loved these! Thank you so much. Has anyone added: nature vs nurture – Nature = Any “bad characteristic” that adoptee has or ever develops comes from the birth parents. Nurture = All “good characteristics” the adoptee has or ever develops was obviously loved right into them by the adoptive parents.

  19. LOL, I was having a really shitty day, due to all my “birthmama drama” but Adopto-Snark, you really know how to cheer a girl up! LOL

  20. VegHipMama

    “Your adoptee will be Good because you are Good.”

    …..or Bad because their birth parents were Bad. Adoptive parents are either angels or saints, depending on which kind of adoptee they get. See: Blank Slate.

  21. blackout

    I never get tired of reading this–still snorting with laughter everytime. I think you are genius.

  22. This is hilarious. Unfortunately, it’s also very, very true. Can’t wait to see it finished, well done.

  23. On the subject of terms that you could define, one ‘ve seen adopters throw around on Facebook that’s particularly creepy is “tummy-mommy” or “tummy-mummy”, referring to the birth mother.

  24. RecycleBinBetty

    “Adoptive breastfeeding: Would someone else like to write this entry? I just can’t.” No s#it!! This concept is just plain foul. Stranger tits! Being heaved into an innocent stranger baby’s mouth! Oh god the inhumanity. Keep your filthy odd-smelling aureolii AWAY from the creature’s maw, please!

    • B-bu-but breast is best, no matter whose breast! Haven’t you heard of wet nurses OMG YOU THINK BREASTS ARE JUST SEX OBJECTS SHUT UP YOU CHAUVINIST PIG.!!eleventy!!!one11!!

      Yeah, that one time I tried to blog on that issue…did not go well.

      As it happens, my most recent post is about…breasts! (Not my bad, though: It’s about fake breasts as viewed by APs and stuff.)

  25. Adoptive breastfeeding : force feeding an unrelated infant chemically induced pap for your own benefit

  26. lala_w

    Re breastfeeding – I think it;s so disgusting because we know the baby probably didn’t need to be adopted if mother had financial support from eg. the state. So there is a mother somewhere with breasts fool of milk crying herself to sleep every night, while some crazy adoptress is fulfilling her lifelong dream at 60ty. Without that context breastfeeding by a stranger does not have to be horrible. Eg. during the war one heard about stories where a new mother would breastfeed an orphaned baby and save that baby.

  27. lala_w

    “Full or milk” not “fool of milk”. Sorry, these sometimes sound the same to a foreigner. I also have a possible term to add to the dictionary. Have you noticed how the adopters are trying to hitch their wagon to “diversity”, as in “families are made by love not DNA”, so it’s all the same if it’s a traditional family or single mom or dad (agreed), or a blended family (agreed) , or a family in which the child actually has a family but was cast as “the child” in this couple’s fantasy.

  28. Cherry

    Brilliant! Laughed out loud at the Adoption Poetry.

  29. Yesterday I took my grandsons to their pool, and while I was there I noticed at least two white mothers with Asian daughters. There was a time when I would see families like that and feel an affinity, as if we belonged to the same club, because I adopted a baby from Vietnam back in 1974. Now I look at those children and their mis-matched mothers, and I feel so uncomfortable. I don’t even know how to describe how I feel. Guilty? Ashamed? I understand so well the motivation of those white moms, and the children are beautiful and looked happy, splashing in the pool in their cute little bathing suits. But I felt such sadness, knowing what lies ahead for them–and what lies behind them. I was one of those Kool Aid drinking moms for a long, long time, and now that I realize so much more about the truth of adoption I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

    • I understand not having words for the emotions, very much.

      There are some a’parents in adoption activism. I know it wouldn’t undo anything, but would you feel better if you could prevent this from happening to other children?

    • RecycleBinBetty

      pammcrae, thank you for your candor. It is so refreshing and I am sorry for your current pain.
      When I was a kid in the ’70s, I remember there were a lot of asian adoptees in our area. Whenever I saw or met an asian child at school events or birthday parties or wherever, my first thoughts before seeing their parents was “please-let-the-parents-look-asian-please-let-the-parents-look-asian.”
      My heart would palpitate until I saw what type of family/parents picked them up. If they were asian, the kids were not adopted and I felt this big rush of relief. If they were white, I was depressed, knowing another person had to deal with these wretched adoptee feelings like my own.
      It would sure be nice if all a-moms were as enlightened as you, though. Thank you again for sharing your feelings.

  30. I do want to do what I can to dissuade anyone from adopting an infant or a child from abroad, and I feel that as an adoptive parent, my opinion should carry some weight. I’m not against all adoption, I guess, but I imagine the vast, vast majority of them, even to this day, are unnecessary and bad for the child in the long run. I can’t say my son would be better off in Vietnam than in an American prison; there is no way of knowing that. But I have learned so much these past couple of years about how it feels to be adopted, and even if a child is happy growing up, there comes a day when the questions and pain mount up. A biological family isn’t guaranteed to be a terrific family. I just spent the afternoon with a young woman who really doesn’t like her mother and would prefer not to spend much time with her, but at least it’s HER mother. Is a good adoptive mother better than a bad biological mother? My guess is that most bio. moms are “good enough” and no adoptive mother can ever be the real thing, no matter how “good” she tries to be. We should rescue children from abusers, but children should never be bought and sold, as they are in foreign adoptions–and home grown ones too.

    • “I’m not against all adoption, I guess, but I imagine the vast, vast majority of them, even to this day, are unnecessary and bad for the child in the long run.”
      My philosophy in a nutshell.

      “Is a good adoptive mother better than a bad biological mother?”
      Depending on the case/how we define our terms, yes/sorta. My beef is not with the idea that some children can’t be raised by their original parents, because that is a fact. My beef is with requiring such children to assume new names/identities without a very pressing reason.

      As for “the real thing” (and I speak only for myself here), what I object to about the word “real” is being expected to declare my APs my true and only parents. DNA disagrees, and so do I. I don’t see how expressing the reality that I have four parents should diminish the fact that my APs raised me with love.

      And no, no family is guaranteed terrific. I didn’t mean to imply any such thing.

  31. I agree that in the event that an adoption is necessary, it is important to allow the child to keep his own identity and connection, whether it be now or in the future, with his biological roots. My experience is that my fson isn’t close to his aparents and considers me his one and only mom. That makes things easy for me and actually easier for him, I believe. Having a close relationship with your adoptive parents and trying to fit a new relationship with a birth parent into the mix must be challenging, but if a parent can love more than one child, why can’t a child love more than one parent? The truth is, your aparents are not your true and only, and pretending otherwise can be schizophrenic. Fortunately, love is infinitely expandable.

    • If we really let the child keep his identity (including birth certificate) and connections, then I don’t consider what happens to be “adoption” anymore, but permanent guardianship. I haven’t asked them all, but i suspect the majority of the P/APs I’ve met don’t want to raise a child they can’t give their name to.

      I’m sure open adoptions are incredibly challenging for all concerned. (I wasn’t raised in one.) I certainly agree there’s no reason a child can’t love three or four parents.

  32. Years ago, I had a good friend who adopted an 8 yr. old Canadian Indian boy. She and her husband insisted he call them “Mom” and “Dad,” and they changed his name. They already had a two year old girl they’d given birth to. The adoption didn’t last, and the boy was returned to Yellowknife or wherever. Talk about good intentions gone awry.

    • Poor kid. )-: I only hope he went back where he came from; adoptees of most failed adoptions go on to the next forever home (and maybe the next, and the next…).

  33. I love this dictionary and love your site! “God” and “Adult Adoptee” are a couple of my favorites, but they are all so good. Thanks for putting this out there.

  34. Discovering Mary

    I LOVE this dictionary!!! I am so grateful to my fellow BSE adoptees and all “angry adoptee” blogs. There’s no one else in my life who would understand the sick but SO true hilarity of this post.

  35. Oh wow love it, when are you going to publish this – you must 🙂

    Beholden: A state of being that ALL adoptees must be. Especially true if you’re a transracially adopted child pre 1990s

    Transracial adoption: For those that have a) failed to adopt domestically
    b) have more money than sense
    c) think that by adopting a baby from a third world they will always have control over that child.

    Born again Adoptees: A group of people
    a) adoptees that prefer to ignore the facts of adoption and instead as a result probably of Stockholm syndrome are evangelical in there promotion of adoption at any cost and by (probably) any means
    b) Adoptive Parents who refuse to acknowledge that adoption is not always carried out for altruistic reasons or indeed for the benefit of the child

  36. Cindy Aulabaugh

    Solomon’s judgment: Don’t split the child in two. Leave the child with their (sorry if this offends any one. Yes, all human beings are real and real parenting can be done by others… but..) real mother, even if she is a whore.

    A loving mother will give up her child EVERY SINGLE TIME to save her child’s life. If someone else can make her believe her child will be ‘ruined’, ‘destroyed’, ‘damaged’ etc. if the child stays with her. Or she is in such a financial or other temporary hard situation that she herself thinks there is no way for her child to survive/thrive. (It seems to happen every time….. unless of course, she has adequate help and support or encouragement from –some– source.) After all, that’s what agencies and others capitalize on. Isn’t it?
    “Best interest of the child” and all of that ””””’stuff””””’.

  37. Hey friend, would you mind deleting my above comment? I’m having a bad day I spose and I didn’t actually want to write all of that. Your dictionary page was really funny. Thanks. 🙂

  38. Snarkurchin,
    Oh the beautiful choir of us adult adoptees, whom the majority of world’s males (of at least the non-adoptee kind) mutter stupid shit talk like: “listen you know families aren’t all fun, I mean STFU about it, I’m so sick of mine,” said Mr Upper Middle-Class First Born Cunt While you’re supposed to feel, no not merely comfortable but… wait for it.. grateful, to spend time with theirs every FUCKING HOLIDAY SEASON!!
    Oh Snarkurchin and followers, do you feel me?
    Just thought I needed to express how much comfort I took in the realisation I am not alone as I read the words of so many just like me with tears falling down my face. “Thankyou for being youi!”- Easily one of the most condescending things you could say to an adoptee (hope you get the sarcasm).
    Seriously thanks to all of you I needed this sense of connection you have all given by being a part of giving a voice to us whom shall be hushed no more! Needed this so much right now.
    I’m a while I don’t like the term amateur, so let’s call it self-taught artist (and of course an adoptee, if you didn’t guess) from Brisbane Australia, who would love to collaborate perhaps, do illustrations for written works with any creative writers. Check out my site, http://www.msmonotone.wordpress.com and if you like if feel free write in the comment section.
    Regards, fellow lost ones,
    Msmonotone.

    • Hi, msmonotone, and welcome! Finding the sense of connection you mention online saved my (presumptive) sanity many years ago. You are not at all alone. I don’t know how many pissed-off adoptees there are; I just like to say we are legion.

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