Unfortunately, Sinophobic incidents have been far too common a part of our experiences growing up. They can take many forms from snide comments and glances to overt aggression. It is hard to know how to react in the moment - there are split seconds of self-doubt and the worry about whether or not to cause a scene.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO RACIST INCIDENTS?
Unfortunately, Sinophobic incidents have been far too common a part of our experiences. They can take many forms from snide comments to overt aggression. It is hard to know how best to react - there are split seconds of self-doubt and worry about 'causing a scene'.
DID YOU KNOW?
Some famous adoptees include Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, J.R.R Tolkien, Curtis Jackson (AKA 50 Cent), Nelson Mandela and Simone Biles!
"The curse of the East Asian Adoptee; caught between two camps permanently ... being perceived as either too Chinese or too westernized".
ADULTING = ? 5 MIN LISTEN
LIVING IN SHANGHAI
ADULTING = ?
WHAT ARE YOU?
WHATS IN A NAME?
NAME CHANGE - MAY / MEI
DO YOU TALK ABOUT ADOPTION TO NON-ADOPTEES?
RELATIONSHIP WITH ADOPTIVE PARENTS
THOUGHTS ON GOING BACK?
NAME CHANGE. 2
ON BIRTH PARENTS
US MALE ADOPTEE
WOULD YOU LOOK FOR YOUR BIRTH PARENTS?
BIRTH PARENTS PT.2
EMPATHY FOR BIRTH PARENTS
EMPATHY FOR BIRTH PARENTS PT. 2
REACTION TO 'ITS A GIRL' DOC.
ON BEING TRANS
LISTEN TO FULL AUDIO ->
Just because we’re adopted doesn’t necessarily mean that all adoptees agree on certain issues. Take a look below at a few of the topics that split hairs within the adoptive community:
(There is no particular rhyme nor reason to the order of these - just the order they popped into our heads.)
***(Whatever Next? feels it is worth noting Verrier's research largely comes from her own experience as both an adoptive parent and birth parent to her daughters. She herself is not an adoptee.)
Whatever Next recommends heading over to Facebook to check out the Red Table Talks on Interracial Adoption with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Jones and WAP Kristin Davis to view the full interview.
Another great Red Table Talk with interracial adoptee Angela Tucker (US) raised by a white family. Her notes on feeling privy to "white privilege by osmosis" struck a chord with us & we stan such an honest queen!
#1 'Gotcha Days/ Adoption Days for pets
Animals are very much sentient beings and for many, they are part of the family. It is okay for people to celebrate their pets in any way they choose, and in most cases, they do not mean to deliberately offend the adoptive community.
Some see practises amongst pet owners parading events such as ‘Gotcha Days’ as insensitive to adoptees. It is insensitive to compare the experiences of a person in terms of identity, abandonment and issues experienced such as racism, sexism and xenophobia to a Labrador, no matter how cute they are.
#2 Primal Wound Theory
Primal Wound Theory by Nancy Verrier posits the idea that the severance of the bond between birth mother and child causes irreparable damage. This narrative creates space for adoptees to acknowledge their feelings of pain and confusion and asks adoptive parents to be sensitive to their child’s emotions.
I'm still wrapping my head around the whole adoption thing tbh. I'll make my mind up later.
Primal Wound Theory places too much agency on the ‘natural’ bonds between the birth mother and child. This theory also heavily disregards the role of fathers who are largely left out of the narrative and undermines the relationship between adoptees and their adoptive parents. It also perpetuates the idea that adoptees are in some way damaged and beyond emotional repair.
#3 Interracial Adoption
Ultimately, it is far better for a child to go to a permanent loving home, even if the parents are of a different race than remain isolated within the care system. The psychological damage caused by years spent without loving parents far outweighs any damage caused by feelings of ‘not fitting in.’
Provided they are sensitive and mindful to their child’s emotional needs growing up, there is no reason why interracial adoption should not be a thing. People can learn and grow. It is just a matter of educating oneself and having the sense to take one’s ego out of the equation and understand that there are aspects of your child’s life you are not able to relate to or explain and to ask for help when needed.
WAP should take the time and energy to ensure their child is kept in touch with their cultural roots and has positive role models within their community growing up to speak to.
I can see both sides of the argument and am still deciding where I stand.
Prospect adoptive parents often underestimate the challenges of raising a child of a different race. Sometimes, in their eagerness to adopt they gloss over some of aspects of interracial adoption and fail to do their research into how to handle issues of race sensitively.
Also, ‘colour-blind’ attempts of raising children can often do more harm than good. The idea ‘love conquers all’ makes for a nice tea-towel but can make for traumatising experiences while growing up. If issues such as race are not addressed, this can leave children feeling out of touch with their heritage and culture.
WAP can never understand the difficulties their children might face. They are ill-equipped to explain issues such as race to their children and often are unwilling to entertain the idea that their children might experience the world differently to them.
Additionally, children of different races may have particular physical needs that WAP might not understand how to deal with. An example of this is textured hair, darker skin and genetic predispositions to certain diseases.
#4 White Saviourism
It is unfair to endow every person looking to adopt interracially of being a ‘white saviour.’ Some people genuinely want to help provide loving homes and should be able to do so without being judged.
Interracial adoption is not a bad thing. The problem is the systems with within which it operates. The blame should not be on the people looking to adopt – although granted, they should do research into the background of the child they are looking to adopt and question their motivations.
People are often motivated to adopt interracially for the wrong reasons. Celebrities who adopt from abroad make people think that having an interracial baby is fashionable. This turns children into a commodity and feeds performative altruism. ‘Donations’ to adoption agencies turn infants into items to be bought and sold and can fuel illegal practises such as abduction and trafficking to meet these demands.
There are unwanted children in every country – it is unnecessary to travel abroad to adopt. This is purely self-serving and narcissistic.