I wasn’t going to tell you about this, because I know you’re sick of how I complain about the forums. But I was reading a really good post at O Solo Mama this morning that talks about the issue of international adoption search where she mentions her forum escapades, so I feel empowered.
Yeah, I got thumped again. . . .
Boy, do I sympathize! I've managed to stay off the adoptive parent boards for quite a long time, but in the past few weeks I've been motivated to look at some of them when someone lets me know there's a conversation about talking to kids about adoption. I feel I might have something to add, so I go look. And at one forum I posted a link to the L.A. Times article about birth planning officials in China confiscating children from parents and turning them over to an orphanage for a share of the fees adoptive parents pay. Seemed the sort of thing adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents from China would be interested in.
Well, in that thread and in others touching on corruption in the China program, I have predictably been accused of being anti-adoption. I'm kind of used to that one -- any criticism of adoption, no matter how mild, no matter how justified, almost inevitably leads to that charge. But I've also been accused of all manner of evil and stupidity. I've gotten personal hate mail from several (and admittedly, some super-supportive personal messages, too), including someone who disagreed with something on this blog, who instead of posting a comment here or using the contact email here, decided to track me down on the forum and contact me there. (Am I crazy to think that's weird?!)
My favorite line from someone who disagreed with me was, "Reading comprehension a struggle for you or something?" Zing! Sorry to sound egotistical, but that isn't very hurtful to someone who is so over-educated as to get the label "perpetual student!" LOL! My reading comprehension skills are just fine, thank you! Do you recognize the rhetorical device of ad hominem attack, the last refuge of scoundrels?!
Well, after that thumping, the moderator stepped in -- to tell me to take my thumped-upon self out of there and stop bleeding on other people and inconveniencing them!
I'm not claiming that all adoptive parent boards are dysfunctional. Here's one of my favorite boards, completely welcoming and open-minded and interested in free discussion: adopttalkcanada. They let me join even though I'm about as far from Canada as I can be and still be on the same continent!
I've posted before Margie's suggestion for how adoptive parents should respond to allegations of adoption corruption, but it seems to bear repeating now:
There is, in my opinion, no other response for an adoptive parent to make to allegations of the existence of intercountry adoption corruption than to agree. We then have a further responsibility to get under what that means, learn to recognize it, speak out against it, and understand our role in it. This neither diminishes our families nor undermines ethical transnational adoptions.If I were to encounter that reaction on most AP forums, I'd know I'd crossed over into an alternate universe!
It would do my heart good if one day an article like Graff's could be met by adoptive parents with praise first of all for shedding light on this problem, followed by reasoned critique and dialog on how we collectively can bring intercountry adoption corruption to an end.