Circle of Moms. A website for moms, with the tag line, motherhood, shared and simplified.
What a great concept -- an unbroken circle of women who have the common experience of being mothers, something that connects us when nothing else does. Solidarity. Connection. Infinity without end. But Circle of Moms broke that circle when they sent the following email to Cassi of Adoption Truth, just as she reached the number 2 spot in the Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms contest:
--“Dear Cassi,That's it, and her blog, voted for by over 100 people, disappears from the list. Cassi is kicked out of the circle.
I’m writing to let you know that we have unfortunately had to remove your blog from the Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms competition. As described on the contest page, the Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms contest is open to “mom bloggers who write about adoption or foster parenting in a supportive, positive way”.
The Circle of Moms team” --
Why? She is a mom. She is a blogger. She writes about adoption. So why is she kicked out of the circle? Apparantly, the powers that be at Circle of Moms doesn't like what she has to say at her blog or the way that she says it. She doesn't belong in the circle because she is not sufficiently "supportive" or "positive" about adoption. This is censorship in its starkest form. Her speech is suppressed because others disagree with it. How cowardly is that?! Circle of Moms is enforcing the norm that the only privileged speech about adoption is speech that sticks to the happy-happy-joy-joy narrative. That is especially so when the speaker is a first mother or an adoptee.
Which brings me to the second answer to the WHY? question. Cassi is being censored because of WHO SHE IS as much as for what she says. Cassi relinquished her child for adoption. She writes about coercion in adoption consent. So do I. She writes about adoption reform. So do I. She writes about open records. So do I. She writes about how adoption has affected her now-adult child. I also write about how adoption has affected my not-yet-adult children. SO why is Cassi censored, and I am not (or at least not yet!)? Because adoptive parent speech is the only privileged speech in the adoption triad. Because I sometimes post photos of my cute adopted kids. And isn't that a shame, that my status privileges my speech, while Cassi's status enforces silence?
When I first learned that Cassi was kicked out of the circle, my immediate reaction was to withdraw from the clearly-rigged contest. I'm keeping myself from doing so by reminding myself that the only cure for bad speech -- or enforced silence -- is MORE speech. Or as Justice Louis Brandies said so eloquently, "If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."
Adoption is complicated. It is not a simple either/or, for-or-against, pro- or anti-adoption duality. It is complicated, multi-faceted, fraught with ambiguities. One person's gain is another person's loss. One person can both gain and lose in adoption. This complicated institution of adoption needs MORE speech, not less. Only by discussion ALL perspectives can we explore the multi-layered truth that is adoption.
Here's what I said before when I was accused of being "anti-adoption," the short-hand equivalent of not writing about adoption in "a supportive, positive way:"
Yes, I've adopted and it has brought me immeasurable joy. And it has brought my children loss, pain and grief, as well as joy. It has brought their birth families loss, pain and grief. And when corruption and child trafficking enter the picture, adoption brings everyone involved even more loss, pain and grief. The only joy then is in the black hearts of corrupt officials and child traffickers.So I'm sticking with the contest, and I'm taking Cassi's issues with me, even though I cannot match her eloquence, her passion, her lived experience. Cassi has asked people to keep voting in the contest, and to vote for the following blogs:
And when adoptive parents ignore the hard truth that their experience of adoption is not the same experience as their adopted children and their birth families, when they ignore the hard truths about corruption and trafficking, they are doing damage not just to their children, but to the institution of adoption as well.
Frankly, it's going to be the over-reaching of the "pro-adoption" folks that bring an end to international adoption, not anything the so-called "anti-adoption" folks do. Haven't you noticed the pattern? A country opens to international adoption. . . just a trickle at first. Then it's push, push, push for more, more, more adoptions from that country. Now the trickle is a flood of money as more and more and more adoptive parents flock to the country. And the money brings corruption. . . . And the country shuts down to international adoption. . . . Wash. Rinse. Repeat. "Pro-adoption?" Really workin' out for you, huh?
The Declassified AdopteeI really appreciate Cassi's positive support for my blog, as well as these other fine adoption blogs. So please vote -- before these blogs are also censored from the list! Let's repair the circle.
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Neither Here Nor There
To Tell The Truth – Please Stand Up