Adoption, Advocacy

Adoption Ethics: Policing Our Own Community

Yesterday, I posted about the ethics surrounding adoption, what I have learned during my ten adoptions over the 15 years. Adoption has brought me a community that is tight knit. Adoption from China, specifically, has a community with a culture all of its own. We all share a common history for our kids, but we live vastly different lives. These kids are what bring us together.

There are adult adoptees within this community. That is how long the history of international adoption from China has spanned. The voices of these adoptees are always a presence for me as I think about what the future holds for my children. I try to learn from them, and their experiences. Several of them weighed in on yesterday’s post. I appreciate that wholeheartedly.

They expressed their feelings on the changes that have occurred over the years in the way we approach adoption, as adoptive parents. They see our kids being allowed to have the information about their pasts that they have been denied. They see the number of adoptions internationally decreasing and family preservation entering the radar for so many of us adoptive parents. They see us acknowledging that this is painful, and that it should be a last resort.

In so many ways, we, as adoptive parents, are forcing a change in the tide. We are demanding ethical changes for our children. While yesterday’s post highlights the corruption that still occurs, and how far we still have to go, there has been progress made.

I think we can do more.

I think we, as a community of adoptive parents, can do more.

After the situations that occurred these past two weeks, someone asked me what we can tangibly do to help ensure that our children continue to see us, as adoptive parents, forcing the tide even more? What can we do that will have our children reading this post in twenty years and thinking, this is how change started?

When I’ve witnessed ethical breaches in our own adoption community in the past I’ve heard two things consistently as justifications for the situation itself, or as justification for turning a blind eye to the situation. 1. God’s will, which I know you know my opinion about, and, good grief. 2. This is none of my business.

It’s not. Or, is it? It doesn’t look like anyone’s business to report something they see on social media. In fact, it feels so odd. Social media has created a window into people’s lives that provides us a unique opportunity to share each other’s adoption processes and joys. That common history, that bond, honestly, it has created some of the best friendships I have. I love following other people’s adoption journeys. I want to see children become part of families.

I do not want to see the things I’ve seen over the last two weeks. It’s disgusting to see people publicly bragging about skirting laws or blatantly breaking them. It would be so easy to think ‘this is none of my business.’ But, it is.

It is for all the reasons that were discussed yesterday. It is because of the thousands of children who need to have their chance to look back in 20 years, after living secure and loving childhoods, and see the progress that was made. They won’t see any of it from the inside of an institution. So, that’s my answer of what any of us can tangibly do to stop this.

Report it.

Yes, I’m asking you to police your own adoption community. I’m asking you to do it so that you can look your kids, and their peers in the eye in a couple of decades and honestly tell them that you did the best you could.

It is your business.

–FullPlateMom, who wants you to do better for our kids.

1 thought on “Adoption Ethics: Policing Our Own Community”

  1. HI-
    I have read your blog for a long time and have watched as you have grown your beautiful family. My family has been a foster family for the past 3 years and been lucky enough to have six children be a part of our family for various times. There is a chance that the 6th kiddo may be staying with us forever due to parents not being able to care for the child. My question is about changing the name. Did you keep all your kiddos birth names or did you change their name to something you and Joe chose. I am really agonizing over this because I don’t want them to hate that I changed their name but on the other hand the name is distinctive and for safety reasons I am concerned that he/she would be easily found if bio parent went looking. I am so so struggling with this. If your older kids had a name change, would you mind how they feel about it. I love this little person more than anything and want to do the right thing. Would love your perspective. Thank you for our time,


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