Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Traumatic for real kid to witness tossed adoptee, adoptee just fine

The Independent in the United Kingdom reports on the un-humanness of adoptees.

In "Adoption: How I lost my little sister", Michael Bywater shares a traumatic memory of witnessing what we already know too well: the discountability of adoptees.

In the article, he recounts a stunningly clueless exchange with writer and shrink Susie Orbach, who in one line pretty much says it all:

"I had another sister once," I said. "They sent her back." 

For once, the studio – normally a civil sort of a bear-pit, everyone anxious to say their piece – fell silent.

"I was ... three and a half? Four? They adopted a baby. I remember her name. Beverley Henderson. 'This is your new sister,' they said. And then after a few weeks – I don't know how long in reality – she was gone. They sent her back. I never saw her again."

After the broadcast, walking to the lifts, Susie Orbach said: "You know what I said about coming to see me? Forget it. We've got to the bottom of it, on-air. No wonder. What a thing to do to a child."

"Send her back?" I said.

"No. She was probably fine. I mean to you. To give you the idea that it could happen to you, too. That you could be sent back. For no reason. Just ... sent back." 

This falls into the adoptees are magic category. The same sort of magic that tells pregnant women in childbirthing classes how important it is not to separate from their newborns after birth, but that it's A-OK to do it to us.

I do think it was a traumatic thing that Michael Bywater witnessed. I have no doubt it probably terrified the shit out of him in ways he can't even articulate. But worse still is the underlining message - adoptees, unlike really kids, do not deserve the same compassion and consideration as the real.

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