Maybe you’ve already heard about it. People involved in adoption are buzzing about it. It’s a new app called Adoptly, billed as “a better way to adopt.”
It’s already been dubbed The Tinder of Adoption, and as you can imagine, that has not gone over well in online adoption communities (at least not in the ones that I frequent). Swiping for children? Many have a gut response — even a gag response — to that idea. But why? I was curious within myself.
Adoptly is news now because it launched a Kickstarter campaign, including an explanatory video, to bring its app to market. At the time of writing, it has raised about 3% of its target goal of $150,000.
I try to remain open to something unfamiliar, to suspend judgment about it until I’ve had a chance to research it, sit with it, and examine at it from lots of angles. Regarding this adoption app, I did so with my friend Anne Heffron, an adoptee and fellow explorer.
My daughter told us the other night of a time in middle school when she shared with two teachers her complex feelings about being adopted. Yes, I really love my family, she reported as they nodded sympathetically. But also, she continued, being adopted sometimes sucks.
The sympathetic nodding ended.
Oh, you don’t mean that! one teacher told her. The other tag-teamed: Look where you ended up. Your parents are awesome! (why thank you).
My daughter was mad at the time about her feelings being invalidated, about being told she should feel differently than she feels. She was angry that someone who doesn’t know adoption first hand corrected her about her actual experience.
As far as I can tell, neither of those teachers — one in her 30s and one in her 50s — has a direct connection to adoption. So how are they qualified to speak so authoritatively on it?
You Don’t Have to Be in Adoption to Know Adoption. Duh.
Everyone knows about adoption, right? We see it in the movies and we see it on TV and we see stories about the movies and TV shows in People magazine while we wait at the hair salon or dentist.
Who is Anti-Adoption and What Can We Learn from Them?
If you’ve ever been in a cross-triad adoption group, you’ve probably encountered someone who seems vehemently, angrily, staunchly anti-adoption. Some say there is NO circumstance in which adoption is called for. It’s just that devastating, that inhumane, that unnecessary.
When coming across such a tirade, you probably think that the rational choices would be to 1) engage to tell that wackadoo all the reasons she’s wrong, or 2) click the red X on the window before any of the venom burns your eyes, your heart.