I wasn’t going to write about the travesties revealed by the film Three Identical Strangers, which my husband and I watched recently when it was on CNN.
I wasn’t going to until I read a defense of the practices of the researcher, Dr. Peter Neubauer, who conspired with Louise Wise Services to separate twins/triplets and research their development without the knowledge or permission of their parents. And until I got an impassioned email from my friend, an adoptee activist who will remain anonymous here.
This article was originally commissioned and published by the Donaldson Adoption Institute, which closed its doors last month. No longer accessible at the Donaldson site, this article was derived from a workshop Addison Cooper (Adoption at the Movies) and I presented at the American Adoption Congress Conference in 2016.
While changes in adoption laws and policy are necessary, these alone will not make Adoption World all better. If laws were the endpoints, then the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments would have resulted in immediate equality for formerly enslaved and free African Americans. But they didn’t. Now, even 150 years later, our society struggles with these same issues.
Reforming policy and law is one necessary step, but it’s not the last step. Not until ideas of respect, empathy, and inherent value of others also take root in people’s hearts can true and enduring change happen.