I’ve been always told that it was a gray market adoption. — Sara Easterly, adoptee, author, daughter, mom
I never really knew what that meant.
When the entire approach to a societal issue is steeped in shame and secrecy, we end up with lots of opaque-ish words like fog and gray market — and worse. When it comes to adoption, if you start scrounging around in a thesaurus you can find even shadier words like dirty and impenetrable, words that sometimes apply to policies and practices.
Many adoptees and first parents, especially those from the Baby Scoop Era, can attest to this opacity and to problems that germinate in darkness. People then either suffer in the dark or find their way into the light — or maybe both.
Sara Easterly is one who did both. She has been coming out of the adoption fog for years, and now carries a flashlight to help others living in adoption. Her insights are especially helpful for adoptive parents to hear.
I’m excited to say that Sara is the latest guest on my podcast, Adoption: The Long View. Continue reading Sara Easterly on Coming Out of the Adoption Fog
There’s something temptingly tidy about the idea of adoption. A family with extra love and resources meets a child in desperate need of both. Being adopted typically begins at the intersection of grief and loss for our birth parents and great joy for our adoptive parents.
Adoptees are wedged between that pain and joy. — Angela Tucker, thought leader from The Adopted Life —
Angela Tucker is on a mission to center adoptee voices — which have been historically marginalized — because she considers adoptees the experts in the adoption experience. That’s a great point, and adoptive parents are wise to listen, to understand.
In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Angela talks about what it’s like to be wedged between the great pain of one set of parents and the great joy of the other. She tells a story about what can happen to an adopted person when they repeat an oft-used adoptive parent explanation like born in my heart. She also reveals the one thing that can stop an adoptee in their tracks from being authentic and vulnerable with their parents. Continue reading Wedged Between Pain & Joy: Angela Tucker on the Adoptee Experience
Much of what people “know” about adoption — especially the parts that come from decades past — is bunk. Many adoption policies and practices formed in shame and secrecy during the 20th century have proven to be less-than-optimal for people living in adoption.
In this new episode of my podcast, Adoption: The Long View, I get to speak with adoptee and activist Rich Uhrlaub. Addressing antiquated notions of bygone eras, Rich has a lot to say about adoptees who grew up as a dirty little secret, several reasons why genetic information is important to adoptees, and what the alternative to shame and secrecy needs to be in our current practices.
Rich has been involved in adoption issues for a long time, perhaps most impactfully by being instrumental in changing the laws in my home state of Colorado. Thanks in no small part to Rich’s efforts, as of 2016, Tessa and Reed and tens of thousands or other adoptees born here now have the same ability as other adults to access their original birth certificates.
And they sky hasn’t fallen. Continue reading Rich Uhrlaub on Ending Shame & Secrecy in Adoption Policy