An adoptee friend of mine who lives in my home state of Colorado sent me a couple of articles recently. The first one I will write about later because it deserves it’s own post, as does this one clipped from the Colorado Springs Gazette last Sunday. It is a Q & A written by Dr. James (Focus on the Family) Dobson
“Are adopted children more likely to be rebellious than children born to biological parents? If so, are there any steps I can take to prevent or ease the conflict? My husband and I are thinking about adopting a toddler and the question has me worried.”
Here is just a small portion of the gem of a response from Dr. Dobson;
” They may be driven to find their biological parents during or after adolescence to learn more about their heritage and families of origin. I must emphasize, however, that many adopted kids do not go through any of these personal crises. They take root where they are replanted and never give a thought to the questions that trouble some of their peers. As with so many other behavioral issues, the critical factors are the particular temperament of the child and how he or she is handled by the parents.”
You may be thinking that it couldn’t possibly get any worse but you would be wrong. Dobson goes on to say;
“I hope you won’t be reluctant to adopt that child because some special problems might—but probably won’t—develop.”
I am spitting so many nails I could build a house. Has Dr. Dobson (in all of his noble wisdom) managed to categorize the natural emotional evolution of an adoptee to know their heritage as a BEHAVIORAL ISSUE, a SPECIAL PROBLEM?!?!?! You know what I would really like to do is help to support Dr. Dobson’s theory by telling him to kiss my ass six ways to Sunday and signing it; Another Behaviorally Challenged Adoptee. But I can’t let it go at that, I just can’t because Dr. Dobson’s response is not only reprehensible, it is COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE. There are actually tons of people out there who look to this ya ya for advice….and USE it as though it were gospel. I know, it’s hard to believe but there are. Poor misguided souls. In my eyes that makes Dobson’s response clear cut abuse by a person in a position of trust.
I actually feel kind of bad for the person who asked this question. They are obviously sincere about the fact that they aren’t sure they can handle raising an adoptee. Fair enough because an adoptee WILL face different issues than your run of the mill bio babe. How could we not? What blows me away is that society still refuses to acknowledge that these issues only BECOME behavioral if adopted children are made to feel bad and ungrateful for feeling the way that they do!
Instead of nurturing the ability in our children to express their true and natural feelings about what it really means to be adopted we label this brave sincerity a “behavioral issue” and conveniently deem them a “special problem”?!?!
It’s sick. It’s just absolutely sick.
Dobson suggests here that we teach our children that it is NOT OK to be honest , that they are BAD or UNGRATEFUL if they have any feelings outside of the adoptive parents comfort zone. Which to me seems like just a PC way to say we really don’t want our kids to be a pain in the ass. I actually find it a crying shame that someone who is willing to be somewhat honest about their concerns is provided such blathering nonsense for advice.
Sadly, I can’t see potential adoptive parents ever being educated properly about the “special needs” of an adoptee. The idea of being honest about what we, as adoptees, truly think and feel would just be bad for business. It’s sticky and messy and makes everyone really uncomfortable. After all any adoptee who has feelings outside of pure loyal gratitude simply does not fit into the “God’s Work” mold that has been swaddled so snugly around the world of adoption. And thanks to the likes of Dr. Dobson this misguided and irreparably dangerous mentality continues.
What would MY advice be to this person? Well, something my mom always used to say to me comes to mind;
If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Why? Because asking a child to emotionally starve themselves just because you find the atmosphere uncomfortable is entirely inexcusable.