November 05, 2014

National Adoption Awareness Month ‪#‎NAAM2014‬ #flipTheScript

Even though I'm not American, a large part of my media is, so I think it's fitting to talking about National Adoption Awareness Month, which is November.

We just completed our home study, so by December, we will be on the waiting list for a child.

While it will be amazing to one day hold a new child in our arms to call our own, I'm not going to sugar coat it and pretend it's a wonderful thing. Because it's not. For us to benefit, someone else has to experience incredible hardship and loss. The child will experience so many losses as well.

I don't believe any family wants to relinquish rights*. I believe it is one of the most difficult decisions someone will have to make. I believe the reasons they do are tied to some many social-economic issues and a lack of support - things that we, as a society, could work harder to prevent in the first place.

The discourse on adoption has widely been controlled by adoption agencies and adoptive parents. But adoptees are working to "#flipTheScript" and ask for their voices to be heard. A person has a right to know their birthdate. They have a right to clear and accurate birth records and medical history. They have a right to know their first family*, both in name and in person.

Right now, the laws in Quebec prohibit open adoption. An adoptee cannot initiate a search for their first family until the age of 14. Parents who relinquished their parental rights cannot initiate contact until the child is 18. This is way too long!

What I realized from hearing the voices of adult adoptees, is I need to fight for the rights of these children. I need to work to make the adoptions that do happen in QC, as open as possible.

Part of my way of raising awareness this year, is to leave the floor open to adoptees - only they can speak to their experiences. They have their stories to tell and we need to listen.

Please check out these sites:

*I want people to take note of the language I used to speak about adoption. We do not say "give up" a child, and some people do not like the term "birth mother" instead of "first mother" because it reduces the woman to just a birthing vessel. She is and will always be a mother. 

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