This recent video by Bryan Tucker highlighted the desire for many adoptees to “Flip the Script” and provide their perspectives on adoption, especially during National Adoption Month. In the video, several adoptees provide their personal views on adoption and stress the importance of having their voices heard as part of the conversation.
The video articulately points out some of the many misconceptions about adoption that tend to be celebrated by adoption proponents. And while there is indeed a lot to celebrate about adoption, the adoptees interviewed as part of the video rightly point out the need to allow room for the pain and trauma that is also often brought about in the world of adoption.
Adoptees argue for the need to “Flip the Script,” to be able to tell their own stories. In the video, many of the adoptees interviewed cite some of the common sentiments they have heard from others over the years. “You should be grateful,” for example, or “forget about your past.” Others are “your mother was too young, and just wanted what was best for you,” or “she loved you so much she gave you away.”
These themes are very hurtful to adoptees, and while in all likelihood they are not intended to be so, no one who is not adopted knows the feelings associated with being adopted. So-called “experts” in the area of adoption are really not necessarily experts at all simply because they have worked in adoption for a long time. “I don’t need to be a PhD to be an expert in the story of my life,” said one adoptee. “I’m not a kid anymore,” said another.
I know from my own personal experience with being adopted that it’s not just sunshine and roses. There is pain. There is loss. There is trauma. And there is my own, personal, valid story. There is an emptiness that resonates inside many of our souls simply because we were abandoned at birth. Many of us, including myself, want to know our roots. We want to know our stories. We don’t want to be told to be grateful or to forget our past. We are not kids anymore, and we have rights just like any other adult has rights! And, by the way, our rights are no less important than the rights of anyone else.
Which brings me to the ridiculousness of closed records. There are out-of-date laws defended by “professionals” who have no connection to the world of adoption other than having the misconceived impression that they are “protecting” the rights of birth mothers. I have spoken with many birth mothers who are fighting just as passionately as adoptees to have closed record laws repealed. I have yet to come across a single birth mother who wants to continue to protect her secret through these laws. While I’m sure there are some out there, I would venture to guess that they represent less than ten percent of the total.
I love the term “Flip the Script,” because I think it hits the nail on the head. There needs to be room for the voices of adoptees in the conversation. While not every adoptee feels the same way, and not all adoptees have a desire to search for their roots like many of us do, I can guarantee that most adoptees would say we should have the right to do so if we want. I think most would agree that we should “Flip the Script” and create the room for all our voices to be heard.