💛Adoptee Remembrance Day is held annually on October 30th. To remember all the adoptees and transracial adoptees that have gone many by their own hand. There is data available from both US and Swedish sources but the for the UK (which is where I live) there seems to be little to no substantive statistics in this area regarding the mortality rates of adopted persons. That in of itself speaks volumes to me on how adoption and adoptees are still perceived and treated whether consciously or subconsciously in the UK even now in the 21st century. NAAMNational Adoptee Awareness Month is an initiative that came about in America.
National Adoption Month was officially established in 1995. It is an extension of National Adoption Week, which was founded in 1984. The origin of the observance can be traced back to the establishment of an Adoption Week in Massachusetts in 1976 by governor Michel Dukakas. Dukakas declared that there would be a seven-day period in the state of Massachusetts that would celebrate Adoption and raise awareness. In 1984 President Regan announced the first National Adoption Week which had a domino effect across the US as more and more states began to hold events for National Adoption Week. It was obvious that a mere week was not enough. In 1995 President Clinton made November National Adoption Month which has been observed and continues to be observed in the US and also now across the globe. The month usually concludes in the US on the 23rd day of November when families make the decision to finalise their adoptions at their local courthouses. In other words, this was is a way to encourage and promote the adoption industries.
It has precious little to do with making the wider society aware of the true nature of adoption. Which is why since roughly 2015 adoptees have been reclaiming NAAM and this month I notices the picture that goes along side this article.
IAAM is far more appropriate than National Adoption Awareness Month considering that in the US in 2020 there were 1,622 transracial adoptions the top countries being Ukraine, China, South Korea, Columbia and India. In the UK the figures are somewhat murky but, in the year, ending March 2021 19,890 children of Black, Mixed Race and other ethnicities i.e. Chinese were looked after of those 19, 890. After that it gets tricky to easily sort our which children were transracially adopted and which children were in local care or fostered. Being cynical one might take the view it’s as if they don't want people to be able t drill down into the specifics of how many children and young people are adopted or transracially adopted. My question would be why are the statistics so "woolly" and distinctly un-user friendly to read? In the UK there are no figures if indeed there are any, to be hand on suicides amongst adoptees and transracial adoptees. We know from studies carried out in the US and Sweden that transracial adoptees are 4-5 times more likely to commit suicide, than non-adoptees. The idea of continuing to promote the adoption industry - the adoption agencies and the adoption brokers (as if children are the equivalent to commodities on a stock exchange) is abhorrent to me. Which is why a real awareness of the true legacy and ramifications of adoption and transracial adoption is required. Should be mandatory. There will, sadly, always be the need for some kind of care for children and minors who have lost their parents or have no immediate family to speak of to take care of them. However, that being said the continuance in the ideology, the syntax and the on-going over-view of adoption and transracial adoption has not radically changed since the 1700s in the UK. The mentality and the mindset is still firmly even if it be subconsciously embedded in that era. The missionary, pseudo-Christian wardship and guardianship of the child's soul which must at all costs be "saved."
Remains resolutely hanging over the adoptee like the sword of Damocles.
IAAM Should be observed in all countries that have adopted and transracially adopted citizens. The goal of which should be not to promote and celebrate the act and agencies of adoption. But the broadening of knowledge and the greater understanding of what in reality it means to be an adopted person. To acknowledge that there is trauma in the very act, no matter how genuine and “loving” that act might have been conceived as. Trauma exists, affecting the growth and development of the adoptee. This lasting legacy of adoption does not suddenly vanish even when an adoptee might be being reunited with birth family.
You cannot accept that race, ethnicity and heritage matter (whether man-made concepts or not) and at the same demand that in the transracial adoptee model those facts of culture and race are of no significance and therefore they are erased.
If you want to become more aware about the reality of adoption then speak to an adoptee. But you have to listen to what they say. Some of it might be unpleasant to hear, because many adoptees and transracial adoptees’ lived experiences are far from the “forever family,” “happily ever after,” PR painted by the adoption industries.
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