Adoption Accounting

I recently watched the movie Philomena.

There is a harrowing scene of loss in the movie. A scene I once had to endure myself.

I was a foster mother–a mere placeholder without any legal recourse, but Philomena and thousands like her were the true and legal biological parents of children who were stolen through the misuse of power and secrecy of adoption law.

We need transparency in adoption. No government entity or adoption agency or even adopting couple should be able to hide behind confidentiality to steal children.

And we need to be clear about this:

All children of adoption should have the right to know their true story, their real names, all their family. They may also need to know that this truth of who they were and where they came from…yes, and even who they “belong to” now, may have been obscured in the documentation of the adoption process itself.

For years it never occurred to me that social workers and adoption agents would lie to take a child from a parent.

And for years after I knew they could and did, I felt the subtle pressure to keep quiet about it.

We would rather some things remain opaque, because if they were transparent we would have to acknowledge all our broken stories.

And complicity in such unspeakable sorrow.

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