An Indian Adoptee Reclaims His Voice in the Desi Diaspora
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Donaldson Institute-Identity Study

November 10, 2009

Hello everyone, I apologize for not writing in a long while. My graduate studies are keeping me quite busy, as it’s nearly the end of the semester.

I just found this article over the weekend and it’s full of issues that I’ve written here on my blog so far. Check it out below.

Adopted From Korea and in Search of Identity

A few thoughts:

One of my favorite things to read in the article was the comment from Adam Pertman the executive director of the Donaldson Institute regarding listening to the “adoptee voice.”

Finally, they are asking the adopted people themselves how THEY feel about their adoption. The study went directly to the source. ““We wanted to be able to draw on the knowledge and life experience of a group of individuals who can provide insight into what we need to do better,” Adam said.

His attitude is a welcome step in the right direction.

As readers of this blog know, that is one of the biggest reason why I scribble my thoughts on this page. It’s crucial for people to hear about adoption and it’s consequences and the lives of adopted people, from the ones who have been adopted themselves.

One a more somber note, it remains sad to me how many parents are afraid when their adopted children begin exploring their birth roots. I feel for people like Ms. Towne (a personal friend) and quoted in the article who said ““A lot of adoptees have problems talking about these issues with their adoptive families. “They take it as some kind of rejection of them when we’re just trying to figure out who we are.” One of the things I stress to anyone whom I converse with about international adoption, is the overall spirit of openness that must be there throughout the whole process for both adoptive parents and the adoptees.

Adoption is a complicated, emotionally chaotic situation, however, hiding behind fears of rejection, as many adoptive parents do, when their adopted children just want to “know where they came from and who they are,” merely makes the situation worse and potentially increases resentment as the adopted person grows older.

I am so grateful to my own parents for always letting me explore my identity and never shying away from the tough questions about my birthmother and birthfather, Indian roots and whatever my life was before I joined theirs. They have allowed me and blessed my efforts as I continue on the road to discovery of what being adopted means to me and how my adoption and my birthculture shapes my identity to this day. I can’t thank them enough for that.

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