Thursday 2 November 2017


Last week I put out a tweet inviting adoptees onto the Podcast, I was surprised by the response, lots of adopters retweeted it. That made me think.

I'd put the tweet out after no. 2 daughter told told me a story, I thought it was interesting and in a moment of calm I asked if she'd let me record her telling the incident for the podcast. She was up for that so we did. I've always been nervous of using my children as currency for what I do but she knows that and we talked it through.

Other than the fake trial we had in 2003 over a contested misdemeanour I'd never formally interviewed my children. Clearly, it's not normal to do so. As I sat with my daughter and recorded a mini interview something strange happened. A window into her world was opened in a way like never before. She talked freely about her some of her inner thoughts. It was only a brief chat and she told her story and I turned the recorder off. But once it was off we kept talking. It was an open and easy conversation, it was a window into a world, to my shame, I'd not been party to.

Of course we can wonder how well any parent knows their child, adoption adds complexity to the complicated in spades. What filters do our children negotiate and introduce to make sense of their world and stories and to help others make sense of their world and stories? Lots to ponder and sift.

So, I thought I'd send out the tweet an offer to adoptees to share their thoughts and their stories if they wanted.

A few adoptees contacted me curious about my request and thoughtful about sharing. Its a big step and I see that.

I'm mindful that as an adopter, like all adopters, I have always had choice. To adopt or not. To take those children or not. To tell my story or not. We are the only participants in this process that have ever had a choice*.

Adoptees had no choice they had no voice.

What would my children have really chosen, what did they really think, what do they really think now. Experience, loyalty, history, duty, sensitivity, love and a myriad of other influences impact on adoptees stories. They don't have to tell their stories or share their thoughts but if they want to then I want to listen if they want me to. Stories, thoughts and opinions regardless of how palatable they may or may not be I want to listen. They may speak of different cultures, practice and times but there's value in it all.

I was surprised by the times my request was retweeted but encouraged that I wasn't alone that many others want to hear the voices of those that had no voice.

*In the UK relinquished babies make up less than 1% of adoptions.

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