3 Common Lies About Adoptees

I think there are a lot of assumptions surrounding adoption and how adoptees feel about it. I’ve heard many thoughts about it, usually from people who were not adopted themselves. It’s not to say that those opinions aren’t valid. We all have a voice and we should be able to express it. That being said, if you weren’t adopted then you aren’t capable of knowing what it’s like. Just because you know an adopted person or you have a friend whose brother was adopted doesn’t actually make you an adoptee expert. I say this in love and with a little sly humour because that’s just how I roll. 

I decided to cover three common lies about adoptees and here they are!

1) Adoption is not traumatic if it happened when the adoptee was a baby. 

This is something I hear all the time. “Oh at least you were a baby so you didn’t know what was happening.” That’s not the truth. Babies are very aware of the emotions of their birth mothers. They feel them right along with them. As they grow, they learn to recognize their parents voices and they grow to love them. When an infant is adopted they are essentially ripped away from everything they’ve ever known and from the first person they ever loved. That’s traumatic no matter how you slice it.

2) Adoptees should be grateful that they have a family at all. 

This is something a ton of adoptees have been told and it’s crazy to me. Adoptees are the only people who have (in their opinion) been trafficked and then told to be grateful about it. I don’t personally feel that way. I’m one of the blessed adoptees who grew up with a loving family who never treated me differently even though I looked nothing like them. Telling an adoptee that they should be grateful for having a family at all if that’s a source of pain to them is rude and inconsiderate. Please don’t say things like that to them. Some adoptees have had a horrific upbringing (as have many other non adoptees but I’m not addressing that here). Just support them and be a safe place for them to vent. 

3) Adoptees want to look for their birth family in order to replace their adoptive family.

Adoptees have every right to know where they came from. They have every right to know their roots, find their people, and begin to heal. Imagine not knowing anything about who you are or where you came from and then being accused of being insensitive for wanting that information. Come on people. It’s 2020. It’s time to start supporting an adoptee’s right to search for their roots. Them wanting to find that is in no way a reflection of how they feel about their adoptive family. I’ve seen far too many stories of adoptees waiting until their adoptive parents pass away before searching because they were afraid. Or being shunned from the family for searching. Yikes! This is absolutely not okay. It’s time to do better. 

Feel free to check out this video where I talk a little more about this. 

Also, if you’re an adoptee looking for a safe space to connect with other adoptees please join our adoptee only community here! And grab my free guide Healing the Invisible Scars of Adoptees.

1 Comment

  1. This is so true. I get these myths or lies all the time regarding my son. I don’t know what it’s like to be adopted but I’m making it my mission to try to get as much of it that I can and to create a safe place for my son to process, feel and think about his story whenever he wants. I also pray and look for others who can be that safe space too. Thank you for this article to help bring truth into this space.

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