From Lynelle Beveridge/ICASN:
Hello to you all in the broader Inter-Country Adoption Community!
Have you read the â€œOrphan Angelsï¿½? website that represents Deborah Leeâ€™s Campaign for Adoption Reform in Australia?
As an adoptee, I think the language used in the website needs to be challenged and questioned. As an example, the name of the website â€“ am I the orphan and my adoptive parents the angels? Or, the â€œsave a childï¿½? concept â€“ what about the adoptive family who mutually benefit from adopting and the birth/natural and extended family who have lost their child legally forever? Also, the launch of Adoption Awareness week on Motherâ€™s Day – as one adoptee pointed out, the insensitivity of this when it is the one day adoptees keenly feel the loss of their natural/birth mother.
What concerns me is the Orphan Angel campaign appears to neglect the larger picture of Inter-country adoption and its complexities, for example, the adoptees, the birth/natural families, post adoption support services that are needed for all involved! The campaign seems to promote change that benefits only the prospective adoptive parents and it appears to uphold the USA model of adoption as the end goal! The USA has only just signed up to the Hague last month and have problems with unethical adoptions due to a commercialised model of adoption!
I totally believe there is a place for ethical and well thought adoptions – done in a way that doesnâ€™t promote child trafficking or activities that take advantage of people in unfortunate situations â€“ done in a way that is sensitive to all parties involved. I disagree with the imbalanced perspective that only the orphaned child benefits or able to achieve their full potential through being adopted as promoted by Orphan Angels!
I totally agree that across the nation, there should be a process that is fair, equitable, and accessible to all prospective families who wish to adopt a child. It should also include comprehensive education to prospective families and the community, along with support and services after the child arrives and into the childâ€™s life time. I also believe we do need Adoption Awareness educational events that challenge societal adoption attitudes, misconceptions, and judgements to ease the identity issues adoptees face as they grow up.
As a well informed Inter-Country Adoption community, letâ€™s not stand by and allow this type of campaign to have the Governmentâ€™s full support without advocating for changes to be done in a way that represents a more balanced perspective of inter-country adoption? Please help us tell the Government what you think of Deborah Leeâ€™s â€œOrphan Angelï¿½? campaign and what you believe Adoption Reform should include to ensure all voices in the Australian adoption community are heard.
For your views to be included in a collation that will be sent to the Attorney General and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, go to http://intercountryadopteesupportnetwork.blog.com/ and add your comments. You can remain anonymous or include your name. Alternatively, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Inter-Country Adoptee Support Network (ICASN)
From Anti-Racist Parent:
I take a special interest in the media images my children consume, as do most parents I know, regardless of race. I don’t rely on entertainment executives or book authors to affirm or protect my children. That’s my job. But I do seek out age-appropriate books, movies, and other media that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live, with characters who look like us and the people we know and love.
But what about fairytales and the other “classics,” those all-white, generations-old stories and characters that are presumed staples of American cultural literacy, likely to turn up as “Jeopardy” questions? We love “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins”, but quick: Name an American children’s classic featuring a black cast. The good, but depressing “Sounder”?
Should classic stories and movies be avoided then because they tend to feature all-white casts?
Read the rest of the article, which also includes a review of several wonderful children’s books, here- The Princess Problem: There’s More Than One Way Of Being Pretty.