Thursday, May 03, 2012

Some Thoughts on the "Angry Adoptee:" Land of Gaziillion Adoptees v JCIC$

Last we heard from our friend Kevin Ost-Vollmers,in the Land of a Gazillion Adoptees, he was engaged in a dialogue with the Congressional Coalition.  That was " bad" enough, but it gets worse.  It must be something about April.

Land of a Gaiilion Adoptees: Kevin and Bert getting ready to kick it
On April18, Kevin and  "Rockstar Vietnamese adoptee" Bert  Ballard, Assistant Professor of Communications at Pepperdine University, went to New York to give a presentation, Adoptees and Agencies:  Undiscovered Allies or Estranged Bedfellows,  before a JCIC$ symposium--to educate  (for want of a better word) this specific set of adoptacrats about adoptees.   JCIC$ is as interested in the international post-production product it markets as it is in the proposition that  9/11 was an inside job.How these bastard gods got the password to the sanctum sanctorium is a mystery, and I congratulate them. 

 I'm not sure how many Joint Councilers actually showed up for the presentation, but the board, as a whole, according to Kevin, didn't bother. Curiously,  a board meeting was scheduled for the same time slot which demanded their attention.This, of course, is an old trick. Sudden board meetings are much like "task forces."-- a mechanism to shuffle urgent issues and uncomfortable truths off to Buffalo. The AAC pulled it on Bastard Nation in 1999 in an attempt to short circuit our Belly of the Beast demo (held during the AAC conference in Tyson's Corners, Virginia) at the old NCFA HQ in DuPont Circle, after some AAC board members announced they intended to show up. AAC  Big Fishes warned, if you go to the protest, you're off the board.

I talked to Kevin before he left; and later he reported back rather cryptically on his journey into the Heart of Darkness. Not surprisingly, adoptees and first parents were represented at the JCICS$ huddle as generously as Concerned Women of America at an Occupy Oakland takedown.  Monday , however, Kevin presented a more lengthy report --or rather a list of astute observations, Some Random Thoughts on the Joint Council Symposium, on the Gazillion page He says that most of the people who attended the presentation were "engaging"  but obviously Nancy Fox, director of  Americans for International Aid and Adoption( AAIA) wasn't.  Frankly, I'm speechless.   If you think being a domestic product is difficult, try being an import!.

[Nancy Fox (check out the all-white JCICS board the link takes you to)   grabbed my chin and brought my face right up to hers.  Seriously.  My response?  Lightly tapping her hand away, I said, “Don’t ever do that to me again.  That’s the patronizing I mentioned to you earlier.  I’m not one of your kids.”  She apologized, and then went into how she has known adoptees like Susan Cox, Kathy Sacco, Joy Lieberthal, and Melanie Chung-Sherman since I was a child.  Weird.  If I recall, I’m in Kathy, Joy, and Melanie’s age bracket

Grabbed his chin?  That says it all, doesn't it?  Actually  Nancy  FancyPants had a lot more to say, like lecturing Kevin and Bert that  Korean adoptee diasporaists and first mothers instrumental in the writing and passage of recent Korean legislation  that promotes child welfare and strengthens the rights of adoptees, first parents,and single parents  have "sentenced children to death in institutions."  Where have we heard that one before?

The  message was clear.  Bastards, are simply petulant--if not dangerous--children who need a good finger wag and talking to by an "adoption professional". who knows best. (What constitutes an "adoption professional" is anyone's guess.)   Heaven knows we get enough of this at legislative hearings where adoption bottom feeders and their hacks play whack-a bastard as they blatantly attempt to hold on to their social and legal control over the lives of total strangers--or as the law so quaintly puts it: legal strangers.(We'd be more impressed if  these experts put their "expertise" into making the Do Not Call List work.)  I suppose we should be "grateful" that Fox  showed her true face in public by tweaking Kevin's, chin, unlike her cohorts in the halls of power who'd just punch it (metaphorically speaking)  behind closed doors with no witnesses..

This incident is absurd, of course. It no doubt made other adoptacrats uncomfortable, so it was  not altogether bad. I don't know at what point  in the presentation or Q&A  Fox made her public assault/insult. Here, though,  are some of the inconvenient questions  Kevin and Bert presented to JCIC$ which undoubtedly made Fox squirm::

  • Why are adoptees not invited to more influential speaking positions--boards, Congress, the State Department, executive directors, Hague?
  • Why are adoptees reduced  to a singular few representatives
and my favorite,
  • Why is there a fear of the "angry adoptee?"

Thee "angry adoptiee" looms large in adoption politics  
"The angry adoptee" is a natural outgrowth of the adoption industry's  treatment of its personal cash cow. A subset of the traditional virgin/whore paradigm, the "angry adoptee" is the  whore, undermining the virginal grateful  that adoption agents love to trot every November.  Both of these crazy stereotypes were unknown to me until I became involved in adoptee rights. Both are industry constructed and serve to dismiss any serious  discussion of Class Bastard and its cultural and legal condition. 

Adoptacrats  (agencies, social workers, lawyers, civil libertarians, therapists, anti-aborts, evangelicals, feminists,  politicians, mommy bloggers, and assorted do-gooders)  have created the "angry adoptee"  by (1) cooking the pot in which adoptee anger roils:  government-sanctioned sealed and secret adoption files, forged documents, coerced surrenders and forced adoptions,  fake psychological syndromes, special rights and privileges for special people, stacked legislative hearings, baby selling and buying, racism,  economic exploitation of women, children, and the poor, and   pawning in international politics;

and then

 (2) laying the blame for the ensuing  anger on the victims.when they demand redress and a place at the table.

The idea that adoptee anger is justified seldom crosses the adoptacrat psyche or if it does, it's needs to be "defused" to maintain the status quo..Conversely, the adoption industry-created "angry adoptee"  and its implications, are utilized  to defeat the restoration of the right for all adoptees to access their original birth certificates and to address other ethical and social issues  Ungrateful,  spoiled,. perhaps mental. adoptees, if allowed a voice, could ruin adoption. for the rest of us. If push comes to shove, the proclaim that "the gad old days" are over . "Open adoption" has fixed the problem.

The big question is why is adoptee anger bad? Why shouldn't adoptees, who have had the most intimate parts of their lives--their identities and genealogies-- confiscated and turned into state secrets which  they can't access-- be angry? Why should adoptees be held to a "nicer" political standard than women, labor, queers, and racial and ethnic minorities mired in a system of gender, class and white privilege?

To add insult to injury, adoption deformists, satisfied with small incremental change, reject anger  as a  component of successful political change. They turn themselves inside out trying to convince legislators, policy wonks, and an incurious media that adoption law and practice just needs "tweaked" not overhauled.  Deformists  internalize the name-calling, fearful of their own unworthiness.  They compromise  their alleged core principles and marginalize genuine adoptee rights and activist organizations in order to raise their own niceness quotient in the eyes of the adoptcrats, which in turn might get them "something on the books" for a few,  no matter the harm that that "something" causes the many in their local and national constituencies. In the meantime, the enemy snickers up its sleeve. Just look at  New Jersey!

Ultimately this self-defeating "strategy"  means that deformists not only let the adoptacrats maintain  the sealed and secret adoption system and other unethical and illegal practices, but frame deformist political arguments in wishy-washy. language.  Everyone is expected to sip pink tea, shut up, and be grateful for what you can get.  Ironically,  it's  "angry adoptees"  who hold the line and their principles who actually get laws changed while people-pleasers dig their ditches deeper each year rendering their work unfocused,  incompetent and laughable to the opposition.

This brings us back to the original question:  Why is there fear of the "angry adoptee?"
Without spending a lot of time on the question,  I'd say that the "angry adoptee" represents to adoptacrats, a repudiation of what many of them see as their personal humanitarian mission and the accompanying  social and legal control--for "a good cause"-- in which these humanitarians' self-esteem are vested  Claiming the high ground of "professionali expert,," they insist that adoption is a win-win win situation, when it fact the product and the producer loose out and even the consumer can be left hanging at the end of a short stick. Anyone who disagrees is a spoiled brat biting the gracious, hardworking hand that fed it in its hour of need.

Current adoption practice in the US is a convoluted hybrid of the worst aspects of capitalism  (making lots of money through exploitation of the producing class) and socialism  (redistribution of wealth and resources, but from the bottom to the top), with eugenics (building better baybees through social engineering)  thrown in for fun. Adoptacrats  may react in a "professional" snit  to save face like Fox did, but, their gut reaction is personal.  How dare you question my work; my  passion; my motives! Bank accounts are off limits, and in some cases even not that great.

It's been my experience, crooks aside, that the  majority of industrialists--even  big bucksers-- view themselves (depending on their belief system) as "christian" or secular humanitarians.acting out American exceptionalism or the Great Commission.. Most likely  it's a mixture since current American social policy is a mixture of both fallacious missions. In other words, adopacrats suffer from an especially (but not limited to) social Marxist-Protestant  missionary impulse  to remake the world. by spreading "civilization," home and abroad, in the form of American middle class cultural values to those deemed less fortunate.and in need of some kind of saving.. Adoption is their platform and re-arranging children into the "right families  their mission. Adoption makes them feel important and living a higher calling..Or as Rosie O'Donnell so famously told a little adoptee on national television,  "God put you in the wrong tummy and I had to fix his mistake."   The liberal academic adoption nut  Elizabeth Bartholet  told a rather confounded audience at the 2010 NCFA conference that countries that send off  their never-to-be-seen-or-heard from-again children to the US or other approved destinations boost  their economic standards   Translated domestically, the voluntary or court-ordered redistribution of poor and African American children  to advantaged while folks empowers the  poor and lets their children be neutralized safely into American Dream.

Adoption Makes the World Better.
The mentality that condones child re-distribution domestically,  and the  "spread of democracy" to far away places with strange sounding names--especially if the faraways are of color--is the same mentality promotes the  import  of  "orphans" to the US.  Note, that whenever the US is involved in an "humanitarian war,"  adoption vultures aren't far behind. The US may have lost in Viet Nam, but we got their kids.

Adoption is a soft but crucial component of American foreign policy, The nicer kinder face of neo-colonialism--usually associated with the exploitation of other people's labor (Nike,Foxconn ),  culture (religious conversion), and natural resources (oil; achildren for labor, sex, and adoption).. One has only to remember the  US State Department's threat to veto Romania's NATO membership   a few years ago, unless it re-opened its pipeline, a threat which was ultimately doomed. Later pipeline crises in Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala and Russia illustrate how essential adoption--a wholly government-created social practice-- is to US foreign policy.   Some idealists even see international adoption as vehicle for world peace.  Adam Pertman, in his own snit of one worldism, once ask how adoptive parents could possible want the biological parents of "their" children dead.  Seriously!  Unfortunately, I can't find the source at the moment.


Kevin Ost-Vollmers experience with Nancy Fox exemplifies the problem those of us in adoptee rights, and ultimately Class Bastard and our  families live with.  The angry adoptacrat.

Threatened by a usurpation of their social power and loss of status,  internally and externally,  as the arbiter of adoption, they obstruct all but unctuous attempts to bring due process, professional responsibility, and fairness to adoption  except when they can pull the strings.  Everything from birth certificate access to reunion issues and facilitation must be vetted through their professional egos. The people who cause the problems, expect Class Bastard & Famlies  to let the them fix  their good intentions.  In the vernacular, self-absorbed adoptacrats think "it's all about them."  If adoptcrats were children, they'd be sent  to etiquette school.or sentenced to a swat on the behind.

When the adoptacracy condemns  the "angry adoptee"-- or for that matter,  in a slightly different form, first parents or adoptive parents who dare to question the beneficent motives and practices of adoption corporatists-- it is simply  attempting to deflect the industry's own self-interested, sometimes vile, actions..The victim must be bludgeoned and embarrassed  into silence or at least public embarrassment.and humuliation.   Critics who challenge the industry on its home turf, such as trade association meetings and legislative hearings are simply dismissed as ungrateful troublemakers who'd rather see children dead than...than what?

And what o the adoptacrats prefer?

The last word. 

These are just a few thought tossed out.  There's plenty more to say.

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