Friends often try to assure me that people mean well, urging me to go easy on them, to be gracious, to give people the benefit of the doubt. "People don't mean to be offensive," they tell me. "They just don't know how to say it without coming across that way."Nishta Mehra writes about her family's experience with learning how to navigate the landscape of interracial adoption in a "post-racial" America: Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair.
What these friends don't understand is that when the act of defining your family structure becomes an expected part of every day of your entire life, you grow tired of being gracious. It's exhausting to have strangers view your life as an up-for-grabs educational experience. For my kid, it's to constantly hear the underlying message: "Your life, your family, doesn't make sense to me. Someone needs to explain it to me. You owe me an explanation."
It's the people who live comfortably inside majorities who tend to discount any sort of commentary from minorities as being "overly sensitive." And I imagine that it's hard to step back and grasp the fact that when the world you occupy is built to accommodate you, you fit inside the boxes. You make sense. You are expected.
"Farmer's Dilemma" is a short, sad and beautiful comic about family and acceptance. From Sam Alden's art blog, GINGERLAND.
Given or Taken – an ABC television documentary by the usually excellent 4 Corners looks at a period in the nation’s history when unwed mothers were forced, coerced or tricked into giving up their babies- often without holding or even seeing their newborn. Writer Kim Berry describes a little of what it was like to be relinquished by her teen mum.
UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted" through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4. [more inside]
The Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative Christian organization, sent out an alert to its members about judge’s ruling to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a relative’s child that they had been fostering. It included an image that was purported to be of the couple. It wasn't. [more inside]
Anita Tedaldi shares her experience terminating an adoption at the NYTimes blog Motherlode. Her response to the support and criticism in comments is here; in a subsequent Motherlode post Lisa Belkin muses on the ethics of blogging about children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics announces its support of adoption by same-sex parents. "...a new AAP policy statement, "Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents" supports legal and legislative efforts that provide for the possibility of adoption of those children by the second parent or coparent in same-sex relationships."
Should same-sex couples be banned from adopting children? Last week, Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove signed legislation banning gay and lesbian couples from adopting children. The new law takes effect July 1, and three other states already have similar restrictions.