Just a few days ago I was driving back home after dropping all my kids of at their appropriate places. The sun was just above the Earth’s horizon. There was fog hovering in the valley. The world was orange, smooth, and crisp. Like many people with Trauma, in a moment that should have brought pure peace, my brain let the shoe drop and I remember thinking, “If anything else happens this year, I’m gong to be spent.”
It was my son’s birthday. September 18. The shoe dropped hard and I spent the evening floating between sobs, and and frustration as I felt the vacuum of RBG’s death while trying to celebrate my son’s first decade on this planet. I thought about my community. About how we will be affected. About how my fellow adoptees and I are feeling the heaviness of our stories about to be thrown into the fray of political upheaval without our consent… again… And I knew I had the first ever @adopteeinfluencers discussion panel coming up. And I almost called in sick. For a solid hour today I was OUT. The topic was chosen weeks ago and now it’s all a hot topic again and the media is just getting started with this debate.What does Legal Guardianship and Adoption have to do with RBG? Because she fought so hard for laws and rulings that directly affect foster care and adoption.
Because it is imperative that we all understand that adoption is NOT the solution for abortion. It’s not the opposite. It’s not this or that.
Because permanency for children does not equal adoption. It’s imperative that we understand that our stories as adoptees, foster youth, former foster kids, wards of the state, orphans, international adoptees, unaccompanied minors, children in group homes, disabled children/youth in group homes are all wrapped up in RBG’s work.
We all fall on a spectrum of what is best for us and our current society fails to teach social workers, judges, adoption workers, lawyers, foster parents, kinship placements etc. permanency does not equal adoption.
There are many other ways to establish permanency that do not erase biological contact or severe ties with name changes and redacted records. Yes. There are times when adoption is necessary, or good, or asked for. But most of the time, there are other options that can give a child a safe place to land without erasing one identity and replacing it with another.
What is best for you, your child, your situation, your case? I can’t tell you that. I can’t answer that.
But I can tell you that we need adoption reform more now than ever and that includes so many areas that RBG stood and fought for such as equal gender rights for both male, female and everyone on the gender spectrum in our beloved LGBTQ+ community, housing reform, disability protections and rights, immigrant rights, education etc.
Some of you will think I am reaching with this post. Grasping at killing two birds with one stone. If you fall into this category, I beg of you to keep leaning in, listening, learning, and researching with us adult adoptees at what reforms we are looking for. Many of the broader strokes of RBG’s work directly affected the ares of discussion that were brought forward today. We must keep on using our voices and votes more now than ever.