Thursday, April 11, 2013

a plea to adoptive parents

i was just scrolling through a facebook group for ethiopia adoptive moms and noticed a decent amount of agency or adoption-program bashing taking place in the comments.

"that agency is bad news."
"that agency is so unethical."
"that country is rife with trafficking. no one could have an ethical adoption from there."

i'm not saying there aren't problems with some agencies or some adoption programs. but honestly, i'm tired of the generalizations and the accusations. i'm frustrated with how quickly people criticize another family's agency or adoption without sure, hard facts.

some people think our former agency, cwa, was pretty bad (in fact, one of the "bad news" comments was about cwa). cwa got some bad press a few years ago. cwa filed bankruptcy and closed recently. i'm sure some people had crappy things happen with their adoptions through cwa (which, you know, people tend to blame on the agency rather than the beast that is international adoption). we had issues with cwa on a few occasions and readily admit that the stateside staff sucked at communication. but i won't -- without sure, hard facts -- say cwa was unethical or bad news.

so here's why i'm writing today: i'm pleading with adoptive parents -- but everyone, really -- to stop the bashing. to not say anything at all unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's true. if someone asks you what you think of a certain agency or a certain country's adoption program, share your experiences or the experiences of people you know. but, for the love, don't spread the hear say.

i've been on both sides of this issue -- on one side as a gossiper and slanderer, and on the other side as one hurt by others' comments. the reason i make this plea particularly to adoptive parents is that we spend so much time trying to preserve and protect our kids' stories, yet don't hold our tongues when it comes to false or exaggerated (yet often juicy) information that has a direct impact on another child's story. when i read or hear things about cwa, i hurt for my kids because i fear that one person's gossip will be the thing that makes them question everything about their past. bottom line: if i worry for my kids, i should watch what i say for the sake of someone else's kids.

so again, i'm not saying we can't ever say anything negative. i'm just asking that we all keep our mouths shut unless we know something to be absolutely true and have proof to back it up. that way, people like me won't read something and almost have a panic attack or existential crisis about adoption.