About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Psychological Repression Adopted Child



Psychological repression, in adopted children, is the psychological attempt made by the adopted child to suppress, deny and direct one's own spontaneous self behaviors that are deemed unacceptable by adoptive parents, toward acceptable behaviors by excluding their natural impulses from the adopted child's consciousness and holding or subduing the spontaneous-self behaviors    in the unconscious. 
Repression plays a major role in many mental illness and in the psyche of the adopted person.
Repression 'a key concept of psychoanalysis, is a defense mechanism, but it pre-exists the ego, e.g., 'Primal Repression'. It ensures that what is unacceptable to the conscious mind, which would arouse anxiety if recalled, is prevented from entering into it'; and is generally accepted as such by psychoanalytic psychologists.
Freud considered that there was 'reason to assume that there is a primal repression, a first phase of repression, which consists in the psychical (ideational) representative of the instinct being denied entrance into the conscious', as well as a 'second stage of repression, repression proper, which affects mental derivatives of the repressed representative: distinguished what he called a first stage of 'primal repression' from 'the case of repression proper ("after-pressure").
In the primary repression phase, 'it is highly probable that the immediate precipitating causes of primal repressions are quantitative factors such as...the earliest outbreaks of anxiety, which are of a very intense kind'. The child realizes that acting on some desires may bring anxiety or punishment. This anxiety leads to repression of the desire.
When its internalized, the threat of punishment related to this form of anxiety becomes the superego, which intercedes against the desires of the id (which works on the basis of the pleasure principal). Freud speculated that 'it is perhaps the emergence of the super-ego which provides the line of demarcation between primal repression and after-pressure.
Adopted Family Therapy has explored how familial taboos lead to 'this screening-off that Freud called "repression"', emphasising the way that 'keeping part of ourselves out of our awareness is a very active process...a deliberate hiding of some feeling from our adoptive family'.
Abnormal repression, as defined by Freud, or neurotic behavior occurs when repression develops under the influence of the superego and the internalized feelings of anxiety, in ways leading to behavior that is illogical, self-destructive, or anti-social. Yet in adopted children, spontaneous-self truths are seen by the adoptive parents as "bad", acting-out and ungrateful adopted child.

Pro-adoption therapist is biased toward the mental health of the adoptive parents and will attempt to program the adopted child to accept their adoptive circumstances.

A non-biased psychotherapist may try to ameliorate this behavior by revealing and re-introducing the repressed aspects of the patient's mental process to their conscious awareness - 'assuming the role of mediator and peacemaker...to lift the repression'. In favourable circumstances, 'Repression is replaced by a condemning judgement carried out along the best lines', thereby reducing anxiety over the impulses involved.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Adoptee's Forced to Abandon Authentic Spontaneous Self


Adoptee's Forced to Abandon their Authentic Spontaneous self

Adopted children and adult adoptees are conditioned to fulfill the "adopted child's role", discarding and burying their true self to the point of living psychological lies to the benefit of the adoptive parents need for gratification. 
Authenticity is a technical term used in psychology and existentialism philosophy. In existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures, and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. A lack of authenticity is considered in existentialism to be bad faith.

Existentialism  is a term applied to the work of certain late 19th- and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual. While the supreme value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity.  In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.
 Soren Kierkegaard is generally considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term existentialism. He proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately, true to the authentic self. Existentialism became popular in the years following World War II, and strongly influenced many disciplines besides philosophy, including theology, drama, art, literature, and psychology.

Adoption Awareness Means Acknowledging Corruption


Adoption Awareness Is Acknowledging Adoption Corruption

Adoption Awareness Means Acknowledging Corruption
By Jessica DelBalzo
12 November, 2007

The government may have taken to calling November “Adoption Awareness Month,” but with the adoption industry and adopting couples dominating the month’s articles and events, we might as well rename it Adoption Promotion Month. After all, awareness implies an eyes-wide-open approach to the subject, not a shameless marketing ploy. Rather than celebrating how good adopters and adoption workers feel about adoption, we ought to be learning about the very real impact it has on children and their natural family members.

Being truly aware of adoption means understanding that adoption is a big business. In the United States alone, billions of dollars change hands through the adoption industry, passing from individuals hoping to adopt to agencies, lawyers, and counselors who procure infants and children from parents at home and abroad. Adoption is heavily marketed as a service dedicated to providing homes for children in need. In truth, the demand for children far exceeds the supply, leading to corrupt and coercive practices.

Most Americans view adoption positively. This is in no small part thanks to the adoption industry and its powerful lobbying arm, the National Council for Adoption. Few people are aware of the profound negative consequences of adoption for separated parents, children, siblings, and extended family members, and so they have no reason to question the practice of adoption. As a researcher and activist, I have had the unique opportunity to form a more accurate, fact-based impression of adoption, and knowing what I do, I cannot support this destructive industry.

Coerced adoption is probably the most important issue from a social justice perspective. However, it is near impossible to pinpoint an adoption that has not involved some undue pressure. Domestic infant adoptions are rife with problems, including unenforceable open adoption agreements, biased counseling from adoption agencies, government-funded training programs that teach others how to promote adoption to pregnant women, and social stigmas against poor, single, and teenage parents. Contrary to popular belief, women who surrender their infants to adoption cite poverty, age, and lack of support as their primary reasons. These mothers usually want their children very much but believe themselves to be inferior to wealthier, usually married, adopting couples. The adoption industry is especially good at preying upon the vulnerability of a nervous mom-to-be.

International adoption is equally rife with unethical practices. Once again, issues of poverty and lack of support are to blame when parents in countries like China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Korea surrender their children. And as with the United States, inadequate regulations allows practice to flourish which are both criminally negligent and immoral.

Even adoptions from foster care are subject to corruption. Poor families are unfairly targeted as suspected abusers, in no small part because they lack the funds to mount a proper legal campaign for the return of their children. Federal adoption bonuses motivate case workers to ignore long-standing mandates that promote family preservation and kinship care over placement of a child with strangers. Though adopting from foster care is touted as a charitable act, one can never be certain that the child involved was taken from abusive parents.

Aside from obvious issues of coercion and corrupt practices, adoption has also been linked to increased psychological difficulties for surrendering parents and adopted children. Adoptees are overrepresented in psychological treatment and juvenile detention centers as compared to their non-adopted peers. A large, national study of adolescents found that those who were adopted were also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. For decades now, researchers have found consistent evidence of psychological trauma in mothers whose children have been taken for adoption; this trauma is lifelong and tends to worsen over time. How is it conscionable to promote adoption as a cure for unexpected pregnancies and abused children when the side effects are so profoundly painful?

Some adoption critics are quick to say that despite its flaws, adoption is necessary. I disagree. Many of the activists who, twenty years ago, believed adoption reform to be the answer to problems within the industry have come to accept that it is beyond repair. Rather, they believe that adoption can be eradicated using stronger family preservation initiatives and permanent legal guardianship as an alternate form of custody for children who cannot be raised by their parents. While these recommendations can be difficult for adopters and others who profit from adoption to accept, embracing them will ensure better outcomes for children and families in the United States and abroad.

This November, be aware of adoption -- and beware of adoption.

The author is the founder of Adoption: Legalized Lies and the author of Unlearning Adoption: A Guide to Family Preservation and Protection. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Money Behind the Adoption Madness


The Money Behind the Adoption Madness


Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness 
DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families
By Nev Moore
Massachusetts News
Child "protection" is one of the biggest businesses in the country. We spend $12 billion a year on it. 
The money goes to tens of thousands of a) state employees, b) collateral professionals, such as lawyers, court personnel, court investigators, evaluators and guardians, judges, and c) DSS contracted vendors such as counselors, therapists, more "evaluators", junk psychologists, residential facilities, foster parents, adoptive parents, MSPCC, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, etc. This newspaper is not big enough to list all of the people in this state who have a job, draw a paycheck, or make their profits off the kids in DSS custody. 
In this article I explain the financial infrastructure that provides the motivation for DSS to take people’s children – and not give them back. 
In 1974 Walter Mondale promoted the Child Abuse and Prevention Act which began feeding massive amounts of federal funding to states to set up programs to combat child abuse and neglect. From that came Child "Protective" Services, as we know it today. After the bill passed, Mondale himself expressed concerns that it could be misused. He worried that it could lead states to create a "business" in dealing with children. 
Then in 1997 President Clinton passed the "Adoption and Safe Families Act." The public relations campaign promoted it as a way to help abused and neglected children who languished in foster care for years, often being shuffled among dozens of foster homes, never having a real home and family. In a press release from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services dated November 24, 1999, it refers to "President Clinton’s initiative to double by 2002 the number of children in foster care who are adopted or otherwise permanently placed." 
It all sounded so heartwarming. We, the American public, are so easily led. We love to buy stereotypes; we just eat them up, no questions asked. But, my mother, bless her heart, taught me from the time I was young to "consider the source." In the stereotype that we’ve been sold about kids in foster care, we picture a forlorn, hollow-eyed child, thin and pale, looking up at us beseechingly through a dirt streaked face. Unconsciously, we pull up old pictures from Life magazine of children in Appalachia in the 1930s. We think of orphans and children abandoned by parents who look like Manson family members. We play a nostalgic movie in our heads of the little fellow shyly walking across an emerald green, manicured lawn to meet Ward and June Cleaver, his new adoptive parents, who lead him into their lovely suburban home. We imagine the little tyke’s eyes growing as big as saucers as the Cleavers show him his very own room, full of toys and sports gear. And we just feel so gosh darn good about ourselves. 
Now it’s time to wake up to the reality of the adoption business. 
Very few children who are being used to supply the adoption market are hollow-eyed tykes from Appalachia. Very few are crack babies from the projects. [Oh… you thought those were the children they were saving? Think again]. When you are marketing a product you have to provide a desirable product that sells. In the adoption business that would be nice kids with reasonably good genetics who clean up good. An interesting point is that the Cape Cod & Islands office leads the state in terms of processing kids into the system and having them adopted out. More than the inner city areas, the projects, Mission Hill, Brockton, Lynn, etc. Interesting… 
With the implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, President Clinton tried to make himself look like a humanitarian who is responsible for saving the abused and neglected children. The drive of this initiative is to offer cash "bonuses" to states for every child they have adopted out of foster care, with the goal of doubling their adoptions by 2002, and sustaining that for each subsequent year. They actually call them "adoption incentive bonuses," to promote the adoption of children. 
Where to Find the Children
A whole new industry was put into motion. A sweet marketing scheme that even Bill Gates could envy. Now, if you have a basket of apples, and people start giving you $100 per apple, what are you going to do? Make sure that you have an unlimited supply of apples, right? 
The United States Department of Health & Human Services administers Child Protective Services. To accompany the ASF Act, the President requested, by executive memorandum, an initiative entitled Adoption 2002, to be implemented and managed by Health & Human Services. The initiative not only gives the cash adoption bonuses to the states, it also provides cash adoption subsidies to adoptive parents until the children turn eighteen. 
Everybody makes money. If anyone really believes that these people are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, then I’ve got some bad news for you. The fact that this program is run by HHS, ordered from the very top, explains why the citizens who are victims of DSS get no response from their legislators. It explains why no one in the Administration cares about the abuse and fatalities of children in the "care" of DSS, and no one wants to hear about the broken arms, verbal abuse, or rapes. They are just business casualties. It explains why the legislators I’ve talked to for the past three years look at me with pity. Because I’m preaching to the already damned. 
The legislators have forgotten who funds their paychecks and who they need to account to, as has the Governor. Because it isn’t the President. It’s us. 
How DSS Is Helped
The way that the adoption bonuses work is that each state is given a baseline number of expected adoptions based on population. 
For every child that DSS can get adopted, there is a bonus of $4,000 to $6,000. 
But that is just the starting figure in a complex mathematical formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the state has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. The states must maintain this increase in each successive year. [Like compound interest.] The bill reads: "$4,000 to $6,000 will be multiplied by the amount (if any) by which the number of foster child adoptions in the State exceeds the base number of foster child adoptions for the State for the fiscal year." In the "technical assistance" section of the bill it states that, "the Secretary [of HHS] may, directly or through grants or contracts, provide technical assistance to assist states and local communities to reach their targets for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster care." The technical assistance is to support "the goal of encouraging more adoptions out of the foster care system; the development of best practice guidelines for expediting the termination of parental rights; the development of special units and expertise in moving children toward adoption as a permanent goal; models to encourage the fast tracking of children who have not attained 1 year of age into pre-adoptive placements; and the development of programs that place children into pre-adoptive placements without waiting for termination of parental rights." 
In the November press release from HHS it continues, " HHS awarded the first ever adoption bonuses to States for increases in the adoption of children from the public foster care system." Some of the other incentives offered are "innovative grants" to reduce barriers to adoption [i.e., parents], more State support for adoptive families, making adoption affordable for families by providing cash subsides and tax credits. 
A report from a private think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis, reads: "The way the federal government reimburses States rewards a growth in the size of the program instead of the effective care of children." Another incentive being promoted is the use of the Internet to make adoption easier. Clinton directed HHS to develop an Internet site to "link children in foster care with adoptive families." So we will be able to window shop for children on a government web site. If you don’t find anything you like there, you can surf on over to the "Adopt Shoppe." 
If you prefer to actually be able to kick tires instead of just looking at pictures you could attend one of DSS’s quaint "Adoption Fairs," where live children are put on display and you can walk around and browse. Like a flea market to sell kids. If one of them begs you to take him home you can always say, "Sorry. Just looking." The incentives for government child snatching are so good that I’m surprised we don’t have government agents breaking down people’s doors and just shooting the parents in the heads and grabbing the kids. But then, if you need more apples you don’t chop down your apple trees. 
Benefits for Foster Parents
That covers the goodies the State gets. Now let’s have a look at how the Cleavers make out financially after the adoption is finalized. 
After the adoption is finalized, the State and federal subsidies continue. The adoptive parents may collect cash subsidies until the child is 18. If the child stays in school, subsidies continue to the age of 22. There are State funded subsidies as well as federal funds through the Title IV-E section of the Social Security Act. The daily rate for State funds is the same as the foster care payments, which range from $410-$486 per month per child. Unless the child can be designated "special needs," which of course, they all can. 
According to the NAATRIN State Subsidy profile from DSS, "special needs" may be defined as: "Physical disability, mental disability, emotional disturbance; a significant emotional tie with the foster parents where the child has resided with the foster parents for one or more years and separation would adversely affect the child’s development if not adopted by them." [But their significant emotional ties with their parents, since birth, never enter the equation.] 
Additional "special needs" designations are: a child twelve years of age or older; racial or ethnic factors; child having siblings or half-siblings. In their report on the State of the Children, Boston’s Institute for Children says: "In part because the States can garner extra federal funds for special needs children the designation has been broadened so far as to become meaningless." "Special needs" children may also get an additional Social Security check. 
The adoptive parents also receive Medicaid for the child, a clothing allowance and reimbursement for adoption costs such as adoption fees, court and attorney fees, cost of adoption home study, and "reasonable costs of food and lodging for the child and adoptive parents when necessary to complete the adoption process." Under Title XX of the Social Security Act adoptive parents are also entitled to post adoption services "that may be helpful in keeping the family intact," including "daycare, specialized daycare, respite care, in-house support services such as housekeeping, and personal care, counseling, and other child welfare services". [Wow! Everything short of being knighted by the Queen!] 
The subsidy profile actually states that it does not include money to remodel the home to accommodate the child. But, as subsidies can be negotiated, remodeling could possibly be accomplished under the "innovative incentives to remove barriers to adoption" section. The subsidy regulations read that "adoption assistance is based solely on the needs of the child without regard to the income of the family." What an interesting government policy when compared to the welfare program that the same child’s mother may have been on before losing her children, and in which she may not own anything, must prove that she has no money in the bank; no boats, real estate, stocks or bonds; and cannot even own a car that is safe to drive worth over $1000. This is all so she can collect $539 per month for herself and two children. The foster parent who gets her children gets $820 plus. We spit on the mother on welfare as a parasite who is bleeding the taxpayers, yet we hold the foster and adoptive parents [who are bleeding ten times as much from the taxpayers] up as saints. The adoptive and foster parents aren’t subjected to psychological evaluations, ink blot tests, MMPI’s, drug & alcohol evaluations, or urine screens as the parents are. 
Adoption subsidies may be negotiated on a case by case basis. [Anyone ever tried to "negotiate" with the Welfare Department?] There are many e-mail lists and books published to teach adoptive parents how to negotiate to maximize their subsidies. As one pro writes on an e-mail list: "We receive a subsidy for our kids of $1,900 per month plus another $500 from the State of Florida. We are trying to adopt three more teens and we will get subsidies for them, too. It sure helps out with the bills." 
I can’t help but wonder why we don’t give this same level of support to the children’s parents in the first place? According to Cornell University, about 68% of all child protective cases "do not involve child maltreatment." The largest percentage of CPS/DSS cases are for "deprivation of necessities" due to poverty. So, if the natural parents were given the incredible incentives and services listed above that are provided to the adoptive parents, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the causes for removing children in the first place would be eliminated? How many less children would enter foster care in the first place? The child protective budget would be reduced from $12 billion to around $4 billion. Granted, tens of thousands of social workers, administrators, lawyers, juvenile court personnel, therapists, and foster parents would be out of business, but we would have safe, healthy, intact families, which are the foundation of any society. 
That’s just a fantasy, of course. The reality is that maybe we will see Kathleen Crowley’s children on the government home-shopping-for-children web site and some one out there can buy them.
May is national adoption month. To support "Adoption 2002," the U.S. Postal Service is issuing special adoption stamps. Let us hope they don’t feature pictures of kids who are for sale. I urge everyone to boycott these stamps and register complaints with the post office.

The Damaged Neurobiology of The Adopted Child Continue through Adulthood


The Damaged Neurobiology of Adopted Child Continue Through Adulthood

Attachment is one of the most important aspects of a child’s development; it is the essential factor in shaping their minds through interactions. Early deprivation, abuse, trauma, and dysfunctional attachment can disrupt a child’s brain development; thus their production and management of neurotransmitters.  Research on abused and neglected children has indicated the devastating effects of maltreatment on the child’s growing brain; smaller brain size, decreased growth of the corpus callosum (connects the right and left sides of the brain) and impaired growth of inhibitory neurotransmitters, including GABA, that serve to calm the excitable emotional limbic structures.  This is seen in brain imaging studies and through neurotransmitter testing. Even after children are introduced into safe and loving homes, the disrupted neurochemistry is still present. 
Neurotransmitter levels are a blueprint for a child’s mood, behavior, and overall functioning.  Continual research has shown that our early years create our brain's destiny; as relationships with parents changes so do the children’s attachment. This means it is never too late to create a positive change in a child’s life.  Through regulating neurotransmitter levels the ability to create a healthy bond with parents becomes much more feasible.

Inhibitory Neurotransmitters & Trauma

SEROTONIN is an inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain.  Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitters firing in the brain.  If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time.  Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion.  Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”.  When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain.  GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing; it is used to calm the excitatory neurotransmitters.  Impaired growth of GABA has been seen in brain imaging studies of abused and neglected children, due to the excessive amount of stress hormones released during these traumatic events.

DOPAMINE is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory.  Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.

TRUAMA Inhibitory neurotransmitters are developed in infancy and over time especially through touch and having ones needs met; a baby cries to be fed, he is held and receives the milk he needs.  However neglect, wrongful touch, malnourishment, or being present for traumatic events, can send mixed messages to the brain and therefore it is unable develop an optimal amount of these inhibitory neurotransmitters.  This often leads to the inability for one to control their responses from excitatory neurotransmitters and contributes to children living in a state of fear and/or hyper-vigilance.

Excitatory Neurotransmitters & Trauma

DOPAMINE is our main focus neurotransmitter.  When dopamine is either elevated or low - we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task.  Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done - or motivation.  Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD and caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved.  Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.
NOREPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body.  Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well.  This neurotransmitter can cause ANXIETY at elevated excretion levels as well as some "MOOD DAMPENING" effects.  Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with LOW ENERGY, DECREASED FOCUS ability and sleep cycle problems.
EPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress.
This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present.  Long term STRESS or INSOMNIA can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low).  Epinephrine also regulates HEART RATE and BLOOD PRESSURE.
TRAUMA Children who have endured neglect or trauma have utilized these neurotransmitters in order to get their needs met.  This is a survival method, to be the loudest child in the orphanage, use aggression to fight off those that were hurting them, or stay awake in fear of the unknown.
Their inhibitory neurotransmitters were not fully developed and they are now running on excitatory neurotransmitters, unable to calm themselves down, or develop proper inhibitory support.

Trauma:  Sympathetic & Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

Sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions typically function in opposition to each other.   The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the excitatory messages and parasympathetic nervous system is the regulator of the inhibitory neurotransmitters.  If a child does not get their needs met or develop adequate levels of inhibitory support they are functioning with high excitatory neurotransmitter levels, most commonly from a fear based background.  However, this opposition is better termed complementary in nature rather than antagonistic. For example, one may think of the sympathetic division as the accelerator and the parasympathetic division as the brake. The sympathetic division typically functions in actions requiring quick responses. The parasympathetic division functions with actions that do not require immediate reaction.  Therefore without the “brakes” a child will be running on fear based excitatory neurotransmitters until we can adequately balance their brain.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Don't Want To Hear "We Are Adopting"


"Where Going to Adopt" I Don't Want To Hear

"Were thinking about adopting" people, family and others make these disturbing statements to Adoptees....
Why do people tell me this? Are they intentionally trying to humiliate , embarrass and shame me? Do they have some distorted idea that an adoptee will be happy, supportive or excited for their social ignorance and the ineptitude they display. 

Why would any person make such a statement to an adoptee, 
Obviously out of complete and utter stupidity or ignorance.  

It is like saying you were bought through adoption, and I want a troubled child with a fucked up reality just like you. This discounts everything I have experienced by being abandoned-adopted-abused, adoption traumatized.  it means that I have no worth outside of a woman's demand for a baby....I am nothing outside of my disturbed adopted mother's attempts to make herself whole again, regardless of what cruelties that adoption did to me as a human being.

It makes me mad, angry and horrified, I don't want to hear such rubbish directed at me...in a question, an intention without any adoptee related research or homework.
Were going to adopt is a statement of demand for a mother's child by the ignorant. It says that the adopted child's lifelong never-ending trauma is worth it, as long as I get a baby.

This narrative has happened to me twice on at Christmas parties with family....another reason why I hate the holiday.

One Christmas while I was still in "Adoption Fog", adoption denial, about 18 years old. I was having a wonderful time with my family I never used the A word to separate myself out. My brother and his wife made the announcement that after having three biological girls they wanted to adopt a boy,
 I was horrified! Then my niece about seven or eight years old kept chasing me around the party saying "You are adopted"!
I abruptly exited the Christmas with my family in horror! This was the first time I felt so unwelcome, so naked and so humiliated in front of the people I knew as my family. I felt it was a personal attack on me and an attack on my connection with my family. No body stopped the child from antagonizing me in front of the group, no person said anything. The irony is that my brother and his wife never did such a stupid thing, my misery and hurt was all for nothing and nobody cared about my feelings or sorrow. After that Christmas Day I was forever changed in my own eyes about my connection to my adoptive family. The honesty of the ignorant disturbs the balance.

Twenty years later at another husband-family event When my special niece (that is well educated) told me this I was horrified. I don't believe she knew I was adopted as she went on like it was a joke in the way child adoption is presented. Do we want a boy, girl, black, white, asian... We just check the box like were ordering what we want. I have enough trouble attending these group activities so when I was hit with this I immediately ducked out and did my disappearing act.

Being out of the "adoption fog" now for 10 years, I knew why I was so extremely repulsed. It is an attack on me, my worth and my defiance of adoption culture status quote. A discount of what a real orphan vs. paper orphan manufactured for adoption, as I was. It is an attack on my right to exist beyond my adoptive mother's demand for someone else's offspring. It is an attack on my right to my own identity, family, ancestry, genetics and culture. I don't want to be adopted, I don't want to fit in, I don't want to be grateful and I am not grateful. I was abused in my adoptive family and It was not "in my best interest". 

Adoption ideology is created by Adoption Industry marketing, supply and demand for human cargo outside of the obvious consequences to the separated human child. I am not happy that you are adopting, as You are contributing to the problem and not the solution of keeping mothers with their children. The United States is an evolving disaster of consequences to the poor and disenfranchised, outside of non-biased scientific investigation. We feed on opportunity to fulfill our desires at the cost to others.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Importance of Biological Heredity


The Importance of Biological Heredity


3. Ancestry, identity and meaning: The importance of biological ties in contemporary society

By Rhys Price-Robertson

Biological ties are important to people; there is no doubting that. But exactly why they are important is increasingly relevant at a time when so much about the family exists in flux - the shapes of families are shifting, as are the technologies used to assist in creating them. Beneath many of the current debates over family structure or assisted reproductive technologies (e.g., those concerned with adoption, surrogacy, donor insemination, and gay- and lesbian-parented families) lay some fundamental moral questions. Is it important to know one's biological parents? Are biological parent-child relationships different, in any important moral sense, to non-biological parent-child relationships? What value should be attributed to biological ties?1
Recently, some authors have focused on the role that biological relationships play in the life task of identity formation. Velleman (2005, 2008), for example, argued that an ongoing connection with biological parents is so significant in forming one's self-knowledge and identity that it is morally wrong to deprive someone of this. Thus, in his view, practices such as anonymous gamete donation are inherently problematic. Alternatively, Haslanger (2009) agreed that biological relationships play a valuable role in healthy identity formation, but only because the current cultural context is strongly "bionormative".2 The way forward, she argued, lies not in shaping moral understandings to fit with a bionormative cultural context, but rather in challenging bionormativity. She said: "I enthusiastically endorse the disruption of old ideologies of the family, and resist new ideologies that entrench and naturalize the value of biological ties" (p. 92).
In this chapter I follow the above authors in exploring this issue. The focus on the role that biological relationships play in identity formation is an important development in broader debates over biological ties, one that takes seriously the often-underestimated role that narrative and meaning play in people's lives. I begin by outlining the positions of Velleman and Haslanger, both of whom are prominent philosophers. Although there is much to learn from these authors, I argue that their writings also serve to illustrate how debate in this area often fails to adequately account for the unique cultural conditions of contemporary society, and thus fail to identify exactly why biological ties mean so much to so many people in today's world.

Recently, some authors have focused on the role that biological relationships play in the life task of identity formation. Velleman (2005, 2008), for example, argued that an ongoing connection with biological parents is so significant in forming one's self-knowledge and identity that it is morally wrong to deprive someone of this. Thus, in his view, practices such as anonymous gamete donation are inherently problematic. Alternatively, Haslanger (2009) agreed that biological relationships play a valuable role in healthy identity formation, but only because the current cultural context is strongly "bionormative".2 The way forward, she argued, lies not in shaping moral understandings to fit with a bionormative cultural context, but rather in challenging bionormativity. She said: "I enthusiastically endorse the disruption of old ideologies of the family, and resist new ideologies that entrench and naturalize the value of biological ties" (p. 92).
In this chapter I follow the above authors in exploring this issue. The focus on the role that biological relationships play in identity formation is an important development in broader debates over biological ties, one that takes seriously the often-underestimated role that narrative and meaning play in people's lives. I begin by outlining the positions of Velleman and Haslanger, both of whom are prominent philosophers. Although there is much to learn from these authors, I argue that their writings also serve to illustrate how debate in this area often fails to adequately account for the unique cultural conditions of contemporary society, and thus fail to identify exactly why biological ties mean so much to so many people in today's world.

Biological ties and identity formation

"Meaning in life", Velleman (2005) asserted, "is importantly influenced by biological ties" (p. 357). Indeed, he argued that actually having acquaintance with one or both of one's parents is so important that it is morally wrong to deliberately bring a child into existence knowing that they will be denied this (as is the case, for example, for children of anonymous gamete donors).
According to Velleman, knowing one's parents is valuable for two main reasons. First, it allows individuals to develop accurate and healthy forms of self-knowledge. Coming to understand oneself - one's temperament, proclivities, and styles of thinking, feeling and relating - is an important part of living a flourishing life; but it is no easy task. While physical selves can be reflected in a mirror, inner selves are opaque: often "inaccessible to introspection and therefore visible only from a detached perspective, as seen through other people's eyes" (p. 367). One of the central ways in which true self-understanding can be developed is through contact with one's kin, particularly parents and siblings. This is because, as Velleman (2005) argued:
If I want to see myself as another … I don't have to imagine myself as seen through other people's eyes: I just have to look at my father, my mother and my brothers, who show me by way of family resemblance what I am like. For information about my appearance, they may not be as good a source as an ordinary mirror; but for information about what I am like as a person, they are the closest thing to a mirror that I can find. (p. 368)
Whether one shares many characteristics with family members or defines oneself in opposition to them, relating with one's immediate kin is often the only way to access "deeply ingrained aspects of oneself" (Velleman, 2005, p. 369).
Second, knowing one's parents helps one to develop a coherent and positive sense of identity. According to Velleman, identity development is not simply a matter of garnering self-knowledge, but also of telling a story about that knowledge and the events of one's life. Such stories, or narratives, can provide a sense of meaning and emotional resolution that a causal explanation of qualities or events simply cannot. Importantly, it is people's kin who provide the material with which some of their most significant narratives are constructed. While those who are unaware of their biological origins can certainly develop meaningful narratives within the context of their non-biological families, they will likely "have the sense of not knowing important stories about themselves, and of therefore missing some meaning implicit in their lives, unless and until they know their biological origins" (Velleman, 2005, p. 376).
In contrast to these views, Haslanger (2009) welcomed new ideologies of the family and relationships. She argued that Velleman's emphasis on biological kin as a key to self-knowledge is highly exaggerated. Yes, people need others in order to develop certain forms of self-knowledge, but these others need not only be their kin; they may be friends, community members, public figures, or even the fictitious characters of films or literature. Furthermore, the development of self-knowledge is as much about introspection and the exercise of agency as about the mirroring of others.
Haslanger (2009) went on to examine the claim that biological ties are a significant factor in healthy identity development. She argued that the personal narratives that people develop normally adhere to certain dominant cultural schemas, and that the dominant schema for the family in contemporary post-industrial societies is the "natural nuclear family" schema, which says that children are best conceived and raised by two heterosexual adults joined in a loving relationship (i.e., marriage). She agreed that the "natural nuclear family schema plays an important role in forming identities - including healthy identities - in our current cultural context" (p. 113). However, she argued that this is not because biological ties are inherently necessary for healthy psychological development or that the nuclear family unit is always the optimum environment in which to raise children; rather negative effects are often associated with living outside of a hegemonic cultural schema. Of those disconnected from their biological parents, she said: "lacking knowledge about one's biological family, one is left without questions that matter culturally, and this is stigmatizing" (p. 113). It is difficult to live a flourishing life when one is the member of a stigmatised group, when one does not have access to the relationships and forms of knowledge that the dominant family schema deems normal and necessary. For Haslanger, the way forward lies in challenging bionormativity, not in pandering to it.

Reflections on the debate

What are we to make of the debate discussed above? Certainly both Velleman (2005, 2008) and Haslanger (2009) have presented sophisticated cases for their opposing views, and focus on issues - such as the role that narrative identity plays in a flourishing life - that are sidelined in much of the relevant literature. However, in important ways their arguments are also lacking.
Velleman posited that biological ties are important because of the pivotal role they play in the development of self-knowledge. Surely Haslanger (2009) was correct when she challenged Velleman's (2005) claim that parent-child relationships are essentially the only route to "deeply ingrained aspects of oneself" (p. 369). Surely people come to know themselves in multiple ways: through relationships, through identification with fictional or historical characters, through introspection, through the exercise of agency, through understanding their own culture and upbringing, and not least through the joys and hardships of life. Harris (2009) demonstrated that the role that parents play in shaping their children's characters is often assumed to be much more significant than it actually is; that children's peer groups and their genetics, for instance, are considerably stronger predictors of character than parenting practices. It would appear that by attributing more weight to the familial relationship than is warranted, Velleman was committing an error of reasoning similar to that identified by Harris.
Velleman (2005) then discussed the role that biological ties play in identity development and the construction of personal narratives - he was one of the first authors to explore this issue in any great depth. Haslanger's (2009) response - her assertion that the importance attributed to kinship stems from bionormative cultural schemas - appears convincing. It is difficult, for instance, to imagine individuals having "the sense of not knowing important stories about themselves" (Velleman, 2005, p. 367) if they lived in a society that paid little heed to biological connections. However, Haslanger's proposed course of action is untenable. She encourages the "disruption of old ideologies of the family" (p. 92), as if the "natural nuclear family" schema is the only factor contributing to the value individuals place on biological connections. In doing so, she both underestimates important human propensities and fails to adequately account for a number of the defining characteristics of the contemporary social order. The remainder of this chapter is an attempt to support the above claims.
In the next sections of this chapter, I present an argument that departs from those of Velleman and Haslanger. I argue that most people are compelled to develop personal narratives that position their existence within a story or framework that extends beyond the borders of their own birth and death in order to create narratives that give their lives a sense of continuity and meaning. Increasingly in contemporary society, for reasons I outline, these narratives are built around biological connections and ancestors.

The human propensity for meaning

Human beings have a unique propensity for developing and adopting ideologies - be they mythological, religious, philosophical or political - that ascribe meaning to the universe and individual existence. Traditionally, every known human culture has offered its members meaningful grand narratives - creation stories, myths, rituals, and religious and spiritual beliefs - which have provided a framework that allows them to position their own life stories within a broader context and helps to imbue their individual experiences, sufferings and mortality with meaning (Brown, 1991).3
Numerous theorists have recognised this propensity for meaning and attempted to explain its origins. Perhaps the tradition that has most closely examined the role that meaning-providing belief systems play in promoting psychological security is existentialism. In particular, theorists who have investigated existentialist concerns within a psychiatric or psychoanalytic framework (e.g., Becker, 1973; May, 1991; Yalom, 1980), although divergent in their writings, all focus on the ways in which cultural belief systems and narratives work to allay a number of primary human concerns, such as the fear of death, meaninglessness, isolation and the responsibility that accompanies psychic freedom. For these writers, meaning-rich ideologies and cultural narratives help individuals to address problems and anxieties that almost invariably burden self-conscious, autonomous beings.
More recently, Dennett (2006) and Dawkins (2006) have led a growing number of authors who argue that human beings are "hardwired" to view the universe as inherently meaningful, and who treat the tendency towards mythological and religious thinking as a natural, evolved phenomenon that is amenable to scientific study. Dennett, for instance, posited that the tendency to believe in God, deities or other supernatural forces arises out of an evolved capacity to attribute intentional action to others. This capacity became very beneficial in evolutionary terms, for it allowed humans to develop bonds based on empathy and to more effectively anticipate the behaviours of others. However, it also led to the tendency to fallaciously see intentions underlying all events, and to invent supernatural entities to account for those events or phenomena that were not obviously attributable to the intentions of human or other animals. Contemporary religious doctrines are, according to Dennett, simply more refined versions of earlier animistic belief systems, which saw natural phenomena, such as the weather or the changing of the seasons or the genesis of the Earth, as being guided by spirits or deities.
For the purposes of this chapter, it does not matter whether one accepts that the propensity to imbue human life with meaning arises out of deep existential anxieties, or is a product of human evolutionary history, or is due to some other reason altogether. I describe the existential and evolutionary theories above to demonstrate that many other theorists are concerned with this issue, and also that there are at least conceivable descriptions of its aetiology. What matters here is that people are predisposed in this way; that the human search for meaning, whatever its genesis, is an empirical reality and is therefore a relevant factor in the consideration of certain moral issues.

The loss of meaningful grand narratives

If every known culture has offered its members grand narratives, which have enabled them to position their own life stories within a broader context and helped them to imbue their individual lives with meaning, an illuminating question to ask is this: What do contemporary, post-industrial societies offer in this regard?
Such societies are historically unique in that they are increasingly guided by secular, scientific understandings of existence; understandings that fail to clearly direct people's propensity for meaning, and do not offer an emotionally satisfying explanation of how individual life stories fit within a larger narrative (Mellor & Shilling, 1993). As Mellor and Shilling wrote, "modernity has developed alongside an extensive desacralisation of social life, yet has failed to replace religious certainties with scientific certainties" (p. 413). Take the dominant contemporary creation story - Darwinian "evolution by natural selection" - as an example.4 Evolutionary theory provides a sophisticated answer as tohow humanity came to be, but is silent on the why. Many evolutionary theorists believe that life began when "at some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident … [and] it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself" (Dawkins, 1976, p. 15). This may well be true, but presenting the history of life as an "accident", followed by the unfolding of blind forces offers no sense that there might be meaning or a purpose to human life beyond that which is invented. Evolutionary theory provides an extremely lengthy narrative framework, no doubt, but it is not one that sits comfortably with a tendency to ascribe meaning to the universe.
Furthermore, many of the central narratives of the secular-scientific world view actively promote the idea that the universe and human life is free of intrinsic meaning. Midgley (2003) argued that, far from being value-neutral, science is guided by a number of pervasive myths, which she describes as "imaginative patterns, networks of powerful symbols that suggest particular ways of interpreting the world" (p. 1). These myths are not necessarily false, but they are also not the result of scientific investigation; rather, they reflect metaphors and non-empirical, metaphysical presuppositions. The most dominant of these myths, Midgley contends, are: atomism, or the idea that the universe is divisible into basic units; reductionism, or the idea that the universe (or systems within it, such as societies or biological entities) is best understood by investigating its individual components; and, materialism, or the view that there is no non-physical aspect to reality.
The next question to ask, then, is: What is happening in post-traditional societies to the human propensity for meaning? Is it dwindling, conditioned out of existence by the hegemony of the secular-scientific worldview? Or is it simply finding new avenues of expression?

Narrative identity and the body

For many in contemporary society, the physical body is a central constituent of identity. Of course, bodies have always been important - they connect individuals to the world and others; they are the ultimate source of life, of experience, of all pleasure and pain - but never have they been so central to people's personal narratives (Giddens, 1991; Shilling, 1993). Giddens proposed that the dissolution of grand narratives and tradition has been accompanied by an increase in "ontological insecurity", where people's fundamental existential questions remain unanswered, and they struggle to develop a sense of order and meaning in their lives. As meaning and self-identity are no longer simply bestowed by grand narratives or reliable social structures, they become the responsibility - the "reflexive projects" - of individuals. Furthermore, Giddens argued, "regularised control of the body is a fundamental means whereby a biography of self-identity is maintained" (p. 57). Shilling agreed, submitting that "there is a tendency for the body to become increasingly central to the modern person's sense of self-identity" (p. 3).
The rise of consumerism in the post-traditional world has also played a significant role in increasing the body's salience in personal narratives. Turner (1996) argued that "with mass culture and consumerism came a new self, a more visible self, and the body comes to symbolise overtly the status of the personal self" (p. 1). Mellor and Shilling (1993) agreed that there has been "a massive rise of the body in consumer culture as the bearer of symbolic value", which leads to "a tendency for people to place more importance on the body as constitutive of the self" (p. 413). As examples, these authors point to the proliferation of images of bodies - invariably young and trim - in advertisements and popular entertainment, and the rise of "body projects" (e.g., health and fitness regimes, diets, cosmetic surgery, body art) as central practices of personal identity.
It can also be seen that the secular and scientific ideologies discussed above encourage people to view themselves as simply material beings. Mainstream medicine, for instance, treats the body as a biological machine devoid of a spirit or soul, and many accept its purely physical accounts of the aetiology, course and treatments of different disease states. Similarly, much contemporary psychology and psychiatry, with its emphasis on neurobiology and cognition, is structured around a materialistic conception of mental health and disease; where depression, for instance, was once viewed as a "dark night of the soul" or an adaptive response to difficult circumstances, it is now seen by many as a "chemical imbalance" in the brain necessitating chemical intervention. Even traditional religious and spiritual practices, such as yoga and mindfulness meditation, are often stripped of any metaphysical context and seen as simply holistic forms of exercise or mental training. In a multitude of ways people are encouraged to think of the self in physical terms.

Personal creation stories

One result of the fact that the body has become a more central focus of identity is that physicality now also tends to be dominant in those wide-reaching narratives that people use to ground their lives in a broader, meaning-providing context. In many traditional cultures, a sense of continuity and meaning was provided through connection with ancestors, it is true, but it was also provided through stories of the non-physical or spiritual: through belief in realms or states that exist after death, or in the idea that one's soul or karmic force continues through a series of incarnations. In the post-traditional order, secular and materialistic understandings of the self overshadow the influence of spiritual beliefs. The propensity to position one's own life stories within a broader narrative framework has, for many, found a new avenue of expression: through stories that involve them in a corporeal lineage, that see them as a link in a chain of bodies that extends into the distant past and will continue to exist in perpetuity.
Although research with adoptees, foster children and donor-conceived people has consistently identified a sense of "genealogical bewilderment", or identity confusion, among those who do not know their biological parent(s) (Kirkman, 2004; Turner & Coyle, 2000), this research tends to focus on facets of identity such as self-esteem or a sense of belonging, rather than on the broader sense of narrative meaning described in this chapter.5 Exceptions include March's (1995) study with adoptees, in which interviewees "lacked the biological kinship ties used to establish generational continuity" (p. 657), and Turner and Coyle's (2000) work with donor-conceived people, where the authors identified a feeling of "genetic discontinuity", and argued that those raised without knowledge of their biological parents should be provided with "a forum within which their particular need to construct a past and be understood within a genetic context can be met" (p. 2042).
There are, however, more oblique forms of evidence that can be seen to support my argument. For instance, consider the massive rise in popularity of genealogy. Although interest in ancestry dates back centuries, it was traditionally the preserve of the aristocratic classes, not the popular pursuit seen today (Zerubavel, 2012). Today, websites such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org are hugely successful, each with millions of paying subscribers. Indeed, Wells (2006) observed that genealogy is "the second most popular American hobby after gardening (and the second most visited category of Web sites after pornography)" (p. 11). Finkler (2001) convincingly argued that "the ideology of genetic inheritance promises contemporary humans immortality within the flux of the postmodern world" (p. 248) as the "individual exists in a transient world but is fastened biologically to the past and future" (pp. 248-249). However, it is important to also note that those conducting genealogical investigations are seldom simply searching for the names of their ancestors or genetic information (Mason, 2008). Rather, they are (or are also) looking for the stories of their ancestors; stories that then become the various threads of broader genealogical tapestries. Identifying with the stories and circumstances of one's ancestors can promote "an almost interpersonal sense of the past … a way of experiencing even distant historical events quasi-autobiographically" (Zerubavel, 2012, p. 21). What is this if not an attempt to create a narrative that provides a broader context for one's own existence?
Consider also the fact that many adoptees and children of anonymous gamete donors go to great lengths to identify and learn about their biological parents (Kenny, Higgins, Soloff, & Sweid, 2012; Kirkman, 2004). But why should this be so? Levy and Lotz (2005) claimed that their desire to locate their biological parents was simply a symptom of the misguided emphasis placed on genetics in contemporary society. While it is true that some adoptees and children of anonymous gamete donors search out their biological parents solely for genetic information, for many others such information is a secondary concern, or even of no concern at all (Kirkman, 2004). In an effective attempt to counter the arguments of authors such as Levy and Lotz, Laing (2006) offered the following thought experiment:
Imagine an adult adopted as a child who is seeking out his father. Suppose he discovers there is a match for paternity with X. He is elated but soon discovers that X is not his father but the twin of his father, Y. The discovery that X is not his father at all, but his uncle, will be a matter of great significance even though the DNA for both X and Y might be the same (p. 549).
This example demonstrates that the valuing of biological ties cannot simply be attributed to a desire for genetic information (because for almost all intents and purposes, the uncle is as biologically similar to the adopted child as the father). This example suggests that most people would prefer to meet X over Y because what they are actually searching for is a story - a personal creation story, if you like. What was my father like? What were the conditions that led him to make his reproductive decisions? How does he feel about me? Yes, these are "questions that matter culturally" (Haslanger, 2009, p. 113) and so can be a cause for stigma if they remained unanswered, but in societies in which diverse family forms are increasingly common, this explanation seems unable to fully account for the intensity with which many conduct searches for their kin. It seems likely that these questions are also important because they speak directly to the decisions and conditions that led to one's very existence, and not knowing their answers leaves a lacuna right at the closest link of a chain that could connect one - in a meaning-providing way - to one's forebears.


In sum, I agree with Velleman (2005) that knowing one's family history provides a broad context "in which large stretches of my own life can take on meaning in relation to the story of my ancestors" (pp. 375-376). However, while Velleman saw this as being indicative of the inherent importance of biological ties, I argue it is simply the current manifestation of a deeper human propensity to position one's own life story within a broader, meaning-providing narrative. While the grand narratives of traditional societies (such as myths, creation stories, religious and spiritual beliefs) give their members the means to express this propensity, the grand narratives of contemporary society leave people wanting. In the absence of meaning-providing grand narratives (and in the presence of secularism, scientism and consumerism), people's biological history and ancestry have become common ways for them to attempt to position their own lives within a broader context. Thus, Haslanger's (2009) suggestion of resisting bionormativity by disrupting "old ideologies of the family" ignores both the human propensity for meaning and some of the central features of the current social order.
Those involved in debates over issues such as adoption, surrogacy and donor insemination often come down on one or the other side of the classic nature/nurture divide. Many, like Velleman, take what is basically an essentialist approach, seeing biological relationships as inherently valuable. Such authors run the risk of naturalising what are actually socially constructed phenomena, and supporting conservative conceptions of family life. Others, like Haslanger, adopt more of a constructivist position, arguing that the value of biological ties is socially constructed, and that it can and should be challenged. These authors have a tendency to overestimate the extent to which individuals in the post-traditional order are able to fashion their own identities, and risk trivialising the deep importance that many attribute to biological connections. As is almost always the case when the nature/nurture problem surfaces in a particular debate, the complex realities of the human situation are not properly captured by polarised philosophical positions.
Although the argument I present in this chapter needs a much broader treatment than I can give it here, I hope to have at least initiated a conversation, and to have demonstrated that there may be ways to conceive of the importance of biological ties that adequately account for the characteristics of contemporary society.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Adopted Child's Forced Compliance in the "Adopted Child Role"


The Forced Compliance of "Adopted Child Role"

The "adopted child role" is the adopted child's suppression of biological and genetic traits, behaviors and the painstaking efforts that the adopted child's submission of their natural spontaneous and true personality... to instead play or act out the "GOOD adopted child role". The adopted child is motivated to form the good-adopted child persona that consists of the adoptive parent's high regard for adoptive family behavioral likeness, similar and behaviorally expected identified personality traits that are considered agreeable to the adoptive parent. 

The "adopted child role" must be consistently maintained, afforded great efforts by the adopted child and constantly worked to test the roles ability to produce the expected positive responses from the adoptive parents. Unfortunately the "adopted child role" does not evolve, grow up or change to reveal an adult under the adopted child role. The adopted child role is a one-dimensional character is written for the adoptive parent's benefit to produce their happiness, show them that their adopted child is compliant and prove that the adopted child has a submissive nature to the adoptive parents. The motivation for the adopted child role stems from the outsider adopted child need to fit in the group that they do not biologically belong to. To survive the adopted childhood without another adoption, and for the adopted child to pretend in acting like the adoptive family the best way that a juvenile unskilled actor can provide in face of their daily uncertainty for the adopted child's unskilled concept of the future.      

Social influence occurs when one's emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales and marketing. In 1958, Harvard psychologist, Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.
  1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others, but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
  2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
  3. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.

Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard described two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others. These include our need to be right (informational social influence), and our need to be liked (normative social influence). Informational influence (or social proof) is an influence to accept information from another as evidence about reality. Informational influence comes into play when people are uncertain, either because stimuli are intrinsically ambiguous or because there is social disagreement. Normative influence is an influence to conform to the positive expectations of others. In terms of Kelman's typology, normative influence leads to public compliance, whereas informational influence leads to private acceptance.

1) Compliance

Compliance is the act of responding favorably to an explicit or implicit request offered by others. Technically, compliance is a change in behavior but not necessarily attitude- one can comply due to mere obedience, or by otherwise opting to withhold one’s private thoughts due to social pressures. According to Kelman’s 1958 paper, the satisfaction derived from compliance is due to the social effect of the accepting influence (i.e. people comply for an expected reward or punishment-aversion).

2) Identification

Identification is the changing of attitudes or behaviors due to the influence of someone that is liked. Advertisements that rely upon celebrities to market their products are taking advantage of this phenomenon, especially in the marketing of child adoption culture The desired relationship that the identifier relates with the behavior or attitude change is the “reward”, according to Kelman.

3) Internalization

Internalization is the process of acceptance of a set of norms established by people or groups which are influential to the individual. The individual accepts the influence because the content of the influence accepted is intrinsically rewarding. It is congruent with the individual’s value system, and according to Kelman the “reward” of internalization is “the content of the new behavior”.


Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in behavior, belief or thinking to align with those of others or to align with normative standards. It is the most common and pervasive form of social influence. Social psychology research in conformity tends to distinguish between two varieties Informational Conformity: (also called social proof, or "internalization" in Kelman's terms ) and normative conformity ("compliance" in Kelman's terms).
In the case of peer pressure, a person is convinced to do something (such as drugs) which they might not want to do, but which they perceive as "necessary" to keep a positive relationship with other people, such as their friends. Conformity from peer pressure generally results from identification within the group members, or from compliance of some members to appease others.
Conformity can be in appearance, or it may be a complete conformity that impacts an individual both publicly and privately.
Compliance (also referred to as acquiescence) demonstrates a public conformity to a group majority or norm while the individual continues to privately disagree or dissent, holding on to their original beliefs or an alternative set of beliefs differing from the majority. Compliance appears as conformity but there is a division between the public and the private self.
Conversion includes the private acceptance that is absent in compliance. The individual’s original behaviour, beliefs, or thinking changes to align with that of others (the influencers) both privately as well as publicly. The individual has accepted the behavior, belief or thinking, and has internalized it, making it their own. Conversion may also refer to individual members of a group who move from their initial (and varied) positions to the same position of others, which may differ from their original positions. The resulting group position may be a hybrid of various aspects of individual initial positions or it may be an alternative independent of the initial positions reached through consensus.
What appears to be conformity may in fact be congruence. Congruence occurs when an individual’s behavior, belief or thinking is already aligned with that of the others and no change occurs.
In situations where conformity (including compliance, conversion and congruence) is absent, there are non-conformity processes such as independence and anti-conformity. Independence (also referred to as dissent) involves an individual, through their actions and/or inactions, or the public expression of their beliefs or thinking, being aligned with their personal standards but inconsistent with that of other members of the group (either all of the group or a majority). Anti-conformity (also referred to as counter-conformity) may appear as independence but lacks alignment with personal standards and is for the purpose of challenging the group. Actions as well as stated opinions and beliefs are often diametrically opposed to that of the group norm or majority. The underlying reasons for this type of behavior may be rebelliousness/obstinacy or it may be to ensure all alternatives and view points are given due consideration.