For this year’s National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM), I am dedicating posts to covering recent adoption topics and more. National Adoption Awareness Month first started as an initiative to spread awareness of the need for permanent families for youth in the U.S. foster system. Although it was originally intended to focus on spreading awareness of the need for families, many adoptees have since reclaimed it to spread awareness of their stories and other aspects of adoption.
As an international, transracial adoptee, I am reminded to uplift adoptee voices during NAAM, as well as first family and foster family voices.
Especially this year, when adoption has been put under the national spotlight, we need to especially advocate for adoptee voices when the dominant narrative has mostly highlighted adoptive parents and white saviors. I haven’t spoken much on this, primarily because I needed to hold emotional space for myself, but it is an area that I will continue to do advocacy in. An adoptee’s stories are theirs to tell and theirs to tell only. The narrative around adoptees will continue to be centered around the “happy-go-lucky” adoptee narrative until we #flipthescript.
This year also reminds me that we need to continue to advocate for adoption reform and discuss the systemic issues surrounding international and domestic adoption. Not only is this not talked about often, but the research surrounding adoption is primarily focused on adoptive parents and not the global impacts of a for-profit adoption system.
I hope to share more of my adoption story this month to reflect on my journey and to share more resources for adoptees. During this month, the narrative should be centered on voices that haven’t traditionally been heard, and it is a reminder to all of us to consider all aspects of adoption, not just the “forever family” stories.