elle cuardaigh

The Flip The Script Backlash


*Anyone else who tried to leave a comment on this woman’s blog may publish it here. Just copy/paste it into the comment section below.*

I’m only surprised this didn’t happen during National Adoption Awareness Month:


This is my comment. I doubt it will make it past moderation, so will post it here:

‘Those who are “flipping the script” aren’t adoptees who are happy and content with their adoption experience, they’re the ones who are angered, feel like something was done to them.’

Hello. I’m one of “those” adoptees. One that you conveniently divided into two camps, content or angry. Only I am neither. I have felt both emotions, on occasion, but I cannot be summed up this way. My life continues, and every day of my life, I am adopted. I have a myriad of feelings about this and I always will.

If you had read more of Flip The Script, you would have discovered that adoptees want to be heard as complex, evolving individuals. Our voices are routinely silenced. We are expected to be content, grateful, and quiet, no matter how our lives have been shaped by adoption.

Yes, adoption should be a last resort. Most of the time, it is not. Yes, children like yours, who were actually at risk and in foster care, should be adopted or at least cared for away from their biological families. But you have to admit, most adoptees have not had your son’s experience. I was adopted simply because my mother was not married at the time of my birth and in the 1960s, that was an intolerable situation. Even though standards have changed, I am still expected to be grateful for being taken out of that situation, for being separated from my mother (who is and was a perfectly capable parent), for missing out on knowing my brothers and sisters growing up, for being placed in a home with a medically fragile adoptive mother and a violent sociopathic brother.

When people hear this, they say as a knee-jerk reaction, “Well I’m sorry for your experience, but *I* know an adoptee who….” Yeah, spare me. I know at least a hundred adoptees and there are a hundred stories to go with each one, and none of it justifies glossing over our collective pain.

Frankly, I’m sick of being told not only how to feel, but *what* I feel. I am in my 50s, but because I am adopted, I am a forever child. And I’d better be grateful about that.

So no, we will not take a separate month to express our feelings. We are the adoptees. We have finally found our voice. And we will use it.

Elle Cuardaigh is author of The Tangled Red Thread and contributor to The Adoptee Survival Guide