Why is Adoptee anger legitimate?

Have you ever met an adoptee who somehow struggles to agree that adoption is a thoroughly positive win – win scenario? Have you ever met an adoptee who expresses negative emotions and even an anger you simply cannot understand? If this concept appears perplexing to you then look no further.

While there are many factors to adoption that could be seen as redeeming factors and some even are redeeming factors such as financial prosperity that should not be overlooked there are varying losses suffered by the adoptee that likely are not readily seen by some who do no know the adoption experience the same way as we do.

There are a key number of things that could be lost and will take some work to regain (if possible). The main ones are our biological families, our sense of belonging (and parts of identity relating to this), our nations*, our national culture both historic and contemporary with all the idiosyncrasies that go with it* amongst others.

*international adoptees only

Adoption itself is complex mentally on all parts of the traid** but it can be quite a mental process for the adoptees themselves. Different adoptees come to process their feelings surrounding their adoption at different times and the time spent processing each aspect mentally can differ greatly. It’s therefore possible for the adoptee to be in a stage where they are angry at the situation itself. It’s possible to feel a myriad of feelings and some can overlap.

** the triad is A) biological family B) adoptee C) adoptive family

In many cases the anger is an emotion that will pass after the adoptee has processed their feelings and done what is they need to do to personally find closure and move on. However some can be in this stage for extended periods and some may never leave it entirely. This is OK and a valid way to feel..

If you are not an adoptee and are a bystander then its highly inconsiderate to call an adoptee and angry adoptee, even if on the surface that’s how the situation appears to be. This person will likely have a mental struggle or even a few of them in their head and they may be processing it as best they can but are noticeably experiencing emotional discomfort. This can be true even when steps are being taken to “rectify the situation as best as possible” by the adoptee.

Many of us feel as though on some level held back by the “adoption is all flowers and rainbows” narrative offered by society at large. While most of us would admit to there being positives included in the experience most feel that should not take away our legitimate right to feel upset (or even angry) and even voice our feelings in order to let them out. This narrative can overbear us and some can grow immensely tired of “soothing other people” when we ourselves quite rightly have concerns to tend to of our own.

In adoptees depression as not uncommon and the adoptee suicide rate is higher than that of non adopted persons. There can be vast gaps in one’s sense of self and belonging which can evoke strong feelings including depression. Extended periods of depression can ultimately turn into suicidal ideation. Please think about telling us “how to feel” before you do so as these issues are very real for a lot of us and you could potentially cause more damage, even if you are unaware you are.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

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