Why is it Important to Consult with Adoptees on Policy?

By Antonio Manuel Cadenillas Diaz, Peruvian adoptee raised in Canada

It seems absurd to me to think the opposite of what I once thought, but it hasn’t always been like that. I once thought adoption was for the best. I still get told I am lucky to be adopted. I even believed it, until I couldn’t anymore. Now, I think that luck doesn’t disempower women to the point of cornering them into relinquishing their babies. Luck doesn’t shame or coerce single mothers into relinquishing their babies. Luck doesn’t kidnap babies to sell to people from developed countries. Luck doesn’t make a mother sick with worry about her lost child because she has no idea where they are. Luck doesn’t take children from families that are still looking for them to give them to another family in a foreign country.

I am not an orphan. When I ended up in an orphanage, my parents were still alive.

Would a doctor treat a conscious patient without asking them any questions? What if you go see a therapist and they tell you to close your mouth and listen to him for the entire session. Would you want another session with him? Would you go to the restaurant and let the server pick your meal for you? Could non-drivers make enlightened decisions regarding safe driving policies? What could go wrong?

More than ever, it is time that adoptees take a seat at the table when it comes to policies regarding adoptees and adoption. The invizibilization of adoptees when forging effective adoption policies doesn’t serve their best interest. Especially if the alternative is more insights from problematic adoption agencies, religious institutions or adoptive parents. More than anybody, adoptees know what’s best for adoptees!

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