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Feminist Bastards and adult adoptees writing adoption and reproductive autonomy

Regular readers here will recognize my own ongoing writings concerning the intersections of race, poverty, fertility and lack thereof, and adoption and international adoption, (from my own radical, or “to the root,” feminist perspective.)

Unlike the landscape even a decade ago, we are seeing more feminists willing to explore some of those intersections, examining them with a critical eye.

Mothers (of origin) have long voiced precisely these concerns, but with the normalization of, (and gold rush mentality in) international adoption, the intersection of “supply” and “demand” are being examined in new ways precisely because it has now taken on the form of coming in from somewhere (and someone) else.

While such should have been questioned domestically as well, many were unwilling to explore such. After all, the act and potential damage done was often explained away by speaking about it in terms of what was best for a minor, “parental rights”/parental ownership, and later dismissed under marketing language such as “choice.” The victims were ‘mere’ womyn, sometimes young womyn.

With the influx of international adoptees however, now international adoption is being questioned under broader themes such as colonialism, global resource extraction, and international marketplace concerns. While the victims are still “mere womyn” they are womyn somewhere else that fit into other broader narratives relating to “the world of men” in ways that domestic adoption simply didn’t.

Naturally, some of that questioning is coming from other feminist adult adoptees ourselves.

Those not directly affected by, or consumers of adoption would do well to listen to the voices of direct personal experience.

In any case, just as I approach such from the standpoint of a domestically adopted radical feminist perspective, here, for example in Katie Leo’s article Feminist lens on adoption, readers can find the perspective of an internationally adopted feminist adult adoptee feeling her own way around the issues. Ms. Leo addresses such from the dual perspectives of both being an adopted person and of one who has contemplated adoption herself.

(No I’m not saying I agree with everything in the article, I’m merely pointing out that we have areas of overlap and similar bookshelves when it comes to researching some of those intersections.)

The article is worth the read and provides a good overview on much of the theorizing to date.

Specifically, the article, like Rickie Solinger’s book “Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States,” explains why the consumerist language of “choice” in relation to reproductive autonomy is language feminist Bastards and adult adoptees often reject.

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