The "Both and" of National Adoption Month and Pie


National Adoption Month is upon us, and the usual rhetoric of the joyous miracle of "forever families" and the wounds and angst of "flip the script" from adult adoptees are flooding social media. As with much of the current social and political landscape, passionate -- even sometimes vehement -- voices take their stand and refuse to acknowledge that people who see things differently than themselves have an IQ over 60, or valid lived experiences that may differ from their own. Adoption, too, has sadly become a conversation of "either or" rather than "both and."

Is it true that the overwhelming majority of adoptive parents embrace the challenge because they want a family, have love to give, and are moved to provide a home for a child who needs one? Yes.

Is it also true that, through the years, the good intentions of adoption have been besmirched by corruption, abuse, shame, secrecy, and damaging unintended outcomes? Yes.

So, if both of these things are true, is adoption good or evil? Should it be promoted or discontinued? Is the adoption system a compassionate social service, or a greedy, thinly veiled international gray market child trafficking ring? The "either or" approach is easier than "both and" thinking, because it involves less complex reasoning, less energy, and it's easy to divide the world into us vs. them.