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Identity


Oh I get so annoyed when I read things like this: 

"While adoption can provide security for a child, it can also have serious implications for the child's sense of identity. For this reason, we pursue adoption within a child's own country, when it is in their best interests and when the child has no known family or cannot be reunited with them."

 This is from an UK based organisation who is involved in 'deinstitutionalisation' of Eastern Europe. So their idea is get them out of a institution and put them in a foster family, domestic adoption not so much, and certainly not intercountry adoption.

Oh my. 

What is this obsession that people have with identity?

 

You would think that the only way an individual could define themselves is through their family or tribe. It is such an outdated and narrow point of view.

Identity is not fixed. It is not one single thing that you come with and have to wear for the whole of your life. It is fluid and forever changing. It is manifold and expanding, flows with time and interests that those that surround one. One day a country child, the next a punk, later to be an independent thinker, then a philosopher. And also influenced by the thinkings of our time. It is a one of Raymond's 'big' word of which there is no fixed definition - and to give it one is reductionist and dangerous.

I would bet my bottom dollar that having the love and security of an adopted family will give a damn sight more sense of identity and self esteem, then growing up with people who are being paid to look after you and the minute you turn 16, they turn the back on you. 

These kids will be so busy trying to scrabble a life together, the luxurty of 'identity' will by pass them altogether.

Adoption is inclusion and thus safety.  My child's identity is shaped by his history, my history, our present geographical location, our international family, our group of friends, his peers, technology and ownership of it, hobbies, skills, education, play, latest pop music, teenagehood and I can go on. He is a multifaceted human being, and I would be shocked and horrified to think that he will identify himself in 6 years time in the way he identifies himself today. Of course he won't. He has a strong sense of self. And a self that he loves, values, appreciates and respects. 

Now, that comes from international adoption - I would like to compare and contrast with one of his orphanage peers. What do you think their sense of identity would be? A foster kid that nobody wants. Now if that is not a serious implications of identity, I don't know what is.

It would be interesting to ask the aged out youngsters who live in the sewers of East European cities if they would have liked to have had a family, any family? Or if they are happy knowing that they could have, but some organisation in the UK decided that they were worried about their identity, so decided to ensure that they couldn't ever have a family.

I don't wonder what their answer will be, I know.

 


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