Today we are bringing you an anonymous post from an adoptive mum who interviewed her son.
He’s 9 and has been home for 8 years, developmentally he’s doing mostly fine, although lacks some emotional understanding.
The mum involved wants to stress that this was conducted with express permission from her son, who understands that his answers are going to be published online – he wants to get his views across…
Do you know what adoption means?
Yes I do.
Why do people have to be adopted?
Because their mum and dad can’t look after them properly, even though they might want them to stay.
Do you feel different to your friends?
Yeah, because I’m adopted and they’re not. But I like football and they like football so in some ways we’re not different….I don’t know why I feel like I am. I just am.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be adopted?
Not sure…well it’s a bad thing of course.
Do you ever think about your birth mum?
Sometimes…not sure what though. I want to see my birth dad sometimes too.
Would you like to meet your brothers and sisters?
What would you say to them?
I don’t know. We’d probably argue like I do with <my adoptive sister>.
Do you think it’s good that people want to adopt…
Yes, so like the child/ren won’t be treated bad, because the first parents might treat the child bad. They might tell lies to them which is bad, or they might smoke, or do the wrong stuff like feeding the wrong milk, or maybe worse.
Do you think it’s good that you were adopted then?
Yes, kind of…it makes me feel sad, but I don’t know why. But it is a good thing.
Would you like to meet some other children who are adopted?
Yeah, it would be cool.
What would you talk about?
I dunno, like other boy stuff –football probably. Maybe the other things they’re into.
If I had a choice, I wouldn’t want to be adopted – my birth parents might be nice, but they didn’t treat me right and I might have died as a baby.
Do you think children should get to choose their adoptive parents?
Yeah older kids should be able to.
Do you think you should have got to choose?
Yeah, but I was only like a year old, a baby, so I couldn’t have made a choice, and anyway, there was only you to choose from wasn’t there??!!
Is there anything you want to say to people who are thinking about adoption?
Yes, be careful because the child you want to adopt might be ill. Or they might have things wrong in their brain – like me. Like it didn’t all grow properly. Be careful and learn about brain stuff, and having fun because love and cuddles and having fun can help fix a kids brain, even when it’s really broken like I think mine is. Hang on…if my brain hasn’t grown properly is there a hole in it where my memories might fall out? Is that why I forget stuff at school?
Thank you to our interviewer and interviewee, it’s very insightful to see how a young man thinks and feel about adoption. We know that the conversation continued with questions that are more personal and pertinent to the individual, and mum felt like she’d had a real breakthrough and a proper connection moment. This is the first time she’s ever talked with her son in such a structured manner.
Have you ever had a conversation like this with your children? It’s quite frank, is that an approach you would use?