An adoptee-centred approach to adoption is important for a healthy relationship

| Sara-Jayne King spoke to Parent 24 Journalist - Samantha Herbst about adoption.

  • There's a growing community of adult adoptees sharing their lived experience on social media

  • Many people dismiss the adoptee's feelings at various stages during the adoption process

  • Adoptees are often told to be grateful as adoption has offered them an opportunity at a 'better life'



A Cape Town family has spoken about the importance of adoption and the safety of abandoned children. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/Eyewitness News

Over the past few years, a growing community of adult adoptees on social media have been sharing their lived experiences of adoption.

Amongst many reasons, they have spoken up because generally, conversations around adoption tend to exclude the people most affected by it - the adoptees. This then perpetuates the narrative that the adoption process is a win-win and 'rainbows and unicorns' for all parties involved.

Parents adopt children for various reasons - including trying to keep the children away from an environment of social ills like substance abuse, violence and even poverty.

It's for this reason that adoptees are often told to show more gratitude to their caregivers and guardians for adopting them.

Journalist at Parent24, Samantha Herbst has been exploring this topic in depth and written a series of articles about it.

She says not having adoptees as a prominent voice in the conversation around adoption can be problematic.

Not many people tell biological children to be grateful. Why say that to your adopted child? Because a child, is a child, is a child.

Samantha Herbst, journalist at Parent24

If we lived in a perfect world, adoption wouldn't exist.

Samantha Herbst, journalist at Parent24

This child coming into your home is not as a result of your big heart. It's a result of really terrible things that have happened in our country and a trauma that exists.

Samantha Herbst, journalist at Parent24

Listen to the audio for more.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : An adoptee-centred approach to adoption is important for a healthy relationship

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