I don’t know how many times, during my conversations with Holt, that they said “sorry.” But it wasn’t, “We’re deeply sorry and apologize for the grievous impact our past actions have had on your life.” No. It was, “sorry, we can’t help you.”
They were not sorry for dragging me through years of distress during my search. They were not sorry for attempting to with-hold documents upon request.
The only thing they were sorry about was me exposing them.
(I’m not counting on a formal apology anytime soon, btw.)
Their policies are PROTECTIONIST. Their policies systematically filter out problematic adoptee cases and frustrate the search efforts of those adoptees during a highly vulnerable time, over an emotionally charged subject, by introducing data piece-meal and dragging out the process.
Had I allowed the Holt process to proceed without question, I never would have known about the existence of girl#4709, and her existence would have been kept to themselves. Once they realized the existence of girl#4709 was problematic, instead of pulling out all stops to confirm or disprove the possibility there could be a blood relationship, they chose instead to INVALIDATE that question every step of the way. And so, any avenues to contact girl#4709 were thwarted due to their invalidating that possibility. They only complied upon pressure of public exposure, and even then they frustrated that search effort by conveniently omitting to pass on to her the evidence which introduced the possibility, denying her informed consent to contact. They also chose to ignore girl#4709’s positive response to exploring the possibility, introducing once again their process which has frustration designed into it.
This is how my wonderful adoption agency, the adoption agency which delivers the “gold standard” of adoption programs, the one who purportedly only acts in the best interest of the child, really treats their adoptees.
You know, I’ve been very conservative and up until this point today have been reticent to go so far as to say adoption in general is human trafficking, because trafficking connotes slavery and bondage. But as a subject of the so-called benevolence of their brokering, whose interests were ignored from the very first day and continue to be ignored in such an inhumane manner, I can most definitely say, without any compunction, that adoption as practiced in my lifetime and continuing today (obfuscation and/or obliteration of identities and guarded and selective adoptee records access), can only conclude that this lack of humanity towards adult adoptees indicates that adoption is nothing more than the marketing of humans as objects, as salable goods.
It is clear from both our files that any vital records are entire fabrications. And my records have visibly been tampered with at a later date. And yet these fabricated records are the documents upon which they base their justifications of everything which makes us salable. That’s the beauty of identity reassignment, and of being orphans on paper: without protections for a person’s identity (such as don’t exist in Korea even today) it’s very easy to make every person’s adoption beginning a dead end. By the very nature of identity reassignment, it is ripe for mistakes and abuse and past mistakes and abuse are very unflattering for an industry that does not want to be held accountable for things they should probably be held accountable for, as accountable as any other business or organization – especially when the business is the movement of people.
THIS is why only 2.7% of adoptees succeed in finding their families. Because the records not only document adoptee history, but also document the adoption industry’s process, their power to radically alter lives without oversight, and because finding family shows how social histories have been altered and fabricated.
HOW MANY adoptees had another life? other family members? were not orphans? were wrongfully sent abroad? were actually trafficked? We will never know, because most adoptees are unaware of how the adoption industry’s process manipulates them, and even if they become aware, we are powerless against protectionist laws that favor industries with lawyers and lobbyists. And of course, us not knowing is good for the adoption industry, that is how they would like it to stay, and that is why they resist changes to adoption law that comply with United Nations conventions on Rights of the Child to basic issues such as identity. And ethics!…
Never mind the hypocrisy of Susan Cox (who, btw, shamelessly signed up for my facebook group Korean Adoptees for Fair Records Access) giving Holt credit for helping draft the Hague Convention on adoption ethics and bemoaning how the “convention” wouldn’t have been ratified unless countries (like the United States) weren’t still allowed to adopt from countries who DIDN’T comply…Never mind how that public moral high ground didn’t stop Holt International from taking the low road and CONTINUING TO SOURCE BABIES FROM MANY NON HAGUE CONVENTION COUNTRIES while advertising how they conform to the Hague Convention. Small point that potential adoptive parents wouldn’t notice…
For the adoptees who weren’t abused and who live the best outcomes, such issues might not concern you as much, but, depending on where in your adoption journey you’ve decided to rest, there may come a day where you change your mind and will desire access to your true histories, so you should be concerned about records access options being open and fair. All adoptees, even adoption-loving adoptees who support adoption, should question why adoption industry policy does not seek transparency and to rectify any past mistakes or abuses. If they have nothing to be ashamed of in how they conduct their business today, then they should be 100% forthright TODAY.
But obviously, they’re not.