The Oct. 27 BDN printed a letter regarding pet adoption. Although I do not discredit the Bangor Humane Society’s extreme need for the program, I do question the free use of the word “adoption.”
“Adopt-a-confusion” is the title of an excellent article about this issue written by Pat Johnston, an infertility and adoption educator, from her book, “Adopting after Infertility.” Is point is that adoptive families are getting more and more concerned about the negative impact of programs taking the “adopt-a” theme. People are urged to adopt zoo animals, highways, whales, manatees, patches of rain forest, parks, etc. The worthiness of these programs is not in question, it is the misuse of the word “adoption.” The primary definition describes the legal process of transferring parental rights from the birthparents to adoptive parents.
Those of us who are adoptive parents believe these programs trivialize a serious topic. Though they may seem harmless to abstract thinking in adults, they confuse and alarm children.
On the surface, these programs seem like human adoption, in that there is actually an approval process. Despite the good intentions of these programs, they can be very confusing to children. When problems arise with the adopted animal, another home would have to be found for the animal or return it to the Humane Society. This provokes nightmares and various other frightening types of behavior among these children who were adopted themselves.
Adoption is a process by which families are planned and formed. Trivializing something so precious in a commercial way insults birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees.
For a copy of “Adopt-a-confusion,” write to The Infertility and Adoption Publisher, P.O. Box 90318, Indianapolis, Ind. 46290-0318. Lori Griffin Liberty