Just read an academic article which was recently published in an academic journal where I am referred to and quoted quite extensively and both by the author/scholar and by an informant as a kind of a political extremist when it comes to the field of transnational and transracial adoption studies and which I find a bit disturbing as this is an academic article in an academic journal which is written by a researcher – selected extracts from the article:
”Hubinette, a researcher and a political activist interested in issues of adoption and racism especially as it focuses on the adoption community of Korea, describes the origins of transnational and interracial adoptions in his words as “forced child migration”… In the 1950s, the practice was initiated as a rescue mission with strong Christian fundamentalist and particularly Lutheran undertones, while it came to be perceived as a progressive act of solidarity during the left liberal 1960s and 1970s. Today, and since the 1980s, international adoption has developed into a consumerist choice in the leading adopting countries and regions of the United States and Scandinavia.
In regard to these suggestions that international adoptions, including Holt International Children’s Services adoption, could be categorized as a type of child trafficking or forced migration, in conversation with a colleague about this research, Patterson, an adoptive mother and adult education researcher responded:
”He (Hubinette) could not be more wrong . . . While I have no doubt that some individuals and even agencies do traffic children, Holt International is not one of them. In Korea, according to Bertha Holt who I met before her passing, the biracial children of Korean nationals and US soldiers were summarily rejected and frequently left to die.”
Patterson goes on to clarify that Holt International adoptions, one of the largest and most successful international adoption agencies, cannot be characterized and is the furthest thing from a “consumerist choice, child migration, or trafficking.”
But for Hubinette, international adoptions, which are frequently transracial, are the privilege of whites; thus in a postcolonial world the extension of colonial privilege and hegemony. Postcolonialist theorists… view (is) perhaps encapsulated in Hubinette and Arvanitakis’s (2012) quote about what they call the “glorification of today’s white adopters of Third World children:
”…interracial families and transracial adoptions of our time seek to complete the processes of conceptualized and autochtonisation, thereby encapsulating the desire to live with and become the Other in a way that had not been accomplished previously. Here we see the division between the Western Self and the non-Western Other collapse into an antiracist transracial fantasy of postcolonial reconciliation, white cosmopolitanism and a vision of a future global family . . . white people can finally feel that they are comfortable with non-white people and at home in the non-Western world.”
Patterson has taken argument with Hubinette and Arvanitakis’s terminology of “glorification” and “fantasy of postcolonial reconciliation,” stating:
”What if the adoptive parents aren’t glorified? Some people have praised us for taking an orphan from overseas, stating how “good” we were and what a “blessing” it was for our daughter to have us. We had to reply that we were the ones who were blessed by her coming into our family. Other people have been highly critical . . . constantly being noticed for our decision, or having to explain the relationship to strangers, doesn’t feel much like glorification!”.
Patterson goes on to say:
”It is an interesting word choice, this “fantasy.”When you are up with a sick child in the night who is howling because she has an ear infection, or sitting with her as she struggles line by line through a difficult homework assignment, there is no fantasy, only harsh reality, that of a child who needs her parent.”