Indoctrination Through Adoption

Osolomama’s recent post, Adoption: When Satan Doesn’t Want You To, brings up the disturbingly increasing trend of fundamentalist Christians who are adopting so as to indoctrinate children into their particular flavor of Christianity. Before I get into this, let me point out that I don’t have a problem with Christianity per se. I do, however, have a problem with ANY religion that attempts to impose itself upon others, especially children who have no ability to stand up for themselves.
Witness (heh) some of these quotes from evangelicals attempting to justify their actions:
  • The Lord is calling them to that ministry.
  • [God] predestined the path of the child by adoption.
  • Adoption is war because Satan and unseen beings contest it. They oppose adoption . . .
(Shouldn’t that be a corellary to Godwin’s Law: that if you bring up Satan in an argument it’s automatically over?)
But what is most horrifying is the quote in the comments, from an adoptive parent’s blog:

“we also have the advantage of understanding our host culture’s worldview and their very deep superstitious beliefs. thus, we were not surprised that sterling was given to us with a jade luck charm – a buddhist charm meant to bring good luck, fortune and protection. we, however, know that this charm is associated with spiritual forces meant to keep people in bondage. thus, we smiled and accepted it as we should, and then later went to the park, broke it, and threw it into the pond, and prayed for our sterling that all spiritual bondage over him would be broken. these spiritual forces are alive and real, and manifest themselves in more obvious ways (but with the same degree of power) than in the west, but we know that the power and grace of the God who created the heavens and the earth is infinitely greater than the forces of evil.”

On behalf of the adoptee in question, I am F—ING PISSED. These adopters had absolutely no business breaking that charm, which the adoptee might very well have cherished throughout his life as a tangible link to his past. This isn’t about “breaking the spiritual bondage over him”, it’s about imposing their own flavor of spiritual bondage, not to mention their claim on him to the utter exclusion of his birth parents. And since when is Buddhism evil? Do they even know the first thing about Buddhism? To make the child witness this… what a horrific thing to do, telling the kid his culture and heritage is evil, which by extension means his birth family and he, himself, are also. How the hell do people like this pass home studies? (Never mind. We all know home studies aren’t worth crap.)
People like this scare the, ahem, bejesus out of me. If you don’t believe exactly what they believe, you are E-VIL. Is that really what a Christian savior and a loving God would want? Don’t you think there’s room in God’s creation for a little Buddhist peace, or Jewish prayer, or Wiccan love? I pray that any adoptee who has the misfortune to be adopted by such perverse indoctrinators finds it within themselves to seek out their own spirituality, whatever that may be. As long as we all try our best to be good, kind, compassionate people, it doesn’t matter if we pray to God or Goddess or the Spaghetti Monster. Geez, didn’t you people read The Chronicles Of Narnia (written by a Christian, no less):

For I [Aslan] and he [Tash] are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

If you can’t be open-minded about the culture and religion from which the child comes, you have no goddamn business adopting!


  1. … holy crap.

    That little boy might have considered that jade charm to be special when he grew up… something he could recognize as a link to his heritage.


  2. Mei-Ling, if I had something like that from my birth family it would be a priceless treasure. The pictures of the boy staring into the pond after it’s broken are just heartbreaking. How could anyone be that cruel?

  3. Thanks, Triona–I am right pissed at that story too! Was thinking about it all the way to the grocery store and back. Appreciate you reposting.

  4. Hi Osolomama–I appreciate your bringing it up. I think indoctrination through adoption is another one of those topics no one really wants to touch. The idea that it’s getting more prevalent is really scary.

  5. Triona, one of the other commentators on my post (anonadoptee) went to the jade-smashing blog and called them on a few things. She writes about it here:

  6. Thanks for the link, osolomama! I went over and posted a comment there too. I feel really sorry for this poor kid who has just gotten a very clear message that any concerns or feelings he has about his adoption are not going to be welcome.

  7. They actually have pictures of the boy looking into the pond…he had to WITNESS this act? That’s emotionally abusive in my opinion, and no, I don’t care about any religious arguments that attempt to justify such an act. It was clearly meant to degrade his heritage and congratulate the adopters for being the oh-so-noble redeemers of savages and heathens. Nauseating.

    BTW, the word verfication for this post was “dermonse.” Could that be how the heathens call upon the “demons!?” OMG, Satan has taken over your blog (or maybe just Buddhists). Either way, run for your life!

  8. maybe–I agree, it was emotionally abusive, both to do it and to force him to witness it.

    As for “dermonse” we’ve all known for years that computers are possessed! 🙂

  9. There are two children and one is a child of a friend–that is the child looking down. The baby is a baby–13 months. Mercicully has not seen anything.

    You should see the part where they announced the kid’s name to the family by sticking it in a fortune cookie.

  10. Thanks for the clarification, osolomama. Even if the child is only 13mos, given the environment he’s being raised in you know there will be more incidents like this in the future. I wonder what the other child thought of all this?

    Fortune cookie… ugh!

  11. http://Arietty says

    That was a very sad story. I know an evangelical christian family who adopted a little boy from an orphanage in Thailand. He was wearing one of these bracelets and the meaning of it was explained to them. They never took it off and when the threads eventually wore it through they saved it in a box with the photos and info from the orphanage for him. His adopted mom saw it as a gift from people he would not remember that cared about him and she was very happy to have it for him! So terrible to read about people regarding such a thing with fear.

  12. Thank you for this.

    I agree totally with all other comments.

    In a sense, aren’t all adoptees given the message that their past is somehow “bad” – if not evil? Why else keep it a secret and why else does US law CHANGE NAMES and eradicating the past – break it, throw it away.

    Why else are many warned that to search might open a Pandora’s box of pain?

    And today – isn’t international adoption all abut SAVING and RESCUING kids from an alleged HORRID situation?

    For more on the role of the religious right and their new found zeal for adoption:


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  14. Mirah said: “In a sense, aren’t all adoptees given the message that their past is somehow “bad” – if not evil? Why else keep it a secret and why else does US law CHANGE NAMES and eradicating the past – break it, throw it away. Why else are many warned that to search might open a Pandora’s box of pain?”

    Speaking as an adoptee, I certainly felt as though there was something wrong or bad about my past which was why my adoptive parents refused to discuss it. And I get really sick of the double standard that genealogy is not only fun but a healthy and worthwhile pursuit–unless you’re adopted, in which case you’re made to feel shameful for asking the exact same questions non-adopted people ask.

    Improper–To paraphrase Shakespeare, I think there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in most people’s philosophies. Having my own (biological) children has convinced me that nothing can fully replicate the reality of blood ties. You can have the best adoptive family in the world but there is still something missing not growing up with blood relations. You just can’t substitute for it. And I think to most people who are not touched by adoption, that is such a basic axiom that they have a hard time comprehending the problem, because they have never had that part of themselves missing.

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