Signs of Adopter Savior Syndrome


I just saw this on Coloring Out Lori Jane and I had to post it. I have come across so many people like this. Yes, we’d like to adopt too, but I am already complete. I was a complete human being before I got married and I chose to marry another complete human being. We are a family. We don’t need kids to make us feel any kind of way. We’d love to raise children if there are children that need a stable home, but if we never adopt we’ll be fine.

Anyhoo … check out the whole article here, and here a few signs of Adoption Savior Syndrome:

Ask your adult Adoptee about A.S.S. if you experience the urgent and persistent need to adopt in order to become a complete person.

If you are a White adoptive parent who has engaged in the transnational adoption process in order to adopt an ethnic baby, you may suffer from a severe case of A.S.S.

Symptoms of Adopter Savior Syndrome include:

  • White Jesus told you to adopt.

  • You believe you saved an orphan.

  • You feel paranoid about reverse racism.

  • You have served as an expert on Adoptee issues.

  • You experience shock when adult Adoptees notice race.

  • You feel entitled to the Adoptee’s love, affection, and gratitude.

  • You feel confused when people of color accuse you of being racist.

  • You have delusions of grandeur that you are the best parents for the Adoptee.

  • You hallucinate consent when touching your adopted child in vulnerable moments.

  • You feel threatened when the Adoptee asks questions about their family and culture of origin.

My favorite off of the second list for those that are highly susceptible is “You are colorblind”. Lol If left untreated, Adoption Savior Syndrome could turn into “collusion with a system of global White supremacy that is destroying us all”. I love, love, love this post.

I am not an adoptee, but this struck a nerve with me as an atheist of color. Very few things exist in a vacuum. Most oppression works as a matrix: sexism, racism, size-ism, persecution of the non-religious, etc. I find the adoption community to be no different. There is tons of commentary about how much white privilege and  economics play into domestic and international adoption.

Since we are raised in this this global system of oppression of “the other” we all play some part. The first thing that we have to do is to admit our part in it and then actively work to dismantle it.






2 thoughts on “Signs of Adopter Savior Syndrome

  1. I read a lot of adoption blogs … even some of the ones that annoy me. 😉 Many of the Christians bloggers* seem OK or whatever, but some of them are all about saving orphans for Christ.

    One blogger who previously just blogged about her experience as a U.S. foster parent randomly posted how the Lord was calling her to adopt from “India or Africa.” I replied and pointed out that Africa is not a country … and she did not allow my comment to be posted (she screens comments).

    (Incidentally, this is someone who previously in her blog said someone in her church had previously adopted from Ethiopia, and before then she didn’t “know” that Ethiopia was in Africa. ::sigh:: )

    Anyway, she is now in the process of adopting 2 boys from Uganda (whom she described on her blog as her “dark-skinned sons” (oookay) … and she is raising money for their Saving and whatnot …

    * I am not a Christian

  2. Some people, maybe even most people, do need children to feel like a family. I didn’t need biological children to feel like a family, but I didn’t really see my husband and I, by ourselves, as a complete family. When we adopted our son, it felt better, but still not complete. Now that we have our daughter, I feel like our family is complete. One of my friends has 5 (bio) kids, but she still doesn’t feel like her family is complete. I also know people who are of the “one and done” mentality. Rebecca Hawkes at Love Is Not a Pie wrote recently about parents – mostly women/mothers – using children to complete themselves, and she got a heap of negative comments. Whether we like it or not, society in general tells us that we should have children to be whole. Anyway… I could ramble on, but I’ll stop now.

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