National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM) is coming and in Australia the conversation on adoption during November, will again be dominated by the voices of Deborra Lee Furness and her corporate machine, AdoptChange.
In contrast, NAAM can be a difficult time for Adoptees, of sadness, of anger, and feeling powerless against dominant voices.
I am an Adoptee, who has joined with three others to write and publish a book of poetry, I have more to say on what Adoption Is for me, and I encourage others to continue to speak up on what Adoption Is for them. Join me!
Photo credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images firstname.lastname@example.org http://wellcomeimages.org General Lying In Hospital, York Road: nurses weighing a baby. Photograph, 1908. 1906 Album of photographs and cuttings pertaining to dr. Basil Hood
Settling on a baby’s name is usually done shortly after birth by the baby’s parents.
For adoptees, this is rarely the case. I was unnamed and labelled on my records as Baby Dunning.
Other adult adoptees I know, talk of the name changes their adopting parents or they themselves made, throughout their lives, in the process of choosing or reclaiming name for identity.
My choice of name was settled when I needed to decide how I would appear in print as one of the four authors of ‘Adopted’, a book of poetry and prose completed and printed in July 2017. I settled on Diana Dunning, retaining the first name my adopting parents chose for me, which ironically is the same as my birth father’s sister’s second name, and Dunning which is my birth mother’s maiden name. For a few moments I struggled with an internal dialogue regarding permissions, and whether I was ‘allowed to use my mother’s family name’.
I have also changed the name of this blog a few times, seeking a title that describes my reasons for blogging. As a late discovery adoptee, I’m just catching up.
So … I’ve settled on a name, for me, and for this blog:
I am Diana Dunning (aka Di Dunning Saunders, retaining my married family name).
Visit the new website of IdentityRites: a peer support and advocacy group which gives a voice to Adoptees, at: http://identityrites.org
“We have been deprived of knowledge of identity, heritage, and medical information; issued with false birth certificates; and denied public acknowledgement and awareness of the lifelong impact of separating us from our blood families.
IdentityRites seeks to quench the yearning for the dignity of ancestral connection.
We are an Adelaide based Group of Adoptees with a common purpose to initiate respectful and non-traumatising ways to tell our stories.”