Tuesday, July 10, 2007

VALIDATION: an act, process, or instance of validating; especially : the determination of the degree of validity of a measuring device

val·i·date (vl-dt)tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate

validation - the cognitive process of establishing a valid proof

In psychology and human communication, validation is "the communication of respect for a communication partner, which involves the acknowledgment that the other's opinions are legitimate."

Validation has been thrown around a lot in the adoptee community...as you can see by the actual definition, validation is a declaration of something or someone being real, or what and who they say they are. So when psychologists who tell people they did not get enough "validation", are really saying that the people that are around them don't make them feel real. Hmmmm, now we are getting somewhere.

When an infant is adopted there is no memory of the birthmother or the foster parents who had that child for the first 3-6 weeks. People who try to say they have a loss are in a fantasy of what their lives would have been like if they had not been adopted. Maybe their parents did not "validate" them, did not give them what they needed---but that would have happen with biological children as well. Why do people try to blame adoption? I really think the only adoptees who need to be complaining are the ones that were in foster care or international adoptees that lived in orphanages. These kids could have some problems due to their relinquishment. I just don't believe that infant adoptions can cause the problems that the anti-adoption crowd is talking about. When was the trauma done? Memory does not go that far back...as much as they would like to believe all their problems came from being adopted, their must be some other reasons. look at your adopted family....did they have other children? Did they have troubles too? If they don't feel "validated" it must be because the people around them did not "validate" their existence.

If the loss is a medical history or heritage that can be found out.... but to say that infant adoption has psychologically damaged you is wrong....look at your childhood for that.


Emerald City said...

Point taken. But IF your adopted daughter/son (?) DOES have problems w/ their adoption: feelings of abandonment, rejection, strong desire to search out and connect with their birth family. IF they feel out of place w/in your/their family?

Just what will YOU do to HELP the child?

I could list a few answers and ask you which you would choose to help, but I want to hear what you would do.


petunia said...

Actually, I am so glad the agency stays in touch with her biomom and she comes in to get the packets of pics and letters and things we send. After she is 18 I hope we can all get together again. We sat and talked after the court date when she was about 8 weeks old and we really all got along well. I found out later that her biodad said my husband and he seemed like cousins...and my hubby had said the same thing when we left.
They are both very sweet.
Curiosity is another ballgame all together...and I think is normal for anyone. I'm as curious as they come. I found my bios but not because of any trauma I suffered because of being adopted...

petunia said...

After I re-read your comment Emerald I really started thinking about it...we have all sorts of adopted kids in our family and I guess we just have a really close family because every child feels accepted and no one harps on the adoption thing...I guess we do a lot of "validating" without knowing it :)

MomEtc. said...

I feel so sad when I read that someone feels invalidated just because someone doesn't share their feelings. Even if no one shares your feelings, feelings are still valid.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I agree Petunia that validation can come in many forms....just as invalidation can also. I am thinking what is important is how the child perceives their caretakes' ability to listen/answer their questions and accept their feelings.

petunia said...

Annie's comment can be read on the previous post's comments (if i could move it for you I would Annie).
She was saying that the adoptees feelings need to be validated. Annie, I will listen to my daughter and we will care about her and her feelings but I'm having a hard time with people "missing" a person they never knew and can't remember. I think much of it has to do with the adopted parents and their attitude. Maybe it has to do with their lamenting and grieving and them not "validating" their adopted child. This is my point about feelings of abandonment. I don't believe it comes from adoption...i believe these feelings stem from adopted parents.

Annie said...

Oops - Here it is:

I think that adoptees who say they needed validation don't mean they need their existence to be validated, rather they need their feelings validated. Even if you never felt a sadness about losing your birth mother, I know people do. I've read this not only from adult adoptees but from adoptive parents who say their small children will express this. I think those children are much better served by a parent just acknowledging that sadness and being there with them than saying, "No, you don't. You can't remember her so you can't miss her."

petunia said...

Annie, I would never say that she can't miss her birthmom, I just don't think it will ever be an issue. All the adoptees in all our families, all the adoptees I know have never had these feelings. I guess I'm questioning why some kids feel it and some don't. I keep coming back to the adopted parents and how they handle the adoption and bringing up an adopted child.

Emerald City said...

Petunia, you state this on your last comment:

"This is my point about feelings of abandonment. I don't believe it comes from adoption...i believe these feelings stem from adopted parents."

Petunia, so you are stating that the "angry adoptees" of whom you speak who have feelings of "abandonment", who have "issues" w/ their adoption...

You are stating that their feelings are to be blamed on their ADOPTIVE parents and NOT adoption ??

That's interesting to say the least.

petunia said...

well Emerald, I'm coming more and more to that conclusion...that those feelings have more to do with the way you were raised that being adopted. Now this is infant adoption I'm talking about. Go back to my June 6th post and you will see I found "The ability to form memories depends on a network of structures in the brain and these develop at different times. As the networks come together between 6 months and 18 months of life, researchers see increased efficiency in the ability to form short- and long-term memory."

So we are not capable of memory... at the time of relinquishment, our brains are not formed enough. From 6 to 18 months on up to three years of age is what forms us.

HeatherUK said...

My friend's mother died in childbirth. She misses her terribly. Are you really saying that someone who lost their mother very young, whether by death or by adoption should have no ill-effects as a result because she can't remember?

I'll pass your message to my friend.

I am sure if you get a room full of phychology experts in a room together they would all have different theories and disagree.

I miss my mother and I feel that your theory is an insult to my wonderful and loving adoptive parents

reedster said...

"You are stating that their feelings are to be blamed on their ADOPTIVE parents and NOT adoption ??"

There is a lot to be said in this statement, and I think I agree substantially with it.

If you take a look at the adoptees online who really, REALLY have a problem with adoption (to the point where they would side with the anti-adoption folk) all seem to have had MAJOR problems with their adoptive parents... primarily, in reference to their adoptive parents attempts to pretend that the adoption never occurred.

More needs to be done to educate adoptive parents to understand the losses involved and to learn compassion for the feelings of all involved BEFORE even the home study is completed.

petunia said...

heather, if you were adopted as an infant, how can you miss your biomother? That is my point. Do you think it's more the fantasy? You have no way of actually remembering her. I'm not saying to forget about her all together...I'm just trying to get to the bottom of people saying they remember them when they haven't been with them since birth. I'm not trying to be mean about this - I'm really trying to understand it.

Tishslp said...

I'm not sure I agree OR disagree with the "I miss my birthmother whom I've never seen" theory or not, but as someone whose taken a fair number of psychology courses, as well as discussed adoption with many, many psychologists, I feel comfortable saying this:

1. Hiding things from your children, be it facts or emotions is generally not well-received and can lead to a lot of anger on the part of the child.

2. Denying your child's feelings is hurtful. Regardless of what you personally may feel about the origin or "validity" of their feelings, I don't think telling them all the reasons they are wrong is going to help them or your relationship with them in the long run.

3. There is a lot of pull to a group of peers who are beating their breasts about how "unfair" life and their parents are. There's plenty of "look how those monsters ruined my life" sentiment out there and it's easy to find and get involved in. Most of us have had our moements (or more!) in this mindset. Perhaps this explains why some adoptees are so angry and perhaps it doesn't, but IMO it does bear some consideration.

I find it all very confusing as an adoptive parent and I'm inclined to simply be honest and loving with ds as I would with any other child of mine.

HeatherUK said...

Perhaps it is the fantasy, P. I dunno. I do know that if I was afforded the opportunity to see her face, even if it was just once there would be some closure for the grief I feel.

Sadly closed records mean that will never happen for me, sigh.

Some experts would say that on some level people remember being in the womb. But even the experts disagree with each other.

We all have different thoughts and beliefs - the world would be a boring place if we didn't, eh?