“Rehoming” is a term often used in situations where adoptive parents are trying to “get rid of” their adopted child. This can stem from behavioral and/or emotional issues from the adoptive child that the parents do not feel equipped to handle.
Most re-homing exchanges initially are made via the internet, through websites or forums. The majority of these rehoming exchanges are made by parents who adopted a child internationally. There is less follow-up/resources for these parents, so many of the parents have stated that they had nowhere to go or no one to reach out to for help regarding the issues they were having with their adopted child.
Although it seems like rehoming should be illegal, unfortunately, there aren’t many laws protecting children being given away to others. The problem with this is that many of the people who are taking these adopted children have criminal backgrounds or are psychologically unstable, putting the child at risk for emotional and sexual abuse, trafficking, or even death. Predators take advantage of adoptive parents who are emotionally burnt out, giving them an “out,” many times free of charge.
Kids can be put into real danger when adoptive parents are desperate enough to give in to this type of exchange. It is not illegal but there is usually no background check and the exchange can be made with nothing more than a signed notarized document. No legal authorities need be involved.
Most people are unaware of the horrible reality of rehoming. But it is a real issue. Awareness can prevent a tragedy. If you are an adoptive parent who is in a situation with a new adoptive child which seems unbearable, there are resources. Don’t choose a do it yourself solution.
The symbolism in this painting calls to something very deep within me. It is a painting by Barbara Taffet. In 1973, she reinvented herself as Maria Alquilar, a Latina artist whose fictive back story included a Sephardic Jewish father from Argentina. Drawing on her deep knowledge of world myths and spiritual traditions, filtered through her own personal mythology, she began creating idiosyncratic works inspired by the work of the California Sacramento-Davis area narrative expressionist, outsider and funk artists she admired and collected.
Adoption robs us of our actual cultural heritage. All my life until very recently, I believed my dad was half-Mexican and my mom possibly half-African American. They were both adoptees and for what little we knew about our familial roots, we could claim any story we wanted and not even our own selves knew whether it was true or not.
So along came inexpensive DNA testing. Both my mom and I had ours done at Ancestry. Later on, I had mine also tested at 23 and Me. My mom has some Mali in her and so, I suspect slavery had something to do with that. My dad’s dark complexion actually came by way of his Danish immigrant father. I have learned there is some Ashkenazi Jew in me and suspect that comes via a family that lived for generations on Long Island New York.
Why does this painting call so deeply to my soul – there is that Jewish symbol and there is the Southwestern symbols as well. There is a predator protecting it’s prey – my maternal grandmother was preyed upon by Georgia Tann, the famous baby thief of Memphis Tennessee. And it is always about the bunnies in my household. The angelic image at the top is more like a Jackrabbit which fits nicely with my New Mexican birth.
In many transracial adoptions, the very young child is not only cut off from their cultural heritage but loses contact with their native language. It may be difficult to understand how disorienting that is but I get it. It’s time to change the rules of the adoption game.