they bought me.

There is an uncomfortable saying that gets caught in my mind when I think about adoption: they bought me.

My parents had to pay a lot of money for me to become a part of their family.

Like, a lot of money.

If I sit with this for too long, I get angry. It feels dehumanizing. Am I just a commodity for someone else’s desires? Are adoptions left to only a certain demographic of people due to the sheer cost of the process? I am infuriated that I cost more or less than another human being based off of my race, age and sex at the time of adoption. It seems that, based on what the demand is from hopeful adoptive parents, worth, in the terms of cost, is determined.

It boils down to becoming a business transaction; the product? A human being.

I try not to think about it so much because it’s so easy to wallow in anger. There are many adoptions that are wonderful, mine had bit of that as well, but while focusing on the business part of it, I tend to forget those aspects.

So, it’s vital that there be a shift in focus. Instead of choosing to let anger take me over, I can choose to use it for motivation. Motivation to advocate for children waiting in foster care, instead of trying to convince pregnant mothers to give up their children. Motivation to be a voice for adoptees, sharing experiences and raising awareness to agencies and groups about the repercussions of adoption. Motivation to question current practices and the validity of them in today’s society. Motivation for change.


It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be upset with the way things are done in our world. It’s what we do with that anger that matters. We can sit with it and let it take us over, staining the way we see everything and everyone in this world. Or, we can use it to educate and advocate with the hopes of seeing things change and grow. I’m going to strive for the second, even when it can feel impossible. How will you use your anger?

19 Comments

  1. You ma’am are a warrior. Anger should indeed be chanellized and used to do greater things. Repressed anger is like charging a dynamo. It builds up huge potential inside. 🙂

  2. Nothing really substantial to add, just that I hope the times when you feel like you were a commodity are few and far better. I admire your strength in dealing with these issues, your compassion for wanting to help others and your wisdom in seeking to channel anger rather than succumb to it.

    Stay amazing, Brooke.

  3. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, from the shoes of a birthmother. Considering the ways my daughter might feel about it someday. We didn’t use an agency, so her parents only paid their attorney and court costs (just as my adoptive parents paid when they fought to remove me from the dangerous situation I was born into), but I’m not sure that makes much of a difference. Money still exchanged hands. She was still relinquished. I was still convinced that she was “better off” with her parents than with me.

    My heart hurts every single day for what I have put her through and for how my decisions could end up hurting her someday. And I can’t ever “fix” it…I can only work hard, as you are, to change the way things are done. Fight for change. Give a real voice, as you do, to speak to the truths (and the horrors) of the adoption machine.

    Good for you, Brooke – you’ve found a healthy way to channel your rightful anger, and I hope you can find ways to fight for the change you want to see. ❤️

    1. Thank you for your words Kim! We are all in this together, your voice is just as important as mine in the adoption world. Continue to share your story and what you’ve been through too. We’ve got each other’s backs 🙂

  4. I was also adopted. It was in-family and to parents who treated me like a burden. I grew up wondering why I was missing that connection and then when I found out it all made sense. I also feel like it was a business transaction. I am jealous of people who can at least say their parents chose them or they were wanted. I read a blog post the other day that defined justified anger. I hear it in your post and it is brave. I hope that I am brave enough to get there.

      1. You are so welcome. I believe it is important to write about, all that comes with being adopted. I am also adopted as well.

      2. Couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of healing that can come from us adoptees coming together!

  5. Love seeing another perspective! It saddens me when I hear of adoption stories that aren’t all sunshine and roses, but I know those stories are more common than those like our family adoption of my sister. I could easily see why it would feel like a transaction, which is heart breaking.

    As someone experiencing infertility, and trying to decide if adoption is something we want to move towards, as we have one last embryo to transplant after failed IVF cycles – the cost of adoption or fertility treatments has never been anything to us except a choice. We’ve spend tens of thousands of dollars to try for children so far, and have never questioned it or thought about how that could feel for a child. We have gone into debt for this, but if it ever were successful we would never think of that child as a transaction. I feel the same about adoption! They’re both expensive, yes. But to us, they both are done out of love and wanting to share that love – so really it’s just an extension of our love.

    I’m glad you’re not letting the anger hold you back. I could easily see how that would be such a burden to carry.

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