The Importance of Inclusion.

Addressing the Needs of Adoptees in Vocational Education

Shane Bouel
Thoughtless Delineation
8 min readApr 14, 2023

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The Importance of Inclusion: Addressing the Needs of Adoptees in Vocational Education
AI Art By Thoughtless Delineation

Adoptee Frustration:

Lack of Inclusion in Vocational Education

As an adoptee and learning management specialist, I find myself frustrated with the lack of inclusion of adoption-related topics in the Early Childhood, Individual Support, and Aged Care vocational education courses. The courses are comprehensive in many areas, covering topics such as culture, identity, heritage, socialization, and disability, but they do not address adoption in any way, shape, or form. This exclusion leaves me feeling disenfranchised and isolated, and I know that I am not the only adoptee who feels this way.

ChatGPT:

An AI Solution to Inclusion in Vocational Education

Today, as I worked on developing the structure for an online learning program, it occurs to me that artificial intelligence could play a role in addressing this issue.

[PROMPT]

I want you to act as an adoptee employed as a learning management specialist who is implementing and managing the structure of online learning of Early childhood, Individual support and aged care vocational education certificate and Diplomas. Knowing that these courses speak of Culture, Identity, Heritage, Socialisation and Disability. All of which do not address adoption in any way shape or form across all sectors nationally.

NOT AT ALL!

Overcoming Challenges

The process is not without its challenges, as we have to navigate complex issues such as privacy, bias, and accuracy. But the end result is a powerful tool that can provide adoptees with the information, resources, and support they need to succeed in their chosen fields. And as a fellow adoptee, I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing that I have played a role in making a positive change in the vocational education sector.

Neglect

The neglect of adoptee experiences in the context of education and socialisation is not only a failure to address the needs of a significant population, but it also fosters adoption trauma through disenfranchisement. Biases in content create a stark contrast to the reality of the adoptee experience, further isolating adoptees and denying them the truth of their own lived experiences. This denial of truth and lack of representation can cause significant harm to adoptees and their mental health.

Adoptees who are employed as learning management specialists in the field of online learning of Early childhood, Individual support, and aged care vocational education certificate and Diplomas, are particularly affected by this neglect. These courses deal with culture, identity, heritage, socialisation, and disability, but not adoption. This neglect has serious consequences for adoptees, who are expected to deal with issues of culture, identity, and heritage in a public setting where they are not heard and do not have access to a meaningful, long-term empathetic platform that is socially accepted.

It is unacceptable that this neglect is allowed to continue. Adoptees deserve to have their experiences and perspectives included in education and socialisation, and they should not have to fight for recognition and representation. This neglect perpetuates a culture of isolation and shame, which can have lasting effects on adoptees’ mental health.

Adoptees need to be heard and seen in a meaningful way. Socialisation should be a platform where adoptees can express themselves without fear of judgment or stigma. Culture, identity, and heritage should be addressed in a way that recognizes the unique experiences of adoptees and respects their perspectives. This requires a shift in culture and a commitment to empathy and inclusivity.

Adoptees should not have to navigate a world that denies their experiences and isolates them from their own culture, identity, and heritage. We must take urgent action to address this neglect and provide adoptees with the support they need to thrive. It is time for education and socialisation to recognize and include the experiences of adoptees, and to create a culture that embraces and celebrates diversity in all its forms.

Adoption trauma is a reality that is often neglected in early childhood, individual support, and aged care vocational education sectors. As an adoptee employed as a learning management specialist, I have observed that the content of these courses fails to address the impact of adoption trauma on adoptees.

This neglect further fosters adoption trauma through disenfranchisement, where biases in the content have a stark contrast to the denial of truth in the adoptee experience. This fosters further isolation, and adoptees are left feeling unheard and unsupported in their journey to come to terms with their cultural identity, heritage, and disability. It is alarming that this lack of acknowledgment and support is allowed to continue in multiple sectors, nationally.

Adoptees often struggle with a sense of belonging and identity as they navigate the complexities of their adoption experience. They have unique cultural and heritage backgrounds that may differ from those of their adoptive families and communities. As such, it is essential that vocational education courses in early childhood, individual support, and aged care acknowledge and address the cultural and heritage backgrounds of adoptees. Socialization is an integral aspect of adoptee mental health and well-being.

“ Adoptees need a meaningful and long-term empathetic platform where they can express their experiences and be heard. They need a socially accepted forum that can foster positive change in culture, identity, and heritage to address the lack of these crucial elements in their lives.”

Adoption can often result in a loss of culture, heritage, and identity for adoptees. This is because adoption often involves a separation from one’s birth family and cultural community. Adoptees may not have access to information about their ancestry, language, religion, or traditions. This can lead to a sense of disconnection from one’s cultural roots and a feeling of not belonging.

Furthermore, adoptees may face pressure to assimilate into their adoptive family’s culture and may be discouraged from exploring their own cultural heritage. This can result in a loss of cultural identity and a feeling of being caught between two worlds.

It is important for adoption agencies, adoptive families, and society as a whole to recognize and address the lack of culture, heritage, and identity in adoption. Adoptees should be given the opportunity to learn about and connect with their cultural heritage, language, and traditions. Adoptive families should also be encouraged to celebrate and embrace their child’s cultural heritage, rather than trying to erase it.

The Importance of Inclusion: Addressing the Needs of Adoptees in Vocational Education
AI Art By Thoughtless Delineation

The Law

Adoption is a legal process that severs all legal family ties between a child and their biological family, creating a new identity and often hiding important records and medical history. This contract is one that adoptees never agreed to and often have no legal avenue for discharge without reliving the trauma of separation and incurring excessive high-court legal costs.

It begs the question: why isn’t there a no-fault, no-fee option for discharge? Adoptees are often left with little recourse if they want to sever their legal ties to their adoptive family and reclaim their original identity. This lack of a discharge option can perpetuate feelings of entrapment and powerlessness in the adoptee, as they are forced to navigate a legal system that was not designed with their best interests in mind.

It is time to re-evaluate the legal system around adoption and create more options for adoptees who wish to discharge their legal ties. Adoption should not be a life sentence for those who were involuntarily brought into it. The lack of a discharge option only adds to the trauma and reinforces the power dynamics inherent in adoption. It is time to give adoptees more agency and control over their own lives and identities.

Indeed, the legal barriers created by adoption can be a significant hindrance to an individual’s ability to connect with and explore their culture, heritage, and identity. By removing legal family ties and creating a new identity, adoptees may struggle to access information about their biological family and cultural heritage. Additionally, the sealing of records and medical histories can make it difficult to understand and manage potential health issues.

The lack of a no-fault, no-fee option for discharge from adoption only compounds this problem. Without a simple, accessible means of severing legal ties to adoptive families, individuals may feel trapped in an identity that does not accurately reflect their true selves. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from both biological and adoptive families, as well as from broader cultural and ethnic communities.

Overall, the legal barriers created by adoption can be a significant challenge for individuals seeking to explore and connect with their culture, heritage, and identity. While efforts are being made to address these issues, more must be done to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to fully understand and embrace their personal histories and cultural backgrounds.

The Importance of Inclusion: Addressing the Needs of Adoptees in Vocational Education
AI Art By Thoughtless Delineation

Calling for an International Convention on the Rights of Adult Adoptees.

Adoptees around the world face a multitude of challenges that can have lasting impacts on their mental health and overall well-being. These challenges range from issues related to identity, culture, and heritage, to the legal and financial barriers that prevent adoptees from accessing their own personal records and medical histories.

In light of these challenges, there is a growing movement calling for an International Convention of the Rights of Adoptees. Such a convention would provide a legal framework for the protection and promotion of the rights of adoptees around the world.

One of the key goals of this convention would be to address the lack of legal avenues for adoptees to discharge the adoption contract without reliving trauma and excessive legal costs. This could include the establishment of a no-fault, no-fee option for adoptees seeking discharge from their adoption.

Additionally, the convention would seek to address issues related to identity, culture, and heritage, ensuring that adoptees have access to information about their birth families and cultural backgrounds, as well as support for exploring and connecting with those roots.

Provisions could include measures to prevent discrimination against adoptees in employment, and education, as well as protections for the mental health and well-being of adoptees.

This is about the need for society itself to change its perception of the current Adoption narrative for true inclusivity for all. Not one that continues to gaslight adoptees into disenfranchisement and disconnection.

With Special Thanks

Raelene (Cameron) Bartlett — Founding Director at RTO Doctor

Raylene has been supporting and assisting me with an official Adoption — Vocational Education inclusion request through (DEWR) the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations — The case number for this issue is CAS-580321-Y5H0B8. Currently, there is a significant restructuring underway in (DEWR), and there is future a handover to a new department “Human Ability”.

If you are in the vocational education sector be sure to start asking questions about adoptee inclusivity.

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Shane Bouel
Thoughtless Delineation

Using creativity to lift standards of ethics & morality by questioning half-truths and denouncing the conservancy of inhumane ideologies.