Rev. Fr. Symeon Kilmer
How has adoption changed your life?
Changed my life? Can not understand the question. Adoption has been the orienting experience to my entire life. I have passed my adolescence trying to understand the fish bowl I had found myself in. I have spent much of my adult life re-defining my existence as contraindicated to the Adoption System; that is outside of the fish bowl.
What is a lesson from your adoption experience that could be life-changing for all families?
Radical Honesty & Selflessness. Adopting couples must stop seeing child adoption as an alternative to infertility & abortion. Couples should to adopt a child because the child needs a loving home NOT to adopt because they cannot have their own.
What changes would you like to see made in adoption?
There is so much wrong with Child Adoption worldwide.
I support its abolition being replaced with a three tier approach
1) Family Preservation: a healthy attempt to keep the child with the parents.
2) Kinship Guardians: a type of adoption by extended family.
3) Guardian Stewardship: a type of adoption by non-familial persons.
The vetting of potential caregivers MUST be revamped. The difference between #2 & 3 to adoption today is these new models would NOT wipe out the child's natural identity. It would aim to maintain the child's identity (name, family or birth history, ethnicity, family religious history, etc.) while the same legal rights & responsibilities of adoption (medical care, inheritance, etc.) remain. But the responsibility as stewardship is emphasized over the guardian's “rights” since in reality they are caring for the child on behalf of the child’s actual parents.