Since being simultaneously outraged and heartbroken at the advertisement for the autistic girl, I have learned some horrible truths. Apparently attaching grant money to children in order to pay for them to be re-adopted is common place, especially for special needs children that are even less wanted than regular children. And there are so many more children who were adopted and then placed for re-adoption, again especially special needs kids. I grew up hearing that adopting is the same as biological kids, and the love is equal but people are not putting their biological special needs kids up for adoption like this so I’m not sure I believe that any more.
I felt so helpless reading about that little girl. My husband, too, was very affected emotionally by the details of her story, and what the obvious implications of the “parents” are. A commentator on One Autism Perspective pointed out that you can’t force people to do the right thing. Others expressed the sentiment that she is better off away from the people who reject her. They all had a point.
I searched around trying to find an organization that worked to support adoptive families of autistic kids. I wanted to donate to someone who would help kids like Ava, who wouldn’t push ABA on an already traumatized kid. I could not find an organization that worked with adoptive kids, specifically that was not also affiliated with the hate group Autism Speaks. So in that little girl’s name I made a donation to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, in the hopes that adoptive families will see ASAN as a positive resource. If you feel frustrated and helpless like I did, donating to a neurodiversity positive organization like ASAN is something that you can do.