Don’t worry about those troubled adoptees on the internet. Your adopted child will turn out just fine, because most of them do. Absolutely fine. How do we know this? Well, we have done extensive research on this matter. We are, after all, a socially responsible industry and would never condone drastically altering the lives of millions of children without extensive, methodical, controlled research to make sure there are no ill effects.
The first step to any scientific population study is a randomly selected representative sample and a control group. This is why adoptees who talk about their own experiences don’t count: they are a self-selecting group, and are therefore a biased sample. Now, what they have to say would be relevant if we didn’t have better data, but of course we do. Unlike those poor, bitter adoptees on the internets with their “blogs” and “interweb pages,” we have statistically sound data obtained from randomly selected, representative subjects.
How, you ask?
We hired a crack team of ninjas to break into every county courthouse in the United States and compile a complete list of adoptees so we could (1) obtain a sample group of adoptees that is demographically identical to the US population and (2) make sure that no one in our control group was adopted.
Self-reporting and interview data are highly unreliable for social psychology research. How do you know if people are telling the truth, one way or the other? You don’t. They could be lying, or they could be genuinely unaware of problems buried deep in their subconscious minds. That’s why we hired thousands of TV psychics to follow our test subjects around, reading their most private thoughts, tasting their inner turmoil, and reporting back in realtime to our 24-hour call centers where transcribers were ready to enter all of our subjects’ mental activity into our database.
Of course, we could not let the observer’s paradox skew our data, so not only did we violate every human subjects research protocol–not to mention numerous federal, state, and local laws–by spying on our subjects secretly without notifying them that they were even our subjects, we also utilized cloaking devices like the ones on Star Trek or, where those were not available, invisibility cloaks like the one used by Harry Potter, to make sure that our psychic field workers remained unseen. A few times we were in short supply of both and we had to use elven cloaks like the ones Frodo and Sam wore outside the gates of Mordor, which were less than ideal for our purposes, but we’re pretty sure nobody noticed.
Having gathered and compiled terabytes of transcribed thoughts, emotions, daydreams, and mental images, we used a massive supercomputer cluster to simulate the behavior of all adopted and non-adopted individuals in a shared, realistic virtual environment similar to The Matrix to perform controlled tests of adoptee and non-adoptee mental states under a variety of carefully modeled conditions. Added together, the subjective times of all these simulations exceed the estimated lifespan of the universe (and we mean the heathen scientist version, here, which is really, really long, trust us).
The result? Well, you won’t be very surprised. It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Yes, overall, we found that adoptees had more trouble than non-adoptees. But, as you might have expected (and had every right to), it’s only the ones who were raised poorly (or just poor), who were not loved enough, whose parents did not have at least 30 credit hours of parental training at an accredited institution, whose birth mothers abused drugs or alcohol while pregnant, or who–tragically–just happened to carry bad genes from their impulsive, fast living, irresponsible birth parents. And you can rest assured we are working on solutions to all–I repeat, all–of these problems.
Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Adoptive America, the kids are alright. Like all scientific research, ours is not without its flaws (those darn elven cloaks still vex us terribly!), but we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. In science, we must use the data we have, not the data we wish we had.
So, the next time you read some internet bulletin “blog” or web chat forum “post” from some angry, bitter, tragically maladjusted adoptee claiming that adoption is anything less than sunshine, sparkles, and frolicking unicorns, ask yourself this: Who has the best data? Sure, the self-reported experiences of adoptees would have great value if we didn’t have better data. Ask any anthropologist or ethnographer and they’ll agree. But, as you can see, science is clearly on our side.