An Iranian Intercountry Adoption

InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) 2017

I am an Iranian intercountry adoptee born in 1969 and adopted by my American adoptive family in 1976. They lived and worked at a small shipping port town called Bandar-e-abbas, not far from Tehran for a number of years. My adoptive father worked in a British ship building company, contracted to the Iranian Navy. My adoptive family had 5 older siblings, all biologically born to them. I joined my family as the youngest and I also suffer from limb deformities caused by parts of the amniotic sac wrapping itself around my fingers and foot in utero, this syndrome is called Amniotic band constriction.

My birth date is unknown and I came to be placed for adoption because I was dropped off at the police station north east of Iran at approximately 3 days old. I was placed on a blanket with a note saying “take good care of him” and nothing else to identify who had left me there. In Iran in those days, there was no support for a child born with deformities and it was considered a stigma. I was then taken to an orphanage in Tehran for 6 and 1/2 years and raised there until my adoption. My orphanage for children with deformities had been established by the Iranian queen but once the revolution took place, children like me were used for lowly roles like walking through landscapes searching for unexploded landmines ie., we were just throwaway kids, not valued or considered as worthy of any type of life.

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