An Open Letter To J.K. Rowling From The Adoptee You Tweeted To

Angela Barra
6 min readMar 9, 2019

This open letter was written in 2016 and published (and promoted) on Huffington Post. There are some minor amendments and this was written and published before J. K. Rowling And The ‘TERF Wars’. I found this YouTube clip helpful in gaining a broader understanding: Responding to JK Rowlings Essay — Is It Anti-Trans.

You could never know how remarkable the timing was.

Dear Ms. Rowling,

I am unsure how to start this letter, nor am I sure how to adequately convey what your words have meant to me via your tweets. They have had such a positive and profound impact. You may not understand why they were so powerful, so please allow me to share some of my background.

As you might know, I am an adoptee activist. Some may ask what does that mean? In reality, it means that I spend unpaid hours writing letters to politicians, journalists, organizations, engaging with other adoptees (in person, over the phone, via email) and being a representative on the state governments post adoption stakeholder group. In most instances, my letters which are directed to editors of mainstream publications, usually go ignored. This happens to many adoptee activists.

Despite the ongoing obstacles, I continue to lobby for adult adoptees to be included in the narrative. I continue to highlight the structural inequalities that impact on vulnerable families and to speak out against measures that can lead to an adoption driven system. I continue to draw attention to the impact of past forced adoption policies and practices on mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. I strive to read and share information that illustrates the drivers that continue to separate children from their biological families, often due to poverty or lack of support systems. However, it frequently feels like it is all in vain.

Adoptees are the only ones that can tell you how it feels to be adopted. Our voices should be the loudest, but they are not.

Then, two nights ago, just before our exchange occurred, I was feeling bereft. I had actually considered walking away from all of my activism, and I had disclosed this to some of my adoptee friends. I had a troubled sleep the night before, and I had shed a…

Angela Barra

I'm an adopted adult, commentator and student (always studying).