The Rise of the Adoptee

It was humiliating.

Every time they left the household, whether it was to the grocery store or the mall, “My placement in the family was questioned.”

She said, “People wanted to know how much I cost, where I came from, how my parents found me and where my real parents were.”

Questions that made Reshma McClintock feel embarrassed.

Questions that made her feel unsafe.

Questions that ignited her current work, Dear Adoption.

I asked, “How and why did you create, Dear Adoption?”

She said, “I started talking about it with my family first… then I started writing about it… I wrote publicly about adoption… Then, a friend from high school whom I haven’t seen or spoken to for about 17 years contacted me. He contacted me… and asked if I have been back to Kolkata. I said, “I’ve been to India, but not Kolkata.” He said, “What if we filmed a documentary about your first return?”

Fast-forward a few years, Calcutta is My Mother, was born.

A documentary that triggered hundreds of responses from other adoptees.

Responses that led Reshma to create a space for other adoptees.

A space where adoptees can share their perspectives on adoption, whether they’re for it or not.

A space that makes them feel safe.

A space that makes them feel like they belong.

Help others elevate before you elevate yourself.


  • On Questioning: Think before you speak

  • On Grief: Don’t try to contain it

  • On Stereotypes/Racism: Have a pulse on the society/culture

  • On Sharing: Create a space for it

  • On Courage: Surround yourself with others who support you

  • Three principles to live by: Listen, persist, and have grace

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