Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adoption U.S. Style - in the 21st Century

I am going to share with you THE MOST AMAZING post I have ever read - explaining what adoption really is like today.

On that silly and mind numbing Yahoo Adoption Questions - an adoptive parent - who likes to dismiss all and everything that anyone cares to hint about the down side of adoption that exists to this day - asked those that aren't all rosey about adoption - to give real examples of coercive and unethical actions in the adoption industry that exist today as he really thinks that we know NOTHING of what we speak of - and he's certain that we're referring to what we would call the BSE (Baby Scoop Era) of a time long gone!

(yeah - remember - I did say that it was all quite mind numbing - mainly from banging my head against my desk as I read - I know - I know........)

My gorgeous friend Rox - an adoptee AND a relinquishing mother came up with just the right words - and really I couldn't think of any more to say. (many of my readers may well know of more - I encourage you to say)

Here is what she said - as I'm so in awe of her amazing presence - this needs to be written about more - rinsed and repeated - rinsed and repeated - maybe until we're all blue in the face...........

Okay. Here is the thing. Let's not go into the realm of ILLEGAL. Let's go ETHICAL.

Is it ethical for an agency that claims to be offering AID to expecting mothers to be offering an option that is going to cause severe sorrow, anguish, trauma, PTSD, increased risk of suicide etc etc? Is it ethical to call adoption, THE "most loving option"? Meaning that keeping your child is not loving?

They ARE trying to sell their agenda to women. I don't think the motivation is always even money driven. I think many people have a vested interest in believing that adoption is worth the pain of women who place their children (even if they know how much it destroys most women to lose their children).

Often these are adoptive parents, women who have relinquished who want to believe there was NOW WAY they could have kept and and dealing with their loss by encouraging it to happen to other women (instead of helping put together resources to help women prevent the loss), or occasionally adopted people who also want to believe that adoption was the ONLY way they could have had a good life.

(Who wants to believe their mom went through eternal hell on their behalf without a necessary reason?)

LC, look at posts coming from women who placed just months ago and the pain they are going through, wondering if they can get their children back. We see them nearly every week, if not occasionally more often. Sometimes we can try to help these women get their children back if they are lucky enough to fall within the revocation period.

Otherwise, all we can do is offer support to a new member of the broken hearted biomom club that no one wants to be a part of. These women are not being counseled about the consequences of adoption.

That is not ethical. There are many government funded programs, and such like the National council for Adoption etc, that are literally working to counsel women toward adoption at any opportunity. The goal of convincing women to place their children for adoption is still very alive and well.

If a women is unfortunate enough to research adoption through nearly any agency, she will be bombarded with statements like, "women who place their children are more educated and more intelligent"

They do NOT mention that women who are more educated are more likely to read the adoption propaganda that leads them toward adoption, not to mention being persuaded by rich, middle to upper class family members that using financial aid, or going through a rough first few years is the end of the world.

These same women are also the same women who IF THEY KEEP are more likely to finish school ANYWAY, and not be caught in the cycle of poverty that single mothers are always proposed to be in.

Agencies/websites etc that are promoting adoption to expectant mothers provide "counselling" that involves things like writing a list of what the adoptive parents have to offer vs what the expectant mother has to offer.

Um, okay, duh, the adoptive parents are rich. How is that not a coercive tactic to convince women to "see the light" of how much their child needs adoption?

Ethical counseling would instead begin with "what do you want to provide for your child" and then move into ideas for how that women could ACCOMPLISH those goals. Providing positive reinforcement, new idea that may not have been considered and links to resources the client may not be aware of.

Real counseling would involve working on the clients fears about parenting in a way that is focused on success (you can do this, let's find a way) vs based on encouraging a sense of defeat and failure, and encouraging a client to feed into their own fears (you aren't good enough, so you should just give up now and let us place your child).

Also, allowing adoptive parents to buy the expectant mother ANYTHING should be illegal. The hormones that are going on in pregnancy, particularly oxytocin are the human bonding hormones. These women are vulnerable to trusting and bonding with anyone who comes near them. They are afraid and if the person who provides the most comfort and support for them also has a desire to take their child it is a conflict of interest.

It sets up a situation where the adoptive parents are saying "we'll make everything ok. We'll be there. We'll help you. So long as you give us your child"

It creates a sense of responsibility for the expectant mom to fulfill the aparents wishes. It promotes the feeling that the only real support she has is from people who will take her child.

Of course the adoptive parents do not continue the support once they get the baby. I have watched within the past few months women who go from being star struck over the adoptive parents being the most wonderful people in the world, to realizing that honeymoon period fades as the adoptive parents feel secure they have gotten full rights to the child and have no legal obligation to the biomom.

Suddenly she is no longer being praised for her "wonderful gift". Suddenly she is not receiving pictures and letters so often. She finds out the adoptive parents changed the child's name when they promised they wouldn't. Visits become less and less frequent.

These women start to realize they were used to get a child during the time they were the most vulnerable. Suddenly, she starts to realize that now all she has left is her own tears. She starts to realize what has happened as the shock and horror starts to settle. Her child is gone. What just happened?

How much would it have hurt for the people around her to have supported her in SUCCEEDING AT PARENTING instead of taking her child from her under the guise of "supporting" her? If you don't want to support expectant parents, that is fine, but don't pretending that paying for housing, medical bills, etc in order to procure a baby from a women is anything other than cruel bribery.

It doesn't matter if this is being done LEGALLY. Is it being done ETHICALLY?

The things that are being done now still result in women falling on the floor in tears of pain, for years and years. Children having to deal with knowing their mothers went through that kind of pain, dealing with abandonment issues.

What's being done still leaves a lot of people in pain. And to me, that means there is room for improvement. Adoption may be an ok last resort option when ALL OTHER MEANS of helping a women provide adequately for her child have been exhausted.

But it is truly the most horrific solution to a lack of resources that I can imagine.

It should IDEALLY be used to help children who are abandoned, abused, unwanted etc find loving homes.

And at times IT IS.

The way it is being practiced right now however.....

is NOT what you are imagining .

I think you are very intelligent and have the capacity to understand what is being said here AND I understand why it sounds very foreign to you. I hope you'll keep listening.

All of my experiences with adoption agency propaganda come from what I read PRESENT DAY on agency websites, the women I talk to that have placed recently, as well as my own experiences with agencies in the last 6 years.

All very recent. The tears are too many. The sad stories are too many. Too many of these women were just scared and didn't really want to lose their children, and should have been guided to resources to help them parent, instead of encouraged to believe they weren't as good as adoptive parents.

If you are ok with those situations happening as long as they're "legal", then I think that is really sad. To me it's not about cleaning the coersion up so that it's nice and legal, it's about making sure that women get sincerely non-biased counselling about the BENEFITS of parenting, and not only the benefits of adoption.

That is not a legal requirement right now AT ALL.

In fact even the kind of lawyer situation that you have described in the past is coercive. I understand why it doesn't sound like it to you, but trust me, it is very persuasive in making a biomom feel dependent on the adoptive parents (for medical bills, for lawyers, for housing etc etc) when she should be encouraged to find those resources herself or from people who are not trying to take her baby away. It also makes her feel more like the well being of her child is dependent on the adoptive parents as well, while her feeling of independence drops lower and lower.

I just watched this happen to a dear friend, and was unable to stop it. As she wakes up slowly it's very painful to watch her yearn for death and go through hell on earth over this loss and know that I couldn't stop it from happening. : (

Adoption - as it stands in the U.S. - SHOULD NOT be allowed to go on.

Why will not people even TRY to understand.

Thank you dear Rox.

You make me aspire to be bigger and better than I am.

I am so glad that you're here. (you know - in cyber-land!!)

Biggest hugs,
Poss. xxx

p.s. - spread the word dear peoples. Either copy it from here - link to here - or write your own thoughts. This shit has to stop. Adoption of children that DO NOT need it - should be left well alone. And we are the ones that have got to make people hear.


Blogger Gershom said...

rock on poss, and thank you rox!! beautiful, truthful, raw and soooooooooooooooo needed. passing on!

12/10/07, 2:41 am  
Anonymous lhjh4 said...

Rock on Roz and Possum for posting here. I had no other words to write after she wrote this.
I was in tears reading this.

12/10/07, 1:04 pm  
Blogger angel said...


I will cut n paste to my blog!


12/10/07, 1:42 pm  
Blogger Possum said...

Thanks for popping in.
I love to hear that you've popped by.
Biggest hugs,
Poss. xxx

12/10/07, 10:36 pm  
Anonymous lillie said...

Poss, and Rox, I love you both.

Really, honestly, truly.

I love you.

16/10/07, 4:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your honest thoughts, Poss. I am a prospective adoptive parent who genuinely wants to do the right, ethical thing. In a perfect world, there would be no unplanned pregancies, all children would be wanted and loved, and there would be no hurt and loss. The world is not a perfect place, however. What solution do you propose?

20/12/07, 4:48 am  

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