It has been a long process for me of wrapping my mind around the issues of what is bad about adoption and needs reform. Forgive me a little rant and hopefully a bit of educating for those who care but really don’t know what the issues are. Thanks to an outspoken group of women who are adoptees, or have been in the institutional trenches, I am beginning to understand there are problems in adoptionland.
I’ll share a few as starters.
Going all the way back to the 1930s, and my own grandmothers – up through my own sisters, I believe they would have ALL kept their children – IF they had had the support they needed.
In adoption propaganda, it is often said that the original parents made the “most selfless decision” by giving up the raising of their own child. It is not selfish to want to keep your child, even when you are struggling to do so. It is not a selfless decision to give your child to someone else, it is an act of desperation.
The determining factor should always be what matters most for the well-being of the child. The dominant narrative in the adoption community has been stories of “selfless birth parents” who simply wanted a “better life” for their child. Of course, they wanted a “better life” and they would have preferred to have been the ones providing it.
There are alternatives to adoption for infertile couples – kinship care, legal guardianship without lying on birth certificates or choosing the charity of giving whatever kind of assistance the original Mom or Dad need to help them parent successfully.
I seriously question the agenda of Christians who push adoption. I suspect they are wanting to create more Christians by taking children who would not have been raised according to their own belief system, knowing that their way is the superior one of course, and indoctrinating these children into “the way” of their own religion.
And I am seriously concerned by crowd funding for adoption costs without any qualms on the parts of those donating money – while not once considering crowd funding to help a Mom or Dad keep their baby. Our values are misplaced people.
So are adoptive parents fears that the child will NOT be theirs PERMANENTLY supposed to outweigh what is now known to be better for the children?
What is known ?
Separation should be the last resort. We KNOW there is trauma from the separation, even if it happens at birth. We KNOW children need genetic mirrors. We KNOW people have a right to know the truth about themselves. We know so much that points to a practice where, based on the best interest of the CHILD, we should avoid the permanent legal and physical severing of a child from their genetic parentage and family through adoption.
Guardianship provides all the emotional support any child needs and as much safe permanency.
And another thought – if people are really so dead set on parenting, and they can’t reproduce (are infertile), they can still act as guardians and caregivers to older kids who really do need someone. In today’s society – unfortunately – there are a lot of kids that could use that kind of help.
Those who wish to provide a home for a child should be OK with not getting an infant and fake papers saying they gave birth to that child. This is denial and self-delusion on the part of infertile, adoptive parents – and it IS harmful to the child.
Every baby brought into this world and then given to someone else to raise is aware and does care about what happened to separate them from their original parents.
Please realize that there’s always a situation that makes the original parents feel they have no other choice but to give up their precious child. Whether it be finances, homelessness, the mother’s relationship with the baby’s father, or a lack of support during and after the pregnancy.
None of those “reasons” should be the determining factor leading to separation from their baby. They are all temporary circumstances which time may heal given resources when they are most needed.
2 thoughts on “Entitlement”
After learning about the prominent role evangelical churches play in fostering and adoption (both international and domestic), it has struck something in the pit of my stomach, that leaves me very concerned. I’ve been trying to find more information about the phenomenon, but have not been able to find anything in-depth yet that analyzes this really critically. Intuitively, having grown up in a Christian background and knowing the evangelical m.o. is to spread the faith, I just intuitively understand it as being motivated by spreading their values, and targeting children who they see as being vulnerable to receiving it, as well as “being helped by having a better life and coming to know Christ.” It also brings to mind the culturicidal/whitewashing boarding schools that many Native & Aboriginal children were forced apart from their families & forced into.
In addition to the religious neocolonialism that I suspect here… what additionally worries me is the intersections evangelicals can have with homophobia, transphobia, damaging/insensitive/oblivious racial attitudes–if not explicit overt racism–and rigid authoritarian parenting styles, that demand total obedience to authority, & pathologize/criminalize even a typical birth child’s noncompliant or difficult behaviors, to the point I hate to think of a traumatized or attachment-disrupted child dealing with a caregiver who believes in maintaining a “bible-based” household… For example this link here: https://www.salon.com/2013/09/26/a_strict_method_of_christian_discipline_has_led_to_child_abuse_partner/
It’s very troubling.
Oh one more thing–great blog! I’ve been enjoying reading and browsing through it.
I appreciate how questioning and thoughtful you are. With such a perspective, from an understanding up close and personal, you can begin to right many wrongs. Thank you for reading and commenting.