Meanwhile In Another Reality

Imagine the dominant social narrative surrounding adoption was flipped – that it was viewed negatively by society (media, public, social policy, etc) with no saviorism or birth mom/adoptive parent platitudes like brave or selfless.

Imagine it was considered a socially unacceptable way to build a family or to fulfill a deep wish or right to experience parenting and people seeking to adopt were viewed as selfish.

This radical change came about as the catastrophic effect on children caused by relinquishment, and subsequent adoption became common knowledge.  And that clear understanding developed societal beliefs that deliberately perpetrating adoption was as unpalatable as the current “anti” adoption movement is viewed by proponents.

Instead, society truly became child-centered – where the child’s needs are put first. One that does not permit ownership, name you as parents nor replace the birth certificates, allow name changes, or any family severance. It is also socially unacceptable to brag about your adopted child, or even share their story.  It is instead as embarrassing as it is to admit you are not raising your own birthed child (I know that one way too intimately).

Then other options (like guardianship) would be the default route for permanence when  strangers are needed to care for children who are not able to live with their natural family for safety reasons.  We can and should imagine “better”.  That is why adoptees and original mothers are speaking out about the deep wounds that giving up children for adoption has caused for them.

A New Way – Adoption

If I could, this is the “new way” I’d like to see adoption, going forward.

No secrets.

No change to the original birth certificate.

Prospective adoptive parents really should adopt out of the foster care system
and not take young woman’s infant from them.

Always family preservation should be the primary goal. Mothers should be encouraged to keep and raise their babies.

Any adoption that does occur should be centered on the child’s needs.

Lifetime counseling for adoptees should be part of any licensed agency’s business model. Post-adoption issues are real and prevalent.

No intermediaries at reunions.

Do away from the concept of “non-identifying” information. Adoptees have the
right to know the specific details of their origins.