Regarding adoption, one prospective couple wrote – “I want a baby not a full grown kid. My husband and I deserve a baby. We both crave a baby to raise as our own”.
I get that. Not that I believe they deserve someone else’s baby but that they are hoping for that blank slate that Georgia Tann always advertised her babies as being. Science has determined that isn’t the truth but anyway.
Another prospective adoptive couple stated, “Older children come with so many issues. You can’t mother an older child like an infant. Especially as first time parents”. Though I was not a first time parent, my husband was.
When my husband decided he wanted to be a father, we did talk about adoption but decided that we wanted a truly blank slate as our beginning position. We wanted to conceive and for me to carry our baby in my womb, give birth and breastfeed that baby for a reasonable length of time. We did need considerable medical assistance and there was a compromise involved that seemed reasonable but still must be faced fully and accepted. Which I believe I have for the most part.
Regarding the expense of adoption, someone was quoted as saying, “Adoption should be free like abortion is”. Now that does blow my mind because abortion is not free. I know. I had one back in the mid-1970s. There is a cost in dollars at the time and over the long run a cost mentally and emotionally with making such a significant decision. I continue believe it was the right decision at the time I made it but that doesn’t equate to the reality being easy to live with.
Here is another statement that is absolutely not true – “If adoption wasn’t so expensive, there would be more kids who find homes”. Fact is there are 4 couples wanting to adopt for every child available to be adopted. That is one of the reasons that over the most recent decades, many couples have gone out of the United States to obtain a child to raise as their own.
One of the major interests among the members of the adoption community – original parents and adoptees – is reform. Part of reform is actually raising awareness and changing perspectives. That is the hope and the purpose for which I write a blog on related topics each day.
A dear friend pointed out that I don’t seem to believe I have the right to be a mother. The circumstances of my life have done this to me. The tears come. She was quite perceptive.
She noted that on a photo of my daughter and her family (children and husband) I wrote – that I could take no credit for the wonderful person she is because I didn’t raise her after the age of 3. My friend noted – When men take your children away they really do a number on women.
This is sadly true and it has happened to me with ALL of my children in one way or another. So, my ex-husband ended up raising my daughter when my own desperation to financially support us led me to try driving an 18-wheel truck to make some decent money because he simply refused to pay any child support and I wasn’t going to spend my life in court fighting against him.
Truth be told, I never intended for him to raise her. I left her with her paternal grandmother for temporary care that I had no idea how long that would be needed. The grandmother could be forgiven for viewing that as my having abandoned her. That was never my perspective but I can see how it may have looked that way as the days turned into weeks and then months.
That her father could give her a family life with siblings had everything to do with my not even attempting to interrupt that blessing (which is how I saw it though I have learned recently that “blessed” was not exactly how it was experienced by her and more’s the sorrow in this mother’s heart). She rightly views her step-mother as her mother and who am I to argue with that perception.
Then there are my sons who are donor conceived. Therefore, I do see them as more rightfully my husband’s than my own. Again, robbed of my own children by the circumstances of my life which I do not claim that I am a victim of but the one who made every choice to bring these circumstances about.
So I wonder about the grief that is passed down the generations. Both of my parents were adopted. Therefore, BOTH of my own grandmothers suffered the same kind of grief I experience and my sisters experience (both of my sisters also lost either by surrendering to adoption or the courts) an opportunity to raise their own children.
The only good thing I can say about it all at this point is that our children have survived and are managing to raise their own children, even a nephew who in a sense is fulfilling my friend’s insight as he has custody of his own son after a divorce. You just can’t make this stuff up.
It’s the end of the month of August. I didn’t know there was such a thing as “Child Support Awareness” but it is probably the most crucial issue in whether a child is raised by the couple who conceived them or adopted by people who have no genetic relationship to them.
Adoption has primarily served couples afflicted by infertility who have the financial ability to “buy” a child to fill their need. One can argue the semantics but that is what it comes down to.
What are the other situations in life where we cannot have something, so we feel entitled to take something belonging to someone else ? In the case of adoption, that something is a human infant.
If it were a car in a parking lot, it would absolutely be considered stealing to feel an entitlement to take it because one couldn’t obtain one any other way.
People who adopt want to feel good about adopting someone else’s baby. They justify this by saying things like “the child needed a home ANYWAY… they were giving the child away regardless …. someone else would have adopted if not me….”.
What if, instead of selling the baby of a struggling parent to wealthier people, society decided to support the parents in keeping and raising the child ? Many of the emotional and traumatic impacts of adoption would cease to exist. Adoption is a process in serious need of reforms.