It’s A Small World After All

I am constantly amazed at how many people have some connection to adoption or foster care. It isn’t much talked about. I am proud of an all things adoption group I belong to on Facebook because they do some really good work.

Some examples –

We (as a group) helped mom financially with legal fees to revoke consent and get her daughter home. Because of this, several members of this group had to testify in court. We were accused of “child trafficking” and only helping get “O” home, so we could “sell her.” Clearly, DSS and the judge thankfully could see through that BS and “O” was returned home to her mother. Months later, the hopeful adoptive parents are still periodically calling Dept of Social Services DSS. They even created a TikTok and Instagram to slander her parents – months after she went home to her original family.

Every single mom with or without agency involvement has had Child Protective Services CPS called – out of spite. Hopeful adoptive parents HAPs have even told CPS “if you remove the baby, I’ll take her/him.”

Moms have received numerous text messages, phone calls, emails etc from HAPs. When mom blocks them, HAP’s family members continue the harassment.

The online adoption community is a small, small world. We’ve had HAPs find out that we have assisted moms with legal fees, baby registries and it is used against them because “they can’t afford” a baby. Obviously, when a mom has planned adoption for 9 months – she only has days or even less to get everything her baby needs. This is why we do baby registries. It’s also why we now do them anonymously. We will not let it be used against a mom because she simply doesn’t have everything her baby needs, when CPS comes knocking. And they always do, thanks to spiteful HAPs.

Shaming mom online because she has ruined their entire life, comparing their loss to a stillbirth. Yet, they miraculously recover, when the next baby comes along. Because the truth is – any baby will do.

Not only are some of the things above, what the community I am a part of has done but also what we have seen. When a hopeful adoptive parent enters the community, they often don’t stay long because this community’s mission is original family preservation. No rah rah rahs for the whole industry of adoption – though it is acknowledged that sometimes adoption cannot be avoided. Many HAP leave this community angry. Adoptees and former foster care youth are privileged voices in the community and speak their trauma and pain and what it is like to come out of the fog of believing adoption is a beautiful thing. I was in that fog when I first arrived there and quickly learned my place and then, by reading and considering the point of view there, they won me over to their side of the mission – hence this blog.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Not to mention the maternal mortality rate in the US. Why do I have to put my body and life at risk. And it’s ESPECIALLY high for women of color.

Forcing women to breed (this word is deliberate) is so disgusting!!! We are not livestock! What happens in any womb except your own should be of exactly zero concern to you!!!

A woman should be allowed to CHOOSE adoption — armed with all of the information she can possibly have at her disposal. She should be allowed to CHOOSE adoption with the support she needs to parent her baby.

It should never be coerced or forced. Adoption agencies have a stake in taking her baby for adoption because they receive money from the adoptive parents for her child. This leads to coercive tactics which entirely remove her choice in the matter.

Or what about a woman whose choice is raising a child in poverty and being told she’s a terrible mother and that the child’s better off with someone else? Not really much of a choice, is it?

So I believe in the CHOICE, but that in order to make any choice about this matter, we must be fully informed on what’s happening and given all options possible. Most women who surrender a child to adoption regret their decision, or wish they had been given the choice to parent.

The money adoptive parents spend to take a child from its natural mother could better be used to help support that mother in caring for her child. Then, the child’s identity doesn’t need to be altered in order to support the needs of the adoptive parents (because that doesn’t provide for the needs of the child or natural parents, only the adoptive parents).

Very few women giving their child up for adoption really have a choice. There is a TON of coercion in adoption, not to mention the mother child separation trauma an adoptee will have to deal with the rest of their lives.

Regarding abortion – a group of cells will not survive outside the human that is hosting them. There’s no killing of any healthy baby, ever, in most abortions. Every person who has a late term abortion (which is the only time it’s possible to kill an actual baby) has it done to protect their own life or save the baby from a horrendous existence. If the woman’s doctor must know the baby will not survive long and will not suffer while dying, or that doctor would not perform a late term abortion. It’s literally not possible to kill something that doesn’t exist.

Here’s one adoptee’s story – I’m not only an adoptee but a former foster youth. I was adopted when I was 3. All my life I’ve never felt a connection with my adoptive mother, like I see my friends have with their moms. When I was younger I think I did (but have no memories from childhood). As I got older, any connection I may have had has faded. Sometimes her presence makes me angry or even how she talks or does things. I feel bad that I feel this way. I do have love for her but I don’t know … I just don’t feel that connection that everyone else does with their mother.

Adoption is generally not a good solution for most of the people involved, even the adoptive parents suffer in many cases.

I Think It Will Always Be Sad

When it would take so little, we fail them. Today’s adoption story of one such event.

I was born on September 5th. I was adopted on January 14th, after my First Mom changed her mind back toward the adoption. I was a private domestic adoption. She was young, she was in need of help that would have been so easy to give ! Literally all she would have needed was financial and childcare help! Yet the only help she was given was pressure to give me away to my adoptive parents.

I am sad for her that it happened. I am guiltily glad for me that it happened. But I am sad for EVERYONE that it happened the way it did. If given the choice, I WOULD choose my adoptive family. But I wish my adoptive parents would have known they could have adopted me without severing all physical and name ties to my birth family. So I’m having to come to terms with the fact that even though my adoptive Mom did everything “right” as far as an open adoption was in the 90s, it wasn’t right enough.

I’m having to come to terms with the fact that my First Mom has a right and a reason to all the anger that she has carried for so long that I brushed off because I didn’t understand. I feel guilty now for how much my words over the years have probably hurt her. Showing frustration with my birth name for example, because my adoptive parents kept it but never used it – so its been a hassle my whole life.

Now I think of my son and how he already knows his name and how it would be getting unofficially changed soon if he was me. And then my son, my son, my son. He was born on September 3rd and the idea that in two weeks I would be handing him over to strangers is breaking my heart.

Before having him “4 months” didn’t seem like a long time at all. It seemed like a blip. But these 4 months have been PACKED with bonding and memories and moments. Part of me wonders now if those 4 months were actually better for me and lessened the trauma somewhat? Or perhaps they made it worse?

I know there’s no baseline, so there’s no way to know BUT I see how happy and stable and easy going my son is and I tend to think that these 4 months with him have laid a solid foundation that at least he has had security and a bond with the woman who carried him for 9 months.

SO I tend to think that I am grateful for those 4 months I had with my First Mom. I wish I could tell her that without her brushing me off and not wanting to discuss the hard things. I wish I could tell my adoptive Mom that for all good intentions and overall desire to honor my First Mom, she was still wrong about so many things and has the potential now to at least help educate others.

Most of all I wish that I could stop thinking about how much my son knows me and my husband and his Grandmas already and how he 100% recognizes and prefers us to anyone else.

Accepting Reality

. . . really ought to be accepted.  An adoptive mother writes, “My hearts desire was to be a Mom. If I could have carried and delivered a biological child, my health insurance would have picked up most of the cost. I certainly couldn’t afford to pay the entire hospital bill out of my pocket.”

“I think there are more reasons than just financial ones that an expectant mother considers when deciding to place their child for adoption. I can understand your feelings.”

“There is no insurance to help pay for the process. I certainly couldn’t afford the adoption process out of pocket without fundraising. It does seem like we adoptive parents are ‘buying’ a child. The whole process needs to be revamped. There needs to be more programs to assist hopeful adoptive parents afford the process or lobby government for better adoption credits, funding, etc.”

“We were helped and supported by so many in our family and community. I do feel it is unfair for people to say, ‘don’t adopt if you can’t afford it’.  Some of us have no other choice but to seek outside funding to realize our dreams.”

Infertility – maybe it is God’s will ? Infertility isn’t fair, but it still doesn’t entitle you to someone else’s baby. Dreams of having a baby are a part of life for many people. But not all dreams are possible to realize.  Try getting a puppy. No one is entitled to children. It’s not a need. It’s a want. It’s a BIG want, but it’s still just a want.

If God doesn’t make mistakes, then the mother into who’s womb that baby you want to adopt was placed was the right one to begin with. It’s a shame that struggling mothers need to worry about basic necessities after having a baby. I sincerely wish society would band together to assist struggling expectant mothers rather than prey on their vulnerability when it is time for them to give birth. Adoption is not the natural order of life and should happen only in the rarest of circumstances. It should never, ever happen due to a lack of money or support. We are a failure as a society because this happens.

A difficult to hear but totally reasonable reply to the above could be – “Why is the dream always to get their own baby and not help someone with their baby ? Is it that hard to be a good human? Women that are dealing with a crisis pregnancy should not be shamed into giving that child away simply because they are not as well off as hopeful adoptive parents. Why does someone that has more money deserve to raise that child more than that child’s own mother ? Why don’t we as a society support women so they can parent their children. A struggling mom is deemed at fault because she got pregnant but can’t afford to raise her kid ? Maybe we need a better social system in this country so there isn’t such a class disparity. Fundraising to take someone else’s child away from them when they are struggling financially is disgusting. Hopeful adoptive parents are no more worthy of being a parent than anyone else.”

One woman replied to the above – “Fun fact: My brother and his wife have two biological daughters born almost exactly two years apart. When the second daughter was about 2 months old, they finally received their last hospital bill for the birth of the first daughter two years prior. This was a regular, uncomplicated vaginally delivery with no extended hospital stay and no special care for the baby. Both parents had health insurance through their employers. This idea that adoption is so much more expensive than giving birth to a biological child is a myth. Especially in the US.”

Personally, I really like this reply – “Why don’t men have to have a certain financial reserve in the bank before they have sex ? Why do they have sex with women if they are not able and willing to support a child ? Why have sex if you can’t take care of a baby ? It makes no sense. The responsibility for a child’s conception is NEVER about the man’s responsibility. Ever. And men are the ones who also overwhelmingly push for laws governing a woman’s body. ”

A 69 year old woman who was adopted and then gave up a child as a very young woman admits, “No one comes out of adoption without deep sorrow, the pain of never being good enough lasts a lifetime.”

There are many people who have been touched by adoption that are making an effort every day to make adoption a rare event.