Consider What You Do To Another

It was contentious. Someone wrote – Infertility sucks, but adoption is not meant for people that can’t have their own kids. People that can’t have their own kids should not be able to adopt. It should be an automatic disqualification. Infertile parents have a high probability of piling on trauma for adoptees intentional or unintentional. Infertile people adopting should not be a thing.

There are so many struggles in life that there is just no fix for. You can’t take someone else’s organ because yours failed. You can’t move into someone’s home because you were evicted. You can’t take other peoples’ children because you can’t have them. To me though this also opens up why people who CAN have kids shouldn’t adopt either. Because, then it becomes all about designer babies . . . we have 3 boys but we want a girl, we want blue eyes, we want international. It shouldn’t be that way either. Infertility and its impact on mental health need to be taken more seriously in the US. It’s a grieving process and the only reason buying a child is encouraged is because of the way our adoption practices are set up. People profit and that is all this country cares about. But people on an individual level need to work through it. Sometimes shit happens that cannot be fixed. It is a part of life. We all get slapped something at some point. Your money just insulates you and entitles you to do things that, if others did, it would be unacceptable.

Someone suggests – would a prerequisite for adoption would be a fertility test? To which the original commenter said –  yes, testing would be an option. I don’t have all the answers to how, just sick of seeing infertile people treating vulnerable humans as second choice options. How about just staying childless?

What about someone who is anti-natalist? Anti-natalism is the philosophical position that views birth and procreation of sentient beings as morally wrong: anti-natalists therefore argue that humans should abstain from procreating. This was more of a concern when it appeared that population would continue increasing. Recently, that concern related to over-population has been downplayed. Whether over-population remains an important driver of climate issues is debated. You could read this in Sustainable Review – LINK>3 clear reasons why overpopulation is a myth. One conclusion – a sustained population decline (mainly due to lower fertility rates) is already becoming a realistic outcome.

That is never-the-less not an argument for adoption, though some anti-natalists support adoption as an avenue of possibility for those who wish to raise children. Some reality – fertility issues are heartbreaking. There are plenty of people who want so badly to be parents but are not able to. That does not justify ripping apart another human being’s family. It does not justify predatory behavior towards children and their parents who are simply facing hard times. It does not justify enriching a system that is profit motivated. A person who wants to parent but isn’t able to do so, should seek to fill that need in ways that aren’t blatantly selfish. Find ways to fulfill their own goals, rather doing that at the expense of inflicting trauma on others. Love for children should always be child-focused. Nobody is put here to fulfill the desires of somebody else.

The issue of LGBTQ people came up but that doesn’t change the calculation – someone’s sexual orientation does not give them right to take someone else’s children.

One last thought (I am aware of this back in my own childhood) – it is a known phenomenon that some adoptive parents go on to conceive that biological child they wanted all along. Adoptive parents don’t want to admit it but some were probably told that very thing because adoption has been put forth as a solution for infertility. About 30% of the time, people who were struggling with infertility issues, manage to conceive after adopting a child. Some of them go into adopting, knowing this, straight up using their adopted child to ‘trigger’ their own fertility. Strange but true.  Simply – human beings have a bias toward their own offspring, though many adoptive parents try to argue that isn’t the case. 

There Is No “Just”

I’m short on time today. Coming on the heels of the blog yesterday, this from The Adopted Chamelon seemed perfect –

I hear pro choice people say, “how many kids have you adopted?” Then you have these comments from people who have no understanding of adoption, “You can always adopt if you can’t have your own kids.” “If you don’t want to parent just put the kid up for adoption?”

There is no “just” to it. It is a complex decision that will affect you and the child for the rest of your lives. Adoption is trauma. People treat it like it is a simple solution. “Just” means they have put no thought to what happens after adoption. Children are not born blank slates. We have our family’s heritage, intact, inside us.

The adoption industry has done such a good job dehumanizing children that people think you can “just” put adoptees in the family that had the money to pay for them and everything is great.

The truth is that separation causes a lifelong trauma that could be prevented. We need to see this trauma first and foremost. Stop treating adoption as the answer. Adoption is a lifelong struggle that often gets ignored. If we are going to continue treating children like property at least acknowledge the harm it has done. Stop saying “just” adopt. Stop bypassing the very real trauma that has to happen for a child to be put in the situation where they are permanently being removed from their family to be put with strangers.

We don’t “just” get over it either.


Challenge The Now

When we realize that adoption is born from a separation between a mother and child, we will see that it is traumatizing to all the people involved. Adoption Trauma serves as a term that explains how there are multiple losses, how the process itself is traumatic, and the impact on the mental wellbeing of the person being adopted, those who are choosing to adopt, and those who are separated. You can download an Adoption Trauma Factsheet at this site – Share the factsheet, help raise awareness, educate your community, and support your loved ones.

When a person is adopted their life path is irrevocably altered. It is unnatural and traumatizing for them. The task is to learn how to manage this trauma so the adoptee may find their true identity. Corrupt adoption practices include fabricating adoption documents, coercive recruitment campaigns and systemic oppression of the truth. It is time to challenge the now and help adopted people learn their true identities so they may find their true purpose in life.

It is time to uncover the truth about yourself as impacted by adoption, learn where your origins began, and reveal your adoption story. In my case, both of my parents were adopted. They died knowing next to nothing about all of these aspects of their identity. I have been able to uncover a lot of it for myself, my sister and our own children. Creating a sense of our true identities now. An adoptee who is able to do this feels safer within their own self. Each of us educates ourselves as much as our personal interest and needs dictate. We seek to build a larger awareness of the truths of this practice that profits massively the adoption industry.

People who are adopted domestically in the United States have been advocating to get their original birth certificates, which have historically been sealed and amended. Efforts are being made state by state to overturn previous laws during a time adoptions were conducted in secrecy. It is vital to one’s health to have connections with one’s families of origin and also to know one’s familial medical history.

It is up to all of us to transform adoption. Now is the time we can re-define who adoptees are individually and collectively. They should not be second class citizens. They deserve their full basic human rights.

We are all pioneers in this effort seeking to transform adoption practices together.

Adoption Reform as a Social Movement

Today I read a opinion that Progressives support judicial reform (including changes in the nature of policing), oppose separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, care about minorities and other marginalized communities of people and are concerned about wealth inequality. The criticism is that Progressives show no understanding when an adoptee says – The adoption system is broken. It is a multi-billion dollar industry which exploits mothers in need of aid instead of aiding them financially or emotionally, commoditizes children, separates them from their families leaving long-lasting emotional and mental scars, denies them basic human rights and needs, and then sells them to rich families. The whole system should be dismantled and rebuilt from scratch. The first 4 “supported” issues can easily be combined through the lens of the adoption system to be relatively the same. Why the lack of understanding ?

I am a progressive and I have tons of adoption in my family background. I have now spent almost 4 years intensively educating myself about everything related to the adoption industry which includes foster care. So, I know that what this adoptee was saying about the adoption system is the truth. So, next I thought – is the accusation against Progressives fair ? I did a little google search and sure enough – very little on that topic comes up. I did find one paper in the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare titled “Adoption in the US: The Emergence of a Social Movement” that I thought might be promising but I am left with mixed feelings about it because I am suspecting it won’t go far enough. It is 21 pages and I will try to find time to read it (I admit, I haven’t read it yet – it’s long, okay ?).

I do know that drop by drop of clarity into the muddy waters of the unicorns and rainbows fantasy myth about adoption IS taking place. I belong to a Facebook group that has over 6,000 members – almost all of them sharing personal stories and most are VERY reform minded. That is significant and they are not the only ones shedding light on everything related to adoption and changing hearts and minds. This group of caring individuals has certainly brought me out of the fog of believing adoption is a good thing and helped me to see the very problematic aspects it honestly entails.

Adoption is one of the few issues that seem to have strong with bipartisan support. I was shocked at how much the federal government supports adoption – when I found out my Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar are both the co-chairs of a committee that encourages – and legislates financial support to foster adoption.

Certainly, there is no excuse for the ignorance. If someone with a direct experience of adoption – either a birth mother who lost her child to the system or an adoptee who has learned about how the trauma of being separated from their mother has affected them and will have lifelong lasting effect on them – says the system they came from is broken, as a Progressive who cares, you should listen to them. Then, do the work of researching the issues for yourself but by all means – listen. Then, if you are truly a caring individual, find something you can do to help reform the practice. Do something about the problems that cause unwed expectant mothers to lose their child in the first place.

I Try To Stay Humble

Before I began to know who my original grandparents were (both of my parents were adopted) – adoption was the most natural thing in the world. How could it not be ? It was so natural both of my sisters gave up a baby to adoption. So, in only the last 3+ years, my perspective has changed a lot. I see the impacts of adoption has passed down my family line, ultimately robbing all three of my parents daughter’s of the ability to parent. Though I did not give my daughter up for adoption, finding myself unable to support myself and her financially, I allowed her father and step-mother to raise her without intrusion from me. To be honest, I didn’t think I was important as a mother. I thought that a child only needed one or the other parent to be properly cared for. Sadly, decades later, I learned that situation was not as perfect as I had believed. My sister closest to me in age actually lost custody of her first born son to her former in-laws when she divorced their son. He has suffered the most damage of all of our children and is currently estranged from his mother’s family, viewing us all as the source of his ongoing emotional and mental pain. I love him dearly and wish it wasn’t so but it is not in my control nor my sisters.

I realize that not every adoptee has the same experience. We are all individuals with individual life circumstances. Right and Wrong, Better and Worse – such exactness doesn’t exist. Everyone heals in different ways. We all begin where we begin. I began where I was when I started learning some of the hard truths and realities about the adoption industry as it operates for profit in this country. I also know that the adoption practices of the 1930s when my parents were adopted are not the same overall in 2021. There are only a few truly closed adoptions now and many “open” adoptions. I put the “open” into quotation marks because all too often, the woman who gives birth and surrenders her baby for adoption because she doesn’t feel capable of parenting, just as I didn’t feel capable in my early 20s, discovers that the “open” part is unenforceable and the adoptive parents renege on that promise.

Those of us, myself included, have become activists for reforms going forward. Society has not caught up with us yet. Certainly, there are situations where the best interest of the child is to place them in a safe family structure where they can be sufficiently provided for. No one, no matter how ardently they wish for reform, would say otherwise. The best interests of the child NEVER includes robbing them of their identity or knowledge of their origins. In the best of circumstances, I believe, adoptive parents are placeholders for the original parents and extended biological family until their adoptive child reaches maturity. Ideally, that child grows up with a full awareness and exposure to the personalities of their original parents.

Any parent, eventually reaches a point in the maturing of their child, when it is time to allow that child to be totally independent in their life choices, even if they continue to live with their parents and be financially supported by them. It is a gradual process for most of us and some of us are never 100% separated from our parents until they die. Then, regardless, we must be able to stand on our own two feet, live from our own values and make of the life that our parents – whether it was one set with a mother and a father or two sets of mothers and fathers (whether by adoption or due to divorce) – made possible for us as human beings. I do try not to judge but I do try to remain authentic in my own perspectives, values and beliefs. Those I share as honestly as I can in this blog with as much humility as I have the growth and self-development to embody.