Today’s story –
I’m tired of having to explain this to prospective adopters. Adoption is NOT needed to give a child a “good” life.
I am Latina, and in my culture, aunts and uncles as well as grandparents step up to help raise each other’s children. Even in cases where there is no poverty nor struggle. My parents were middle-class average Joe’s, yet my aunt and grandma still raised me. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I am not an adoptee nor mother but I am a foster parent. My job is to help reunite infants, toddlers, and grade schoolers with their natural families. I get a lot of hate from other foster parents and adoptive parents for saying this, but adoption simply isn’t necessary.
I became a close family friend to some of the families that I have helped to be reunited, and they are all doing so well. All they needed was a little bit of help. I will go as far as to hire a lawyer to fight family separation. I love these kids, and what’s best for them is to be with their own families. Imagine if we had a mentorship-type program where women helped struggling mothers parent their own child, instead of taking their child away from them. Friends don’t let friends give away their babies.
Also, that $30,000-60,0000 that is spent to adopt an infant would go a long way to helping these parents to keep and raise their own children. I have yet to see a mother who genuinely did not want her child, just a mother who is struggling or has low self-esteem. If that is the case, then build her up. No excuses why you cannot do this. In lots of cultures, like mine, everyone helps to raise each other’s kids without anyone taking them away their own parents and erasing their identity.
A woman shares this – Someone’s asking how to support a friend whose adoption has been disrupted at [a specific point in an unborn baby’s gestation]. This friend is a would be adoptive parent. The responses to this situation, that include some from other adoptive parents who identify themselves as having experienced this, equate it to a death in the family, stillbirth, or trauma.
Certainly, one could relate the two up to a point. The prospective adoptive parents have been excited about the pending adoption. They have the expectation of holding a newborn in their arms. They may have invested in a crib, baby clothes and diapers among their other preparations. But the similarity stops there.
My daughter experienced a stillbirth with her first pregnancy. She describes to me being given the expelled fetus in a blanket to hold and say goodbye to at the hospital. She tells me that when she became pregnant again with my grandson, she could hear this first one saying to her in her heart, you weren’t ready for me then.
Another woman shares (she is an adoptive parent) – I have had two late term stillbirths. Both were cord deaths. In no way, shape or form would I say that a failed adoption is at all related to experiencing a stillbirth or death loss. You cannot even put the two together. It’s only recently that stillbirth has been allowed to even be spoken about. This is why pre-birth adoption matching of unborn babies to be shouldn’t be allowed! Adoptive parents who compare the two, taking away from the women who have had an actual loss by birthing a stillbirth baby by comparing that tremendous sorrow with a belief that their loss of a baby because the expectant mother has changed her mind is a kind of mental illness.
An adoption reform response to prospective adoptive parents experiencing this kind of loss could be – “While this is a type of loss for your family, can you shift your perspective and realize how amazing it is that this mother and your family will not have to live with the certain regrets surrounding an adoption? It is a lovely and precious thing for this mom to be able to parent – just as it would have been for you.”
This was occurring as recently as yesterday. A TikTok Live baby auction. Tiktok username ambrva put out a video seeking adoptive parents. The video she posted yesterday had 1,800 comments. Most of them begging for her child, some actually bidding on her baby. (I don’t do TikTok but oh my !!)
TikTok is not any kind of licensed agency. This has a horrifying trafficking situation written all over it. She has no idea who is trying to get her baby.
One woman echoes my feelings – Omg I can’t even. My first thought is she’s not being serious, she’s only trying to get attention. If she is serious what kind of person will she find on tic to to mistreat her and possibly her child ? Why the hell are videos like this even allowed !?!
Another woman’s comment I am totally on board with – I’d love to know who told her that she couldn’t provide what her baby needs.
Another woman expresses the hopes of many – I desperately hope this girl is just trolling. This is a horrifying way to find a family. Anyone willing to get a baby from TikTok shouldn’t have one…
I did not know this kind of public revelation was a thing until this morning. At least they are honest that it is an adoption. Still, this method of sharing the reality reveals some desperation underneath the celebratory joy. I have dealt with infertility myself. I have tried and tried to get pregnant naturally only to face the truth that my body had become too old to do that anymore (I did give birth to a daughter when I was 19 years old).
This phrase, “No Bump, Still Pumped”, seems to be the response of someone who has not fully faced their infertility. The problem with this is in making a pregnancy reference, when you’re not doing anything like pregnancy. It could be that the grief involved with not being able to conceive hasn’t been fully dealt with. From a kinder perspective, maybe it is an attempt to honestly alert friends and family that the baby they will see soon came from someone else, and not this couple’s own parentage. Really, it all depends on the couple’s true perspective on the matter. Some couples that are adopting may make an announcement that says something like “Paper Pregnant”.
In publicly saying such things, a prospective adoptive couple is celebrating someone else’s trauma, though they may not be willing to fully acknowledge that reality. And it also indicates that they only want babies, not older children at risk of aging out of foster care without any further supports. Such concepts are celebrating the tearing apart of a family. Celebrating without any awareness, the trauma the children will experience.
Such public pronouncements make the adopted child sound like a second choice. They were not the first choice for the couple, which would have been to conceive naturally. I understand this and it is the truth. So, the couple only wants to adopt because they couldn’t have children out of their own natural biological processes. Many adoptees struggle with the knowledge that they were the runner up choice.
Most adopted children will crave their biological families and their mothers generally regret not keeping and raising their children. It took some time and exposure to honest adoptees and their original mothers for me to join the “non-rainbows/unicorns non-rah rah version” of the adoptive narrative. Yet, I have become convinced that no matter how hard it is to accept, adoption is a painful reality for most of those directly affected by its promotion and acceptance.
I don’t know these people and they are not the point. Among the reforms I have learned about in the private Facebook group for original parents, adoptees and adoptive parents that I belong to, and one of their missions, is to support expectant mothers. One of the reforms they advocate, and I agree with, is for the prospective adoptive parents NOT to be present in the delivery room during birth nor for the first few days after the birth. The goal is for the new mother to bond with her baby and perhaps change her mind about giving the baby up for adoption.
The problem is the coercive effect of the adoptive parents’ presence on the new mother. So it is today that I read the story of a hopeful adoptive mother and the problems that have occurred at the last minute in the new mother’s intention to give her baby up. This is a teenage unwed mother who at the tender age of 15 had previously expressed a desire to go back to her pre-pregnancy life and be educated to become a nurse. She also was not living with her parents, had been raped (perhaps by a family member) and did not believe her own mother was capable of helping her parent.
Flash forward to her difficult 3-day delivery and she informs the hopeful adoptive mother that she does NOT want her there because her mom (who opposes the adoption completely) is trying to help her through it and the new mother doesn’t want drama. She gave birth and due to the C-section, she is in the hospital for longer than expected.
Well, she begins to breastfeed the baby while in hospital and of course, breastfeeding does encourage the bonding of mother and child. The result is that three days before the surrender papers are to be signed, the new mother has decided to parent. The struggles of any new mother are temporary, placement is permanent, which is the message this Facebook group attempts to convey.
The result is a very mad hopeful adoptive mother who is blaming everyone from the social worker to the hospital to hormones and drugs and the immature age of the new mother and to the new grandmother as well for losing the “perfect baby-these don’t come by often” which echoes in my own mind like the words the Tennessee Children’s Home used to describe my mom to her adoptive parents.