Wednesday, December 30, 2009

THE BEST HOPE


If you read my first post on this topic you know that I am shocked and confused by this new realm I have discovered: people who think adoption should be "abolished."

In just a short time of reading these blogs, I very quickly realized, that all of them have had negative experiences with adoption: some go back the 1950's when pregnant girls were whisked away to some unknown city to "visit a sick cousin" (hide the pregnancy) and it was all hush hush and no one ever knew where the baby went, some were tricked with drugs into signing away their rights, some had horribly abusive adoptive parents, some were promised letters and pictures, but never received them and some were not counseled well and were made to feel guilty and dirty. They prefer to be called "first mothers" or "natural mothers" not birth mothers. They feel they are the only "true" mother of their child.

I also learned that many adoptees are still being denied their original birth certificates. This is a great shame. I know that some "natural mothers" wish to remain anonymous, but one of the reasons for having "open" adoption is so that medical records (of hereditary diseases, heart or blood issue), if needed, are available.

They are also offended that the birth certificates are altered, as they see it, wiping them out of their child's life.

I feel horrible that these women have had these experiences, but in their hurt, anger and betrayal they are trying to turn others against adoption, harassing bloggers who have adopted and lumping everyone's motives in together.

I cried reading this woman's story, of how, under heavy medication, she signed away her parental rights and her child was taken away.

They seem to have this feeling that EVERY adopted child feels abandoned. I can tell you that this is not the case. My husband is adopted and is very secure. ABANDONED is not how he feels. So there have to be others out there like him. Being adopted very seldom even crosses my husbands mind. It's not "who he is," but how he came to be with his family.

They are so mad at God that they can't see that He does have a plan and sometimes that plan does not include being raised by the "natural parents." One even said, "I almost never pray for someone else,..." This in itself tells me that they are just thinking of themselves and not the child. I did not want, nor need, to "steal" anyone's baby. However, I do believe that Samuel was "destined" to be raised by Richard and I.

Some just come right out with it. They are ANTI-ADOPTION just as the title says.

I do not see myself as the "second-best" option for Samuel nor do I see myself as "rescueing" him. I am not some hero, although some people have tried to make it seem like I did this just to "be kind," saying, "You are so wonderful to adopt," which is really quite maddening. This is just the way I was meant to become a mom.

In no way do I agree with children being "taken" from their "natural mothers." I do feel however that "honest" counseling can help them think through "what is best for the child." This may mean raising their child, but, yes, sometimes that does mean that the "natural parents" are not fit ("A parent may be deemed unfit if they have been abusive, neglected, or failed to provide proper care for the child. A parent with a mental disturbance or addiction to drugs or alcohol may also be found to be an unfit parent. Failure to visit, provide support, or incarceration are other examples of grounds for being found unfit.") and adoption could be the best plan.

I can not imagine the pain and heart ache mothers go through when they choose adoption, let alone when it is forced upon them, but when you look at the other options: abortion, foster care, unfit home, etc...adoption, although not perfect (as nothing is), certainly is the best hope.

More to come......

10 comments:

birthmothertalks said...

I can see how you didn't think about anyone hating adoption, because your life has been so blessed by adoption. It's pretty normal to only be thinking about it from your view. You are on the good side of adoption. I am sure you are aware that I am one of the birth parents that was uneducated and pretty much forced into signing away my rights to my daughter. I used to assume my daughter would feel abandoned, because as a Mom, I felt that I should be there for her. As far as I can tell my daughter feels no such feelings.
I am not anti adoption. But also I am not going to praise it. When I see adoption creates families it bugs me a little, but it's not my place to say what people can post. However, if I write adoption destroys families, I am sure people would be offended. I think I am a little different than most, because I know I know sometimes adoption just has to happen. Women get pregnant and for one reason or another can't parent.
I still do question adoption agency's who stand to make a profit from adoption. How can they give unbiased information if they don't get paid if they parent. But I am not out to change adoption, but I am happy to see more people willing to do open adoptions. But I think they should be legally binding. I wonder what prospective adoptive parents can do to assure that they are dealing with a honest agency.
I can relate to the really angry ones a little bit, because I am not so sure that wouldn't have been me if I was given this same kind of chance to write and read blogs. I will save you from all the horrible things I used to think. So, please remember those angry people are hurting so bad and they don't know what to do with the hurt so adoptive parents probably seem like the best people to attack and I am assuming that they probably can't attack the ones that adopted their child. I am not offending them, but the best advice I can give is don't take it personal and don't fight with them. It won't give them much pleasure if you ignore them or return something nice to them.

Debbie B said...

Personally I don't like the way birth certificates are changed either. I don't have an alternative for it but erasing my daughters first mom's name from it and assuming me to have given birth to her just doesn't seem right for anyone.
You are right, there are others out their like Richard but we don't hear their stories. We only ever hear the angry ones because they are the ones that need to get their feelings out there. As birthmothertalks said they are just hurting now and the blog is an outlet for them. In a way I think it's healthy for them to blog. No they shouldn't attack but as she said above we shouldn't fight with them either.

If you've watched the new show Find My Family one thing sticks out to me as I read your post here. Until there is a reunion the birthmoms will feel like their child has been abandoned because that's what they feel they did to their child, something open adoptions help with. Intellectually I can understand their pain and frustration at the system. To be made promises and then the complete opposite is done is heart wrenching for anyone. To have an open adoption for years and then your child's adoptive parents cut of all contact with no reason being shared. I agree open adoption agreements should be legally binding but there still has to be room to live your lives and change as you go.

issycat said...

Sweetie...I am not anti-adoption. Nor am I anti-christian. In fact, I am quite the opposite.

I also did not have a bad experience... had very happy childhood and am pretty happy with the way I grew up.

But thanks for the link to my blog. I can always use more traffic.
You're the best.

Cassi said...

I think, as I do see often when people begin to first explore the side of adoption that is not always roses and sunshine that you may very often be taking what so many others as speaking out about as being anti-adoption or just bitter and angry because of bad experiences.

But I do believe if you read closer and deeper into what many are saying who are fighting for adoption reform, you will see it is not to end what the true meaning of adoption should be which is about finding families for children who need them NOT about finding children for families who want them.

It's about providing the resources and support EVERY mother and child deserves to stay together. It's about not erasing a child's past in order to be loved by another family. IN allowing them to be who they want to be through all sides of their family and restoring to them the human rights they are denied.

I know many people who are fighting for adoption reform from all sides, First Mom, adoptee and Adoptive Mom. Not all have had so-called bad experiences or unhappy with their life. But they all do see that adoption today, in the way it is practiced and the unethical and coercive measures that exist MUST be changed so that unnecessary adoptions come to an end and again adoption becomes about the child only and their needs.

And for the record, I have a lifetime and unwavering faith in God but I KNOW, without question, my son's adoption was never part of his plan. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

osolomama said...

I agree with Cassi. Keep reading. Some of it will shock you. As an adoptive mom I understand how busting through the lollipops can feel threatening and unpleasant at first, but the more you read just to hear other people's views (without trying to judge them), the more it will make sense how desperately adoption needs reforming. Our joy is someone else's extreme heartache, which is why I don't believe that God ever intends to deprive original families of their children just to make someone else parents. You got lucky, and so did I, because the system was with us. There is no fairness or love here. Heck, my child's first parents were married and forced to abandon because of the one-child policy. God had no part in it.

Kris said...

i agree with Cassi too, though i think you were talking about bloggers who want to ABOLISH adoption, not reform it, so the point may have been missed.

however, i do believe adoption needs reforming, without a doubt.

and i'll add that MAN HAS FREE WILL. not EVERYTHING in life is GOD'S WILL. how frustrated i get with that notion. does God have the power to bring good from our blunders and mishaps? YES. but that doesn't mean it was God's plan to separate your child from his first family.

clare said...

Tracey, you may not see yourself as the second best option for Samuel, but Samuel will. Lets face it, most of us who are adopted know that we would never have had the adoptive family we ended up with if they could have had their own biological children. We know we were the last resort for them to have a family. Last choice. That makes us feel just wonderful.

I also take issue with your statement that "this is the way I was meant to become a mom". Really? How do you know that? Ever think that maybe you just weren't meant to be a "mom" at all?

Tracey said...

Clare, I know this the same way I know there is God and He blesses our lives in ways we never imagined!

Jacksmom said...

Tracey,

I think you're right that many people who don't support adoption may have had negative experiences. Whether it be the way their adoption was handled, feeling coerced, not having the relationship with the adoptive family that they'd expected or whatever. I think those things would definitely tarnish the view. I had a positive view of adoption for the most part, and I haven't adopted a child yet. Heck, we may not at this point. And I really hated when we told people we were going to adopt that they would act like we were heroes. It was the only other way for us to expand our family, for our son to have a sibling, and for us to have another child that we long for. I wasn't doing it to save a child from an abusive family, or because I thought I could give any other child a better life. It just would have been different is all.

And I have a very good friend who doesn't know her birthmom, she was adopted through foster care, and she loved her adoptive mom. She was 4, and was adopted with her 3 siblings. Was her adoptive mom perfect? No. But I've never heard my friend say that she feels like her adoptive mom took them because they were the second best option. She actually says that she doesn't know if her birthmom is alive or dead, and she doesn't associate her as being her mom, so it doesn't bother her at all.

And for what it's worth, my father was adopted. He loved his adoptive parents (my grandparents), but he does wish that he knew more about his birth family for nothing more than medical purposes.

I think how the child feels about their adoption has alot to do with how the adoptive parents handle questions and telling the child as they grow up, as well as counseling that they may need or seek as they grow up.

Not everyone can be happy about everything, adoption is no different. It's what makes the world go around.

heatherrainbow said...

Hi Tracy,

I was one of the mothers coerced into signing away my rights in a hospital room, 11 years ago. I stated I wanted to raise my child. I had never done drugs, I was a good person, never any trouble to anyone. A lawyer and social worker came to my room, unsolicited, as I had never considered adoption prior to entering the hospital. They told me I wasn't good enough, that my daughter deserved a two parent home, who were financially stable. After I refused, they stated I could have an open adoption, and that I could have a relationship with my daughter. They'd keep her name, send me pictures and updates, and I could have phone calls and visits. The adoptive parents (guided by the lawyer and social worker, I presume) agreed to all of it. I received pictures and updates for 3 years, and then they stopped.

I've recently attempted to contact my daughter's kidnappers (because my signature was obtained by coercion AND fraud) and they said my daughter doesn't even know she's adopted.

I invite you to check out my blog to see my views on open adoption, and how it needs to be changed.