Thursday, December 31, 2009

IF NOT ADOPTION, THEN WHAT? PART1

Controversial is not normally my style. I do not like stirring things up, but this topic hits very close to home. There are certain issues that I feel I must speak to and "anti-adoption" is one of them.

Check out my first two posts on this topic....here and here.

The most disturbing blog I have found is LIVING IN THE SHADOWS. First I want you to go here, which explains where this woman is coming from. She was lied to and coerced into placing her child for adoption. I understand how her experience has caused these beliefs and I feel very sorry for her. With that said, I disagree with most of the rest of her blog.

In the sidebar she has a four part post entitled THE CASE AGAINST ADOPTION. In the INTRODUCTION she makes some very interesting points, however....

* I do not think the alternative is to have children languish in foster care without having any real sense of family.
* I do not think that mother's who have no education or financial where-with-all should be
"made" to keep children, possible from rape, that were unwanted.
* I do not think that I should have to
"support" you. You are the one choosing to keep your child and if you really don't have the means to do so, maybe this isn't the best choice. I do believe in charity, but if adoption was abolished I think "the system" would be OVERFLOWING with those needing "support."
* I agree that some adoptions are illegal and children have been stolen.
* I know my adopted child is not a toy or a pet and he is not second best to a biological child.
* I agree that some people do not stand by what they
agreed to do in the adoption plan, but if they are really thinking about the child they would.
* I agree that the foster care system needs a major overhaul, but to
"abolish" adoption all together would create a monumental crisis that the world would not soon get over.

In PART 1 of her CASE AGAINST ADOPTION she goes into ancient adoption, where she explains The Code of Hammurabi.

“Adoption had to be with consent of the real parents, who usually executed a deed making over the child, who thus ceased to have any claim upon them. But vestals, hierodules, certain palace officials and slaves had no rights over their children and could raise no obstacle. Foundlings and illegitimate children had no parents to object. If the adopted child discovered his true parents and wanted to return to them, his eye or tongue was torn out.”


* Adopting an "orphaned" child is ok, but adopting other children is not?
* Adoption in the past (ancient history) was indeed for the adult's benefit only, but certainly things have changed since then.
* The open-adoption I have does not
"require" my son to cut ties with his natural family and I would be remiss in my parenting of him if I allowed that to happen.
* Stolen babies, illegal adoptions, unethical legal practices ....I get it....but I do not think this is the norm.


She then says, "So okay, you say, what then? What if adoption is gone and no longer exists? What about all those children who are abandoned (although this number is greatly exaggerated), abused, neglected etc? What do we do with them? From what I gather, adoption as it is right now appears to be more about infant adoption than adoption for those children who are in need of a stable home. Cute newborns who are supposedly (according to some uninformed individuals) blank slates, are in the highest demand. Children languishing in our foster care systems are the biggest proof that adoption is about the adults and not the children. If more people were interested in caring for children, less children would fall into the foster care system."

* I do not think the number of abandoned children is "greatly exaggerated."
* For the most part I do agree that newborns are
"blank slates"
* Personally, I did try to adopt through the foster care system and after a year we were no closer to adoption then the day we started. The foster care system's goal is
"parent reunification." They give the "natural parents" (drug addicts etc...) more then enough chases to get their lives in order, while the child is bounced around from foster home to foster home and I feel they, in no way, are thinking of the child's best welfare, but are totally looking at the adult's needs.

Her next comment:

"As intelligent human beings (at least I hope we are), there is no reason ethically and morally why we cannot work out another alternative to adoption. There is no real reason we cannot abolish adoption and yet still provide care for these precious children who truly need it."


Until this way is found....what would you have us do? Provide "care" ....I am not Samuel's babysitter...I am his mother!

"Sealing records and hiding birth certificates benefits nobody in the long run. Contact with the family of Origin would not need to be a threat if it was conducted in the best interests of the child."


TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS!

"Back in ancient times, little was known about the damages adoption would cause. It is obvious adoptees back then tried to return to their families which is why the Code of Hammurabi includes a law that states an adopted person will have their eye cut out or their tongue cut off if they sought out their origins."


* Back in ancient times...these cast off children died in the streets....

Some adoptions were and are bad, as her experience was, BUT, that does not negate all the good. As she can name blog after blog of people who are against adoption, I can name just as many who are for it. Would she have these cases terminated?


More to come.....

ps...I have now turned comment moderation on...I do not mind a healthy debate and people expressing their opinions, even if they are different then mine, but I do not want vulgarity, abuse or harassment and I will delete those types of comments. Thank you.

7 comments:

Christy said...

Thank you for your series and research on such a delicate topic. I am looking forward to more! I did read this woman's blog and I, too feel sorry for her and the experience she had. It does not, however mean that all adoptions are bad, unethical and should be abolished. So many more are good and wonderful! I know adult adoptees who have no regrets about being adopted and have the utmost respect for their birthfamilies.

Kris said...

Her arguments illustrate a desire for all of life to not be "messy". For every situation to neatly fit within only certain categories. The fact of the matter is that NOT all adoptions are horrible. Do I believe that there are adoptive parents who do not have the best interest of the child in mind? YES! I do...I know of a few who believe that "now they are in my home--my child--they do NOT need to know about their beginnings". These are very disturbing cases...and do not create a positive, open environment for the children.

Do I wish for the perfect world for all children being raised by their biological parents? NO. The ability to pro-create does not equate to being ready to parent. For some reason some cannot separate the two situations as they are very different.

It is very unfortunate that her experience was so negative and hurtful. It is clear she is speaking from her place of hurt. I pray she finds healing, which is ultimately what she is looking for.

Elizabeth said...

I think you've done a good job of expressing why so many adoptees and natural parents are against adoption in your blog series. So many of them have had awful experiences--which to me seems like a very good reason to be "anti-adoption". I have only ever once heard of an adoptive parent being anti-adoption, and that was after she was made aware of the massive fraud that was taking place in her case. Of course the huge majority of adoptive parents are going to say that the pros greatly outweigh the cons, because they get to keep a child and have the happy family the always wanted.

I am increasingly concerned with the horrific tales coming from the other two sides of the triad, and I think to ignore them is to turn a blind eye to incredible injustice.

The saddest part is that adoptive parents (and the ignorant public) always say (and I say "always" because I've heard this every single time the topic comes up) that "that was then--things are so much better now". 1) We're not going to actually know if things are "better" for another 20 years, when today's adoptees grow up and have the opportunity and courage to assert their rights--and the time to process and mourn. 2) International adoption is absolutely not better, and to say it is is simply denial. 3) Natural mothers may be "better" off now than during the "Baby Scoop Era", since hopefully they are not gagged while having their newborns stolen, BUT it's no where near where it should be. In my opinion, adoption will not be a *just* process until pregnant women make all decisions to "give their baby up" after the baby is born and all adoptees have complete access to original and accurate records.

I am not anti-adoption. I am just an adult adoptee (who had quite a happy childhood) who is trapped by the state of NY from receiving any serious information about the circumstances of my heritage or birth.

Mountain Girl said...

I think that the "facilitators" of adoption should be further examined such as the "counselor", attorney, and other individuals (not the prospective adopters or birth family) who pushed, encouraged, and possibly are the reason why this adoption went sour as well as others.

Also, what should happen to the children who are removed from homes due to abuse, drug usage, etc. WHO should raise and care for them?

As other people have stated, it was heartbreaking to read this woman's story and I can certainly see why she is anti-adoption and has some valid points. However, I think there are many appropriate circumstances, etc. when adoption is "right" and has worked. I have read many blogs where the open adoption has worked fabulously. Birth mothers willingly look for another family to raise their child. Granted, there may be some adoptive parents who do not follow through on their promises and that is not right, but many do. Interesting study that you are doing here.

Laurie said...

I think some countries have better systems for orphans that let them keep the original identity and legal connection to the natural family as well as adding the new name on and a legal familial connection to the caretaker family. I wonder if that is what some people mean when they want to abolish America's style of adoption.
As far as blank slate, I KNOW our son and myself (the adoptees) were not blank slates!! We came out 50/50 of nature nurture as adults and my husband is constantly mentioning I am a cross between my two moms!! (and I think he means it in a bad way-lol) J/k
Being predestined by the Lord to be adopted, that I don't feel in agreement on with you, although I can't explain what I do believe as I have not figured that out!
The girl whose blog you linked, I would expect she could take those awful people to court but I am probably wrong. So many cases are so wrong and humans so cruel to each other disapoints me so much. Can I ask how you created the Jesus holding Samuel picture? You can email me if you want!

Jamie said...

I was adopted through the state at 4. I am soooo. Thankful. I would of been raised by abusive, niaeve, drug addict parents. The state tried to keep us in the family with grandparents, but it was too much and we were then put in foster care. Luckily we found a family fast, I feel for those whose parents keep getting one more chance....that's wayy too confusing. I may be adopting one day, so I think its good to remember these things.

Jacksmom said...

Tracey, I like that you're doing this series. I wrote about ethics in adoption while we were choosing an agency to work with and I think it's very important.

There is a great need for adoption reform. My father was adopted by my grandparents in Canada and grew up in CT. He still cannot get access to his birth records as they are sealed. There are many things that need to change ranging from the agency to the legal system. But the writer declaring that adoption should be abolished when she hasn't given any ideas to what will happen to those children in the system or the parents who are trapped that would have otherwise considered adoption is not helpful either.

I would also love to know how you were able to do a picture of Jesus holding Samuel. Please email me!!