I’ve immersed myself in the world of adoption for the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t an active participant, but rather a (mostly) silent observer. Sometimes things were so enraging that I couldn’t help but comment. I looked at post after post in a couple of “Birthmom Support Groups” of several expectant mothers talking about how much adoption was going to hurt them but how they have to put those hurt feelings aside so their child can have a “better life” than what they can provide. I don’t even try anymore, sadly. The same old argument.
I watched one mother who desperately wanted her baby struggle to find a way to make that happen. I watched her reach out for help, when her parents wouldn’t let her come home with her baby, only for her friend to send her to a pastor who is also an adoptive father for “help.” The friend, who originally reached out for help realizing she was being coerced out of her baby by way of threats to be homeless, informed us that this mother would be “placing” after speaking with the adoptive father.
I watched a first mom talk about how she didn’t want her baby because he was the product of rape and if her adult child should ever want to know who his father was she had a “back up friend” willing to pretend for her so he didn’t get hurt.
I watched an adoptive mother who also had a biological child express her frustration that her adoptive son’s birthmother sends gifts and it’s not fair to her biological child. She wanted to split a recent monetary gift between the two kids because that would be “fair.”
I watched prospective adoptive parents in droves ask for money to fund their adoption, ask for ways to raise money, and then become offended when it’s suggested that they fundraise to help keep families together.
I watched adoptees who are hurting lash out at all birthmothers and a few even refusing to accept that many first moms truly had no choice. Even though they signed the papers, they had no way out.
I have watched and read and immersed myself in this world the past couple of weeks, and I’ve come to a few realizations.
The general public has no vested interest in caring about the trauma of family separation. They only see what they care to see. The picture that has been painted for them in movies and ads adoption agencies put out there. For the most part, the general public doesn’t even distinguish between domestic infant adoption and foster to adopt. It’s all the same to them. Google “adoption” and sift through pages and pages of pro-adoption websites that are, in one way or another, funded by agencies, adoptive parents, or anyone else that will financially benefit from adoption (such as facilitators or attorneys).
Adoptive parents are still focusing their energy on their insecurities, even if subconsciously, instead of what is truly healthy for the child. There are some adoptive parents that make a huge effort to put those insecurities aside, on a daily basis, but most still view their adopted children as their possessions and see birth parents as a threat.
Adoptees and first families are deeply hurt. They lash out at each other in a vicious cycle. Adoptee is hurt that mom gave them up, adoptee expresses anger towards birth parents, birth parents see anger and get hurt, birth parents express anger. The fact is, adoptees can never understand the situation that birth parents were put in. Birth parents can never understand that primal wound that has been inflicted. Adoption just sucks.
I didn’t want this post to see so dismal but it does. I just don’t understand why the industry voice is the loudest, the most important. They have the most money (off the backs of the babies they are profiting from) and most certainly use it to make sure the image of adoption that resides in the public’s head is a positive one.
There is hope, however. Adoptees grow, the Internet and technology make the world grow smaller, our voices become louder, and no one should ever underestimate the power of a grassroots effort by those who have been wronged on such a huge level. Even those with massive amounts of money.
Did you ever wonder why, during the baby scoop era, African American babies weren’t given up for adoption? For one, because of obvious racial motivation, black babies weren’t in demand by wealthy white couples looking to adopt. But even more important than that, because of slavery and the practice of separating children and babies from their families against their will, African American culture seriously frowned on adoption and, to an extent, the same holds true today.
Adoption is like slavery. A baby is forcefully taken from its parents. Yes, by force. Even if she says this is what she wants, even if she willingly signs, it is forced. Forced by circumstances, forced by the lies she has been fed about the guaranteed beautiful life, forced by a boyfriend or parent….pick one. The child’s heritage is legally erased, money is exchanged, and they are raised to feel indebted and grateful to their adoptive parents. Loyalty should always remain with their “real” parents, the ones who adopted them. For the rest of this child’s life, this is the struggle they will have. “Will I hurt my parents who raised me if I acknowledge my need to know my heritage?” They become an emotional hostage. Certainly not all adoptees will want to know their heritage and not all adoptive parents will raise their children to feel like this, but the majority do and will.
Why has this become so socially acceptable?
I’ll leave you with a screen shot of the cost break down from an adoption facilitator to
purchase adopt a baby he is pimping advertising. You be the judge.