Saturday, March 22, 2014

Domestic Infant Adoption

I have been reading a lot on facebook and cafemom about adoption. I do it all the time really. But lately it has really been getting under my skin. And that means I have started talking about it. I have started talking to people that have no connection to adoption whatsoever. And I have been sending friends links to my blog. So I am finally sharing my private spot. And it feels good.

I shared my blog with a friend I went to school with. She read some of it and asked me a question. Why am I so against adoption? So I started typing my reply to her. And I thought, you know that would make a great blog post. So here it is.

I went back in my own blog to find the support for my argument. In this blog post Christopher's birthday I told the story of my pregnancy and his birth. I was young. 17. And I had no support from a my family. Well, I could have still lived there I'm sure, but that wouldn't have been good for Christopher. So what did I do? I ran away to live with an older man that had a job, so he could take care of me. Yeah that wasn't smart either, but I didn't have many options. Not sure if you see where this is going, but I will explain.

Women are conned out of their children daily. How? They have no family support. No job. They are young. They don't know the resources available to them. So maybe they talk to a counselor at school. Maybe they are directed to a crisis pregnancy counselor. Maybe they use google on their smartphone and search "unplanned pregancy" like I just did. You know what I saw?






You see those first 3 things right there? Adoption.... A scared teenager, doesn't have a chance. She loves her baby and don't know what to do. She will call to talk to someone about her options, and they will decide that she really doesn't have any. She can't take care of a baby. So she should give her baby to someone that can.

Luckily, I didn't do any of those things. I ran. I went somewhere that I knew I could get some support and keep my baby, even if it was the wrong kind of support. I made a stupid decision. But I made it out of love and worry for my child.

The world is told that women "birthmoms" love their child enough to give it a chance. A better life. That is just not true. These women need support. They need to know that they can keep their child and raise their child and that everything will be okay.

Then we have these people that say well, if you don't have adoption as a choice then these women will choose abortion, or they will beat their child. Or their child will be neglected because they don't have the resources. Or there are the women that really just don't want their baby. Sadly, I know this is true in the very rare case. But let me explain something. A woman that does not want a baby does not normally go and find the perfect parents to raise this baby. They don't care. You read daily about women that kill their children. Throw them in dumpsters. Beat them to death. Starve them to death. These are the women that truly do not want their child. They care so little about the child, that they couldn't take the time to be bothered finding another family for it.

I have children. And I am not going to lie. There are weeks we eat spaghetti for days because that's what I can afford. And there are days that I don't eat at all. If there isn't enough food, I tell the kids I'm not hungry. Just so I know they can have two plates full because that's what they always eat. I don't have a good job making lots of money. And what money I do have has to pay our bills. And then I borrow money that I have trouble paying back, just to pay the next bill. But my children are in a home with lights, water, food. They are not beaten or starved. They are not neglected. They are wanted by a poor mother. I am not looking for homes for my children. I'm not going to love them enough to give them away. I'm going to love them enough to do what I have to to provide for them. Because that's what a Mama does, when someone tells her she can. So please, quit telling her she can't.

I am not completely against adoption like some people are. I think a lot needs to change with the way anything is done. But I am not against it. I have a wonderful friend that just adopted 6 children from foster care. She was one of the very few that would take on 6 siblings just so they didn't get separated by adoption. I think if you are going to adopt it should be from foster care. Yes, those children may have problems. But even if you had a child yourself, that child could have problems. Yes, I know taking in a child that was beaten and neglected and abused is asking for trouble. But that child that you could make a difference for didn't ask for that trouble either. But they have to live with it. Wouldn't it be nice if they found a family to love and support them. To help them with their troubles instead of bouncing from home to home, never really getting close to anyone because they don't know how long they will be there. Never really trusting people. If you truly want to save a child, you do that through foster care. No, not all parents of foster kids are bad. I'm not. But no one knows how crooked this system is. You may be saving a child from their parents. You may not. But you will definitely be saving a child from a lifetime of shuffling from one home to another in a system that doesn't care.

Okay, I am going on little sleep, so I am not even sure that made sense. But that is my thoughts over the last few days. I hope someone can read it, and learn....

6 comments:

  1. I understand that everyone has their own experiences and is entitled to their own opinion, but I just have to share my thoughts. I am a birth mother who had excellent support from my parents and the agency that handled my child's adoption. Never at anytime did I feel like I was being pressured or coerced into a decision, but having read about others' experiences, I fear I may have had a unique experience.
    My counselor was willing to listen to me and if she pushed me to do anything it was to take time to consider my decision as I knew from the start that adoption was my most viable option. But I was encouraged to discuss it, reflect on it, and truly weigh my choices.
    During one of those conversations my mother, trying to let me know that they were going to support me no matter what, said that if I wanted to choose adoption they would help me in anyway they could, but if I wanted to be a parent "we would make that work". I reflected on what that meant to me, and began to think of a dinner party for which you have planned for five guests, but eight show up. You stretch the food to accommodate the extra people. It may mean that everyone has to take a smaller portion or won't be able to go back for seconds, but you "make it work". I didn't like the idea of that. I wanted my child to be able "to go back for seconds" and have as much of everything he could possibly want. So I chose a family that I felt confident could give him all he needs and all he wants. That is why I made the decision I made.
    I make no judgements about your decision, and I would ask you to extend the same coutesy to those birth mothers who feel they made the best decision they could. I did not make my decision because I didn't love my child. I did not cast him off as something I didn't want. And I thank it is rare that any mother makes the choice they make from a lack of love or wanting, even in those cases you referenced of abandonment or infanticide. I can see those being motivated by fear, desperation, mental instability, but I think it is rarely because they do not love or want their child. I try to understand opposing views and arguments, but your stance here feels based in large part emotionally, and that's fine. But you make a very sweeping statement and a lot of assumptions that I feel are not fair. I say this only because there is another point of view, and I feel it should be voiced.

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    1. I understand and appreciate your comment. If you will notice, I never used the words always or never. I used words like usually, normally, most of the time, and rarely. I know that no two adoptions are the same. But I would ask you to understand that I didn't make a decision. It was forced onto me like it was most of the mothers that I know. But my adoption story doesn't even involve domestic infant adoption. My opinion is based solely on listening to mothers who thought they had a choice when they really didn't. And didn't find that out until later. Too late.

      Now can I ask you some questions? Just out of curiosity. Are you now at a point that your child could "go back for seconds?" What happens if the adoptive couple get to the point that they can't "go back for seconds?" What happens if you get to the point where they could and they get to the point where they couldn't? Would you want your child back? Would they give your child back?

      My oldest son grew up with everything he could ask for. He is living with me now, where there are days I hardly eat, because they need more food than I do. And he has the option of going back to where he was. He doesn't. Why? Because he doesn't belong there. He belongs with his mom. His words, not mine. He didn't know anything about me but my name until he was 14. And knew very little about me over the next 4 years. But he left walking to come home as soon as he was old enough.

      I am not knocking your decision. Or anyones true decision. I am knocking the industry for coercion. I am knocking them for not truly giving these mothers a choice. How many "birthmoms" do you know with a situation like yours?

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    2. Truth be told, I don't know any other birth mothers. And no, I am in no better position now than I was then to raise a child. But even if I was, I wouldn't ask for him back. He has a mother who he knows as his mother, and a father who he calls "Dad" and he always has. I think, if I were to return and declare my parental rights (which I can't legally do anyway) he would most likely resent me. I do know a surprising number of adopted children - several of my friends - some of whom have met their birth parents and others who were never curious. The common statement I hear from all of them - even the couple who went searching - is that their parents are their parents. Those that got to meet their birth parents told me it was nice to know where they came from, and see the likenesses, but Mom and Dad will always be "Mom" and "Dad". It hurt the first time I heard it, which was very shortly after I relinquished my rights, but as I've gotten to talk to more adoptees I've felt more comfortable and I understand better. I would love to meet my child some day, but I have a realistic view of the chances that he might never come looking for me. In my mind, if he doesn't, that means I chose well, because he's so happy he doesn't need more. Either way, I am very comfortable with my decision, but it took a long time to become so. I know that the industry is still infested with people who use their positions to coerce for profit, but a good agency will not. I would say to women with unplanned pregnancies that if you feel at all pressured or not heard, go somewhere else and get real Pregnancy Counseling. Because that's what a legitimate agency will do; they will counsel. That involves a relationship between you and your counselor and active listening on both your parts. The only way we push out the scoundrels is to move away from them. There was never a doubt in my mind that what I was doing was the right thing, and that is why I did it. Above all else, you have to listen to what your first instinct tells you. It's hard when bombarded with so much information, and so many opinions, but in the end the only person who knows what is right for you is you.

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    3. Why did it take you a long time to become comfortable with your decision? Do you not have an open adoption? And if not, why? I know I am asking a lot of questions but I am genuinely curious as I have never met anyone like you. I know a lot of mothers who lost their children. And I know a lot of adopted people. And I have yet to hear things like this.

      I met women who said they were happy with their decision, until later on. And then they weren't happy. I think most call it adoption kool-aid. Or coming out of the fog. So I have questions.

      How old is your child? And do you know where he is? If you want to meet him, why wait for him to come to you? Why don't you go to him when he's old enough? I have heard a lot of people say that the adoptee is scared of a second "rejection" so they fear looking for us. That we are the ones who left, we should be the ones to come back.

      My children came to be before they were adults. But I had already found them and made the plans to go to them the day after they turned 18.

      But most of what I base my experience on as far as adoptees goes, is my own two children. I do get some stuff from other places. But mostly I get that here at home.

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  2. Everybody's experiences are unique and circumstances dependent.

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