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What is Adoption Coercion?

Posted by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM
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This is from http://www.originscanada.org/what-is-adoption-coercion/.  I think the most important thing about this article is that it defines what coercion is, and lists 8 points that are necessary for a surrender to NOT be coerced.


Adoption Coercion: Taking Away a Mother’s Right to Make a Decision

What is Adoption Coercion?

Adoption coercion is any form of overt or covert pressure, manipulation, convincing, force, fraud, human rights violation, or withholding of resources that results in a woman surrendering a baby for adoption.

Adoption coercion includes any practice specifically designed  to ensure or significantly increase the odds that a mother will surrender her baby for adoption. It also includes any practice designed to restrict or remove  freedom of choice by the use of influence, persuasion, fraud, or duress. A coerced ‘choice’ is not a ‘choice’  – there is no “decision” where there is coercion.

Perpetrators of adoption coercion  include anyone in a position of trust, authority, or relative power in relation to the mother. Examples are: adoption industry employees, hospital staff, medical professionals, prospective adopters, social workers, government social policy makers, family members, clergy and nuns, maternity home staff, etc.

Why is Coercion Used?

Coercion is used to deliberately eliminate informed choice for mothers.  This is not for the benefit of a mother or her baby, but because others want to separate her from her baby for adoption purposes.

The Risks to Mothers from Adoption Coercion

When a mother has been coerced into surrendering her baby for adoption, she is at high risk for multiple lifelong repercussions. These consequences can include severe unresolved grief, clinical depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), relationship and parenting difficulties, self-esteem issues, and physical health complications resulting from stress. She may feel exploited and used – especially if she realizes later how she wanted to keep her baby and how she was manipulated or forced to surrender. Her baby might grow up feeling unwanted, rejected, “given away,” or “not good enough to keep.” .  It may be difficult to explain to a surrendered child why she kept her other children but not this one. Subsequent children may fear that their mother will give them away also.

The Effect of Coercion

Coercion renders a mother unable to make a freely-made decision. When coercion is applied, the mother has not made a decision because there is no freedom of choice. She has not “placed” or “given up” her baby for adoption. Her baby has been taken by others who manipulated her  to produce the result they wanted.

The Importance of Informed Consent

Informed consent is also necessary in order for a surrender to be free from coercion. Informed consent to adoption can only be given once the mother has recovered from childbirth (usually considered a minimum of six weeks). This is to ensure the following three necessary prerequisites to informed consent: (1) Pregnancy and birthing hormones have returned to pre-pregnancy levels , (2) Any resulting post-partum depression has been diagnosed and  treated,  and (3) The mother has had significant bonding time with her baby in an environment free from coercive elements.

When is There Truly an “Adoption Decision”

Terminating a mother’s parental rights results in her baby becoming a “legal orphan” available for adoption. A decision of this magnitude can only be  made in the absence of coercion and with informed consent

Following are the necessary prerequisites which must be present in order for a mother to be able to make a decision for adoption. If any of these prerequisites are lacking, then the mother cannot make this decision and inquires should be made as to who in her life stands to benefit from her surrendering her baby for adoption and has worked towards this end.

  1.  The mother must have recovered from childbirth and have had access to her child in order to get to know her baby as a person, her son or daughter.
  2. The mother must have had the opportunity to engage in a mother-child relationship with her child, with adequate support and mentoring.
  3. The mother must be screened and treated for any possible postpartum depression or other health issues which may influence her surrender decision.
  4. The mother must be fully informed of the risk of lifelong emotional consequences to herself and her baby.
  5. The mother must be instructed on the realities of the legal institution of adoption: Filiation will be severed and she will no longer be legally related to her child. Open adoption agreements are not legally binding and she may never see her child again.  An amended birth record will be issued stating that the adoptive parents gave birth to her child. Depending on the jurisdiction, her child may never be able to obtain a copy of his/her original birth record or learn about the natural parents
  6. There must be no financial coercion, either in the form of (1) poverty, financial insecurity, or lack of resources, or (2) having fallen prey to entrapment practices such as having received gifts or money during her pregnancy with the expectation of handing over her baby in exchange.
  7. There must be no pre-birth matching or prior contact with (and thus influence from ) prospective adoptive parents. This is because of the high risk of emotional coercion resulting from this contact (e.g., fear of hurting or disappointing them by keeping her baby, feeling they deserve her baby more than she does, bonding with them due to high oxytocin levels during pregnancy and birth, etc.).
  8. There must be no contact or influence during her pregnancy or before recovery from any person or agency who will benefit financially or otherwise by her baby being placed for adoption

Only when all these elements are in place can a woman truly make a decision regarding adoption.  If she decides for adoption with fully informed consent, free of coercion, only then should substitute care be considered. This could include kinship care, permanent legal guardianship, or adoption by unrelated strangers.

Copyright  © 2012  Origins International

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
vampporcupine
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

bump 

onethentwins
by Gold Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 6:07 PM

BUMP!

Blah-a-dee
by Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Wow... thank you for this! I just realized how horrible it really was for the adoption agency I used was. I had to sign 4 copies of paperwork the day after I had him nad I was in the hospital. It really pisses me off because they couldnt have made copies of shit. 

Ms.KitKat
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM

 

Quoting Blah-a-dee:

Wow... thank you for this! I just realized how horrible it really was for the adoption agency I used was. I had to sign 4 copies of paperwork the day after I had him nad I was in the hospital. It really pisses me off because they couldnt have made copies of shit. 

 All of those copies are awful.  It is necessary though. You need to have 1 original. One original has to be sent to the Court and then the agency likes to keep 2 originals on hand in case any one party needs another original copy. I have seriously thought about just making copies so the parents do not have to sign in quadruple (sp?). But then they would have to inital and date everything since the original can not be altered.

But I would NEVER have a parent sign while in the hospital- even if it wasn't against hospital policy. The mom needs to go home and sleep in her own bed before she feels ready to sign.

Blah-a-dee
by Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM


Thanks. I know why they make you sign all of the copies. But to me it was a long process.. I didnt want to cry. I wanted to push it off until I was home. But.. they told me that after he was born and I was in the hospital that I was going to sign it. But reading that whole thing that the OP posted just made me cry and made me remember of the things that happened 15 months ago. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 

Quoting Blah-a-dee:

Wow... thank you for this! I just realized how horrible it really was for the adoption agency I used was. I had to sign 4 copies of paperwork the day after I had him nad I was in the hospital. It really pisses me off because they couldnt have made copies of shit. 

 All of those copies are awful.  It is necessary though. You need to have 1 original. One original has to be sent to the Court and then the agency likes to keep 2 originals on hand in case any one party needs another original copy. I have seriously thought about just making copies so the parents do not have to sign in quadruple (sp?). But then they would have to inital and date everything since the original can not be altered.

But I would NEVER have a parent sign while in the hospital- even if it wasn't against hospital policy. The mom needs to go home and sleep in her own bed before she feels ready to sign.



Ms.KitKat
by Bronze Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM

 I am so sorry. There is a "method to this madness" and I know it may seem cruel but I use those mountains of documents as one more chance for the mother to change her mind. It really makes the moment that much more significant and if the mother can not get through signing, then I know this is not a good decsion for her KWIM? I have had mothers break down and I have stopped the entire process.

Please use this group and all the wonderful mothers here. They are a great resource.  

Quoting Blah-a-dee:

 

Thanks. I know why they make you sign all of the copies. But to me it was a long process.. I didnt want to cry. I wanted to push it off until I was home. But.. they told me that after he was born and I was in the hospital that I was going to sign it. But reading that whole thing that the OP posted just made me cry and made me remember of the things that happened 15 months ago. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 

Quoting Blah-a-dee:

Wow... thank you for this! I just realized how horrible it really was for the adoption agency I used was. I had to sign 4 copies of paperwork the day after I had him nad I was in the hospital. It really pisses me off because they couldnt have made copies of shit. 

 All of those copies are awful.  It is necessary though. You need to have 1 original. One original has to be sent to the Court and then the agency likes to keep 2 originals on hand in case any one party needs another original copy. I have seriously thought about just making copies so the parents do not have to sign in quadruple (sp?). But then they would have to inital and date everything since the original can not be altered.

But I would NEVER have a parent sign while in the hospital- even if it wasn't against hospital policy. The mom needs to go home and sleep in her own bed before she feels ready to sign.

 

 

 

Cedartrees4
by Silver Member on Feb. 6, 2013 at 9:25 PM

They should never have made you sign in the hospital.  There is NO way a mother can make an informed choice which is uninfluenced by pregnancy and birthing hormones and being totally worn out from childbirth.  The sole reason they do it is because if they had let you recover and be with your baby, there would be less chance of you signing.  The "surrender rate" is lower if a mother gets to take her baby home with her or even gets to recover a week or two (better yet, six) first.  :(   This was terrible what they did to you.  There should be laws against it and many of us wish that there were.


Quoting Blah-a-dee:

Thanks. I know why they make you sign all of the copies. But to me it was a long process.. I didnt want to cry. I wanted to push it off until I was home. But.. they told me that after he was born and I was in the hospital that I was going to sign it. But reading that whole thing that the OP posted just made me cry and made me remember of the things that happened 15 months ago. 




 "Adoption practice works on the premise that, in order to save the child, one must first destroy its mother." -
Dian Wellfare (1951-2008), founder of Origins Inc.

Blah-a-dee
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM



Quoting Cedartrees4:

They should never have made you sign in the hospital.  There is NO way a mother can make an informed choice which is uninfluenced by pregnancy and birthing hormones and being totally worn out from childbirth.  The sole reason they do it is because if they had let you recover and be with your baby, there would be less chance of you signing.  The "surrender rate" is lower if a mother gets to take her baby home with her or even gets to recover a week or two (better yet, six) first.  :(   This was terrible what they did to you.  There should be laws against it and many of us wish that there were.


Quoting Blah-a-dee:

Thanks. I know why they make you sign all of the copies. But to me it was a long process.. I didnt want to cry. I wanted to push it off until I was home. But.. they told me that after he was born and I was in the hospital that I was going to sign it. But reading that whole thing that the OP posted just made me cry and made me remember of the things that happened 15 months ago. 



Thanks. I look back and it hurts. Not only the bullshit that they crammed down my throat, but also from my family. My dad wasnt going to help me other than bribing me with a car to get him [he and my stepmom also wanted my oldest when I was pregnant with him], and my mom kept telling me that I shouldnt let the dads down if I changed my mind. 


karma75
by New Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM
I never had chance to build a bond with my son they took over while he was in the nicu. I feel i was coerced and am broken can't move forward :(
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sadsmile
by New Member on Apr. 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I always felt like it forced on me.  From the moment my mom dumped me at a group home and told them what I was there for. It was pushed on me at a young and tender age. I didn't have any option of parenting truly presented to me. I was asked how I would provide and had no answers and was not presented with any possible options for parenting.  I was miserable and fought the counceling and work book exercises. I was passive agressive the whole time. A- parents were chosen ahead of time and letters were given and recieved. Looking back that was emotional blackmail as they were already getting ready for him. Every person who could see my resistance to what they were trying to do pushed harder that this was the right thing to do. They put them through emeotional guilt and blackmail. Stating that this was the best thing for my baby. I had no other real options. I was spooon fed all the "loving and right" answers until I could say them as if they were my own words. They talked about my home and my mother and the difficulty there and how it wouldn't be fair to try and take a baby into that. Looking back my mom was a single mom and had financial difficulties but we lived well for what she had.  There were no real reasons that could not have been worked on. My own mother said she would not let me return home with a child. So I suppose she was the reason. I was not informed that I could seek help anywhere else.  I was never informed that the open adotion could be closed at any time by the A-parents. I sighned the papers as soon as returning to the group home from the Hospital with the baby. With in 30 minutes they had me in a back office across the property. I said I didn't want to sign the papers. I said I didn't want to give him up. They locked the door and said they would call the main house and a social worker would take him into foster care until I could appear in front of a judge and prove I could provide for him and had a parenting plan that was workable. That I would not see him until that time and it would be at least 30 days. I know now they had no right to do that but I was young and alone. They emotionally forced and cooerced me to sign 5 copies of that paper work. I was a minor and did not have a parent with me nor a lawyer that i knew was there to represent me and what i wanted. I never talked with a lawyer.  They kept saying what a great life he was going to have with the chosesn A-parents and asked if I could provide that kind of life.  i was kept at the group home for a week or two. Looking back I had a complete breakdown. I couldn't stop crying. I hated everything. I faked smiles and tried to comply. I was scared I wasn't going to be accepted back home if I didn't act right.  I have fought this deep depression that feels like an elephant sitting on my chest. Like someone has my heart in a vise grip. I have to stuff it down and go on. sometimes it's a tidal wave that washes over me and I can't bearly get out of bed. i have issues with not feeling good enough to be a mom. I am celebrating my 17 wedding anniversary with guess who... birth dad. We have four kids now. It's hard. I somtimes can barely do the basic stuff and other times I am on hyper drive trying to save the world. And none of it is good enough. I hate myelf and think I should never have been allowed to have other children.  But this is all in my head, cause on the outside things are together and it feel like a shell covering a most vial evil that I never want my children to know about. I go from desperation and jumping at every knock on the door that it will be my son. to wishing I could forget about it and wish that it never happened.  i fear the future and what my children will think of us. Mu husband was forced to sign his rights away before the baby was even born.  I exibited symptoms of post partum and PTSD I collapsed alone at home and could barely call my mom and could barely talk on the phone through the pain. I was not seen by a doctor. The group home didn't do a damn thing when my mom called them.  No one helped me learn how to cope.  I have been suicidal throughout the years a few times.  I was never told that he may never be able to get a copy of his original birth certificate. I have thought all these years that he would be able to and be able to easily find us.  I was told I was bad and I did this and now I had to be good and do the right thing.  And this was from a "loving and Christian group home" in the 90's!!!!!  II have so much anger and rage and remorse and pain that I finally have been able to box it and keep going, but I can still see that tidle wave in the distance and I have to keep pushing it away. I had called the group home a few times and asked for copies of my paper work. I have never been talked to respectfully and have been denied that paperwork.  My mom never got a copy of it either.  The whole thing makes me sick. All I can say is God was watching and they will get theirs. But still I ive in this.  If I relapse into depression I will seek help this time. My answreson the PTSD form say I need to seek help. But I am not ready for all of this to come out in front of my children. Life is such a struggle to always do my best and still not feel like that is good enough. I am afraid if my children know how unhealthy I really am, than they will feel like everything I have taught them so far is hollow and false. I wasn't able to have those feelings of security growing up. I can't rob them of what we have been able to provide for them. I feel stuck. I want my son. i want to know him, but I am so afraid of the future.

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