Battles about whether adoption is bad or good continue to rage. Yet, like most things in life, adoption is complicated.  There are many different types of adoption, each with its own pros and cons. Trying to lump ALL adoption into one broad stroke is a faulty proposition. I sometime neglect to be specificand have to keep reminding myself that when I speak about adoption that I need to make it clear which type of adoption that troubles me the most.  For anyone with a shred of doubt about my agenda, domestic newborn adoptions are the most disturbing types of adoption for me.

However, I agree that in rare situations, newborn adoptions might be necessary.  Some few women really do not want to parent or may be incapable of parenting due to drug, alcohol or other serious issues. If a family member can step in and keep a baby within the family, that is the best option in my opinion. Adoption should be considered after it is determined that no family member will raise the child.  

Where I take issue with domestic newborn adoptions is when a mom wants to parent, but is encouraged for a number of reasons to relinquish her baby rather than parent. Unless there is solid evidence that a mother cannot or should not parent for the safety and well being of her child, she should be encouraged to parent. One of the major reasons that adoption is so actively promoted is because the supply of adoptable babies is at an all time low. The competition for a newborn is fierce as we all know, and the law of supply and demand dictates strenuous efforts to provide babies for couples who want to adopt.

Some folks are upset at the idea that I encourage women to parent instead of to relinquish. There reasoning is if there are less adoptions, there will more child abuse, neglect and other dire things will occur. There is no evidence to suggest that is the case. In fact, I do not know of one birth/first mom who relinquished her child who otherwise would likely have mistreated her child. Of course, there may be a few, but in general, many birth/first/natural mothers are or become good parents to other children.

Child abuse or neglect is deplorable no matter who does the deed, and birth and adoptive parents are both guilty of it.  As for arguing about who is more likely to abuse their children....we can probably finding different studies with widely disparate results. It is pointless to speculate about who abuses children more often and keep warring about this issue. However, more newborn adoption is not the way to prevent child abuse. 

Children will be safer and more likely to be raised well if we educate parents better, provide them with better support, make birth control more available and affordable and fix our broken adoption and foster care systems.  I know....many of you know one mother who was offered all the support on earth and still abused or neglected her child. I agree with the notion that there should be a limit as to how many chances parent who mistreat or neglect their children have before their rights are terminated. Of course, there are exceptions, but how many people base their opinions on one or two situations that they know of personally? We have to look at  the broader picture. 

Some adoption advocates get fired up and angry when there is any criticism of adoption. They scream that without adoption, more children would be aborted, abused or just generally have terrible lives.  For children, in the foster care system, I readily acknowledge that adoption can be the best possible chance for them to have a good life. The same is true for children who are in orphanages in other countries. But, unless the separation is really necessary and wanted by a mother, why on earth should we encourage more separation of families through newborn adoptions?  Many of the children who are placed for adoption already have perfectly good mothers who could have parented well.

It is every bit as wrong to condone and promote ALL adoption as it is to bash all adoption. Adoption may be wonderful for children adopted from foster care or orphanages, but for children who could have/should have remained with their original mothers, adoption is not always so wonderful.  For their original mothers, it is rarely wonderful.

If you love the idea of adoption, you should want it to be as good as it can be. Instead of attacking people who cricitize adoption and seek to improve adoption practices, why not join in the fight to improve adoption? Adoption gets lots of negative press right now, but instead of trying to silence the voices of those trying to make adoption better how about trying to really improve the reputation of adoption by cleaning it up? Instead of arguing about whether adoption is good or bad, we should all be trying to find ways to make adoption more ethical and better for all of us and most especially, for our children.

Add A Comment

Comments:

bless...
Jun. 1, 2008 at 11:26 PM

Well written as always SR!

I'll be waiting in the wings to see if one of your  "fans"  comes and responds...you know who I mean!

None of your points could logically be argued with, but I'm sure someone will try. UGH.

 

Message Friend Invite

criss...
Jun. 2, 2008 at 12:49 AM

Thankou..have you written a book? You should,

Cdyy

Message Friend Invite

JoesGirl
Jun. 2, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Quoting Southernroots...

"Children will be safer and more likely to be raised well if we educate parents better, provide them with better support, make birth control more available and affordable and fix our broken adoption and foster care systems. "

MAJOR CRITICAL issues there.

Yes, why do we withhold 'support' from a girl/woman facing an unplanned pregnancy - by telling her "you can't possibly raise your child...you can't afford it...it's too hard...etc". 

And yet, a woman who is married and expecting - people shower her with all kinds of offers to 'help out'.

The other point that I think is major - is fixing the foster care system.  I cannot for the life of me understand why, why, why???!!! do we make it sooo excessively easy - and irrevokable to adopt a infant child, fresh from the womb - that was not in danger of harm. 

But make it so hard to adopt a child that has been abused and/or neglected.  Instead the system keeps giving the abuser chance after chance after chance to get his/her child back, when they have already demonstrated the child is in DANGER of harm (again).  ????

Thank you for sharing this - and inviting people to acknowledge the weak links - so adoption practices can be better.

Message Friend Invite

joy2b...
Jun. 2, 2008 at 8:50 PM AH!  Now on this we can actually agree!!  It disturbs me when people make blanket statements presenting adoption as evil and horrible.  It is a very delicate issue and needs to be handled as such.  There are some very untactful women out there screaming some very hateful things about adoption in general and it just needs to stop.  Messages such as this one (rational and intelligent, yet focusing on concerns) should be the rule rather than the exception here at cafemom.  I applaud you southernroots, for stepping out of the crowd and taking care to make your point with dignity and grace.  The children need you to get this point across with some of the other ladies that are doing nothing but tainting adoption in general and hurting the children whose ancestry has roots in adoption.

Message Friend Invite

oneth...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 12:12 AM

Great post. I'm constantly trying to point out the differences between adoption a child who's parents have had their rights revoked and infant adoption, and the differences between the two types of parents. Nothing hurts me more than when someone hints that I might have neglected or hurt my baby if I'd have raised him. I've never been arrested, been to jail, don't do drugs, cps has never been to my house, and yet I'm lumped in the same category as women who've lost their kids to the cps.

I wish, in vain, that foster adoption, and infant adoption had two different names.

Message Friend Invite

South...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 10:29 AM

"Yes, why do we withhold 'support' from a girl/woman facing an unplanned pregnancy - by telling her "you can't possibly raise your child...you can't afford it...it's too hard...etc".

If there was no profit to be made, or no "market" for adoptable  babies, I think there would be a different attitude. I think we would be trying to help more moms parent instead of encouraging them to relinquish.  I have to believe the more that we realize the damage that an unnecessary relinquishment can cause for mother and child, we will stop promoting women to relinquish unless there is solid evidence that for the sake of the child that she should. Encouraging a woman to place a child for temporary reasons is the bigger issue for me than adoption itself. 

And yes, onethentwins, lumping mothers who relinquish at birth and mothers who lose their rights together is grossly unfair.  Yet, people do it constantly. 

" It disturbs me when people make blanket statements presenting adoption as evil and horrible." 

It is equally disturbing to me when people make blanket statements presenting all adoption as good and perfect.  There are many sides to adoption and we have to acknowledge that, especially when dealing with a pregnant woman considering adoption.  We do her and her child a disservice to present her with a distorted view of adoption.

On the other hand, I understand why moms both for and against adoption, or those of us who are in the middle, feel about adoption and do not condemn anyone for feeling as they do. We need to hear from everyone to get a balanced picture of adoption. I think it is important to keep in mind that we all have legitimate reasons for feeling as we do. If adoption is a wholly positive experience for a mom, she may want to promote adoption, but she should not fail to acknowledge that others have negative experiences. And the same is true for those with negative experiences. It is all about balance.

We all have a right to share our experiences, but the most important audience we have is pregnant women considering adoption, and we owe it to them to try to be as fair and balanced as possible. Our truths are different though, and that is to be expected. I think we just need to keep remembering how multi-faceted adoption can be.

Thanks you ladies for your supportive and intelligent comments! As always, I appreciated your comments.

 

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

joy2b...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 12:09 PM

"We all have a right to share our experiences, but the most important audience we have is pregnant women considering adoption, and we owe it to them to try to be as fair and balanced as possible. Our truths are different though, and that is to be expected. I think we just need to keep remembering how multi-faceted adoption can be."

 

That is indeed an important audience, however, just as important is the prospective adoptive parent that may be considering giving a family to a child currently orphaned.  If all they hear is RADICAL anti-adoption messages that are presented with swooping conclusions that seem directed at all adoption - they may be scared away.  The orphaned children do not need that!  I am totally with you in saying that everyone needs to be heard, and taken seriously in the level headed presentation of the pros and cons of adoption.  MOST importantly we need to figure out how to ensure that justice is served for all children, because they have no voice.  There are some women here on cafemom that are so radical in their anti-adopotion statements that seem to encompass all forms of adoption  - that they shed a horrific light on even the rational thinkers that just want some reform in domestic adoption, and to make sure that no baby (nationally or internationally) is stolen from a willing and able parent.  I think we can all agree  - when that happens, it is a tragedy.  In order to be rational, we have to be healed on the inside.  Losing a child is a very traumatic thing.  No one denies that.  In a perfect world, adoption would have never been necessary.  However, we live in a fallen world, where sin, disease, and evil exist.  Where adoption is necessary and valued by God to give kids second chances in life.  We have to keep our wits about us and figure out how to protect the children FIRST on all sides of this issue!  I cannot cure all social injustice worldwide.  But I can do  my part to take care of the orphaned children caught in storm.

Message Friend Invite

lilli...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 10:05 PM I definitely agree with the post...more PAP's should adopt from foster care or orphanages. This whole pressure on teen girls with unexpected pregnancies is becoming way too much to handle, trust me as I was pressured! I don't regret my decision, but I have to say it was definitely a decision handed to me. I support everything I've read so far, and yes you should write a book :)

Message Friend Invite

South...
Jun. 4, 2008 at 1:16 AM

But I can do  my part to take care of the orphaned children caught in storm.

You made some very valid points. I do appreciate discussing this in a civil manner with you as well.   While you do your part for orphans, I do mine to prevent more unnecessary adoptions and mitigate the damage when adoptions are necessary. As for anti-adoption messages scaring away people who might otherwise adopt, I suppose I see nothing to indicate that is happening or will happen in the future. However, again, the best way to insure adoption is available for those who truly need it is to clean up unethical and bad adoption practices that currently exist.  I do agree that on both sides we need to be clear about what type of adoption and practices that we support, and those we do not.

For decades, there was nothing but positive hype about adoption which has caused some needless heartbreak for many, and allowed bad practices to continue. I see the current trend towards a more honest and truthful portrayal of adoption a welcome change. The overwhelming bulk of information about adoption is still very positive, but it will take many more decades to change adoption and create a more honest view of it in the eyes of the general public.  Adoptive parents who seek to promote adoption still far outnumber either anti-adoption folks or middle of the road people like me.  I honestly do not think the future of adoption is threatened and the statistics seem to support my view.

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

South...
Jun. 4, 2008 at 1:19 AM

I definitely agree with the post...more PAP's should adopt from foster care or orphanages. This whole pressure on teen girls with unexpected pregnancies is becoming way too much to handle, trust me as I was pressured!

Thanks for your support! I think many people do not really believe that coercion is as common now as it really is.  But, I know that is it the case....because I have heard from many women like you who say that pressure existed for them.

A book.....someday I will finish my reunion story....I hope!

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

Want to leave a comment and join the discussion?

Sign up for CafeMom!

Already a member? Click here to log in