Daily Archives: March 3, 2011

Can you be both?

My post on family the other day had some really good comments and lots traffic to read it which surprised me, because it seems like such a simple concept, nothing outrageous, nothing really to get into any dither about.  So it got me to thinking about whether the basic concept of family is family and you protect your own is suddenly not acceptable when it is discussed in the adoption world. 
That the mindset is that you must also feel a bit guilty for agreeing with the time-honored principle of family and therefore must be anti-adoption.  To me that makes absolutely no sense so I mulled on it, and mulled on it some more. 
I came to the conclusion that I would be saddened if adoptive families feel this way for the simple fact that you have chosen to have families and all that entails does not change simply because you adopted.  I would also point out that I learned what being a family meant from my family or to be more specific – my adopted family. 
And yet looking at the industry overall and how hard and how much money they boast about spending on promoting to mothers to surrender instead of parent so others can adopt, I think it is becoming something akin to us vs. them concept that adoption is better always and anything talked about families sticking together is something that is bad. 
I am not trying to suggest that adoption is all bad or even mainly bad, many children do need loving homes.  Many children do benefit from adoption after the loss of their family of origin.  And I also recognise that adoption sometimes is the last great hope for building a family, but it should not be at the destruction of a family that has the ability to stay together and raise the baby in their family, simply because society (or parts of society) deem it wrong and shameful to be a single mother. 
And the more I think about this disconnect, I think it is made this way by the adoption industry with tactics designed to attract more mothers to place.  Von pointed out recently about the NFCA running a program titled “Infant Adoption Revival Program” that conveniently offers an on-line course in “birthmother counseling” for pregnancy counselors.  Stop and think about that for a minute about all that is wrong in that picture.  A woman who finds out she is pregnant and turns to a professional for advice, is counseled by someone who has taken a course designed by the same people running the “Infant Adoption Revival Program“, can you not see the agenda and conflict of interest when an organization whose members are predominately adoption agencies?  Let alone starting off with the manipulation of determining the pregnant woman is already a birthmother…by naming the course “birthmother counseling“.
Just the inclusion of the term Revival sends shivers down my spine.  To know they want to revive the time when so many mothers had no other option but to surrender their babies, aptly named the Baby Scoop Era.  A time when society did not allow a single mother to be a mother and also be able to be employed, or find a place that would allow her to be a renter.  A time when good families did not allow their children to play with the bastard children of single mothers.  A time when single pregnant females were sent away by their families to horrific maternity homes across the country, removed from all support systems simply because it was shameful.  A time when if they did not surrender their babies they were handed bills that were more than they could hope to make in a year.  A time of cruelty that should never ever held up as something to revive. 
I encourage anyone who had not learned about the Baby Scoop Era and adoption history in general to research it at the University of Oregon or to read a synopsis of the BSE to review what Wikipedia has to say here.  And once you understand what happened, I would hope that you too would have shivers go down your spine at the though of reviving such a horrific time.

Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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