I stumbled upon a mom’s message board and searched “adoption”. I was amazed at the ignorance about adoption by the commentors. There was a running commentary on anti-adoption people and I can’t count the sheer number of replies that said: “Adoption is wonderful” or some variation thereof. Despite a few people calmly and clearly explaining that most who are labelled anti-adoption are against “how adoption is practiced today – primarily in domestic infant adoption“ the reply was spouted over and over and over.
How difficult is it to separate the act of “adoption”, from “how adoption is practiced today in domestic infant adoption”?
In “adoption” a child is taken in by another family and treated as one of the family.
In “how adoption is practiced” it is a discussion on a lack of ethics, transparency, and best practices; compounded by antiquated laws, or laws designed deliberately to favor adoption by couples over unwed individuals with a liberal dose of how to get rid of the pesky “birth fathers” and his rights. There are laws that are on the books right now in states that allow mothers to sign away their right to parent before birth. Laws that allow lawyers to act for both parties and the receiving party is the one footing the bill – can you say conflict of interest? Laws that have no revocation period despite allowing the mother to sign within hours of giving birth, that likely includes a least some pain medication, not to mention the hormones cascading through her body. Laws that seal away the adoptees original birth certificate, even when they reach adulthood. Laws that have not kept up with the practice used by adoption providers to entice mothers to surrender their babies to adoption with “promises of open adoptions”, yet there is no legal backing of that promise, or if there is a law, it has no teeth to enforce it.
Looking at the issue of how adoption is practiced in the DIA arena from a different angle – adoptees all over the states are working together to repeal the laws that sealed our original birth certificates from us, even when we reach adulthood. The adoption industry with the NFCA (whose membership includes LDS adoption agencies), and other agencies like Catholic Charities, and adoption lawyers actively fight and lobby against repealing those laws citing “birth mothers were promised confidentiality”. That they cannot produce any document that states that, is an obvious flaw in their argument, and that neither surrender or adoption petitions included any claim of confidentiality for the “birth mothers”, completely refutes their arguments. I was always taught that only what is in the four corners of the contract counts…
But my actual question to those I talk about in the paragraph above is – if the “birth mothers protection” mean so much to the adoption industry – why have they not used their considerable weight to lobby for and create iron-clad laws that mandate protecting openness in open adoptions? Where are those laws to protect the “promise of openness” made to “birth mothers”? To me that clearly indicates they are talking out of both sides of their mouths. In reality, they just do not want their incredibly poor practices brought to light and that the “adoptive parents” – are who they are really protecting by fighting against repealing the sealed original birth certificate laws and by not fighting to create iron-clad laws to protect “birth mothers promise of openness”. As long as they are allowed to promise openness without a law with teeth backing it, they will be able to maintain the supply of babies to be adopted, and parents willing to adopt – and they will not be protecting their promises made to “birth mothers”. How can they be so two-faced?
There are so many areas in DIA that need to be fixed – I wish people would stop and think about that before spouting how wonderful adoption is and how horrible all those anti-adoption people are who want things changed. In reality most just want adoption to be done right when it has to be done at all. Creating adoptees is no cause for celebration and throwing out statements “adoption is wonderful” or “what a gift a “birth mother” gives to a family” – because those statements only looks at one side of a very complex issue.