I don’t like the methods used today…

05 Nov

I am not a fan of pre-birth matching. I understand the reasoning behind it, and agree in theory with some of those reasons. I do not like how it currently is practiced. Red flags where boundaries are crossed and manipulations can and do happen. Simple precautions would take away the risk of the mother being coerced or manipulated in her decision once her child is born.

I am against prospective adoptive parents being at the hospital watching the mother go through labor, and even more so when they are in the delivery room. It reeks of entitlement and co-opting of something, that is at it’s fundamental core, is a very private and spiritual event between a mother and her child. A child she has nurtured in her womb for 40 weeks. The birth of your child is one of the most intimate moments of your life, and having an audience, especially the audience who is there because they want your baby cheapens and degrades the experience. It must also damage the ability of mother and child to bond because there is always that elephant in the room. I believe it enhances an atmosphere ripe for manipulation of the mother to ensure the outcome is surrender, rather than parent.

For the hopeful prospective adoptive parents it creates a sense of entitlement that gives way to this mindset BEFORE the papers are signed with words like:

We allowed the birth family”,

The Birth mother wanted to say goodbye to our baby and we allowed that”,

“She is OUR daughter”,

OUR Baby”

The statements above which are “edited versions” of ones I read on a blog, that show the level of entitlement/ownership before the mother has even signed papers surrendering her parental rights to the baby.  When she couldn’t go through with this there is nothing but sheer unadulterated anger.

I will say it always blows my mind at the lack of empathy coming from those wishing to adopt, many of whom have gone through miscarriages and still-births, but yet, when it comes time for a mother to sign surrender papers and give her baby away and can’t, there is no understanding.

The strength it must take for a vulnerable individual who has just given birth, who has pre-matched and had the prospective adoptive parents attend the birth, to stand up for herself, and say she changed her mind and wants to parent, should be commended and supported.  Despite the personal cost to you, the decision should be celebrated because no one wants an adoptee to be created, if the mother wants to parent – right? 

I believe that pre-birth matching and having the prospective parents attend the birth has been carefully designed to ensure surrender.  Caveat, as I said at the beginning, I think pre-birth matching could be done ethically with safeguards in place.

On another blog – an adoptee / adoptive parent blog, I watched a very disturbing video that I think is important for everyone to view. It made me think of what my mother, and mothers from my era, would have gone through with having no one championing their right to parent, as the first and foremost choice.

If the social worker even suspects the mother wants to parent, the decision should be put on hold, then and there. The papers can always be signed later, there are always options to try, other than surrender. It is the social workers job to protect the rights of the mother – isn’t it?

Sadly, as you can see in the video in the blog post linked below, the social worker is not working for the mother – she hesitates only for a second – before continuing her job of getting the papers signed. I hope you to go to the blog link below and watch the video, and listen carefully when the social worker speaks…Then consider if you would you want your daughter treated like that? Because you know, she is someone’s daughter, and it could one day be your daughter…

Tell me again what miracle it is

P.s.  – of course not ALL prospective parents are like this – I hope you the reader already knows I meant that, but reading it I just thought I better clarify that rather than being attacked.


Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics


Tags: , ,

16 responses to “I don’t like the methods used today…

  1. graceling

    November 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Wow, that was like a kick in the gut.

    I would love to know what kind of safeguards you think should be put in place to make pre-birth matching more ethical. I don’t know a lot about infant domestic adoption, but I hatehatehate that Kim in that video said she couldn’t parent, not because she “can’t” parent or didn’t want to parent, but because she couldn’t give her son “the kind of life they {the PAPs} can.” As if the material/financial/whatever it is that the PAPs offer is more important that what she has to offer her son.


  2. Susie

    November 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I completely agree with you! I don’t think pre-birth matching should be allowed at all. Too much room for coercion. A mom can read about/meet different pap’s, get to know them a little, but should not make a “choice” until after her child is born and she has time to make a final choice for or against adoption.

    I watched that video when that blog post was first posted, could not bring myself to watch it again. It’s absolutely horrible. How any human being could have been there and not done everything possible to help this mother keep her family together is beyond me. It’s inhumane…


  3. Lorraine Dusky

    November 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm


    What I think is really wrong is to have the prospective adopters at the hospital. Talk about psychological coercion –that is it. A tearful woman hoping to get your baby? How can you let them down when you can’t give her the finer things in life…?

    All you have to do is read a few adoptee blogs to know that is wrong.


    • The adopted ones

      November 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      I have felt that in my gut for a long time – watching that video sealed the deal for me – no turning back – it’s wrong.


  4. The adopted ones

    November 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Gracelings – you describe the reaction I had perfectly – a literal kick in the gut.

    As to safeguards – I am sure there are smarter people than I that could define safeguards but here is a start for mulling on:

    *don’t match officially – it never was an issue for parent to get the call a baby was waiting before…knowing you are one of say three the mother is considering…

    *don’t have the pre-natal/hospital/birth even part of the equation…

    *meet to get to know/be questioned/ask questions/determine whether you are compatible

    I am sure there are many other ways to ensure boundaries aren’t crossed and the sense of entitlement doesn’t grow.

    I don’t know but that video is haunting me and makes me believe that while the methods may be different, at the end of the day…something terribly wrong is still going on.


    • Melynda

      November 6, 2011 at 2:04 am

      “I don’t know but that video is haunting me and makes me believe that while the methods may be different, at the end of the day…something terribly wrong is still going on.”

      Terribly, terribly, terribly wrong.

      In fact, sometimes I think this whole open adoption/pre-birth matching is even *more* cruel because then a natural mother has to live with the knowledge that she HANDED her baby to another woman. She has no one to direct her anger of losing her child towards except herself because after all, no one “held a gun to her head and made her sign the papers.”

      As it has been said before, some people rob you with a six gun, others with a fountain pen.


      • The adopted ones

        November 6, 2011 at 2:21 am

        You may be right – for their sake I certainly hope it is easier. So much pain – just seems to wrong.


  5. dpen

    November 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I think prebirth matching is so demeaning to the woman giving birth. Initially the expectant mother is the one totally in control. She has all these people just treating her and talking to her as if she is the queen of the century. She is promised the world, she is convinced she is most wonderful woman. Whew…how wonderful that would make an insecure young woman feel… How wonderful to feel that you are giving the best gift in the world, how wonderful to believe you are being mother of the year by picking the best parents in the whole world for “your baby”. Of course, she is the best mother(generally) but no ones points that out to her. PAPS go to doc appt., take copies of US…and are so excited about the impending birth of “their” baby.

    THEN, she goes into labor and the fallacy of the adoptive parents making that baby “all theirs” continues. Run to the hospital..they have to pretend that this is their labor, not the actual mothers, they watch this woman labor away, feel the pain(a pain like no other) . They might get caught up in the whole thing and offer support but…the end result HAS to be what they want. THEN this woman gives birth has EVERYTHING exposed to these virtual strangers, has been totally exposed and vulnerable during labor and now while giving birth. The paps may cut the cord to seal the deal…how wonderful. This woman is now dealing the the reality of having a baby…not just being pregnant…but wait..she also is dealing with the fact that she “loves” these people that want her baby. They made her feel so wonderful for so long..of course they are better then she is. no one has told her otherwise. Her control is quickly ebbing away….the pain is starting and she has no idea whats ahead. SHE is sobbing in pain(just listen to the rationalizations..oh thats just hormones, she get over it, etc) She feels she has to sign those papers…even when asked after all they can give her baby more in toys, education, and stability…hmmm. No one has told her that all babies need their own mothers FIRST, thats the natural thing. Babies are suppose to STAY with their OWN mothers first. No one has told her that.

    She has not been told that the baby is more then a big blob of cuteness, that baby is human with human feelings that really is spite of what she is being told are NOT being acknowledged.

    I feel for anyone that can not have children, I am not that cold. My mother(a) was childless and was really a wonderful mother. BUT…she adopted from foster care, she did not buy a baby, she did not coerce anyone…her children were brought to her. They had the chance to adopt an infant from CC but dad refused…he SAW the baby buying even back then. They KNEW it was ethically wrong, they also had the chance to adopt a family member from Italy(a cousin), Italy would not let them. HE understood..the country would not let their children go. He respected it. Mom was disappointed but she understood…she did NOT wail about her infertility and how it was not fair..she coped.

    Adoption HAS to change in this country….it is so absurdly wrong how it is done.

    Only when absolutely needed and completely open information for the be accessed when ever the child wants it. Education for all adoptive parents on the true meaning of baby needs family..not family needs babies….

    When i first heard about prebirth matching in my fogginess, i thought awww how nice then baby can know new parents sooner(spoken from someone not adopted until 2)…boy was i wrong.

    HATE prebirth matching.

    I agree no official prebirth matching..if the mother really can’t /won’t parent let her see her options as she is pregnant then reevaluate after giving birth. Then AFTER she has recovered from giving birth she makes a decision. No money involved and more oversight regarding adoption practices.

    I hate to see paps disappointed, but i hate more that a woman who would make a wonderful mother give her baby way because she was afraid of hurting the paps.


    • The adopted ones

      November 6, 2011 at 1:22 am

      Have I said lately how happy I am you found us?


      • dpen

        November 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

        Thanks1 Glad I found you folks! (wait…you are talking to me right?)


  6. The adopted ones

    November 6, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Yes dpen…I’m talking to YOU…


  7. cb

    November 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Good post AO and love your comment dpen.

    That was a hard video to watch – I felt like she wanted to bury herself right inside that chair at the end.

    Prebirth matching sounds good in theory. In practice, the fact that the participants are human beings tends to get in the way. I think it is only natural that the boundaries will become blurred.

    Personally, I think prebirth matching should be banned (we don’t have it here in Australia) but since that is probably not going to happen, then education/counselling for both emoms and PAPs should be mandatory. Private adoptions especially seem to be fraught with pitfalls.


  8. PaigeTurner

    November 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I couldn’t watch the video discussed…I wonder if it’s been taken down???

    I dislike pre-birth matching very much, but I agree that adoptive parents should be banned from the hospital entirely. Their presence there, even if it is in the hallway or waiting room is coercive. I read time and time again that prospective adoptive parents just want “to be there to support “our” birthmom.” I can’t imagine having a couple of strangers watching me go through the very private and primal birthing process. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have them there under the guise of wanting to support me…all while having grasping hands out waiting to lay claim to “their” child. My pregnancy, labor and delivery…those are my memories and mine alone to share with my son someday. I am so glad that they didn’t have such practices today when I had my son. It would have made a nightmare of an experience even more horrific.


    • The adopted ones

      November 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      No the video is still there but if you only see comments you need to scroll up – it is an MTV production and honestly Paige – you probably don’t want to view it.


  9. dpen

    November 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I agree Paige, I think it would be horrifing for any first mother to see.



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