Critics in adoption will always be needed – if only so AP’s can dismiss the current adoptee voices…

19 Apr

My brain is running on parallel tracks apparently so here goes…and perhaps I will regret it but whatever…

While reading the book I talk about here on eugenics, which is also part of adoption history, I am also following the discussions on various blogs and forums about the adoption.  I have to say that crash and burn of the contest has also sparked some good and not so good conversations, but yay for the good hard discussions happening.  Meanwhile the not so good conversations have resulted in words being flung around by some (not all) adoptive parents such as defining the difference between well-adjusted and mal-adjusted adoptees, the anti and the pro adoption adoptees, and the same stereotypical comments about the happy adoptees that are too busy living their lives to blog or post on forums, and the angry adoptees just want to hate.  sigh…

No middle of the road adoptee apparently exists in adoption funland – you are either a “well-adjusted” or a “mal-adjusted” adopteeGood Grief, we really are just paper dolls to them if that is how one-sided and shallow they see us as only Either/Or…

But getting back to the book on eugenics – the reality is that Sexual Sterilization Laws would still exist today in both Canada and the US, instead of finally being repealed in 60’s and 70’s without Critics voicing opposition of the laws and mindsets.  Laws that allowed for you to be deemed “defective” and have sterilization forced on you without your consent, and at times even without your families consent.  If not for the Critics those Laws – they would still exist.  Those laws irreparably harmed children and adults alike.

So then I got to thinking about what if there hadn’t ever been critics regarding how adoption was practiced? 

How would those laws look today with the infertility rates so high in the USA and Canada, and so many people and couples wanting so desperately to have a child or children?  What if no one spoke up and challenged the status quo and got the discussions happening that required changes to happen?  What would happen if no challenges had been made and we continued on (and likely down) from where we were in the 1950’s to today – 60 years later, just what would the adoption world look like? 

Remember no one is challenging to make things better, fairer, more ethical or honest or different than the 1950’s… 

For starters Georgia Tann would be the “Revered Mother Of Adoption” – instead of the “Reviled Baby Thief” that she was.  Laws would be modeled on her actions and others of her ilk in that era and since then.

Targeted would be those deemed “less than” and that would include anyone that made less money that you did, that had a baby you wanted.

Laws probably would be changed in favor of mothers being encouraged aka coerced into signing away their rights to the child when the positive sign came up on the pee-stick at the crisis pregnancy center instead of waiting until after she gave birth.  No need to provide options, or even the government paid for infant adoption awareness training program designed by the NCFA to guide the mother to understand she is “less than” those deserving waiting couples eager to adopt the perfect healthy white baby.

No counselling for mothers – just send them home and tell them to never speak of it again…

Foster care adoptions would most likely seldom happen with the never-ending supply of babies available…

Mothers would still be drugged, strapped down, a sheet preventing them from ever seeing, let alone holding their baby, or even knowing the sex of their baby.

Fathers would have no rights at all because in the 1950’s they had no rights.  Their consent would not be needed, or required, and they would have no ability to contest an adoption.

There would be no open adoptions…because there would have been no need to find different ways to get mothers to surrender her child.  If anything, adoption would be more closed now than ever – to protect the adoptive family due to the advent of the internet.

No best practices developed on telling the child, or even that the child would experience grief, loss, or have feelings of rejection and how to help them through that, but they certainly would still be expected to be grateful – over an above the natural gratitude felt by others who grew up in their family of birth.

Adoptees would still be deemed feeble-minded or defective solely because their mother was not married.

Adoptees who searched and wanted to know their family of birth would be categorized as the worst of the worst and obviously came from truly defective stock.

The Baby Scoop Era or Era of Mass Surrender or Era of Forced adoption (whatever you preferred term is), would never have ended, because the status quo was such a boon for the adopting parents – babies galore – just put in your detailed order today – thank you very much

Advertisements in the paper about getting your wife a baby for Christmas would still be seen each and every year…much like the ads today about getting a bunny for Easter…

But ssssh – don’t tell anyone you adopted because that will cast stigma and shame on your family and your infertility status will be known to all…

Trafficking in babies between states and between countries would be unregulated, but of course celebrated and the term changed to something else, because the end result was the baby found the better home aka adoptive home.  No concern paid to the families who lost their child – why, they should be grateful the child was provided such a great opportunity, and should just accept it as an honor.

Adoptee rights to a factual record of their birth would never be a discussion point or even considered, as we would still be considered “blank slates” besides being deemed as “mal-adjusted” and our parents maligned for being bad parents should their adoptee ever speak such evil.

That would be the reality if not for Critics in Adoption… 

None of the rhetoric spouted by adoptive parents today about how different adoption is today compared to 10, 20, 50 years ago could be used to dismiss the adoptee voice, because no critics ever made a difference to how adoption was practiced, and you certainly cannot believe the industry would willingly reduce profits – can you?  Nor would there be any changes happening from those pro-adoption evertime adoptive parents who despise the critics who speak up for ethical changes to how adoption is practiced today…

Critics in adoption will always be necessary to ensure best practices continue to evolve, and trust me they aren’t there yet.  Human rights must always be a subject of discussion, fair play and ethics will always have to be questioned and part of the conversation…well as long as there are Critics in Adoption anyways

Critics like Rueben Pannor, Annette Baran, Betty Jean Lifton, Doctors and Researchers, Social Workers and Child Welfare Advocates, First Mothers and Adult Adoptees, some forward thinking, empathetic Adoptive Parents, and every single other voice who ever said we must make it better and more ethical…

Well folks – we aren’t there yet obviously…and I am sure I missed some really obvious changes that have made adoption better in the last 60 years…


Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Critics in adoption will always be needed – if only so AP’s can dismiss the current adoptee voices…

  1. myst1998

    April 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Fabulous post!


  2. veggiemom

    April 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    So true!


  3. Raven

    April 22, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Wonderful post. I’m jealous of how well you write!!



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