Are there only two definitions: Pro or Anti Adoption?

30 Nov

It seems if someone doesn’t like what another says about adoption – they pull out both pro-adoption or anti-adoption labels, slap a label on the person they disagree with and hold the other label as what they are.  It is divisive and shuts down any discussion, or ability to see the others point of view.  It is just like politics…something adoption should never be compared too.

Personally, I believe I could come up with 25 different ways people can feel about adoption, and am sure would miss some, and that two labels (for or against) don’t work.  Not that there should be labels to begin with, but people are going to use them anyway…

Are you pro-adoption only if you support every type of adoption – no holds barred as long as the adoption process meets the letter of the law where the adoption occurs?

Are you still considered pro-adoption if you believe non-Hague international adoption needs to have more oversight?

What about if you are against international adoption, unless all in-country measures have failed, but support domestic infant and foster adoption?

Can you be considered pro-adoption if you support domestic, foster care, and international adoption – but believe the current marketing and counselling in domestic infant needs to change, plus opening records to adult adoptees in any type of adoption?

Or, if you support all three types of adoption, but feel the profit aspects of adoption both domestic and international need to have some serious overhauls?

Far too many variations to describe on here, and I just quickly listed the few above off the top of my head while I was only starting my 2nd coffee, so go easy on me.

What I would like is to hear is your description of where you stand now – based on today’s adoption practices, and how you would label yourself – if you had to pick a label and what that label would say.  Feel free to get wordy…or even go off topic and talk about something else…


Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Adoption


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17 responses to “Are there only two definitions: Pro or Anti Adoption?

  1. JavaMonkey

    November 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    My current thinking is that I believe surrender / adoption should only happen when all other means of caring for a child have been exhausted. When a parent says they wish to surrender a child, the first question should be, “What can we do to help you and your child stay together?” If that is not possible, the child should be raised by family. Adoption outside the family should be very, very rare. Likewise, foster care should be a rare occurrence. International adoption should be assumed to be illegal unless proven otherwise, because the financial incentive for agencies to sell babies is so great (more on that in a sec.)

    Opening records to adoptees is the first step in reforming adoption. All adult adoptees deserve access to their entire adoption record, not just their original birth certificates. If everything was done legally and ethically, the agencies have nothing to fear. The second step is to ensure that all adoptions are 100% cost free. Adoptive parents should not be asked or permitted to pay an agency for adoption (directly or via donation). Open the records, stop the money, stop the corruption.

    Adoption should be about providing loving homes to children in need, NOT providing healthy infants to infertile couples in need.


    • TAO

      November 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Java,

      Australia seems to have found the right solution in requiring non-directive counselling, services available to be able to raise your child, and, low cost adoptions. I don’t know that adoption could ever be free but the profit can be taken out like they have in Australia – somewhere around $4,000 – think. Hopefully CB will stop by with links to how it works. Foster care adoptions – honestly don’t know enough to speak on it. International needs much more scrutiny and you are correct – the money is the issue. Completely agree with your last two paragraphs!


  2. myst1998

    November 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Australia has different processes in different states so not sure if all of them are the same. Was contacted not too long ago by a mother who warned me not to push the Australian system as it wasn’t as open as I had been lead to believe. She had relinquished only in the last 10 years or so and said it wasn’t all that great in her state.

    I would say I am against the legal process of adoption and what it actually means in the law. I am against falsifying birth certificates and altering the facts of a child’s life. I am against children being sold for profit and the current baby farming mentality in the American model of adoption.

    I am for children who are in the system having a permanent place to call home. I am for children being given the care, love and chances every child deserves, whether given to them by their family of origin or others who want to give that to a child.

    Adoption as it is is ONLY about adults. When the law and the process is updated to focus on the child I might actually support it where necessary but until then, I cannot support a process that is focused on adults and money making whilst tearing families apart. It is simply plain wrong.


    • TAO

      November 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Myst,

      I am unsure about the openness aspect – but the profit has been primarily removed to only leave actual costs as far as I know – at least in NSW. The social services available are better too although I don’t know specifics. Canada has a year combined paid mat leave and job security to return too, and other supports for mothers including health care the states do not have – so the financial pressure in Canada is far less. That to me is important because it takes that pressure off the mother.

      The profit and the pressures are in direct contradiction to focusing on the child – completely agree.

      I don’t know that I would have liked not being legally mom and dads kid (which is separate from would I have wanted to be adopted) – it just gets mighty complicated – and it surely needs to be revamped in many areas. Of course if I had horrible parents – I might not be as conflicted KWIM?

      Good to hear from you again…


  3. Adoptionlies

    December 1, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I am against uneccessary adoption. Mothers should be provided resources that will help them keep their children. Why do adoptive parents have an adoption credit that is in excess of 12K but a family with a newborn does not get that type of financial assistance? A baby is either born or placed in to a family. Why does one family get that type of break and the other does not?

    I am against coercion. There should never be an adoption until a mother is healed both physically and mentally from birth, and she has not had people convince her to give up her baby because of “love and selflessness”. No PAP’s attending pre-natal doctor appointments, making best friends for life with bmommies, or being matched before birth and recovery.

    Lastly there is no choice without informed consent. Mothers and families need to be informed of the damage that is done to the child and the family with adoption. We do not even collect this data. Instead we collect data from adoptive parents who speak for all members of the triad and call themselves “experts”.

    Some parents should not parent. Some parents are convinced by others that they should not parent. We need to seperate the two and not offer the children of both to adoptive parents. And the needs and money of adoptive parents should not drive the adoption industry. If adoption was non profit, and subjected to rules and regulations with checks and balances that did not allow profit, it would not seperate children from their families unless it was necessary. This is the type of adoption industry that should be in place in every country.

    Children who need a home because of neglect or abuse need families. And their progress should be monitored by social services because there is a responsibility for the government to oversee their family situation until they reach 18. Once they come in to social services they should not be dropped. Adoptive families need help and resources to help children with RAD and other issues.


    • TAO

      December 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Can’t say I see much to outright disagree with – of course every individual will have a slightly different view or we would be do damn boring 🙂

      I do like your statement: “Some parents should not parent. Some parents are convinced by others that they should not parent.” And I also see those in the latter group told they would have been like the former group…aka if you had parented your kids would have ended up in foster care.

      It really is all messed up…


  4. veggiemom

    December 1, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Sadly, I think almost all adoption needs to be stopped based on the way it’s currently practiced…both international and domestic.


    • TAO

      December 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Yah – I know Veggiemom – but how do we get people to step outside of their reality to see the full reality? Hugs – and congrats for posting every day…I didn’t make it.


  5. Valentine Logar

    December 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    First I am an adult adoptee. No my adoption wasn’t open. No it also wasn’t perfect, in fact in many respects it was a nightmare. That being said, I still believe adoption can be a good alternative and should remain an alternative for forming families. Do adoption laws today make sense, absolutely not; however, this does not mean adoption is completely immoral, wrong or ineffective in all cases.

    Yes, some parents should not parent. This is true of both birth and adoptive parents.

    Some of the things I believe would make adoption safer and saner for all involved.

    1) Remove all profit
    2) Insure all health records are open and accessible at birth
    3) Insure both biological parents are involved in the decision to relinquish and provide counseling
    4) Provide long-term follow up to adoptive families
    5) Respect biological parental contact wishes within adoption process and provide court intervention should contact breakdown overtime. This really works two ways, if the biological parent(s) do not want contact this has to be respected as well. There are sometimes reasons for this and children need help and counseling as they mature to understand.
    6) Provide detailed family histories for adoptive children, pictures if possible. Names removed if necessary depending on the contact wishes.

    I suspect I could think of more. I have no real issue with international adoptions but believe they should follow the same rules as above to the best they can. There are flaws, we know this. The reality is though, there are also lots of orphans worldwide. Orphans created by war, disease and famine. Where it is costly and difficult to adopt in the US, sometimes it is easier to adopt internationally, for those who greatly desire children a family this might be the option that makes the most sense. I know many wonderful couples who have taken this option after years of waiting, years of trying.

    As an adoptee, one who met her biological parents as an adult I can honestly say it was good what they did in giving me up. Despite their pain, despite much of my own pain; it was still good what my first mother did in giving me up. Despite the coercion used in forcing her. Despite my first fathers anger. Despite my second mothers abusive nature. It was still good what she did. Much could have been avoided if there were better safeguards in place, more follow up. But I will never say adoption should be taken off the table.


    • JavaMonkey

      December 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      I agree with everything except the contact stuff. Contact should be entirely in the hands of adoptees.

      There is no expectation of privacy for parents when a child is born, especially not from the child itself. If people do not want contact, then they are free to express that in writing- but the final decision to look (or not) for the birth parent(s) must be with the child who was surrendered.


      • Valentine Logar

        December 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

        I just can’t agree. There are sometimes reasons for no contact. Adults have to respect this. Adult adoptees who look for their biological roots sometimes will ultimately be turned away by the fact their biological parents want no contact and stated this firmly at the time of the adoption. Unfortunately our desire for contact does not override their desire for privacy. Yes, there must be an expectation of privacy if that is what is desired by the birth parent(s).


        • JavaMonkey

          December 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm

          Nobody can force a relationship upon anyone else. Perhaps I didn’t make that part clear. However, it is legally impossible to get a preemptive restraining order against someone whose name you do not know and who might never contact you. The law doesn’t work that way, and it shouldn’t.

          Legally, there is no expectation of privacy when a child is born, especially not from the child itself. The child’s birth is immediately recorded by the government via a public document. That document and the information in it rightly belongs to the child. What the child does with that information is again, up to the child.

          ** Surrendering a child terminates the parents’ legal rights, not the child’s. **

          The child has as the same right to attempt to contact the birth parents as anyone else does. The birth parents have the same right to refuse contact with their child as they have to refuse contact with anyone else. They don’t get special rights, just the same rights.


  6. Beth

    December 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    What’s your definition of adoption?
    I think that has a whole lot to do with opinions on it.
    For me it’s a legal thing.
    Children can live with families where both mutually accept each other as family, forever, and ever.
    That really has little to do with adoption. But more with socialness and custody/guardianship, name change if wanted, legal stuff.
    To me, Adoption is amending and replacing the original birth certificate, and in most cases sealing the original from everyone.
    A record of birth is just that, it’s not a record of adoption, or shouldn’t be IMO, ever, unless there is more than one field for Mother______.
    So, I suppose that makes me anti-adoption in the truest sense?
    Even tho I totally support building families of non-biologically related people, or relatives that aren’t bio children/parent. With legal protections of course.
    I guess I have just seen in so many circumstances where “as-if born too” magic has gone way too far.
    And from many of the same people who say they don’t believe in Santa
    Go figure!


    • TAO

      December 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      No, I don’t think not liking the amending and sealing of the birth certificate makes you anti-adoption – ideally I would like two places on the birth certificate for the mother – legal mother that shows on the short form, and genetic that shows on the long form, and if both the legal and genetic mother are the same then her name shows up twice (same with fathers).

      Not sure about other countries but the UK they receive an adoption certificate instead of an amended birth certificate and used in place of the birth certificate for registering for school etc – of course the cat’s out of the bag so to speak – but honestly – people can’t have things both way in adoption – either it is okay or it is something to be ashamed of – you can’t say adoption is SO wonderful and the want to hide behind an amended birth certificate. I say hooey to all those who use the privacy card for their child as an excuse…

      Yah – the whole “as if” bothers me no end – and agree it has gone too far both in ridiculous ways and legal ways and good point – some of the don’t believe in Santa or want their kids fooled over that. Too funny…

      Glad to hear from you again.


      • Beth

        December 9, 2012 at 6:00 am

        Always good to hear from you.
        I can’t seem to put my finger on exactly what anti-adoption is, or what adoption is. I think I have overthunk it.
        I know in some circles it’s anything involving not supporting secrecy with the birth certificate. I am with you on the hooey of the privacy card. And pick one or the other, ya don’t get both.

        I think I have a Santa hang up or something. Santa, the Christmas story, it all gets mixed together with my adoption in a way for me. I can’t seem to unravel why yet, keep going in circles and I know I am missing a turn somewhere.

        I nearly have to bite my tongue off not to say “um, we are celebrating the birth of a MAGIC BABY, and celebrating Santa is lying to your kids?” Not that I don’t believe in Santa or the magic baby, or that my aparents are real, it just puzzles me how some can get so upset over the “lie” of Santa!


        • TAO

          December 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

          I think anti-adoption is that the adoption and legal severing should never happen and guardianship should be the norm. And that does somewhat tie into the secrecy with the birth certificates to a certain extent. Let’s face it – the legal severing wasn’t defined until around our era – we weren’t entitiled to inherity unless specified by name – and that did all change. Prior to that if you take people like Art Linkletter – he was adopted but he retained his name and chose later in life to take the surname of his parents which means he actually had a choice. I think permanent legal guardianship is worth exploring in many cases – but not all cases. I also think the severing and amended birth certificate/sealing as it is now practiced has gone too far. Did you know in my state when I was adopted the “interested parties” could access the adoption files on request and then they would be sealed again from the public…but retroactive laws changed that for me? I would imagine my state was not alone in that – perhaps different years but the change was gradual.

          Ah yes, us magic babies that have the ability to suddenly be born from someone we weren’t and the Santa thing – yeah – it is pretty bizarre the we can’t lie but we love that amended birth certificate…



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