Assigning blame…

01 Mar


We all have our own biases when it comes to assigning credibility, or blame based on how we view actions taken in life by other people.  It is something I have thought about lately, not just about what this post is about, but in other areas of life as well.  This morning I was thinking about how justifications, and denial are used within the adoption community, specifically with mothers who speak out about their treatment by an agency.

If a mother says she was promised an open adoption and it was closed, some will automatically go to the assumption that she crossed some boundary.  The justification is that the adoptive parents are blameless, and she is not a victim because she chose adoption, and should have known open-adoption wasn’t legally enforced.

Or if a mother speaks out about her experience with being counselled to choose adoption, and how they made her feel unworthy to parent, and how pressured she felt in the hospital to not let the prospective parents down, yet looking back she see’s that the practice as wrong, she is told she made a free choice, should have said no, and done more research.  That she has to live with the choices she made, and is not a victim of an unethical agency.  Even if she says she trusted them because they have been in the business for a long time, she is still not a victim – or she is just not believed, because of the reputation of the agency among adoptive parents.

Yet, on the other hand, we can see and identify victims of long-standing Ponzi schemes.  Schemes that continued on for decades like the famous one.  Where most thought he was the best in the business, yet many lost their life savings, their retirement, their future.  We see them as victims.  A few will say they made a choice or should have known it was too good to be true, that they should have done more research, but most will say they were just middle class families who trusted someone with a stellar reputation.  That they were victims and couldn’t have foreseen what the outcome would be.

If we consider the life situation between a mother facing a crisis pregnancy that is also very time constrained by the very nature of pregnancy vs. a person or couple who are at the point in their life where they are able to put money away for their future – between the two – who is in the more vulnerable position in need of the higher level of protection, who is most likely not to have the time to do their due diligence, or the life skills to know better?

I just wish that the next time people who would answer “but you had a choice” – would stop and think about it.


Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Adoption, Ethics


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

4 responses to “Assigning blame…

  1. Kellie

    March 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I have to admit, in the past I have blamed the mom for not saying “no”. I thought she had a choice she should have said “no”. That was before my daughter was put in that same spot. Me, my husband, and our daughter were put in that spot. We knew it was the wrong decision, but you cannot imagine putting the adoptive couple through that. We were the ones who brought them there, who got there hopes up. We couldn’t disappoint them. It’s like sending a church full of people home because you decided marrying this person wasn’t right for you at the last minute. Who wants do that?
    I wasn’t pregnant. My husband wasn’t pregnant (obviously). We didn’t have those hormones raging through our bodies. Yet we still fell victim to the same pressure that mothers fall victim to when having the prospective adoptive parent present during the birth of our granddaughter.
    I am now a firm believer that PAP’s SHOULD NOT be present at the birth. These women are victims even if they weren’t involved with an adoption agency because these agencies are structuring societies beliefs and vies of adoption itself.
    I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. Fantastic post. Thank you for making me think!


    • Kellie

      March 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Sorry. That should be “views” on “vies”.


  2. JavaMonkey

    March 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

    While I absolutely agree that they shouldn’t be there, I think the PAPs being present at the birth is a symptom of the larger issue of coercion. The agencies and adoptive parents do as much as possible before the birth in order to make it harder for a mother to back out after. In the bad old days, the maternity homes would hold the hospital and lodging bills over the mothers if they expressed any doubts. Today, the adoptive parents pay medical bills and are present at delivery. These are just two different sides of the same coin.


  3. Valentine Logar

    March 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Things haven’t really changed since the 50’s. The way in which pressure is applied has changed, but the pressure hasn’t. Social pressure included.



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