You are the first person to have commented on this blog from an identified adoption agency – thanks for being honest – do you know I actually look at who is commenting for the first time? Just one of my quirks. I know another agency follows this blog, but they don’t comment. Just in case you are wondering, here are the reasons why I am not approving your comment. Trust me, it is long so you may want to grab a coffee (or your choice of beverage).
As to why your comment isn’t approved? This may come across as a wee bit harsh, but perhaps it will allow you to see it through outside eyes – at least I hope it does, and perhaps other agencies will do the same…
1. No adoption agency will be promoted here, especially in a vague comment about how much you like this blog and thanks for the article. It reads like a drive-by comment only to get people to click-through to your site via your Gravatar. That assumption is based not only on the comment, but also based on the post you left it on, because it does not seem you got past the title of the post, if you had, you may not have chosen to support that post. Feel free to disagree with me, but I checked out your website to see if there was any chance you did value family preservation, which is what the post you commented on was about.
2. Now, about your own website: Have you ever looked at your “Birthmother” pages through the eyes of one surrendered for adoption, that isn’t also an employee of your agency? No? Well, here is my take from the eyes of this ONE adult adoptee whose adoption had no middle man vying to turn me into an adoptee.
I understand that all agencies need pregnant women to relinquish their babies to stay in business, yet before you even get them in the door, they are Birthmothers (one word), regardless of the fact they haven’t even given birth, let alone chosen adoption over parenting – that’s what your sales pitch is supposed to do. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Once, a woman has decided to continue her pregnancy, she is an expectant mother (two words) whether she chooses to parent, or adoption, that title stays with her until after birth when she becomes a mother. Your words tell me she only has value to you if she follows the program you choose, and is a necessary requirement for you to stay in business. Yet, to me, the adoptee, a mother should not just be a means to an end, yet that is how you come across, and I hope I am mistaken.
On your front page for expectant mothers who you already consider Birthmothers (one word and to women who have yet to give birth) you offer them FREE everything, round trip airfare to where you are located, airport pickup and tour of the surrounding area, housing, medical and living expenses, shopping and other expenses. I don’t know about you, but I was raised to understand that nothing in life is free, and if it sounds too good to be true – it usually is. I have no words to describe how this makes me feel, because mere words cannot describe the picture I have in my head right now on this type of advertising.
Inside your front page on another Birthmothers (one word) page you describe how they can choose how open they want the adoption to be, right up to receiving yearly pictures! Really? Yearly pictures make an adoption open? Your understanding of what the benefit of openness is about, and mine, must be miles apart. My understanding is that open adoption is supposed to benefit the adoptee – by providing assistance, knowledge, relationships, to help them overcome the challenges of trying to understand, and accept, that they were given away, figure out who they are, not have to deal with feelings of abandonment, or rejection, have a relationship with their family of birth, access to and knowledge of their current family health history. That kind of stuff. Do you honestly think that knowing your mother gets pictures of you once a year will make any difference to any of those challenges faced by the adoptee? To me this reads as something designed to make the expectant mother feel in control and in charge – please tell me you tell the expectant mothers – that the adoptive parents can flake and never send even one picture…
As to your Birthmothers (one word – can you tell that bugs me?) page, you guarantee her confidentiality. I am sure you must have missed the news that Adult Adoptees and Allies have worked to overturn state laws and regain their right to their Original Birth Certificate for at least the last thirty years. Now that you have this information, you need to ask yourself how you can guarantee her confidentiality when states are changing the laws? I would assume that you will want to keep this key marketing point, and instead will include a typical * at the start or end of the guarantee, advising the reader to look below for a disclaimer in at least an 8 pt font that might read something like this: *At this time we cannot guarantee that in the future your confidentiality will be maintained under sealed record laws. Several states in the last 15 years have returned the right to the Adult Adoptee to access their Original Birth Certificate, and other states have pending legislation to do the same. I hope you will feel the need to make this clear.
I am also amazed at how silent you are on the expectant fathers. Do they count? Exist? To this adoptee they do…yet I do not see a single whisper about fathers on the expectant mother pages which you call Birthmother pages… Nothing, nada, zip…yet we receive 50% of our dna from our fathers, their ancestors are our ancestors too, their rights are important – just like our mothers rights are as well. They matter a lot, and perhaps you just never thought about the other half of the equation, because they aren’t the ones pregnant? Wait, I found fathers mentioned on the adoptive parents page referring to “birth father issues”, that explains it all, really it does.
In the same page as above, you tell the expectant mother who you call a Birthmother (one word) you will help her make the right decision for her, while at the same time proudly announce how many adoptions you have been party too (on your flip side, the clients side, you boast an astonishingly high rate for successful adoptions, and your practice is to get the papers signed, and any waiver as well, so it is irrevocable – nice touch). Yes, I know the mother always has the right to not go through with the adoption. Yet, at the same time she may have accepted your generous offer, and relocated to your state, away from her support system during her pregnancy, and birth, so tell me, if she chooses to parent what happens when she leaves the hospital? Chances are she doesn’t have family, or even friends in the area, and she likely doesn’t even have a car seat. Is that return airfare still offered? Can she still stay at her new home you provided to get her to your state – while arranging the trip home? Or is she just on the street? You are strangely quiet on that aspect, perhaps once she is there you tell her – who knows.
Oh my, on the adoptive parents side – oh my – you can certainly tell who is the client and who isn’t…