I have hesitated posting this for several days, but I have decided to go ahead because I think it is something I need to say. Something has bothered me but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but first let me take a step back putting the concern on ethical adoptions for only those who truly need adoption aside for the moment…
We are all defined in some way by how we were raised, our values, our belief systems, whether by keeping them, modifying them in some way, or dismissing them outright. I have for the most part kept mine the same, albeit a few differences. My parents strongly believed in living a life to serve and help others, whatever service or help they could offer to a person or group. They were/are living examples of what they believed in every single day of their life, not just one day a week, or at conferences, every single waking hour in some way, big or small, they served others first and at a cost to themselves.
Yet, adopting us was not part of that service to others. They adopted because they wanted to be parents. They did not adopt us to convert us, or bring the word of God to us because their ministry said that is what they needed to do. They adopted us to have a family, be a family. Their only motive to adopt was to be parents – no other reason, no rescue meme, not to convert us, just to be the best parents they could to their children.
To me, I see a distinct difference between my parents motives, and what I see in the many blogs, articles, talk in the wider communities of those in the orphan ministries. It isn’t about their faith, or how they believe the Bible tells them their primary service / mission is to care for the orphans via adopting, how they were called to adopt because God adopted them that bothers me deep down. People have interpreted the scriptures in so many different ways – just look at how many different religions exist. It’s not even about the attitude in some such as that it really doesn’t matter if there were discrepancies (large or small) in the adoptions, or, that all that matters is the child will benefit by being taught about Jesus, or how adoption was God’s Plan A for that child. Everyone has the right to their opinion or belief.
It’s about the fact that some who follow the orphan ministries never mention in their long rebuttal comments, or their blog posts – that first, they just wanted to be parents, and then they chose to become parents via adoption, then determined what type of adoption. That fact whether it is real, or simply an omission, bothers me more than anything else said, or believed, because I think that desire to parent has to be there first, before the route to parenthood is considered, especially in adoption. I do believe some, hopefully most parents, regardless of what motivated them choose adoption, will be great parents to their adopted child or children, true families in the deepest meaning of the word. Others won’t be with impacts to the child from mild right through to those cases where the child suffers extreme levels of abuse. These are the ones I am concerned about – somewhat similar in results for the child that can be found in parents who haven’t dealt with their own pain and grief resulting from infertility, who instead rush into adoption for a replacement child that can never live up to the ghost child the parents would have created. Different but same.