Tuesday, I started and then trashed three posts about the SCOTUS ruling. This morning one of those posts that was about a comment on Twitter, is still circling in my head. The comment?
A good day for #Adoption
Because apparently that’s all that really matters – that Adoption wins.
I have followed this specific case and read the court transcripts, and there are so many disturbing facts that have nothing to do with the questions raised, or the decision made on Tuesday. Instead the post below centers around points brought up during the verbal argument phase (whatever it is called), and in the dissent – father’s rights.
Adoption is a legal and social act of finding a home for a child who needs a home. If you don’t agree that should be the reason for adoption, then you and I don’t agree at the starting point you won’t like the rest of the post.
When you place Adoption on a pedestal and state that Adoption wins, it reeks of entitlement to someone else’s child – with or without consent, especially when specific laws are constructed containing requirements to preserve parental rights that are specific only if adoption is in play. When your right to adopt someone else’s child is higher than the rights of either of the two people who created the child to parent their child – then what does that say about the society we live in and whether or not they view Adoption as I do – or solely as a means to obtain a child for a family who wants one. (and yes, the two can work together but the child centered one is primary)
It seems that we live in two worlds.
In the adoption world if the mother wants adoption, then magically the father must just know that she is considering adoption, and to protect his rights – must provide financial support to the mother during pregnancy, and after birth regardless if the child is living with the mother, or as generally the case, the prospective adoptive parents. He must also register as a putative father (sometimes in multiple states) and within a specified timeframe. It doesn’t always matter if the expectant mother hid the pregnancy, moved out-of-state, or, the relationship was not conducive to even attempting contact for fear of a harassment suit. None of those seem to matter much when the adoption card is in play (it’s kind of like the Joker when you think about it).
In the world everyone else lives in, a father is not required by law to support the expectant mother during pregnancy, in fact, he does not need to do anything at all to protect his parental rights, which after delivery and paternity test (if requested), a court will order him to pay support while the child is a minor, and/or still in school, because he is the father and has an obligation to financially support his child. If he doesn’t, the state has several ways to make sure the support is provided, including jail time.
If a father was required by law to support an expectant mother and register as a putative father regardless if the adoption card was on the table, or not, then I wouldn’t be as concerned because it would be known – a level playing field if you will. When you put criteria to retain a parental right only if/when adoption comes into play, then you are deliberately trying to elevate the right of one parent choosing adoption, over the other parents rights by changing the goal posts.
It doesn’t work for me – there needs to be only one basic set of rules to follow.
PS…The Atlantic has a post on the ruling, and if you read it consider this post when you read the quotes taken from the ruling, I read them, and then read them again, and in my mind substituted state for congress and Adoption laws for ICWA in the first quote, etc…
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman
Oct 2014: You may speak freely, but please try to use words that everyone can hear about your individual story or view. If you don't, those who can actually benefit won't hear it, I want to see change in my lifetime. I may refuse to approve certain comments.
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