Discussions within the adoption community this week…

20 Jul


…and because this topic hits me on a very deep level, consider this a forewarning that there are a few snarky comments included in parenthesis.  If you don’t want snark then don’t click through to read it.

There have been many discussions this week about the current SC Supreme Court order to process the adoption petition.  I’m not going to talk about the case because who knows what will actually happen, rather, about how divided the community is on this and from my view point, it has been reduced to three or four different points, and each person combining different points together to form their view.

View that puts Adoption up on a pedestal
If you are firmly in the adoption is the best thing since sliced ham camp – it is a long-awaited win, and she is being returned to her “real” family she was “meant to be with”.  That, if they hadn’t won then it would harm adoption, (once again, putting adoption up on that pedestal (isn’t there a commandment about that?)).  Countless number of dire warnings that unless the case had turned out this way, that no prospective parent would ever try to adopt (adoption version of “the sky is falling”).  That an adoptive home is always superior to a biological home (which is a misguided assumption that also dismisses the loss for the child).  That biology is way over-rated mantra, (many who say this went through different options to have said biological child, before adopting the mantra that completely dismisses the losses inherent in adoption for all).

View that puts the child in the center of adoption
The group that views adoption as a solution to a child who needs a home and be parented by a family who wants children.  The child-centered view vs. the adoption on the pedestal view.  That a child is best served if they can stay within their biological family when possible, and if not, then an adoptive family steps in.  That in a voluntary adoption, both known parents must consent, and tricks and tactics by anyone have no part in adoption.

View that puts the mother who chose adoption as truthful, and the father who wants to raise his child as a deadbeat
Perhaps the most disingenuous view out there because in every break-up there is a he said, she said, but one side is staunchly for the mother, and the other side sees that both made mistakes in what they said and did.  That what is actually the truth often lies somewhere in the middle.  That what words or actions people say, or do, in the midst of anger and pain during a break-up are often the opposite of what they actually want when clearer heads prevail.  Choosing how you act after the heat of the moment is often more indicative of the persons true nature.  (To me it is particularly sad when those who benefit from an adoption refuse to see faults on both sides, a balanced view of a messy break-up and bad decisions by both.)  Instead, they view the mother as the saint, and what she did and said was all justified, because she proved she wanted what was best for her child by choosing adoption (there’s that pedestal again), and what he said, or did, was all wrong and he should have supported the mother through her pregnancy if he wanted rights.  (And yet, that requirement of prenatal support to maintain rights – only comes into play if the adoption card is on the table, and both players should know beforehand.  Yes, I know the law doesn’t agree with me here, but people have the choice to use that law, or not).

View that another move will add more trauma, but then splits into two paths
Most view an additional disruption as trauma and not in any child’s best interest, and that she will deal with the impact for a long time, and will need help.  Yet even in this viewpoint there are two paths – some who believe that when she becomes a teen or adult and sees what happens that the outcome won’t be good for the adoptive parents, and they will have to deal with a very angry adoptee, with the opposite that she will see how much better her life is with her adoptive family that fought to keep her (again with the always superior home adoption pedestal).

My thoughts on the above view
Regardless of how this plays out, I can’t say how she will feel either way, no one can, all I can do is rely on my lived experience.  I have said before I think if I found out that mom and dad fought either of my parents, or shut their eyes to tricks, it would change how I would see them.  I say that because that love and relationship has been forged, and continued, based on who they are and what they raised me to believe is right, which includes treating others with respect.  That is why I am so adamant about rights being respected, and adoptions being done correctly, not just within the letter of the law, but based on ethics, and a strong moral compass of what’s right, and with respect to the rights of the natural family.  I do think there will be consequences, because a child should not be something another family fights the natural family to get.  It should not come down to who has the most money to stay in the fight the longest.  Parental rights should be sacrosanct unless proven to be unfit, or are willingly and knowingly surrendered.  Once a child is born both parents should have equal rights and responsibilities, and married or not should not factor in.  I don’t think that those responsibilities should extend to pre-natal care when no right is attached, and if that responsibility is required, then a full truthful disclosure of the possibility of adoption and the ramifications of non-support must accompany that requirement, before it begins.

When you fail to respect who your children come from, then you fail to fully respect who your child is.  I can say with certainty that the longevity of my relationship within my family is based on the fact that they have proven repeatedly by their words and deeds over many years, that they are on the inside, exactly what they present themselves to be to on the outside, and that includes respecting other peoples rights.

Stepping off my soap-box now…and out to enjoy the rest of the day…


Posted by on July 20, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


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

8 responses to “Discussions within the adoption community this week…

  1. cb

    July 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    A great summary of the situation, TAO.


    • TAO

      July 20, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      thanks – I have found the many different discussions fascinating yet boil down to very specific points of view.


  2. veggiemom

    July 21, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I like it when you’re on your soapbox!


    • TAO

      July 21, 2013 at 2:12 am

      I miss your soapbox…sometimes I get too carried away. Hopefully, I conveyed that I don’t see any one group as all wrong or all right. When are you blogging again?


  3. Don't We Look Alike?

    July 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Great post! I love the way you analyze. I admit I am a child-first thinker. Where that gets murky and difficult is that children grow up and is what is best for a child the same thing as what is best for that child-grown-up? Not always. Another area of conflict and difficulty for me is that while I hate when individual cases are used for political ends, I also agree with you about this: “When you fail to respect who your children come from, then you fail to fully respect who your child is.”


    • TAO

      July 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Luanne – you have the ability to separate your story from what you are reading – a lesson that is hard to learn for many of us. I do think you fit into the child-centered view and yes the best decisions are those where you can foresee the many paths and fit your decision to what will work in any path even if not perfect for one in particular. Seems like such a vague statement but can’t put it any clearer – open-mindedness to all possibilities before decisions made. I think that parents sometimes forget that their children can see one set of parents disrespecting the other set and apply it to themselves as well…and it’s a perfectly valid view – and also works in both directions.

      Thanks for not letting my snark get you!


  4. Dannie

    July 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Maybe I’m dense but didn’t really see snark in there.

    What makes cases like these sad is that it should never have happened in the first place. (Placement because a family member wanted to step up and parent).

    My opinion is that adoption should happen only for those kids that need it due to abuse, neglect, or outright not wanting to parent from both sides. Poverty, differences of opinion, sneakiness should never ever be a part of the equation.

    As it is, even in the best adoption situation is going to encounter feelings of loss. Heck in my high hormonal state of pregnancy right now I’m grieving my daughters loss even though right now she’s a happy go lucky almost 4 year old.


    • TAO

      July 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      There is a bit – putting adoption on a pedestal and reference to a specific commandment…think it’s the 2nd? been a while…but I tried to lower the tone, but still some are bound to take offense because hey this is adoption where feelings are hurt every single minute.

      And you too fall into the child-centered category. I imagine right now you are feeling the loss because it’s really real and harsh…and why for so many adoptees when the get pregnant and give birth it awakes so many feelings because they experience what you are feeling and pushing aside no longer works. No words that can make it better for you but it does give you even more awareness (not that you really needed it though)…you can know that both your kids can benefit from it…



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