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Finding a home for a child vs Finding a child for a home, two different mindsets…

08 Sep

By TAO

Of all the different aspects of the case about Veronica Brown – the one question I can’t find an answer for: Why would adoptive parents be willing to, or want to, adopt a child whose parent did not want that child adopted?  Because that would be a forced adoption, not a voluntary adoption, and I thought we were past all that, at least, that is what everyone proudly proclaims.

That willingness to adopt in cases like this makes no sense, especially when you think about the Golden Rule, and I have yet to ever meet anyone who hasn’t heard of it.  All of which circles back to why I strongly believe that adoption must be approached as finding a home for a child who needs a home – not finding a baby for a family who wants one.  And, for all those who rebut that with don’t you want parents who want to parent?  Of course, which is why I say they can work in conjunction with each other, but the first must always be the primary driver.

Some adoptive parents may feel that those of us that believe adoption must revert back to the mindset of “finding a home for a child who needs one” are anti-adoption.  I am not sure how they make the leap from a child-centric position to anti-adoption – but I thought I would try my hand at describing why I believe the process must be that way.

Growing up has all sorts of challenges and stages that we progress through, usually in a fairly typical progression of stages from infant through to young adult.  Each new stage is one we must explore, adjust to, and accomplish – before we move to the next stage.  Typical developmental challenges the child needs to achieve to become an adult.  Now for the one adopted, you add in all the additional challenges of being an adoptee – identity issues, loss and grief, low self esteem / self worth, fear of rejection or abandonment, etc., at different points in childhood.  Of course, each will deal with them differently, and feel them in different levels of intensity, and yet those same challenges will impact the adoptee again at different stages of life as well. 

My question is why adults would willingly do that to a child who doesn’t need adoption?  Can they not step back and recognise what they are doing to a child who doesn’t need adoption?  Why add that onto a child, even though we know not all children will respond the same, you can’t predict who will be more, or less, affected by them – why is it worth risking doing that to a child? 

Anybody have a better way to explain, or add to, why adoption needs to return to finding a home for a child who needs one? 

Happy Sunday and thanks for reading and talking…and by the way, my inability to retain names extends to flowers – so feel free to tell me what the name of the flower above is, it’s one of my favorites and I have them all over the yard…sigh

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18 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics

 

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

18 responses to “Finding a home for a child vs Finding a child for a home, two different mindsets…

  1. dpen

    September 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Those are the same questions I ask.

    How many times I have stated I am “prochild” and not antiadoption. It does not get through to the ardently proadoption people. If adoption is mere thought about for n infant they swoop in and find all sorts of reasons to negate the bioparents and find proof that this child NEEDS to be adopted! “That horrible biomother wears polkadot pants…take that baby…I wear white linen so therefore IIIII should be this child’s mother!! ” They will spend inordinate amounts of money to prove that they should just take this baby..they are the better person…they just want that baby and should get it! The sad thing is that as you say the REAL needs of the child are not taken into consideration and they get most of society to agree with them because after all…..if a biomom or dad just BREATHES adoption they must be bad..and not deserving of that child. Bottom line is that the PAPS are so desperate for a child at this pont they will do anything to get them…even if the child does not need it. They take possession
    on of this little human being and believe they are the deserving parents. Never mind that the child DESERVES to stay with bio. After all its only natural.

    I don’t know how to get it to be about the child….I think general society needs to be educated about adoption and what it has become. Thats going to be a tough one because the proadoption at any cost truly believe they are “saving” children and society agrees. The rest of us are just bitter, misguided, ignorant and child hurting people in their minds

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    • TAO

      September 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Hey dpen – miss you voice. Need to educate the public on the two different mindsets and also what adoptees will face – how is the question.

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  2. Kim

    September 8, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Finding a home for a child who needs a home – not finding a baby for a family who wants one. This is SUCH a powerful sentence/statement in the adoption world. I am a first mother who placed my son for adoption in 1990. I was a 19 year old girl who would never think of challenging an authority figure (the adoption agency, my parents didn’t know about my son until ten years ago) and did what I was told. If I had been educated on the effects adoption would have on my son and me (all those you listed) I never would have done what I did.

    My son and I are in our 4th year of reunion and just when we think we’ve come to a good place, processed all our feelings, something comes up. His adoptive mother fails to see that I’m not here to steal her son. Her continued insecurity has made a difficult situation worse. Instead of looking at how things affect “our” son, she makes it all about her. This has him constantly battling loyalties to each of us, etc. He says he feels like he’s from a divorced family most of the time.

    We both speak at adoption conferences in our area hoping that our story will change the mind set of even one family. It’s a huge issue to tackle. His hope is that perspective adoptive parents take into consideration how the child feels, will feel, and how to handle it in a healthy way.

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    • TAO

      September 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Hey Kim, welcome and thanks for taking the time to comment. Far too many stories are like your story – I hope that both of you can make a difference. Hugs

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  3. ana1968

    September 9, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Well said. I just cannot understand how the Capobiancos can live with themselves. What kind of people must they be? Their sense of entitlement just blows my mind.

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    • TAO

      September 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Ana – I don’t understand either especially with MC’s professional qualifications – the harm to the little one will life altering.

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  4. eagoodlife

    September 9, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Yes mine too! Perhaps their god ordained this adoption of Veronica, I don’t know enough about the PAP’s.
    Why adoption is not childcentric in America and deserves to be is a book in itself!
    I belive that pretty flower is an Aqulegia – my you are lucky!

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    • TAO

      September 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Yes, that’s the proper name – one of the more frustrating aspects for me – the names of my flowers. Von – they self-seed all over the garden with a bit of help from me letting the flower stems dry out, cutting them and then shaking them in other parts – beautiful flowers early in the spring.

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  5. Paige

    September 9, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Is it Columbine?

    Nice post, BTW. I’m havin nightmares about this case and Hana’s.

    Ugh.

    Paige

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    • TAO

      September 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Columbine – yes – that’s the common name and both you and Von are right – I couldn’t grasp either. Thanks.

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  6. Kate

    September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I am usually a creeper, not a commenter, but I thought I could answer this question. Sorry that it is so long… Let me preface this by saying that these people are completely in the wrong. So completely in the wrong that it makes my ill to think of it. The minute they knew that this girl’s father didn’t consent they should have been done. They should NEVER have raised her for as long as they did. And then to retraumatize her by demanding her back… absolutely unconcionable.

    I think part of the problem is the whole adoption industry. My three children were all adopted. During our first adoption we were completely clueless. We didn’t understand the ethics involved. It didn’t occur to us that these huge organizations with all of these rules to follow and seemingly high degrees of government involvement could possibly get away with being unethical. More than that, we didn’t understand what kind of ethical problems there could be. 7 years ago, when we were starting our adoption, ethics conversations seemed to be much less common than they are now, especially in the Ethiopian adoptive community. I think most people have very little understanding about this issue, to the point that they don’t even know that they are ignorant. It isn’t an excuse, but it is a reason. Once I became a part of the community instead of an outsider looking in, I learned a LOT. And the agencies really do nothing to teach people about these issues. In fact, the worst of the agencies are actively preventing people from learning too much about it. And they have so much power when they are dealing with these people who WANT to believe them. They can frame and present any ‘situation’ as though it is a necessity for the well being of the child. Once people understand the intricacies and the ethics and the cost to the children and their biological family it is different. But so few people understand it before an adoption.

    When I finally became a mother I poured my whole soul into my daughter. She was the only thing in the world that mattered to me. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if, at a year old, someone would have told me that my daughter’s other mom wanted her back and hadn’t wanted the adoption to happen. The logical, good person part of me thinks, “I wouldn’t have a choice. I can’t steal someone else’s baby!” But there is a darker, more primitive part of me that howls that I would have to run and hide with her so nobody could take her away from me. Is it right? No. But she’s my heart and soul. And beyond how agonizing it would be for me, I know it would be agonizing for my daughter. True, it would be the same trauma that was inflicted on her in the begining, and she adjusted and is doing great. But she wouldn’t know them. She knows us as our family. She loves us and loves her life. It would break her heart and she would be so scared and would cry for us and we wouldn’t come… It kills me to think of it.

    When you add in the people (who I think are crazy) that believe that ‘God’ wants this adoption to occur… well… it is kind of a recipe for disaster. Because there are too many emotions involved. On all sides. Nobody, is impartial or in any position to be logical or rational. Once people are in the thick of it, there are just too many emotions swirling. It takes an incredibly strong person to fight those emotions and think rationally.

    I think that there are a growing number of adoptive parents who are fighting this… trying to educate people before they are so involved in a particular situation that they can’t think rationally. It isn’t enough yet, but we are working on it.

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    • TAO

      September 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Kate – you don’t need to lurk – if we all can’t talk between groups then we all lose. I do my best to keep things civil here because there are many AP’s like you – you go in naïve and then you start to see the cracks, and how some cracks are wide open craters that are just terribly wrong and unethical. I applaud AP’s who are willing to step up and say they were so blind at the start and talk and educate others (not that they are willing to hear it, but knowing you tried matters)…Eventually if enough speak up it will make a difference.

      I can’t imagine being in a position of finding out several years later that the adoption should never have happened – I would guess that opening the adoption wide open, and being truthful to all is probably the best solution child wise to mitigate the loss and ensure relationships aren’t severed for decades. Each situation would be different and also hard based on geography.

      Feel free to talk here…(I edited your post only to provide breaks between paragraphs for easier reading)

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      • Kate

        September 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Thanks for the welcome… I wasn’t scared of commenting before, just didn’t feel like I had anything to add. I appreciate the perspective and am trying to learn. Most of the time, when things are hard to hear, it means you know they are true but don’t like it.

        Shadow, I can’t imagine how it has been for Veronica. That is part of what makes it so horrific. I understand the adoptive parents’ impulse to fight for this child, no matter how wrong they may be. But to put her through the trauma that she has gone through… losing her adoptive parents to go back to her father, building a life with him and now losing him to go back to people who are now virtual strangers… I hope they have an incredible therapist lined up and that they will make every effort to make sure that her father remains an intigral part of her life. I don’t have a lot of faith in their good judgement at this point, but I hope I’m wrong. Who could possibly think that what is happening to that girl is in her best interest? And your story about Solomon… yeah. I don’t know how they can see her and know her and love her and then inflict the pain they are going to inflict. That just isn’t what good parents do.

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  7. shadowtheadoptee

    September 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Kate, and welcome to our blog. Thank you for your honesty. I just want to clarify that what I say next is not directed at you.

    I’ve avoided Veronica’s story. Over the years therre’s been a number of stories like hers take place. I just can’t stand to hear them anymore. They hurt too much. As the one in the middle, the adoptee, all I can see is Veronica. I do wonder, when I hear these stories, and think about a story from the Bible, where the two women are fighting over a child, and the judge, (can’t remember the details of the story), says he will cut the child in half. The “real” mother told him to give the child to the other woman, thus saving the life of the child. The judge gives the “real” mother the child.
    I know that I’m doing a poor job with this story, but it seems to me, in the end. still, who really wins? It just sad for the child.
    so many of us, are not children in need of a home. We were/are children, whose parents were in need of help support, and a little encouragement, instead of the judgement, condemnation, and shame for not living up to societies standards, that they got and get. Really, when I think about it, and look at these cases like Veronica’s, it seems to me that money and education do not make people better parents. Then again, what do I know?
    Disclaimer: the use of the word “real” , well, yes, I know not pc, but hope it helped get the piont of the stoy across.

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    • TAO

      September 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      I don’t blame you for wanting to stay away from the story Shadow – it rips my guts apart just thinking about it…

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  8. eagoodlife

    September 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I’m so glad to see people like Kate fronting up to the realities of adoption and being able to discuss it and contribute to blogs like this one. It can only be good and advance the understanding we all have of adoption.

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  9. dmdezigns

    September 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I just have a comment about the 2 mindsets. As an AP, I relate to what Kate said and feel very similar. Part of the problem comes in for APs in that when you are a PAP wanting a family, it’s difficult to have the mindset of finding a home for a child. Ideally, you are considering the child’s needs and how they will fit into the family but you are biased. You can’t help but be. The agencies aren’t capable of having the right mindset either, as their client is the PAP. I don’t know how we get the huge $s out of adoption. And while, it’s only honest to acknowledge that I was searching for a child for my home as a PAP, I couldn’t have taken a child when a parent wanted them. As Kate said, it’s difficult to imagine what I would do after finalization and a year or so out, but I hope that I would move to incredibly open and almost shared custody (the word visitation feels wrong in that circumstance). Before finalization though, as the Cs were, even though it would have hurt like hell, I wouldn’t have been able to keep her. I couldn’t have fought. We held our breath until finalization. She was ours, but not ours. If they had changed their mind, I’d be crying as I wrote this but the words would be the same. We have to stop acting like APs are heros for adopting. I get so annoyed when someone tells me how lucky our daughter is. She’s not lucky. She’s already lost one home, how is that lucky? I didn’t save her. I didn’t rescue her. I agreed to love her, to care for her, to respect her, to help her grow, to support her, to be a parent because hers were not going to fill that role. I can only hope that the reading I continue to do will help me understand and be compassionate when she begins to understand the implications of this adoption word we use.

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    • TAO

      September 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      D – sorry – didn’t know there was another pending comment – sorry. I can completely understand coming to adoption and not seeing the difference – but like you and Kate – you saw both the good and bad and made your line in the sand. That’s all anyone can ask. It’s not black and white after the fact – before – then unless there are extreme reasons – then it should not proceed so I agree with you and I can’t know but can imagine it would take everything you had to walk.

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