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Different perspectives…

22 Feb

By TAO

Time for other voices to be heard, and realistically, my voice is too angry right now.  Angry after reading a specific document this week that I can’t stop thinking about…

From a mother who walked away from an unethical adoption: Victory.

“It’s not an easy or fun thing to speak out against. I have had nasty things said to me. I have been banned from certain Facebook groups and called a liar. I have friends who have adopted and friends who are adopting, and I’m sure many people worry that by speaking out, adoptions are threatened, and as a result, kids are stuck in orphanages.”

From an adoptee from Ireland: Bastards, gays and respectable people…

“I am not – by any stretch of the imagination – a regular blogger, but there are times when you simply have to speak up, and this is one of them. The following is written in a personal capacity.

The bastard, like the prostitute, thief, and beggar, belongs to that motley crowd of disreputable social types which society has generally resented, always endured. He is a living symbol of social irregularity, an undeniable evidence of contramoral forces; in short, a problem – a problem as old and unsolved as human existence itself.

Davis, K. (1939) ‘Illegitimacy and the Social Structure’.

American Journal of Sociology, 45(2): 215-233.”

From an adoptee, a post from last year: Personal Opinion on Adoption

“I had gone in for my first wellness check with Potamus, around 12 weeks or so into my pregnancy, and the whole tone of the appointment changed when the nurse learned that Potamus was not, in fact, planned. The next thing out of her mouth was, “have you considered adoption?””

From an adoptive mother through foster adoption. “I Was Hers First”

But it’s never really over with an adoption. There are days that overcome you—emotions too great, things too unfair, places you know both moms and both dads should be. They include prom, graduation, and, for me at least, emergency rooms.

From a first mother: The Verdict

“It reminded me of all the conversations I’ve had with birthmothers about relinquishment. Women who talk about the subtle feelings of obligation, those that come with a pre-birth match when suddenly deciding to parent starts to feel like taking something away from someone else. How by the time they meet their child and really understand all they have agreed to, they also feel the pressure to continue on the path, to not complicate things, to not make anyone else’s life harder.”

In other news – it’s snowing…and the birds are likely waiting for me to give them another helping of suet, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and those itty-bitty seeds they like to scatter all over the deck, and of course these pesky cute little guys want some too…and they all give back to me by restoring my soul…peace

Squirrel in Snow

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26 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics

 

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

26 responses to “Different perspectives…

  1. Don't We Look Alike?

    February 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    That feeling of taking something away from someone else shows how the line gets crossed. I don’t know this for a fact, but I do wonder if that is even more of an issue in open adoptions than in closed adoptions.

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    • TAO

      February 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Luanne – I would assume so because of the relationship created prior that likely isn’t there when it is going to be closed. I read one post where the adoption didn’t happen and the daughter asked how she could do that to them after she knew the pain caused from the other failed adoption. Talk about inappropriate info to discuss to an expectant mother…just add one more measure of guilt to the scale…

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  2. leenilee

    February 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    “Women who talk about the subtle feelings of obligation, those that come with a pre-birth match when suddenly deciding to parent starts to feel like taking something away from someone else. How by the time they meet their child and really understand all they have agreed to, they also feel the pressure to continue on the path, to not complicate things, to not make anyone else’s life harder.”

    Holy shite, yes.

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    • TAO

      February 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      I always wonder how people will view this current era in fifty years – will they judge it as better than the BSE or worse…

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      • Robyn C

        February 23, 2014 at 6:59 am

        I think it completely depends on the person. I’m sure some people would like to go back to the BSE. Some people want to see adoption banned, so they’re going to see the two eras as virtually the same.
        Personally, based on what I’ve read and on my children’s – well, mostly my son, as he’s older – experiences, I think this is better. Whether DS’s birthmother felt obligated to us or not, I don’t know, although I can ask. I can’t imagine someone giving their baby to a person/couple she didn’t know. You wouldn’t marry someone you’d never met, and, often adoption, especially open adoption, is compared to marriage, so why would you place your child with someone you’d never met? I see how pre-birth matching is both problematic and helpful. I imagine the weight of each is different for each person.

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        • leenilee

          February 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

          Purely subjective but I only met the aparents once. They were not present in the hospital, or at visits, just the once. From that moment on, every single time I considered raising my child my brain automatically went to the despair I would be inflicting on those two people. That feeling of causing another person anguish was compounded by both my “counselor” and my parents telling me how happy I was making this couple and how terrible it would be for a person to let aparents down by changing their mind about adoption. In hindsight, the aparents’ hopes, dreams, feelings etc. should not have been a part of my decision at all. If it only took one time of meeting the aparents for me, I find it very difficult to believe that women who form an actual relationship with aparents before relinquishment aren’t experiencing some time of coercion, however subtle that may be.

          I don’t see open adoption and marriage as being similar at all. Marriage is an equal partnership with both parties entering into the union on equal footing. Open adoption relationships are entered into while at least one of the parties is experiencing a crisis and the most important party having no voice at all.

          I would like to see pre-birth matching come to an end. Form a relationship after the child is born and the decision to relinquish has been made.

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        • TAO

          February 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

          Robyn, putting aside the open aspect because I think that is very positive, I think the money aspect – especially the expenses (some of which in my mind really cross the line) are what is most damaging. I wish the legislators had never caved to the pressure to allow it to be paid by the parents wanting to adopt. There were good and bad agencies etc in the BSE and that holds true today, but the money thing is wrong and not a fan of them being at the hospital, holding first, cutting cords and all that, but then I am set in my ways so…

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          • Robyn C

            February 24, 2014 at 5:16 am

            I’ve written about expectant mother expenses, and I do think they’ve gotten way out of control. Laws need to be far more strict about what is allowed. Similarly, adoption fees in general are out of control, and need to be regulated. I can’t say that we should remove all money from adoption, but I can say we should remove insane amounts of money from adoption.
            I’m also not a fan of PAPs at the hospital, unless the expectant/new mom is dead set on them being there, and it really is her decision, not being driven by social workers or other family members. Even then, *I* don’t like it, but I do think it should be the e-mom’s choice.
            To be blunt, I think ending pre-birth matching is a bad idea.

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            • TAO

              February 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

              “…not being driven by social workers or other family members” and that’s what it really boils down to, the expectant mother’s SW saying something like it’s time to discuss your hospital plan, today most adopting parents are in the L&D blah blah blah…wrong, wrong, and wrong. It must be her idea to be acceptable…

              I don’t think ending pre-birth matching is right per se – getting to know the people who you have chosen if you chose adoption is good. I don’t like the hard and fast you are matched until she has made the decision after birth – of course then the expenses have to be revamped – which would also take care of the women who set out to scam people like the most recent one from California who took money for a fake twin pregnancy from multiple families because that wouldn’t happen if it was the agencies money on the line. http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/20/3948603/calif-woman-charged-in-kansas.html

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        • marilynn

          February 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm

          How do you feel about people stepping in and providing material things to make the pregnant woman’s life easier? Some go so far as to fix their car or get them another one when pregnancy never stopped me from taking the bus or riding my bike to work. There are some big ticket support items that make me either question the ethics of the soon to be parents and hopeful adoptive parents. In fact the best possible light to look at it in still makes the hopeful adoptive parents look like they capitalized on disadvantaged expectant parents placing pressure on them like vultures and a more realistic fair assessment places them on equally distasteful footing. Certainly its ethical and responsible of parents to carefully select people who they feel will be best suited to raise their child if they have decided jointly to have their obligations fulfilled by other people. So as you said it would be a parent’s responsibility to make sure their child was being taken care of by people they trust are up to the task in a loving way.

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  3. dpen

    February 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I hate it when anyone compares any kind of adoption to marriage. I know they use it to say that biology does not matter in love. Marriage is 2 adults making a decision to love each other for the duration of the marriage. adoption is adults making the decision to love a child forever. The child is making no promises and the child has no say in how its going to pan out. I have heard many times an adoptee say that they did not bond with their afamilies..they were to different. If that child was an adult they may not have “picked” that family to be adopted into…because they were to different, they would have asay in the “contract”. In adoption there is no say the person adopted is expected to assimilate into the “new” family and there is an expectation that if they don’t then there is something wrong with the child. “Well, you know she/he is adopted” And knowing heads wag up and down.

    A child is totally dependent on the adults around them to understand their needs and in adoption it is not always about the child needs but the parents needs. I see it as getting worse with the sense of entitlement that this society has to “building a family” I see it in adoption, donor children, surrogacy, gay rights etc. The child is seen as just ” a baby” and not an individual made up of biology that they have ingrained in them. In marriage the individuals are making a decision together. In adoption the adults are making a huge decision on the actual outcome of who this little human is to become., not what they were born as.

    I am sure there are MANY PAPS and adoptive parents that would LOVE to go back to the BSE. It was so much easier to get a child and then they could pretend to be the totally real parents, have support of those around and if the adoption didn’t work out it would be because the child was not good enough…you know, due to their defective biology.

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    • TAO

      February 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Hey dpen, when marriage is used to counter the biology thing it fails. I do think that the child has been lost in many ways – no one seems to really care about that aspect when rights talk takes center stage- the child is reduced to an object.

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  4. shadowtheadoptee

    February 24, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Adoption is being compared to marriage? Seriously? What a scarey comparison. What is the divorce rate now, about 60%? If people have that much trouble making their marriages work, adoption doesn’t stand a chance.

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    • Robyn C

      February 24, 2014 at 5:19 am

      I was referring to the open aspect of adoption. In open adoption, you are gaining an extended family, much as you do in marriage. A number of open adoption advocates liken marriage to open adoption in this way.
      The divorce rate is 50%, sort of. It’s a statistics thing…

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      • marilynn

        February 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        You are gaining a family good way to look at it. I think that is a respectful attitude vs. the adopted person having to feel like they’ve lost a family in order to gain the love of the adopted family. It would be nice to love and respect the whole person which has their own other family

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  5. dpen

    February 24, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Shadow, I have heard this on a,com many years ago. A aparent spoke about how she loved her husband and he is not bio soooooo……someone can love another persons child also. REALLY???

    Thats why I said if the marriage endures its a divorce among 2 adults, if an adoption dissolves its must be the bad blood of the adoptee.

    TAO…I truly believe that most people just KNOW that bio is better for EVERYONE babies and parents alike but in order to continue the myth that adoption is just the same we are all suppose to tamper down those feelings. Not saying that aparents don’t love their children or that adoptees don’t love their aparents because I do believe that mine loved me and I certainly loved my aparents but BOTH of us still pined for our biology. Its only natural.

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  6. Tiffany

    February 25, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I don’t think adoption is like a marriage at all. My husband and I both openly say that we love our children more than we love each other. There is nothing I would not do for my daughters, nothing I wouldn’t sacrifice, no amount of abuse I wouldn’t endure, nothing in this world that would ever put a dent in my feelings for them… my love for them is nothing at all like a marriage. My husband and I both consider them number one in importance simply because our hearts and souls are not capable of loving anyone, even each other, with the selfless depth of total devotion that we feel for our children. My husband could do things that would cause me to not love him anymore and possibly to even leave him, as I could do to him. Our children? Never. There is nothing they could do that would cause us to stop loving them or to leave them. To compare any aspect of adoption to marriage is to sell short a loving parent’s unconditional devotion to his or her child.

    Open adoption isn’t really like a marriage, either… I do love my daughter’s parents, but we are connected through our daughter, not through our choice to have a relationship with one another. I don’t like the comparison at all, but I guess you could say it’s similar to the in-laws relationship with one another- they are connected through their children’s marriage to each other. But it’s not like that, really either, because my connection to my daughter’s other parents is far deeper than my in-laws connection to my parents.

    Adoption is its own relationship. It really can’t be compared to anything else, and I don’t see what is to be gained by doing so?

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    • marilynn

      February 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      No Robin’s analogy is correct and if you stop and think about the point she’s making it aligns with yours about your husband. Your with your husband by choice but you don’t have a choice about being connected to his relatives you are related through your choice to be in his life. You chose to be in your daughters life and are now connected to her family through her. In as much as you do respect his relationships to his relatives whether your fond of a particular one or not you likely are not a road block to their communication. It sounds as if you are equally mindful of the family your adopted daughter has and are equally not a roadblock to communication for them. Your connection to both their families has come through not only your choice to love them but your choice to legalize your relationship. Don’t be disturbed by the connection as it is not disparaging or disrespectful at all.

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      • Tiffany

        March 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        Marilynn, I still stand by what I said. Metaphors and analogies can be very helpful, but this metaphor really needs way too much explaining and changes to work. My daughter did not willingly enter into a union with our family; she was given no choice in the matter. The marriage analogy doesn’t work when discussing situations with children because there is a participant who does not have a choice.

        I do not facilitate the relationship between my husband and his family- that is entirely up to him. I love them because they are his family, and I support their relationship as well as one with our children. But I actively facilitate the relationship with my daughter’s other parents because she is not able to at this point. I take an active role in it, so it’s not the same as my relationship with my in laws.

        There’s really nothing at all similar between marriage and adoption except that they are both legal entities. The only similarity between open adoption and a marriage is the relationship between non-biological family, but that’s not enough to draw an adequate analogy. Open adoption is like… open adoption. It cannot be compared to other relationships because it is it’s own entity.

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  7. dpen

    February 25, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Tiffany,

    the reason why many like to compare marriage to adoption is to convince the adoptee and the world that adoption is the same as bio. so if an adoptee wants to find bio there is another layer of guilt and dismissivness that the adoptee needs to wade through. It is “normalizing” adoption.

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    • Tiffany

      February 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      dpen, I suppose that may be some of the purpose behind the comparison for some adoptive parents, but it’s completely illogical. Even in a marriage, each individual retains their biological ties to their family. I didn’t even change my last name when I married- I remained the same person I was before marriage in terms of my individual identity.

      I have one biological daughter and one adopted daughter, and I love them both with equal devotion. But the fact is there are many differences that I have to be conscious of for my adopted daughter. You commented that your adoptive parents were also longing for their biology. I don’t feel that way at all, although, to be completely fair, I didn’t struggle with infertility. I am fully content with both my daughters and need nothing more- I can truly say that I could not possibly love my adopted daughter more if she was to be biologically connected to me. I do, however, fully recognize that as a parent, it’s far different than being the adoptee. I did not lose a child, but she did lose her parents. I expect that at many points, she will feel this loss in different ways while I will never feel a loss. Loving my children doesn’t depend upon biological connections, but it is important to recognize that the reverse is not the case. It doesn’t go both ways because even the loss of the opportunity to have a biological child (in the case of infertility) is not the same as the actual loss of existing biological parents. Both are tragic, but they play out in different ways, and one does not balance out the other.

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      • Tiffany

        February 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm

        I should clarify, I don’t mean that my adopted daughter will not love me. I certainly hope she always does, although I believe that with children, adopted or biological, parents need to earn and keep their children’s love. I mean that the lack of a biological connection does not impact me, but it does impact my daughter. She might miss her biological parents, wish that she and I were biologically connected, wish that she hadn’t lost her biological parents, etc. Biology will probably matter to her because it is her biology, while it doesn’t matter to me because I have not lost anything.

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    • marilynn

      February 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Do you really think so? Can you explain further? I’m famously anti adoption, pro family preservation and pro guardianship. I do think court approval affords some protection against trafficking its the good element of adoption or guardianship the rest of the rights severing and identity changing stuff is horrible. I see the comparison to marriage and extended family as being respectful cause it sort of recognizes that the bond is one that is similar to an in law as far as the other family goes which is a hell of a lot better attitude than one of ‘we are your family now and they are your biologicals”. It kind of humanizes it from my perspective which is not as a person impacted by it at all (I reunite separated families for free) I want you to explain the normalizing thing so I think this through better. please thank you

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  8. dpen

    February 26, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Tiffany, so happy you are able to see the differences and that will only help(I hope) your daughter feel validated and loved unconditionally. Let me be clear in that I love(loved…both parents are gone now) my parents very much. They were my mom and dad. I am not sure how it would have been if they had a biochild…I think I would have felt even more “less then” because I felt I never measured up. Not sure whose fault, if any but I do think adoption played a pretty big part in it. My parents were unable to have their “own” and that was a huge lose for them. As me not being brought up by my “own” was also. Even if it was for the best reasons it is still a huge lose, just in terms of identity alone.

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    • Tiffany

      February 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      dpen, I definitely hope my daughter will feel that we understand her emotions and feel secure in our love for her and our support for her relationship with her other parents.

      I know it can often get complicated for adoptees if there is a biological sibling. I hope that for our daughter, it is helped by the fact that she was our “first choice,” so to speak, not an option we explored after not being able to get pregnant. I’m not saying that it is wrong to explore adoption after infertility issues, but that wasn’t our path; we chose adoption rather than having another biological child. It’s all rather complicated as to how that happened, and not pertinent to the point I am trying to make here, but I do hope that it helps her.

      Does that make sense? I am finding it hard to choose the right words to explain how I feel about this. 🙂

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  9. Beth

    February 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I’m pretty sure I have used the marriage reference in regards to adoption relationships before. I think it was in the as-if arguments. Describing the adopted parent/child relationship to be more like a marriage, a legal relationship of the non-related, instead of like as-if your bio child. Except the child did not choose marriage, like a spouse usually does, unless it’s chosen for them. They still have the option to run and hide tho LOL if they are brave enough.

    A legal family relationship, not a biological one, being the similarity. I’m sure it was in discussions where the aparent was insisting that bio and as-if bio are the same. Where the love and devotion may very well be similar, but the connection is not.

    I have heard from my adopted brother, my aparents bio son, that he has tried not to get offended when our parents say that their relationship with both of us, their adult children, is the same. We get what they are trying to say, but I agree with my brother that it takes away from the importance of his bio relationship to them. I help him/them recognize, respect and celebrate that special connection at every opportunity. It’s taken them practice, they’ve avoided a lot of that for very long, partly due to me and my feelings, partly due to the way they felt they needed to think since adoption was invovled.
    I do this for them, but also for me, hoping they will follow my example!
    It’s not something to be dismissed for anyone.

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