Trust should go both ways in domestic infant adoption

26 Nov

I watched a discussion play out early this week on an adoption board on BabyCenter, one of the few boards I still enjoy reading because they normally don’t deal in fluff, are adamant that you can’t be shady, and face the reality that adoption is hard, but sometimes it’s needed. I popped in this week and one caught my eye, I read it, and it’s still in my mind today; an expectant mother wanted to learn about the adoption and the process.  She asked whether people adopted for charity or because they wanted to be parents and other good questions.  Before I get to the question that tipped a few over, I want to note that it was just a few that seem to be aghast with what she wanted, and others offered solid advice and support.

Her question: “Is it a reasonable request that I visit them and possibly even see their home where my child would be raised? I’m terrified of giving my child to a family that looks good on the outside but on the inside isn’t what i thought them to be… or is a home visit just weird?”

Person One said: “I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with a home visit until I got to know the family more after placement.”

The expectant mom responded about making her more confident in her decision.

Person One responded: “That is not usually how it works. Seeing the home first I mean.”

The expectant mom reiterated how it important it would be, but she might as well have saved her breath…

Person One responded:  “No. You don’t usually meet them in their home. Normally it’s at restaurants. Or doing an activity. A lot of expectant moms have the adoptive parents attend dr appt. you really should meet with some agencies and or attorneys for orientation.”

While this back and forth happened, another person felt the need to explain with this: “I’d say you really won’t get to see their home until you know each other better if at all.  You don’t really interview families. You look at profiles and talk to the social worker about what you want most.”

All of which left me thinking that adoption is no different today than before when you get right down to it, they’ve just put lipstick on a pig and state expectant moms have choices today, they drive the process, they are in control.  When the reality is that the process dictated to them is what is acceptable to the adopting parents, and ensures the expectant mom knows the score by doubling down with words like “that’s how it’s done” or “that’s not how it’s done”, and when you feel like your back is against the wall in a situation dictated by time, what choice do you really have?

I came away from reading the above exchange feeling like they’d clearly said: You are just a birthmother, how dare you expect to see the family home where your child will grow up, we are obviously better than you because we are adopting parents, who are you to question if we are good enough for your baby.  Nor do you interview prospective parents for your child, you read the profiles created by us (or the professional we paid to make us look perfect).  You talk to the social worker (our fees pay for) about what you’d like in a family.  Stay in your lane, the birthmother lane, and after you’ve signed away your rights, later, if the adopting parents feel you are acceptable, maybe, just maybe, one day you can visit the adoptive parents home.  Oh, and just for good measure because you obviously need schooling on what we feel entitled to, despite this not being part of the discussion, you need to know that, we, the adopting parents expect to be there for doctors visits (which of course would include the birth).

It left me feeling dirty, a feeling that still lingers today.  This is not how adoption, domestic infant adoption is being portrayed when they speak about how good, brave, selfless birthmothers today are, how they are part of the family.  Adopting parents need to get real.  If you say you want an open adoption, say how brave, loving, selfless, an expectant mom is, but balk at her coming to your home before she places her baby with you – what are you really saying?  If you want her to trust you with her child, shouldn’t you trust her too?



Posted by on November 26, 2017 in Adoption


Tags: , , , ,

13 responses to “Trust should go both ways in domestic infant adoption

  1. belleinblue

    November 26, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    The lip service is huge. I’m convinced that no matter what my son’s parents said to my face they were convinced I was a bad person. I think a part of the reason the adoption closed is because they had to face the reality that I’m not.


    • TAO

      November 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Lip service…and I think you are right my friend.


  2. maryleesdream

    November 26, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Unfortunately a child’s natural mother is just a means to an end. A breeder, nothing more. She does not deserve her child, because of her weak moral character, and an adopting couple does not want a person like that in their home.

    The child will be raised in a better situation, so it will not be tainted by the mother’s inferior morals.

    This is just horrible thinking. It dishonors both mother and child. But, this is the way many adoptive parents see things. I don’t see things changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      November 26, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      It really rubbed me the wrong way – especially – the maybe after you’ve signed away your right and the baby is home, maybe then. It just seemed horribly wrong.


  3. Lara/Trace

    November 26, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    This is so horrible, I feel ill.


    • TAO

      November 26, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Why it keeps popping back into my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cindy

    November 26, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Slowly but surely the lipstick is being wiped off the pig. Yeah to that!

    This mother has seen it to be a pig for almost 40 years. Maybe that’s only because my “less than” status makes it easy to see.


  5. Pj

    November 26, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    “You look at profiles and talk to the social worker about what YOU want most.” About says it all….

    Several months ago I was trying to have an honest discussion with an adoptive mom who kept steering the discussion to “what a great life you’ve had”. She wanted me stay“ in my lane. “ !


  6. cb

    November 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I’m always hearing people on forums say “adoption is so different now” but what I’m actually seeing is that any “change” in adoption is actually change in society – it still seems to be the same old adoption practices. It seems that any change in adoption has not been about reforming adoption practices but making adoption sound more palatable.

    As for visiting the home, I can see that the first visit might be on neutral territory but I don’t think it unreasonable to want to visit a home – many people let other people they don’t know well into their home (eg parties, boyfriends/girlfriends/when seeling a home etc). My only issue there would be whether the HAPs would then expect that a visit meant commitment? A match is a match not a promise.

    If unable to visit at the very least, I would want name and address and other details about the APs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      November 26, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      Well said.


    • Heather

      November 27, 2017 at 7:19 am

      I totally agree with your statement about how “many people let others they don’t know well into their homes all the time”. It made me think of all the people who have daily contact with my son yet the APs deemed me “too demanding” when I wanted to spend the court ordered time with my son. Just the idea of my existence is too threatening.

      It’s completely about “knowing your place” and “staying in your lane”.

      It must be awful to live in constant fear and insecurity.


  7. Raven

    November 27, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I don’t think all that much has changed since the Baby Scoop Era, except for demographics and maternity homes. The mind control and certainly the stereotypes are still as prevalent nowadays as it was back then, but it’s worse in some psychologically manipulative ways. I don’t think it’s ever going to change here in the United States, not like it’s changed in other countries like Australia and New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      November 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Sadly Raven I have to agree.



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