Long-time adoption agencies and lawyers have been dealing with adoption for decades, nothing new there, except they now compete, co-exist with an ever expanding list of *new and improved* so-called adoption service providers who call themselves consultants, whose goal is to get you (a hopeful adoptive parent) a baby, and fast.
One way this new service works is focus on *adoption friendly states*; code for states that mostly allow a mother to irrevocably sign away her parental rights with 48 hours of going through labor and delivery, not to mention having the prospective parents attend the birth and hovering nearby. <- you all know I think this is wrong and promoting working in states with quick revocation of rights, instead of, wanting a mother to have all the time they need to say hello, spend some time with her baby, and taking all the time she needs to reconsider if this is what she truly wants to do.
I’ve perused several of these adoption consultant websites and they all make me sad and mad.
This is not what adoption should look like. Adoption should be child-centered, not catering to the ones hoping to adopt the faster the better. Who knows if they’d even know an ethical lapse if they saw it, and if they did, what their response would be, or would it be just like targeting only states with quick revocation. Another common thing they seem to note is that your adoption profile should not be created by you, a professional should create that for you…
It all just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and it certainly isn’t child-centered, and I’m pretty sure no one asks themselves if that particular baby will be a good fit for that family.
Look, I know you go into adoption to adopt. But what you are doing to adopt shouldn’t be a competition, rushed, or created to make you look ultra special and absolutely perfect, and it surely shouldn’t be because someone else crafted the words used, decided how to describe your life, you, your world into something it isn’t.
Adoption should only happen after all preservation options available have failed; and there is no other choice than make the baby an orphan so it can be adopted.
The flip side of the above is when an expectant mother in a crisis looks into adoption and is handed a selection of glossy versions of what adoptive parents look like, how much more they have to offer your baby than you do. What the expectant mother doesn’t get as far as I can tell is real, actionable counseling and assistance where she can see and apply for help, benefits, medical, food, diaper banks close by so she can honestly see if parenting is possible, showing her a way forward without loosing her baby. And I’m left to wonder if anyone ever tells her that she is enough for her baby, that we don’t need all the fancy stuff, that it’s the relationship that matters. That all a baby wants is to be loved and cared for, instead of a baby loosing her mother within hours of being born.
Imagine an adoption agency that celebrates every family they saved, rather than celebrate those they couldn’t save. Because that should be the goal every time for a child welfare agency, to first do no harm, and adoption as the last resort, that adoption is not the go to solution, it is the option of there is no other way.
This post happened because I was musing on the subject that every single adoptee first looses their mother, their family, their history when they become a paper orphan, all so they can become someone they weren’t born to be, nor meant to be.
I’m including this post that speaks to the only present I remember from childhood.