I’ve been thinking about naming and how it seems to be done today in DIA (Domestic Infant Adoption), and why one aspect bothers me, both personally and ethically. That is what has been bouncing around in my thoughts lately, so I thought I’d try to make sense in a post.
From what I’ve heard from both first parents and adoptive parents the subject of naming comes up before birth and sometimes the babe gets a name that they both contributed to and agreed on, that is on the amended birth certificate. I’ve also read agency and non-agency posts about that practice. That’s not the part I’m pondering on though in regards to ethics because that name change happens months after the mother has signed away her parental rights.
What I’m pondering on is the original birth certificate; and how words said by the adoption service provider (ASP), or the person or couple the expectant mother is matched with, which could add one more layer to follow through with the adoption plan. It’s often a series of events and suggestions that slowly add up to taking away her agency to make her own decision on adoption after saying hello to her babe.
Just like the hospital plan and the ASP bringing up questions such as: will the adopting parents be at the hospital, during the labor and delivery, who will cut the cord, who will be the first to hold, care for the babe, all while *helping her* make her plan for an open adoption that is contingent on the adoptive parents to keep open, rather than, close it. If I was the expectant mother I’d be hard pressed to say no to any of the *hospital plan questions* seeing as once those papers are signed, they hold all the power.
Coming up with a name together for the amended birth certificate is just one more way to keep the adoption plan on course, that’s the bottom line. First you get them to ask the adopting parents to be part of the birth, then you ask them to talk about naming the baby for the amended birth certificate, then you ask if that is the name she will put on the original birth certificate too.
Putting the agreed on name on the original birth certificate in the hospital creates one more hook to make sure she follows through and signs away her parental rights, and that’s not how an adoption should happen.
Not to mention how the one adopted may feel about not being named by their mother, and how that could make them feel that their mother didn’t think they were even worthy enough to be named; a feeling that is real when you think about the fact we weren’t kept or named. It’s complicated being adopted, it’s even more complicated when you are growing up trying to process and reconcile that what happened to you is the opposite of everything a mother is held out to be but couldn’t even bother giving you a name she chose just for you.
Today’s practice of naming is definitely a no from this old adoptee; the post below from 2017 may help you understand why, do read the comments by others too. Dear Expectant Moms considering adoption (aka Birthmothers)