I stumbled across the article linked at the end of the post when I was looking for something else, so I saved the link to do a post on it that I never got around to doing, until today, and yes, I’m rambling and letting my mind go where it will. The article is from 1990, and it’s about adoption and a time before Facebook existed, it talks about how people advertised for expectant mothers to pick them.
Today, it’s incredibly common for people wanting to adopt, to use Facebook to advertise for an expectant mom, or on a company that has a site for people wanting to adopt use to promote themselves to expectant parents.
It’s all just too icky for me to stomach – whether it’s in a newspaper, pennysaver, facebook, instagram, twitter, or any other method, it seems deeply problematic from the get go, not to mention that it’s unlikely a first time adopter knows much, if anything, about being an informed adoptive parent that they’d hopefully get via an agency. And no, the friend who adopted is not an expert on adoption and the adoptee experience. If the agency you are looking at doesn’t include education on raising an adopted child, the challenges they face, the ages when those challenges come to the front, find another agency, we have different needs than a biological child, we need prepared parents.
But back to the advertising for an expectant mom, if you’re successful in marketing for an expectant mother to give you her babe, just how will you weave your advertisement into your child’s life story. How will that advert make your child feel when they are in their teens and going through some big feelings about being adopted? Be aware of the long-term impact, not the immediate gratification you seek.
Viewing it in the long-run, will your child proudly say – my parents advertised for me on any of the above methods, oh, and I have their advertisement in my Life Book, isn’t it cute? Would you think it was cute if that was your story? Personally, I’d rather have my story, where mom and dad played no role in my relinquishment because they didn’t know I existed until well after I was born, despite the deficits of knowledge that created. I also understand my story doesn’t include openness, but mom and dad managed to get a sibling’s adoption open, so don’t think openness isn’t possible if you don’t advertise and or go to the hospital. To me, it means so much that I can be sure they played no role in my mother’s decision to relinquish her parental rights to me, they never met her, they weren’t at the hospital, they weren’t there when she went before the judge to surrender her rights to me. Instead, they came to the table with clean hands, so to speak, they weren’t even looking to adopt again.
And yes, going through an adoption agency can also be problematic if they make the expectant mom feel like she has no choice to change her mind because she already chose adoption. The mother can change her mind any time prior to signing away her parental right and she needs to know that. Not only that, an adoption professional can make her feel she needs to *invite* the hopeful adoptive parents to the hospital. I’ve given birth, it’s hard, excruciatingly painful, and the last thing a mother needs is to have strangers in the room who aren’t the medical personnel ensuring everything goes right. It’s when you need those closest to you, with you, not strangers who want what you have – your baby. If you see any pressure happen by an agency (lawyer or other adoption professional) at any point, be her ally and register a complaint with the licensing board in the state the agency (or lawyer, etc.,) is licensed in. You can also walk away and say she’s being pressured, and I want no part in that, that won’t be my child’s story. Really consider passing on going to the hospital if it is suggested because chances are, that was part of her *schooling* at the agency, lawyer, or professional, not something she dreamed of happening all on her own, rather, she was told, maybe even coached that it was part of adoption, especially if she wanted an open adoption. Choose to not go to the hospital, at least not until the papers are signed, if they are signed.
I’m not going to write out the headline of the article that sparked this post – it’s pretty yucky – you can find it here.