I’ve lost faith that most private adoption (DIA and DYI/DIA) will ever change to be child centered. Based on what I see, there seems to be little to no rigor in requiring people wanting to adopt be of a certain caliber, or have the ability to step outside of their wants, as long as they can tick specific boxes they get their homestudy approved, regardless if they are AP material or not. And when that happens only the industry wins, the child surely doesn’t.
I’m tired of trying hard to find words to explain the nuances being adopted can bring, only to have them fall on deaf ears. There’s a subset (at least I hope it’s a subset) wanting to adopt that despite the many adoptee voices raised, the lived-experienced adoptive parents speaking up too, embracing education and a willingness to be humble and learn about the many losses in adoption an adoptee may struggle with throughout their life, the difference between being an adoptive parent and a biological parent, or the mistakes you can easily make without even realizing, all seem to be merely optional to them, instead it’s all about them, their needs, their wants that matter most.
And this free for all DIY DIA adoptions happening now proves my point. They don’t ask about what it is like to be adopted, things they need to know, they ask how to find a “birthmother” and how quick before they get a baby. They create cringe worthy celebration adoption notices that they’re on a quest to find their baby, they crudely message expectant mothers on closed FB adoption pages to give them her baby, but they won’t put the same effort or time to educate themselves on how to raise an adopted child, and how to be there for any struggles they may have. They don’t feel they need to because adoption isn’t like it used to be (ugh, they’re right, in these adoptions, it’s far worse). If anyone tries to suggest education is needed, it is met with either anger or blank stares. And oh yes, an air of entitlement to be adoptive parents, who, with zero experience know better than those who’ve lived it in any position in adoption. To these newbies, people aren’t being positive and must have just had a bad experience, but they won’t because they just love “birthmothers” and “adoption” is just so beautiful, always, no loss, just gain.
And then, after they’ve adopted they find their way onto a closed FB adoption page and want to be supported in closing the adoption because the “birthmother” crossed the line…the line that hadn’t been drawn or even discussed…
It’s not what adoption is supposed to be, and I have to disclaim that while I’m not a fan of the current way just plain old DIA is practiced today, there are some agencies (a very small minority) who value making sure their clients are educated and exposed to all voices in adoption and how being adopted affects the child, their clients are well served as long as they’re willing to embrace the knowledge offered.
Adoption is supposed to be in the best interests of the child, if you aren’t willing to embrace the brokenness and loss interwoven in all aspects of adoption – don’t adopt. We can’t replace the baby you never had, we aren’t supposed to. We are unique little human beings with our own history who’ve just lost everything, some of us at birth, others when they are older, but we aren’t replacements for the child you wanted to have. We deserve better than being a substitute, we deserve parents who’ve got to a place of acceptance and who’ve taken the time to not just embrace the education begging to be received, but also to hear all the many varied voices, especially those of adoptees.
Being humble about your ignorance shows an inner-strength and willingness to leave your ego at the door, and a willingness to listen too, and try to really imagine the pain and losses that is adoption when you’re adopted, whether it’s losses that show up in in childhood, teen years, middle-age or beyond. Those who are humble and willing will be there for their children both in the good times and especially the hard times – that’s who makes a good adoptive parent. Be one of those or don’t adopt at all.