Heidi Hess Saxton Continued
Catholic adoptive mother Heidi Hess Saxton contends that adoption is the answer for “children born to young teens … children of parents with unresolved substance abuse or domestic violence issues; and children of abusive and neglectful parents.” Sealed records are a necessary component of adoption (Catholic Exchange http://catholicexchange.com/2008/11/11/114414/). To those who disagree she hurls the epithet “anti-adoption.” To which I echo Lorraine “Damn straight we're anti-adoption--unless really really necessary and even then those birth records better be open from the get-go.” http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2008/11/thats-what-adoption-is-fornot-on-svu.html
Saxton admits that adoption is not a perfect answer: It “does not completely shield the child from the consequences of her first parents’ choices. There is no way to shield the child entirely — that is the nature of sin.”
Sounds like a win/win situation – heal the child (well almost) and punish the sinful parents in one fell swoop. Except that children are not chameleons who can adapt to any environment. Except that many children raised by teen parents do just fine and lots of children raised by adoptive parents have horrible outcomes. Except that people who seek to adopt don’t want the offspring of young teens, drug abusers, and other unworthies.
If the parents don’t give up their child or “fix their own messes”, Saxton asserts the child should be removed involuntarily. This happens now, often with disastrous results. According to The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (www.nccpr.org) “many children taken from their homes and placed in foster care don’t need to be there. These children could have been safely kept in their own homes…. Being taken from everything loving and familiar is among the worst emotional blows that any child can suffer. ... In addition, there is far more abuse in foster care than generally realized.”
If Saxton looked around, she would see countless examples of successful people born to single mothers: Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Oprah Winfree, Jesse Jackson, Ethel Waters to name just a few. Countless others were raised by single mothers, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for example. Indeed I would put them up any day against George Bush who was raised in what Saxton would consider an ideal home.
And of course adoption is no guarantee that a child will be raised in a stable two parent home. Passing muster with a social worker at the time of the adoption to become parents is no guarantee of a being good parents for a lifetime. Like other parents, they may divorce, suffer from alcoholism, or become unemployed. Adoption may actually precipitate these problems. Adoptive parents can turn into terrible parents who shouldn't be raising any children, let alone someone else's.
Adoption is not a quick fix to social problems. If Saxton were truly committed to helping children, she would support programs that keep children in their own homes rather than trying to justify destroying the families nature created.