Sunday, November 14, 2010

Encouraging the 'Adoption Option' as public policy

Lorraine
Is enticing more American women to reject raising their own child in favor of “the adoption option” for their newborns a worthy goal? A liberal think tank in Washington DC thinks so.Yes, Dear Reader, it is true:
 
Jane
The Center for American Progress recently released a report ingloriously called The Adoption Option, and in doing so has added its glowing support to the crusade to promote adoption under the guise of protecting"reproductive choice." Now how many mothers who are unable to raise their child are not given the "reproductive choice" of relinquishing their child? How many women say, Oh, if only I had the "choice" of adoption--if only surrendering my child so that it could be raised by two other better-off people than me and have all those advantages, was more available, I would surely choose it?

Absurd, right? But that is the tacit message of The Adoption Option, which reads as if it had been written as promotional material for the Adoption Access Network's* crusade to promote adoption.
 
By noting that the number of women who are choosing to relinquish their children is at an all time low, the report not so subtly is tsk-tsking over this unfortunate state of affairs. And the big religious guns are at a loss as to how to rectify this: 
"Even the National Council For Adoption—a prominent, federally funded [note:federally funded?!] adoption lobbying group with ties to conservative Christian adoption networks—acknowledges that “[b]irths to unmarried women increased from 1996, while the rate of infant adoption placements by unmarried women decreased.”
To which, we say, great! More women of all ages now understand that relinquishing a child to be adopted by others leads most such women to a life of grief and sorrow and never forgetting. That for most, being adopted leads to a life with issues of abandonment, genetic dislocation, and internal curiosity about one's true family, whether or not this is acted upon.

Although the anti-abortion crowd has long championed adoption as a way to reduce abortions, the report points out that having more women choose the adoption option won’t make a dent in the number of abortions each year, about 1.2 million. “Even so,” we are soothingly assured, “ensuring that adoption remains an ethical and effective option for women facing an unintended pregnancy is a worthwhile goal independent of it potential influence on the abortion rate.” 

WTF?  Increasing adoptions a worthwhile goal for whom? Are women storming the doors of adoption agencies, protesting the lack of opportunity to give their babies to strangers? Although we are on every liberal sucker list in the US, we haven’t been hit up by the National Adoption Reform Action League for funds to lobby Congress to assure that adoption remains safe and legal. 

The report recognizes the difficulty in determining the exact number of adoptions each year, as estimates of unrelated domestic adoptions range from 6,800 to 22,291 (that's an estimate?) but the official accounting from the Department of Health and Human Services is approximately 14,000, meaning no one really knows how many there are. Whether the number of 6,800 or 22,500, that's small potatoes against the number of abortions, which are mostly sought by women who already have children, and understand full well how it will be to give away a child. What’s really going on is that CAP is pimping for the adoption industry struggling to meet the demand for adoptable babies of its well-healed clients, given the pitiable number of available babies.

If that sounds offensive to you, sorry, but that's as clear a message that we can draw from the report that includes this suggestion:
"Awareness about the modern adoption system. More information about what adoption entails today and the women who typically choose adoption would help to educate the public and demystify the process so that we can dispense with outdated stereotypes about birth mothers and the adoption process. Congress should provide grants to establish national public education campaigns to accurately inform the public about adoption and its potential benefits for all involved."
We want to know what the public benefit is to increasing adoptions? Fewer children abused? A downturn in crime? A rise in the number of first/birth mothers seeking psychological counseling and demanding anti-depressive drugs, and thereby pumping money into the depressed economy? A rise in psychological services for adopted people, also a boost to the psychiatric and psychological profession? An increase in books dealing with the issues involved? (Now as one of us is just completing a memoir about the sorrow of relinquishing a child, that a benefit we can get behind.) The report, written by Jessica Arons, is silent on this matter. (We would encourage Ms. Arons to do some hands-on research and donate a child of her own to fully understand the benefits to all in adoption.)

Do these people know anything about what giving up a child entails? The emotional trauma and pain of birth mothers who feel they lack the means to raise the child? Has Ms. Arons, or her boss, John Podesta, President Clinton's chief of staff, read anything about what being adopted means to the adopted person? We think not. We think their minds are addled by the need to supply the American market with babies, and as often the case, reports like this, as well as the position of the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union (as well as others) which opposes giving adoptees their original birth certificates are written by the very people who would benefit from this attitude: The well educated and well heeled adopting class.

The Center for American Progress claims it is “dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and actions” is in fact advancing ideas far more regressive than Newt Gringrich’s plan to put poor children in orphanages. At least those families could get their kids back.--Jane and lorraine
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*Adoption Access Network is a coalition of pro-choice adoption agencies and abortion providers directed by Spence-Chapin of New York. 

11 comments :

  1. Just when I get to thinking I've heard most things about American adoption you pop up with this!! Who thought this one up? I'll link if I may it's such a beauty!

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  2. UNBELIEVABLE! The reason so few young women give up their children these days is because their inner voice is screaming "I could never give up my child". They need to be encouraged to listen to their hearts. They feel this way because they instinctively know that surrendering a child for adoption will cause them lifelong devastation. And I believe they also instinctively know that it will hurt the child, too. These kind of "progressive" organizations need to encourage young women to follow their hearts and give them the support they need to raise their own children. Not create another generation of people who need lifelong psychotherapy!

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  3. Adoption is not a "reproductive choice." Why do these entities keep saying that?

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  4. Von,
    Absolutely, you may link to this article.
    Thank you for the compliment.

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  5. Adoption is NOT a reproductive rights issue. Neither is raising a child. Once a living child is born, the reproductive part is over. Reproductive rights issues include birth control, abortion, assisted reproduction, and medical care during pregnancy. They do not include adoption, childcare, welfare, breastfeeding or any number of other topics that come under parenting choices, not reproductive rights. After all, if "reproductive rights" extend past birth, does that give mothers total control over their children forever? Some open records opponents seem to think so!

    Once a child is born, there are at least two separate people in the equation, with their own rights and needs. It is not just a matter of a woman's autonomous control of her own body and reproductive function any more.

    I wrote an article on this a few years ago that goes into more depth on this.
    http://adoption.about.com/PRIVOXY-FORCE/od/adoptionrights/a/reprorightsissu.htm

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  6. Von asks "Who thought this one up?"

    This sound like something a PR agency dreamed up to put a positive spin on adoption for those who consider themselves moderate or liberals. "Choice" and "reproductive rights" are known to be favorable buzzwords to these demographics.

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  7. Alot of infertile women do IVF before settling to adopt. They take all kinds of hormones untill 15-25 eggs are ejected from thier ovaries. Then the eggs get fertilized this usually creates about 15-25embryos. Only about 2 to 4 embryos are selected for implantation in the womans uterus. The rest of the surplus embryos are either discarded or frozen.

    Infertile women who try IVF don't care about having over 20 of thier embryos die off trying to get one baby born. They often go through multiple IVF cycles before settling to adopt.

    If pro lifers believe that life begins at conception and that causing an embryo to die by having an abortion is the same as killing a baby, then from thier own pro life perspective women who have had IVF treatments have killed off dozens of babies.

    I am strongly pro choice and have no problems with abortion or IVF. What I have a problem with is the disgusting hypocrisy.

    Most adoption agencies are affilated with Christianity and are anti abortion. Yet a very high percentage of thier infertile clients have tryed IVF and killed off dozens of embryos. Yet the minute a pregnant women walks through one of these agencies doors they will tell her that abortion is murder and tell her how wonderful she is for not being one of those sinful young women who have abortions then out of religious manipulation and guilt she will give birth to the single unwanted embryo that was growing in her womb and the hypocrite adoption agency will get a big fat paycheck for selling her baby to an infertile woman who didnt care about having over 20+ of her own embryos die off when she tryed IVF.

    I don't know of a single adoption agency that turns away failed IVF cycler infertile women. One of my co workers went through 4 IVF cycles before she adopted a baby through the Bethany Chrisian adoption agency. She had an "open" adoption, she closed it because she said "the birth mother had psychological problems"

    If those anti abortion Christian adoption agencies really were so offended and horrified about embryos being terminated they would not let women who have had IVF adopt babies from them.

    Adoption agencies are just evil businesses that sell babies to desperate infertile women.

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  8. Did you get the post I wrote about those hypocrite greedy and conniving christian adoption agencies? The ones who claim to be so against embryos being terminated through abortion yet alot of thier clients are failed IVF cyclers.

    You are a much better writer than me. Could you please make an entry about this issue on your blog someday? I have read so many adoptive mother blogs were they say they tryed IVF before adopting. The thought of some naive religious pro life young woman giving birth to an unwanted embryo and giving it to one of those hypocrites is sick. All of those christian adoptive mothers claimed to be all high and mighty too. One even said that god put the baby in the wrong womb but the baby was delivered rightfully to her by god.

    How many failed ivf cycler infertile women do you think go to those pro life anti abortion christian adoption agencies? I think probably like 85% of thier clients probably have tried IVF..... Convincing pregnant to give birth to unwanted embryos through religious manipulation then selling the babies to infertile women who didnt care about having having 20+ of thier own die off when they did Ivf is so evil.


    Can you do another post some day asking if pregnant women who were abused by the catholic church and had thier babies stolen during the baby scoop era should sue the catholic church like all those child molestation victims did. Some of the child molestation victims successfully sued the catholic church for abuse that happened to them decades ago. The catholic church did alot of sick shit to those teen girls. I love the fact that priests are stigmatised as pedophiles and are not trusted. I would love it if some of those girls from the 50's 60's and 70's would sue the catholic church and get the catholic charities adoption agency shut down. They also should be compensated finacially for all the pain and suffering they had to endure.

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  9. This is a timely topic for me. Imagine my surprise when I was recently informed at another website that as a natural mother who surrendered during the Baby Scoop Era, I am out of touch with today's mothers who voluntarily relinquish their newborns. I have adoptive mothers who've never borne children, much less surrendered them, telling me I don't know what a bmom goes through, that they're very happy and contented with their decision to relinquish. According to one amom I tangled with today, most bmoms place their babies for adoption as an alternative to aborting them, that they really don't want them at all from the moment of conception onwards and that the adoption industry no longer uses coercive tactics, if it ever did, something she doubts.

    I am just astounded at the thought that women are pounding down the doors of adoption agencies, telling them that if they don't match them up within the next few weeks, they'll get an abortion. Is this really happening? Am I that out of touch with the modern world??

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  10. I found the 3rd page of this report interesting http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/issues/2010/10/pdf/adoption_report.pdf
    Rather than solving the problem of decent affordable housing, rather than ensuring that ALL peoples of America have access to very affordable or free health care, rather than having in place good quality care for our disabled and elderly, rather than ensuring any mother who is attending school has access to good quality/affordable/free daycare, rather than toughening up the laws on violence against women, rather than solving everyday societal problems for mothers and her children...let's just jump to the easiest solution, the solution that also will enable adoption to remain a thriving business in America...the best easiest and laziest solution for our elected officials...ADOPTION! Throw the kid away and elected officials no longer have to worry about the problems that plague this nation today...how f'in convenient!! For them that's for sure...not for mothers and her babies/children.
    I think we should all send emails to this Jessica Arons.
    jarons@americanprogress.org

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  11. I am floored that the government is concerning themselves with an issue like this...!

    As Chris pointed out there are SO SO many other societal issues that they could improve which could then decrease the need for women to be parted from their children. SIGH.

    And WOW - Raven on what forum did you meet that ludicrous adoptive mom?? She sounds completely certifiable and yet as an adoptive mom myself I will say that she isn't the only one like that out there. Isn't THAT depressing?

    How much would someone like to bet that the "think tank" that came up with this wonderful study is made up of primarily MEN?!

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