I am a potential adoptive mother and am curious if, as mothers, you feel that there is ever an acceptable situation for an adoption. I very badly would like to raise a family and adoption is our only option. If we are successful in adopting, I would like for it to be an open adoption (if the child/ren's mother is interested in that).Let's start out about whether answering whether we approve of adoption in the first place, an issue that comes up here every now and then. We are not against all adoptions, but we want to insure that any adoption that does occur is done purely because a child needs a home, not because someone has a home she/he/they want to fill. There is a huge difference between the two. The pressure to find children to "build families" for people who knowingly postponed pregnancy past their fecund years has led to all sorts of abuses in adoption, particularly in the international marketplace for children, something we have written reams about here at First Mother Forum.
I guess my questions are: IF mothers (and adult adopted children) see adoption as an acceptable situation, is open adoption generally the most desired choice (within the community of mothers who share feelings about such things)? Also, in your opinion what IS the most loving, sensitive way to distinguish to a child their parentage? It would be my desire to ensures/he knows that s/he is loved by both the mother who allowed him/her to be adopted and the woman who is raising him/her with love. Of course, as the child/ren's adoptive parent, I would want for him/her to call me mom (or some derivation) and still treasure the mother that allowed me to share the joy of motherhood.
I hope that my questions don't offend. I simply want to have the joy of a family and to instill a love in the child/ren I raise both for the family they lost and the family they've gained. I hope you can help as the opportunity for me to parent via adoption may be near. --Hayley
Because of the pressure to supply babies, and the money to be made from that, a whole culture of adoption has grown up here in the United States with little emphasis on how to help women keep their babies. Pregnancy crises centers are often places that might be more aptly called "shotgun adoption centers." At the same time, various church groups, such as the erroneously named Christian World Adoption, and a Mormon group that was found to be snatching children from Samoan families, and others have gone over seas to harvest children for the Western market. Fully half of the babies exported from Guatemala during that country's civil war were found to be have been stolen, as a recent government investigation revealed.
But these stories, while they are in the news, somehow do not filter down to many prospective adoptive parents, or society at large, and we end up as we are today in a culture that promotes adoption to the point where young women on The Bachelor start saying that when they want to have a family, they want to "adopt." When celebrities such as Madonna and Angelina Jolie make news when they adopt, again more people think that is a good way to fill their bare bassinets.
Given all that, Hayley, there are children right here in America who do need stable, loving homes. They are the children in foster homes whose natural parents can not, or will not, ever come back for them. They are the children who need homes. These are the children we hope you will consider adopting. And we know that there will legitimately be children with no resources in Haiti, but rushing to adopt there and remove children from their culture is not something we encourage.
We do encourage all young women who have babies to try to find ways to keep their children, as we have dealt with the grieving aftermath of having relinquished, and have heard the unhappy outcomes of many adoptions--from the point of view of the adopted. As an adoptive father, and a psycholigist, once said in a court case of a woman hoping to get her records unsealed: Adoption is always painful.
It is certainly always painful for the actual mother, the one who gives birth to her child, and it is always painful for the child to learn he/she was relinquished by someone for reasons unknowable, incomprehensible, reasons that always feel like abandonment to the child who becomes an adult one day. Adoption always leaves scars. We appreciate that in researching adoption you stumbled upon First Mother Forum, Hayley, and hope that we give you some food for thought, no matter what you eventually do.
You raised other issues, and we will deal with them in future posts.