' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Advertising for a baby to adopt on Facebook

DNA NEWS

You may transfer your raw DNA to FTDNA from either 23andme or ancestry.com FREE by going to https://tinyurl.com/z5art2s in the skinny search window at the very top of your browser screen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Advertising for a baby to adopt on Facebook

Jane
"We have lovely friends who are hoping to adopt a baby, and I'd like to help get their message out" posted an attorney on the Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS) list. "They need to identify a birth mother who wants to give up her baby for adoption." She included the link to Erin and Dan's Facebook Page who tell us "We are seeking a domestic adoption, open or closed, preferably a newborn."

This was a first for the OWLS list which typically includes job openings, requests for referrals to other lawyers, and recommendations for nannies, plumbers, and other services, but it shouldn't be a surprise. Many more couples are in the baby hunt than there are babies, particularly with foreign countries curtailing intercountry adoptions.

I was about to fire back a comment when I realized that the attorney who posted on the OWLS list and Erin and Dan don't wear black hats; they're just misinformed. And they have company with the majority of Americans who get their information about adoption from the billion-dollar adoption industry--adoption agency staff and adoption attorneys--who make their living off of transferring children from one set of parents to another.

LET'S NOT CALL HER A ' BIRTH MOTHER' UNTIL SHE IS ONE
Rather than a cause for anger, I saw this as First Mother's Forum's opportunity to educate those who might, just possibly, listen to those who live with adoption. Following is what I would like both the lawyer who posted the message helping to "get their message out" and Erin and Dan to know. I'm posting a link to this post on both the OWLS list and Erin and Dan's Facebook page. We'll see what happens.

Using the term "birth mother" for a woman who has not given birth, much less given up her baby, is not only incorrect, it is extremely offensive, suggesting that these women are incubators rather than mothers-to-be in a crisis, and for prospective adoptive parents, it's just a matter of finding them. A few pregnant women may decided to carry their babies to term and give them up from the moment they learn they are pregnant, but the popular image of Juno-like mothers-to-be is largely a fiction. Instead, most are vulnerable young women who are facing an unplanned and, at least initially, an unwanted pregnancy. They are not comfortable with abortion and decide (or are forced by parents, religious authorities, the baby's father) to consider adoption.

Women today give up their babies because they lack the resources, or are unaware of the financial help, that would allow them to keep their babies. They believe the rhetoric of the adoption industry, TV talk shows, advice columnists, and the like--that adoption is a "loving decision," and that their babies are better off  being raised by biological strangers who are prepared to "parent"--which of course might be true in some cases. Many--if not most--of those who give up their babies regret it later. Of those who continue to believe they made the "right" decision, many suffer a hole in their hearts as the blogs of these women attest.

ALL ADOPTIONS SHOULD BE OPEN
Erin and Dan, in their quest to find a "birth mother," may view being flexible on openness in adoption as a way to increase their chances for attracting a pregnant woman. The purpose of openness, however, is primarily to benefit the child, not the first mother or adoptive parents; experts agree that unless openness poses a risk to the child, all adoptions should be open. Adoptees growing up in the closed adoption era overwhelming support openness, thus their continuing quest to change state laws sealing original birth certificates. After our reunion, my surrendered daughter often told me how hard is was growing up "not knowing" why she was given up or who her birth parents were. Being able to know your genetic roots, people who share your talents and interests, why you were given up, is a basic right and should not subjected to the whim of adoptive parents--or first parents--and certainly not legislators.

In explaining why they choose an independent (attorney-arranged) adoption rather than an agency adoption, Erin and Dan say:
"[R]reputable agencies...stated a singular commitment to the birth parents in guiding them through the adoption process. One agency essentially told us that as adoptive parents we really didn't have a voice in the adoption process....Agencies can do the work for you by identifying possible matches but we just couldn't get comfortable with the standard process and motivation of adoption agencies....An independent adoption allows us more control and involvement in the entire process. It also allows more control and involvement from the birth parents as they make their decision whether or not to pursue the adoption of their baby."  
Erin and Dan are simply wrong about both agency and independent adoptions; neither give true control or involvement to the birth parents. And their resentment of an agency's "singular commitment to the birth parents" shows a complete lack of sympathy for the people who may part with the most precious thing any of us have, a child.

An adoption agency's "commitment" to the parents-to-be, is not based on "a singular commitment to the birth parents" but instead on business necessity. Most adoption agencies seek out and groom vulnerable women to give up their babies because if the agencies don't get babies, they will shut down. Their clients are the prospective adoptive parents who pay their fee, not the confused and anxious parents-to-be. The agencies know, however, that if they come across as baby-snatchers, they will turn away the very people who supply the product agencies must have in order to stay in business, and so they present their services as benefits to those with unplanned pregnancies. The agencies serve prospective adoptive parents by coaching them on how to write "Dear Birth Mother" letters, and how to court expectant parents. As many who lost their babies to adoption will tell you, they felt in charge until they signed the papers; then they were yesterday's news.

LIP SERVICE TO HELP WOMEN KEEP THEIR BABIES
With few exceptions, adoption agencies give lip service to helping pregnant women find ways to keep their babies, instead telling them of the benefits to their child growing in a middle class home with mature parents. Few agencies tell mothers-to-be that adoption experts advocate for keeping a child within his biological family if possible.* They do not tell mothers of the lifelong impact that adoption will have on them and their children. We do, and we are often excoriated for doing so by some adoptive parents when they come upon First Mother Forum.

Mothers-to-be typically receive less information in independent adoptions that they would receive from state-licensed agencies. In some states, mothers don't have their own attorney. Even if they do, the attorney is paid by the adoptive parents, and usually selected by the prospective adoptive parents' attorney. The job of the attorney for the mother (and possibly the father) is to make sure she understands the consent document before she signs; otherwise it could be declared invalid by a judge. If the adoption is to be an open one with letters, photographs and visitations, that attorney would also negotiate the agreement, as well as any payment of birth-related expenses by the adopting parents. In Oregon, a mother is allowed to sign an irrevocable consent immediately after birth while she is still reeling from the aftereffects of having given birth. In many states, mothers have only a day or two before they may sign. In Washington and a few other states, they may sign before birth and have only a short time after birth to withdraw their consent.

Since I am an attorney myself, I happen to know many fine adoption attorneys. But they are not skilled counselors or social workers. They do not see their role as helping a mother find ways to nurture her child. While the laws of some states including Oregon may requires adoptive parents to pay for counseling for first parents, this counseling is likely to be post-adoption and designed to help the parents--usually just the mothers--adjust to losing their children, rather than before the adoption and focused on exploring ways of keeping their children.

Erin and Dan did post a couple of things on their Facebook page that we agree with. They decided against international adoption in part because "it is often probably best for a child to stay in their home country and become a member of their native culture."

FAMILY PRESERVATION RATHER THAN ANTI-ADOPTION
Erin and Dan also linked to an article in The New Republic, "Meet the New Anti-Adoption Movement: The surprising next frontier in reproductive justice" which is critical of the adoption industry. It describes the work of activists, including FMF, in reforming adoption laws to allow mothers adequate time to decide upon adoption, assuring adoptions are open, and unsealing original birth certificates. While we don't like the term "anti-adoption," preferring "adoption reform" or "family preservation," we were pleased to see that the movement is gaining attention, and read by people like Erin and Dan


I understand Erin's and Dan's desire to adopt an infant, having known people who suffered from infertility. But adopting another woman's child and being part of the problem of the "shortage of adoptable babies" is not the answer. Children are not blank slates. Any child they adopt will not replace the child that they have been unable to have. Any child they adopt will not grow up sharing physical traits or a whole wealth of characteristics that will one day seem "odd." Social scientists now know that the likelihood that traits and predilections are shared with the adopting family is because they, through the luck of the draw, actually share genes predisposed to be one way rather than another, not because of influence in the home. And the likelihood of those shared traits is no greater than pure chance. 

I remind Erin and Dan and OWLS members that, as Judge Virginia Linder of the Oregon Court of Appeals wrote, "the primary purpose of adoption is to provide a home for a child, not a child for a home."** Erin and Dan should focus their search on a child who needs them. A good place to start is Oregon's Department of Human Services. While the adoption industry may caution them against DHS kids, referring to them as Damaged Kids or DKs, these tales are exaggerated. DHS provides substantial training for those considering adoption. And, DHS provides a critical service which is not offered by adoption attorneys and offered only sparingly by adoption agencies, post-adoption support for the adoptive parents.-- jane

Note:  Although Dan posted the comment below, he has not changed his Facebook page to reflect what he claims are their values and goals. We have removed Erin's and Dan's picture at their request. To see the picture of Erin and Dan previously posted and other family pictures, go to their Facebook page, Erin and Dan adopt.
_______________________
SOURCES
The New Republic: "The Anti-Adoption Movement is the Next Reproductive Justice"
**McCulley v. Bone, 160 Or App 24, 52 (1999)
Oregon Department of Human Resources

*Adoption experts who advocate for keeping children with their natural families include the Donaldson Adoption Institute, the Child Welfare League of America, and social worker L. Anne Babb, author of Ethics in American Adoption.
                                                                              
FROM FMF:
Finding babies through Facebook. And your manicurist. And....
Why Ellen Page and the movie Juno bugs me--even years later
How the Internet is changing adoption
How adoption agencies 'turn' vulnerable women into spokespeople for relinquishing
Giving Up Your Baby?
Are Laws Tilted to Adopting Parents? Well, yes, even in Oregon

READING
The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Verrier
"As an adoptee, I could not have written this book better myself. It is an extremely insightful book which opened up a world of understanding to myself and also to my loved ones. It helped me understand why I am the way that I am, why I do some of the things that I do, why I struggle with love in my life, and why I have this subconscious fear of abandonment and trust...a definite "must read" for all parents of adopted children. You will learn to understand your adopted children and will be able to help them throughout their lives."  Coco Ventura, on Amazon. Verrier is controversial to some, but the book continues to be a consistent seller.

Adoption and Loss - The Hidden Grief by Evelyn Burns Robinson
"Robinson poignantly and thoroughly describes the losses experienced by all of those whose lives have been affected by adoption separation and the grief that they suffer. The book is based on the author's personal experience as a mother who lost a child through adoption and her experience as a social worker who has worked extensively in the area of post-adoption counseling with adults. The book graphically describes the disenfranchised grief associated with adoption and suggests ways in which that hidden grief can be acknowledged and confronted." Amazon Highly recommended.

Order either by clicking on link or book jacket. Any orders at Amazon places through FMF portal are highly appreciated.  

125 comments :

  1. Hi Jane, Dan here. Thanks for your thoughtful discussion of our Facebook page. We appreciate your efforts to help us understand the first mother perspective in the adoption process. (And forgive us for using "birth mother," it is the term we've seen the most in this process.)

    The thing is, I think that we are more aligned with your views than might have come across on our page. One of my biggest objections to adoption agencies is that they are -- so transparently -- businesses that depend on facilitating adoptions to stay afloat. The idea that they might provide any kind of objective counseling to a pregnant woman who is uncertain of whether or not she will keep her baby is frankly unbelievable. It is true that the attitude that adoptive parents' only involvement is as a funding source turned us off as well, but more important by far was the fact that with an adoption agency, we couldn't be sure that the first mother had actually explored all her other options.

    We don't want to adopt a child if the first mother has been pressured into making that decision, and quite frankly, we didn't see any way to assure that with an agency. This was a key driver for us to pursue independent adoption. If we find someone who would like to consider us adopting her child, the first thing that we'll do is talk about their options and whether there's any way for them to keep the child. We're not kidnappers, and if the answer is "it would be hard, but I could do it..." we would walk away.

    On the open adoption front, we understand and completely agree with the importance of an adopted child knowing their first family. I have a snowboarding buddy and a co-worker who were adopted in closed adoptions, and I understand how negative that can be for everyone involved.

    I'm rambling a bit, but to sum it up, we're committed to an ethical adoption. The needs and wishes of the first mother and child are paramount for us. We appreciate your taking the time to start a dialogue with us, and will be reading through the forums here to deepen our understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post and comment except for one thing I disagree that most babies who were given up for adoption were unplanned"and at least initially unwanted" My pregnancy was neither and I knew from the first day that I was pregnant I just felt like someone else was with me. I wanted my baby very much right from the start,but I was weak and caved in to the pressures of the times, had no money, had a hard time holding jobs One thing is definitely true-if I had been rich or independently wealthy I would not have been on Medicaid and been tricked into surrendering him- a decision I will regret until the day I die-even though he turned out great and had great parents. I read an article about Indian surrogates and one comment from one of the women sticks in my mind Only someone who has been through this can understand. Logically,it seems fine,yes? But emotionally it is all wrong in ways too numerous to count and,after all, we are not logical robots; we are human beings else we would just be computers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am an adult adoptee. I had the most wonderful, loving, kindest parents in the world to raise me. But you know what? Being adopted sucks. No kid WANTS to be adopted. Unless it's absolutely necessary, unless there's just no other alternative, we'd rather be with our own kin. So while you're out there scouring the interwebs for a shiny new baybee, remember that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Dan,
    It was nice to hear from you. I also want to mention that you and Erin should also be concerned with whether or not the natural father is on board with the adoption. He has just as much right to parent his own child as the mother. You may be familiar with the Baby Veronica and Baby Desirai cases out of Oklahoma and the many thwarted fathers who lost their children to unethical adoptions handled in Utah.

    It is a great idea to read more of the posts at FMF and the many comments written by first mothers, adoptive parents and adoptees such as myself. There are also many other excellent family preservationist blogs you can link to from here.

    Whenever possible it is best for a child to remain in his or her biological family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Out of curiosity, Dan, why not an older child in foster care who needs a home? There are older children in dire need of help who are consistently passed over for babies.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "I realized that the attorney who posted on the OWLS list and Erin and Dan don't wear black hats; they're just misinformed. And they have company with the majority of Americans who get their information about adoption from the billion-dollar adoption industry--adoption agency staff and adoption attorneys--who make their living off of transferring children from one set of parents to another."


    Everybody who supports adoption reform needs to PLEASE understand this notion.

    It's something I've recently realized and it's made a world of difference when trying to inform people about adoption reform.

    We need to EDUCATE people to inspire change and make sure not to attack or villainize any of the PEOPLE involved with unethical adoptions. If you get too emotional and deliver things the wrong way, it falls on deaf ears. It's human nature.

    Remember that most of the general public doesn't know the truth about the adoption industry and the need for reform. They are under the widespread social misconception that adoption is a "win/win/win" for all parties involved. Be careful on how you present the full story to people who haven't heard it before. Make sure you don't attack or make them feel like they are wrong for thinking the things that society conditioned them to think.

    It is the adoption industry and the adoption culture in America that is wrong. (Yes there's exceptions to every rule, but never assume until you know). Share your knowledge responsibly so we can truly help others.

    "Hate the game, not the players" to put it simply.

    Thank you Jane for sharing that notion today and addressing these potential adoptive parents in an understanding and balanced way while informing them of new adoption truths. You are setting a great example.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ Anonymous above:
    Sometimes the comments here get very heated because of the way first mothers and adoptees feel their own emotions have been treated by the adoption industry--that is, social workers, attorneys, agency heads, etc., and the man and woman on the street who say careless things that go to the core of our being. This blog can feel like a safe place to let out those feelings. While you are right, we need to respect one another, we the underdog in adoption, feel we have spent most of our lives being disrespected. Agencies call us birth mothers the minute we walk in the door, prospective adoptive parents are eager for our babies, the neighbors push books on us by writers who couldn't get pregnant and finally turn to adoption--as if this is supposed to make us feel sorry for them and give them our babies. We are mostly supposed to be silent cheerleaders for adoption, like we feel the rest of the world is.

    FMF is read by a lot of people, from all sides of adoption, but this blog's purpose is to be a place where first mothers share opinions and feelings. Yes, it has become a welcome space for some adoptive parents and certainly adoptees--have I learned a lot from them!--but let us not forget what we set out to do--be a welcome place for first mothers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey--can we have fewer Anonymouses?
    Just make up a name if you are fearful of using your own name.

    Click in the Name, url. you dn't need to leave a url if you don't have one, don't want to.

    THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The new CUB newsletter editor Beth Jaffe is looking for submissions, especially for the Holiday issue. You do not have to be a CUB member to submit articles, poetry, art, or pictures to the CUB Communicator, which comes out quarterly. You can see the last issue on the CUB website
    www.Cubirthparents.org
    The link to submit material is at
    http://www.cubirthparents.org/newsletter.php
    Deadline for the Holiday issue is Nov.3, but material for other issues can be submitted any time.
    Hoping some creative readers will consider this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Lorraine


    Sorry I didn't mean to say that people should ALWAYS be tactful when talking about adoption. My comment was more referring to personal situations with people who don't realize the side of adoption that the industry doesn't share. Like the one Jane wrote about, where you have the opportunity to inform someone through personal conversation.

    I hope people never stop expressing their anger and pain and the truth of their own adoption situations and feelings of dismay about the adoption industry. We need that for adoption reform and to help people who have experience loss due to adoption. Thank you for being an excellent place for people to come and do that. To everyone who DOES get angry and mad and doesn't hide it, thank you too.


    My original comment was just expressing my new found realization of the importance of remembering not to antagonize people who don't know the truth about adoption when talking to them directly. In those particular situations it is important to inform them in an enlightening manner rather than an antagonistic one. That's all that I meant.

    and for consistency's sake I used the anonymous option again but going forward in other comments I'll remember to embrace the option of choosing a username or maybe even making a google account. Thank you for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "They need to identify a birth mother who wants to give up her baby for adoption."
    Good luck on that one. Nope, very few of the women in the US that relinquish WANT to give up their babies. We do it because we have no other option. Or/and we are coerced into believing that Dan and Erin are superior because they have money and are married (today) and look like really nice people. (And I bet they probably are really nice people).
    You want an ethical adoption, Dan? This is the only way I can see an adoption being ethical.
    Ask the pregnant female if she doesn’t WANT to parent or if she feels unprepared to parent. Let her know that you have read that if a mother WANTS to parent but places her baby because of finances, her age, or lack of the fathers support, AND because she has been led to believe that this would be best for her child, she should realize that there are grave problems for children and their mothers when separated. Multitudes of women are heartsick 30 – 40 – 50 years later because they were separated from their child. Children have a 4X greater risk of suicide when they have been adopted. The only real reason to place is because she doesn’t WANT to parent.
    Ask the pregnant woman to keep her child for the first six weeks and nurse the baby if possible. You have to know that the baby will be better off with this start in life. You wouldn’t take the baby at 34 weeks gestation just because it would survive at that point. It’s illegal to separate puppies from their mothers in approximately 24 states but no one bats an eye at separating a baby from its mother as soon as it is pushed out of her body.
    Ask her to get back to you at six weeks post-partum. How can a woman make a decision that she doesn’t WANT to be a mother until she IS a mother and tries it out for a while?
    If this woman just needs a little help, come back to FMF and let us know. We can help. I have a 40 year old niece that is in the process of raising five children. She came to me because she had adoption on her heart. Here she has been so fortunate she wanted to help a child in need. I suggested that she take in a young mother and her baby. A mother whose family will not allow her to stay at home with her child. My niece lives in Utah and has a mother-in-law apartment at her home. She and her kids (youngest is ten) will babysit while the mother goes to school and works. Most likely the mother and child will only need that kind of support for the first couple of years. You see, mothers age. They get jobs and finish school and sometimes marry. Adoption is forever yet the situations that make a girl/woman consider adoption change.
    Dan I had three miscarriages in my early forties and was desperate to parent. You see, my first child was placed for adoption when I was 21 because, sin of sins, I was unmarried. I was fortunate and was able to have two children in my forties after the miscarriages. I know how horrific infertility is and I will pray for you and Erin.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Really good post, Jane.

    Dan, as an adoptive mother, I understand exactly where you are coming from and I still am in the process of educating myself. Please, if you encounter a first mother/parents who are considering you and Erin as likely parents for their child, give them the space to make that choice without considering your feelings on the matter. If you are able, emotionally, tell them you are available to counsel them on possible ways they could raise their child instead of placing him/her for adoption. As for being in the room with the mom who is giving birth to her child, I think it is horrific - please give the child's family some respect and space.

    Finally, if adoption is the only option for a child, I personally advocate adopting from the foster system over private adoptions.

    Dan and Erin, I know you did not intentionally mean to disrespect first parents - I once walked in your shoes. But Facebook ads really focus on the wants of people like you and I who desperately want to be parents, rather than focusing on the needs of the child.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post. I'm glad to see Dan has followed up with your post, and I hope that it will result in some much-needed education.

    Just one small correction: "intra-country" would be inside one country, and therefore domestic adoption. You're referring to "inter-country" adoption, or sending children out of one country and into another. And yes, the Hague Convention has explicitly recommended that this only be a last resort AFTER attempts to place a child with biological family, extended family, etc. within the child's country of origin.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks, tchaiki: re the type of adoption--I changed the error to simply "international." There is no mistaking what that means; the other is a matter of simply two letters, and easier to confuse--not only to readers but obviously to the writers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I guess what I don't understand about Erin and Dan is that with all the knowledge we have now about why parents (not first or birth, but simply parents) relinquish and about how traumatic separation is for infants, why would they even WANT to adopt? Most women relinquish due to lack of resources. If they are so concerned about the welfare of the child and parents, why wouldn't they want to assist them in staying together? Offer help with housing, education etc and have a great impact on that family's life?

    I get the feeling Erin and Dan are generally nice folks who realize that there are many problems with adoption. They seem unable, however, to grasp the full scope of these issues, the issues that adoptees have (suicide, depression)and still feel that they will somehow finesse the situation, finding a mother who "wants" to relinquish and an undamaged baby. This is not possible. If they really want to parent, try working with Social Services and finding an older child to foster/adopt.

    Open adoption does not solve the issues, nor does maternal "consent." These nice folks are living a fantasy, and they really need counseling from an adoption-competent and infertility competent therapist. Unfortunately, there are very few of these, although I am sure AAC can give them some referrals.

    I think Erin and Dan are falling into the all-too-familiar trap of thinking that there actually women who really want to relinquish, and that because they are nice people who have avoided the traps of IA and flagrant baby-stealing they can find a situtation with an undamaged, womb-wet baby, and a willing, happy Mother. This is a fairy tale, not reality.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having looked at Erin and Dan's facebook page, I am more inclined to view them in a more negative and opportunistic light. It seems that they decided against international adoption not (initially) because it was unethical but because they realized it would be difficult and that programs are closing with the exception of those placing older children, whom they are not interested in.

    While they state they are not afraid of temper tantrums, my impression is that they are afraid of any issues an adoptee might actually have, thus the avoidance of older/international/foster children. Adoption (not just relinquishment) is trauma, and violent. Adopters need to realize this to avoid tramatizing their child further.

    Also, as an adoptee (whose voice perhaps matters little to prospective adopters) I have to say that advertising on FB is not a great way to start a relationship with a child. If I were that child, I would be biding my time until 18 and then going back to my first family.

    Also, in Dan's response, I see little mention of appropriate counseling of the Mom on how best to keep her child, how they will ensure she has an attorney who has her and her child's best interests at heart, and on any family preservation efforts they will support. The impression I get from Dan's post is that they really prefer private adoption because they can exert control over the process as, disturbing as agencies may be, they are at least regulated at a state level.

    If Dan and Erin are truly interested in the most ethical, child and first family centered adoption available, they need to accept that they may not get an infant, they may end up with a child with many issues, and they may not have a child at all. They need to work ONLY with Social Services, they need to attend a conference such as CUB or AAC, they need to listen to even the angriest first Moms, Dads, and adoptees, and they need to TAKE DOWN THE FB page.

    I don't expect any of this to happen. I am sure Dan and Erin are nice people and can't imagine taking part in something corrupt, and I am sure their friends and family agree, and thus, in their pain, they will pursue, with the best of intentions, what they want in the domestic adoption market, not what is truly child and first family centered. This is the tragedy- good, nice people, hurt an doing harm with the best of intentions, with the collateral damage being a child and his or her mother.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a really timely post. I have a facebook friend that is trying to adopt a baby through an agency but is doing some sort of kickstarter like thing to fund their adoption. I cringe every time I see something posted regarding this couple because while very nice people (just like Dan and Erin) seem totally oblivious to coercive agency issues. At least Dan and Erin acknowledge agency issues, for what it's worth. While my friend's circumstance is a bit different (agency vs no agency + kickstarter creepyness) there are ethics issue in both. For instance, I went to my facebook friend's adoption agency web page clicked around to see what their deal was. Now, I get these banner ads (I think that is what they are called anyway) on other non-adoption websites that have a picture of a very pregnant young lady with the tag line "pregnant? we can help." Oh dear, trolling for young pregnant women really is a problem! I felt really stalked by this agency and I'm not even pregnant! I just clicked on info about birthmother services to see what they tell birthmothers. ick. I can only imagine what this feels like to a pregnant young lady in crisis. And, if they are doing this when someone just visits their website, what happens when that young person walks in the agency door? I just feel sick by the whole thing that I am about to just unfriend this person. Should I say something to my FB friend? I mean, we aren't that close at all, I just feel for this potential "birthmother" they will get paired with by the agency.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good piece, I think Dan and Erin are doing with anyone considering or pursuing any type of adoption should do in terms of the full research from all perspectives. I found their reasoning to go private rather than an agency interesting as I never thought of it that way. The one comment to them I would say is that unless the baby is already born you are looking for expectant mothers who are considering adoption. A woman is not a birth/first mother until she gives birth and places. If you think about that from a logical standpoint it makes sense.

    For those who are asking this couple if they've thought about Foster Adoption, my questions to you are have you adopted through Foster Care and were you able to have biological children that you raised? I think we need to look at why this couple is pursuing adoption. Infertility may have led them there but it goes back to why they tried to have children in the first place which is to build a family. Those who have not gone through infertility and those who have biological children could never understand. It's not about helping a child in need. If it was they never would have tried to have children in the first place.

    For me their pursuit has to do with wanting to create a family and not being outcast from society the way those who are childless by circumstance and ChildFree by choice are. I'm not saying infertility justifies unethical ways some people become parents but I think we need to recognize what drives people to domestic infant adoption and address that rather than shame them into not making a decision. Knowing someone who has gone through infertility doesn't mean you understand it either. Just as knowing mothers who had unplanned pregnancies who placed their babies for adoption or knowing people who were adopted doesn't mean I understand their perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The phrase "hate the game, not the players" is all well and good, but if you've got a Monopoly game sitting on your shelf and no one wants to play it, that Monopoly game is not gonna happen by itself.

    The fact that this couple is looking for a pregnant woman for pre-birth matching is enough to make me not think well of them.

    If you really want to make a difference but still feel you must adopt, limit your search to children already given up. Whether that's a newborn infant or an eight-year-old, doesn't matter. There will be zero pressure on any parent to relinquish when the child is already not with their parents to begin with.

    There still might be that very slight chance the child was removed wrongly, but at least it won't be your fault it happened, and no one will have given you their child out of a feeling of obligation.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Dan,

    I am glad that you and Erin are reading up on the issues surrounding adoption. I understand your reasoning behind not using an agency and I happen to agree that agencies do pressure mothers. I can see everything from your point of view regarding pursuing an independent adoption. However, I think you are asking far too much of yourselves.

    I am sure other people are going to disagree with me, but I think most people, when faced with the opportunity to pursue something they long for, are going to rationalize away their misgivings when it comes to domestic infant adoption. That is especially true in your case, because by pursuing a truly ethical adoption scenario, you are also going to have to come to terms with probably having to wait a much longer time to start your family. You and your wife are only human and everyone has their rule bending boundaries.

    Many of us strongly believe that communicating and meeting with expecting mothers is coercive and unethical. If you and your wife are truly committed to only participating in an ethical adoption, I would recommend only responding to mothers who answer your ads who have already given birth and attempted to raise their child. It is only after a mother has at least attempted to raise their child that a mother can truly make an informed decision about giving their child up for adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dana, great point. While Erin and Dan are clearly well-meaning, there is a "shortage" of newborns to adopt. Now that they have been educated, they cannot claim ignorance and should really move on to foster-adopt or accept a child-free life. At this point, there is no excuse to really support the corrupt game, and the players can't really claim ignorance.

    I see a similar lip service on a TRA forum I used to belong to. People are willing to consider ethics as long as they get the product. This, of course, is the least ethical course of all!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. J.L.,

    What gives you the right to tell this couple what they "should do"? I understand educating them but telling them what they should do is wrong. I bet you are someone who has neither adopted from Foster Care or has accepted a "ChildFree" life. Because the majority of those who have chosen those lifestyles do not advocate them because they know the challenges that come with them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @ anonymous at 3:10, please tell us your involvement in adoption. Are you the attorney who started all this, a friend of Dan and Erin, an adoptive parent? I know this is an open blog but without knowing the perspective from which you speak...?

    Please consider responding and getting from behind the Anonymous veil. You do not need a URL to use the Name/url choice when you comment. I wish in fact, it did not suggest that you had to have a url.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous-

    We tell people in many situations what to do. I would tell people not to sell women or minorities into slavery. We tell men not to beat their wives. We tell parents not to beat their children. We tell people not to get drunk and drive their cars. We tell people they can't marry children and they can't steal from stores. I have as much right to tell someone not to do something that I consider deeply harmful as I am sure you would if you considered something immoral or dangerous.

    As to your comments on child free life or foster care, I deeply wish these people could have their own child as they so desire. But their inability to do so does not give them carte blanche to do something that many people consider extremely harmful to children and first parents.

    I agree foster-adopt can be challenging, but so is infant adoption, with many children suffering life-long issues due to separation and bonding issues. Sadly, many APs seem to see an infant as a blank slate.

    What gives YOU the right to endorse a decision many find harmful, immoral and hurtful?

    As an adoptee who was supposedly served by this system, I feel I have EVERY right to comment. Or do you believe this system is for APs?

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    My apologies Lorraine. I had tried before and it didn't work got frustrated and gave up going with anonymous.

    To answer your question I am none of the above. I am just someone unable to have children. Though I wouldn't consider myself a PAP because we are undecided on whether we will pursue any type of adoption. But I am researching it.

    To clarify my position, I have no issue with you or any birth/first mother, adoptee or adoptive parent having major objections to this couple's pursuit of adopting an infant. From your perspective I get why you do.

    My issue is with someone who has children and/or has never adopted from Foster Care telling this couple or any couple for that matter what they should do instead. Its not anyone's place to tell this couple what they should do. Educating them, voicing your objection to them pursuing infant adoption and criticizing them is ok but telling them what they should do when you yourself have never done what they suggested is being judgmental and hypocritical.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    J.L.,

    Telling these people they shouldn't pursue the type of adoption they are is one thing. I have no issue with that. But telling them what they should do instead is wrong. Especially when you have not lived ChildFree or adopted from Foster Care. It's like the people who tell you that you should be grateful for your adoptive parents and forget about the loss of your birth/first family. Those people are wrong for telling you what you should do.

    Adopting from Foster Care is extremely challenging. Not that any adoption isn't challenging but taking on an older child that was maybe abused is even more challenging.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Okay once again for all those playing this game... ADOPTION IS NOT A SERVICE FOR INFERTILE COUPLES. If a person wants a family but is unable to have one, that does not entitle them to adevertise for a child and to go after pregnant women in the hopes of building a relationship based on the fact they want her unborn child. Seriously this is disgusting. And advertising on Facebook? Wow. May as well just put a billboard up saying you want to buy a baby. Pretty it up all you want, it is virtually the same thing.

    This whole adoption crap is getting uglier every day. This is not about children. Oh hell no, they are at the bottom of the barrel. People are just happy to use (abuse) them as pawns. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS!! And yet this feel like getting a new puppy or kitten... or doll. Ugh.

    If you are not interested in offering a home to a child who NEEDS one then you have NO BUSINESS in adoption. NONE! I don't give a crap frankly what leads to people wanting to adopt anymore and the whole BS of "wishing to build a family" is just sickening because this is not a 'building' exercise. It is not a game. This is messing up lives and the lives of mothers in need of support are not anyone's to screw up except their own!

    This whole "well have you adopted from Foster care?" is a crock. Because most of us here are either adopted or are mothers who were screwed over by adoption so would most likely never adopt. Foster yes, I have been asked to and when my other kids are older we will reconsider the suggestion and request but adopt? NEVER. I wouldn't want to be responsible for causing another person's pain and anguish.

    And just for the couple who are at the centre of this post... want an 'ethical' adoption?? NEWSFLASH - Ethical and adoption are NOT compatible. So you won't be able to adopt "ethically". It just doesn't work that way because adoption as a legal entity in itself is NOT ethical, let alone the practises and policies that surround it and especially in the USA where babies are sold for thousands of $ disguised as 'fees'.

    There has been too much of this crap lately and frankly I am over it and have no compassion for anyone seeking to adopt newborns. None whatsoever.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "Educating them, voicing your objection to them pursuing infant adoption and criticizing them is ok but telling them what they should do when you yourself have never done what they suggested is being judgmental and hypocritical."

    Agreed. You are not simply telling someone to not do something.

    You are demanding that that two strangers, whom you don't know, adopt a child.

    Do you see the difference? One is simply saying you disagree with an action, and people should not do it.

    The other is asserting that two strangers must enact an action according to your direction.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Childless by Circumstance Not Choice:

    I agree with you. To me, there always has been judgement and hypocrisy on this website. And,for the life of me, I cannot understand how women who COULD NOT/DID NOT WANT TO raise their own child can tell someone what they should do?

    ReplyDelete
  30. ANONYMOUS COMMENTERS TO THIS POST NEED TO STATE THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO ADOPTION WITH THE COMMENTS.

    Women who "could not" raise their own child--sounds like you are rather judgmental yourself. This post is about how people advertise for children today. It sounds as if we are living in a futuristic state where babies are trafficked out of desperation.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 25, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Myst,

    I respect your stance on this issue. My only comment is that if you haven't pursued legalized babysitting with sleep over privileges (aka Fostering) then don't suggest someone else pursue it.

    It's like the anti abortion people who tell an emom with an unplanned pregnancy they should not get an abortion and should instead place their baby for adoption. The wrong is not telling the emom to not get an abortion it's telling the emom what she should do instead.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don't see anything to be gained by attacking Dan and Erin (or anyone else at this blog for that matter). They seem to be open-minded and really want to learn about adoption from our experiences. It's not their fault that they are seeped in our pro-adoption culture and, just like everyone else not directly affected, have bought into the idea that if you are infertile or waited too long to start a family, you can 'ALWAYS ADOPT'.

    Hearing that someone is on facebook trawling for a baby is triggering and disturbing. I hope they realize that the reason they would even feel the need to resort to something like that is because women don't want to give up their babies and aren't giving up their babies. That's why the demand so greatly exceeds the supply.

    Please keep reading here and linking to the blogs on the sidebar. This will really open your eyes to the 'pro-truth' side of adoption, as told by those of us who have lived it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Childless not by choice and Myst-

    It's fair to say that foster-adopt may not be for everyone, but it seems a reasonable thing to suggest if people are trying to educate themselves, be ethical, and provide a home for a needy child as opposed to finding a child for needy adults. It may be an opportunity they simply haven't explored.

    But, Childless, I am deeply offended by your characterization of first mothers. Many were not allowed to raise their children. Many could have with just a bit of help and support. I am sure I misunderstand, but it sounds as though you are saying that those whose temporary life circumstances were challenging are not worthy of consideration. Yet these women hold the DNA of the child many wish to adopt. ARe they merely incubators because they are poor? Shouldn't we support family preservation when people are going through unfortunate times?

    I think the firstmoms could say to you that you haven't relinquished a child, so don't judge that experience or what actually happened. I think the adoptees could say that you aren't adopted, and as the subjects whom this is supposed to serve, you shouldn't have an opinion.

    JL

    ReplyDelete
  34. ANONYMOUS COMMENTERS TO THIS POST NEED TO STATE THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO ADOPTION WITH THE COMMENTS.

    I am 6:28.

    I had some friends who were adopted when I was a kid. But we didn't much talk about it.

    You can't get national attention in the New Republic and expect everyone reading your blog to have a relationship with adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Myst, sadly, there are couples who are advertising themselves as PAPs on billboards. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/new-jersey-adoption-billboard_n_3790765.html#slide=2011703

    ReplyDelete
  36. "To me, there always has been judgement and hypocrisy on this website. And,for the life of me, I cannot understand how women who COULD NOT/DID NOT WANT TO raise their own child can tell someone what they should do?"

    This is a person who obviously has read the blog with some interest, and read it repeatedly. Most people who comment and are accusing have some axe to grind regarding their own relationship to adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "I cannot understand how women who COULD NOT/DID NOT WANT TO raise their own child can tell someone what they should do?"


    My mother COULD HAVE and WANTED TO raise me, but based on societal mores and structures, it would have been next to impossible for her to raise me. When you couple that with the constant and overwhelmingly supported message that it was so much better for me to grow up in a two married parent household, my mother didn't stand a chance. What was she supposed to do? Hang on to me while we starved to death (since she most likely would have been fired from her job) and let me be totally ostracized from society for my bastid status?

    I don't see that society, back in the BSE, cared one iota about what any first mother could do or wanted to do.

    ReplyDelete
  38. From the link Heidi supplied:

    "When "Orna" and "Jay" adopted their first child, Ben, several years ago, the process took two years. This go around, the Maryland couple decided on a flashier approach, hoping to cut down on the time it takes to find a birth mother.

    According to CBS New York, the pair expedited their search with a billboard advertising their status as prospective parents along the New Jersey Turnpike.

    At a cost of $2,000 a month, the adoption billboard features a picture of Orna and Jay (not their real names) in a loving embrace. A phone number and web address are given as a means to contact them. The information is located underneath a header that reads, 'Loving Couple Looking to Adopt.'" (Does anybody know if the billboard on Turnpike is still up?)

    The story on CBS News which accompanies the video states that the Maryland couple chose to run their billboard ad in NJ because in NJ a first/birth mother only has 72 hours to change her mind, but 28 days in Maryland. Also in NJ, adopting parents can pay living expenses for the birth mother, while in Maryland that is severely limited.

    Sounds to me like you can "buy" a baby (via "living expenses") in NJ with a very limited amount of time for the mother to have a change of mind. (Does anyone think this was done of the well-being of the child involved. I do not. This was for the adoptive parents who want an irrevocable deal immediately.)

    But undoubtedly adoptive parents in Maryland or NJ who want to dissolve an adoption can do so--no 72 hours limit on that. This reminds me of that futuristic movie, Children of Men. From IMDB:

    "In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea."

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Birthmom" and "foster sister" posting.

    @ Childless by choice who said:

    "I respect your stance on this issue. My only comment is that if you haven't pursued legalized babysitting with sleep over privileges (aka Fostering) then don't suggest someone else pursue it.

    It's like the anti abortion people who tell an emom with an unplanned pregnancy they should not get an abortion and should instead place their baby for adoption. The wrong is not telling the emom to not get an abortion it's telling the emom what she should do instead"

    Wow- just wow. Legalized babysitting? Is it ask not what you can do for a child, but what a child can do for you? Foster kids are kids. They have issues and they need nurtering by people who see them self as a parental figure. I have foster sisters and brothers I still am in contact with. Your post shows such a lack of understanding that fostering, or adopting is about the kids. Why is that concept so hard to grasp?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 26, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Fostering is not parenting they are babysitting legally or being a big brother/sister. I'm sorry parenting is forever not temporary. That's not to say it's not important those people are providing temporary homes for children who need them. But it's not parenting no matter how you try to spin it.

      Delete
  40. Robin, as a firstmother who reads here, your voice has always expressed a tone of understanding and compassion for your own mother and I'm wondering how this has factored into your reunion relationship if you don't mind sharing. So many reunion relationships, including my own,falter and dissolve for many reasons, some of which include anger and what might be called "baby rage."

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Wow- just wow. Legalized babysitting? Is it ask not what you can do for a child, but what a child can do for you? Foster kids are kids. They have issues and they need nurtering by people who see them self as a parental figure. I have foster sisters and brothers I still am in contact with. Your post shows such a lack of understanding that fostering, or adopting is about the kids. Why is that concept so hard to grasp?"

    This isn't brain surgery people.

    It is one thing to tell someone to NOT do something unethical.

    It is something else to demand that someone must DO a specific action, such as adoption or fostering.

    You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to have a baby. You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to adopt or foster. You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to abort. Why are these difficult concepts to grasp?

    Just as it's not your place to tell someone to have an abortion. That's not your call to make.

    Deciding to foster, just like deciding to get pregnant, or deciding to have an abortion, is a personal and familial decision. And it is most certainly not your decision to make for another family.

    If you must demand that an particular individual has an obligation to adopt a child, don't be surprised if that person reacts with anger.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    JL,

    I think you aren't recognizing that regardless of the type of adoption this and most infertile couples pursue their intention is to start a family not provide a home for a child. The same reason every couple has when they try to conceive a child. So suggesting Foster Adoption so that they provide a home for a child doesn't provide an alternative to what they're looking for. All it does is tell them to do something that you refuse to do.

    I am not judging first/birth moms for the decisions they made in their lives. Having never been put in that spot it's easy for me to say what I would have done so I won't do that. And again I have no issue with you or anyone disapproving this couples pursuit of IA but I do have an issue with you telling them what they should do instead.

    Barbara,

    Let's be clear you went through SECONDARY infertility not PRIMARY infertility. And your SECONDARY infertility story had a happy ending this couples PRIMARY infertility DID NOT have a happy ending. Not that what you went through was easy but you have little understanding what this couples been through. Now that doesn't entitle them to anything but you are off base that you understand because you don't.

    And what exactly are you praying for? Let's be real you just don't want them to pursue adoption and that's fine. At least have the decency to admit that. You don't care that being childless will outcast them from society and that they'll become slaves to fertile society. They will pay taxes to educate the fertiles children. They will be expected to carry the bulk of the work load in the workforce because they don't have children. They'll also be expected to become servants to the fertile community and receive nothing in return. So go right ahead and pray for these people to become slaves to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @Sharonna,

    I think the understanding and compassion in my reunion has always been a two-way street and that's why it has worked. For example, right at the very beginning, my n-mother told me who my father is. He was already deceased, but she gave me all the information she had to help me find my paternal relatives. I am astounded at the number of first mothers who withhold this vital information. And I think it causes a strain on the reunion relationship even if other aspects of it are good.

    When my n-mother told me my whole story, I kept thinking that the only outcome for my NPs relationship would be that they would have a child and give it up for adoption. And I was mad. They both knew the thinking of the times regarding out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and my father had been quite clear that he never wanted to marry or have kids. It's not as if they were engaged and he pulled a Maldanodo (I understand this is now a verb). But here's what changed things for me. My mother accepted full responsibility for her choices and asked me for my forgiveness. You see, my mother is *gasp* HUMAN. Just like the rest of us, she does stupid things, has made mistakes, doesn't fully understand the consequences of her actions, etc.

    Another thing is that I was very different from my a-mother and sensed a much stronger similarity in character and my emotional nature with my original mother. After knowing her for a while, I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt, with every fiber of my being (and any other cliché you want to use) that she had never for a minute wanted to give me up for adoption. She was the anti-Juno. Thanks to a very closed-minded, judgmental society, she got caught up in something that was bigger than her and that she couldn't get out of.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Excellent points made by Jane, as well as some others.

    If Erin and Dan want to be parents and believe, as I do, that adoption is generally a good alternative for children who, for insurmountable reasons, don't have natural family who can raise them, surely it would be more ethical as well as more straightforward for them to adopt one of the many thousands of already born U.S children who do actually *need* a family. If going through social services involves things they find unacceptable, like long wait times, the unlikelihood of adopting a young child, not being able to check out the child's biological parentage, etc., perhaps they should reconsider adopting altogether. Soliciting for birth mothers encourages relinquishment and promises of openness make the severance of the original relationship between natural parent(s) and child seem less brutal than it really is. Anyway, openness should be legally mandated in all but the rarest of cases. However, I am encouraged by Erin and Dan's attempt to enter into a dialogue. It indicates a receptiveness to new ideas and arguments that some of people - on both sides of the adoption divide - don't have.

    For instance, the statement that "adoption and ethical are NOT compatible" is so sweeping as to be irrational. Every child needs a legal parent (even if it is only the state, although a safe loving individual or couple would be better), and if the natural parents and family can't, for whatever reasons, do the job, someone or something needs to step in and do it. In such cases IMO adoption is usually the better alternative. Adoption and closed records are NOT synonymous - adoption by itself doesn't erase history. Closed records do that. They do it by locking away a person's family history, completely severing them from their original family and replacing the original birth certificate with a fictionalized one.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Childless by Circumstance...do you happen to comment under the name "Greg" as well? Just curious as your writing style and talking points are quite similar to a poster on another birthmother blog.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have great sympathy for those that are unable to have their own children. It must feel so isolating and depressing especially in a society that is so child centered.

    I have no sympathy for those that think its ok to just take anothers newborn because of their inablity to conceive.

    I have always said as an adoptee that those that do suffer from inferitiy and i know its suffering, need to deal with that HUGE loss before EVER introducing another human being into your lives. That human being is NOT your cure, its a little human that is suffering from their own losses and difficulties and don't have big enough shoulders to take on your loss and pain. That little human being needs to be front and center in someones lives and live AS THEMSELVES and not a replica or ghost of the child you could not have. Your infertility should have NO PART in your "need" to adopt and if you can't do that then please don't adopt. the children derseve better. As been said time and time agin if someones brings a child into their home its to find a home for the child...not a child for a home.

    I was adopted by wonderful people. they were very honest with me and was truly "their" child. I also knew that at a young age that if they could have had their own they would not have cared a hoot what happened to me...its the nature of it all. I would not have been adopted by them and would have maybe gone to horrible people. Because you see
    i was adopted through foster care...we all were...mom and dad did NOT go for the newborn to play lets pretend they adopted their children knowing that they needed a home and because of that they they got to have a family. They did get their newborns in the 3rd and 4rth children.

    When I asked my dad why he didn't adopt an infant first time around...he explained he went to CC but thought it was to much like baby buying and he wanted no part of it.

    When he had the chance to adopt a distant family member from another country he did NOT shout and scream at the unfairness of it all when the country said no...they were not allowing their children to leave the country. He and my mom understood. HE was a moral and ethical guy when it came to the fate of children . HE and my mom got it right. When it came to taxes..hmmm...maybe not so much! KIDDING ( I think). This all happened more the 50 years ago. I think they would be appalled at what was happening today in the world of adoption.

    So now you will tell me that I should not tell you what to do? Yes, I will because its the adoptees that have lived being the children of infertile people and there are MANY different stories so instead of wailing about YOUR plight and unfairness of life you REALLY need to read the adoptees pages. The good bad and ugly. NO ...adoption IS NOT ABOUT THE PEOLPE WHO CANT HAVE CHILDREN, its about the children that can't have their own biology raise them because of extreme circumstances.. ITs terrible sad thing for a child to lose biology....That needs to be understood first and formost by ALL involved in adoption. Whether it be PAPS, AP, or birthfamilies.

    AND most especially potential birthmothers.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Infertile Atheist AdopterOctober 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Of course infertile couples adopt primarily because they want to parent. They certainly want the adoption to benefit the child but that's not what drives them. Every well informed PAP knows the process is challenging and difficult and that their are plenty of other PAPs who would probably adopt any infant they wanted to parent (particularly if the infant is white).
    Many will try to be ethical based on whatever their values are but they are not going to give up on the idea because of any opinions on this blog.

    As for agency vs private, there are plenty of reasons to favor private. Many agencies accept very few adoptive parents (e.g. Spence Chapin), others only accept PAPs with specific profiles (e.g. Christian). If you are openly atheist, good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Childless-

    Exactly...most infertile couples are looking, as you said, for a way to start their "family," not a way to help a child. Thus their goals are incompatible with the concept of adoption as a last resort for children who cannot be raised by their families.

    Exactly how does the scenario you are suggesting benefit children? Or should adoption really be about the infertiles? And who should supply the children??

    MaryJane, adoptee

    ReplyDelete
  49. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 26, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    MaryJane,

    Thank you for proving my point. When you ask me about the scenario I'm suggesting what are you referring to? I don't think I've ever said adoption should be about those who aren't able to have children.

    depen,

    There is a difference between telling an infertile couple that you don't believe their pursuit of IA is right and telling them they should adopt the children no one else wants to. There's nothing wrong with the former and a lot wrong with the latter especially from people who have not done so. Preventing people from adopting through IA has NOTHING to do with advocating adopting from Foster Care. So let's stop trying to make it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Seriously??? Atheist...so happens when you get a child that rebels your selfishness? Do you wail and cry angaist the... ehmen...gods? Or when your "build a bear...oops mean family...baby does not "fit" with your family .."rehome" them? What happens when you have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay for their couseling and halfway houses because those liitle bastards saw right through you and strike out?

    Oh wait....you will not be considered a "slave" to society.\, you will be considered a ehem"saint" for taking on this little bastard and all their "bio" problems...please.......

    ReplyDelete
  51. "Exactly how does the scenario you are suggesting benefit children? Or should adoption really be about the infertiles? And who should supply the children??"

    She's not talking about adoption. She explicitly said that she think's it's fine to promote the idea that adoption is unethical and should never be done.

    But she is telling you to back the f- off telling her or anyone else to adopt foster kids.

    She doesn't have a special obligation to do something because she's having a hard time getting pregnant. If she wants to keep trying to get pregnant with her husband for the next five years, that's none of your concern.

    She's upset and traumatized and mourning. The last thing she needs is some busybody telling her she has a special moral obligation to adopt children.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "So now you will tell me that I should not tell you what to do?"

    ok, I guess we all get to tell each other what to do.

    I think you have a moral obligation to adopt foster children.

    Why? I have no idea. I suppose I can think up some bullshit reason though. Maybe it's going to make up for any sins you have committed.

    This plan benefits the children. I don't care if you don't want to do it. So get on it!

    (See how this is a really stupid idea. The last person you want to adopt a foster child is someone who doesn't want to do so. Y'all aren't helping foster kids with this nonsense.)

    ReplyDelete
  53. This was a thought provoking post for me and has had me doing quite a bit of internal soul searching since reading it.

    I'm an AP who is completely disillusioned by adoption after going through it. Ethical and adoption can go together, but they are few and far between.

    We adopted by choice, not because of infertility. We have a biological child. I had wanted to adopt since I was little. In my naïveté, I believed adoption was about providing homes for children who, because life can really be unfair sometimes, could not stay with their natural family.

    After talking with many agencies, we picked one and went to the state required training session. What an eye opening experience! There was one couple who announced they had turned down a possible match because the mother conceived in rehab and might have fine drugs while pregnant. Miss High and Mighty didnt want a crack baby. Another couple only wanted a girl because they had two boys. Another were hoping for a Hispanic child because they lived in an area with schools that has Spanish language immersion programs. Every single one had detailed stories about their infertility and their many, many, many attempts to get pregnant. I was appalled.

    We did not feel comfortable with advertising for a baby, so in the end, that meant although the agency would happily take our money, they would never show anyone our profile. We decided to look into foster adoption. Before that could happen, a mutual friend told us about a couple who wanted to place their baby for adoption. She was due any day.

    We did adopt their baby. It was a sad situation. They were very young with no family support. Our single desire was for an open adoption, which we have, and I can say that rarely a day passes that I don't wish that I could have changed their circumstances for them. Even if it meant not having my daughter, who I love more than my life. I love her enough to wish I could have fixed what was broken. I am thankful that for us, adoption turned out to be what I thought it was- being a family for a child who needed us. I am sad that I feel that much of the time, that is not what it is about.

    We used that agency to conduct the paperwork of our adoption, btw. Want to know why I know adoption is about finding babies for childless couples? When they found out we aren't infertile, even though we didn't match through them, they said they never would have taken us if they had known. "The babies should go to couples who really need them." Yes. Because that's who it's all about. The adults. Never the children.

    ReplyDelete
  54. @ Childless by Circumstance Not Choice who said...
    "Fostering is not parenting they are babysitting legally or being a big brother/sister. I'm sorry parenting is forever not temporary. That's not to say it's not important those people are providing temporary homes for children who need them. But it's not parenting no matter how you try to spin it."

    Are you clueless? Parenting is about acting as the mother or father. I know, I know it is extremely boring and irrelevant to make this point because people like you seem to think foster children (and by that virtue, all children) are not really important unless you can claim them as forever children.

    The one thing I can see from your postings is that children really don't mean that much to you. Take a lesson from my dear mom, foster mother to dozens, adoptive mother to two, natural mother of three. Life is lonely when all your kids leave you because it was never about them, and all about you. I helped raise my foster siblings and adoptive brothers because I loved them. They still love me. Mom has been left alone except for one adoptive brother who admittedly is waiting for her to die. So much for forever parent.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Adoptionvictimswithavoice,
    .
    I never said that children in Foster Care are not important. They are extremely important and need temporary care until they are either reunified with their families or if it comes to it adopted into permanent homes. What your parents did is noble and was a great service to those children.

    I don't believe being a Foster Parent that does not end in adoption is being a parent. Again for me being a parent is forever not temporary. It's legal babysitting with sleepover privileges. It's certainly not for people who are unable to have children who want to start a family. It's for people looking to do a noble deed for people in need. Therefore it should NEVER be suggested to infertile couples as an alternative to IA. No alternative should ever be suggested to an infertile couple. There is nothing wrong with telling then you believe their pursuit of IA is wrong but telling them they should take the children you don't want to adopt is wrong. In fact a simple I'm sorry is a perfect response and leaver it at that. We agree to disagree.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Robin, Thanks for sharing your story. It's heartwarming to me to hear about the positive reunion relationships such as yours. Additionally, I agree with your belief in the sharing of information and I'll never understand why a mother would deny her child the knowledge of her father. That is just plain cruel.

    ReplyDelete
  57. It is not offensive to suggest to a couple who has stated they only want to pursue adoption when it is ethical that perhaps they should look into foster adoption. The focus of any adoption should be about finding a home for a child, not about finding a newborn for an infertile couple. So if an infertile couple, or ANY couple for that matter, is seeking advice about adoption, I'm going to suggest foster adoption, plain and simple.

    Now, if someone came to me upset that they were infertile, I certainly would not suggest any course of action, I would just support them. There is a difference.

    Childless by Circumstance, you wrote, "You don't care that being childless will outcast them from society and that they'll become slaves to fertile society. They will pay taxes to educate the fertiles children. They will be expected to carry the bulk of the work load in the workforce because they don't have children. They'll also be expected to become servants to the fertile community and receive nothing in return. So go right ahead and pray for these people to become slaves to you and your family."

    You are correct, when it comes to adoption, I could not give a fig about the inferile person's plight. I mean, is this really such a pressing issue in our society? I just don't think so. Since you are commenting on a first mother blog, I am going to assume that your comments regarding your fertility issue have something to do with pursuing adoption.

    Again, I do not find it offensive to suggest foster adoption as an alternative to infant adoption to a person pursuing adoption since adoption is supposed to be about the person being adopted and not the fertility status of the adopters. Do you know what I DO find offensive? Commenting on a first mother blog and attempting to educate us all on the plight of the infertile. I can not speak for everyone, but I believe that to be incredibly narcissistic. If you are looking for support for your fertility issues, you really need to look to a more appropriate place. This is not the place to garner sympathy for your fertility or lack thereof.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Jane - great post!

    ****

    Childless by Circumstance Not Choice said...

    Greg - to start with "IA" means International Adoption. What you refer to is "DIA"...

    Having said that your last reply to Adoptionvictimswithavoice is incorrect.

    You said:
    "I never said that children in Foster Care are not important. They are extremely important and need temporary care until they are either reunified with their families or if it comes to it adopted into permanent homes. What your parents did is noble and was a great service to those children."

    But your reply to Dpen upthread is this:

    "There is a difference between telling an infertile couple that you don't believe their pursuit of IA is right and telling them they should adopt the children no one else wants to. There's nothing wrong with the former and a lot wrong with the latter especially from people who have not done so. Preventing people from adopting through IA has NOTHING to do with advocating adopting from Foster Care. So let's stop trying to make it."

    Let me repeat that if don't see it: "adopt the children no one else wants to" - i.e. the throw away kids that just aren't important...or good enough to adopt...

    BTW: Both Dpen and I were adopted through the state so please know who you speak too - when you speak of "children no one else wants" that come from the state agency.

    ****
    Waving at Tiffany - great to see you on-line again!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Childless by Circumstance Not Choice is the infamous Greg. His opinions are identical, and there is no changing his mind. He wants a newborn, and he feels he is entitled to one because of his infertility.

    It does not matter one bit how the child, or her mother feels about being separated. Infant adoption exists to serve the needs of him, and people like him. My adopters were just like him. It's a tragedy, but it's reality.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dan and Erin,

    I am an AP and wish I had not adopted. This has nothing to do with my daughter. I love her very much. When I adopted, I was very naive but have since learned a lot from reading blogs like this one. I wish I had not participated in something that has the potential to destroy lives. Before you adopt, please read blogs by adoptees and first moms. Read blogs by adoptive parents like David Smolin and then decide if you really want to participate in the institution of adoption. If I had known then what I know now, I would not have adopted. Please look past your desire to have a baby and look at the harm your actions may cause. I can't go back and change the fact that I adopted but I can warn other PAPs about the guilt you may experience after learning how the adoption industry really works.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I had a dustup with Greg on Musings of the Lame. I can't remember which post.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Childless by Circumstances
    Our readers and FMF understand that you and others who seek to adopt an infant are doing so because you want a child. What we are trying to tell you is that the moral purpose of adoption is to provide a home for a child who needs one. We are suggesting you align your desires with the moral side. On the practical side, there are about 15,000 infant adoptions in the US each year and about 100,000 children in foster care waiting adoption.

    You may be one of the 15,000 who succeed in obtaining an infant. However, you will have to live with the fact that there is a strong possibility that the child's mother was duped into giving him up. The unnatural and unnecessary separation of mother and child will have lifelong consequences for both.

    I also understand your perception that the infertile are unfairly burdened through having to pay taxes to help the children of others and are unfairly stigmatized. It's worth noting, however, that in parts of the US, Japan, and Western Europe, many people are choosing childlessness. The number of children per woman is below the replacement rate.

    We cannot assuage your pain over not being able to produce a child naturally. We encourage you, though, to look beyond your pain into the eyes of a child who needs a home.

    ReplyDelete
  63. "that you and others who seek to adopt an infant"

    For the love of god people. She didn't say she wanted to adopt an infant. She said she didn't know what she was going to do. She said she resented you telling her what she MUST do, which was take in foster kids.

    Stop telling her she has a moral obligation to adopt anyone.

    She may want to travel around the world, childless, or spend extra money on a charity working for peace in the middle east. She may want to be the best aunt ever. She may want to join the boys and girls club. Or she may just want to save up a lot of money and retire to a small island in the West Indies.

    She has no obligation to be your social service solution for foster children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 27, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Thank you Anonymous for backing me up here.

      It's funny I've been told by people in the adoption community that if I was meant to be a parent I would be. So in going by that theory I am not meant to be a parent thus I should not adopt any child.

      If anything I think those that were meant to be parents should adopt these children that need homes, don't you?

      Delete
  64. @ Childless by Circumstance who said "You don't care that being childless will outcast them from society."

    I have many friends who don't have children, some by choice - my oldest and bestest bud is one - and some by circumstance. None of them are "social outcasts" - in fact far from it - and I am sure they would be shocked and saddened to hear that anyone was made to feel that way just because they were infertile.

    This is not to diminish the feelings of people who can't have children, because I do know that there are some ethnic, social and/or religious groups that believe raising a family is SO important that not being able to do so can cause intense feelings of failure, guilt and shame.
    I don't know, but perhaps you are a member of one of these groups. If so, I am truly sorry for your predicament. However I hope you can come to understand the cruel and unfair external pressures being put on you and deal with them before thinking further about adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Satan, or so they call meOctober 27, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    @Atheist adopter-

    My child was conned out of me by fundamentalists who convinced everyone, including my child that it was all "gods will" (including lying to me, promising to stay in touch, when they knew they would not).

    I was wondering what you intended to tell the child you adopt (or have already adopted), since you won't be going with the tried and true method of "it was all gods plan?" You just want to rip a child from his/ her natural families just because you feel entitled to one, correct, since there is no non existent deity in the sky instructing you to do so?

    Bravo that you don't believe in the invisible boogie man in the sky. Shame on you contributing to the crime against humanity known as domestic infant adoption.

    ReplyDelete
  66. "We cannot assuage your pain over not being able to produce a child naturally. We encourage you, though, to look beyond your pain into the eyes of a child who needs a home."

    This is very arrogant. You sound identical to all of the people who tell infertiles to "just adopt."

    A suggestion to writers: Don't write what you don't know. If you don't understand something get educated about it before pontificating on the issue. You don't know infertility. Or you know just enough to sound ignorant. You need to get educated. The worst thing you can do is push a child or a baby at someone who is going through those stages of mourning. It's not good for anyone, most especially the foster child.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 27, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    LeenBurke,

    The focus of adoption should be to find the right home for children not just any home. By suggesting that couples whose goal is it parent rather than help a child to adopt from Foster Care you are doing a disservice to that child that deserves better. That child could become one of the next generation of adoptees who are supposed to be grateful whose needs are neglected or even worse become adoptees who are rehomed.

    I am sure some self righteous homemaker who has not provided a child a home who needs one who has children of her own would not find the adopting from Foster Care suggestion offensive. But for those who are unable to have children, it is offensive.

    I am attempting to educate you on how to better help your message to be heard. When you start suggesting to couples that they should adopt from Foster Care is when those couples like Dan & Erin will stop listening. You are doing future first mothers a disservice by doing so.

    theadoptedones,

    There were a number of people who used that acronym prior to me when referring to infant adoption which is why I used it. I will keep that in mind next time when referring to it.

    You are correct in my mixed messages. I am sorry for that. It's unfortunate that those children are not being adopted. Perhaps some of the people here that are advocating Dan & Erin adopt from Foster Care would stop being selfish and adopt these children. Maybe this couple would be more likely to listen to that suggestion from people who have adopted from Foster Care.

    Jane,

    I disagree with you on what the moral side is. To me the moral side is to not pursue unethical adoption. Adopting from Foster Care as an alternative has nothing to do with that moral side.

    Plus let's not act Foster Care is the moral side. There are many cases of children in Foster Care due to poverty not neglect. So you could be encouraging people to adopt children in Foster Care that shouldn't be. To Myst's point there are ethical issues in any type of adoption. If someone wants to avoid unethical adoptions, they shouldn't adopt period.

    And to be clear we didn't choose childlessness. To suggest that we did is highly offensive. Those who don't wish to have children are choosing ChildFree lifestyles. We wanted to have children are unable to do so. Please do not lump us into that group.

    I would though encourage you to practice what you preach and adopt a child who needs a home. It will give you credibility when you suggest that to others. Because otherwise no one is going to do what you suggest and your message is lost, which I don't believe you want it to.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Childess by Circumstance = Greg.

    JMO said:
    "For instance, the statement that "adoption and ethical are NOT compatible" is so sweeping as to be irrational. Every child needs a legal parent (even if it is only the state, although a safe loving individual or couple would be better), and if the natural parents and family can't, for whatever reasons, do the job, someone or something needs to step in and do it. In such cases IMO adoption is usually the better alternative. Adoption and closed records are NOT synonymous - adoption by itself doesn't erase history. Closed records do that. They do it by locking away a person's family history, completely severing them from their original family and replacing the original birth certificate with a fictionalized one."

    Irraitional? Lol, not nearly as irrational as suggesting adoption can be ethical in today's climate.

    Actually adoption cannot be adoption WITHOUT severing a person from their original family. Apparently you do not get the reality of adoption LAW. The whole foundation of adoption is taking a child from their family and make believing it is the natural child of another family. Regardless of policy and practises, the LAW itself IS a severing... otherwise it isn't adoption. That is why so many WANT to adopt because it is more a less a guaranteed way to own a child that is quite simply not yours. So call my reasoning irrational but that is just your opinion and not backed up by anything of substance. Adoption as an entity or institution is not ethical because it seeks to make a lie out of a person's life. Full stop. THAT is adoption. Anything less is not. And that is why it can never be ethical because deception even within a law is never okay.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I don't get how suggesting foster care adoption or even foster care itself as an alternative to adoption is "telling someone what to do" when a person is seeking to adopt?! WTF? This whole comment section has been twisted yet again to be about the issue of how best to support the person who is infertile rather than focusing on the issue at hand.

    If someone is wanting to adopt an infant and someone suggests to look at adoption of children who actually NEED a home that is not telling someone what to do but it is offering a much needed reality check. It is appalling to see some of the comments here which are basically trying to justify adoption as a service for couples with infertility. It is plain sick. You can't have a byb, then go DEAL with that and stop spilling your issues onto someone who has nothing to do with it. And this is why adoption is unethical. All it is doing is abusing children and serving adults. Call me irrational if it serves you - always good to box someone and label them so we don't have to explore the truth of what they are saying.

    Jane and Lorraine, all I can say is good luck with this one... now certain people are here you may see this explode much like Claud's blog and all it does is go around in meaninless discussion - there is no educatiing some people because simply they want to tell you what to do and anyone who gets in the way of that, well watch out!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Myst,

    I'm not justifying anything. I agree with you adoption isn't for those who can't have children. As you said for any adoption to happen there needs to be a severance from the biological family. So if it's from Foster Care or DIA does it really matter?

    I don't think you're irrational at all. In fact what you say makes a lot of sense. I think rather than focussing on pushing people towards adopting from Foster Care this group should be focussing more on keeping families together to prevent children from ending up in Foster Care. That would benefit the children rather than serving adults.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Childless by circumstance wasn't seeking to adopt. Sounded like she had a diagnosis and didn't know what to do.

    That's the time to back off.

    I don't understand why this is difficult to get: it's not healthy for children to push adults into doing something they do not want to do. If someone doesn't want to adopt, the last thing you ought to do is try to shame them into it.

    Fine -- you don't give a flying f-ck about the adult's mental health. But think about the child. It's no good trying to push a situation in which the child would be resented, and has only been adopted out of a sense of duty or social shame.

    That situation doesn't end well for the child.

    What kind of social worker would ever promote that situation-- shaming adults into adopting kids from foster care? That's crazy and bad for the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Foster Care adoption:

    This should be obvious, but children are taken away from very poor parents when the state should be encouraging family unity.

    It seems to me there is a class issue at work here. There's an assumption that the children in foster care have not been taken away unethically from their parents.

    Check your assumptions.

    ReplyDelete
  73. CBC,

    The goal of adoption, once again with feeling, is to provide a home for a child who needs one needs one. If an adult who happens to be infertile can not get on board with that, they should not be adopting, period. Domestic infant adoption is not about finding a home for a child who needs one, but sometimes people like Dan and Erin don't realize that. So, if a person hoping to adopt says they want to do so ethically, I say look into foster adoption. I still can not see why that suggestion is so offensive to you.

    Yes, you are correct, I have no desire to adopt anyone else's child/baby through domestic or foster or international adoption. I have and continue to provide a home for children who need one, they just happen to be my biological kids.

    Geez, my dumb stay at home mommy brain just didn't connect the dots. I had no idea you were trying to educate me. Do you somehow think you're different from all the other hopeful adopters out there rationalizing their choice to pursue domestic infant adoption? And please, spare me the old I'm not sure we are going to pursue adoption. You spend far too much time trying to educate us about your side of things for that statement to be true.

    ReplyDelete
  74. The comments here have gotten way off base and seem to be going in circles.

    Dan and Erin seem smart enough to realize how unethical infant adoption is, but going independent with an attorney is not the solution. Adoption cannot be ethical. Too much needs to change.

    It's wonderful that they realize how coercive agencies are, and that adoption is done wrong. Seriously, they are way more thoughtful than my son's adoptive parents. So that's good.

    But there is still irrevocable consent after 24 hours, like in my f-ed up home state. There is still little to no counseling for the pregnant woman. There is still the severing of ties from the original family, and sealed birth certificates being replaced with fake ones, and little aid available to mothers raising children, making it very likely that an expectant woman feels forced into adoption for financial reasons. Erin and Dan are still participating in advertising for a baby, and will be paying thousands of dollars for another human being. A truly ethical infant adoption is a fairytale, as someone else said.

    ReplyDelete
  75. "I have no desire to adopt anyone else's child/baby through domestic or foster or international adoption.


    Neither does cbc.

    CBC has no special obligation to do charity work that you have no desire to do.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Look, the bottom line is YOU
    (birth mothers and adoptees who hate adoption) NEED to PREACH to other birth parent who donot want to step to the plate and be parents!

    Today's birth parent are not the young, poor teens of yesterday. Instead, they are full grown adults, with children already, who don't want the responsibility of parenting a newborn. Its a fact, see the statistics of the age of the average birth parent. Many of them are in college or working adults and do not want the responsibility.

    ReplyDelete
  77. "And please, spare me the old I'm not sure we are going to pursue adoption. You spend far too much time trying to educate us about your side of things for that statement to be true."

    You all think everyone wants to adopt or has a relationship with "adoption.'

    It's a pretty big world out there.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Being an adoptee who was raised by infertiles, I have to pipe in and say that adoption is not going to solve your infertility issues. My adopters expressed so much regret throughout the years over never experiencing a pregnancy of their own even though they raised two adopted children. It actually made me very concerned over my own fertility. I saw how awful it was to be infertile first hand and I really didn't want it to happen to me. Adopting other people's infants didn't seem to heal that pain, at least not for my adopters.
    I guess the one good thing that came from my family's shared experience is that I have never ever taken my own fertility for granted.
    With that said, if I had been infertile, I never would have adopted. From my experience, there just isn't any point and everybody gets hurt feelings in the end. It's a lot of pressure on a child to be expected to cure an adult's infertility and it's a big disappointment when adopters discover the truth, that another person can't fix what is broken inside of them.
    Lastly, it is disheartening to hear that there are infertiles who adopt simply to be socially accepted. It seems like a lot of pressure to put on a little baby and an extremely vapid reason to adopt. Babies as party accessories, yeah, that's not a recipe for disaster at all. Very creepy.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 28, 2013 at 4:51 AM

    Leenburke,

    It's offensive for two reasons:

    1)It's coming from a self righteous homemaker who has kids of her own who is too selfish to adopt children who need homes.

    2) Foster Adoption is not ethical either. You have children who are there due to poverty not neglect that shouldn't be and as Myst pointed out you are still severing ties with biological family. In many cases these are children that have homes that were taken from them by CPS when they shouldn't have.

    Let's face it you don't want people to do DIA and want them to adopt the kids you don't want to.

    As for us, our diagnosis is still to new to come to a determination yet. Whether we adopt or live a ChildFree lifestyle where we travel and do work with Pet Rescues (we have fur babies) has still yet to be determined. I just came here because this piece was shared by someone I'm connected with on Social Media.

    As for Dan and Erin, I hope they aren't guilted in adopting from Foster Care by women who are too selfish to do so themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  80. As a mom who was talked into state foster care when I could not bear to even talk about adoption for my newborn, I am skeptical of touting foster care adoption as the perfect and ethical solution for those who want to adopt. It is just not that simple and black and white. After over a year in foster care when I never felt my child was mine, he went to very sub-standard parents as "used goods" back in the day, a woman with serious mental illness and a husband that enabled her. These people were approved and judged better than me by the state foster care agency. I finally gave up and surrendered, but would never had done it had I known what kind of people he was getting. They were supposed to be better than me. They were not.

    I believe that some infant adoptions are ethical if they are open and stay open, and that some foster care adoptions are the result of pressure, coercion, and poverty. I am afraid that some say they are for foster care adoptions as a way of avoiding the anti-adoption label rather than out of true knowledge that this is always a preferable and ethical alternative.

    Also, agreeing with an earlier poster that many older foster care kids have special needs and difficulties that many parents could not cope with. Add resentment to that and you have a recipe for abuse and "rehoming" when things get tough. Nobody should ever be shamed into adopting from foster care under the guise that it is more ethical.

    Adoption is hard and painful and in many cases not necessary, but it is not going to go away and people are not going to adopt special needs kids they cannot handle or not adopt at all because we say so.I dislike the idea of advertising for babies, but I am glad that people like Dan and his wife are at least open to listen to another point of view. As to Childless by Circumstance, the idea that the infertile are "slaves" to the fertile is just repulsive and untrue. Whatever happened to being part of a community and caring for all?







    ReplyDelete
  81. I think it's a dangerous thing when people start advocating something they know very little about. Raise your hand if you've ever been a foster parent. I have, for over 10 years. Over 90 kids have come through my home, some just entering the system and some just before exiting. The system is broken folks. Broken from the inside. Broken in a horrible and insidious way. How? Well, the whole system is underfunded and overcrowded. Yes, some of these kids didn't need to be taken from their biological homes, but many did, and for very good reasons. Some of these kids need adoptive homes right away, but that's not how the system works. The most fragile of these kids are bounced around, sometimes for years, and that causes more damage than you can imagine.

    Let me give you just one example, but I have so many more. Two years ago, a girl came into our home. She was 5 at the time. Her biological father had done some unspeakable things to her, and then let his friends to unspeakable things. Her biological mother had not only agreed to everything, but had encouraged it. You know what happened? After two years of social workers trying to place her back with those monsters (yes, there was a trial, and yes they were found guilty, but didn't go to jail), this little girl was bounced around from bio-home (and more abuse) to more foster care homes (some of them were awful). This little girl at the age of 7, is now "legally free" to adopt, but is currently in a facility for emotionally disturbed children. Last I checked, she had tried to commit suicide at least once. So, while there is a picture of this girl on the big "adopt from foster care" sites, she should never be adopted by anyone who "just wants to adopt".

    When I see "adoption reform" or anti-adoption sites hammering on "just adopt from foster care", it gets me pretty upset. Most of those kids who are legally free have been through some horrendous things! Because of your precious love of preserving biological connections, and now that those biological connections have abused, hurt, wounded, and betrayed that trust...and then the system bounced them around for so long...they are very (VERY) damaged kids. So, funnily enough, but trying to do everything to preserve biological connections...in many cases the system fails more horribly than you can imagine. And somewhere there's a 7 year old girl who wants to kill herself because of it.
    So, really think long and hard about saying people should "just adopt from foster care". It's neither easy, pretty, or even morally responsible.
    Oh, and the person who quoted that adopted children have a greater-than-average rate of suicide...you know why? The foster care system is why. It's not the DIA adoptions that cause those numbers...it's the foster care system.

    ReplyDelete
  82. @ Myst
    There are some children who are essentially already severed from their original family. Actual abandonment does sometimes happen and it would be unreasonable to pretend it doesn't.
    So does abuse. Legal severance from original family is often the best option for children who have suffered abuse, particularly when the abuse has been severe. Of course these are extreme categories.
    There are also a few mothers who are unable or do not wish to fulfill the obligations of legal parenthood, and who do not have extended family willing or able to take on that responsibility.

    "The whole foundation of adoption is taking a child from their family and make believing it is the natural child of another family."

    As I see it, along with sealed records, the amended birth certificate is one of the main sticking points to reform. There is no good reason why the original birth certificate should not be amended to include the adopters names as legal parents *without* any of the original information being changed or removed. It would still be adoption, but with no more make believe.

    "Regardless of policy and practices, the LAW itself IS a severing... otherwise it isn't adoption."

    So what constructive suggestions do YOU have for looking after the interests of children who are, in every practical respect, without family ?

    ReplyDelete
  83. We are trying to educate women who get pregnant when they feel they are unable to parent to find a way to keep the child--or not have the child. You may not like the message, but that is were we, the two women who write this blog, feel. Not all of our readers agree with us, because some are anti-abortion.

    From our perspective the damage done to the individual carrying the child (while they are being told they they are doing a good deed) is the great damage that this pro-adoption attitude inflicts on unsuspecting women.

    People of all stripes, sensibilities and persuasions comment here. We generally let them go on and on, and other readers push back. But why are they here? Perhaps it is largely to convince themselves they are right, that he or she deserves a child simply because he or she wants one.

    ReplyDelete
  84. "If someone doesn't want to adopt, the last thing you ought to do is try to shame them into it." (from another post)

    I thought the whole point is that the commenter WANTS TO ADOPT...? He/she just doesn't want to adopt from foster care...? Am I misunderstanding something here?

    And why has the conversation been hijacked by someone (or multiple someones) who are so offended at the suggestion of adopting from foster care and who refer to childless people as slaves to the fertile (really, slaves!?)? It's turned into a bit of a strange discussion.

    If the suggestion of foster-adopt is so upsetting imagine how they will feel when people start asking about the adopted baby's "real mother", etc., etc. Adopting ANY child guarantees that you will be subjected to insensitive comments for your ENTIRE LIFE. Why? Because no matter how pretty adoption is dressed up, deep down many people are a little uncomfortable with it on some level. Most will never admit it but it shows up in those rude comments and questions that all adoptees, mothers, and adoptive families face on a near daily basis.

    Regarding the original post and Dan and Erin's research, I applaud their efforts to tread carefully into the adoption minefield. It's hard to be exposed to ideas that challenge widely held beliefs about adoption but they will be better off in the end.

    I agree that not everyone can/should adopt from foster care...but I don't think that entitles one to go straight to the cabbage patch to look for an infant.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Totally agreeing with Foster Mom about the damage done to kids in foster care, and the horrors some children endure being bounced around and at the hands of bio relatives as well as others. Adopting from foster care is not an easy answer for the child or the prospective parents.

    To clarify my own situation, I voluntarily agreed before my child was born to put him foster care while I "made up my mind".This was put to me as just a friendly arrangement, not something that invalidated my motherhood. None of the legal ramifications of committing a child voluntarily to foster care were ever explained to me, nor was I told the things I would have to prove to get him out. I was never allowed to meet the foster parents, know where he was. or whether he had one foster home or many. Even many years later, the agency would not tell me.

    If I had had the courage to walk out of the hospital with my son and implore my parents to let us come home, none of this would have happened. There was no threat of abuse, neglect, or poverty if I lived with my middle-class parents. But I did not have the courage then, much to my everlasting grief. If the "counseling" had included my parents, we could have worked things out, but I was isolated and made to feel I had to make it on my own.

    In retrospect, my child was a rare prize to the state agency where I was sent for "counseling" in 1968. I never asked to talk to an adoption agency; the hospital clinic sent me there. He was the blond, blue-eyed healthy baby of college student parents. The state did not get too many like that.

    ReplyDelete
  86. "I thought the whole point is that the commenter WANTS TO ADOPT...? He/she just doesn't want to adopt from foster care...? Am I misunderstanding something here?"

    Nope. The person explicitly said she/he didn't know what to do, but that she/he was offended that they were being told they must adopt a foster child because they were infertile.

    The person explicitly said they understood messages that it was unethical to adopt an infant.

    Clearly this distinction is too subtle for the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I think Foster Mom and other commenters cautioning about shaming others into doing fostering have good points.

    It's clear that the natural empathy of this blog is towards infant adoption due to the personal experience of the writers. However your class status may be blinding you to the fact that in foster care there are families who are victimized by adoption.

    Many simply need economic and social support. Urging people to adopt from foster care is not a solution, and you are promoting, in some cases, unethical adoptions.

    ReplyDelete
  88. From CBC's post October 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM "Though I wouldn't consider myself a PAP because we are undecided on whether we will pursue any type of adoption. But I am researching it."

    And on October 28, 2013 at 4:51 AM "As for us, our diagnosis is still to new to come to a determination yet. Whether we adopt or live a ChildFree lifestyle where we travel and do work with Pet Rescues (we have fur babies) has still yet to be determined."

    Yet anonymous above states "the person explicitly said they understood messages that it was unethical to adopt an infant."

    But they are they considering it as quoted above. If adoption from foster care is unacceptable that only leaves domestic infant or international adoption. If DIA is understood to be unethical by this individual why is it still under consideration?

    ReplyDelete
  89. For those people suffering with infertility and thinking that adopting an infant will fix it I implore you to do some soul searching. My adoptive mother adopted two children and never got over the pain of her infertility. She has mourned the loss of the child she never had for almost forty years now. Adopting didn't fix her. I did my job well as trying to fill the hole she had inside of her. I believe if she had tried to fix herself by possibly going to therapy to talk to someone about the pain she had inside she would have been a happier person today. I have empathy for your pain. I have watched someone I dearly love struggle with it my entire life. No one else can heal your pain. You have to do that for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  90. maybe wrote:
    "Adopting ANY child guarantees that you will be subjected to insensitive comments for your ENTIRE LIFE. Why? Because no matter how pretty adoption is dressed up, deep down many people are a little uncomfortable with it on some level. Most will never admit it but it shows up in those rude comments and questions that all adoptees, mothers, and adoptive families face on a near daily basis."

    Thank you so much for writing this. It is an excellent point and one that I think PAPs in general try to shove under the carpet. But it is oh so true. I can't tell you how many rude comments I've heard just in the last week. It's never ending. Just one of the many reasons why I am so devastated when I hear about another unnecessary adoption (i.e. Veronica BROWN). It is so cruel to subject a child to this when it isn't necessary.

    ReplyDelete

  91. "That being said, many foster children available for adoption do need families. We encourage anyone, fertile or infertile, who wants to build or expand their family through adoption to consider these children."

    Many foster children have families, nuclear and extended. If people would only support these families with economic and social support the breaking up of families would be entirely unnecessary.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Wow. As an infertile adoptee, I am really offended by your last comment Jane. What an unfeeling and callous thing to say. I have looked into DIA, IA, and fost-adopt as ways of building my family. Each path has its share of negatives and positives. But, as someone who has several close friends who are foster parents...I can safely say that foster care is the most challenging and difficult path to choose.

    YOu seem to just lightly bounce over those challenges. Intentionally? Because you need a "simple" answer to give to infertile people? Oh, just adopt from foster care and there's a family for you? How completely uneducated. And that surprises me in a comment from you.

    I do not wallow. I do not rail. And I don't take kindly to you suggesting that there is only one path I can walk. Perhaps YOU should stop railing and wallowing.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Jane:

    This is what I do not understand? You did not want to raise your child because of the stigma of being an unwed mother. Who are you to tell people, who just want to be parents, how to become a family?

    Can it be jealousy?

    ReplyDelete
  94. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoiceOctober 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Maryanne and Foster Parent,

    Thank you so much for calling this group out and explaining to them how dangerous they are acting.

    Lorraine,

    I fully support your cause to help emoms with unplanned pregnancies. However, I do not support your shaming infertile couples into adopting from Foster Care. That benefits no one especially the children. The last thing the system needs are more rehoming situations.

    Jane,

    If you are aware of the abuses in the system why would you advocate someone to participate in it especially if you are too selfish to do so?

    And I hate to tell you it's not many of those children who are returned home. I have a friend who works in CPS and know for a fact that many who are falsely placed in Foster Care are not returned home. It just shows how little you know.

    I am deeply offended by your last paragraph. It's more guilting on your part. I think it has to do with the guilt you have for placing your child. Perhaps you should think more about the children these shamed people you are pushing towards adopting from Foster Care that they are unfit to parent.

    And you know there are other options for infertile couples to become parent beyond DIA? Donor gametes, Donor Embryo and Surrogacy are options as well. Now each of them comes with their parenting challenges and ethical questions but they are alternatives to DIA. So if you are going to propose alternatives to parenting include those not just the ones that you are too selfish to do.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Shaming, Childless...? I don't even know what you are talking about. Interpretation is in the mind of the reader, and clearly you do not feel shame. Just owed. A child.

    ReplyDelete
  96. "Donor gametes, Donor Embryo and Surrogacy are options as well."

    Donor or surrogate anything freaks them out. They are very traditional when it comes to pregnancy.


    ReplyDelete
  97. Childless by Circumstance Not ChoicrOctober 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Lorraine,

    You, Jane and others are clearly trying to shame others into adopting the children you, Jane and others are clearly too selfish to adopt.

    No one owes us a child. In fact as some in your community have told me, we weren't meant to become parents which is why we are infertile. So I'm not sure why you believe my feeling is that we are owed a child when other members of your community clearly believe we weren't meant to parent any child.

    ReplyDelete
  98. We at FMF oppose the abuses in the child welfare system. We know that children may be placed in foster care by state child welfare agencies who could have stayed with their families. We have often cited the work of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR.org) which works to end abuses by state agencies.

    Most children placed in foster care do return to their homes or the homes of close relatives. However, when a child in foster care is available for adoption, it is because the rights of his parents have been terminated. This happens only after a trial where the state proves the parents are unfit and have little likelihood to become fit. Parents have the right to appeal the judge's decision. Parents are represented by an attorney at public expense.

    Certainly there are abuses in these cases. The adoption industry pushed provisions in the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act to make it easier to terminate parents' rights in order to increase the supply of adoptable children.

    That being said, many foster children available for adoption do need families. We encourage anyone, fertile or infertile, who wants to build or expand their family through adoption to consider these children.

    ReplyDelete
  99. "we weren't meant to become parents which is why we are infertile. So I'm not sure why you believe my feeling is that we are owed a child when other members of your community clearly believe we weren't meant to parent any child."

    There's a new post about this. You're infertile because of God, or Nature's God, or Nature, or something to that effect, and it's Nature's way of controlling population growth.

    I don't know how donor sperm, egg, embryo fits into this theory.


    ReplyDelete
  100. It sounds like anyone "wallowing" for a child can just "get over it" by adopting out of foster care.

    Get on with it and adopt out of foster care. Stop being sad. No more wallowing!

    And adopting will make it all better.

    um......You all see why this is amusing, yes? Isn't it obvious why this is _hilarious_ to read on _this_ blog?

    All right -- anybody who is sad for a child needs to adopt out of foster care. I don't want to see any more wallowing.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Am I now supposed to be looking for a child to adopt? News to me, and my husband.

    ReplyDelete
  102. child/dog/catfree by choice (although I love children, dogs and cats)October 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    "It is one thing to tell someone to NOT do something unethical.

    It is something else to demand that someone must DO a specific action, such as adoption or fostering.

    You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to have a baby. You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to adopt or foster. You are being obnoxious if you tell someone to abort. Why are these difficult concepts to grasp?"

    What you seem to find difficult to grasp is that no-one is actually telling you to adopt from foster care - what they are saying is that if one wants to adopt, one should adopt ethically and, for many of us, fostering/adopting is the only ethical way to adopt.

    Perhaps it might help if one used the analogy of getting a pet. If someone said to many of us "I'm planning on getting a pedigree pup from the local puppy mill", many of us would probably say "why not get a dog from a pound or get a rescue greyhound" or something like that. It is about taking the most ethical approach when deciding on doing something.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Anonymous said...
    "Donor gametes, Donor Embryo and Surrogacy are options as well."

    "Donor or surrogate anything freaks them out. They are very traditional when it comes to pregnancy."

    Yes it does "freak us out" the adoptee in me screams at the total selfishness of a person whose only quest in there life is to "cure" themselves by becoming "mommy and daddy" at any cost and not giving a hoot about the person that makes them mommy and daddy....what freaks me out more is the idiocy of the people who "donate" (for money that is) who don't realize they are "donating" their own children. what a stupid, entitled, unable to not deal with disappointment society we have become.

    All these really dumb people see is a cute little baby that they can have baby showers for, join the ranks of soccer moms and baseball coaches and ft in with their friends who have children. And talk about how their children are the center of their lives and how much they love them UNTIL that ungrateful child wants to know where they came from...THEN they wail about the unfairness of it all...or better yet not love them enough to tell them the truth about their beginnings and start in life...or tell them to be thankful their alive...just shut up and be thankful.

    I don't think they see or care that this person that has made them mommy and daddy is really not biologically theirs and just may have needs that go way beyond mommy and daddy needs after all they are just their to fulfill the needs of the adults.

    I seriously don't care about someones traditional or non traditional pregnancy...obviously thats ALL you care about...I care about the person created and their needs.

    Just like I care about the children that have lost their biology...no matter how bad they may seem to the on so perfect people of the world to adoption.

    the world we have created of entitlment and have a baby no matter what is a scary world...

    ReplyDelete
  104. "Satan, or so they call me said..."

    Sorry to hear you were conned by a couple of religious fundies. As you have no doubt realized as this point, religion is a huge fraud.

    As for our daughter, I am doing my best to raise her as an atheist but she will ultimately believe whatever she wants to believe. Right now she does enjoy playing "find the bible" when we stay in a hotel.

    As for her birth mother, she seems to prefer to leave the raising of her many children to others.

    ReplyDelete
  105. "What you seem to find difficult to grasp is that no-one is actually telling you to adopt from foster care - what they are saying is that if one wants to adopt, one should adopt ethically and, for many of us, fostering/adopting is the only ethical way to adopt.

    Perhaps it might help if one used the analogy of getting a pet. If someone said to many of us "I'm planning on getting a pedigree pup from the local puppy mill", many of us would probably say "why not get a dog from a pound or get a rescue greyhound" or something like that. It is about taking the most ethical approach when deciding on doing something."

    YES!! Thank you as this whole discussion has gotten way out of hand! You nailed it!!

    I find it hilarious that suddenly because someone suggests adopting a child in NEED to someone who is SEEKING to adopt a child is told that because they (the person suggesting) haven't adopted a child in need are selfish. UM WTF??? That isn't even logical and neither does it make sense. I wouldn't adopt if a person paid me or an older child requested it (like over 18 years of age). And even then I would find that difficult. And most people here who wouldn't adopt would not do so because they are NOT selfish. What is selfish,, what is extremely selfish and self serving, is ignoring the multitude of children who need a home and need real care and nurturing. If those seeking to adopt are unable to adopt them for whatever reason (including the fact they are unsuitable for the child's needs) then they actually shouldn't be adopting AT ALL. Sorry but one thing that keeps getting shoved away is the simple fact that one should not go and adopt a child simply because they want to build a family. Adoption is "supposed" to be about the child which means actively seeking out an expectant mother and telling her you wish to adopt her as yet unborn child is quite simply, unacceptable and NOT about the child but the adults' needs.

    The ONLY reason adoption from foster care was mentioned was because this couple say they want to adopt ethically (impossible in infant adoption) and they are actively seeking. Otherwise no one would be suggesting anything.

    And frankly, I don't believe people who want a child and can't have one should be seeking to adopt because adoption doesn't fix the issues or grief that come with not being able to have a child. So no one is saying go and adopt a child from foster care and quit wallowing, they are simply saying that adoption is not a service for building families and if one wants to adopt, they need to focus on the children who are actually available for adoption. That counts infant adoption OUT incidentally because a baby in his/her mother's womb is NOT available and seeking to separate a mother and her child so early is plain wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  106. "Anonymous said...
    Look, the bottom line is YOU
    (birth mothers and adoptees who hate adoption) NEED to PREACH to other birth parent who donot want to step to the plate and be parents!

    Today's birth parent are not the young, poor teens of yesterday. Instead, they are full grown adults, with children already, who don't want the responsibility of parenting a newborn. Its a fact, see the statistics of the age of the average birth parent. Many of them are in college or working adults and do not want the responsibility."

    When a women with an unplanned pregnancy decides to continue her pregnancy and seeks advice on her options, she deserves to be treated in a holistic way with both her intrinsic self and her extrinsic circumstances taken into acocunt and addressed. She needs to be able to make the decision about her unborn child's future in as an uncompromised position as possible. She does not deserve to be subject to directive counselling which is aimed specifically at getting her to "consider adoption".

    We would all be up in arms if directive counselling was used in any other circumstances. For example, if any of us had a young just out of the closet gay friend who went to a psychologist because he was trying to come to terms with being gay and that psychologist decided to exploit the young mans feelings and guided him into undergoing conversion therapy.

    We would also be shocked if a couple having marriage difficulties and went to a marriage counsellor and the counsellor pushed the option of divorce on them.

    However, we just sit back and allow women with unplanned pregnancies to be subjected to directive counselling, which encourages the client to chose adoption by presenting that as the only option a "selfless" woman would make - the natural fears that a woman may have about their child and how they might provide for the child's future are not addressed but exploited.

    ReplyDelete
  107. This is the predecessor to today’s Infant Awareness Training counselling programs provided by the NCFA – programs which are designed to be used by NON-ADOPTION social workers to encourage them to “consider” adoption. In fact, you can do the program yourself if you go to the NCFA’s page.

    http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/pdf/missing_piece.pdf

    This is an excerpt:

    "OVERCOME OBJECTIONS AND STEREOTYPES
    Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to
    keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature
    woman to place a child for adoption. Arguments about financial survival can be
    compelling as well. Counselors must communicate that adoption can be the heroic,
    responsible choice and that the child benefits tremendously. Counselors must be
    immersed in the mindset of women who selected adoptive families, and understand the
    rational and emotional motivators and barriers that affect what these women did. At the
    very least, we believe as a matter of course that counselors best suited to address issues of
    parenting and adoption are women who have children."

    The NCFA will be the first to admit that their aim is to “increase adoption” – not for the child, not for the expectant mother but because there are many people who wish to adopt a newborn and at present it is “too hard”.

    The "best type" of expectant mother from an AP point of view is one that can be encouraged to “surrender her child out of love” so a program was designed aimed specifically at encouraging those women who are really trying to do the best they can.

    Does that mean every first mother wanted to parent? Not necessarily. But directive counselling programs confuse the issues so much that for those of you have adopted from DIA, how would you know when and how your child's first mother came to their decision? Can any of you truly say that your child’s bparent wasn’t exposed to this type of counseling?

    ReplyDelete
  108. Thanks cdcbc for the information about coercive counseling. Sadly these tactics, designed to overcome a mother's natural resistance to giving up her baby, are all too common.

    ReplyDelete
  109. I'm sure you've seen this before Jane but for those who haven't, this is the online training scheme:

    https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/training/birthparent-counseling-training.html

    Registration just involves a valid email.

    As for the "in person" training, here is more information:

    http://www.infantadopt.org/

    As you can see from the following list, it is for non-adoption social workers:

    "Who is Eligible?
    Individuals employed in the following areas are also eligible to attend a training in their state:

    State and County Health Department professionals
    School nurses
    Crisis Pregnancy Centers
    State Department of Social Services professionals
    Hospital nurses
    Title X Clinics
    Family Planning Clinics
    Migrant Health Services
    Staff from OB/GYN Clinics
    Staff from Primary Care Clinics
    Indian Health Services staff
    Urban Indian Health staff
    Abstinence programs
    Health Care staff from youth and adult correctional facilities
    Health Care staff from group care facilities & residential treatment centers
    Planned Parenthood
    Military Health Services
    Foster Care
    Public Housing
    College Campus Health Services
    Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Centers
    Domestic Violence Shelters"

    And for the "ungratefuls" amongst us (including me :)) - a reminder that adoption is THE most wonderful thing that could EVER have happened in our ungrateful little lives!!!:

    "Since our founding 31 years ago, approximately three million adoptions have occurred in this country – including all domestic adoptions that take place annually. NCFA's Adoption Factbook includes a comprehensive report on all adoption statistics. Through adoption, these children have enjoyed the love and security that come with having parents and families of their own.

    Approximately 22,000 infants are adopted annually through domestic infant adoption – a figure we believe is low considering the profoundly positive impact adoption has on our nation. After all, adoption is a positive for all members of the triad; infants placed for adoption grow up in a loving family, birthparents who are not ready to parent are given the opportunity to move forward with their lives with the assurance that their children have stable, loving, and permanent families, and adoptive parents open their hearts and homes to a child and are able to experience the endless joys of parenthood. In the end, our whole society benefits from adoption, allowing children to mature with much better socioeconomic and behavioral outcomes that they otherwise would not have had."

    ReplyDelete
  110. Some encouraging news:
    Illinois files 'historic' lawsuit against for-profit adoption agency
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-adoption-lawsuit-20131029,0,7147033.story

    ReplyDelete
  111. Thank you, Myst: "...adoption is not a service for building families and if one wants to adopt, they need to focus on the children who are actually available for adoption."

    And thank you CDCBC for pointing out what NCFA is up to: Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption.

    Against that kind of brainwashing, it takes a strong individual to decide to KEEP her OWN BABY. What is so pathetic about NCFA is that since it is about ADOPTION, the public has the impression it is some do-good organization, when it actually is a fucking lobby group designed to improve the business of adoption agencies, for profit, even if they have non-profit status! They are run by people who have found a business niche is separating infants from their natural parents.

    Pathetic. Sickening. Immoral.

    And atheist, I welcome your comments. They are honest and refreshing. Sign me--agnostic.

    ReplyDelete
  112. "And thank you CDCBC for pointing out what NCFA is up to: Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption."

    I thought I'd better make it clear that the above is actually from "The Missing Piece - Adoption counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers" from 1999 but one can see its direct influence in the NCFA birthmother training program which is designed on vulnerable women as one can see from the list above.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I came across this blog years ago where the blogger has commented on the NCFA program and thought "surely she is making it up, a program like that can't exist":

    http://reformadoption.com/Advocacy/main.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  114. Any counseling that tells each woman the same exact thing is not counseling at all. It is a sales pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  115. "Robin said...
    Any counseling that tells each woman the same exact thing is not counseling at all. It is a sales pitch."

    Exactly Robin.

    One thing one notices when one reads things like the Missing Piece and the NCFA schemes is that the woman's intrinsic qualities are irrelevant. The ONLY relevant factor is her UNPLANNED pregnancy and this very factor is used against her at every opportunity.

    Because she hadn't planned to become pregnant, it is made clear to her that she can't be as good a parent as someone who has been planning for a while (which includes most adoptive couples). Not only that, *we the adoptees* are the ones who are used to sell that message - eg "Children deserve parents who have been planning for them for a long time". In fact, most counselling uses "Us babies" as the main people wanting adoption.

    In the Missing Piece, they say the following:

    **********
    "EMPHASIZE THE DIFFICULTIES OF PARENTING
    In the training sessions for counselors, the long-term problems of parenting for those who
    are not prepared for parenthood must be emphasized. For example, address the fact that women who keep babies they do not really want are much more likely to neglect or injure them. While children may have been saved from abortion, by staying with unprepared mothers, they may very well live lives of pain and suffering.

    In addition, training materials should explain that women, too, suffer when they keep children they are not prepared to raise. Besides having their own opportunities cut short,
    these women face a much higher possibility of living in poverty.

    Because of their poverty, mothers may be forced to stay in abusive situations. When they do so, their
    children are endangered.
    If counselors are to present adoption, they must be trained to look beyond immediate victories of abortions prevented to what some of these victories mean for both mothers and children. Otherwise, they may only be saving babies to have them suffer and return
    to the clinic themselves as adults.
    ***********

    The above paragraphs outline part of the issue I have with these programs - they are assuming that unplanned always means unwanted. They seem to assume that it isn't possible for a woman with anunplanned pregnancy to actually PREPARE for the pregnancy.

    They also make sure that the person with the unplanned pregnancy *realises* that parenting is always selfish purely because of it being unplanned.

    It doesn't help that we always here talk about "unwanted pregnancies". Once a woman decides to continue a pregnancy, is it is still "an unwanted pregnancy"?

    Perhaps this is where "positive language" could work - once a woman has decided to continue a pregnancy, from then on, instead of keeping on using "UNWANTED pregnancy", why not use "pregnancy in UNWANTED circumstances". Then the emphasis is on seeing what one can do about circumstances first.

    The one thing both the MP and NCFA say is this:

    "Adoption advocacy should not be positioned against abortion. In the psychology that drives decisions about adoption, adoption really does not compete with abortion; it is competing with the emotionally compelling alternative of parenting the child."

    This goes to prove the point that they are selling adoption - they know they are competing with parenting so they need to make sure that the pregnant client believes that parenting their own child will cause psychological damage to that child purely because of their pregnancy being unplanned - regardless of their intrinsic qualities.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Absolutely right, Robin. I'd never thought of that but it's so obviously true.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Satan, or so they call meOctober 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    No one said they didn't welcome Atheists comments, Lorraine.

    @Athiest-
    "As for her birth mother, she seems to prefer to leave the raising of her many children to others."

    Yeah we know, those "irresponsible", horrid BIRTHmothers.

    ReplyDelete
  118. "Satan, or so they call me"

    If there were no "irresponsible BIRTHmothers" (or biological parents if you prefer) there would be very few children in the foster care system.

    There are plenty of women who have had several children and (for whatever reason) are not raising any of them. My view is that if a child is going to end up in the foster care system or adopted as an older child, its much better for that child to be adopted as an infant instead (assuming of course the adopters are fit to parent).

    ReplyDelete
  119. Atheist Adopter wrote:
    "If there were no "irresponsible BIRTHmothers" (or biological parents if you prefer) there would be very few children in the foster care system."

    Children go into foster care for many reasons, not always related related to parental irresponsibility. These include: over zealous social workers, poverty due to the poor economy, a parent's illness, a child's disability because states provide help to children in foster care that they do not provide to natural parents.

    AA goes on to say: "My view is that if a child is going to end up in the foster care system or adopted as an older child, its much better for that child to be adopted as an infant instead (assuming of course the adopters are fit to parent."

    There is no way to know for sure which children will eventually go into foster care. The domestic infant adoption system is arbitrary. It does not select children born with risk factors for future foster care; those whose parents use drugs, have low intelligence, are criminals, or are mentally ill are not desired by those seeking to adopt. The industry markets to women who meet desired standards, healthy, non-drinkers, non-smokers, college students, and so on. Many of these parents would do a fine job of raising their children.

    ReplyDelete
  120. That's right Jane biological parents are all perfect they never abuse or neglect their children. It's never their fault their children end up in Foster care. It's those evil adopters who are the bad parents.

    ReplyDelete
  121. cdcbdb (or whatever)November 4, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Anonymous, you know perfectly well that's not what Jane is saying.

    Stop with the martyr act, please.

    ReplyDelete
  122. @Myst
    "That counts infant adoption OUT incidentally because a baby in his/her mother's womb is NOT available and seeking to separate a mother and her child so early is plain wrong."
    What do you suggest should be done for newborns abandoned or left in hospitals by mothers who refuse to have anything more to do them? It happens.

    ReplyDelete

We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish or not. Anonymous comments from the same individual are more likely to be NOT POSTED. Select the NAME/URL selection, add a name. You do not need a URL. Fine to use a nom de plume.

COMMENTS AT POSTS OVER 30 DAYS OLD LESS LIKELY TO BE PUBLISHED.

We aim to be timely but we do have other lives.

For those coming here from Networked Blogs on Facebook, if it does not allow you to make a comment, click the "x" on the gray "Networked Blogs" tool bar to exit out of that frame and it should then let you comment.

We are unlikely to post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.