' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: "Adoptions Made Easier" Does Not Get My Vote

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Adoptions Made Easier" Does Not Get My Vote

Oh there they go again, the Republicans urging as ever, "adoption not abortion," which has been the slogan of the two Bushes in office, and now of course we have Sarah coming on strong...

This is from the Katie Couric interview that was broadcast on Tuesday.

Palin: I am pro-life. And I'm unapologetic in my position that I am pro-life. And I understand there are good people on both sides of the abortion debate. In fact, good people in my own family have differing views on abortion, and when it should be allowed. Do I respect people's opinions on this. Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would also like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to take it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country, but I want them, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported, and adoptions made easier.

My question is, Easier for whom? First Mother would like to keep politics per se out of firstmother forum, but when a candidate makes a inane, uninformed, asinine, hurtful, BS comment like that, there's nothing I can do but blast her and the party of grand old guys that she stands for.

No one is for abortion; neither should anyone tell another person what to do with her body.

So for Sarah Palin to blithely suggest that Hey, girls, we'll make adoption even easier for you than it is now! I just want to punch her in the gut.

Let's start with the fact that there are so few available infants for adoption that giving up a child is amazingly streamlined in this culture. It could be quicker, first mother supposes, if women signed the relinquishment papers before the baby was born! Or before they were completely out of anesthesia! Or within the hour after birth!

If someone wants to place a child, just look at the place mat at your favorite hamburger joint, you'll likely find an ad there for prospective adopters. Or like Juno, find someone in your local penny saver, or the classified ads in your hometown newspaper. Or type in the word "adoption" in your gmail, and whadda ya know? Three ads pop up--one for surrogacy, one for a list of agencies, a third for a lawyer in North Carolina. I clicked on one of the sites one day and found that it promised to make the surrender of your child "a beautiful adoption experience."

I'm not kidding. And I'm mad as hell at anyone who tells me that "adoption not abortion" is the answer.

I don't have a link to it, but I did hear Obama say once that he wanted to provide support for single mothers. I don't know if we can get him to take on the issue of open records for adoptees, but at least he's aware that if his father hadn't married his mother...his life might be a different story and he wouldn't have a clue what his roots were.


  1. Where do conservatives get the idea that adoption is so complicated that simple-minded pregnant women choose abortion instead? Legally surrendering a baby is simple. Sign the paper and walk away. And what you suppose, Lorraine, is already true in some states. Colorado allows pre-birth surrender and Oregon allows mothers to sign irrevocable surrender papers on the delivery table.

    To reduce abortions, Gov Palin should encourage more parents to be like herself and her husband and offer loving support to their daughters who become pregnant.

  2. Lorraine, I'm with you. To blithely say "adoption not abortion" smacks of a complete lack of understanding. Then again, Palin's daughter's keeping her illegitimate child, so I guess bastards are okay if you're a rich politician family but poor women ought to give their kids to wealthier parents who can provide that "better life" adoption supposedly provides.

    Obama hasn't paid much attention to our situation here in Illinois with HB 4623 (the haves/have-nots expansion of the existing CI program), although Adoption Reform Illinois has included him on our mailings. I would love to see him stand up for supporting women and their children, womens' reproductive rights and the rights of adult adoptees.

  3. "Making adoption easier" is all about the adoptive parents.

    Everyone hears the tales of "I've had to endure years of waiting to adopt a baby, isn't it tragic."

    The goal is to make adoption quicker and easier for the APs, no one cares about the mother, or the baby for that matter (just so long as the APs get one, that is).

  4. "Adoption Not Abortion" does not address the real issues of women in crisis pregnancies. If you talk to women who have had abortions, the choice was not between adoption or abortion, but between abortion and raising the child. This may not fit some people's political or religious agenda, but it is true.

    Those serious about saving the lives of unborn babies should be working to offer mothers in crisis compassionate help and means to raise their children, not the awful choice of only adoption or abortion, both of which have had painful consequences for many mothers; adoption more so than abortion in the long run.

    Many women I have known who have had abortions did not and would not consider surrender a viable alternative, especially sealed record closed adoption. Their feelings were that they could not stand to bring a child into the world, then never know that child's fate. Some women regret their abortions and suffer from long-term effects, but far more women regret surrender and suffer the same kinds of long-term problems, something that groups who offer post-abortion counseling for women troubled by that choice are reluctant to admit. This has made me lose respect for these groups.

    To be really pro-life is to care both about the mother and the child, and to offer real help and alternatives that will make more mothers want to choose life, not just adoption which will never be a popular choice when women really have alternatives. Less kids for the adoption market? That's too bad, but if the goal is the most moms choosing life rather than abortion;rather than obtaining a product for the adoption industry, that should not matter.

  5. To explain more about Illinois, HB 4623 is a bill currently before the House of Representatives that expands the existing confidential intermediary program. It turns adoptees into haves and have-nots depending on date of birth and whether or not the birth relative files a contact veto.

    Bastard Nation has a position paper on why conditional legislation is not a solution.


    The problem with CIs is that they are ineffective, inaccessible, and prohibitively expensive. The service costs several hundred dollars, and even those who can afford to apply are not always accepted. My initial application was rejected, despite my Illinois birth certificate, because I was adopted out of state (in fact I was the first out-of-state adoptee to be admitted to the program, several years and an attorney later). There are no statistics on how many have been rejected or unable to pay, and there is no other mechanism in Illinois to obtain information.

    CIs are no better at adoption search than anyone else, and there is no guarantee you will get anything at all, much less contact with your birth family (or adoptee if you are a birth relative--in IL the service is only available to mother, father, and siblings). CIs cannot work outside their state, so if there is paperwork elsewhere they cannot access it; for example they had no access to my sealed adoption file in Ohio. They may miss clues others might pick up, and since you are not allowed to know exactly what steps are taken on your behalf ("confidential," like everything else) you have no control over the process and no idea if you are getting the service you paid for.

    There is also no redress of grievances. My identifying information was given to my mother without my consent, but a year and a half later the program has not provided me official notification of it, nor is there a "higher authority" to which I may submit a complaint.

    In reality, many state-based CIs search by checking a few basic databases, then, by way of reunion, toss adoptees and birth relatives together like protons in the Large Hadron Collider (or, this being Illinois, Fermi's Tevatron).

    I have written a blog about the not-so-satisfactory experiences of myself and others who have tried CI programs. Caveat emptor!


  6. I googled and googled and I can't find anything about Obama supporting family preservation per se. Help for single working mothers, yes. But I dare say we'd be hard pressed to find any candidate who will stand against the adoption machine and say no to making adoption easier.

    As you said, no one is FOR abortion. Abortion and adoption are totally separate issues. It infuriates me how they are being joined, as if it's one or the other.

  7. There is little difference in the emotional consequences for a birth mother between Abortion and Adoption. I agree wholeheartedly there are no guarantees in adoption.It should NOT be made easier. Ideally, love and support will keep families together.

  8. Triona and everyone else,

    Add my voice to the absolute dislike of confidential intermediaries. I hate the principle that they are based on. There is no accountability to anyone. Especially the adoption agency CIs. In my situation, the CI was a former agency director and an adoptive parent. If I am going to have any adoptive parent contact my first mother, it sure as hell isn't going to be a former director of an adoption agency. I would rather my own adoptive mother contact her than an agency crone. Then again my adoptive mother has my best interests at heart. My adoptive mother called my CI to give her a piece of her mind. I realize not every adoptive parent is like her. With my agency, they did not even give her a copy of the adoption finalization. I am worse than Triona on CIs. I hate them passionately.



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