Please, Stop Adopting

Society is getting accustomed to not smoking, and most of us cringe at the thought of killing animals for their fur, or for the fun/sport of shooting them. Now we really need to wean our culture from another bad habit: buying/adopting infants and toddlers.

Adopting -- like smoking and sport hunting -- is perfectly legal, of course. And, there are many lovely women who want to have babies, but can't. Adopting is the sensible solution, right? You need a baby, a baby needs a mother. What's not to love about adopting?

Don't do it. The baby you want to buy already has a mother -- who will never get over her loss. That is the bottom line. We know that, now. I know that now, from interviewing some of them, from reading their books and, now, their blogs. Those mothers will never get over losing their babies to adoption.

OK ... let's talk about the mothers. I know you'd like to believe that every girl/mother who surrenders her child to a social worker or adoption facilitator is unwilling or unable to be a good mother, or is too young to even try. That's nonsense!! Nobody wants to face the reality about most surrenders:

A girl/mother surrenders her baby
because she has not one person in her life
who is willing to help her keep her baby.

In fact, just about every woman in her family is likely hounding her to "do the right thing" and is chastizing her for even thinking she can raise a baby. Nobody is hearing her, nobody is helping her -- especially her own mother, who won't let her bring her baby home, doesn't want to "raise another child," etc.

Some adoption social workers, adoption agency personnel, caseworkers in government programs -- badger, cajole, and befriend the girl/mothers simply to get those infants -- especially those white infants! Listen, the adoption market is huge for white babies and toddlers.

In past generations new girl/mothers lost their babies to all forms of coercion -- mostly the shaming from their middle-class mothers, culture and churches. Girl/mothers are losing them today through schmoozing and intimidation from professional adoption workers whose companies and agencies profit from the sale of infants and toddlers. Women who want to adopt -- hear this:

Coercion is still going on.  
The demand for infants is huge.
You are the reason ...
you and the enormous price you are willing to pay
for a baby you can re-name and raise as your own.

Adopting is cruel and selfish. It doesn't look like it, I know, but it is. It has to stop. Women-of-conscience must wake up to their unwitting participation in this overt and covert treachery against young mothers. You must stop buying/adopting infants.

Anyone who thinks open adoption is better than closed adoption because the mother knows where her child is ... has no idea about the nightmare experiences of many young mothers who believed, trusted what they were told about "doing what's best" for their babies and the promise of having some contact with them. Read their blogs, hear their voices. In truth, they were used and taken advantage of -- just as their counterparts of a generation ago.

I fear for these naive young mothers. The old girl/mothers know -- to the depth of their being, they know -- they had no choice. There was no "gave up" their babies. Their babies were taken as surely as a thief takes jewels. (Even the most distant, rejecting, jaded adoptees -- and there are many -- have to wrap their minds around that fact: their mothers had no choice, no way to keep them -- and never stopped loving them.)

This generation of girl/mothers has been schmoozed and befriended by adopters into open adoption agreements before the birthing experience. After giving birth, many new mothers change their minds -- but, bound by a signature (a minor's surrender-to-adoption signature is valid in court) and overwhelmed by incessant badgering, schmoozing, befriending by the adopters and adoption professionals, they surrender their babies.

How unfair! And, those who participate in such abuse and coercion of a young mother are behaving like greedy, selfish pigs. Yes, that's harsh. Yes, I mean it. If a girl/mother changes her mind after giving birth, the adoption process should stop. Yes, disappointing for the woman counting on getting that baby. Well, better your disappointment for a few months, than a mother's heartbreak, for a lifetime.

So many of today's girl/mothers regret their decision. Again, most of them had not a single adult in their lives who promised to help them care for/support their child. I suspect many a grandmother, today, shares that regret, wishes she had stepped up. Maybe a few fathers do, too. Their obligation, now, is to not let that neglect happen again -- not in their families, nor in their communities.

I think the only reason open adoption is all the rage is that there are so few babies available and such demand for them that agencies/brokers/adopters are using any tactics they can think of to get a baby from his/her mother. Pathetic. Scary. And you know what? It goes on all the time. It's going on in your state, your county, your town, your neighborhood; maybe, in your family.

Enter the world of "un-official" coercion -- Foster Care. If a baby or toddler can be taken from his/her mother by Child Protective Services -- for any reason, any infraction, any lame excuse -- as well as for very good ones -- and placed into Foster Care, then an adoption can follow -- by-passing mother, father, family and friends -- and the agency/state gets a bonus.

Certainly, babies must be protected from mothers and fathers who are abusive, addicted and otherwise afflicted, but .... why not keep a baby/toddler within his/her natural family -- grandma, aunts, cousins, close family friends, who want to provide the care?

That option is called Kinship Care. It's the best kept secret in government. Kinship Care -- not Foster Care -- ought to be the alternative placement of choice for babies and toddlers whose mothers cannot/ought not care for them.

I applaud those social workers and case workers who support Kinship Care as the preferred alternative to Foster Care/adoption. The enlightened among them know that most kids, shuffled from home to home in Foster Care, want to stay within their families, even those kids whose mothers are troubled and ought not parent. They still want to know their mothers, their grandmothers, aunties, uncles, cousins -- their people. Some social workers see that now, and are making every effort to steer their agencies away from Foster Care/adoption toward Kinship Care. That's wonderful.

By the way, all those kids languishing in Foster Care and ready for adopting? Well, they aren't flying out of those foster homes into adoptive homes, are they? Of course not. Women want to adopt babies -- not kids! The temptation among too many agencies is to find reasons to take infants and toddlers from naive young mothers and put them into the Foster Care system, then into the loving arms of a woman who wants to adopt an infant or toddler. The incentive is likely money/bonuses -- and an outdated view of what's best for the child.

Adopting is almost ALWAYS about money/bonuses. And, some women -- hoping to adopt a baby and tiring of the long wait through regular channels -- are becoming "faux-foster mothers" so they can get one of those infants into their home, to keep.

If the girl/mother or her family makes a fuss, the agencies and the adopters can drag out the whole thing in court, for years. That, too, is perfectly legal. Again, the goal is to adopt an infant or toddler -- not a kid  "with issues" languishing in Foster Care.

Eventually, the court -- with authoritative testimony from the agency staff -- decides the baby has bonded with the adopters and should stay with them. This is happening to many young mothers -- and to married, separated and divorced parents, too! Read the blogs and web sites of individuals and groups who are fighting Child Protective Services to get their children out of Foster Care and back into their families.

All it takes is some complaint or minor infraction to justify calling in Child Protective Services to take the baby or toddler. One young single mother, alone in a hospital, lost her baby soon after giving birth -- and groggy from anesthesia -- when a social worker at the hospital decided "the mother is not bonding" with her child. I don't know if she ever got her child back.

Another whole set of women who own this adoption problem are the capable mothers of girl/mothers because they will not help them. I know all the reasons, all the common sense pleas. The bottom line is ... those girl/mothers will never get over losing their babies. How is that an outcome to be valued in our society, in a family?

You don't want to help her -- ok, maybe your sister wants to help her. Maybe a cousin, a good friend. I just know that a young mother and her baby deserve your help, your support, emotional and financial. She and her baby deserve a chance. You -- her family -- need to stand by her and her baby and help her be the good mother she surely will grow to be.

And you who want to raise a child -- what if you dropped your inhumane infant adoption plans and chose, instead, to be a mentor to girl/mothers and their babies?

What if you used your money and good fortune and maturity to help them both --many of them -- over many years -- instead of helping yourself to another woman's baby? I know that's hard to hear -- I'm sorry -- it's how many mothers feel who lost their babies to other women hell-bent on getting a child. It is just plain wrong.

Eventually, if enough women stop being so gaa-gaa about adopting and start seeing how destructive it is, maybe less of it will go on. My God, I hope so.

I understand you don't want to adopt a foster kid who has a history, a name, a family, etc. Well, every baby has a history, a name, a family. Every baby already has characteristics, traits, gifts that are inborn. Sure, you can provide him/her a good home, but you will never own/create a child's true heritage. Good intentions, good character, good values and good fortune do not entitle anyone to own another woman's child. Honestly, they don't.

Please, good women everywhere --- stop adopting. Urge your friends to not adopt. It is as harmful as smoking, and as socially repugnant as parading around in fur. Now you know.

And, the rest of you good women -- please, stand by your daughters, your nieces, your sisters  -- and your grandchildren. Let's not abandon another generation of young mothers. Now you know.

I believe those who want to adopt, refuse to help their daughters, or work in the adoption industry, mean no harm. Still, adoption coercion is wrong, abandoning young mothers is wrong ... and adopting infants and toddlers is wrong. It must stop. It is a terrible, hurtful habit, indeed.

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