Adoption Week started in November of 1976 and became National Adoption Awareness Month in a proclamation by President Clinton in 1995. Here it is 15 years later and I'm wondering ~what is this month about?
Here's an example of what should be done with National Adoption Awareness Month. Not once does the article mention the "loving option" of adoption for an unplanned pregnancy. The writer is focused on children who are currently waiting in the foster care system because their parents rights have already been terminated. They're not trying to convince teenagers that they're not capable of raising their children so they can "give" them to couples willing to pay the price. They are focused on children who truly need homes. Good for them.
I did a search for the specific phrase National Adoption Awareness Month and one of the first sites to come up was this one. They apparently own this name for their website so let's take a look at what they have to say about November and adoption. The first thing they want you to do is celebrate! Let's celebrate adoption even though it starts with a tragedy, hmm...... Then they tell you how. This is what you can do - support Lifetime Adoption Foundations, a non-profit charity that offers grants to help people adopt. They offer $1500 - $4300 per adoption. They also "...proudly offer educational scholarships in deep appreciation to birthmothers who have chosen adoption for their children. They have enabled others to experience the joy of becoming parents...." So, this is another group offering girls help with an education IF they give up their babies.
Another suggestion they have for celebrating is to get some books about adoption out there where the public can see them. They want you to contact your libraries to make sure that books like this are available - Adoptingonline.com. The plug for this one says - "It contains the road map, the advice, the resources, and the working knowledge you need to find the baby of your dreams" Is it just me or does this sound like she's selling a car?
The woman behind these sites (and the author of the book mentioned above) is Mardie Caldwell. She is an adoptive mother, adoption facilitator and owner of Lifeline Adoption Center LLC. Here's her opening paragraph from the "our wings" page on the site.
How Adoption Became My Life's Work
"I remember when we decided to adopt. My personality was and is "I've made the decision so let's do it - NOW!" In my life if I wanted something, I could pick up the phone and call in an order, sign a check or ask my secretary to have it on my desk by noon. So here I sit with this overwhelming desire to be a mother and all this love to share with a child asking, "How do I complete this 'task' of parenthood by my deadline?"
That paragraph not only speaks volumes but turns my stomach and the more I delve into this site and the affiliated sites, the more disgusted I become. I also found a calendar for the month, giving ideas for daily activities dedicated to promoting adoption. Here's a sample of what they'd like us to do:
* Ask high school principals if adoption is shared with students facing unplanned pregnancy.
* Call woman's rights groups and encourage them to include the message of adoption.
* Ask clergy to include message of adoption for unplanned pregnancy into a service.
* Call TV stations and radio stations to encourage them to feature the message of adoption as a pregnancy option.
* Share adoption with your employer and ask them to add adoption benefits to encourage adoption.
What is this company getting out of all the National Adoption Awareness Month hype, the hype they're helping to create? Are they working toward finding homes for children that are currently in foster care, the ones who really, really need help? Or... are they focused on newborn adoption and the $ those adoptions bring?