Friday, December 3, 2010
The Better Life
"Maybe a better life in the sense of not being neglected, having a roof over their head, a chance at an education, food in their mouths and clothes on their backs. Or the chance to be raised by someone who is not addicted to drugs. I know this is not the case for all mothers who place their children up for adoption but I would say it is a great amount."
Well, there it is again. I wonder how long it will be before statements like this go away. The question posted by someone on a forum was.... what exactly is this "better life" that everyone talks about when giving their child up for adoption? Now, to be clear - I'm not talking about cases of abuse or neglect - and like I opined earlier, I wonder how many years we will have to clarify everything we say about infant adoption with that statement. We might as well do a copy and paste disclaimer on everything we write.
It would be my guess that the majority of women saying they "placed" their children so their child could have a better life are not the ones abusing drugs and their children. I'd say those children were removed from their mothers for their protection. I'm talking about the mothers who have been convinced that this dream of a better life is reason enough to lose their children. Back in the BSE the better life meant being with parents who were married. That was the main reason given to me and that was in 1979,80. Did those people have prophetic visions? Did they think that adoptive parents never got divorced? No, that had nothing to do with it. There were couples who wanted babies and we had to be punished so it was a win/win for the powers that be and the couple.
I don't know why it never occurs to commenters like the one above that adopters are just as likely to get divorced, use drugs, abuse children, lose their jobs, not be able to afford college and generally have the same problems as the rest of the population. And ladies, if you're pregnant and thinking about adoption, don't let them tell you anything different. There is no alternate universe where adoptive parents live free from the problems of the real world.
Now single people can adopt so the notion of the married couple providing the better life doesn't carry as much weight as it used to. What's the better life now? It's money of course. It just makes sense, look at the consumer society we live in. We judge everything by it's monetary value. We judge each other based on some ridiculous standard of beauty and we spend, spend, spend to make it happen. We must have the most beautiful face, body, house and car. We must have the latest and greatest gadgets and the biggest tv's. If the child is in a bigger house with the newest stuff surely the child will be happier. It makes us happier doesn't it? So it just stands to reason that the child will be happy too. While the child is living the better life the mother can then pursue living her better life. She can follow her dream of having more but is her life really better? Is her child's life really better? She will be missing her child. Her child will be missing her. How is this better? The adoptive parents have it better because they have the child. The agency has it better because they the money.
When I see statements like that commenter made there's so much that runs through my mind. I get angry because it makes assumptions about me and my daughter and it's demeaning to the other natural mothers I know. It reminds me again just how well the happy adoption propaganda works. And it makes me sad that there will be more mothers who will believe this lie of the "better life".