Monday, November 5, 2012

Adoption Lies


Now that I've gotten my hate list about adoption out of my system maybe this post will sound more reasonable to the folks who think that I'm just ranting because I was hurt. Do I have a biased outlook on adoption? Of course I do. I don't see how anyone can have their entire lives affected by something this huge and not have a view that's tilted in a certain direction. My hate list is mainly aimed at the infant adoption industry and it's exploitation of mothers and children.

Should I not talk about adoption then if my view is biased? Should what I have to say be discounted because of my particular experience? When I hear the words... "just because you had a bad experience", my jaw clenches, my back stiffens and my blood pressure rises. Yes, I had a bad experience. Does that mean that everything else I say about adoption should be ignored and dismissed as the ramblings of someone who is just bitter and angry?

Everything I experienced as a mother of adoption loss and as an adoptee colors my vision of adoption but I also have the sense to learn, read, study and listen to other mothers and adoptees. I don't speak for the entire world of adoption, I speak for myself and of my own experience. It's interesting though that my experience is remarkably similar to many thousands of others and their experiences. That in itself speaks volumes about why the dark side of adoption has to be exposed. Why else would there be so many groups and communities of people getting together online to share these life events with each other. We need each other's support. There's comfort in being understood and realizing that we're not alone, especially when the majority of people in our communities don't have a clue what life inside our side of adoption is really like.

I had a discussion one day with a dear friend who also happens to be an adoptive mother. I was saying that I didn't believe adoption was necessary, even in the case of children already available for adoption who are in the system and waiting. I told her I thought permanent legal guardianship was a viable alternative. Up until that day we had had many discussions about both of our histories with adoption and she has agreed with the work I do and my views on the subject. This one area seemed to be a sticking point though. She felt that the children needed something more than legal guardianship - they needed adoption to feel as though they were truly a permanent part of the family. I totally agree with her that we need to make a system where children have permanence and consistency within a loving family but I didn't see any reason a child couldn't have that within legal guardianship.

The word "adoption". This is where the trouble lies. Once we both got clear on what we meant by the word adoption then we realized that we really did agree. It was just that word that was getting in the way. In general when people think of adoption they think of a child joining a family, being loved, protected and cared for for the rest of their lives. Ideally, that's what would happen. But.... in our system the way it is, along with that possible scenario is the erasure of the child's entire history - family name, genetics, medical information etc... In too many cases, a child's name is changed without consideration for his natural family heritage. His legal documents are changed to become lies and the child is the one who is expected to "adopt" and adapt to a new family history. When broken down into it's most fundamental elements, adoption is nothing more than a lie. This is what I object to, not the idea of a child having a loving home.

A child can have the exact same thing - a loving, permanent home - without the lie of adoption. I don't believe the child will feel less safe or less loved if he's allowed to keep a connection with his original family. If he can't keep that connection physically then he should in the least be able to keep a family name if he chooses, be able to have all of his TRUE birth documents, be able to have a family history of his own in any form that's available to him. Encouraging him to stay connected to where he came from should always be part of that loving home he's placed in.

We have to get people to understand exactly what the word adoption means and what it does in order to change it. Adoption as it is today is nothing other than ownership. Dogs and cats should be adopted, not people.


15 comments:

  1. When I hear the words... "just because you had a bad experience"...

    and I have read those words enough over the last few years to make my blood boil. That is plain and simple nothing but a way to denigrate and denounce the very real truths so many of us speak. "Just because you had a bad experience"... means you just need to shut up because we who live in fantasy land don't want to hear about your pain, because we gained from it.

    Too bad. They are going to hear about it anyway and I happen to love how uncomfortable it makes them.

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    1. "Too bad. They are going to hear about it anyway..." Good, thank you :)

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    2. yes yes the world needs to know their baby theft and coersion damaged lives forever TOO MANY LIES! they need to know, stories such as georgia tann how these lies became popular they need to know! thanks for trying to tell them!

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  2. I can’t agree with legal guardianship. With legal guardianship, the bparents can be AWOL and still have rights to the child which includes removing the child from the only family and home they have known. Parenthood is a responsibility, and if one isn't ready or has no desire to parent then they should not have the privilege of "putting a child on a shelve" until they get it together. In short, there's a reason for adoption. It’s not about the bparents but a child who needs love, stability, and a permanent home.

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    1. Sorry but with adoptions netting tens of thousands children need protection from the plethera of sw lies.

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    2. According to http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/permanent-guardianship/ permanent guardianship IS permanent:

      "Permanent Guardianship refers to a type of guardianship in which a relationship between a child and a guardian is permanent and self-sustaining, and creates a permanent family for the child. The parental rights of a child’s parents need not be terminated under permanent guardianship. A permanent guardianship generally cannot be terminated."

      It seems to me that this situation is far better for a child than the legalized lie of adoption that discriminates against adoptees.

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    3. Parenthood is a *relationship.* Parenthood and child-rearing are two different things. I am my children's mother even if I broke my neck, was paralyzed from the waist down and could no longer feed them or bathe them. You need to get over the idea that parenthood can magically be transferred from one adult to another. It never has been. A mother is a mother, a father is a father, and anyone else is something else entirely.

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  3. It's the falsehoods and sealing of the truth that I can't stand. I am and always will be the mother of my daughter.
    I may have been made to think I couldn't raise her but I was capable and should not have felt any other way. I think many of us know in our adult wisdom that we could have raised your children. And that is the Truth that many try so hard to keep hidden.

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  4. Okay - going to chime in here. First, since I am one of the few people out there that have a part in almost every side - except adopter - I can say things with a certain amount of expertise. I was a foster child, I am a foster mother, I have worked with the FC system as a Review Board Member, I am a First Mother.

    Adoption - as it is practiced today - is not about giving a child a home. It is about giving adults a child to be a "Parent" to.... period. Do not pretend it is otherwise. If it were solely about giving children homes, then infant adoptions would be so rare as to almost be a miracle. Infants have mothers and fathers.... children without parents, parents that don't abuse, or simply true orphans - they are the ones that sit in foster care forever. NOT BABIES AND TODDLERS.

    Adoption removes identities and connections. It does not provide them. 70% of adoptions run amok near puberty - and as adults most adoptees appear (since I am NOT an adoptee I can't speak for them) to have identity issues, trust issues and spend more time people pleasing than anyone I know. I know a lot of adoptees.

    Guardianship is an act of love. It is about the child - not the adult. It has to be. The guardian does not get property rights as an adoptive parent would. The guardian is overseen by different agencies, unlike adopters, and if they screw it up, they are punished.

    Adopters purchase a child, or obtain one cheaply through an agency that is desperate to place a difficult child. They are given a piece of paper that says that they gave birth to a child, as if genetics suddenly vanish at the time of adoption and are remade in the image of the adopters. They change names, birth dates and places (This I know for a fact - my daughter was convinced she was born in a county facility when in fact she was not - she was born in one of the most comprehensive facilities in the state). Once finalized - no one EVER checks up on them to make sure that child is indeed loved and being treated with love.

    Foster care is a stop gap measure. It is a place to help children that need someone that is not going to rape, torture, drug, molest, whatever..... It is also a place where children who act out and do the same things, live. I know this too from personal experience - and no the system has not changed all that much.

    Adoption out of foster care is sad - people get licensed purely in an effort to adopt someone's baby - I know - I have three of them in training (couples) that only licensed to become "parents" themselves and purchase their child cheaply because they have issues such as age, religion, race, etc.

    Adoption out of foster care is a nightmare for a lot of kids - Illinois is now facing issues because they are now having to help children who were adopted by their foster families and then dumped when the adoption funds stopped rolling in... check that - but I read it in an Illinois newspaper - look for homeless youths.

    So, before anyone starts claiming that permanency requires the removal of identity - they need to do some damn research. I am so GLAD I was never adopted.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in Lori and sharing your experience!

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  5. Sorry. Children need permanency not parents who don't have it together. As I stated before guardianship, ONLY serves the bparent not the child. Because anytime the bparent wants, they can take the child ( from the only home and family they have known) with the guardian having no legal recourse what so ever-do you think that’s fair to the child and the family that has raised them?

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    1. Anonymous, First off, guardianship serves the child. Permanent guardianship allows the child to have a real home, without losing themselves in the process. I think that you are mistaken when you think that PERMANENT GUARDIANSHIP would allow the biological parent to do more than be a pain in the ass.... only temporary guardianship allows that. You don't seem to get it - permanency is the goal and PERMANENT guardianship is the best response.... why do you think that it is the only answer? You don't seem to be open to anything but adoption. Is there a reason for that? And please, don't answer the same thing. I really want to know why you, personally, are unable to see any other options.

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    2. I meant to say "why do you think "adoption" is the only answer"?

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  6. Lori:

    I think for all the wishing people want, they need to see that permanent guardianship does not give a child the legal stability that it needs. As I stated before the bparents still retain legal rights which would ALLOW them to alter the family structure of the child and the people raising them. Think about it, would you like to be rising a child ( with no physical or financial help from the bparents) and they are able to take the child; dictate how you raise the child or bring you to court on a whim? Why do you think there’s adoption? Adoption gives aparents the legal right to keep their family intact. After all, if one is going to “transfer” the rights and responsibilities of raising a child to someone else, then they should be entitled to be able to raise the child without the fear of legal recourse/interference from the bparents.

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  7. Well, first, I know a woman with permanent guardianship of some children. It has not changed anything. She makes allowances for the first mother (the situation is not the woman's fault), but she runs her own house and raises the children the way she raised her own. Legal guardianship does not allow the first family any more power in the relationship than the guardian allows. It really only allows the parents to ask for visitation, etc.

    And, since you stated it, you can't bring a guardian to court on a whim. That is not acceptable and most family courts would put that to an end in short order.

    Also, "rights"? What are kids? Property? You basically are stating that if someone wants to raise a child, even a child that only needs "permanence", they should own them.

    One thing that you keep stating is that it is about the adults rights - that is what is wrong with adoption - period. It is not about the adults!

    I am sorry, I honestly don't believe that you really understand. You talk about it as if it is and should be all about the adopter and their lives and family. Children are not commodities and they can't be made "as if" anything to anyone. If someone is going to adopt, they better be damn sure it is totally about the child and be willing to make sure the child is growing up without guilt, the need to fit in, to be as if, and all the other crap that is inherent in adoption.

    You be well - I know that you are sure that you are right and that all the years of research are wrong. One day, sadly, if you are an adopter, you will find out that adoption is not the answer - loving a child enough to leave them their identity, to be willing to have oversight and to allow them to grow up who they are, not who you would have them be - that is the answer.

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