Sunday, January 31, 2010

Anti-Adoption-What?


Call me naive. Maybe my head has been stuck in the sand or in unending piles of laundry. I had absolutely no idea that an anti-adoption movement was alive in this country.

I love reading blogs. On the one hand I have to admit all blogs and social networking is a bit voyeuristic. It's fascinating to peek into the lives of strangers or garner a deeper understanding of friends and loved ones. The Internet in general gives us a false sense of anonymity. We can write what we'd never say out loud or share with strangers online what we'd never tell the check out girl in the coffee shop. Blogging has-and continues to-open my eyes to the endless world of opinion and perspective of entire groups of people that I did not know existed.

It was by stumbling on one of these blogs that I read a women's devotion to the anti-adoption movement. I was immediately fascinated in the same way I would be by watching a broken arm being reset-a bit horrified but unable to turn away. I felt compelled read what she had to say. I set aside my very immediate and very defensive preconceived notions and read. And read. I read bits and pieces of blogs that she follows and found a common thread among them that broke my heart and left me shaking my head at the same time. That common thread was heartache. Heartache from giving up a child and living with constant regret and heartache at being abandoned by biological parents.

I can't say that her feelings are not justified. As a mother myself it is difficult-no-unimaginable to think of being in a position where the best interest of my child would be to give him/her up for adoption. Of course the very strong argument from her being that adoption is never in a child's best interest. That it is a money driven and damaging institution that tears apart families and destroys the lives of adopteess and bio parents alike. She also takes the position that adoptive parents are looking for "replacement" children. Either replacing a biological child who has been lost or for those unable to conceive. She maintains that adoption should be halted and banned. Positive adoption language is taught to further a lie, young girls are forced to give up their white babies for rich Americans looking for the picture perfect family. Infertile women use other people's children as a band-aide and instead of adoption advocacy it should be pro-family togetherness.

I can't even decide which to tackle first. First, I do not disagree that at some point in our history many young women had been forced into giving up their children through pressure, unethical practices and downright lies. I do believe that women have had to make the decision to give up their child under extreme duress. To argue, however, that women are now taught by adoption agencies that to give up their child for adoption is the "noble" thing to do in order for said agencies to meet the supply and demand of infant girls for rich white folks is insulting. We can not and should not deny any history that crippled women and families. I do not believe that by allowing adoption in this country is to encourage the abandonment of children.

Not only do I not think that my daughter was a "band-aide" for my infertility, I did not think that adoption would be the easiest way to grow our family. Our decision to adopt was done through prayer. We did not take lightly the knowledge that our adopted child may face issues that stem from a broken attachment(s). We did not adopt to make ourselves seem more highly regarded or noble. We did not buy a designer child that fit our specifications.


As those in the anti-adoption movement argue, adoptive children are traumatized and live with the effects of being abandoned for the rest of their lives. They maintain that adoption is unjustified in any case because of the irreparable damage it does to children. I do not disagree that with adoption can bring challenges. I have met parents who have had a picture perfect experience (to me that means the transition for the child not the parent) and then there are those children, like my Prim, who still have deep-rooted fears associated with broken attachments. And yes, (this may come as a shock) she may have to deal with some of these feelings for the rest of her life. Do I pray that God heals her heart and that she finds peace? Yes! Will I do everything in my power to guide her and comfort her? Absolutely!!

What I don't hear is what this movement proposes to do about the unending number of orphans. I am so thankful that there are young women, old women, poor women, rich women who decided to give birth to their children even if it means adoption is the end result, instead of having an abortion. That's where I stand and don't make apologies for it. To argue that it would be better for a child to be aborted rather than face the life as an adoptive child is futile. I can not imagine a world where it would be better for a life given by God to be terminated instead of facing the many challenges that life can bring. For better or worse we are all a product of our upbringing and circumstances and can only find true healing and wholeness in our Savior.

I think I could go on and on. I understand where many of these woman are coming from. They were a generation forced by society and greed to give up a part of themselves. I can not imagine or pretend to comprehend the pain associated with giving up a child for adoption. I think of Prim's mom often and wonder if she really had a choice. Would she have kept her baby in a perfect world? I don't know. I'll probably never know. What I do know is that there was a little girl that needed a family. God spoke to me and called me hers and I answered.

You can argue with me about this until you are blue in the face. Children deserve families. Kids orphaned by illness, abuse, death or neglect deserve an opportunity to experience unconditional love, hope, and safety . You could not convince me otherwise......

6 comments:

Hirally said...

Yep, I read quite a few blogs related to this topic. Fortunately not all adult adoptees feel this way, but most I heard and read seem to struggle with having been raised in the era of "love is enough". Fortunately thanks to them (even the anti- adoption ones) we as AP know better (or at least should know better.

It is sad that they can't look beyond their (apparent) very negative experience and look at the other side of the coin.

Don't know if you seen Adopted, but if you haven't you should - I can tell you there is a lot in that documentary to ponder and discuss, and seeing it more than once, is the way to go because the first time will leave you aching for Jennifer, the second time you can actually start piecing it appart.

Anonymous said...

I'm a single American (and Christian)living in Thailand and fostering Thai kids who will be adopted. I love reading adoption blogs, esp. families like yours who've adopted from Thailand. I am passionate about these "orphaned" kids and adoption, and find it hard to believe that there are people who think adoption should be banned entirely. At the same time, you have a good point when you say heartache is a common theme in those people's lives.

As to your question of whether your daughter's birthmom would have kept her in a perfect world. . .having been here for six years now, and seeing the birthmom's stories firsthand, I think I would say the vast majority would keep their babies in a perfect world. Its heartbreaking to see their sadness and tears when they hand their children over to us, and turn and walk away. For many of them, due to circumstances (which I can't imagine, having grown up in the US) they have no other choice. All I can do is hold my little foster boy close, kiss him, and love him all I can while he waits for his "forever family". I received him straight from his birthmom at three weeks old, and like you and your daughter, my prayer for him is to find peace, even though I know he will likely deal with adoption related issues. We are expecting his adoptive family in the US to receive TA sometime in the next 4-5 months.

Blessings,
Dorothy

Mireille said...

Adoption will always be a controversial thing, there will be always people for and against it. This is with most of the important decisions in life. I don't understand where these people are coming from, certainly have NOT been touched by adoption themselves!

April said...

Dorothy,
I'm very appreciative of your point of view and input. I would love to ask you a few questions in regards to birth mothers if you don't mind. You can PM me at caoapril@yahoo.com.
April

Tracey said...

Good for your for speaking up...I am also glad to see these people haven't got ahold of you yet either, since I don't see them in the comments....but that is why i have comment moderation on in the first place. I hope they leave you alone....Great post...God Bless.

Wendy said...

Great post, April. I think the main problem with any "movement" like this is that they deal in generalities and vast over-assumptions. They become zealots and extremists instead of advocates for their cause. To suggest that all adopted children are damaged or that all parents adopt out of some long unfufilled need to replace a biological child they have lost or could not conceive is simply short-sighted thinking. I am perfectly capable of having biological children; I chose to adopt. It is what I was supposed to do to build my family. I also have a essentially grown adopted child (she will be 18in a couple of months) who is better adjusted than some of her teenage friends who were born into their families. Raising her to be the woman she is today has been more than just loving her enough.

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