Thursday, October 19, 2006

How To Word A Poll.....

.....to get the results you want. I think the initial question on this poll featured at about.com is along the same lines as "have you stopped beating your wife." If you are forced, coerced or have certain current difficulties used against you, then you DON'T "PLACE!" They did, in the body of questions, include one truth and that one is the leader at the moment. The question they have asked is "Why Did You 'Place' (yuck) Your Child For Adoption?" I just had to take this oversimplified mess and make some additions. Here are the options available for votes on this poll. Just one little bit of recently gleaned knowledge. The majority of mothers were coerced/forced, but many don't either want to admit to how powerless they actually were or they cling to the illusion of the heroic, self-sacrificing mother in order to cope with the enormity of their loss. So take some of the answers with a grain of salt. It takes a secure woman to admit that it was taken completely out of her hands and that she was given no other option.


Forced. I didn't have a choice between my parents, social workers, and/or agency. (409)
65% *Note that, so far, this category has received the largest number of votes. A good questions...I was surprised to find them using it. Add to the parents and SW's, doctors, family lawyers, their churches...the pressure is immense and a nasty thing to do to a young, vulnerable mother-to-be.


Finances. I was in a bad financial situation. I didn't think I could afford to feed the both of us. (73) 11% *Notice that the questions uses the phrase "I didn't think I could afford...etc." It begs the question did anyone really try to help these mothers find the many resources available to them or did the voracious agencies and adopters say "let's go with that" and harvest the infants of monthers that probably had more resources and option than they realized? I wonder if any of these mothers were directed to the services that would have made it possible for them to have all the necessities while they got on their feet, financially? IF this information is not made available, by state agencies for sure, then someone should demand that it be included in all information given a mother to be in such a situation. Financial woes don't have to be forever.

Victim. I was the victim of rape/incest. I wouldn't have been able to raise a child born of such violence. (5) 0% *I know how traumatic that can be and it speaks to my own experience. My second surrendered child was conceived by what we now call "date rape." (Back then, it was called "she asked for it.) Now my motherly instincts had already been triggered, but I am hard-put to understand why there was no intense counseling for the mother for her trauma as well a lot of exercises on separating that innocent child from the act that caused the conception. In the final analysis, he was MY baby, the product of my body and how he got there was secondary to the need to love and protect him. It is, in my opinion, childish and petulant to blame an innocent infant for the sins of their fathers.

Abuse. Due to my abusive relationship I wanted my baby to be in a safer environment. (5) 0% *So then, the abuser is more important that your child? And what decent, principled social worker would take the baby and leave the mother in that situation. What real efforts were made to insure her safety and the safety of her child? Was she even told that there were ways to make it on her own without the abuser or that she had the law on her side? Were any of the women's shelters and staff given the opportunity to help this kind of mother-to-be? This is not a problem with no solutions.


Drugs/Alcohol. Due to my drug problem or that of my significant other, I thought we couldn't or shouldn't be parents. (3) 0% *OK, so did you think this or were you told this? Shouldn't BE parents? Sorry, but that decision was taken out of your hands. Surrender of your baby did not take away anything but your parental rights and responsibilities. Your parenthood will always be a part of you. Finding a legal guardain for your baby while you found treatment and recovery would have been all-around the best solution. Did anyone even try to suggest that idea? Was your family unwilling to provide a stable home among the family of origin until you could find your way to recovery. That precious baby would have been a mighty powerful incentive to work with re-hab and deal with withdrawal.

Single. I didn't think I could handle parenting alone. (68) 10% *Now this one is the kicker. In this age of strong women and empowerment for mothers, a woman still thinks that she absolutely MUST have a man and a man's name in order to be a successful mother? Women have been raising children alone for generations. With this kind of reasoning, the momen a mother became a widow, or lost her husband to divorce, etc, she should have been running to an agency , crying "Take my kids!!!" This almost sounds like adoption-industry rote perpetrated on someone vulnerable and with little to no self-esteem. Did anyone try to bolster the self-image of these moms. Did the agencies or other entities salivating over the thought of taking that baby even stop to point out to her all the single mothers that, for generations, have done the job and done it well? Nope, didn't think so.

Other (64) *Lord only knows what these reasons were. Obviously 64 women thought themselves somewhat unique.

In an companion poll that asked about "language preferences" it needs to be noted that "Natural Mother" is beating out "birfmudder" by a country mile and "Surrender" has routed "placed." These are real mothers answering, people at AC, so you might want to take note.

3 comments:

iris eyes said...

Surrender is much more accurate because it is a surrender of parental rights and custody. The state/government has the authority to "place" the child, using the agencies,lawyers, courts, social workers, and/or other persons with government authority.The term'place" with reference to mothers makes it sound as if the maother had all the authority...and also all of the responsibility.
Surrender is correct.

Robin said...

"Surrender" also tells it like it was for me. I had no recourse but to wave a white flag and surrender...nothing I said or wanted was good enough. I was subjected to a constant litany of reasons why I was "unfit." When you get backed far enough into a corner, you have no choice but to surrender...period.

B said...

if you want to contact the person who runs this site, at about.com her name is Carrie Craft and her email address is adoption.guide@about.com. She has been very amenable to suggestions from me before, and even has one of my articles on her site "Open Records is a Motherhood Issue".