Everybody look what's going down!! It's the sound of the Evan B. Donaldson Institute conceding and accepting, as fact, what we have told them all along...that mothers who lose children to adoption hurt, always and mightily, from the grief and the unfairness of it all, that this undeniable pain and inequity needs to be remedied and that mothers need to be protected from greedy agencies, potential adopters and even, sometimes, their own "loved ones." To read this report, go here.
Yes, they won't stop using that "b" word, but this is, at least, a step forward in acknowledging the myriad shortcomings of adoption. There are some of us who feel that, while the EBDI report is a terrific development, it addresses some issues too vaguely and still leaves some issues unaddressed.
The report speaks to the need for the mother to be more fully and completely informed, but by whom? In order to hear about the real pain of adoption, there needs to be input from those mothers and adopted people who have been honest with themselves enough to admit the extent of their pain. "Pet Beemommies" and "grateful adoptees" need not apply.
There is a call for a longer period for the mother to think about her decision and to change her mind without reciprocal duress or recriminations. This should be taken further to the extent of establishing a period of time for the mother, without any interference, to spend time with her child in order to learn exactly what she would be losing. Potential adopters and agency personnel should be banned from the labor and delivery rooms, the hospital or birthing center and legally compelled to stay away from the mother and child during their initial time together. NO infant should go directly from the womb into the arms of an adopter.
I would like to see a report that honestly addresses the pain and confusion and frustration of the adopted person. This relates directly to our pain and is the proof in the pudding, so to speak that adoption is not such a terrific "option." So many more adopted people would speak out, I believe, if there were no recriminations and hurt feelings and guilt trips placed on them by adopters and an unfeeling society.
For those mothers who are truly unable to care for and raise their own child, more should be invested in the concept of kinship guardianship and legal guardianship. Adoption is not a "fix-all" for the child of such a mother. It's just another burden for them to bear.
This report is supposed to be a rung in the ladder of adoption reform. I hope they act on the recommendations because that would be a really good start. BUT, the truth is that adoption doesn't need to be just "reformed." It needs to be prevented when at all possible. If this country can afford "adoption incentives" for those who adopt, then it can afford to offer a real helping hand to the mother in order to enable her to raise her own child.
Too often we hear the single mother or the mother who avails herself of social programs in order to support her family referred to as a "welfare queen" and a drain on the tax-payers resources. Well, who the heck pays the bill for these adoption incentives, major amounts, yearly, if not the taxpayer? That, to me is discrimination of the worst kind...discriminating against a mother for not being as well-to-do as someone thinks she should be. I'd like to see some of those fund invested in parenting classes and mentoring for these moms. You'd be surprised how much the love for their own flesh and blood can motivate a mom to listen and learn.
There is still a notable absence of any recognition of the abuses of the Baby Scoop Era between the end of WWII and the ruling of Roe v Wade. Millions of women and their taken in adoption children deserve redress, access to records for BOTH mother and adoptee and, at the least, a major apology. Enough time has gone by and enough evidence has been produced for public consumption about this heinous period that this requirement should be a no-brainer.
So, the report is a good, positive step forward and I am glad to see it. But I reserve my applause until I see action, clarification and expansion. You guys are on a roll with this effort, so let's see what you can REALLY do.