It's amazing how old stereotypes and assumptions made by so-called "experts" in sociology have endured, way past their expected lifetime, in the world of adoption. Dan Quayles of the world, unite!! I have just heard from another one of your school of thought that believes a child raised without a father-figure in the home is doomed to a life of bouncing about the penal system. This person opines that criminals originate in fatherless homes...only?
Let me take this, point by point, if I can do so, rationally, because I have a personal ax to grind with this particular, specious idea.
Point "a"...No child is "fatherless." It takes two to make a baby (unless you are into cloning...then it takes an entire lab staff). No father in the home doesn't necessarily mean no father involved in a child's life. In some cases, it would be better for some fathers NOT to be around. Does that mean that the mother should be penalized by having her child taken?
Point "b"...The same percentage of adopters as natural parents wind up divorced and the child winds up growing up in a (male adopter)-less home. Men have deserted their wives and ignored their children for centuries and that happens with those who adopt as often as it does with the rest of us. Some fathers die young...should the widows surrender their children to adoption to make up for their inadequacy of being "manless?" (Yes, that is sarcasm you are reading.) I wonder if the number among adopters might not even be higher with the divorce thing. I know too many who have adopted to save a marriage or where the man didn't want to adopt but the woman did and pushed it through.
Point "c"...Which leads me to wonder why it should be assumed that an adoptive situation would be less dysfunctional than a natural family sans Big Daddy? The ones I have seen have actually been more dysfunctional and full of undertones, emotional expectations placed on the shoulders of the adoptee and rife with pretenses.
Point "d"...AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE...The numbers of adopted people to non-adopted in our psychiatric institutions, penal facilities and under psychiatric care is disproportionately larger in ratio to their percentage of the population. David Berkowitz was an adopted person..Jeffrey Dahlmer was adopted...ad infinitum. The research, facts and figures are out there and mental health professionals have been delving into this for a looooong time, but, it seems, this research is not widely touted...wonder why? In case you wonder, here's a link to these figures; http://www.amfor.net/statistics.html#ADOPTEES
I know a bit about this myself. My son, surrendered for adoption in 1963 so that he could "have a better life in a two-(adopter) family," is currently incarcerted, for the third time, for a crime of violence. From what I have learned, he got a lot of "fatherly" discipline while he was growing up. Before you start yelping about "bad genes," let me tell you that, on my side of the family, there has never been this kind of thing. His natural dad did have some problems and, had I kept him and raised him, I would have known what to look for. Believe me, when problems arose, he would have been in counseling immediately...I sure wouldn't have tried to "discipline" him out of it to the point of actual blows.
My son's case is not that isolated. I know legions of other moms who have reunited with adult children who are felons, alcoholics, addicts, thieves or are just prone to violence. Yet, for those of us who have raised other children, there are very few to no problems of this sort with the children that grew up with an intact natural family, live-in Daddy or no live-in Daddy.
So I have come to a conclusion that belies the old stereotypes and reinforces my belief that is that it is much better to be raised by your own mother than to be sacrificed to the confusion, rejection and primal pain of adoption for the sake of there being a man in the house. Yes, fathers are important, but many a fine person has been raised by a widowed or divorced mother. Mothers are important, but I know a dad or two who have raised well-adjusted children who lost mothers at a tender age. Single parents have been doing fine at raising children for a long time.
Saying that being raised without a father is a root cause of criminal behavior is touting adoption propaganda without real, definitive back-up. Maybe you should go into any adoptee support group and hear the pain. They aren't talking about "poor me...Daddy's not here." They talk about the identity problems, the rejection, the pain of primal separation that comes from adoption and no, "open" adoptions do nothing to help the "rejection" side of things. And they are angry at US, their MOTHERS for this separation. And all because we were diminished, coerced, and emotionally bullied into making sure that our children went to a two-(adopter) home for "their own good" despite the pain it caused us. Yeah...right.
Maybe you need to start thinking outside the box, commenter. There are chances that a kid will turn out skewed, sometimes, no matter what. But believing that adoption into a family that has a male figurehead will avoid future criminal behavior is biased and erroneous and not in line with the truth about adoption. I think I'll send my son a card.
*01/18/07 To the anonymous poster who was so angry with me...point taken about Bundy..I have removed him from my list. I didn't include Eileen Wourmos so I don't know where you got that. HOWEVER, the rest of "Point d" remains as stated and I have backup. I never said that all adoptees turn out to be criminals. I said that the adoptee is over-represented in penal institutions and psychiatric care in ratio to their number in actual society. That is not an opinion...that is established, well-researched fact and one that pro-adoptionists, the industry and others want to ignore. I choose not to dismiss it and I don't really think that you can, realistically, because much of it was done by professionals in the mental health field...not anti-adoptionists. Sorry you took it so personally.