Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oxymoron of the Day: Ethical Adoption

The list of oxymorons in regular use is astounding. "Awfully good," "adult children," "a fine mess," and one of my personal favorites, "jumbo shrimp." The latest on my list is this one; "Ethical Adoption." This is being used by those who consider themselves more sensible, sane and realistic than those of us who want to see adoption cease and something more child-centered put in its place. Mention that someone is anti-adoption and you get the usual gasps of outrage (it's as if the flag had been burned) and the charges of anger (well duh) and bitterness.

I am against adoption because it cannot, as a means of creating artificial relatives, ever be child-centered or ethical. Those who think that can put an old product in a new box and it will be just fine, fine, fine are, I believe, not getting the point. As long as adoption, the transference of a child from natural kin to unrelated people with a legal writ declaring that they are parents to that child ,exists there can be no ethics involved. As long as it is seen as beneficial, in any way, then mothers can be swayed by popular opinion and presentation.

How can any adoption be ethical? It is about providing a couple with a child, preferably a healthy infant. It brings to mind another of my favorite oxymorons..."compassionate conservatism." Adoption has created a class of people in this country that I refer to as the Elite Self-Entitled. Rather than a Lexus or a McMansion or a flat-screen TV, these folks want reality changed for them. They want a child. They want to deny their infertility and they don't want to wait. Some of them, according to one study, don't even want to do the deed that creates children. Yes, that's right. Many are childless because their union is asexual. It's a recently discovered phenomenon but one that I can imagine is not all that new.

Now, simple biology would tell you that, barring other reasons for infertility, you have to get the baby IN before you can get it out. There are others such as Jillian Michaels, Helen Mirren and a few skinny actresses and bodyphiles who don't want to sully their bodies with pregnancy and childbirth but want the title of Mommy and the appearance of the normal family. Lots of them also love that automatic halo that society confers on the adopter. I wonder if some of these adopters I won't mention but whose initials are Angelina Jolie think that adopting can divert people's attention from earlier, kinky, strange and questionable behavior.

 So, we are supposed to keep adoption alive to cater to these people? Are we supposed to try to find a way to Bondo, sand, paint and polish the wreck and present it as a new, improved model just to keep providing babies for people who have tried for two or three years and declared themselves infertile? Fast-tracking is all the rage in everything and some people just have to make life meet their schedules, don't they? Again, they want what they want when they want it. The body may be shiny but the engine is still clogged and dirty.

Let's get something straight (and to my gay and lesbian friends, I apologize for that word). Parenting is not a right for ANYONE. It is not a right that heterosexuals have so homosexuals should have as well. It is not something that someone should have just because they have the house, car, career and bank account. It is something that happens according to biology and nature. Wanting to parent is not a guarantee of being able to attain parenthood nor should it be. Nature makes those decisions.

I guess adoption could be made somewhat more "ethical" if it were taken away from the churches as a means of increasing their numbers and doing a bit of Christian social engineering. I suppose it could be more ethical if attorneys were not paid to advise their adopting clients to run with the baby and ignore court orders if a natural parent changes their mind or never agreed to the adoption in the first place.  But to me, these concessions are too little and too vague.

Kinship, good, well-run group homes and legal guardianships have not been given a fair shake in this country. In many states, a grandparent, aunt or uncle who wants to care for a child whose parents are deceased, of diminished capacity or who abandoned said child are forced to adopt that child in order to keep the family intact. So a kid winds up calling his/her grandparents Mom and Dad and the mother is the sister and their cousins are their nieces and nephews and I'm My Own Grandpa. In my day, the family just stepped in and added the child to the household with no admonitions to call relatives anything other than by their correct title.

To me, it's simple and I speak for no one else but myself. Ethical adoption is as impossible as that old one about silk purses from sows' ears. So gasp and call me bitter. I am not ashamed and I think I have logic and common sense in my reasoning.

I am simply, unapologetically anti-adoption and that ain't no oxymoron.

13 comments:

Chris said...

Maybe some of these former surrendering mothers that tout.."ethical adoption", can please explain/define for me just what that oxymoron, looks like, smells like and consists of.
Even so-called "Ethics" in foster care adoption these days is smelling very ripe.

Carlynne said...

LOVE this post Robin, makes perfect sense to me.

Lori said...

@Robin, excellent post. We don't always see eye to eye, but this one, very nice.

@Chris, are you a former foster child? Do you know anything about being a foster child? I am curious because the fact is that while many adoptions are not ethical in foster care...and while I think that it sucks that you have to adopt them to help them get to college, have a safety net, etc., it is also the only way some of these kids will ever be or have anything. Before you say it smells, remember this, once the state has severed rights, those kids are in homes and programs that are far worse places....I know- I am a former foster child and know that you get kicked to the curb when you get out - 18 means the streets or worse. So, before you say it, think about this, you are paying social services to steal people's children just because you don't agree with how they are being raised. Just thought you should see the whole picture!

Robin said...

Lori, I do not think that many of us have any control over how our tax dollars are spent. I know, for a fact, that neither Chris or I support the kind of activity you are talking about. In fact, we actively decry and oppose it. Foster care is not what it was when you were there. Since ASFA, no one's adoptable infants and toddlers are safe and the ones needing quality care are ignored. I know that happens in FL and in TX and especially in Utah. We do not encourage or willingly subsidize the taking of children "just because we don't like the way they are being raised." Foster care HAS become corrupt.

Lori said...

@Robin, actually you and I are saying the same things...However, a clarification, foster care was ALWAYS corrupt. And the fact is, that still leaves teens facing life without anyone to help them and even the good foster parents are not allowed to help once they age out....rules you know?

Helping one of the kids almost requires an adult to adopt them. It is the only way you are allowed to help them and still be able to help others. I know, I have a responsibility to the kids of today because I really do know the real score. I talked to the social workers about guardianship so that the kids could get out of the system, the response was overwhelmingly "No" and that no way would I have enough money to support them outside of foster care - unless I adopted.

The system is and will always be corrupt as long as people don't see it as a whole....

Chris said...

Lori....
You are jumping to some mighty big, tall conclusions, wrongly assuming what my thoughts are on fost-to-adopt adoptions...my dear. You need to back it up a bit.

Foster care is rife with abuse AFTER children are placed in stranger's homes. People now trying to adopt newborns (or as new as possible), I see (and have read their very own words)as the back door to newborn (or as new as possible) adoptions, on the cheap. The whole foster care system reeks, needs to be cleaned up big time, including the taking of infants and toddlers from their mothers/fathers for the vaguest of reasons so as to 'fast-track' them for adoption, so that the states can fill their coffers with 'adoption bonus' $$$$$$$! My heart goes out to the children that are abused while in foster care or left to languish in same.

And no, I don't pay social services to steal other people's children, I never did. I worked for 40+ years and was more than willing for my tax dollars to pay for those resources that mothers and children sorely need/needed. Even though I worked and paid into the system before my own newborn was snatched for adoption, I was afforded no help from the system my tax dollars was already helping to fund. Until recently my tax dollars also paid for 'adoption tax credits'...and no I didn't like that use of my tax $$$$$ for that purpose...but as a tax-payer I had no say in the matter.

Jesus, I hate when people jump to faulty conclusions.

Lori said...

@Chris, I did not jump to a conclusion, I simply wanted to make sure that you knew what you were talking about. Since I was one of those kids from foster care and I lost my child because of the same system, I am more than aware of the corruption in the system. But the fact is, blanket statements about adoption out of foster care are not realistic or even remotely kind with regard to the older children that suffer the consequences of the most uncaring society on earth.

No, infant and toddler adoption is not necessary if the system was working the way it is supposed to work. But the fact is, very few infants or toddlers in foster care have the same experiences as the older children, most are adopted or placed in adoption/foster placements immediately - after all, they are all shiny and new.

As for the rest, well, sadly, we all pay into that system....taxes anyone?

Robin said...

Lori, I do think that you misunderstood Chris. I am reading what you both have written and you are saying the exact same thing. I also don't like people slapping each other's hands on this blog. I have to agree with Chris and say that you either misread or jumped to a conclusion about what she wrote. Chris does thorough research and backs up what she has to say.

Myst said...

Amen! No such thing as ethical adoption; never has been and never can be. How can anything that is based on loss be ethical? It can't.

Robin said...

Exactly, Myst, although there are some who have been trying to argue the point. It causes pain and grief and nothing that does that can be done "ethically."

Von said...

Ethical and adoption don't sit easily in the same sentence as they seem to bear no relation to each other.
And a good name for adoptees who are now adult and grown-up children?

Lori said...

@Robin, my apologies....

Robin said...

A good question, Von. My own children are adults and I refer to them as my children, but I don't go up to people of that age group and say, "Hello, adult child." DUMB.

And I didn't write this blog to have anyone try to post a lengthy, two-part "explanation" of why I am wrong. Different strokes. Take your argument to your own venues.