Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Adoption Can't Do

(This is Jocelyn. She thought she could improve on nature.)

It is amazing what people believe about adoption and what it can accomplish. Those of us in the arena already know that it doesn't guarantee a child a better life. We can only hope. We have to wonder, "better, how? More toys, money, and things?" Some people have searched so long and hard for "better" that they have ignored the good they have. Sometimes, you just can't improve on Nature.

It certainly is no longer a matter of saving a child from the scandal of being born to an unwed mother. Even today, many adults who were adopted as infants call themselves "Bastards" with pride. Of course, that is a good, English word that has been in effect for centuries and means, strictly, one who was born out of wedlock. It is unfortunate that it has also been used to mean a bad or cruel man. "Adopter" is also a correct, English word that has been around for a long time and means just what it who takes on someone or something to themselves as if it were theirs to begin with.

That egregious term, "birthmother" has only been around for a few decades and there are many of us who have engaged in a battle against it for years. Where has everyone been that some don't know this? We were given so little respect as single, pregnant women. Who does it hurt if we ask for a bit, now? Just an aside...back to the subject.

No, adoption is all about saving the ones who adopt...from what? It's about social engineering and making money. Here are a list of some things I wish my parents and I had known and that I wish everyone knew about adoption and what it cannot accomplish.

1-Surrender for adoption does not restore one's virginity or remove one's status as a mother. Once you give birth you are a mother and you cannot regenerate a hymen by signing away rights and responsibilities.

2-Adopting does not cure infertility. A couple can adopt until the seams of their McMansion bulges and, if it is either or both of them, the infertility is still there and the children they wanted of their union will never exist.

3-Adoption does not "create a family." Nature does that. Saying that a man-made institution can go one better on Nature is like patching together some polyester fabric and calling it a silk duvet cover. It can create attachments and generate loving relationships but that is the people involved doing that...NOT adoption.

4-Those who are adopted do not come to those who adopt as tabula rasa..a blank slate. They are who they were born to be and, if anything, adoption confuses and warps that. Personality, talents and physical characteristics are inherited, period. This idea causes so much harm to adopted children and people still insist that it doesn't. Grrrr.,

5-There is no such thing as a "birthmother" and having a child taken for adoption does not create one. For nine months, a woman's body, emotions and mind are conditioned for motherhood. Not being able to fulfill that function creates unresolved grief and escape into denial for the mother. Even the notable exceptions to the loving mother rule are, non the less, mothers. Nothing anyone calls us can make us less than the mothers we are.

6-"As if born to" is a crock!

7-Heritage and bloodlines DO matter and ARE important to the individuals. Our children had theirs stolen and we, or the image of a few of us, are being used by the industry and those who benefit from the industry, to try to place barriers in the way of our children recovering that heritage.

And what adoption CAN do is;

1-violate the civil and human rights of the mother...

2-violate the civil and human rights of the adoptee...

3-enable those who adopt to never face their issues in reference to their infertility....

4-make a lot of money for the Industry....

5-give smug satisfaction to those who wish to be social engineers...

6-tear apart a potentially viable family to meet the needs of others with more money, a marriage license or the right connections......

That's my list, can and can't. It saddens and sickens me to see it still causing rifts and wedges in the ranks of those who should be working together for the benefit of both the mother and the adoptee. As I get older, I lose the incentive to keep fighting. I get tired and I get frustrated and I want to chuck it all and say, "you're on your own, Kiddos!"

For instance, lumping together all mothers and calling us all barfmuggles is not right. Yes, there are some who are decidedly un-motherly, a minority to be sure, and it is sad that some of my adopted friends had to draw the bad ones. But tarring us all with the same brush is the same as saying, say, that all teenagers are irresponsible just because some of them are. It is demeaning and untrue. We all deserve to be judged as individuals and not by the lowest common denominator in our populations.

You see, in the battles for records, recognition, redress, and the disagreements concerning terminology, it seems to escape the notice of many that we are all just asking for the same damn thing....respect. Is it too much to ask or do I hang up my activist's hat and enjoy San Antonio with my friend as a vacation?

Do we just let adoption, which cannot do so much, win this one?


Mary O'Grady said...

Adopters? I prefer to call them purchasers.
Adoption is merely a legal mechanism by which children are transferred from economically powerless women to people who have more money than they do.

joy said...

Good post Robin.

The term "birthmother" is also very insulting and dismissive to adoptees. It suggests that losing our mothers was a natural, logical next step, because a birthmother's job is to give away her baby.

We lose our mothers and families, birthmother is a ridiculous term.

It totally denies the deep and enduring separation of mother and child.

I also like what you said about people creating the love within an adopted family, if it happens. That is so true, adoption does not guarantee love or acceptance.

Anonymous said...


Please don't ever stop fighting the good fight. We know the truth and have to keep telling it to let others know the trruth. Those mothers the women who love calling themselves b moms will face the truth on down the road.
After they realize how used and taken advantage of those that love them the adopters.

Von said...

Never!!!Injustice will never win in the end.
By the way, here in Oz the word bastard is used affectionately between friends as in 'Owyergoin' yer old bastard?"

Sam Henline said...

Very intense, Mom! I wanted to click "Informative" but "You Get Em" was far more accurate. Yes, justice is elusive but a just fight is always worth the effort.

Barbara Thavis said...

I think you have a new quote for the side of your blog. This is one of the best lines I have read in a long time. Yup, they had money and I did not.
"Adoption is merely a legal mechanism by which children are transferred from economically powerless women to people who have more money than they do."
Mary O'Grady