Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Myth Of "Choice"

I ran across another comment, this time by an adopted person, who insists that she was surrendered by the "choice" of her mother. She claims that this is verified and I am sure she honestly believes this. Maybe her mother even believes that she made a choice. Some mothers still cling to this belief because they can't abide the truth of their own powerlessness and misinformed state and deeply fear opening the flood-gates of grief. I firmly believe that if mothers-to-be really knew the depth of the grief and pain they would experience and the rejection and confusion their children would endure, they would have more information on which to base a REAL choice.

I have heard the mothers who insist they "made a decision" and who are "happy" with it called "Frozen Mothers." I can see that term as valid, especially for those mothers from my generation and prior who were so steeped in the perceived shame of their situation that they closed themselves off from any and all reminders of that time, including the reappearance of their own children. Some of these mothers either totally reject any attempts at reunion and others carry on secret reunions without their husband's or any subsequent children's knowledge.

But the woman who made the comment about her mother's choice was younger and her mother probably is among the women who surrendered post-Roe v Wade. The vast majority of Americans want to believe that coercion and pressure don't happen any more and that women in the past couple of decades had real choices. Even now, some adoption apologist will raise the question, "what about the mother who isn't READY to 'parent'?" This inane question just shows how the industry retains its choke-hold on the society and keeps the adoption mythology alive.

Many young women believe that the situation they are in at the moment is forever. They can't see that things always change...they most likely won't always be single, young or financially strapped. They believe the erroneous idea that becoming a mother will cut short their education and abort their plans for their futures. Those are ideas that are carefully cultivated and espoused by the industry and the more predatory wannabe adopters. Though the industry, agencies and their social workers won't tell you this, NONE of these difficulties are etched in stone, unending or something that can't be worked through with a lot of success and have been by many moms. I have seen young mothers, highly motivated by the responsibility of their motherhood, achieve wonderful things. The fact is not that it cannot be done, but that it won't be as easily done as they might have hoped. Are the younger generations so spoiled, so self-involved, that they balk at a little bit of extra work?

'Not READY to 'parent'?......" Who IS? Babies come when they come...trying to schedule them to a faux ideal of "readiness" is what has caused a lot of infertility in the first place. Ask the AMA and the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Deferred childbearing is the first reason they list among many for infertility. The fact is that a woman's body, while pregnant, prepares her for motherhood. If a young woman chooses to complete a pregnancy to term, then she owes it to her child to keep and raise that child. It could be argued that adoption shouldn't be used as birth control any more that abortion should.

We mothers of loss have often been told that, if we didn't want the pain of our adoption loss, we should have "kept our legs together." As crude, cruel and inaccurate as that is, I find myself wanting to say to these young, adoption-brainwashed moms, that, if they were not "ready to parent," then they should have religiously used birth control (something to which my generation had no access), or opted for termination. For better or worse, a baby is on the way...a baby that will be expecting to hear its mother's heartbeat, voice, to smell her own particular scent and have her own that baby will that means food, nurture and love to that infant. Ready or not, that baby needs MOM...not an adopter.

So I would say to that particular, specious, "not-ready-to-parent" argument, tough! You are going to be a parent and you need to think of that child as yours...not as some kind of inconvenience or liability. Yeah, you might not have to get up nights to change diapers and nurse a crying baby, but you will also miss out on the most profound joy a woman can experience. Your baby will also miss out on the most important relationship a baby can have and no amount of "love" and caregiving on the part of an adopter can replace or resolve the reality of that Primal Wound. No "open" adoption will change the fact that your child is receiving their nurture from the WRONG WOMAN. The pre-verbal infant knows this, the small child can't understand this and the older child into adulthood often seriously resents this.

So until these facts are affirmed and presented to a mother-to-be in an honest manner, with none of the hedging and qualifying that I see from pro-adoptionists, I will continue to challenge the idea that any surrendering mother, with any real motherly sensibilities at all, made any kind of really informed "choice." As long as adoption is presented as a viable and "loving" option, young moms are doomed to an awakening down the line after surrender to unimaginable pain and grief...and us older moms will be there to hold their hands while they cry.

Robin, Mother of Four
"Neither society nor the (adopter) who holds the child in Her arms wants to confront the agony of the mother From whose arms that same child was taken." (Margaret McDonald Lawrence)

1 comment:

Third Mom said...

Hi, Robin, I hope it's OK for an a-mom to comment. I found your blog awhile ago, and appreciate your point of view. I also have a question that you may be able to talk about at some point - namely what is being done to wake up legislators who support adoption without question. An example would be the CCAI members. Their message is very much pro-child and pro-adoption, but I would bet they are unaware of the unethical practices and lack of support for first parents that drives adoption today.

Thanks for hearing my thoughts.