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Old 10-08-2012, 07:28 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,143,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Finally, I'll repeat this idea until my dying day. The choice to place for adoption is the birthmother's choice. It isn't your job to tell her not to do it. It isn't the job of a few anti-adoption people to erect laws that are so steep and overwhelming that it can't be done. If she truly wants to place that's it...endstop.
I've said this several times: I'm NOT anti-adoption, and it's not my place to tell anyone that they should or should not adopt.

But the welfare of the child should be the prime consideration -- not the desire of would-be adoptive parents to HAVE a child.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I understand what you are saying Dark. However these two parties have to know about each other in some way, the child available and the family seeking a child. Families cannot be made without prior arrangements being made and a great deal of vetting and unfortunately paperwork and fees. I think we agree the children aren't available so much to make the families as the families are available to give homes to the children. Done correctly it can be a win win situation.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:07 PM
 
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I can only speak for myself, not others. But this is my opinion. These are my "in a perfect world" answers; basically, how I think we could reform adoption in these particular circumstances to make it more ethical.

I do think that breaking it down into hypothetical cases that aren't real isn't really the point and proves nothing- every person is different and these aren't real people in your scenarios. But you asked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
So how should these issues be dealt with?

1. Birth mother is 19 and does not want to raise a child. She is emphatic that what she wants to do is go to school and complete college and that a child will get in her way. Options like subsidized child care and EITC are explained to her. At this point do you let her proceed with an adoption--if that is her choice--or is that unacceptable and do you feel a need to keep telling her things like "a mother should never be separated from her child". Her extended family is in another state and expresses little interest in helping.
She should have an independent counselor (separate from the agency so as not to be biased) discuss her options and situation with her. In this discussion, she should be informed that there is a possibility that she will feel depression, anxiety, loss, or grief years down the road. Why? Because I believe women should be empowered to make intelligent choices with all the facts. I believe women are capable of handling the truth, even the ugly or scary parts, and do not need strangers to shield them from the truth and impart their own opinions on them.

She should also be told that choosing an adoptive family does not guarantee the following for her child: a mom and a dad (couples get divorced), a stable homelife, or financial security. Many women believe they are offering their children a better life they can provide, and this should be explained that there are no guarantees that this is, in fact, true.

Should she choose adoption, she should be supported through the process by this independent counselor. She should know that at any time, including following the birth of her child, it is her right to change her mind. Before she signs relinquishment papers, the independent counselor should talk with her to make sure she feels confident in her choice and is not experiencing second thoughts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
2. Birth mother has a history of substance abuse. She has been through drug rehab and has returned to using drugs. The only way she can raise a child is if someone else basically does it all for her. She doesn't have the wherewithal to buy clothes for her kids, keep the home stocked with reasonably nutritious food, prepare meals, and she has been fired from three jobs in the last two years due to poor performance. She also has an anger management problem which requires constant intervention to avoid abusive situations with the kids. She is single and without a supportive spouse. Extended family is no more capable than she is. Two of her brothers are even in prison.
To me, this scenario is quite complex and isn't really about improving ethics in adoption or being anti-adoption. I have not seen any poster advocate that children be kept in dangerous situations simply to preserve family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
3. Birth mother is fourteen years old and her mother is emphatic that she does not want to raise her granddaughter. Birth mother is in ninth grade and is more interested in hanging out with her friends than caring for a newborn. Grandmother is divorced and the man who fathered the child is fifteen with no prospect of supporting the child. Birth mother is interested in adoption if for no other reason than to free her from the responsibility of raising an infant.
Has someone been watching MTV lately? This sounds like it's straight from their teen mom reality show, which I cannot handle watching.

Same as the first with an independent counselor for support and a source of unbiased information on both the good and bad.

I do not believe in the statement "babies can't raise babies." I believe with assistance and a lot of parenting guidance from outside sources or family, teens are fully capable of being good parents.

If the mom decides she does want to choose adoption, ok. My concern in the cases of teens is that they rely heavily on their parents at that age. Parents can refuse to help, like you are saying in this case, and this means the teen mom has very little choice. I believe this is a form of social coercion, and I think it's wrong and sad that in some cases, teens are forced to choose adoption even when it is not what they want in their hearts. Being forced into a choice because you have no other choices isn't a real choice. I do not think we can totally fix this, but I think an independent counselor who could show the mom all the sources of help she can receive, and help her navigate the system, then the mom could make a more informed choice, at the very least.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Now, here's how I tell the people who are truly "anti-adoption" out there. If after hearing these stories, I get endless push back from them than I judge people like that to be anti-adoption. For example, I'll hear things like: "Well, those children could be placed in temporary foster care until the mother is able/willing to raise them". I suppose so, if you really think a series of transitory foster homes is better than adoption. Another one of my favorites is "that fourteen year old girl should be told she'll regret placing that child for adoption for the rest of her life". Yeah, right. She'll regret more missing out a normal life as a teenager and not being able to focus on educational opportunities. No, being a teenager mother doesn't make these impossible, but it makes them one helluva lot harder.
This is all completely your opinion. You do not get to decide for a teen which she will regret more. That is her choice. And this is exactly what I referred to above- women do not need people "protecting" us from the facts when we are making life-altering choices. We are capable of handling it. Yes, she should be told that she might indeed experience grief later on in life. She should also be told she might be ok with it. She should know ALL facets of her choice, good and bad, before she makes it. She should be able to ask all the questions and get the real answers, not the ones adults think she is ready to handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
You use the word "possible". Well, its theoretically possible if we spend enough of the taxpayer's money to keep each of these women from placing a child for adoption. However, its stuff like this that is emptying this country's treasury and adding to the bloated deficit.

I'm saying in each of these situations that adoption is a better alternative for the: 1. birth mother; 2. child; and 3. the taxpaying public.
I think counseling services should be paid for by the adoption agency and the potential adoptive family should then pick up the cost. There are a number of ways this could be paid for without impacting the taxpaying public.

Besides, we will have to agree to disagree on how much of a burden mothers are on our society. I personally think they are blamed for this far more than they actually deserve. Most people like to blame the teen mom or young mom as burden to the taxpayers, but I have yet to see any of these people show me actual hard data on how much of a real drain these people are on society in comparison to other things we pay for and waste money on. No, nothing is perfect. People are not perfect. They may abuse the system. But that does not mean every single mom getting assistance is a drain to society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Finally, I'll repeat this idea until my dying day. The choice to place for adoption is the birthmother's choice. It isn't your job to tell her not to do it. It isn't the job of a few anti-adoption people to erect laws that are so steep and overwhelming that it can't be done. If she truly wants to place that's it...endstop.
Yes. I agree. My complaint is that adoption agencies frequently and habitually only tell moms one side of the story. A choice made based on half-truths and lies is not a real choice.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:46 AM
 
16,588 posts, read 14,066,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
So how should these issues be dealt with?

1. Birth mother is 19 and does not want to raise a child. She is emphatic that what she wants to do is go to school and complete college and that a child will get in her way. Options like subsidized child care and EITC are explained to her. At this point do you let her proceed with an adoption--if that is her choice--or is that unacceptable and do you feel a need to keep telling her things like "a mother should never be separated from her child". Her extended family is in another state and expresses little interest in helping.

2. Birth mother has a history of substance abuse. She has been through drug rehab and has returned to using drugs. The only way she can raise a child is if someone else basically does it all for her. She doesn't have the wherewithal to buy clothes for her kids, keep the home stocked with reasonably nutritious food, prepare meals, and she has been fired from three jobs in the last two years due to poor performance. She also has an anger management problem which requires constant intervention to avoid abusive situations with the kids. She is single and without a supportive spouse. Extended family is no more capable than she is. Two of her brothers are even in prison.

3. Birth mother is fourteen years old and her mother is emphatic that she does not want to raise her granddaughter. Birth mother is in ninth grade and is more interested in hanging out with her friends than caring for a newborn. Grandmother is divorced and the man who fathered the child is fifteen with no prospect of supporting the child. Birth mother is interested in adoption if for no other reason than to free her from the responsibility of raising an infant.

Now, here's how I tell the people who are truly "anti-adoption" out there. If after hearing these stories, I get endless push back from them than I judge people like that to be anti-adoption. For example, I'll hear things like: "Well, those children could be placed in temporary foster care until the mother is able/willing to raise them". I suppose so, if you really think a series of transitory foster homes is better than adoption. Another one of my favorites is "that fourteen year old girl should be told she'll regret placing that child for adoption for the rest of her life". Yeah, right. She'll regret more missing out a normal life as a teenager and not being able to focus on educational opportunities. No, being a teenager mother doesn't make these impossible, but it makes them one helluva lot harder.

You use the word "possible". Well, its theoretically possible if we spend enough of the taxpayer's money to keep each of these women from placing a child for adoption. However, its stuff like this that is emptying this country's treasury and adding to the bloated deficit.

I'm saying in each of these situations that adoption is a better alternative for the: 1. birth mother; 2. child; and 3. the taxpaying public.

Finally, I'll repeat this idea until my dying day. The choice to place for adoption is the birthmother's choice. It isn't your job to tell her not to do it. It isn't the job of a few anti-adoption people to erect laws that are so steep and overwhelming that it can't be done. If she truly wants to place that's it...endstop.
All of the above ignore the innumerable cases where birth mothers were coerced, birth fathers IGNORED completely, and sometimes babies just taken to supply the "demand" for children.

Every adoptive parent thinks their birth mother gave their child up willingly, obviously that is not the case and equally obviously there is no way for the APs to enact the required change. Regulation needs to be done by uninterested parties which means not the APs nor the agencies. So yes, regulations need to be more equal and more stringent to protect adoptees from being coerced, taken, etc from their birth families.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:20 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,846,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
All of the above ignore the innumerable cases where birth mothers were coerced, birth fathers IGNORED completely, and sometimes babies just taken to supply the "demand" for children.

Every adoptive parent thinks their birth mother gave their child up willingly, obviously that is not the case and equally obviously there is no way for the APs to enact the required change. Regulation needs to be done by uninterested parties which means not the APs nor the agencies. So yes, regulations need to be more equal and more stringent to protect adoptees from being coerced, taken, etc from their birth families.
I agree with you here!! I believe that all possible steps should be taken to prevent this from happening. When these steps have been exhausted though and the child will not be reunited with either his bio mother, father or relatives, then that child should be available for adoption. Additionally, I would hope that these regulations are made by disinterested parties as you say and includes people that don't have an emotional stake in either side. You don't want to go to the other extreme where adoption is shut completely down or is so difficult that it become virtually impossible to adopt. Sometimes in spite of everything, children must be taken away from their bioparents (neglect cases for example). Finding a child a happy stable home is really the crux of the whole matter and should be the highest priority.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:33 AM
 
9,186 posts, read 9,267,265 times
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Quote:
All of the above ignore the innumerable cases where birth mothers were coerced, birth fathers IGNORED completely, and sometimes babies just taken to supply the "demand" for children.
If you are talking about domestic adoption here in the USA, the situation your describing was prevalent in the 1950's and even the 1960's. Its much, much less so today and that fact needs to be acknowledged. The cultural norm in the past for at least Caucasian women was to not have babies out-of-wedlock. With the sexual revolution of the sixties (post birth control pill) that norm has shifted. Its quite common now to see unmarried women with babies and the stigma that used to be attached to it has virtually disappeared.

Whether that is a good thing or not is open to judgment. The rate of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed in the last 40 years. Its gone up by 400% and if you want statistics to prove it, I'll get them. More importantly, dependency upon government assistance by these groups has jumped markedly.

I suppose more subtle forms of coercion still go on in some places. I think part of it depends on your definition. If a pregnant woman's family is less than happy that she got herself pregnant and they don't want her raising an infant in their household, do you consider that coercion? I consider it simply a predictable response a situation that the family did not create. In some cultures, religious values may exert some pressure on unwed mothers to place a child for adoption. However, do you expect the religion to change what it believes simply because this "isn't fair" to unwed pregnant mothers?

Quote:
Every adoptive parent thinks their birth mother gave their child up willingly, obviously that is not the case and equally obviously there is no way for the APs to enact the required change. Regulation needs to be done by uninterested parties which means not the APs nor the agencies. So yes, regulations need to be more equal and more stringent to protect adoptees from being coerced, taken, etc from their birth families.
I cannot speak for all situations. I can speak for the situations involving my two children. Since their adoption, we have maintained contact with both birth fathers and both birth mothers. There is nothing that I have observed that would lead me to believe that any of the four individuals were coerced or pressured into these adoptions.

What evidence do you have that this coercion of which you speak is still a major problem? Supposition is fine, but it won't prove anything. I'll certainly listen to any empirical evidence you have to prove this point. What regulations do you have in mind to make certain that"adoptees are not being coerced, taken, etc. from their birth families"?

I'd like to close by talking about what I believe is a more prevalent form of coercion today that goes on. I'm aware of any number of situations where families told possible birth parents that "if they put their child up for adoption they would never speak to them again"? How do you feel about that? Believe me, in today's world it happens plenty now.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:47 AM
 
509 posts, read 484,157 times
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Mark, I responded quite comprehensively to your post. Did you even read it? Thoughts? I believe I presented some real, logical and completely feasible ways to both continue adoption while reforming it and providing unbiased support to first parents. Which is what you were asking about, right?

I won't respond to you again if you aren't going to actually engage when someone replies and answers your questions, but I did have to one of your statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
If you are talking about domestic adoption here in the USA, the situation your describing was prevalent in the 1950's and even the 1960's. Its much, much less so today and that fact needs to be acknowledged. The cultural norm in the past for at least Caucasian women was to not have babies out-of-wedlock. With the sexual revolution of the sixties (post birth control pill) that norm has shifted. Its quite common now to see unmarried women with babies and the stigma that used to be attached to it has virtually disappeared.

Whether that is a good thing or not is open to judgment. The rate of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed in the last 40 years. Its gone up by 400% and if you want statistics to prove it, I'll get them. More importantly, dependency upon government assistance by these groups has jumped markedly.
Bolding of Mark's words is my own.

Here, in convenient smilies, is the progression of my facial expressions upon reading that sentence:



You are actually questioning if it is a good thing that there has been a decrease in the oppression, stigmatization, social condemnation, and reprehensible treatment of women who dared to get pregnant outside of marriage?

For the record, while the outright condemnation has decreased, it has absolutely not gone away. As you have illustrated for us. Single, unwed mothers, especially teens, are still viewed by the majority of society with varying levels of disdain and judgement. This is exactly what I referred to in my post you ignored- social coercion in adoption. When they are viewed with such disgust by many people in society, this causes pressure for many women who are pregnant but not married to choose adoption. Also as I said, a choice made because there is no other choice is not actually a choice.

In many religious communities, as you mentioned, the stigma and judgement is incredibly strong. And yes, I darn well expect more from them! I expect them to practice what they preach, which in the Christian religion, is forgiveness, love, and that no sin is beyond Christ's redemption. Anything less is the rankest hypocrisy. In the 50s and 60s, Catholic Charities was responsible for removing, forcefully in many cases, children from their mothers for the sin of being unwed. Yet, I am willing to bet those doing the removing were indeed sinners themselves. Hypocrisy. I'll up the ante on what I said- I do not just expect more from the religious community, I demand it.

As a woman, I found your comments to be incredibly offensive and ignorant. As the mother of daughters, one of them adopted, I found your comments to be infuriating because they perpetuate the degrading sexism that is still, unbelievably, rampant in our society. And finally, as someone who deeply loves and respects my daughter's first mother and father, I challenge anyone who says that societal and familial pressures against unwed, pregnant couples is not something that exists today or that we should just accept it as a matter of course.

And just as a ps: Who do you think makes a single mom? The lack of support from the father, that's who. Maybe instead of judging moms who get government support to help them because they are going it all alone, you might question where the man is in all this.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:41 PM
 
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Tiffjoy, I didn't read what you did into Mark's post. I thought that he was remarking more upon out-of-wedlock births and the rise of unmarried women with babies. Now it seems to be pretty common place, at least in my neck of the woods.

Here is where I have the problem and this is watching several of my friends who are in their 50s and 60s raising their grandkids because their daughters just don't have the interest. Some of these young women are extremely casual about sex, boyfriends and having babies. I've personally watched a handful of these girls treat their babies like an accessory, sort of like those little dogs the celebrities carry around in their handbags. My friend was telling me about one baby being passed back and forth to the uninterested daddy boyfriend who was annoyed that he had to watch the kid, to the various sets of grandparents or whatever friend was available. In my opinion, the priority of some of these young girls was more clubbing and less parenting. This is really getting away from the topic of adoption though and more on what I've observed with a handful of young girls. Many of these families are a bit on the lower income side and they are receiving assistance from the state.

I know that there are thousands of single moms out there trying to do the best for their kids. Where I have problems are with young girls having children almost as a casual oops, I'm pregnant. My friend Susie and Beth and Jane all have their babies, guess it would be cool to have one too!! Fast forward 9 months later----grandma is supporting and mothering the child. Oh and btw, many of these young girls are just as casual about using birthcontrol. Some of them had multiple abortions before having their child.

Again, my comments aren't really adoption related but more along the lines of what I've been seeing and it really bothers me. As their child grows up, the cycle has a good chance of repeating. But this doesn't have anything to do with adoption and it is time to get my son off to his piano lesson!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:24 PM
 
16,588 posts, read 14,066,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
I agree with you here!! I believe that all possible steps should be taken to prevent this from happening. When these steps have been exhausted though and the child will not be reunited with either his bio mother, father or relatives, then that child should be available for adoption. Additionally, I would hope that these regulations are made by disinterested parties as you say and includes people that don't have an emotional stake in either side. You don't want to go to the other extreme where adoption is shut completely down or is so difficult that it become virtually impossible to adopt. Sometimes in spite of everything, children must be taken away from their bioparents (neglect cases for example). Finding a child a happy stable home is really the crux of the whole matter and should be the highest priority.
Regarding the bold, what is a "side" with regards to adoption?

The only people who have been "emotional" on this forum are the adoptive parents and the handful of adoptees who told their stories. Adoptive parents clearly have a "side", as made clear by a number of posters here, many APs want children and if they can't have them, they will adopt. That is why many of them adopt, because they cannot have children. Thus there is an inherent conflict of interest with regards to their opinion of the adoption industry. Anything that makes it harder for them to get that which they want (adoptable children) is going to be too much regulation.

But the same cannot be said for adult adoptees. They have nothing to gain by tightening regulation nor anything to gain by loosening it. Additionally, they are the only people involved in adoption who did not CHOOSE to take part in it. So yes, their voice and stories should absolutely drive the regulation process.

As for virtually impossible all I can think of is Australia. Australia has become very tight with regulations on adoption, basically shutting down the entire private adoption industry. It also has comparatively few children in orphanages, foster care, etc. This flies in the face of the idea that there are endless numbers of children that need to be adopted. If that were the case the number of children in foster care, orphanages etc, would be have sky rocketed in Australia. That didn't happen.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:42 PM
 
16,588 posts, read 14,066,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
If you are talking about domestic adoption here in the USA, the situation your describing was prevalent in the 1950's and even the 1960's. Its much, much less so today and that fact needs to be acknowledged. The cultural norm in the past for at least Caucasian women was to not have babies out-of-wedlock. With the sexual revolution of the sixties (post birth control pill) that norm has shifted. Its quite common now to see unmarried women with babies and the stigma that used to be attached to it has virtually disappeared.
You (and I) have no idea how much coercion is and has gone on because there are no reliable numbers. Therefore the assertions about much coercion is or is not going is are baseless. You really have no idea.

Quote:
Whether that is a good thing or not is open to judgment. The rate of out-of-wedlock births has skyrocketed in the last 40 years. Its gone up by 400% and if you want statistics to prove it, I'll get them. More importantly, dependency upon government assistance by these groups has jumped markedly.
Actually the rate of teen pregnancy has decreased for the last two decades.

Teen Pregnancy Declines, But U.S. Still Lags : NPR
U.S. teen pregnancy rates at an all-time low across all ethnicities - HealthPop - CBS News

The number of women/single parents on welfare has also steadily declined.

The Census Bureau
Phyllis Schlafly Debunked: Single-Parent Household Share of Welfare Recipients on the Decline | The People's View

Sorry but I am going to go with the Feds on this over you.

So you can judge all you like but it isn't based on reality in the slightest.

Quote:
I suppose more subtle forms of coercion still go on in some places. I think part of it depends on your definition. If a pregnant woman's family is less than happy that she got herself pregnant and they don't want her raising an infant in their household, do you consider that coercion? I consider it simply a predictable response a situation that the family did not create. In some cultures, religious values may exert some pressure on unwed mothers to place a child for adoption. However, do you expect the religion to change what it believes simply because this "isn't fair" to unwed pregnant mothers?
No I expect that women who are pregnant be given all of the available information, including that regarding services available to them before being told they are unworthy to parent because they are not as wealthy as a white two parent family.

I would also like to point out the myth that you are clearly propagating that being a single parent, even a lower income one is worse for a child than being with a wealthier adoptive family. YOU are in no position to make that claim. The only groups whose opinions matter with regard to that idea are those of children raised by single mothers and adult adoptees. Is it better to be with your biological family and be poor, or with an adoptive one and be wealthier?


Quote:
I cannot speak for all situations.
And yet you attempt to.

Quote:
I can speak for the situations involving my two children. Since their adoption, we have maintained contact with both birth fathers and both birth mothers. There is nothing that I have observed that would lead me to believe that any of the four individuals were coerced or pressured into these adoptions.
So in one instance, coercion didn't happen. So what? It does happen, and whether it is happenign domestically or internationally doesn't really matter. Regulations need to clean up the adoption industry, because clearly many people have no idea whether or not it happened. And if that made it harder for you to adopt your children, that is YOUR problem. The wants of adoptive parents do not outweight the needs even of a small few of adoptees.

Quote:
What evidence do you have that this coercion of which you speak is still a major problem?
Strawman. I never said it was a major problem I just said it was a problem. No one knows how wide spread it is. And it doesn't matter. If it exists at all IT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. End of story.

Again, the needs of the adoptee outweigh the wants of the APs. If that means it is harder to adopt, than that is the RIGHT thing to do.

Quote:
Supposition is fine, but it won't prove anything. I'll certainly listen to any empirical evidence you have to prove this point. What regulations do you have in mind to make certain that"adoptees are not being coerced, taken, etc. from their birth families"?
Disingenuous at best. If you are as knowledgeable about adoption as you claim to be you would know that not only don't any such number aka "empirical evidence" exists but that even if it did the secretive nature of many adoptions means it would be under reported as to make it meaningless.

I have no regulations in mind. I am not an adoptee nor an expert in adoption. But I know who should have no input with regards to regulations, PAPs.

Quote:
I'd like to close by talking about what I believe is a more prevalent form of coercion today that goes on. I'm aware of any number of situations where families told possible birth parents that "if they put their child up for adoption they would never speak to them again"? How do you feel about that? Believe me, in today's world it happens plenty now.
It is a legitimate question. When parents give a child up for adoption they need to be prepared to "never speak to them again". It happens, APs claim they want an open adoption, and then close it. And when birth parents are dealing with lawyers, they are the lawyers of the PAPs not lawyers with their interests at stake. Many and probably even most, APs who go into an open adoption honor that, but there are numerous cases where that has not happened and birth parents in most states have no recourse available to them. So yes, they need to be prepared to "never speak to their child" again.
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