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Old 12-03-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,027,476 times
Reputation: 18249

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I rarely read or post in the Adoption forum. We adopted an infant with Down syndrome over 26 years ago but were involved with the adoption "maze" for several years. I have gotten the feeling with the few posts that I have read that some adoptees feel that if not for parents seeking to adopt children that their birthparents would have kept them and raised them? Or that the adoptive parents and agencies/lawyers pressured/tricked the birthparents into allowing the adoption? As an adoptive parent, I find this offensive. We only dealt with public and private agencies and only private agencies when we learned that all of those "Children of the week" were virtually impossible to adopt. I do understand that a child would want to understand why they were put up for adoption and that only the birthparents really know that information but arriving 20 years or more later to have a face off with a parent that relinquished you, well, it does sort of put the birthparent on the spot and looking back 20 years or more, we often don't realize, even with the biggest decisions, why we made them and there are many that we regret. In the US, there is a support system, public assistance but deciding to keep a child and go into that system where often, it becomes a trap, is a difficult one. I notice now that we moved to a college town, the yellow pages are filled with agencies across the US looking to "recruit" birthmothers looking to relinquish their babies. I do applaud all mothers who choose not to have an abortion as they have my greatest respect and I can't imagine how difficult it would be and how much pressure one would be under when pregnant without a lot of options and being pressured by parents, other relatives, friends, etc. to do the "right" thing with everyone having an opinion as to what the "right" thing would be. I think with the end of orphanages in the US that people stop realizing how many homeless children there are and if those potential adoptive parents disappeared completely, there would be a lot more homeless children, children in foster care where they are here today, somewhere else tomorrow. I just don't think that adoptive parents are the bad guys that some adoptees want to make them out to be.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:12 AM
 
393 posts, read 504,941 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I rarely read or post in the Adoption forum. We adopted an infant with Down syndrome over 26 years ago but were involved with the adoption "maze" for several years. I have gotten the feeling with the few posts that I have read that some adoptees feel that if not for parents seeking to adopt children that their birthparents would have kept them and raised them?

Actually, every adoptee I know clearly understands that adoption is the best solution sometimes. What I and many others speak to is the "demand" driving the need to "increase" the supply of adoptable babies - which you note further is something you actually noticed.

Or that the adoptive parents and agencies/lawyers pressured/tricked the birthparents into allowing the adoption? As an adoptive parent, I find this offensive. We only dealt with public and private agencies and only private agencies when we learned that all of those "Children of the week" were virtually impossible to adopt.

Do you actually believe all adoptiveparents are the same? Would you associate yourself with those who would do whatever it took to get a baby including lie to the baby's mother regarding full openness and slamming the door as soon as the ink is dry on the papers? That there have always been shady people who work in adoption and also good people. I sincerely doubt that you would compare yourself and your story with those who willingly did bad - so perhaps the solution is not to take offense but rather speak up and say "no - adoption should never be done that way". Distance yourself from the bad people.

I do understand that a child would want to understand why they were put up for adoption and that only the birthparents really know that information but arriving 20 years or more later to have a face off with a parent that relinquished you, well, it does sort of put the birthparent on the spot and looking back 20 years or more, we often don't realize, even with the biggest decisions, why we made them and there are many that we regret.

You would be well served to educate yourself on the very small percentage of mothers who when given the option to not meet their child took advantage of the chance. Also, 20 years later the adoptee is no longer a child, just needed to say that because adoptees are forever infantalized.

In the US, there is a support system, public assistance but deciding to keep a child and go into that system where often, it becomes a trap, is a difficult one.

The US does have a very limited support system. Other countries with a stronger safety net don't have the volume of voluntary surrender of babies. The US could study those successes and see how it could be accomplished as well.

I notice now that we moved to a college town, the yellow pages are filled with agencies across the US looking to "recruit" birthmothers looking to relinquish their babies.

Yes, this is exactly what adoptees disagree with - the "recruitment" and tactics used. Imagine what the federal funding could have been used for if not granted to create a domestic infant adoption counseling program - designed to get the mother to surrender her baby for adoption. Counseling should ALWAYS be non-directive - not with the end goal pre-determined. Many Adoptees (and non-adopted) disagree with that type of counseling.

I do applaud all mothers who choose not to have an abortion as they have my greatest respect and I can't imagine how difficult it would be and how much pressure one would be under when pregnant without a lot of options and being pressured by parents, other relatives, friends, etc. to do the "right" thing with everyone having an opinion as to what the "right" thing would be.

I'm sorry, this is the ongoing stereotype applied and I vehemently disagree with any statement that links abortion and adoption as two options. Abortion is a choice to continue a pregnancy or not. Adoption is a choice made after birth as to whether or not you parent.

I think with the end of orphanages in the US that people stop realizing how many homeless children there are and if those potential adoptive parents disappeared completely, there would be a lot more homeless children, children in foster care where they are here today, somewhere else tomorrow. I just don't think that adoptive parents are the bad guys that some adoptees want to make them out to be.

Again, most adoptees totally get that not all mothers can parent and adoption can be the best choice. It is the "recruit" to supply due to the HUGE demand for adoptable infants that is the problem.
What you didn't touch on is the sealed records and that adult adoptees are restricted from accessing their OWN original birth certificate in most states.

Something else you missed is that despite well over a half-century of organized adoption as an "industry" - there has been no concerted effort to fix (in the best interests of the child) any type of proccess for fixing the lack of updated family health history, and the major risk that places on the adoptee, when they have no family health history at all, or the chance to have it updated if they have a family health history.

Heck, the "industry" hasn't even used their powerful adoption lobbying ability to get states to write into law that if you do not have a family health history due to being adopted, that the insurance industry cannot deny you genetic testing or early screening for diseases that can kill you. But hey, they have plenty of funds to lobby for a refundable adoption tax credit to pay back the adoptiveparents for the massive fees they pay for adoption...

Last edited by Artful Dodger; 12-03-2012 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:48 AM
 
393 posts, read 504,941 times
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AnyWhereElse,

To help you understand that only a few mothers don't want to meet their children here is the stats for Oregon which changed the laws regarding adult adoptees and their original birth certificates. Other states have done so as well in addition to Kansas and Alaska who never sealed the original birth certificates. The sky did not fall...

Measure 58 History | Get Vital Records

The preferences choices were: No Contact, Contact through Intermediary, Contact and they had a full year to file those preferences. Interesting to not that during the eleven years (one year to file before the law took effect and the ten years after - ONLY 85 chose NO Contact - while over 10,000 original birth certificates were requested.


Quote:
May 31, 2010 - Ten Year Anniversary Report
Records ordered: 10,594
Records issued: 10,151
Contact Preference forms submitted by Parents: 638
Number asking for contact with adoptee: 518
Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 35
Number asking for no contact: 85


Changes in the average number of records ordered during the last ten years
  • During the first year, average number of new orders per month: 293.4
  • During the second year, average number of new orders per month: 74.2
  • During the third year, average number of new orders per month: 61.4
  • During the fourth year, average number of new orders per month: 46.8
  • During the fifth year, average number of new orders per month: 38.8
  • During the sixth year, average number of new orders per month: 39.2
  • During the seventh year, average number of new orders per month: 34.2
  • During the eighth year, average number of new orders per month: 35.3
  • During the ninth year, average number of new orders per month: 33.3
  • During the tenth year, average number of new orders per month: 32.8
They also had a study done on the first wave of adoptees to access their original birth certificates two years out.

Releasing Pre-Adoption Birth Records: A Survey of Oregon Adoptees
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...f/12500963.pdf
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:29 PM
 
509 posts, read 484,359 times
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I don't know what people you are referring to, but I haven't picked up on that belief.

What I have seen is some posters expressing that the adoption industry is in need of reform. This includes providing unbiased counseling to expectant mothers. This is not currently the case in the US. For many women, having support through the pregnancy and in the early stages of the child's life would be enough for them to get on their feet and keep their child.

The government assistance provided is actually quite limited and the system can be difficult for an I erwhrd mother to navigate. I myself wouldn't have the first clue where to start. When expectant mothers are evaluating their choices, real help should be provided to them, including helping them get government assistance if needed.

I cannot imagine anyone thinking adoption is ideal. It's not. In cases of abide and neglect, it's tragic that the parents are unable to put their child's well being before their own. It's sad. In many adoptions, though, you are not talking about abuse and neglect. Just a woman who got pregnant when she wasn't planning for it. That's not a crime, abuse, or neglect. Separating a child from their mother is not ideal. It is less than, and it is only because we live in an imperfect world that such tragedies exist.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,027,476 times
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Sorry but don't believe the birth mothers are being cohered into adopting out their children in the numbers that you want to believe. You see plenty of single mothers on public assistance, in the military, in college and doing it "all" and some can and want to do this and some don't want to or can't. I believe more blame, if blame is called for, should be placed on the agencies. Know that I would NEVER have agreed to an open adoption, NEVER. I am sure that you think that is wrong but I think a lot of adoptive parents end up agreeing to an open adoption because they are desperate and have no intention of honoring it. I just would not have agreed and this mother was not looking for an open adoption. Keep in mind that the birthmothers did not "know" their babies and had not bonded so the offense taken in being adopted out, abandoned, whatever you want to call it, has nothing to do with the baby, just the birthmother and/or birthfather. Yes, we are not one of those rich couples that essentially buy a child to fill some sort of need to parent but keep in mind that they cannot buy a child if one is not for sale. And, I do believe that many mothers when faced with a pregnancy look at both abortion and adoption as their options because they cannot or do not wish to parent the child from the get-go. They are "not ready". Unless you have experienced an unplanned pregnancy, I just can't see how you can just say it isn't a big deal because it happens all the time. Walk a mile in their shoes before passing judgment.

I have two children. One is 26 years old and one is 35 years old. They will always be my children and I am not infantilizing adoptees in using the term "child". While they are adults, they will always and forever be my kids, my children, my SweetPea and my Pumpkin!

I just sense a lot of hostility and it kind of makes me really glad that I didn't adopt a child that considers me a villain as that would be heartbreaking. I have a friend that fosters and adopts babies/children that have been abused and neglected and have special needs, usually born drug addicted. There are more good people than bad but the bad ones usually get the press.

I hope that adoptees get whatever information they feel is necessary but that they can come to terms with the fact that the majority of parents that adopt are good people and the majority that relinquish are good people also.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:29 PM
 
393 posts, read 504,941 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
Sorry but don't believe the birth mothers are being cohered into adopting out their children in the numbers that you want to believe.
Where on earth did I quote stats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
You see plenty of single mothers on public assistance, in the military, in college and doing it "all" and some can and want to do this and some don't want to or can't. I believe more blame, if blame is called for, should be placed on the agencies.
Again, where is the disagreement and I would assume you would distance yourself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
Know that I would NEVER have agreed to an open adoption, NEVER. I am sure that you think that is wrong but I think a lot of adoptive parents end up agreeing to an open adoption because they are desperate and have no intention of honoring it. I just would not have agreed and this mother was not looking for an open adoption.
So we are in agreement that you may wish to distance yourself from adoptive parents who would LIE to the mother and then when the ink is dry slam the door? That saying all adoptive parents are good and you would find that offensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
Keep in mind that the birthmothers did not "know" their babies and had not bonded so the offense taken in being adopted out, abandoned, whatever you want to call it, has nothing to do with the baby, just the birthmother and/or birthfather.
Totally have no idea what you are speaking of here. The sentence makes absolutely no sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
Yes, we are not one of those rich couples that essentially buy a child to fill some sort of need to parent but keep in mind that they cannot buy a child if one is not for sale.
So, it is OKAY if one of those rich couples essentially buy a child because why? Are you off-loading the ethics of buying a child onto who - the agency? - the mother? - that the adoptive parents have done nothing ethically or morally wrong in your hypothetical situation of being a rich couple buy a child? Really? Kind of like Tommy stole a candy bar but he isn't in the wrong because the store owner put it on a shelf that was out of line of sight by the cashier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
And, I do believe that many mothers when faced with a pregnancy look at both abortion and adoption as their options because they cannot or do not wish to parent the child from the get-go. They are "not ready". Unless you have experienced an unplanned pregnancy, I just can't see how you can just say it isn't a big deal because it happens all the time. Walk a mile in their shoes before passing judgment.
Believe what you will but you are maintaing that stigma that is put on the adoptee. And yes, I have walked a mile in their shoes with an unplanned pregnancy many years ago - thanks for asking...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I have two children. One is 26 years old and one is 35 years old. They will always be my children and I am not infantilizing adoptees in using the term "child". While they are adults, they will always and forever be my kids, my children, my SweetPea and my Pumpkin!
Different than what you were speaking of in your first post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I just sense a lot of hostility and it kind of makes me really glad that I didn't adopt a child that considers me a villain as that would be heartbreaking. I have a friend that fosters and adopts babies/children that have been abused and neglected and have special needs, usually born drug addicted. There are more good people than bad but the bad ones usually get the press.
Perhaps you are sensing hostility but that is all on you and in fact you are ASSUMING much. Seems to be a trend on this board - instead of dialogue assuming is the default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I hope that adoptees get whatever information they feel is necessary but that they can come to terms with the fact that the majority of parents that adopt are good people and the majority that relinquish are good people also.
No idea what you are talking about here at all...perhaps if you broke your thoughts into paragraphs and expanded on specific points there could be real dialogue.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 12-03-2012 at 05:48 PM.. Reason: Please don't respond within a quote -- it's too difficult to follow.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:23 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,733,772 times
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Honestly, adult adoptees on this forum are coming from a place of experience, and an experience that adoptive parents simply can't have - - . adoptive parents and birth parents have their own experience. I believe that adoption should ultimately be about the child. Adult adoptees who can look back with maturity and speak to those things which have impacted them over their lives are important sources of information on how the processes of adoption can be improved. They were that child that was supposed to be the center of the process, all grown up. Many had good lives, some didn't. Some met their birth families and have additional insights because of that experience.

Some adoptive parents take criticism of the system as personal attacks, when the reality is that unless they personally make grand pronouncements on how adoptions should work, most adoptees are just providing a window into what it's like to grow up a child of adoption, and to be an adult whose life is still effected by the decisions made for them by others years ago.

Even though each individual's experience is different, there may be some common threads which could help improve adoption overall. Since adoption only really hit it's stride as an industry after WWII, there were not a lot of adult adoptees around to contribute their experience until many years later. It's no surprise that hearing from them now may be a little weird to a society which only had heartwarming stories from parents & agencies framing their vision of adoption. The experiences of the Orphan Train children took years to effect change to the foster care system. According to the National Orphan Train Complex, most when asked would not endorse that system though acknowledging it gave many better lives.

It's not anti-adoption. But there are aspects of adoption which are not about what is best for the child or the adult they become. Wanting to improve something usually means you care about it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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I think Artful Dodger has pretty well covered everything.

I personally have never blamed adoptive parents per se - many times they also are victims of adoption practices. I know quite a few online adoptive parents on another forum who have said themselves that they have felt concern about their own agencies in regards to dealings with the expectant parents they were matched with. Others had agencies that sounded quite good and I actually PMed those amoms to ask which agencies they used.

The best agencies are those that make sure ALL parties are aware of what they are facing. This is best for prospective adoptive parents as well as expectant parents. I have found that the prospective adoptive parents most able to deal with an emom deciding to parent were those whose agencies made it quite clear to both parties throughout the emom's pregnancy that she was making the decision for her child and herself and that a final decision could not be made until after birth. These agencies also made sure that the emom did not dissassociate herself from her child. The adoptive parents who went through those agencies found that this non-directive counselling helped them as well as the eparents.

Some other agencies will encourage the emom to disassociate herself from her child while pregnancy and I feel this is wrong. She should be making the decision about her child's future as the child's mother whilst still pregnant. Disassociating herself whilst pregnancy could mean she is making a compromised decision.

I personally have a problem with options counselling that claims to be unbiased but is in fact selling adoption - it is dishonest in its representation. The NCFA birthmother awareness training scheme is designed to teach frontline social workers (NB NOT ADOPTION workers but GENERAL social workers) to sell adoption under the guise of "options counselling".

Thus you will note from the above that, yes, I do have problems with the Adoption Industry in the USA and the methods used. I personally would find it difficult to adopt a newborn in the US because I could never be too sure if the emom's decision-making was compromised by any frontline counselling she received.

I have no problems with adoptive parents as a group. As Artful Dodger pointed out though, there are those who will use methods that are not particularly ethical. Also sometimes when I have read "failed adoption" posts/threads/blogs, sometimes the PAP has "crossed the line" - I've read some where the prospective adoptive parent has more or less implied that the emom "stole" the baby from THEM because they decided not to relinquish!!!.

Going back to the heading of this thread "If there were no prospective adoptive parents", one Western country, New Zealand, did face that prospect back in the late 60s. What ended up happening was that the government realised that they needed to provide assistance to expectant parents and the agencies changed their counselling from encouraging women to relinquish their children to encouraging them to raise them.

This following document by Anne Else written in 1988 is quite interesting:

http://www.nzjh.auckland.ac.nz/docs/...JH_23_1_06.pdf


Excerpt
Quote:
However, as it became clear that the supply of babies for adoption was outstripping demand, reality was slowly re-produced. Those who worked most closely with unmarried mothers began suggesting that they might actually want to keep their children, and should even be assisted to do so by the state, if not for their own sake, then for the sake of the child. Sixteen years after the introduction of the Domestic Purposes Benefit, adoption is once again being presented as the best way to 'rescue' children from incompetent young single mothers.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 12-04-2012 at 04:55 AM.. Reason: Edited for copyright
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:48 PM
 
509 posts, read 484,359 times
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SusanKate and Artful Dodger really put it all quite eloquently.

I don't have much to add, but I wanted to say how important I think it is for adoptive parents to also demand greater ethics in adoption. It's not exactly fair, but the fact is adoptive parents hold a lot of power with adoption agencies. If the purpose of adoption is to look out for the best interests of the child, then shouldn't we be open to making changes that help ensure that? If a mother is capable and desiring of keeping her child, shouldn't we want that to happen?

Again, I find myself saying that calling for reforms to the adoption industry and wanting expectant mothers to receive unbiased counseling is not being anti-adoption.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,027,476 times
Reputation: 18249
Artful Dodger: Insult me all you want if that makes you feel better but if this is the way that you approach others with the changes you want in the system, you'll need a lot of luck. I don't even understand what it is that you want. Really, you are so negative and on the attack that I, frankly, am not going to give you the time of day and I am guessing I won't be the only one that feels that way. I know, in a perfect world, all of those women getting pregnant would be capable of providing a loving home that would meet the physical, mental and emotional needs of their children. Keep in mind that I read a lot of profiles of the families that were relinquishing or had lost their children and I went through adoption exchange books filled with children, some infants that had been born normal and had been shook or beaten to the point where they were now severely mentally and physically disabled. We looked at foreign adoption also and the economic situation and cultural differences were heart-breaking in many cases. I guess if I were adopted, I would want to believe that my birthmother was cohered into giving me up and she would probably want to believe that too. And, that's all there is so you can go ahead, quote this and insult me but as I said that's all there is! Since you have hijacked my thread for your agenda, whatever that is, I won't be returning. Probably what you wanted anyway. Seriously though, if all you can do is attack and be negative, your message is not going to get across. I support adoption, both foreign and domestic. I do not support immoral behavior to include lying.
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