I have been exploring all our options since we are struggling with having our own children. These options include open domestic infant adoption. I have been following a blog called The adopted ones blog and they had a post today called A positive story, is there one, can there be one…
Pause and think about the scenarios they posed, “imagine any scenario where not being able to raise your child could be seen as a positive story to the one living it. Would you expect someone who miscarried a baby to see it as a positive? Lost an infant? Would you expect someone who lost a parent to see it as positive?”
Adoption is a loss for one and a gain for another.
I know people that have adopted children. I know people that have tried to adopt, but it didn’t work out. I know people that have been adopted. Every story is different, some positive and some negative. I’d like to say that the adoption process has improved over the decades though I think it has morphed into an entirely different beast.
We no longer take babies from single mothers in the U.S, overtly. These mothers are allowed counseling with all their options laid out for them. If they choose to go the adoption route, they can pick the adoptive parents. Then you have an open adoption and maintain contact with their child. Sounds great, right?
Today, adoption is a business. One agency that I requested for information on adoption has emailed me weekly. The higher their placement number, the more people like me that sign on. Agencies charge adoptive parents $30K-$50K excluding lawyer fees, maternal health care, travel costs, etc. One agency claims 300 placements a year. Do the math. It is big business selling babies. Those are the ones that are placed; there are many more out there on the waiting list that have are shelling out their $30K.
They don’t keep getting paid if they don’t provide the babies. From that, I highly doubt they are providing the support and proper counseling to the mothers and fathers. I know most are not getting presented evenly with their options. Abortion is often excluded as an option even though it is an option even if you morally disagree with it. I’m guessing the emphasis is for them to choose adoption. They have the chance to meet the adoptive parents while pregnant. These people then pay for the medical expenses. Some even pay for rent and groceries! When the mother gives birth, she still has the parental rights and can say no, in theory. If you are young, poor, and/or uneducated, and you have these people that have paid for your medical expenses and are at the hospital waiting for you to sign – you are being coerced into signing. Your counselor and the adoption agency that are supposed to be working for you is also pressuring you to sign – it looks bad if they have too many parents opt to parent – change their mind on placing their child for adoption.
Then there is the issue of why in this day and age that one company alone can boast 300 placements a year!!! Why are there that many people still accidentally becoming pregnant??? That is a societal fail. We do not provide easy access to adequate information about contraceptives and reproductive health. We do not provide contraceptives for FREE – they should be free. You know, in Anchorage, Alaska they have FREE pregnancy tests in bars. Why no condoms???? For a while in Alaska, women were able to get an IUD from anywhere from $0 – $50 thanks to a state program and Planned Parenthood. We need more of that.
We do not help low-income families move out of poverty, and they are monetarily punished if they opt to parent their children. Yes, there are some programs to assist, but very few enable them to climb out of poverty. It is the bare minimum. Most low-wage jobs do not have paid maternity or paternity leave. No paid sick leave.
For me, adoption feels like I’m letting these families down. I’d rather help support these families get an education, a good job, and raise their own children. I’d rather these parents truly had the option of parenting, abortion, or adoption. You do not truly have the option to parent if society is not going to support you.