Struggling with the Concept of Adoption

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.

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7 thoughts on “Struggling with the Concept of Adoption

  1. What about international adoption from a Hague convention country like India? My agency charges closer to $15-18k, wait times are low, and these little ones are in orphanages already. I wish they’d have existed when we started out (Ethiopia is not part of Hague, our biggest mistake). Domestic adoption is a tough one for the reasons you stated, although I will say there are good reputable agencies and while I’d love to see the numbers reduced, there ultimately still will be kiddos needing good stable homes. Our first choice was adoption through DHS which costs nothing, but they told us we were a red flag because we still were doing IVF and didn’t want families getting pregnant while doing adoption through them.

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    1. We have stayed away from international adoptions since I have had friends that have had bad experiences similar but worse to your Ethiopia story. Plus we want to have a very open adoption if we go that route. I want the child to know their biological parents and never have to wonder where they came from. For us, if we do adopt, that is what feels right.

      Whether in the US or anywhere in the world, why are they giving up their children? Too many children at home and no birth control? Unable to feed all of their children? Again, we are failing these families. I find it hard to believe that if a mother had the resources to take care of her children, she would not be forced to give them up. Also, if women and men had education and access to birth control, we wouldn’t have so many children in this world that do not have someone to care for them.

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      1. agreed…yeah in ethiopia the term “orphan” doesn’t always mean both parents have died…sometimes the father is gone and they cannot afford to have another child, but the mortality rates are so much lower there as well…it’s like being between a rock and a hard place.

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        1. I couldn’t agree more – the whole process we are going through to create our family feels so unnatural. Adoption, fertility treatments, etc. However, we don’t like the alternative of no kids so we will have to figure out what we are comfortable with. I talked with my boss about the possibility of using my brother-in-law’s sperm and how that makes me squeamish, uncomfortable. He asked why since we both know it is simply DNA and nothing more. I explained that it is that gut feeling that is ingrained to you. The whole ten commandants of thou shall not procreate with your husband’s brother or God will strike you dead. My boss responded, “Well, good thing we don’t believe in that.” 🙂

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  2. The agency we have been working with to adopt domestically has seen drastically decreasing placement numbers each year. This feels discouraging as a waiting parent, but it also makes me feel hopeful that birth control options are more easily accessible and pregnant women are having more freedom to explore the many different options available to them. Perhaps the fact that I live in Canada makes the difference but in the last three years our agency has dropped from averaging 50 to 60 placements per year to less than 40 in 2015.

    I hope that you and your partner make the choice that feels right for you.

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    1. That is promising that the numbers are dropping. The most promising agency we have found is similar. Plus they offer lifetime counseling for the biological parents, the biological grandparents, the adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, and the child for life. The biological parents are counseled on all the options including abortion. They have a low back out rate most likely due to doing proper counseling up front. Adoptive parents are not at the hosptial – it time for the biological parents with the child. It is moving in the direction I like. Yet there are still a lot of agencies that I feel are just out to make some $ and are not in it for the right reasons. It is very easy to get swept up with one of them when you are desperate for a family – 300 placements a year, yipeee! I wanted a child yesterday though I know I need to be patient and make the right choice. It is a lifetime decision.

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