Wake me up when November ends! November is National Adoption month. You know, that time of the year when the feel good stories about people heartbroken by the cruel fate of infertility or those who need alternative ways to start a family are shoved down our throats like castor oil. We get to hear how at last they have the family they hoped and dreamed for, was achieved through the process of adoption, how the journey for them was long and painful and now at last they have their family due to (one of the favored words adopters use is) a “miracle”. As an added bonus, we also hear the stories of those in the thick of their infertility /family planning journey hoping to find that woman in crisis and her unwanted child (baby) to start or complete their family. There are the heartbreaking tales of wonderful people to whom fate has dealt a cruel blow or have no other option than to seek out alternative methods to achieve the family they desire. How can we not be rooting for these people? Often times we see their sweet love story and fall in love with them thinking they would be the perfect parents, all they need is a baby in the nursery to start their happily ever after journey. However what we fail to ask ourselves is at what price does that happy ending cost?
What gets lost in all of the feel good coverage of national Adoption Month are the voices who do not get to direct the narrative..most importantly the voices of adopted individuals and the voices of their mothers. Yes while it is true that we hear the stories of mothers who lost their children to adoption, it is also true the media likes to portray the rainbows and unicorns images of adoption so we see the ones who are willing to say they are happy and things are as they should be, you know this adopted person was always meant to be a part of the family who adopted them she was only the vessel who made this miracle (see I used that word again) happen. These are the mothers who post hashtags like shout your adoption and call themselves “birth mom strong”..a lot of them have less than 10 years experience as a mother of loss. Rarely, if ever, do we see the mothers who have found a way to put words to their inner feelings and talk about what it is really like to live with an adoption loss. Those “bad” stories are the stories which do not fit the narrative we are being fed about adoption and don’t celebrate National Adoption Month. This group of mothers are labeled hateful, bitter, disgruntled,anti adoption . Worse yet, their experiences are diminished by people whose only connection to adoption is their father’s bosses’ best friend’s third cousin adopted a little girl from China 22 years ago and this makes them an expert on adoption. A Ph.D was earned in all things adoption because they heard little Brittany who is now 24 had no issues with being adopted and is grateful she was saved from living in an orphanage so bitter birth mommy put that in your pipe and smoke it, you know nothing of adoption! These mothers are told you made your choice, you gave away your child and now they are not yours any longer so go back under your rock and deal with the choice you made. Oh and my favorite line they are told? Well you should have thought about all of this when you chose to spread your legs! Ah slut shaming at its finest! Let’s just pretend that slutty mom spread her legs and magically sperm entered her body and she conceived…no mention of the partner from whom the sperm was obtained, you know look the other way kids nothing to see here.
Occasionally we hear the stories of families who take in the children who are truly in need of a home, namely one of the 415,000+ children in the US foster care system (2014 statistics) waiting for a family to help them through their own journey despite their being too old, too challenging or simply not baby/toddler cute. These are the stories I prefer to hear.
This is the month we also hear a lot about God (well the adopters/hopeful adopters version of God) and all about prayers that have finally been answered. Yup it’s that time of the year when we see the moronic hashtag of shout your adoption, about being pro-life and it is when adopters come out of the woodwork with their prized possessions on display. SO many spewing the old BS that a brave woman chose life and as a result God answered their prayers for a child hence bringing the abortion debate into the adoption puzzle. As a side note, we might get to this later, but in the meantime let me set the record straight on a few things..
Mainly this..abortion and adoption have little to do with one another. Abortion is a medical decision a woman can make that determines if she will continue her pregnancy. If a woman elects to have an abortion her pregnancy is terminated and there is no more need to discuss could have, would have or should have. I am not going to get into the debate of abortion ends a life and so on..I know abortion ends a life, however it is a decision available to every pregnant woman here in the US..if you do not believe in abortion, don’t have one, however do not tell a woman in crisis what she can or cannot do..that is not for you or me to decide. On the flip side, adoption is a parenting decision. A woman in a crisis pregnancy considering adoption is making a decision if she will parent HER baby or transfer parenting rights to others.
Here’s the thing people…National Adoption Week was NEVER and let me repeat this NEVER about newborn adoption. Let me fill you in on the history of this week which was expanded into a month
Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week in his State to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care.
President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week.
President Clinton expanded Adoption Awareness Week to the entire month of November.
President Clinton directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to expand the use of the Internet as a tool to find homes for children waiting to be adopted from foster care.
National Adoption Month is about finding homes for children who need homes, not about finding babies for people who want to be parents. National Adoption Month needs to get back to its origins..FOSTER CARE..there are almost a half million children in the foster care system who need families both temporarily and long term to help them grow up and be safe and not age out at 18 like so many do. The difference one family , one person can make in the lives of these children is insurmountable. When are people going to realize that to be a parent you do not need an infant?
We need to stop praying that God will create a child who will come into your lives. What you are praying for is a crisis to occur ..something awful to happen, say like well I have always wanted a rolls royce and I really hope and pray God will let a major disaster happen in Beverly Hills so I can go out there find someone who as a result of not having any insurance on their house and possessions finds themselves backed into a corner and unable to see that this situation is probably temporary and feels the need to sell everything at a fraction of its worth…..So I get my car and I am happy to finally have the Rolls of my dreams(never mind the person to whom the car belonged to, they are amazing for having to sell it so they can eat and pay the electricity or maybe even their rent) Sound absurd? If this really happened you would tell me I was a horrible person for taking advantage of someone at their lowest point for my personal gain. Well what pray tell is it that happens in adoption? By PRAYING for a woman in a crisis pregnancy to choose you to parent her child You are in fact PREYING upon vulnerable women and wishing upon them a lifetime of pain of the type you can never imagine. It’s a thin line my friends between PRAY AND PREY
You nailed it. Everyone has some distant cousin who adopted and wants to tell you how wrong we are about our perspective on adoption. As if being the natural mother who lost the child isn’t a valid perspective….I think most mommy wannabes choose to ignore the pain of the original family and the child and can only see their own desire to play mother and buy a newborn stroller stuffer.