Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adoption Dichotomies Part III: Adoption as a Last Resort

Why is it that people get offended or defensive when I mention that the United Nations states that adoption should be a last resort for chidlren (UNICEF Press Release March 7, 2007)?

"What does this mean? Are you saying adoption is not a wonderful, warm fuzzy, win-win that saves "unwanted kids?" I'm asked.

Well, first of all, it's not ME saying this, it's the United Nations...well, more exactly UNICEF the United Nations International Children's Fund - organization dedicated to working for global rights of chidlren. (But the, I have even read a blog of an adoptive mother trying to stop her child's school from Trick or Treating for UNICEF and met many adopters who strongly oppose the UN's efforts to support exploited nations like Guatemala because it limits their supply of babies to adopt!)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guides UNICEF’s work, clearly states that every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her own parents, whenever possible.

Recognising this, and the value and importance of families in children’s lives, UNICEF believes that families needing support to care for their children should receive it, and that alternative means of caring for a child should only be considered when, despite this assistance, a child’s family is unavailable, unable or unwilling to care for him or her.

For children who cannot be raised by their own families, an appropriate alternative family environment should be sought in preference to institutional care, which should be used only as a last resort and as a temporary measure. ..In each case, the best interests of the individual child must be the guiding principle in making a decision regarding adoption.

Over the past 30 years, the number of families from wealthy countries wanting to adopt children from other countries has grown substantially. At the same time, lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption, where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes centre stage. Abuses include the sale and abduction of children, coercion of parents, and bribery, as well as trafficking to individuals whose intentions are to exploit rather than care for children.

Yet saying that adoption should be a last resort is considered heresy!

Unless...that is, of course...if you want a child. Then it is perfectly acceptable today to openly discuss your lengthy experiences with fertility treatments in detail and to make it very clear, that finally, after dealing with the failure of your body and then the failure of modern medicine to "fix" your medical problems in regard to conception and pregnancy...then, and only then does one begin to consider.....options such as surrogacy.....and finally, regretfully....AS A LAST RESORT: Adoption.

That's OK to say. People are very open and verbal about that...but it's not cool to say that adoption should be a last resort for chidlren.

Many who write about fertility and adoption, such as Adoption History/infertility recognize this:

Adoption has been a last resort, a way to make families only after the normal, preferred, method of biogenectic reproduction has been tried and failed.

Those who work with infertile couples and prospective adopters such as Robin J. Roberts, LCSW, PhD recognize this fact very matter-of-factly:

EMBRACING ADOPTION

Most couples do not begin planning their families with adoption. It's probably safe to say that even you began your family planning "the old fashioned way" and only wanted to consider adoption as a last resort. So here you are.

Should Adoption Be Our Next Step After Failed Infertility Treatments?

If a couple is able to accept their own fertility issues, and not look on adoption as a “last resort,” it is a good choice. However, there is always the possibility that, especially if a couple has had failed infertility treatments for a long time, that the adopted child will indeed seem as a last resort, and that the child might even be made to feel as though he is second-best.

Well, DUH. Ya think? Especially when people today blog their entire "journey" from discovering their infertility through their final "choice" to adopt...

And do you think any human human being would CHOSE to be raised by people he was unrelated to? Wondering who their original parents and why they given up? Do you think that's anyone's first choice? Or should be?

2 comments:

triona said...

*gasp* How dare you say adoption's not warm and fuzzy? Sacrilege!

What's scary is, I have actually heard of people choosing adoption as their FIRST option for having children. Several celebrities have said this, no doubt thanks to Madonna, Angelina Jolie, and others who have made adoption so popular in Hollywood these days. These celebs who want to adopt rather than have their own kids "don't want to put their bodies through childbirth." So they intend to take someone else's infant instead, and force some human being to be separated from their own blood kin.

In my experience there are too many adoptive and prospective adoptive parents who, having been through the trials of infertility and attempting to adopt, are so delirious by the time they actually adopt that they heap all their expectations, hopes, and dreams upon the adoptee, who then is expected to fulfill those expectations at the cost of his/her own identity and destiny.

Children are not property. Mothers who surrender (or, more often, are forced to) are not baby machines churning out accessories for Hollywood glam-girls or anyone else.

As an adoptee, I can state without hesitation: NO, adoption was not my first choice. I did not ask to be separated from my family of origin and raised by strangers. And I certainly did not ask for my records to be sealed so tightly it would take divine intervention to reach them.

AdoptAuthor said...

Thanks Triona,

I would like to state that there re also who choose adoption as a first choice because they believe that it is the right, altruistic, humane, child-saving, and/or zero population growth thing to do.

But this post was written about the infertile who adopt th majority of infants and for whom it is clearly NOT their first or even second choice.

Triona - have you read my blog post on Gotcha Day? It's called: Adoptee Opins Sought.

I always encourage anyone considering adoptee to read how adoptees feel about having been adoptee. Watch out, cause not all are as GRATEFUL as you might think!

Ya' know...the UNgrateful bastards of the world!

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget