Preface:To believe that adoption sucks or to be anti-adoption is NOT an indictment of anyone who has been adopted, has placed or lost a child for adoption, or has adopted. It is an indictment of the current American (and Western European) PRACTICE of adoption, not the people.
With thanks for Amanda's 11/30 comment at Grown in My Heart blog post"Adoption Sucks" which inspired this post.
“Regrettably, in many cases, the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . .”
The Special Rapporteur, United Nations, Commission on Human Rights, 2003
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The U.N. quote above expresses succinctly the concern that brings many to state that adoption "sucks."
Adoption is assumed to "save" or "rescue" children in need. But the truth is vastly different picture from this mythical, romanticized view of adoption.
In the U.S. child adoption is. for the most part, privatized. This means that adoption agencies are businesses just as are insurance agencies or real estate agencies. Even non-profit adoption agencies have salaries and other expenses to cover to remain in business. And unlike the insurance or real estate industries, adoption has no overseeing regulatory agency that regulates the interstate and inter-country redistribution of children for fees. By many standards, that sucks!
All adoption fees are paid by those who want children. They are the only client who all adoption is geared to serve. NOT children! The children are, unfortunately, just the commodity, and that REALLY sucks. Making it even worse, is that demand for babies and very young, healthy children feeds corruption, coercion, exploitation, child trafficking, stealing and kidnapping of children....practices which are abhorrent by any standard of suckiness!
There is NOT a "supply" of unwanted baby girls in China waiting to be gobbled up by Westerners!
Just a few of the articles you can find if you google the words: adoption stolen China can be found here, here, and here.
All of this push to obtain babies and young, healthy children to meet a demand IGNORES the children adoption ALLEGES to serve: children in foster care who cannot be reunified with their families, and children in orphanages worldwide...a small percentage (approximately 10%) of whom do not have a parent or extended family and thus could be adopted.
The children who are "languishing" in orphanages - just like those in foster care - are routinely ignored just as is illustrated in the book The Brotherhood of Joseph by Brooks Hansen illustrates a couple ignoring toddler in a Russian orphanage while they await the special delivery of a still wet from birth newborn!
"BUT," say the pro-adoptionists...."But what about children who are abused or neglected? Are you then suggesting we leave them in harm's way?"
Absolutely not! But let us recognize these facts:
- Adoption does not in any way eliminate or even reduce child maltreatment.
- Adoption does nothing to reduce or eliminate substance abuse of expectant mothers or parents.
- Adoption does nothing to eliminate young - even "underage" girls from becoming impregnated.
- Adoption does not reduce or eliminate poverty or babies born to single mothers who cannot care for them....
ignores children who have been removed from danger, because they are generally older, sibling groups and often non-white. people prefer adopting internationally because they incorrectly believe that will rule out "special needs" (while, ironically, others are fighting to have all international children adopted from institutions declared special needs in order to help adopters with payment for medical and educational needs). Intercountry adoptions are also preferred to avoid any possibility of "interference" (read any future contact, reunion with or knowledge of) original families.
Add to this the fact that every child adopted in the US - even those adopted into so-called "open adoptions" - are issued a falsified birth certificate that indicates that they were "born to" their adopters. This state committed fraud allows for adoptive parents to chose never to tell their children they are adopted. It also prevents any adopted person - in 44 our of 50 states - from ever being allowed to see their won original and true birth certificate...a discrimination cast only upon adopted persons for their entire life.
So...what is so special about adoption? Why does it warrant a sacrosanct status of worship casting criticism into the realm of disgruntled bitterness.
Am I suggesting that children remain in foster care where they are often shuffled about and then left with nothing at age 18? NO, I am not! There are other solutions. We need not chose between the devil and deep blue sea. We need more than reform. We need to reinvent adoption; rebuild it from the bottom up.
REPEAL all laws that seal original birth certificates and issue false ones!
Just repeal these draconian laws! Do not seek new complicated laws that maintain adopted-separated persons as second class persons who require special laws that apply only to them and treat them as suspect of being a danger to themselves or others. Repeal them and return adoption to the way it was prior to the 1940s. Simple adoption that did not try to replicate children "born again" by the stroke of a pen.
Create federal oversight to create and regulate standards that would protect families faced with losing children to adoption such as:
- providing them independent, impartial counseling and legal counsel paid from from a pool of adopters fees, not by specific people vying for their child
- stop predatory pre-birth matching and payments of expectant mother's housing and medical expenses by prospective adopters
- ample time to consider adoption AFTER the birth of one's child and ample time to reverse that decsion
- protection of father's rights by repeal of PTRs
- repeal of "Safe havens" which legalize abandonment and dissalow any option counseling
We need to stop our defensiveness of adoption because we know "lovely" people who have adopted. remember, it is not about the individuals, it is the system! We need to stop ignoring critics as "nutters" or extremists and LISTEN!
Stop the knee-jerk defending of adoption that is based on "rescue" myth and recognize that...the emphasis has changed from the desire to provide a needy child with a home, to that of providing a needy parent with a child. As a result, a whole industry has grown, generating millions of dollars of revenues each year . . . which serves the needs of those paying for it all and NOT the children who need assistance. And that sucks!