I am talking about an article entitled "Adoption Worked Better for My Career" on The Grindstone.
Please read and return here to comment. I'll wait....
Fact: American, educated women are delaying childbirth. This has been a trend for some time now.
Women find encouragement to delay because of wild idiotic claims like that made by “Medical technology and fertility treatments have made it possible, to not only have babies, but to have healthy babies” later in life. These false claims encourage more women to put off childbearing often to find that mother nature is not so inclined or so kind to just sit back and wait until they have completed all other goals first. But then, of course, one can "just" adopt - right?
Reading this article made my head spin thinking of all the rhetoric told to mothers like myself - and STILL being told to mothers today! - about children needing two parents and that it would be SELFISH to keep your own child if you couldn't provide for it.
So, I posted the article on an email list for adoption professionals (and aps) I am on and opened a discussion asking what they thought of women "choosing' adoption as an 'easier" option so as not to "risk" their jobs for a prolonged maternity leave? (Not that they are being selfish or wanting their cake and to eat it too.)
One list member replied that when she looks at the reasons she adopted multiple older children from foster care, she finds the article "isn't far off the mark."
"Truth is," she says. "I did not want to interrupt my career nor did I want a baby nor did I have anyone in mind to father a child with me, so adoption was an answer to all these issues.....I don't necessarily feel comfortable seeing these reasons in print, but that doesn't make them less true."
She asked: Are children only to be adopted for "correct reasons?" And just who decides what those "correct reasons" should be?
I instead ask: Do some reasons to adopt - like it being allegedly 'easier' or to avoid stretch marks - reflect a lack of real depth of thought into the serious nature of adoption, particularly when it involves older children.
I was asked if I was "outraged" by the article, as it was assumed I was. I replied:
My thoughts reading it, are of course, quite different from yours as I come from a different perspective. My thoughts about it reflect the irony of women being told for decades that our children needed two parents and that we would be selfish to keep our own children...my thoughts regard who is raising the children of career-first women...
Without being judgmental of anyone's personal choice I wish many women who choose to put their careers first and foremost in their lives and then as an afterthought thought think about children would read an excellent old book entitled "Sequencing: Having it All, but not all at once" by Arlene Rossen Cardoza which would have helped the one mother in the article who sometime after adopting found she could work from home. The book is chock full of solutions like that.
I guess my biggest concern is very different from [another's] response (see excerpts below). While getting children out of foster care is a worthwhile goal, I am concerned about bringing possibly troubled youngsters or teens into a home where both parents continue to work outside the house full time (many even for more than 40 hours a week and or travel for work). I think it is a huge mistake for anyone to think that because they are not infants requiring feedings every 3 hours, that it is OK to plop these kids in a new home and disappear all day, or leave them to be after-school-cared by others. That feels like it could easily be a powder keg of anger and problems to me.
I would be far more cautious making such older child placements and THAT was what I hoped for feedback on.
So, outrage no. But is there resentment on the part of mothers who lost our children to adoption reading articles like this one, yes. A great deal of resentment. Had we been provided day care so we could work and raise our children without stigma, we certainly would have done so. And given the current climate, why is any woman still encouraged to loose parental rights and give her child to others with the belief that it is best for her or her child when in reality all it is is different - trading one set of problems for others?
Since ONE of the mothers quoted in the article adopted older children from foster care and the article recommends this, one list member replied that she thought this "trend" was "great news for children in foster care who tend to be older and have been waiting for a family" concluding that we must always focus on the best interests of the children.
1. Removing children for their safety and protection does not resolve the problem as long as the mother is able to have more children and is not provided the help she needs to protect them from harm. Many problems are temporary in nature and can be fixed with financial aid, daycare assistance, parenting classes, substance abuse rehabilitation, anger management, etc. In home care that provides these solutions while keeping the family intact have proven to work well and are also more cost effective than removal to foster care which we know to be high risk. Such alternatives are in the best interests of children.
2. I was addressing the encouragement of expectant mothers who have not harmed or neglected their child in any way to relinquish. We need to look at Australia's apologies and the reversal of the stigma on single mothers to see the only reason remaining for promoting infant adoption is to fill orders for babies to adopt, not because it is necessarily best for mother or child to be separated. Adoption - even in the most loving of homes - is a trade off. It generally provides a child more financial "opportunities" and privileges, but at the loss - in all states - of access to his own true original birth certificate, at least until adulthood. In small number of states the adoptee may then have that access and acquire answers about identity and vital accurate and up-to-date medical history.
I am sure we can all agree that striving to keep children within their kin circle of extended family should always be attempted first when looking at the child's best interests.The discussion continued with the comment: "some reasons are representative of a great deal of depth. Others are just as shallow as those used by those who make other serious choices" to which I replied:
True. But THIS serious choice - to adopt - involves the life of another innocent human being and requires the assistance of a "professional" who is in a position to perhaps suggest more thinking or point out why it not be so "easy" to "just" adopt.Thought it, but bit my tongue and didn't add: OR, "professionals" who are so eager for a buck and don't care what the motivation is - even when it is pedophilia.
Not for nothing but I would not adopt a dog or cat and leave it all day to go to work. I know people do it all the time. I'm just saying I wouldn't. And I know it's a no-no for mothers to "judge" others mothers or their mothering, but it's OK to judge them as unfit because of their age or financial status (cause obviously marital status is no longer an issue)? And it's perfectly OK to wait and then take someone else's kid and justify it as "rescuing"?