Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who Does Adoption Serve?

How can we as a nation - as a society with any ethics, conscience or moral compass at all -  pretend that adoption is a social service to help children in need when the children in most need are regularly ignored whole adopters pay tens of thousands of dollars for children who may have been stolen or kidnapped or coerced from loving mothers under pretexts? And we promote and encourage more and more family dissolutions via adoptions and reward those who reap the spoils with tax benefits and kudos; societies thanks for the 'good deed' they did in taking someone's child.

In "the old days" twins and triplets were separated by adoption agencies in order to garner two or three adoption placement fees instead of just one, and also so the children could be used as human guinea pigs - without the knowledge or consent of the children or their adopters - studied to help unravel the nurture/nature controversy. Oh, we've evolved!  That is no longer done (we hope).

Now, with domestic infant adoption privatized it's anyone's game!  I recently heard a story of a couple who, after five failed IVF treatments found a family with 3 or 4 kids who could not afford a new baby on the way and decided to place it for adoption. They housed the mother and her children for nine months and adopted the newest member of this family. Then, they shut the door behind them. No further contact with a family they had cared for all that time...full siblings to the child they planned to raise, and no interest in maintaining contact. Whose interest was that in?

About 16 months later, they received a phone call from the attorney who had arranged the adoption. They were informed that the mother was expecting again and wanted them to have the child so the siblings could be raised together.

The adoptive mother had just missed a period and didn't dare dream it was possible that after all the failed IFV she could be pregnant, but she stalled off answering the attorney until three months passed and she was sure it was true.

Well, now, about to have a baby of her "own" she didn't "need" an extra adopted one! It's like the furniture company called and said we just got in some chairs that match that couch you bought, would you like them? And she said, no I already have enough chairs.  This about-to-be-born child, a full sibling to a child she was raising, did not meet HER needs and so she let it go to strangers, never knowing to whom so that "her" adopted son could know his sibling.

A family member of this adoptive mother had two or three sons and said that is the baby-to-be was a girl, she'd like to adopt it. But other family members quickly talked her out of it saying how WEIRD it would be that cousins would be blood brothers. Yes, weird for brothers to be kept in the same extended family unit, but not weird at all to send them off to strangers? HUH?  I guess they feared they'd figure it out  eventually and  they'd likely want to know why neither of these relatives had thought to adopt BOTH of them! That would indeed be WEIRD... for the adopters!

My own family made similar choices. My sister told me decades after loosing my firstborn to adoption that she, newly married at the time, had considered adopting my daughter. The reason she didn't? She feared that I would get my act together and want my daughter back, and that would be too devastating FOR HER - my sister! Again, the prime consideration was what was best for the prospective adopter, not what was best for the child. Let your niece go to strangers in a closed adoption rather than risk some pain to help your sister and niece out in a time of crisis. Nice.

It is always about what was best for the adopters - the ones with all the money, power and control. And so the siblings - already severed from the rest of their family -  were separated from one another.  Against the wishes of the REAL mother who had the best interests of her children - as any King Solomon would note - in mind.  her wishes were ignored. She no longer mattered nor what she wanted. She has given up that right!  And her two children was placed in two closed adoptions and likely will go through life never knowing all the siblings they have, those kept and those placed.

Internationally, this happens all the time. First children are taken away from families and siblings initially and many times another sibling is offered for adoption. In the book Finding Fernanda, an adoptive mother turns down the opportunity to adopt a sibling of a child she is raising! What can an adoption agency do? They can't force anyone to take a child's sibling. The choice lies with the paying client to do the right thing or do what is in their one best interest.

Is such a decision not more reprehensible than a married couple with a kid or two aborting an unintended pregnancy? The child they are saying no to is not being aborted, it - and THEIR child - are being cruelly cast into lives with long-lost blood siblings without a thought to how that will hurt and effect them. Not even a self-protective thought that these kids might hate and blame their aps some day for this awful decision. Just do what it is most convenient in the here and now. Isn't that behavior that is generally - under other cirumstances (such as a pregnant young mother-to-be) defined as IMMATURE and SELFISH??? Doing what feels good right now without thought for future consequences or what is best for your child? But when APS do it no one tells them they are being selfish. 

And we pretend that adoption is serving the best interest of the children? How? How can anyone dare utter that description of adoption when there are no regulations in place to prevent such horrors from occurring? When it is a FREE open MARKET place and those who pay set ALL the rules and set them to suit THEMSELVES and no one else?!
“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.
What were these separated siblings allegedly saved from? There was no mention in the story of this family having abused or neglected nay of their children. No mention of drug use. No one suggested having the other children rmeoved to "rescue" or 'save" them.

No these kids were separated because of POVERTY!  In the United States of America! families loosing kids and having no control of their placement - simply because they lost their jobs. How do we justify this as in in the children's or the family's best interest? How do we as a society sleep at night tearing families part like this? Not finding other solutions for their problems?

I heard some hisses while this story was being told. Why did the $%&* mother get pregnant if she couldn't afford more kids - and the do it yet again?  We don't know how that happened whether it was  defective birth control or lack of knowledge as to proper use of birth control. But blaming the mother is no solution either. In Guatemala, for instance, women have to get birth control injections on the sly because it is such a macho culture that their husbands insist on keeping them pregnant and disallow any birth control use.
"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."UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption.


Anonymous said...

I believe your comment about your sister is extremely unfair. I have a biological child and have adopted my niece. I would never give her back to her biological parents under any circumstances. How can you tell someone to take care of a child, love and nurture that child, and treat her like the amazing gift she and all children are and then when I am ready to be mommy give her back to me. That attitude is beyond selfish, if you choose to not be a parent during the child's formantive years, why should you get to parent them later on. Children are not something to be loaned out or passed back and forth. I don't see how that is good for the child at all.

Mirah Riben said...

"Extremely unfair"?

I merely stated what occurred and how I felt about it. "I" did not find it "nice." For me, it wasn;t nice, not one single solitary bit. Do I not have a right to my feelings?

Until you've walked a mile - no 40 years - in my shoes; until you've suffered this loss of your firstborn child, not once, but TWICE...don't you DARE tell me how to feel about any of it!

How can YOU tell someone to carry a child for nine months and simply walk away? Could you? How can anyone expect us to, yet they do...expect us to, pressure us to. And then, even when we do, it;s not enough. We are supposed to do it not feel pain and loss or ANGER at those who caused - or could have prevented- us the greatest loss in our lives? A loss I for one have NEVER recovered from? A totally UNNECESSARY loss because this child was born with an extended family that could have afforded financially and emotionally and in every way to care for my daughter and prevent her languishing in foster care for a year and then going to strangers but didn;t because of an ASSUMPTION!

You act as if I took my child back from my sister....or tried to or even intended to. It was my sister's FEAR that I would that kept her from saving this precious child and keeping her in our family. It was her fear that kept her from helping me - her only sister, prevented me from the most horrible loss in my life. FEAR! fear of what MIGHT happen down the road.

Selfish? You talk to ME about begin selfish? it was being told to do the "unselfish" thing and listening that lost me my child so don;t talk to be about selfishness.

My sister let her SELFISH fears prevent her form helping me. later, when i told her I was searching for my daughter, she said she could "identify" with the adoptive parents and thought what i was doing was wrong. She identified with total strangers, not her own sister, And when my daughter died, my sister never sent a condolence card because, she said, she didn;t think of her as her niece. I lost my firstborn child and my children lost their sister, but my daughter selfish could only think of her own feelings and not even send a condolence card.

She sat in front of me and made a toast to a neighbor of hers who lost a parent, but never mentioned my loss of my daughter. She never felt like the child she had thought of raising as her niece. Was it guilt? perhaps. I don;t know. All I know is that i send my condolences when friends lose a pet but she couldn't recognize MY loss because she didn;t think of my child as HER niece!

So please shut up, because you have no idea what you are talking about!

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