Friday, December 20, 2013

The Self-Centered Hubris of Adopters

Disclaimer: The following comments do not relate to ALL who adopt, so please save yourself the trouble of pointing that out to me or telling me how NOT like this you, or your adoptive parents, are.

REVISED: 12/20 6:56 pm

Adoption Can be Selfish [Duh!] admits a guest blogging adoptive parent, identified as "Kathy" at Rage Against the Minivan.

"Adoption is not an unselfish act," she says. OK, no argument there. Kathy continues:
We didn't choose adoption because we wanted to help a child or save him/her from a terrible life. We chose it because it was the only way to grow our family.  
Also, OK...  Kathy even adds: "Adopting our son was one of the most SELFISH things I’ve ever chosen to do." 

And she's not alone. The comments applaud her!
  • "So much yes."
  • "Yes and Amen. I could have written this post."
  • "Yes!!!! Thank you!!" 
BUT, Kathy's admission of selfishness is not the end of her very brief post.  She adds:
It cost huge amounts of money, and five years later we are still dealing with the financial aftermath. We did it because it is what we wanted - not to be noble or selfless or save a child - but because the thing we wanted most was to be parents, and this was how it had to be done.  
If you offered me the chance to do anything else – travel the world, buy a brand new car– and told me it would cost as much as we spent on an adoption, I would tell you no because it would be too expensive, no amount of money was too much to bring our son home and into our family. 
Such unabashed WHINING or, is it bragging?!

Who had a gun to her head?  Kathy - like every adopter - had the option to adopt from foster care and save herself all of this expense. But she CHOSE not to, and CHOSE to pay the fees she paid.

With all her talk about selfishness, Kathy - and the vast majority of adopters - see it only in terms of themselves and miss the most selfish aspects of adoption:
  • that every person who pays the outrageous fees increases the demand and thus increases baby brokering and child trafficking to meet the demand
  • that a good portion of the dollars they pay go to bribes and unscrupulous baby brokers and child traffickers
  • that the same amount of money could be far better spent supporting charities that help FAMILIES in crisis and impoverished villages throughout the world by building schools, digging wells and helping to provide medical care and supplies....
But instead, adopters like this choose to bring home a prize to commemorate their liberalism, or their Christianity; their altruism and their humanitarianism. Kathy could have chosen - heaven forbid - to foster a family... or, to "adopt" a child on paper only and send money to help his entire family, not leave them behind ad she selfishly chose one to "rescue" as a prize....like a hunter who mounts his trophy.

Worse still, she writes with total lack of thought, posts all of this in public where her child(ren), when they are old enough, can read it. Kathy displays utter, selfish disregard for how any adoptee reading it might be made to feel? The GRATITUDE! The indebtedness for the huge investment...the expectations they must live up to to warrant such an expense!

Most of all...what about her adopted child? If she writes this because this is how she feels, I don't doubt for one minute Kathy is not projecting it, AND saying it within earshot of her adopted child(ren)! 

And here's the kicker!  The blog which posted this guest blog post - without comment is Kristen, mom of four children "within four years via birth and adoption."  But, hold onto your hats. Kristen
is not JUST a mom and a blogger (whose credits include Huffington post)...she also describes herself as.... get this: A Marriage and Family Therapist!

And yet despite her education, her training and a certificate hanging on her wall... she posted Kathy's "all about me, me, me" essay without any without a one word of her own as a preface, a footnote or any commentary whatsoever.

Does family therapist, Kristen care how this blogpost - posted on HER blog - sounds to adoptees? Is she unaware of all the jokes about Jewish and Catholic guilt from mothers who complain: "Oy, you should only know the pain I suffered to deliver you!  Twelve hours in labor!"

In this case money is the guilt-inducer. We could have had a new car or a vacation but instead we CHOSE YOU...because we love you so much!  (Now be grateful!)

No adopted child chooses to be taken form his family, his roots, his heritage. Kathy chose to do that TO him because SHE - selfishly - wanted to and has now let him know that loud and clear.

Shameful.

Kathy is far from alone, as the responses to her post indicate... and, as one can read every day on adoptive parent blogs.

Why is it, I ponder, that SO MANY who adopt need to seek public attention and play victim?  

Why do they seek sympathy for their infertility, sympathy for their infertility treatments (and the cost), sympathy for the "imposition" of a home study and the "scrutiny" that they alone must endure and natural parents do not have to go through, sympathy if a planned abuction adoption falls through....and now this?  Are we supposed to feel sorry for Kathy's choices as to how she spends her money, too?

Why does the blogosphere just explode with so much adoptive arrogance, pomposity, entitlement and need to play victim all at the same time??  Even when they CHOOSE to terminate an adoption and DUMP their kid, they write about what a difficult choice that was FOR THEM, and expect - and get - SYMPATHY and understanding for doing the unthinkable to a vulnerable child they committed to caring for !  Outrageous!

Is it a deep-seated RESENTMENT in paying these fees to adopt that gives them the haughtiness, the air of superiority that leads some to sue for wrongful adoption or return "goods" they find "unsatisfactory"?  Or to just whine, bitch, moan and complain about the cost.

As a mother who lost a child to adoption I find it all quite disgusting, in very poor taste and THOUGHTLESS for the feelings of anyone but herself. Thoughtless to how her words might hurt the very child she selfishly took from his family and culture.

Adopters like this need to look in the mirror and see and hear what they sound like.

We were the ones victimized by adoption. We LOST in the alleged win-win process. Adopters use their money to grab our kids. They won and yet it is THEY who play victim and call us bitter. How ironic is that?

You may seek my sympathy but you get my revulsion. My pity is for your adopted child or children, subjected to being raised by a  total narcissist.

And shame on Family Therapist, Kristen, for posting it without any comment whatsoever!  In doing so her total agreement is implied.


23 comments:

Anne said...

I agree with you about that adoptive mother, but Kristen actually didn't write that post, it was a guest blogger .

Mirah Riben said...

Thank you. I have revised the post accordingly.

Stephanie said...

Total narcissist is right. It's all about them, them them and we all best bow down to the altar of the almighty adopter for the rest of eternity!

Truly sickening.

Anonymous said...

Great post Mirah.

Robin said...

I have always thought that the most self-centered adopters on earth are Matt and Melanie Crapobianco. They are currently listed on Target's baby registry requesting items for a baby born November 22, 2013 in Charleston, SC. The information has not been verified yet, but it would be astounding if they had already adopted another infant when Veronica must still be so traumatized. Also, since the baby is only a month old, they must have had these plans in the works while they were fighting to steal Veronica.

http://registry.thebump.com/melanie-duncan-matt-capobianco-november-2013/6214374?lt=BabyRegistryProfile&a=2300&st=SearchEngine&ss=SearchEngineResults&sp=TextLink

Mirah Riben said...

Miscreant evil doers. No doubt they were hedging their possible loss of Veronica with a back up plan B. Now they can ruin two kids' lives!

Yes the ultimate act of selfishness and egotism in adoption is to fight a contested adoption! To hold on tightly to a child who has loving, capable family fighting for her and never should have placed for adoption to begin with.

In second place are Tim & Jennifer Monahan who refused to return their adopted daughter to the mother from whom she was KIDNAPPED!

And WHY do they do what they do? because the CAN! Because no one stops them. Because our entire legal system and social values favor adoption every time over the sacredness of the natural family bond.

Mine, mine, mine...like two-year-olds. I bought it and paid for it, so it's MINE! And the law sides with the bastards. The law confirms human trafficking with a stamp of legitimacy when it refuses to return a kidnap victim, or sides with people like the Capobiancos by in essence confirming a "deal is a deal."

Jacee said...

Nicole Trimble Dewberry is a vile AP who is HORRIFIED and convinced a 16 yo Ukrainian boy who chose NOT to be adopted by her is being influenced by the DEVIL cuz he'd prefer to stay in ukraine with his FAMILY!!

"Hi Nicole. I want to apologize to you ... I decided to stay in Ukraine, because I have my family here that I did not know. I did not know what
they are and, therefore, promised you that I will live with you. I have a dad, aunt, grandmother, great-grandfather, a younger brother. So I
decided to stay in the family. I'm sorry that it happened ... Excuse me, I hope that we will remain friends. I wish you all the best. Denis"

http://andthisonematters.blogspot.com/2013/12/love-alone-is-worth-fight.html

Sounds to me that this kid is sane!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that your side continues to say the money these people spend on adoption could be spent helping the mother raise the child? Why are these people obligated to help someone who created their own circumstance by getting pregnant when they weren't ready to parent?

The reality is emoms are not obligated to provide their babies to hopeful adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents are not obligated to help emoms raise their babies. Emoms are not "entitled" to help either.

Let's be fair on both ends, not just the side we support.

Mirah Riben said...

Where do I suggest that adopters or prospective adopters have an obligation to support expectant moms? I don't see that at all.

What I suggest is that the tens of thousand of dollars spent to adopt ONE child could be better spent by donating to CHARITIES that help FAMILIES in crisis, or support orphans in ways other than adoption. Do you disagree with that?

Your comment about "someone who created their own circumstance by getting pregnant when they weren't ready to parent?" is offensive and shows ignorance of the facts, first because I never said or suggested any such thing.

It also shows a lack of knowledge of the exploitation and coercion in adoption worldwide, where many do not have access to birth control and certainly not abortion. It shows an ignorance the reality that mothers here and abroad are PRESSURED, lied to, DUPED out of children to fill a demand.

And...if you think adoption is HELPING women experiencing unplanned pregnancies - think again! Adoption is NOT a win-win. It is a win LOOSE!

NO ONE (except paid surrogates) GETS PREGNANT thinking I'll carry this child for 9 months and give it as a "gift" to others.

You owe nothing to any expectant mother ...likewise no expectant mother or mother owes anything to you or anyone else!!

Sara Woods said...

In response to anonymous above - Ummm- how about all the research that shows the trauma that an adoptive child goes through because of the separation from the birth family. If they REALLY care about the baby they want to adopt, this would be their primary concern and they certainly wouldn't have this crappy attitude about the birth parents. That's why.

Mirah Riben said...

Yes, Sara, that would be true *IF* adoption were an act of altruism. It is not. It is SELFISH!!

Anonymous said...

"You owe nothing to any expectant mother ...likewise no expectant mother or mother owes anything to you or anyone else!!"

This was exactly my point, which it appears you agree with.

The money spent on adoption by hopeful adoptive couples could also be spent on themselves vacationing or other things that bring themselves enjoyment. Shouldn't that be a suggestion as well? If the goal is to get the money away from the adoption industry, do you really care where else the money goes instead?

Mirah Riben said...

it is NOT about just getting the money away from unscrupulous baby brokers.

It is about doing what is best for children and families in crisis as adoption is SUPPOSED to and PRETEND TO! Adoption is put forth to the public as an altruistic way to help children in need...as "rescuing" "orphans' and "saving" "unwanted" children.

THAT is why spending the money on a vacation doesn't serve the same purpose as a donation to a fund that helps families in crisis and PREVENTS unnecessary family separations to meet a demand!

The point is that adoption is not serving its intended purpose. it does nothing to PREVENT problems and in fact leaves families in the same situation they are in with the added burden of grief and loss of ONE of their children!

There should not be "two sides" when it comes to putting and their needs first. Adopters need to stop pretending that their goal is to help -- like they are some Mother Teresas - when it is to get what they lust for!

Tearing families apart to meet one's desire is NOT humanitarian nor should it be romanticized, admired, promoted or encouraged. It is SELFISH. If you want to help, there are ways to help. Adoption is not the best way to help people in need. At best it is feeding a starving person rather than teaching them to fish or giving them fertile land and tools to farm it!

So...NO...no one HAS to help anyone. But as Judge Judy says: Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining!

Don't selfishly pursue obtaining a child as a possession and then tell me it's charitable.

That's all I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

But spending the money on a vacation or some other else provides something for those people that doesn't hurt anyone else. It's obvious they aren't being charitable. Instead of acting like they are shouldn't they just do something else for themselves and be honest with the rest of the world? It's not selfish of those who live ChildFree lifestyles not to give to the type of charities you are advocating for. They are not ChildFree to serve your group's cause.

I'm not arguing that adoption the majority of the time isn't about providing for children. What I am arguing that it isn't the responsibility of those who adopt to instead give their money to women who need it to keep their babies. Each group has their own issues that they need to deal with on their own. Which judging from your response I believe you agree with.

Those who adopt need to stop saying its charitable just as much as your side needs to stop suggesting to them that they should donate their money's to charities helping women with unplanned pregnancies. Doing so would stop each side from continuing to be self serving for their own causes.

Mirah Riben said...

First you talk about childlessness. There i totally agree - do what you want with your money!

But then you say: "What I am arguing that it isn't the responsibility of those who adopt to instead give their money to women who need it to keep their babies."

I have NOT suggested helping women with unplanned pregnancies. You keep saying that, not me. i have said instead of adopting - with pretense of helping children - that same money would be better spent and really help children if donated to charities that help families in crisis...such as SOS for Children, Christian Children's Fund, UNICEF, Save the Child. These charities work primarily in developing countries that are currently being "mined" for children to meet a demand.

SECONDLY, you say: "Those who adopt need to stop saying its charitable just as much as your side needs to stop suggesting to them that they should donate their money's to charities helping women with unplanned pregnancies."

To continue to do it and just stop saying its charitable is NOT ENOUGH!!

By paying enormous fees for adoptions they are part of the problem! It is the money people are willing to pay for children that has created the problem and perpetuates it.

Adoption fees SUPPORT a CORRUPT industry. Adopters' money supports - directly or indirectly baby brokers, and child trafficking for adoption. It increases the demand and the trafficking exists to fill that demand that they are being part of when they spend their dollars in adoption.

So, it's not about doing it and admitting that it's not charitable -- it's about NOT doing it because it's HARMFUL!

And if you want to help children - donate to help them AND their families. Don't use your money to pluck children FROM their families, their heritage, their lineage, their culture... as a trophy of your generosity, liberalism or "Christianity."

Am I FINALLY making myself clear? Are you understanding this now???

If you see this in terms of SIDES, my side is the side of helping children by helping families of the world in need. That is what adoption CLAIMS to do but it actually does the exact opposite. It EXPLOITS people's crisis both here and abroad.

If people don't want to adopt and choose to remain childless - that's FINE! Ni problem. i am not telling them how to spend their money. Do what they please! But don't spends tend of dollars supporting corruption and pat yourself on the back or stay silent and believe you have helped.

Mirah Riben said...

First you talk about childlessness. There i totally agree - do what you want with your money!

But then you say: "What I am arguing that it isn't the responsibility of those who adopt to instead give their money to women who need it to keep their babies."

I have NOT suggested helping women with unplanned pregnancies. You keep saying that, not me. i have said instead of adopting - with pretense of helping children - that same money would be better spent and really help children if donated to charities that help families in crisis...such as SOS for Children, Christian Children's Fund, UNICEF, Save the Child. These charities work primarily in developing countries that are currently being "mined" for children to meet a demand.

SECONDLY, you say: "Those who adopt need to stop saying its charitable just as much as your side needs to stop suggesting to them that they should donate their money's to charities helping women with unplanned pregnancies."

To continue to do it and just stop saying its charitable is NOT ENOUGH!!

By paying enormous fees for adoptions they are part of the problem! It is the money people are willing to pay for children that has created the problem and perpetuates it.

Adoption fees SUPPORT a CORRUPT industry. Adopters' money supports - directly or indirectly baby brokers, and child trafficking for adoption. It increases the demand and the trafficking exists to fill that demand that they are being part of when they spend their dollars in adoption.

So, it's not about doing it and admitting that it's not charitable -- it's about NOT doing it because it's HARMFUL!

And if you want to help children - donate to help them AND their families. Don't use your money to pluck children FROM their families, their heritage, their lineage, their culture... as a trophy of your generosity, liberalism or "Christianity."

Am I FINALLY making myself clear? Are you understanding this now???

If you see this in terms of SIDES, my side is the side of helping children by helping families of the world in need. That is what adoption CLAIMS to do but it actually does the exact opposite. It EXPLOITS people's crisis both here and abroad.

If people don't want to adopt and choose to remain childless - that's FINE! Ni problem. i am not telling them how to spend their money. Do what they please! But don't spends tend of dollars supporting corruption and pat yourself on the back or stay silent and believe you have helped.

Mirah Riben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Let's be honest the majority of those people are not trying to be charitable. I think it's naive of you to believe they'll actually donate to charities instead.

And BTW yes there are those who choose to live ChildFree lifestyles because they don't want children. But there are those who want children whose bodies don't allow them to have children. They don't choose to remain childless, so please don't ever say those people are choosing to remain childless.

Mirah Riben said...

My goodness you certainly do enjoy arguing, don't you? And, you will put any words in my mouth to keep an argument going!

I never said anyone "actually would" donate instead of adopting. i suggested that they "should" to which you argued "why should they?" Now you are changing your argument...and my words!

Secondly, I never ever suggested that those who want but CANNOT have children - those who are barren - are so by choice! How bizarre and convoluted. I am not a moron! that would be like saying people get cancer by choice!

BUT... I do not think that being infertile "entitles" anyone to anyone else's child either...or excuses spending money that is far to likely to fall into the hands of corrupt baby brokers and child traffickers. They are no more entitled than any blind person is entitled to pluck the eyes out of a living person. We disallow organ selling for fear of it becoming EXPLOITIVE, but adoption allows children to be commodified: bought and SOLD like a piece of furniture.

My goal is helping kids. Being childless by choice or not has little place in that goal - except when infertile people see adoption as a "solution" to their infertility, which it is NOT.

I think you need to slow down and take some deep breaths because you are having too quick a knee-jerk reaction to REPLY without reading and instead are simply making up what you think or assume i have said.

Take a chill pill. You are exhausting me with this endless need to argue.

Again - my goal is helping kids which i believe is best done by helping their families. If you disagree with that basic premise, that is your prerogative, but no amount of arguing with me is going to change the focus of 40 years of my life's work toward that goal, or the knowledge that it is a right-thinking, logical, humane, moral and compassionate goal to work towards.

Anonymous said...

I think we are misunderstanding one another. I am not attempting to argue with you but rather engage in a discussion.

I know you are suggesting that if these people want to be charitable they should donate to charities instead of adopting. I am saying that I don't believe they would. Therefor I do not believe it's something that will ever connect with those people. I doubt those people would ever help your cause unfortunately. The best you can hope for is them not to adopt. I didn't mean you don't think they would. I have no idea whether you think they would and not going to assume either way. I apologize that you thought I did.

I agree with you that no couple/person who is infertile is entitled to a baby. It doesn't solve their infertility. Though it solves their childlessness, it does come at a cost to others which you pointed out. Our baby crazed society that outcasts those that don't have children either by choice or by infertility is a big part of the problem. People who have never gone through infertility are always quick to throw out the "just adopt" to the couple who is infertile. Those people first don't get what adoption is and second are telling the infertile couple that it's their choice to remain childless which I think you would agree that it isn't a choice for them to remain childless.

I think we both need to slow down because we are closer in agreement than we are in disagreement. I'm not trying to argue with you but rather engage in a discussion.

Mirah Riben said...

yes, i guess i have just had a problem understanding what your point is, or where you are coming from. Are you touched personally by adoption? If so, how>

I agree that precious few - if any - PAPS will turn around and support one of these charities instead of adopting, but i will ALWAYS say it for several reasons:

-Maybe they will donate in addition to adopting.
- And to show the public how totally selfish and not altruistic adoption is.

Infertility is piece of the puzzle. We need far more education regarding PREVENTION of infertility... primarily delaying childbearing.

But today in addition to the classic infertiles adopting, we have Evangelical Christians pushing adoption as a cause and we have same sex couples fighting - and winning - the 'right' to adopt!

The major issue is that adoption is viewed as a win-win when it is absolutely not. it is very much a win-lose, even for those who have happily-ever-after adoptions. they still ahve lost their genealogical connections, their heritage, their family medical history. Their family loses a child! The ONLY winner are the adopters.

Anonymous said...

I see your point that by suggesting that you are hoping to get the few that will actually donate to those types of charities instead. Maybe the suggestion should be that their money will go a longer way in society by helping mothers with unplanned pregnancies.

I think with regards to infertility delaying childbearing is just a small piece of preventing it. There are so many couples who are under 35 having issues stemming from previous cancer battles, genetic disorders and other conditions. If you want to prevent it tackling the disease is the way to overcome it. But that's something future generations will need to deal with and I don't believe is a concern of yours.

I would argue that some of those who are uneducated who adopt win in the short term but lose in the long run. This is more so with those who adopt due to infertility. Sure they may get the baby but when that child and then grown up adult doesn't turn out to be who the adoptive parents wanted them to be they end up losing on that end. So really in the long run no one wins.

On the Evangelical side, I do believe with religion they can be convinced to change their ways. The family preservation argument I believe is something that can resonate with them.

They will be your easiest group to get on board especially if you can get them on board with the idea that infertiles are infertile because it's God's way of telling them they weren't meant to become parents and that they need to accept their fate. Also they are against Same Sex couples especially raising children. I'm not sure what your stances are on those two issues but if your objective is to have laws changed you may have to knock others down.

The other two groups I don't you will ever be able to fully convince especially same sex couples. Because the demand for babies is so high in our society there will always be infertiles who will do anything possible to become parents. Same sex couples will see it as you being homophobic. These two groups are going to see your cause as you trying to infringe on their rights to build a family. Even though that is not your intention, it will be the way they see it unfortunately.

Barbara said...

I am not a saint nor a narcissist. The one size fits all nature of some (not all) of the adoption discussion sometimes bothers me as an adoptive parent of two challenging-to-raise children with health issues.

I adopted two older, 7.5 and 8.5 years old, truly abandoned children from Russia. I already had children. The natural relatives of these two (no living parents) were fully aware of their orphan status and were not in a position to raise these children. I checked and have kept up as best we can with the relatives we know about.

My two adopted children visited my home area where I met them, almost by accident, and subsequently I travelled to Russia to adopt each of them (one trip per child).

I read this author because of her thoughtful posts. I keep mentioning my circumstances because every time I read here, I wish the many types of non-baby adoption could somehow be called out separately in the dialog. Yes, I could have donated to those children's homes (and I did). Yes, I could have adopted from US foster care, but I met these two children almost by accident and we connected. Thankfully they now have a home and family that they would otherwise never have had. And I do donate generously US organizations that help families in need and crisis remain together.

I adopted because I wanted to do so for myself, for my family and for the children. I am not a saint nor a narcissist. I did it because I believed it would be good for me, good my family and good for the two who joined us. Thankfully, it has been good, although not easy.

I do hope for a future for all children where abandonment, foster care, orphanages and the like are not necessary. And I support family preservation.

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