Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

Adoption: Is there a way to make it human? Pt:1 A look at who profits

 I’ve had something rolling around in my head for a long while now. It concerns my feelings about adoption. (What a shock!)

Because of my experience with adoption, I have to say that I hate, HATE it! I really want to say that all Adoption is bad! You will never know how much I want to denounce the whole adoption industry. And it is an Industry. Then logic steps in. I have to tell you, sometimes I really hate logic. I know that it is not possible to eliminate all adoptions or the need for adoptions in some cases. I realize this because of my ill formed logic. And that realization makes me angry. However, I have to live with this logic now and resign my thinking within it. So swirls of thoughts of how adoption could be made to be more human roll around in my head.  So to tell you my theory of how adoption should be, lets start with the basics of how it is. Who are the participants of this play we call adoption? There is the mother, who will all to soon be dubbed by the industry as nothing more than the birth mother. Then we have the potential adoptive parent/S (who perhaps are a couple who desperately want to parent a child but for what ever reason are unable to have one of their own.) and then there is the adoption industry. (The lawyers, adoption agencies, and CPS) And unfortunately, thought of last, always said to be first, but truly thought of last, is the child.Out of these (players) in this huge play we call adoption, who stands to benefit? The mother? NOT EVEN A LITTLE! I don’t care what anyone says, the mother who looses her child to adoption does not ever benefit! Even when she buys into the “go on with your life” hype, and finishes school and becomes a successful person in society. She did not benefit from the loss of her child. Is there one person who can prove that if she had kept that child and had some support that she could not have achieved the very same things while parenting her own child as she did without her child? Show me proof! There is no way to prove or disprove this, because we will never know what would have happened to that mother if she had chosen/ been given a chance to parent her own child!

Of course, everyone knows that each decision, large or small or HUGE effect our lives in ways that we sometimes don’t even see. But even though if that mother had parented her child instead of chosen adoption, her life would have been different, prove to me that it might not have been even better! Prove it, I dare you! I can tell you with straight up confidence that it would have been better on some levels. Because she would have never suffered the agonizing pain of loosing her child. And I don’t care what anyone says, you are not going to make me believe that there is any woman who had her child adopted that hasn’t suffered untold horrors of pain. I don’t care what she says, or does, she is in pain at least parts of her life and for the rest of her life. Even if her pain is hidden by denial, it is there and it is real and it does effect her, sometimes without her own knowledge. So I think it is safe to say that the mother does NOT benefit from adoption.

So that takes us to the next player in our little play. The potential adoptive parents. For the purpose of this paper, I am going to say that the potential adoptive parents are a successful, very loving couple who desperately want to share their over-flowing love with a child but for what ever medical reason have not been able to have children of their own. I’m talking if there is a such thing as a completely successful adoption, this couple would be the adoptive parents. If they receive/ “get” a child through adoption, they will love that child unconditionally and nurture the child with love and honesty. Does this couple stand to benefit from the adoption? Well, yes.. In many ways…They would “get” a child to share their love and life with. They could have a “family” that they so desperately want, even if it is not a traditional family it is a family. But on the other hand, they have some issues that they will have to deal with, (or ignore) throughout this child’s life. How do they balance their love and their desire to call this child “their own” with truth and honesty that this child is of someone else’s womb, someone else’s blood?

If their’s is an open adoption, which I believe should be the only type of adoptions where any of the biological family of the child lives, then how does this couple balance the openness with their child to the child’s heritage and their own fears that somehow they may loose this child that they have come to love so much? How do they get past their fears and do what is best for the child, which is for the child to know who his parents/ and biological family are?

How do you tell a child, I am your real mother, and this woman who gave birth to you and who loves you is your real mother also?

 If nothing else, no matter what any adoptive parent might say, adoption is not just like having your own child! I know that is harsh, but it is the plain fact of life truth! And if the adoptive parents choose to ignore the fact that this child was adopted. That this child they love so much is of someone else’s blood, then they will pay for that mistake later. When the child grows up and learns of their “lies” by omission they will suffer the anger and heart break of their child.

Yes, the adoptive parents benefit, but not without a price.

Here we will get out of the original order of “players” as I listed them. Lets skip over to the child. Again for the purpose of this paper, we’ll pretend that the child is in what would be considered the “perfect” adoptive situation. We won’t even go into the many many children who are placed in homes where they are abused. For this writing, I will only be talking about the child who is adopted by a successful, loving couple who would give anything for this child’s happiness. And for all the wonderful things that the child’s adoptive parents provide to nurture and love the child, it can make it appear that this child has indeed benefited from the adoption. But is this true? Tell me how you come to the conclusion that this child’s life has indeed “benefited” become better, because he was adopted rather than raised by his own mother?

There is no way to know, after the fact, if the child truly did have a better life with the adopted family, than they would have had if they had been parented by their own mother. I assure you, the child did indeed have a “different” life. And hopefully, it was a good life, but was it better? There is no true way to measure this. In fact, I feel so confident in this thought process, that I would say that I believe that in almost 100 percent of adoptions, where the first parents still live, there is no one that can prove the child’s life is better for not remaining with that family.

Even in cases where drug or alcohol addiction was involved, which is what the majority of society wants to believe is the major cause for adoption. (Even though the numbers of addicted parents in adoption is surprisingly low.) Who can honestly say that if the parent had received the proper help and support that they couldn’t have beat the addiction and learned to be a great parent.

You say that the proof is in what happens after the adoption? So the parent who was addicted to some type of substance not only continued in their addiction, but got worse after the adoption? Well, to that I say Of course the addiction got worse! If I had been an addict when I lost my children, I am sure my grief would have sent me sliding down into the rabbit hole so deep, I would have never found my way out!

So did the child benefit from adoption, I am sure that there is no way to know for sure. I do know that there is a loss for the child. Even the “happy adoptees” as some have been so pleasantly dubbed, I believe have some underling issues that they may not even acknowledge. Studies have shown that if not as a child, the adopted adult has a high chance of suffering many physiological ailments. Such as depression, low self esteem, or fear of abandonment issues. Is it really any surprise that so many adopted individuals not only succeed but excel in many areas? Could it be that they are always pushing themselves to be better, so that they will be deemed “worthy”?  

This life they were given was chosen by so many other people who played “god” to make the so called perfect life. Their identity was stolen from them for reasons they could never truly understand and they were raised by people who they had nothing in common with. No biological bond, that is. Even if some of their personality traits were formed by nurture, there were still the nature side of them that they had no one to look at and say, “Oh, that is where I get that from”

There are many other issues that I have seen from the adopted adults writings that I could site as proof that there was loss for them in the adoption. More issues that show that even if they did have great parents who treated them with love and honesty, there was loss… And no way to prove that there was gain. Let me just say here and now, that if you choose to look at some of the reunions that went “wrong” And say that is proof that they were better off without their biological parents. I, again, say no this is not proof! You can not judge a mother after loosing her child to adoption by the same standards that you would judge her before that loss. It changes you, forever. A mother who chooses/ or is forced into adoption for her child will never be the same again.

20 years later, you can not look at how she lives her life, or reacts to that child when found and say, “See, she wouldn’t have made a good mother.” Because she is not the same woman that she was when she was pregnant with that child. Sometimes these changes can be worked with and the reunion with her, now adult child, will go well. But sometimes these changes are so powerful that there is no way for the woman to go back in time and remember the woman she once was. With that, I think, that I still stand by what I said that you can not prove that any child had a better life because of adoption.

Now we come to the adoption industry. This industry includes any agency or anyone who acts as a third party to help facilitate adoption. Including, but perhaps not limited to; Adoption agencies, Adoption lawyers and CPS, (child protective services).

Do they, any of them, benefit from adoption? Well, I don’t believe that there is anyone of these that do not benefit! If I’m wrong, and there truly are some agencies that receive no profit from being third party to adoptions, please feel free to tell me about it and site the proof. Lawyers and adoption agencies receive money, in most cases, if not all, from the adoptive parents, to help them find and facilitate the adoption of a child. It is quite expensive to become a parent this way! So much so that many agencies give the prospective parents ideas of how to raise the money. There are even government grants available to many people to help them choose adoption. This high price is not only for expenses of the adoption itself, it is also for the profit of the agency or lawyer involved in the process.

And when the adoption is final, the agency or lawyer’s job is, in most cases, finished. They can then, in a sense, take the money and run. They never have to deal with the mess that the adoption leaves in it’s wake.

Now as for CPS. You may be asking just how do they profit from adoption. They are not allowed to take money for profit from the adoptive parents, right? Well, here; You may find answers that will surprise you. The federal government gives state government grants for each adoptions that take place out of foster care! This is to encourage the CPS to work harder to find permanent placement for children who are bounced around in the system. Sounds like a good idea, yes? But lets take a closer look. Suddenly, we have the CPS pushing for adoption in most cases and not perusing the possibility of reunification of the family when possible. The “what’s best for the child” goes in second place while adoption is always considered first. (let me just say that it is my strong belief that adoption should, in every case, be the last option, not the first.)

In many states, social workers working for CPS are even given bonuses for cases that they get the child placed in an adoptive home. Now, we have social workers who are not only working very hard to adopted out the children already in foster care. (instead of working to help the parents reunite with their child), now they are working to create new cases where a child is taken from their home and placed in a new home for adoption sake. Some of these new cases are from homes where there is NO abuse. Most are cases where the parents/ or parent is poor and uneducated and has no clue of their legal rights. Their families, their lives, are destroyed by a system that was created to protect the very child that they are destroying! And most of the social workers feel justified because they took the child out of a poor, struggling family and placed them in a home with people who have had education and well paying careers.

So yes, even the CPS stands to and does profit by adoption.

So looking at this information, do you still believe that adoption is “for the child’s best interest”?

So this is much longer than I anticipated. I will have to break it up into parts. So the in my next post I will go into my beliefs on when and how adoptions should take place. And eventually, I will tell my ideas for viable alternatives for adoptions

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September 1, 2006 - Posted by | Adoption

3 Comments »

  1. When A found me and people were saying “well, you would have never met your hubby if you kept A” it made me scream at them.
    How did they know that I would have never met them? And I look at it like you did. I KNEW what I was missing when I lost A. I knew for years, and I had to live with it. But had I been able to keep A and had I not met my husband, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing. Because my life wouldn’t have been fractured.
    And I see how I am with my son that I was able to keep, and I know for damned sure that I would have been a great mother.
    Nobody can tell me otherwise.
    Great post, good to see you on here again.

    Comment by Leanna Burt | September 2, 2006 | Reply

  2. I agree with a lot of what you said re: adoptive parents.

    The time to get used to the idea that you are not the only parents is before you adopt, IMO.

    Comment by MomSquared | September 4, 2006 | Reply

  3. This is a really good view of who benefits and doesn’t benefit from adoption. That “win-win-win” that adoption agencies talk about simply isn’t so, even when all the participants – the mothers, the chldren, and the a-parents – are at peace with their decisions, and secure in their identities and roles in the relationship. And this is something that agencies aren’t likely to be telling prospective a-parents any time soon – so it’s good that you are.

    Comment by Margie | September 4, 2006 | Reply


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