Reply

Hi Rob,

I am responding to your comment here. I think these points are important and didn’t want them to get lost in the comments section. I do ask that you try and read my reply in a non-defensive way if at all possible. This is an overall view but can easily become personal. It is not my intent to attack you nor is it my intent to attack BestLight. These are my views. I welcome her here to reply as I welcome you.

I didn’t delete the post because I thought it was provocative (in a negative way). I then forgot about the subject entirely until I read this blog entry.

Yes, provocative in the the same way one might be unable to take their eyes off of a train wreck. I remain steadfast in my opinion that forwarding that post was irresponsible.

Your thought was exactly mine. This sounded like black market baby selling, and the desperation and quickness involved seemed very strange.

Which is why I would have removed the post immediately had I been the moderator of any forum it showed up on.

But, in defense of Bestlight, she is an awesome lady, and a wonderful example for all PAPs. She is a proponent of open adoption and is the mother of two beautiful children who both have a relationship with their natural mothers (I may be wrong about BOTH children having a relationship, FYI, but definitely one of them).

I have no idea what kind of mother she is. She may be a great mother. HOWEVER, she IS the mother of adopted children and thus has a responsibility to honor the process (as it should be, not as it is). As an adoptee I do not feel she is doing so by her choice of profession. It would appear I am not the only adoptee who felt this way. Do you think it’s possible her own children may find it distasteful? My guess is yes. Did you notice the response by adoptees? We crack jokes because it hurts.

Bestlight found a niche in assisting PAPs with their adoption profiles. As adoption profiles are currently a necessary element in the domestic adoption process, I see nothing wrong with the idea.

The alternative is an agency randomly matching natural mothers and adoptive parents, which — in my opinion — is a disservice to all involved… but especially to the children and the natural parents.

WRONG. That is not the alternative. The ALTERNATIVE is moving the essence of adoption back to it’s original intent which is to PROVIDE HOMES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED. As adoption stands now it’s MAIN focus is to provide children for couples in need. I know I risk banging my head against a brick wall here but PLEASE try and remove yourself from the situation on a personal level long enough to look at the big picture in a logical manner.

Desire for something creates demand. Demand creates the need for supply. Adoption agencies fill the role of supplier. Demand is greater than supply thus creating the need for MARKETING TACTICS which is the business your friend Best Light provides. You can’t sugar coat this. It is what it is. SURE there is a need to beat out the competition because the demand is greater than the supply. When you go to a job interview you dress yourself up in your best suit, beef up your resume, embellish your talents and skills and make a big show of being the best person to fill the position. In essence isn’t that what she helps PAP’s do? Only it’s not to get the job it’s to get the baby.

I find it immensely sad that the majority of (NOT ALL) adoptive parents and perspective adoptive parents can’t look past their own “needs” to understand the world they are creating by their actions. I have said before that I cannot understand what it is like not to be able to have a baby. I can only empathise. But I do know what it feels like to desire something so desperately that I could see myself looking right past the greater good to fulfill that desire. Why do I use the word desire? Because we’re not talking about a heart or a lung or food or air. We are not talking about a need. Having children is in fact a desire. Nothing good has come from our society’s belief that we are somehow ENTITLED to another human being. There is no difference in the belief that we are entitled to a child.

My intent here is not to slam adoptive parents. I happen to love a couple myself. But as an adoptee I have earned the right to speak up about how I feel. Just as YOUR children will some day. WE are the recipients of the effects of your actions. You must pay attention or risk alineation from the very core of what you worked so hard to create. Until adoptive parents understand a few basic truths we risk continuing and escalating an already hostile adoption environment that YOUR children will inherit.

Uncomfortable Truths

1. Natural children are IRREPLACEABLE. We cannot fill this role, nor do we wish to.

2. We are not ENTITLED to children.

3. Absolutely nothing can erase a persons true identity. We are who we are. Honor this truth always.

4. Children are not a commodity and should not be treated as such. EVER.

5. ADOPTION MUST RETURN TO IT’S ORIGINAL INTENT WHICH IS TO PROVIDE HOMES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED. That means a drastic decrease in the amount of babies available but that’s OK because that’s not why we are adopting. Right?

Open your home, enjoy the process. Give love and receive the love of the child you desire. CELEBRATE your family. Be great parents and love every minute of it. All wonderful. But we have to quit forcing the creation of this environment at the expense of others. We graciously accept into our homes and adore the children we are blessed to receive. A child in a loving mothers womb does not need anything more than what he or she has at the moment. That child is currently not in need. Will they be in the future? Maybe, maybe not. But I think we can all agree no brochure is necessary.

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60 Comments

Filed under Adoption Politics, Adoptive Family, Natural Family, Truthful Musings

60 responses to “Reply

  1. Well said, Mia.

    You know, I haven’t said this publicly — partly because I don’t want to sound critical of people who went the domestic adoption route because I see nothing wrong with domestic adoption; it has a lot going for it and people make these choices based on what is most comfortable for them — but a small part of the reason that we decided on international was that we felt very uncomfortable with the aspect of “selling” ourselves. That was a small reason, there were bigger reasons.

    Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems with international adoption; there are, and some are quite big, depending on the country.

    But, you’re right, the aspect of competition for babies is there.

    It’s quite a dilemma — wanting a baby, what most of the world comes by so easily, and not being able to have one. It ain’t easy. And I understand that the infertile aren’t entitled. I do. Or my head does. My heart just may not. I’m just being honest here, Mia, that’s all.

    Good post.

  2. Well, crap, I just wrote a comment and I don’t see it. Blogs hate me these days. Spam is out to get me, I think.

  3. Mia

    Mom2One you need to ALWAYS feel free to be honest here. Always. I respect your opinion.

    I can see how it would be seriously difficult to distinguish beteween entitlement and desire amid so much pain. I feel for anyone in that situation, I really do. But I can’t allow my compassion (of which I have a LOT) override my convictions. I can’t ignore what this environment is breeding within the institution of adoption. I just can’t.

    xoxo

    Oh, and wordpress is acting funky today. It’s not you. ;o)

  4. You’re right, of course. I know that I didn’t and wouldn’t do anything unethical or illegal to get a baby.

    The system definitely needs to be changed. I totally agree.

  5. Excellent post Mia. It’s like that old legal saying, my rights end at the tip of the other persons nose…well as an infertile person, my rights have to be limited at the point where it affects another human being.

    And as an adoptee, I am that other human being.

    I have to disagree on a few tiny points though. Demand does not outstrip the supply of children, just healthy white newborn children. Which leads us to the real problem, when infertile couples can’t deal with the losses they need to mourn, and attempt to replicate what they have lost, instead of really wanting to help a child who has no home.

    I know, I’ve been through that hell, and that mourning is necessary for the PAPs own sake and any future children they may have, bio or adopted.

    I am also glad that comment was left up on the forum. Politicians never believe me when I tell them that baby-selling and buying exists, and this is why we have to ban private adoption, and all money exchanges, whether to lawyers or agencies. Public agencies could do the same thing, no money involved. It’s just nice to have proof in writing to show them, is all I’m saying.

  6. Mia

    Aurelia you are absolutely correct about the demand regarding domestic adoption. I guess I don’t make the distinction anymore because I assume it’s implied. I do however think this mentality applies to a larger population than healthy white US born babies. I think it’s pretty common within the international adoption arena as well. A PAP with a sense of entitlement can be colorblind and cross borders.

  7. rob

    Hi Mia:

    1) I don’t mean to be cheeky, so forgive me in advance, but my obvious response to your first point is: why did you choose the post on my BBS as a blog subject (and link to it) if you believe I should have deleted the post?

    2) Domestic adoption involves natural parents actively choosing the future parents for their children. You merely described an intent. What alternative do you suggest for matching natural parents and PAPs?

    3) To Mom2One: I am interested to hear from natural mothers who read this blog entry about your comment “we felt very uncomfortable with the aspect of ‘selling’ ourselves.” To me, the adoption profile process is MUCH more respectful to natural parents than a situation where the natural parents have NO CHOICE over who gets their son or daughter.

    “Selling” ourselves was absolutely uncomfortable. But, in my opinion, it affords the natural parents with a vital level of respect and control.

    The alternatives ARE an agency making the decision for all involved or natural parents reviewing ONLY all text profiles, which — in my opinion — do not work.

    4) My feelings on adoptive parent intent are on opposite poles. I selfishly wanted to be a father. Adoption afforded me the opportunity. My wife and my son are my world.

    Nobody has children naturally to “help provide a [child] in need.” It is unfair to expect the opposite for PAPs, in my opinion (and on the part of PAPs who say that this is the case inm their situation, I categorically believe that they are being dishonest).

    I have said this before, but I believe a person/coupld with the selfish motive of wanting to parent a child stands to do a far better job than one whose intent is to “save” a child.

    The “save a child” concept is almost tacky to me. An orphanage provides a home for children in need and “saves children,” but it certainly doesn’t compare to being raised by parents whose selfish intent is to parent.

    5) Everyone in domestic adoption has to create a profile, whether you are white, black, yellow, whatever… and no matter what type of child you believe best suits your family.

    I have no problems with white PAPs wanting to adopt white children. It is such a ridiculous point to me.

    6) The “entitlement” issue is also incredibly annoying to me. My wife and I never felt ENTITLED to have a child, in the sense that you speak of it (as a sense that we are deserving of the special right or privilege over someone else). Adoption exists. We wanted to be parents. We filed an application. We went through a home study. We prepared a profile. We were selected to be the parents of a child. That’s it.

    7) The TRUTH is that children and adoptive parents should not be treated as commodities. The UNFORTUNATE truth is that in adoption, they both are… and it cannot be changed.

  8. rob

    Quick reply to the reply… I failed to include natural parents in #7. I think the UNFORTUNATE reality is that they, too, are commodities in adoption.

    Also, I was not offended by your comment at all… AND, most importantly, the tone of my reply is not angry in ANY way.

    I have noticed such a prejudice against adoptive parents who don’t “get it” in the adoption blogosphere that the implied tone of ANY such post is put into the guise of having been written by Cruella Deville. Not so in this case, so please read as if we are just having a chat by a watercooler.

    Thanks. 🙂

  9. Rob, please, I am simply talking about our choices, me, my husband and I — not saying what is right for everyone. Notice that I said that I have nothing against domestic adoption, that I think it’s a fine choice. That, in fact, the aspect of “selling” oneself was a very small part of our decision, which is part of why I haven’t brought it up before. Very small. Other parts weighed much more heavily. And I also noted that there are, indeed, problems with international adoption, just as there are problems with domestic adoption.

    Please don’t take one small part of my comment out of context and make an issue out of that. There are, of course, issues with international adoption, but I am not here to blast domestic adoption. I simply provided my opinion, something that figured in a small way in a decision that was made 7 years ago. I would ask that you please provide myself and other international adoptive parents with the same respect.

    Thank you.

  10. Great reply Mia

    I said in a post today that I often wonder if we would have gone down the adoption superhighway if we knew then what we know now. This is no way saying anything bad about our daughter or our situation, I know it was as ethical as could be. But we were feeding a system that is so broken. We didn’t realize when we first started that most kids who are adopted don’t need to be rescued, they would be just fine with the parents that God gave them.

    And now I wonder if we will adopt domestically again….

  11. Mia

    Regarding #1.
    I actually did give that some thought. I decided to link for two reasons. One, the request by that agency was placed a few months ago, not yesterday. Two because my audience consists largely of adoptees and natural parents. Sadly very few PAP’s are beating a path here. If I thought for one second my post would contribute one penny to that despicable agency I would beat myself with a wire hanger.

    As for answers: that’s why I am present, to assist in any way I can in finding them.

    You said:
    The “save a child” concept is almost tacky to me. An orphanage provides a home for children in need and “saves children,” but it certainly doesn’t compare to being raised by parents whose selfish intent is to parent.

    I don’t believe I said the act of adoption need be selfless. That would be silly and totally unrealistic. I certainly wouldn’t want to be parented by someone who didn’t WANT to be a parent! Why though does the desire to parent and providing a home for a child in need have to be exclusive ? Both should be present when the decision to adopt is made. I am curious though how “providing a loving home for a child in need” got translated into “saving a child”? What exactly would you be saving us from? Orphan Scurvy?

    You said:
    Nobody has children naturally to “help provide a [child] in need.” It is unfair to expect the opposite for PAPs, in my opinion (and on the part of PAPs who say that this is the case in their situation, I categorically believe that they are being dishonest).

    I categorically believe that it absolutely IS fair to expect that from PAP’s. If you can’t have children that sucks. Adoption is not supposed to be about fixing that problem for you. It can’t and it won’t. Ever.

    You said:
    I have no problems with white PAPs wanting to adopt white children. It is such a ridiculous point to me.

    I wonder if the thousands of orphans passed over in this country because they are too dark or too old or too…..whatever, think it’s a ridiculous point? Requiring a list of physical characteristics when shopping for a baby……..now THAT is ridiculous. Adoption has become an infirtility supermarket.

    You said:
    The “entitlement” issue is also incredibly annoying to me. My wife and I never felt ENTITLED to have a child, in the sense that you speak of it (as a sense that we are deserving of the special right or privilege over someone else).

    NOOOO DUDE, what I spoke of was PAP’s feeling entitled PERIOD. Not entitled over someone else, entitled to a child period!

    You said:
    We filed an application. We went through a home study. We prepared a profile. We were selected to be the parents of a child. That’s it.

    You forgot to mention you made a movie and went on the news. Don’t get upset by me mentioning this, I only do because it was part of your process. It demonstrates the point I am trying to make regarding the essence of what adoption has become.

    You said:
    The TRUTH is that children and adoptive parents should not be treated as commodities. The UNFORTUNATE truth is that in adoption, they both are… and it cannot be changed.

    If I thought that were true I would delete this blog today, quit volunteering for the support groups, halt all search assistance and give up hope on the world. Fortunately I do NOT believe for a second it cannot be changed. Here’s the problem: change needs to come from a complete shift in the attitude and mindset of ADOPTIVE PARENTS. Sorry to put the weight of the matter squarely in your lap but man that’s where it goes.

  12. Mia

    Thank you so much for coming by Erin. I’m sure you are a fantastic parent. If you see the system as broken you become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

    Bless you.

  13. Mia, this is fantastic. Thank you so much for your post, and your responses. Thanks for helping us get it, and for getting some of us aparents and paparents who really are trying really hard to get it.
    I’m going to link to it if you don’t mind.

  14. Abebech thank YOU because I was sitting here thinking I had possibly alienated people I care about with my reply. Since you are one of them I am feeling better. It is SO difficult to get a point across without layers of emotion covering up the important parts. I so wish I could figure out a way to convey properly that I really DO care and that I only wish to see a better way evolve.
    xoxo

  15. “the implied tone of ANY such post is put into the guise of having been written by Cruella Deville”

    Wow….. is she still around? I thought she retired after my little sister was adopted.

    Mia… thank you for this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  16. Wow – beautifully said, Miss Mia – as always. I’m with Theresa – thank you, thank you for this post.

  17. Mia – you rock!!
    Poss. xx

  18. Mia

    Theresa that caught my eye too. I have spoken to MANY AP’s and had lovely conversations with them. Of course they were honest and open and not at all defensive.
    If you have no choice but to acknowledge that the system you took part in is broken you can do one of two things: you can take responsibility for your contribution and help to find a better way
    or
    you can admit it’s messed up but totally excuse yourself from blame by firmly believing it cannot change. “Well sure it’s messed up but it’s the only way”
    Not.

  19. Mia

    Thanks (((Poss))) (((Paula)))

  20. Mia,

    I’ve been thinking about this since you posted it — which is a good sign, by the way. It means you wrote a really thought-provoking post.

    Entitled. Did I feel entitleddeserved a child just because I wanted one, just because I walk this earth? I that sense, no. I had a strong desire for one.

    So I believe I misspoke before, mixing feeling entitled with feeling desire.

    BUT: was the system completely, totally above-board? How we want it to be? I can only speak to international adoption since that’s the method I used.

    Our adoption, as far as we know, was ethical and legal.

    But: looking back, there are some things I do have questions about.

    This could probably take up a whole post in itself, but the fee structure is very — well, once you get to “country fees” it all seems to go haywire and you just wonder why the heck the country fees are so high and where exactly the money goes. I’m all for paying those who are working on that end a fair wage for the adoption and money going to the orphanages, but I’m not all about giving the big muckety mucks even more money. Yanno?

    Anyways — yes, there are improvements that need to be made. How? I don’t exactly know. But yes. And for the record, I didn’t feel alienated at all.

  21. There are at least some of us aparents out there who try to get it, who try to understand the experiences of our children as adoptees, who try to understand the experiences of our children’s other real parents. We try to change the very broken system that through which we became parents.

    It’s writing like yours that helps us to understand, to be better educators, and better parents. Thanks.

  22. rob

    Mia:

    The point hasn’t been made, but the only way a “change” as you suggest can be made (as I see it) is to ban infant adoption.

    Is this the change you are talking about?

    Again, I don’t understand your entitlement statement, unless you mean that an AP feels entitled AFTER the adoption, in which case I would fall into that camp. I never felt entitled to anyone’s baby until a short time after we took home our son (not immediately, interestingly enough). Is this what you mean? Then, I’m guilty. Otherwise, can you give me an example of what you mean?

    My discomfort with the “providing a child with a home in need” is that it puts me in a position of “hero,” deserving of some kind of special recognition or requiring that my son somehow be grateful because I brought him out of “need.” It goes without saying that I am doing that by adopting. I could have just donated money to a local orphanage and satisfied that intent.

    The way I look at it is my son could have done well in any situation. I believe he could have done BEST with his natural family were they in a position to “provide him with a home” (doesn’t this sound silly?)… My point here: limiting me as a person who should just “provide a home” demeans me as a parent. And, that is what I am.

    Would it really make you feel better about your adoption if your parents (well, maybe they did, I don’t know) adopted you because they primarily were just looking to “provide a needy child with a home?” Like you can’t put yourself in my situation as a part of an infertile couple, I can’t put myself in your position… but in my mind, this would make me feel a lot less excited about my adoptive parents. I’m interested in hearing other adoptee feelings on this point to help me understand a bit further.

    I will be eternally grateful to AJ’s natural family and to him. Not the other way around. As I see it, someone who adopts with the primary intent of “providing a home” would demand gratefulness (and it would support how our society currently expects natural mothers and adoptees to feel grateful and appreciative towards APs)… and, if there is one thing I have learned in the adoptee blogosphere, it is that this is patently ridiculous.

  23. Hello, Mia. I found your site because Joy started a thread on Soul of Adoption guiding people to you. She spoke of you in glowing terms. Who knew you’d be so welcoming?

    Thanks for leaving a post on RRBBS so I can respond. No, I shouldn’t be ashamed, in fact. I had nothing to gain from that post – I was merely passing along information to Rob and his wife from a private board that they didn’t have access to (did you see the post title: From Another Board)?). And while the $$ part is what inflamed you, the reason I re-posted was that the baby was Filipina. Rob’s wife is also Filipina. So assuming the baby was in need of parents, I thought that Rob and his wife would be able to provide cultural heritage in a way that another couple might not. When Rob castigated me for posting (because of the $$ and the immediacy), I did not tell him why I posted, for fear that being race-aware would be mistaken for being racist.

    You seem to think I would get a cut or something.

    Please understand that all my adoption viewpoints are predicated on non-coerced adoptions, where an expectant mother freely makes the decision that adoption is the best option for her. It doesn’t seem like happens much in the universe of the boards, but seems to be more common IRL.

    I have spent more that a year now on various boards, trying to get a more well-rounded perspective than my a-parent view. I’ve had teachers who don’t even know that they are (for example, Jenna and Nicole as firstmothers, Anifish and Cheryl as adoptees). I have been wide open to learning (http://soulofadoption.com/forum/index.php?topic=14861.0) and teaching what I know (http://rrbbs.com/cgi-bin/bbs/onethread.pl?15-995).

    As for my tips for waiting adoptive parents…they actually work in favor of expectant parents considering adoption. My main counsel is for them to be themselves out loud, to be genuine. In fact on my own website and on (http://forums.adoption.com/general-adoptive-parent-support/248867-trying-sell-yourself-something-you-not-2.html) I specifically say it’s not about being slick or playing to the reader.

    Assuming an adoption is going to take place (which is probably where your real beef lies), wouldn’t it be better if the choosing mother gets to see who potential adoptive parents really are, and not some bland or showy portrayal? And guess what? The “Baby’s Room” photo works in bringing together birth and adoptive parents. Not because it’s ostentatious (most of my clients are not wealthy), but because it symbolizes room in their hearts and lives for a child.

    Nina, in the original thread, were you suggesting that I am more despicable because the birthmothers who chose my husband and me had white children? Did you somehow get the idea that I turned down the chance to parent non-white children? Do you know enough about me to make that judgment?

    Maybe it makes you all feel good – just a little superior – to tear people down. Or maybe it’s just easier to lash out at all things adoption because of your private wounds and hurts. But does it really do anything to improve Adoption World? It’s so much easier to criticize than to create. Why don’t you take all your anger at your own situations and channel it to improve things? People wonder why there’s so much war energy around.

  24. Mia

    Welcome Mommela!

    M2One I loved your comment. You have given me a lot to think about this week.

    I happen to really like your reply Rob. Its honest and you ask some thought provoking questions. I was actually pretty excited because I had read your reply and a post on another blog and a lightbulb went off in my head. I’m excited about the ideas your comments have inspired in me. I am happy that we are talking about this. No change will take place without it. I know you don’t see change as viable but I ask that you stick with the conversation for a little longer. Maybe you will walk away feeling differently? I am formulating ideas for productive change and also holding myself accountable to answer your questions.

    I popped back up here really quick to check my inbox and there was a comment from your friend Best Light (to be moderated because it included links). I allowed it because I want EVERYONE to see how a productive conversation regarding change can go SOUTH so quickly.

    As for you Best Light (Lori) I can understand why you felt the need to be defensive. We weren’t very nice. I suppose I should have stated my opposition to your actions and left it at that. As I said earlier, right or wrong sometimes we joke because it HURTS.
    I see you wish to not have your character nor your motives scrutinized and judged without knowing the first thing about you. I highly suggest you learn to do the same or you may not ever find that happening for you.
    If you notice I did not attack your character as a human being nor your abilities as a mother. I DID question your decision to forward that post and I DID question your choice of career. I still do. I stand by that.

  25. “Orphan Scurvy? ”

    Brilliant!! LOL

    Your post is absolutely fabulous and spot-on.

    Lori seems to be mad that you’ve hit her in the handbag. 😉

  26. rob

    Mia:

    I am more than happy to stay in the conversation a LOT longer. You, sadly, are the only one in the adoption blogosphere who is interested in taking on my questions in more depth. This is not the first time I have asked them.

    There is ONLY talk of a NEED for change, but there is never talk of WHAT can be changed?

    I think I have thought about every other potential scenario that doesn’t ignore the feelings of ALL parties in the Adoption Circle (I hate the Adoption Triad term and “triangle” because, by its very nature, it has one of the three members on the bottom of the triangle). A circle has everyone on equal footing, and that should be the goal.

    The “marketing” aspect seems to be distasteful to the majority of you who are responding. So, how do we change that?

    One potential change I thought of is to only have personal interviews between natural parents and PAPs, rather than profiles. BUT: (1) The PAPs still market themselves like one would for a job interview — I, for instance, might actually comb my hair for the first time in ages (a little humor for a serious subject); (2) some natural parents may have absolutely no interest in this kind of meeting (coming from personal experience, I can tell you that our first meeting with a mother who selected us to parent her child was probably the HARDEST thing I have EVER done in my thirty seven years); (3) it disrespects PAPs because — as I said — this is incredibly difficult… and as there could be multiple meetings where certain PAPs are not selected multiple times, it becomes incredibly demeaning (i.e., what is wrong with us?). That’s a lot of emotional baggage to put on PAPs, as far as I am concerned.

    Any other ideas?

  27. Mia

    I’m on it. Until then you may want to check this out. It’s an interesting alternative to the triangle, which I agree is not at all accurate. I like the adoptive plane much better. I liked the circle too but I think your concept ties into this one quite well.

    http://wraithswrealm.com/blog/2006/01/19/the-adoptive-plane/

  28. Hi Mia,
    thank you for posting it. Once again it begs the question why do we always have to be nice? I don’t apologize for my comments regarding Lori’s for profit marketing service, and honestly her business makes me sick. Ignorance is not an excuse. I could sit here and rip apart and criticize every line in her offensive post, however I will leave my “war” energy aside.

    I do respect the adoptive parents who are making an effort to inform themselves and open up dialogue. We need more of you!

    Bijou

  29. AMH

    After reading your post, which I stumbled upon after visiting Abech’s site, I went back to my own blog and started typing away. And then decided to come back here and leave a comment.

    I’m a new adoptive mom, and a young one at that. So I will preface this by saying I may be a bit naive.

    I agree wholeheartedly that there are things that desperately need to be changed when it comes to adoption, particularly domestic infant adoption. It is troubling.

    I know when I compiled our profile, I felt pretty damn strange about the whole thing. I’m a graphic designer by profession and I kind of felt as if I were putting together an advertising piece for a client. Look at us and our happy home, our picket fence and our golden retriever… all we need is a baby! Blah.

    Being presented with cases and being profiled was an even odder experience, and one I’m not sure I want to repeat.

    The thing is, and I know this is getting long and I’m not really articulating my thoughts all that well, but…. I think many PAPs are as uncomfortable with this whole process as first moms and adoptees are. I often felt as if we were being objectified, that our feelings were trampled on, that we were supposed to be the ones to suck it up and hold it in. At times I think PAPs get lost in the shuffle of it all. It is no wonder so many end up misguided and in a place that is not GOOD.

    Not sure my point is worth anything but I guess I just wanted to say, that we as PAPs sometimes feel as lost as we may look. And that I know myself and my husband, we wanted to do the best we could, with what we had, in terms of making this a positive experience in spite of the loss, sadness, anger, etc. that we know exists on every side.

    So bring on the change, I know many of us APs and PAPs would welcome it.

    Will be back to read more, glad I found your blog.

  30. Welcome AMH. I’m glad you’re here. I thought you articulated your point just fine. ;o) Different aspects of adoption are difficult for everyone. I think sometimes we get stuck trying to fight over who gets the title for having it the worst. I know I find myself there a lot. We all feel so misunderstood sometimes, our intentions, our hearts…..all so freaking misunderstood. It makes me so sad.

    Thinking about all of this today has made my head feel like it’s going to explode. So I am going to bed. lol Thanks for your comment. I will visit soon.

  31. Rob: you said……

    “Would it really make you feel better about your adoption if your parents (well, maybe they did, I don’t know) adopted you because they primarily were just looking to “provide a needy child with a home?”

    As an adoptee – yes – I think this would help.

    I truly believe – that if my first mother had been given the support – had been explicitly told – “YES – you very well could raise this child yourself – AND do a damn good job at it too” – and the means to do it – I think that I would NOT have been a child in need at all.

    I would NOT be an adoptee.

    Society have placed the banner of ‘child in need’ on so many children’s heads because the parents are deemed to be too young – be in college – be single – not to have ‘enough’ money – pregnant at the ‘wrong’ time in their lives. But if these young mothers/fathers were told the truth about adoption – I believe that most would step up to the plate – and parent the child that has come into their lives.

    When infertile parents want to have a child – pressuring – even slightly – these young parents – is the worst thing that can be done. Too many emotions running way too high – decisions being made at inappropriate times.

    First mothers are NOT told about the extensive psychological effects that they WILL be subject too, on forever separating from their child – or the extensive psychological effects that the adoption will have on the adoptee.

    If the child is truly “IN NEED” – that is – the parent can NOT in fact parent – then the appropriate actions can take place.

    I think the term of ‘needy’ needs to be pulled apart – to really get at the crux of what people perceive adoption to be.

    As long as society has such little respect for the mother/child bond – adoption will always be deemed as the ‘next best thing’ – when that judgment is often taken far too swiftly – without proper disclosure of ALL the facts.

    And I also strongly believe that if adoption was not a commercialized venture – there would NOT be as many adoptions taking place as there are to this day.

    JMHO – from an adoptee who has felt the pain from being absent from her first mother – every single day of her life.

    Especially when it didn’t really need to happen.

    Possum.

  32. Mia, I am hesistant to weigh in because DAMMIT, I’m a coward! However, I am very proud of you for this post and your exhaustive effort to reply to the many challenging comments. I wish I had more to offer you right now but all I have is admiration, support and cyber hugs. Keep up the good work, sweetie. Hugs, Rebecca

  33. ” it becomes incredibly demeaning (i.e., what is wrong with us?). That’s a lot of emotional baggage to put on PAPs, as far as I am concerned.”

    Mark… I’m going to try and say this as gently as possible, because I believe you are really trying hard here to have an open conversation on the matter, but…

    “What’s wrong with us?”

    There you have it.

    “What’s wrong with us?” could be the motto of adoptees. So many of us spend our lives singing that little ‘what’s wrong with me?’ tune. And we’ve got the whole wide world ready to tell us exactly what IS wrong with us.

    Speaking only as this little BSE adoptee, I find the entire adoption industry to be incredibly demeaning. Speaking only as this little BSE adoptee, I feel I’ve had an entire airline cargo hold of emotional baggage put on me.

    I know it’s unfair to take one line out of someone’s post and run with it, but I’m selfish and self-serving like that.

    But I don’t have an answer to your question on how to change the industry, because I’m the industry’s product. And I think the industry sucks. To me it feels like asking a slaughterhouse cow how to make the meat processing industry better. Moo.

    Oh see, I try and say something gently and it ends with a slaughtered cow. I can’t do anything right.

  34. Amy

    I have some ideas that have been scattered throughout blogosphere by both adoptees and first parents.

    1.) Open the records. Let all have access to the court records, the adoption agency records and most importantly the original birth certificate. Maybe even go as far as no longer having amended birth certificates. Have all names on the birth certificate. That way it is the truth. Take the lies completely out of adoption.

    2.) Make open adoptions legally binding. If you sign a contract saying that your child will have contact with the first parents, HONOR it. Keep in mind that first parents are making a gut wrenching decision. Don’t take the baby and run. Keep your promises to them as well as to your child. That child doesn’t get confused about who is the parents.

    3.) Take the marketing out of adoption. As an adoptee, the money aspect disgusts and mortifies me. I feel like merchandise bought and paid for by adoptive parents. I understand that you wanted a child but this is supposed to be about my needs not just yours. Until you understand that there won’t be any change. Keep in mind that adoption agencies and attorneys make the profit. Lets change that aspect of it. There is more marketing in human adoption than in animal adoption. We have production sales here for the horses. They don’t advertise it like human adoption. When you go to the SPCA or other animal shelters, do you really see the marketing in that? I don’t but human adoption is getting worse and worse.

    Those are a few suggestions. Lori one of the things that I noticed on your web page is that you have zilch for adoptees. Adoptees should not be treated like mere products to be obtained. Show some respect for us, adoptees who are now all grown up.

    Just because you want to be parents and you have suffered from infertility does outweigh the rights of first parents who truly want to be parents or the rights of adoptees who want access to our information. Respect the loss that we do feel. I always hear from my adoptive mother, “what about me?” My search and reunion or lack of it is not about her. It is about discovering who I am. Both the nuturing side as well as the nature side. Allow me to discover who I truly am.

  35. All FABULOUS POINTS MY FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!

  36. Possum writes:

    ““Would it really make you feel better about your adoption if your parents (well, maybe they did, I don’t know) adopted you because they primarily were just looking to “provide a needy child with a home?”

    As an adoptee – yes – I think this would help. ”

    One of the reasons aparents struggle with this is that so many people tell us “bless you for doing such a wonderful thing,” and we don’t feel so saintly. But knowing that the need was genuine probably would help.

    I don’t want my daughter to feel that we adopted “primarily” to save her, and I don’t want her to think of herself as a “needy child,” but I DID want (in my own process) — and frankly I wish every paparent wanted this — to be able to say, truthfully, unhesitatingly and heartbreakingly that it *couldn’t* have been another way. I knew all along our process, very much because of all of you, that more than thinking about “my baby,” I needed to be thinking about the grown-up whose life I would steward through childhood, and that I would be accountable to that person. I wish padoptive counseling encouraged accountability-in-advance to adult adoptees.

    That isn’t to say eliminating domestic adoption. In some cases it ought to exist. But I also wish there was no marketing of paparents, no pre-birth “matching,” both of which, I think, would help guarantee that the “need” was genuine (and would be healthier and more defensible for all involved). . . that and I wish we’d get rid of slogans like “Isn’t it nice that someone else is ready to parent when you aren’t?” over Let’s get you ready to parent . . . unless you really, really can’t.

  37. AMH

    “1.) Open the records. Let all have access to the court records, the adoption agency records and most importantly the original birth certificate. Maybe even go as far as no longer having amended birth certificates. Have all names on the birth certificate. That way it is the truth. Take the lies completely out of adoption.”

    I agree with this completely. We recieved our daughter’s amended birth certificate in the mail about a month ago, and I felt kind of WEIRD about it. Like, not happy. As if I’d erased some piece of who she was and is and will be.

    We have a copy of her original birth certificate, but the bfather’s name is blacked out. We have a very open arrangement with our daughter’s birth mother but she has not told us or anyone who the birth father is.

    At any rate I think allowing access to ALL the material is of utmost importance to adoptees. I have kept every scrap of paper that WE have had access to, right down to the little post-it notes I scribbled on when we first were called about her.

  38. Amy

    I am going to reply to some of the comments above in a hodgepodge manner.
    1) I completely get the child in need thought. I don’t think that Rob ever will get. While he is polite and well spoken and makes some very good points on other topics he doesn’t get it and wont. I am a huge supporter of adopting children from orphanages. I am a supporter of giving a life to children waiting silently for their next bottle of watered down formula. I am not into adopting a healthy white infant. That child doesn’t need me. It is a very valuable commodity. To me parenting is about my ability to give. The need to parent put in me by nature. It doesn’t put me in the position of hero, it lets me fill my need to be needed. One of the reasons my daughters adoption was such a failure is because her mother didn’t need to give or be needed, she needed the image she had grown up imagining.
    To dumb it way down, and I apologise in advance for this… One of my favorite dogs was found huddled in a corner, malnourished and covered in fleas. I didn’t want a dog, she needed an owner.

    2) Adoptive parents who say what about me? Its not about you. Plain and simple. I gave birth to the child, my child is now your child. Yes, you are the parent. You got thrown up on, you stayed up way too late to pick them up after ski club. You made the sacrifices. You wanted to be a parent and you got it, all of it. Just like every other parent natural or otherwise. That is what we as parents signed up for. Parenting is a sacrifice, adopting a child comes with its own set of issues. Its not about you, suck it up.

    3) I love the slaughtered cow comment. I loved a lot of comments but I especially love that one.

  39. rob

    Man, I wrote this treatise and lost it when my computer crashed… ah well. I’ll try and salvage some of the basic points.

    Wow! I didn’t really ask for anything other than for potential changes to the marketing system as it currently exists in the domestic adoption arena.

    I *NEVER* said that adoption cannot be changed or that it doesn’t need to be changed. I believe it does. I’ll use Amy’s list as a guide:

    1) Open records: agreed

    2) Make open adoptions legally binding: agreed. In fact, I am in favor of establishing “guardianships,” so long as all parties agree. The problem here for natural parents seeking this kind of scenario is that the supply of potential guardians will likely be slim. My wife and I know — especially now — that there is no way we could emotionally handle such a scenario. I imagine that there are a good number who can (e.g., those involved in foster parenting).

    The issue with guardianship, though, is costs. So, I imagine that a “child support payment” system would need to be in effect, or a contract for the natural parents to pay back the “guardians” at a later time. Controversial, I am sure… but I am completely digressing now.

    I believe that open adoptions should have CONTRACTS between the APs and the natural parents that should be just as legally enforceable as child visitation agreements in a divorce.

    3) Take the marketing and money out of adoptions: do you REALLY think that ANY AP or PAP would disagree? No way. This is a GREAT idea. The marketing of ourselves was one of the most uncomfortable situations I have ever been in and, yes, the money was a lot.

    So… to take the money out of the equation, how do we do that? Tax money to pay for government agencies to handle the matching of PAPs and natural parents? Hmmm… interesting.

    BUT, we still have the marketing component. Nobody would want to put the agency in a position to randomly match or to choose for the natural parents… so, again, we are at the impasse question in this regard: what are the “marketing” alternatives? Or, how do you take marketing out of the equation? My opinion, again: you can’t; and, the system currently in effect is the best possible solution for all parties involved.

    There is so much common ground between those who “get it” and those who “don’t” (I so hate this terminology — there IS no right answer in any of this… only attempts to generally do what is right for all parties involved which differs from person to person, as far as I am concerned, but I do agree that there are some basic things, as listed above, that should most definitely be instituted).

    I mean, I am assuming that I am listed as “not getting it” because of a perceived notion that I disagree with the basic issues that Amy posted. I don’t. So, do I not “get it” because I disagree with the marketing aspect?

    Help me get it, in that regard.

    To Possum: I don’t disagree with anything you said after “As an adoptee – yes – I think this would help.”

    I was hoping you would expand further on the issue of why a PAP should be thinking about providing a home for a child in need as a primary intent versus just primarily wanting to be a mommy or daddy.

    What followed after your statement, as I understand it, was discussion about a need
    for society/adoption to better recognize the child/natural parent bond…

    Again, this guy who “doesn’t get it” believes that adoption should be reformed to do everything in its power to KEEP NATURAL FAMILIES TOGETHER. I agree it doesn’t do enough.

    BUT, this doesn’t help me to understand why, in my choice to adopt, I should be more concerned about providing my son with a home rather than just wanting to plain be his Daddy (because the home comes along as an “added bonus” in the latter scenario). That is what I need help with.

    To Theresa:

    Your “what about us” comment wasn’t unfair. It just had nothing to do with what I was talking about.

    I never said adoptees don’t have emotional baggage from an adoption. I understand that. All parties in the adoption circle have emotional baggage from the process.

    My point was that the only idea to change the “domestic adoption marketing system” that I could come up with was too burdensome on PAPs.

    This was in no way meant to discredit the burdens and emotional baggage of the other parties involved.

    Which goes to a new point: IF WE ARE GOING TO TRY AND MAKE CHANGE, WE NEED TO ACCEPT EACH OTHERS’ PAIN AS UNDERSTOOD AND GO TO THE NEXT STEP OF THE DISCUSSION. Why? Because when we focus on the pain, there is the tendency to lose complete track of what we’re talking about, as in this case.

    Amy (not sure if this is the same as the first) said: “I am not into adopting a healthy white infant. That child doesn’t need me.”

    Yikes. This is political correctness gone mad IF you mean that a PAP is somehow immoral for wanting to adopt a healthy, white infant.

    A healthy white child who is up for adoption needs parents, too.

    I guess you mean that because there is such a huge demand for white, healthy babies, that you would like to help those who aren’t white and who aren’t healthy. More power to you. I don’t think it is at all fair to require everyone to feel as you do.

    Parenting is not about me, absolutely. We agree. My decision to adopt was about me. That is what most of you are uncomfortable with. I understand that, but you are not in my shoes.

  40. Mia

    AMH it felt weird because it’s a falsified document. I am very glad you were able to obtain a copy of your childs OBC. Keeping everything was a very wise thing to do!

    Abebech- you said: to be able to say, truthfully, unhesitatingly and heartbreakingly that it *couldn’t* have been another way.
    YES YES YES.

    You know I agree with you Amy and I think we are saying the same thing here but I guess I don’t see what the real problem is about being a childs hero. If there is the desire to provide for a child who otherwise has absolutely NO other way to experience family and unconditional love (a big one) what’s the big deal?
    Being a hero means never acting with praise as your motivator. One might question why as things stand, so many adoptees walk around feeling like they are indebted to their parents when the majority of parents are claiming they don’t want to be a hero? Why don’t you want to be? If you adopt for the right reasons that’s what you are. And yes there is more than one right reason. As Possum was saying the truth in that isn’t so bad. I have to wonder if somewhere deep inside non- believing AP’s actually do see something wrong with their motives. Could it be because somewhere along the line the first priority of adoption got lost?

    I

  41. rob

    Abebech:

    Just thought I would tell you that I loved your comment.

  42. Mia

    Rob I hit send and then your comment showed up. I have to run but will read through it in depth soon.
    Oh, and I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I thought you totally didn’t get it. I have been down that road and it is way to painful and frustrating. We don’t have to agree on everything, we just have to work toward understanding one another . I think we are both (and most here) doing just that so far.
    I know you replied to others but since this is my blog I get to comment too. ;o) I know you are having a difficult time with the distinction between top priority in adoption and why that is such a big deal to us. I will try to address that here unless someone else beats me to it which is fine by me. Consider this an open coffee house for a while.
    Ciao.

  43. Hi Rob,
    You said to me:

    “I was hoping you would expand further on the issue of why a PAP should be thinking about providing a home for a child in need as a primary intent versus just primarily wanting to be a mommy or daddy.”

    Because if this is your sole (or strongest – gut feeling) motivator for adopting – then you are doing it for you – and NOT doing it for the child.
    In essence – this is what you either ‘get’ or you don’t.

    If this is your sole motivator for adopting – then I hope that this won’t impact your child in years to come – but I’ve seen too many times – WAY too many times – how this belief DOES effect the adoptee.

    It implys that your NEED to be a mommy or daddy is far grater than the NEED of that child.

    First and foremost – the child NEEDS to be with the mother that he/she was born to. There is a lot of research to back this up. I will find specific document details if you so desire.

    You may not specifically ‘say’ such things to your child – but beliefs often have a subtle way of being projected onto our children – and that effects children’s beliefs in their world.

    You wouldn’t believe how sad it makes me feel (and yes – angry at times) that my mother could have mothered me if she’d been given the correct guidance and support. Therefore – I was adopted – because of all the WRONG reasons. That hurts. More than I will ever be able to explain.

    You also stated earlier to the comment above –

    “My wife and I know — especially now — that there is no way we could emotionally handle such a scenario. I imagine that there are a good number who can (e.g., those involved in foster parenting).”

    If you could not emotionally handle such a situation such as an open adoption/guardianship/fostering – then perhaps you should not be acceptable as a carer of someone else’s child.

    The child’s need is of paramount importance. We, as adults, must act on behalf of children (as we have the power) to make sure that we are looking after their needs – BEFORE any of our needs.
    It’s not about the adult needs.

    What’s done is done. And I am encouraged that you are willing to try to understand this vast mine-field from other points of view.

    Until society realizes that it NEEDS to be about the children – FIRST AND FOREMOST – then thousands and thousands of children are going to be hurt – and they will feel a deep loss for their entire lives. (whether they show it to you – or whether they hide it) As I have stated before – on my blog – “Forcing your views on them (either explicitly or not) will only make them close-down and then you will only see the adoptee that YOU want to see. Adoptees become very clever at showing you what only YOU want to see.”
    They feel that they’ve been rejected once before – they don’t want to chance fate by being rejected by you – their adoptive parent.

    Just so society gets the chance to be a mommy or a daddy??? This kinda makes me very sad.

    Poss.

  44. Sorry Rob – more from me!!!
    You said:

    “BUT, this doesn’t help me to understand why, in my choice to adopt, I should be more concerned about providing my son with a home rather than just wanting to plain be his Daddy (because the home comes along as an “added bonus” in the latter scenario). That is what I need help with.”

    Your other comments spoke to me of you having a problem with ‘sharing’ your son with his first parents – that emotionally an open adoption would be too difficult for you. Emotionally for you and your wife???? Again – this says to me that it is about you – and NOT about your son. (am I making any sense??)
    I don’t dispute that their are so many many emotions involved here – but you need to get yours sorted out – by whatever means – so that you don’t project those emotions onto your son.
    Because you will.
    If you have a problem being open about all of this – then so will your son.
    You son now has two sets of parents.
    End of story.
    You have to somehow embrace his first family – and allow your son to talk/vent/love his first family – as they are forever a part of him – and it is about him.
    In no way am I suggesting that material possession come above your child needing a good father/mother. But you must question your ‘parenting’ if you can’t cope with the truth of who your son really is.
    You want your son to grow into a loving and caring man – and by answering to his needs – and allowing him to grow into his own being – he will indeed grow to be comfortable in his own skin.
    It has to be a balance of the nature/nurture – because no matter what – you will never be able to remove the nature out of the equation. That is part of who he is. (and ‘mirroring’ from biological relatives is extremely important)
    You need to embrace that part of him – and you need to allow him the questions about that part of him.
    If you have a problem with this – then it is your problem – not his. Again – it must always be about him.
    Does this help a little??
    Poss.

  45. I moved my comment to the next post.

    Nice job Poss :o)

  46. Rob, I wanted to address this too:
    “BUT, this doesn’t help me to understand why, in my choice to adopt, I should be more concerned about providing my son with a home rather than just wanting to plain be his Daddy (because the home comes along as an “added bonus” in the latter scenario). That is what I need help with.”

    I wanted more than anything in this world to just plain be a momma to another child. And that is the reason that we sought to adopt. But even in that want I also knew I could only be a momma to a child who did not have a momma or had a family who could truly not raise her.

    We started to use in our conversations what we called the “burning building” test, and the situations we were presented with just didn’t meet that test (Is this a woman throwing a child to safety from a burning building or is this a woman who only thinks/has been told her building is burning and that it can’t be put out). We suspect that most (not all) “voluntary” placements don’t.

    I wonder how many voluntary placements would occur if women were encouraged to make parenting plans at the same time as or *before* adoption plans.

    (This is not at all to say that I am exempt from the ethical concerns of adoption — I’m well aware of the problems of international adoption and that readers here are too).

    Aparents and paparents need to really think about whether that child really NEEDS a momma, or has a mother who needs to be given (some of) the resources and the support to be a Momma. (Or Daddy), and make that thought the priority over the desire to be parents ourselves.

    That last part isn’t easy. (It makes even highly ethical people consider compromises without even recognizing them as such). But nobody said loving someone else was going to be easy.

  47. Pingback: What Needs to Change in Infant Adoption « Paragraphein

  48. Abebech,

    “We started to use in our conversations what we called the “burning building” test, and the situations we were presented with just didn’t meet that test (Is this a woman throwing a child to safety from a burning building or is this a woman who only thinks/has been told her building is burning and that it can’t be put out). We suspect that most (not all) “voluntary” placements don’t. ”

    This is brilliant. Absofuckinglutely brilliant.

  49. Abebech – I totally agree with Paragraphein –
    Absofuckinlutely brilliant!!!

  50. Belle

    I am the sister of two adoptees and an adoptive mother. I always heard choir singing/harps and all when the word adoption was spoken. .. UNTIL my adult son found out that he was the father of a child placed for adoption. What an education we have gotten googling birth parents rights, adoptees, etc. Thank you Nicole, Claud, Mia, Erin, and more. I will be a better sister and mother because of you. And, we will work toward reform.

    Rob, my son wanted to be a daddy! We wish the child’s afather had been looking for a child who NEEDED a family and home, as opposed to him “wanting to be a daddy.”

    Abebech – love the burning building

  51. I third that! Brilliant Abebech!!!!!

    Belle I am SO sorry that happened to your son. It is entirely UNFAIR!!!!!! xoxo

  52. rob

    Hi Possum: thanks for your replies… I never meant open adoption wasn’t something we couldn’t do. That is adding words to what I said.

    I couldn’t enter into a guardianship scenario, with the chance that after we fell in love with a child that we would have to give him/her back. THAT, I don’t think we could do. We have been raising our son for almost three months now. Letting him go, emotionally, would be unbearable.

    And, yes, if this was what was required in adoption, we would have thought much longer and harder about it.

    I see the concept of “providing a needy a child with a home” much more clearly now, though. BUT, I still don’t agree with it because, in my view, (as I posted on ParagraphIn’s blog), it includes the subtext “and be prepared to give the baby back at any time in the future when the natural family can take care of the child’s needs.” Am I right here?

    I know there are a number here who believe that (one regular poster, I once saw post something to the effect that an adoptive family should give back a four year old who was adopted in infancy when the natural family was ready to raise that child).

    It is this kind of thinking, in my view, that completely disrespects adoptive parents. In this sense, I do see that it is “about me.” Can’t deny that.

    Abebech: the burning building test is interesting, but how does one make that determination? Should it really be the PAPs duty to assist the natural family with their decision? Talk about a conflict of interest!

    In my view, PAPs (especially infertile couples) should have nothing to do with a natural family’s decision. But come to think of it, here, I think I understand the entitlement issue better…

    When we met with a mother who selected us, my only intention was to get to know her and to show her that we were going to be amazing parents to her child. I never thought about the “burning building.” She never made me feel that I needed to.

    Back to the issue, how many potential adoptions did you refuse based upon this test before you found the woman in the burning building?

    Belle: what difference would it have made if the adoptive parents were looking for a child who needed a home? What if they were?

    I am sorry that happened to your son, but isn’t it unfair to put the burden of proof on the adoptive parents there?

    I do agree, to some extent, if you mean that there is a moral obligation on the part of the adoptive parents to work out some open arrangement with your son because (I presume) he was lied to or simply not told about his child. Were my wife and I presented with this scenario, we would feel morally obligated to do something like this.

  53. Mia

    Only one thought tonight regarding your comment to Belle-

    Yes, it is fair because anyone adopting a newborn child should know (more like demand) to speak to and know the circumstances of BOTH natural parents before signing on the dotted line.

    And IF the father wasn’t even told about the adoption, working out an agreement for visitation seems completely unacceptable to me. If a father is willing and able to parent why would the adoption even be necessary?

    All I am saying is that every effort should be made to include the father if at ALL possible.

  54. Rob,
    Your questions to me are worth exploring. If you don’t mind, I’d like to address them more fully in my blog over the next couple of days.
    Thanks for asking.
    A.

  55. rob

    Mia:

    We’re talking the burden of proof. Should adoptive parents hire private investigators to determine whether the stories that have been relayed to an agency are true? When do the adoptive parents meet that burden?

    Doesn’t this help to contribute to a very prevalent (and ridiculous) notion that natural mothers, in general, are untrustworthy?

    I was chastized once for implying in a blog post that I didn’t entirely trust a particular natural mother’s assertion that she did not drink during her pregnancy. I wonder how that person would feel if I posted that I didn’t trust the natural mother’s version of her child’s origin.

    Anyway, the point: Isn’t the burden of proof on the agency? Or, better, on the natural parent who is placing the child for adoption?

    I agree that every effort should be made to include the father, but what are we asking of adoptive parents in that scenario? Refuse any meeting with a natural mother and refuse any child until there is concrete evidence that what the natural mother has told the agency is true?

    Not a ridiculous notion, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

  56. Mia

    I see your point. I guess my only thought is that if it is necessary to place a newborn (prefaced by saying this shouldn’t be the norm) the effort should come from all sides to ensure the father has been informed. The question must be SERIOUSLY asked by PAP and some proof should be provided that they (the agency) made every attempt to locate him. I suspect this step is overlooked often.

    It appears (based on recent stories) fathers who find out their baby has been placed find out not months later but days later. In this case I have to say yes, I think all bets are off.

    I know this doesn’t take into consideration PAP’s feelings. But based solely on the best interest of the child, if a father finds out papers were signed without his consent just days after the birth he should have some recourse. And I’m not talking about visitation, I’m talking about the ability to chose to parent his child regardless of decisions made without his knowledge.

    Obviously it gets a little more complicated if he finds out months or years later as to what is in the best interest of the child.

  57. rob

    Mia: Man, I love it when we can fully agree! 😉

  58. Hail!

    What do you think about Apple Iogo? >:)

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