Beauty industry

Adoption is not a proper clapback in the abortion debate

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I remember after adopting our first two daughters, many people said to us, “Fortunately, their birth mothers chose adoption over abortion. They chose life! This exclamation and this offhand compliment seemed pious and assuming. I’ve been an adoptive mom for nearly twelve years, and I’m here to tell you that adoption is not a nod to the abortion debate.

I heard everything. Adoption is the option of love. Adoption gives the child a chance for a better life. Adoption is a gift. Adoption is the opposite of abortion. I need to clean the air and tell you that none of this is correct. Responding to adoption abortion is contemptuous, short-sighted and naive, and here’s why.

Before I explain why no one should include adoption in the abortion conversation, I want you to know that I am not going down the rabbit hole of the pro-life versus pro-choice debate. Instead, I’ll share with you what I’ve seen and know about the adoption community, and what you need to know as well. No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, you must stop with the praise and promotion of adoption when you share your views on abortion. The following comes from hearing thousands of adoption stories from friends, family and followers.

When we first entered the adoption community, as a young couple who knew adoption was the best way to start our family, I thought the best thing to do was call each local Christian adoption agency. After all, we were Christians, so why wouldn’t we use an agency that believed like us? It was mistake number one.

First, not all Christians are the same. We don’t have the same values, moral standards, or expectations just because we’re under the term Christian. Second, a Christian adoption agency is not, by default, equivalent to an ethical adoption agency. Ethical adoptions are of the utmost importance. At the heart of it, ethical adoption means that all parties are well informed, well supported, and that the child is always at the center of every decision made, every step of the way. Sounds remarkably simple, right? Do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, always. However, that’s not how well the adoption industry works. (Fortunately, we ended up moving to a different, much smaller, and much more ethical agency.)

Ah yes, I said industry. Some ethical adoption agencies exist to help pregnant women no matter what they decide to do while pregnant. Unfortunately, these are rare and hard to find. The reality is that adopting a domestic infant can be quite expensive. Some expenses are expected and reasonable, including court fees, attorney fees, paperwork and background check fees, fees for time spent by the social worker conducting interviews and a home inspection. Having separate legal representation for the biological family is one that adoption can be more ethical. A home study is a voluminous document written by a social worker that describes in detail the investigation of the hopeful adoptive parent, proving that they are capable, reliable and safe. There are also the costs of operating an adoption agency, including employee salaries, a building, and supplies. Depending on how the agency uses the fees paid by the hopeful adoptive family, that says a lot about what they are doing and not doing.

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Some states allow prospective adoptive parents to “help” a pregnant woman by paying all of her living expenses for months and months before the child is born. If this sounds a bit like a quid pro quo, you would be right. Not only does this put enormous pressure on the mother to place her child for adoption with the couple to whom she “owes” so much, but it can lead to adoptive parents being ripped off or losing thousands of dollars. Money talks, right? This topic is controversial in the adoption community. Some think reasonable expenses are allowed, others think they are downright unethical, and others believe “go big or go home”.

Some agencies charge prospective adoptive parents based on their income. Again, I wonder why. Shouldn’t there just be reasonable, ethical, fixed adoption fees? Why increase or decrease the price of the process based on income? There is no reasonable explanation other than the fact that the agency sells babies, cannot find families for the children. It also makes me uncomfortable, because it means whoever has the most money “wins”. They have more options. However, being rich does not mean that these hopeful parents would be better parents or provide a better home for a child.

Some agencies move pregnant women from a state with stricter laws to a state where adoption laws allow the mother to relinquish her parental rights as quickly as twenty-four or forty-eight hours after the birth of the child. ‘child. Some agencies run fancy maternity wards and promise pregnant women all kinds of help, such as school fees, after placing their child for adoption. If you’re reading this and feeling disgusted, you should. It’s playing dirty. A mother, who is probably in a place of crisis, should not be drawn to dangling and temporary carrots in exchange for her child.

Here is the real kicker. Some agencies charge prospective parents a different placement fee depending on the race of the child. Yes, you read that right. Healthy white infants are most in demand. Biracial, black, Hispanic, Native American, and other races babies are sometimes less desirable for hopeful parents. Now, I am not advocating for anyone to adopt a colored child if they are not fully prepared for what the child will need. As a mother of four black children, I can tell you that transracial adoption is a huge responsibility and honor, which takes a lot of education and hard work. What I don’t understand is why the adoption process costs more or less depending on the race of the child. (This is not the case).

Adoption creates loss, even when adoption is ethical. The biological parents lose their child, the child loses his biological parents, even when the adoption remains open, which means that there is continuous communication between the families. The loss creates grief, confusion, and future hardship. For example, adoptees try to kill themselves four times more often than those who were not adopted. Talk to any adopted adult and listen to their journey. You might hear about ADR (Reactive Attachment Disorder), trauma, isolation, and all the unknowns that come with some adoptions.

Click on some of the top adoption agency websites and you’ll see that the first thing under the “I’m pregnant and need help” button is a list of hopeful adoptive parents, including Pinterest-worthy photos and descriptions of their lives. . There are many bulleted lists of the benefits of adoption. What is not listed is the potential for deep and permanent loss of the child, the possibility of never seeing him again, the guilt and resentment of not raising the child and the trauma that can arise. by placing a child for adoption. These are important, but they are not listed. Unethical adoption agencies describe adoption as a win-win scenario.

You might be wondering why I don’t send you a bunch of links to agencies, lawyers, and other adoption professionals who practice unethically. First, I don’t give them free advertising, I give them the opportunity to get more “business”. Second, the truth lies in the experiences of those who have been maliciously, or sometimes naively, misled by the adoption industry. I implore you to speak to those in the adoption community, including those who have been adopted and those who have placed children for adoption, who can tell you the reality of what we have learned as well.

People tell me all the time how beautiful adoption is. There are beautiful pieces from each of my children’s stories. I adore my family and am grateful for our open adoptions as well as the opportunity to work with ethical adoption agencies. However, the adoption is complex and bittersweet, and anyone who describes it as a fairy tale has no idea what they’re talking about. Adoption changes everyone, parents, birth parents, and most importantly, the adoptee.

I’m not here to discourage anyone from considering adoption, but I absolutely think we have to stop saying that the perfect solution to abortion is adoption. Telling someone to “just give your child up for adoption” when she is pregnant is contemptuous and insulting. Treating adoptees as if they were prizes to be won rather than people to be respected is heartless. The adoption industry is forged with unethical people and practices and shouldn’t be trusted by default. So the next time you think about bringing adoption into the abortion debate, please think before you speak.

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