Friday, August 10, 2012

Adoptive Parents Are Also Victims of the Adoption Industry

After reading Barbara's comment on my last post I had to go back and re-read it.  The last paragraph in the post from Adoption Lies was pretty harsh on adoptive parents. I guess I was just so moved by the main point of the post (using love against us) that I didn't really pay attention to the end. 

In my opinion, prospective adoptive parents are also victims of the adoption industry.  I think that most people who consider adopting are loving, caring people.  I think that if they knew just how deeply being relinquished effects someone for their entire life, they wouldn't want to see that happen unless absolutely necessary.  I think that if it was known how adoption loss truly effects the mother (as well as the rest of the natural family), they would look at adoption as less than the "loving option" it's sold to be.

I don't know.  Maybe that's just a Pollyanna way of thinking?

I do know that Christopher's mom was not one of those who felt she deserved another mother's child simply because she was unable to have one.  When we met last May, we talked for four hours.  She was very open with her feelings, she shared many of her experiences as an adoptive mom.  I think she was and is truly grateful every day of her life for the chance to be a mother ~ I don't think she looked at it as her right, she looked at her motherhood as a privilege.  I would like to think that there are more adoptive moms like her than the ones who will stop at nothing to obtain an infant from a vulnerable mother facing an unexpected pregnancy.

I have great compassion for women who cannot conceive or carry a pregnancy to full term.  I cannot begin to imagine the deep, crushing disappointment and sadness that must bring.  I have a friend and a cousin who would be fabulous mothers but have not had that joy in their lives.  I wish that nobody had to suffer from infertility, for any reason.  I wish that there was a cure for all infertility.

This is where I think the adoption industry comes into play with prospective adoptive parents.  They have to "sell" adoption to society as a whole, targeting even children so that when they grow up they view adoption as a parenting option.  There are hundreds of adoption agency websites whose main purpose is to lure in those suffering from infertility problems.  Google infertility and adoption ~ I just got 6,580,000 results!

The adoption industry sells adoption to women suffering with the heartbreak of infertility in their life.  Just as they have spent millions learning how to convince a mother facing an unexpected pregnancy to give her child up for adoption, I'm sure they also invest in finding ways to "sell" adoption to those who are unable to give birth themselves. 

I know of at least one prospective adoptive mom who was torn between what she wanted to do to help a mother in crisis and what the adoption counselor was telling her to do/say.  I'm sure there are many more who are manipulated by adoption workers/counselors to go against their instincts.  This mom is blogging about her experience, I hope that other prospective adoptive parents read her words and begin to realize the manipulation also. 

The adoption industry is just that though.  An industry.  Looking to make a buck (or a billion...).  And the only way adoption agencies make money is by finding people who want to adopt (demand) and are willing/able to pay a "fee" for the infants of mothers facing an unexpected pregnancy (supply). 

I completely agree with what Adoptionvictims said here, except I would add "the prospective/adoptive parents" to "birthmothers" and "adoptees":
 And they count on us the "birthmothers" and "adoptees" to forever be divided. They count on us to have so much pain and anger that we will never come together in numbers and end what adoption is in the US. They have created the perfect money making, amoral institution and they call it "adoption".


  1. Good post Susie. I think since enough time hasn't passed, it's often difficult for me to see adoptive or prospective adoptive parents as being duped like first mothers, but I am starting to see that. It is an ideal situation for the adoption industry that first families, adoptive families and adoptees maintain the pain and anger that keeps them from coming together to right the wrongs.

  2. Great post, Susie. We have all been duped by this damned adoption industry... and no end in sight, until our voices raise awareness among the general public, who for the post part still believe that adoption is all hearts and flowers.

  3. I would like to reply as it was my original blog post that you are discussing. I welcome your opinion on it and all things adoption.

    I do blog from my own perspective and to give other "birthmothers" who have been exploited a voice or a chance to commiserate with me. And for the most part I address domestic infant adoption practices. But how did I come to be so harsh on PAP's and AP's in general?

    There is no doubt that some PAP's and some AP's are not horrible, exploitive monsters. But we need to look at what is happening in general. It is estimated that up to 80% of all open adoptions close at the behest of the adoptive parents. So how can I or any of us believe that they who are in control (AP's and PAP's)are looking any further then their needs to have a "forever family" regardless of the hurt it costs adoptees and birth relatives? At what point have these people been "duped" by the adoption industry? Did they intend that they would never honor the agreement from the start (coercion?) or did they just change their mind because they got what they wanted and decided not to share? How many mothers would have not relinquished their children if they had not been promised open adoption?

    Why do many AP's and PAP's admit to adopting internationally so that they will not be bothered by "birthparents" as they raise the child or later in life through reunion?

    I started to realize that one of the biggest problems encountered in adoption is lust. Lust for a child regardless of the impact on the child or family that they came from and lust for money from the industry that profits.

    I think it does not do us any good to deny that what drives the industry is lust and the consumers (AP's and PAP's) are at the heart of the problem.

    This week I have been disgusted to bear witness to an infertile "friend" who has talked her little sister in to giving her baby to her for adoption. I see the coercion, I have voiced my feelings but she is only looking at what she wants and does not care about the repercussions. In general she is a nice person but she is using "God wants this" and all the other coercive tactics that are rampant to basically steal her sister's child from her while she is in a vulnerable state. So it happens every day. At what point to I become more sympathetic to her then her sister and unborn child? At what point do we blame the industry here?

    There seems to be a human mindset that it is better to beg forgiveness the permission. Instead of asking "Should I have this baby? What am I doing by taking a baby from a mother or family that loves it but needs more resources?" We are left with "Now that my adopted children are grown I see the corruption in the industry and I want to make change."

    After awhile you see the patterns, you recognize the players and you lose your sympathy. At least I did. And if my critisism of PAP's and AP's prevents just one uneccessary adoption then I will be happy. Because I do believe in God and I do think we all will be judged for what we have done and failed to do in this lifetime. So I speak what I believe to be the truth.

    I leave you with Ghandi's seven dangers to human virtue:

    1 - Wealth Without Work
    2 - Pleasure Without Conscience
    3 - Knowledge Without Character
    4 - Business Without Ethics
    5 - Science Without Humanity
    6 - Religion Without Sacrifice
    7 - Politics Without Principle

    1. I cannot begin to imagine the horror you are going through watching your "friend" take her sisters baby instead of helping her be the best mom she can be.

      In answer to your question ~ you never become more sympathetic to her! While the industry may have a part in the "adoption is wonderful" image, the so-called Christians who are using religion to tear apart families are also a huge part of it. I think these "adoption is God's will" people are going to have a HUGE wake up call when they get to the pearly gates! That's gonna be a true "come to Jesus" talk!!

      Lastly, I hope that you don't take this post as a criticism of your post. I just wanted to clarify my own feelings. As I said, it was probably Pollyanna-ish of me, but that's just the way I am. Sadly, my view is far from accurate. What a world we live in!

  4. I think most people are misguided about adoption and even foster care. They feed it with the myth that “kids are resilient,” there is more and more evidence that adverse childhood events affect a person’s mental and physical health for the rest of their lives.

    I think most perspective adoptive parents haven’t thought it all the way through nor are they encouraged to by anyone who is trying to get them a baby.

    1. Exactly Sunday! We know better now ~ children are not blank slates. You would think that the research into how relinquishment effects those adopted (as well as the mothers/fathers, rest of the natural family) would be enough to make people think twice. Sadly, the materialistic values and arrogant sense of entitlement have taken over common sense.

  5. Susie,

    I do not take your comments as criticism of my post. I was honored that at least in part it touched you. And I would like to add that if you had criticized it I would not be angry or take offense at you or your opinions. I love that you have an open mind, discuss different thoughts and ideas and to your credit express yourself in a kinder and gentler way then I do. I am also touched that you care about how I felt in your discussion of my post. I also welcome your clarification of your own feelings regarding what I posted and how those words affected you. When you say "that is just the way I am" I want you to know that I think who you are is just fine. In fact you don't find much finer in this world.

    1. Thank you for these kind words ~ it really means a lot to me.

  6. I am sorry, but the way so many PAPS and AP's treat the mothers of the children they covet after they get what they want garners them no empathy from me. Not ALL of them, but a great many treat mothers of adoption loss despicably. They are jealous, possessive and greedy. They have no empathy for the mother who grieves for her child while they take it all for themselves and leave her with nothing, not even the promised updates. To hell with them and their infertily. That is a personal thing and it is not anyone's problem that they cannot conceive. Yes, I had compassion for women who could not conceive either, so much so that the woman who conned me out of my child via fraud had me sold with her sob story of not being able to "concieve". Funny, she DID end up having her own child after all, only a few short years after making off with mine and she still treated me with disdain and malice because she was jealous and possessive. Having her own AND mine was not enough for her. I was going to pay for her not being able to get pregnant for those few years, by god. Someone was. Who better than the mother of the child she stole with her lies and sob stories.

    1. and when pap's and ap's stop creating the demand for womb wet infants, perhaps I will have a little more "sympathy" for them. If they wanted a family so badly, why not adopt a child whom truly has no family from foster care, rather than only a infant fresh from the womb of it's mother?

    2. I'm so sorry. I fully believe that people like this are going to one day pay for what they have done. Sadly, that doesn't help you in the here and now though.

      While I have empathy for those who can't have children, I don't think that being infertile entitles them to another mother's child!

    3. What would you suggest someone who is infertile should do?

    4. Firstly, you should come to terms with being infertile. Don't look for adoption or anything else to take that pain away. Don't feed the corrupt adoption industry. If you want to adopt, look into a child who truly has no family. One whose parents have already had their parental rights taken away. Become a mentor to a child through the many programs out there. "Adopt" a young mother who has no family to give her support, love or guidance on how to be a wonderful mother. There are many ways to "mother", many ways to give and share your love with a child and make a life changing difference in their life. I truly wish you luck in finding a way mother.

    5. You make it all sound so easy. If all that is so wonderful why haven't you done any of it and passed on giving birth to additional children?

      Along the lines of "adopting" a young mother who has no family, I think you and others who advocate all of this should adopt older couples who weren't able to have children so they have families in their old age to be there for them. After all infertile couples aren't just here to be used and discarded when they are no longer of use to those with children.

  7. I wavered back and forth between responding, as I so often do on first mother and adoptee blogs. I take so much from reading posts, but I hesitate to respond at the risk of offending, which I never want to do.

    As a relatively new adoptive parent, I like to think I'm the "good" kind of AP you mention. I think I am, though, mostly because of my desire to be so I have spent hours upon hours reading first mom and adoptee blogs so that I can understand and be educated. I have found that the "good" APs are the ones out there reading and taking it all in and trying to understand. the "bad" ones are those that try to deny their child's rightful heritage and truth.

    You are so right when you say APs are also duped. We did not work with an agency to "get matched," as they say, but only to complete the paperwork and take the classes and do the homestudy. (A mutual friend introduced us to my daughter's other parents, who were also not working with an agency. I explored the idea of a lawyer for each of us but ultimately, and regretfully, chose an agency.)

    But that agency, full of good, well-meaning people, did not tell us the whole truth. And I know that my daughter's first parents did not know the whole truth either. We are now left to figure this all out together.

    I like to think that most APs are good, well-meaning people. But I wonder if somewhere along the way, what is best for the child was lost. It became about finding children for parents rather than finding a home for a child.

    My first experience in having my eyes opened to this was when the agency found out that we have a biological child and no infertility issues. I had simply always wanted to adopt and this couple came into contact with us and liked us and made their choice, apart from any agency involvement. The agency head was quite rude to me. She said they typically only work with infertile couples because (and I will never forget this) "they have a greater need since they can't have babies of their own." But they "would make an exception in our case since we had already been matched." The nerve!

    I was floored. The illusion was ripped from my eyes. This woman cared nothing for the rights of the parents or the child. She only cared about giving a baby to a couple who couldn't have one. Now, I have great compassion for people who cannot have a baby. I do. But that does not entitle them to someone else's child. The purpose of adoption should be to find homes for children when their first parents make the decision that they cannot care for them, for whatever reason (and all option to assist those parents should be explored, first). My daughter's first parents chose us, and they have a right to make that choice regardless of our fertility/infertility state.

    But that is not what adoption is, and I was just naive. It's an industry, just as you say. It doesn't serve the child, the first parents, or even the adoptive parents. It simply serves the ones making the cash.

    I hope I didn't offend... I truly gain so much from reading your blog and have been lurking for quite some time.

  8. I'm wondering what you think about children who aren't adopted as infants from agencies. What do you think about adoption for children who were abandoned or abused by biological parents and adopted as older children when no resolution can be found? In my state about 90% of kids who enter foster care return to their biological families, but what about the other 10%. What should happen to those kids? I'm asking you this because I can see that you really have strong feelings against adoption. Do you always feel that it is completely wrong?

    1. I have never said that I feel adoption is completely wrong. I speak out for family preservation in regards to domestic infant adoption. Unless the mother AND father have absolutely NO desire to raise their baby or if abuse will be a factor in the family, family preservation should be honored and treasured.

      Adoption from foster care is about finding a family for a child who needs one ~ which is what adoption is SUPPOSED to be about. I do not believe a child's birth certificate should be changed with foster adoption. A child should never lose their original identity. Adoption doesn't erase genetics and ancestry, it shouldn't erase their factual birth record or their life before being with the adoptive family either.

  9. What are your feelings on Guardianship as an alternative to adoption? Do you feel Guardianship should replace adoption where children in Foster Care are just given a provider until they turn 18 or do you still think it's needed that a child be adopted into a family?