Monday, March 26, 2007

A CALL FOR A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE AND RESPECT FOR ALL

I have just spent the last couple of days arguing with a person who is very angry at adoptive parents. Let me say this much. I get why she is angry. You don't even have to explain why. I understand that she is a first mother in pain. I understand she lost her son to the closed era. I understand her parents forced her. I understand that the agency treated her like crap. I totally get this. The way that I look at it is this ~ I am a mother. I could not handle someone else raising my children other than my husband and I. I could not live the rest of my life not knowing my children. If every adoptive parent would look at this in this manner, you would understand exactly where this type of person is coming from. I don't care what you say. I have heard them all even from my own adoptive parents. One of them is " Well she was an adult ~ she gave up her rights and she knew what she was doing." When the only choice a woman can make is adoption, you don't get to make a choice. When there was no support systems in place for women to keep their children, you don't get to make a choice. The women from the closed era have dealt with this. Women to this day are still persecuted for having children. Men are not and are not even held accountable. That is my biggest fear for my daughters. In this day and age when Medicaid services send you to a crisis pregnancy center to be harassed to give your child up for adoption. That is coercion. This is all before giving a woman the result of her pregnancy test which she already knows the answer. That is why we must make changes. All of us. That means you Adoptive Parents. You have to come to terms with your infertility and other issues. It is not your fault that an adoptee searches. It is also not your place to sit in judgement of the natural parents. You were not in their shoes. You can not say what you would have done in their shoes.

I have said this repeatedly. When you diminish your child's natural parents, you diminish your child. When you diminish the adoptive parents, you are also diminishing your child. Your child was raised by someone else. Your child was loved by someone else. It may not have been ideal. It may have been abusive. That adoptive parent is still a part of your child. Adoptive parents for the most part only want a child. Isn't how you feel? Even when you were pregnant with your child. You wanted your child. Is it really their fault that adoption agencies were cruel and punishing? How are they even supposed to know? My own adoption agency had a superior reputation. I have found out that they treated mothers the same way if not worse than many others. There are situations like the Rashad Head case, Allison Quets, Stephanie Bennett and many many more where the adoptive parents knew exactly what was going on. Shame on them. I am the first to condemn them. When you don't have full parental consent from both the mother and the father after the birth of the child, it is child stealing. Many of the adoptive parents that I have spoken with via my blog and other forums are just as appalled and condemning in those situations.

When I see adoptive parents and natural parents feuding like this, I am appalled. Folks we must get past this. As an adoptee, I am part of both the nature and the nurture. I feel like property when adoptive parents say that their adoptee is a gift from God. Adoption is a man made societal experiment. I find it hard to believe that God supports the destroying of a potential family. I find it hard to believe that God supports the tearing down of woman to get what she has. Yes adoption agencies do just that. At the same time, I am no longer your lost child. I am an adult. I know that you see me as that baby. I understand that we have to come across alot of road in a short span of time. I am constantly torn between both sides of the battle. If you want adoption to be reformed, then stand up and be counted. I understand that some of you would like it abolished. To reform adoption, to make adoption agencies and their attorneys accountable is a step in the right direction. Do you realize that they like it when we argue like we do? Dissension amongst the troops lets them continue to do what they want. We must be a united front. I am still an adoptee torn between two sets of people. Its time for us to stand up and make our voices heard. Its time for the state legislators across this country to see us as the sanity in the world of adoption.

When you think about adoption as it should be, remember it is supposed to be about the child. Not about the adoptive parents nor the natural parents. Today it has become about the adoptive parents. It is about finding that perfect child for the adoptive parents. Adoptees did not have a choice in this thing called adoption. In 45 states we still don't have a choice. Adoptees may not want to search. They may regret searching. They may want to search for medical information. They may even want to know their natural parents. There are times when the tempers are flaring so badly that I do feel that it should up to the adoptees. Then I think again adoptees, natural parents and adoptive parents should have access to the original birth certificate. All should be allowed access to the adoption paperwork. All should be allowed copies of the adoption paperwork. Any information concerning medical information does need to be kept private. As long as we keep arguing the way that we do, it will stay the same. Every story is different, we need to accept that. We have to move forward and fight the laws that interfere with our lives.

9 comments:

Mom2One said...

AMEN, AMY!!! Well said!

MomEtc. said...

This is why I think every paparent and aparent should read Ann Fessler's book.

And, I am SHOCKED that medicaid would send a woman to a crisis pregnancy center. You learn something new everyday. I've heard CPC's are notorious for trying to prevent abortion and push adoption. And, Medicaid pays for this!

Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

Amy you write so well.

iris eyes said...

While it is true that all the paps wanted was a child, and that anyone can understand that,the problem is that in order for them to get one, they had to get one from someone else. The child had to be conceived, carried, and born to another mother. Another mother, father or family, had to lose their own child, in order for the paps to get a child that was never theirs to begin with.

That is where the flaw lies....in assuming that there is some sort of equality in adoptive and natural parents' situations.

There is something wrong with the thinking of people who would reason that if they cannot produce a child, then someone else has to give them one. I have had adopters scream in my face"You have to give me a baby!"

No, I do not.there are no 'extra" children.

I can be sympathetic to infertile people, but not when they pursue someone else's children.

Maternity homes and forced adoptions have been part of the American culture since at least World War 2.There are Hollywood movies about adoption dating from at least that time.It was well-known,and paps who say they "didn't know' are feigning ignorance to hide their own guilt.

They knew where the adoption facilitators/lawyers/agencies/ were.They paid them.

I am tired of hearing them say they "didn't know".

Fesslers book is excellent, but it is not new. that information has been published for generations.

iris eyes said...

I seriously question whether adoption has ever been about the child.

Jean Paton, an adopted person and a social worker, was a friend of mine. She was born in the very early 20th century. As Jean stated, in those Victorian-Edwardian times..society worried about protecting itself from "bastards."Those were the days of "progressive thinking" and utopian social movements.Eugenics and "breeding" mattered.


There were also people in those early days(the Barrett family for example) who tried to help unmarried mothers and their babies. They started the Florence Crittendon homes, not for adoption purposes but to help mothers and babies stay together. This was in the late 19th century, and continued until WW2, when the federal government social workers demanded adoption of every white unmarried mother they could entrap.

Infertile paps began demanding the right to adopt other people's children.Large amounts of money changed hands.Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children's Home Society scandal broke in the late 1940s. By then, the records had been sealed in California, in 1935,(where the majority of Tann's celebrity clients lived)and the children were lost forever.

Adoption is not a system that is designed to meet the needs of children.Family break-up is not good for children, nor adults either.

ONE MEAN ANGRY ADOPTEE said...

Iris it is nice to see you again.

Thank you Mom2one and Mometc

Ungrateful its because I have so many people like you that do inspire me like all of you.

Mometc, I am in Texas. As Iris knows as well as I do, Texas is weird about stuff like that. That same friend lost her baby shortly after that but is now pregnant and chosen to visit a doctor instead of that clinic again.

I think the older adoptive parents are very stuck in their thinking. Even my own mother has said some things that I was appalled at. I.e. she was 22 she was adult she had the choice. I know better. When she brings that up, I tell her no she didn't. I hate using terms like birth mother and adoptive mother. I prefer the term mother period.

When I do mean access to our records, I mean original birth certificates. The records of when my mother was in that home prior to my birth belong to her. Even the so~called counseling she received. That was private between her, her family and the counselor. I should not have been read that information. I would not want anyone getting access to my personal medical information. Honestly the only person I feel safe looking at that information is my husband.

Iris we need to you to tell your story over and over again. Maybe even til your blue in the face. So that these folks who have their minds closed will finally listen. You have two aparents reading your stuff now. I wonder if you will ever start your own blog. You really should. The more on the internet the more people will hear the story. The more the state legislators will begin see that the adoption agencies and their ilk are the problem not the solution. Those kinds of aparents even tick these women off. If the younger crowd of aparents are getting it, that is a base that we can start to work with. I understand what you feel and empathesize where you have been. You have my respect. You know that. As Claudia said, I am not compromising any longer I want it all. Isn't time for us to have it all?

Possum said...

Amy - I'm so glad you're here.
Poss. xx

Rebecca said...

Since I started really researching adoption, I have found so many stories of women having been forced into surrendering their children. Adoptive parents and first parents should learn to work together to take care of this child. The adoptive parents should realize they would never have had this child to love and raise if the first parent had not loved him/her so much that she surrendered the child. And first parents should understand that adoptive parents love the child just as much as if the child had been their natural-born. Working together is the best way to raise a child. Thank you for the post.

iris eyes said...

AA,

I have been working in the public arena in adoption for decades. this was long before the internet. I work in legislative and public policy, so my story has been told many times in public and even in at least one adoption history book.

As you may have guessed, I am not young!

I lost my child during the BSE, although it wasn't called that then..it was just a government and religious reign of terror over unmarried pregnant women.

Part of the reason for the Women's Movement of the 1970's was due to the terrible treatment of unmarried pregnant women, and the general discrimination against women and mothers in general.

There was no "choice." It was tyranny and force...and anyone who lived back then knows.

There were even some judges and social workers who so terrorized young mothers with threats of prison and sterilization(and some actually did that)that to this day, these mothers refuse to meet their children, even though they would like to see their children again.

A number of states had laws on the books into the 1960s that allowed for mandatory sterilization of a woman who had more than one out of wedlock child. California was one of those states.So was North Carolina.

Family, birth, and knowing one's biological kin are basic to life.There is no justification for the government or religious authorities to hide relatives from each other or to issue documents that are nothing but lies.