WHO Cares About Keeping THIS Family Together?

 Reprinted courtesy of Concerned United Birthparents (CUB)


There are a number of federal Acts, both proposed and enacted, which seek to promote adoption as the option of choice among younger, single, and troubled families. These Acts appropriate large sums of money to meet the goal of separating the children of younger, single or troubled families from their parents (primarily mothers). This reflects the prevalent social belief that adoption is usually "better" for children of parents who are younger, "unmarried" and experiencing problems. These parents are compared unfavorably to the usually older, married, economically stable couples who are "approved" by agencies as worthy to be parents.

Unfortunately, the reality is that adoption does not always provide a better life for adopted persons; there can be tremendous risks involved in transferring responsibility for a child from his birth family to an unrelated family. Such decisions are based on human judgment, which includes human error and the inability to predict the future. 

In society's well-intentioned effort to do well by its children, we have unwittingly come to embrace family separation by adoption as the ideal alternative when parents are younger, "unmarried" or experiencing problems. Yet, examples are countless of how some adoptions turn out suggest that it may be wise to instead consider ways we can help families to meet their challenges and to stay together.

Many fine people in America have emerged from homes where affluence was measured by family interaction and love, rather than money. Many contributing members of society were raised in families headed, at least for a time, by one parent. Each of us has only to review our family histories to discover a family which began when one or both parents were younger than what we presently feel is an acceptable age.

We need to remember that all families have their ups and downs. Transferring a child from a family who appears "down" to one which appears "up" may not be the better solution in the long run.

If there is to be a family separation by adoption, let it be for valid reasons, not as a "permanent solution" for a "temporary problem." In our quest to provide for America's children, we need to be careful about imposing standards for others' families.

The reality is that adoption can hurt some people's children. Before advocating adoption as an idealized solution to a family problem, weigh the risks. Consider advocating for the family that already exists, providing services and support as that family grows stronger together. When families cannot remain together, advocate for an open adoption system that is accountable to birthparents and their children, so that adoption failures are attended to and tragedies are averted. When adoption fails, advocate for the birth family as a renewed resource for the child.

 Will YOU Care About Keeping This Family Together?