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Note: The terms
"unwed" mother, "birthmother", "biological"
make a parent appear to be less
than the mother or father they are. These terms dehumanize and limit
the parent's role to that of an incubator.
"Dear Birthmother" and
"Dear Birthparent" letters soliciting for healthy babies for adoption
Using the honest terms "mother",
"single mother" or "natural mother" help the
public to understand that real family members are being separated
to obtain babies for adoption.
Adoption in Canada - in WHOSE
By Karen Lynn
The history of adoption in Canada reveals
that adoption has always been in the best interests of adoptive
parents, this despite the rhetoric of "the best interests of the
child" often cited in legislation. Legal adoption started in Ontario
in 1921 and secrecy in adoption was enshrined in 1927 at the urging
of a lobbying group of adoptive parents.
Today all adoptions are secret in Canada
unless an open adoption plan was agreed upon by the natural parents
and the adopters, yet there is no legal provision for open adoptions
- they are not legally enforcable. Adult adoptees in B.C., the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut have access to their identifying
records (their original birth certificates) but very few adopted
children (not adults) have this opportunity. Adult adoptees can
apply for identifying information in other provinces, however
if the natural parent does not agree, this information may not
be available to them and still, under any condition, they can
NEVER get their original birth certificates. There is no other
group in society which must submit to this travesty.
The voices of natural parents have also been almost completely
silenced by the secrecy in legislation. Again, in B.C., NWT and
Nunavut natural parents can apply for information about their
children lost to adoption and in a few other provinces where the
waiting list is long but reunion is always mediated by government
officials who are often unsuccessful. If the adoption of embryos
is approved, there are apparently no provisions being considered
for the rights of natural parents who suffer life-long grief in
adoption and who, I would assume, would experience similar effects
to those of us who have lost our children through adoption.
For adoptees, in addition to the existential question of identity,
tremendous issues surrounding the loss of their original families
often result in low self-esteem and dysfunction in forming relationships,
and much more. The medical issues are huge - many have died as
a result of not being allowed to know their natural families medical
situations. I have a friend who is an adoptee who searched and
found her first family about seventeen years ago. A couple of
years ago her first mother casually suggested that she should
have her eyes checked since glaucoma runs in her family. The checkup
revealed Ocular Melanoma, a disease which could have killed her,
yet she was able to get early treatment which successfully stopped
the disease. Now ALL the members of her first family is watching
out for this inheritable disease.
People usually forget that adoption is about finding families
for children and not finding children for families. As in conventional
adoption, it is assumed in the consideration of allowing the adoption
of frozen embryos that all people have the right to have children.
I believe that it is a privilege, not a right. The history of
adoption if you study it in depth demonstrates that the real story
is all about the adopters with little or no genuine consideration
for the children and their natural parents.
I urge you to investigate the money trail in adoption which directly
relates to the adoption of frozen embryos. The adoption industry
is huge, paying the salaries of thousands of social workers, lawyers,
government workers and medical staff. In the U.S. an analysis
by Market Data Enterprises (found on the internet) reveals a sum
of $1.4 billion with a projected growth rate of 11% per annum.
I have no idea what the figure amounts to in Canada. You can get
a rough idea by simply typing in "adoption" in any search engine.
Adoption is all about loss for adoptees and natural parents. Infertility
is about loss too, but adoption is definitely not a solution to
infertility although this is often an assumption. Adoptees know
that they are the second choice of their adoptive parents. Do
we really need to be "building families" without consulting all
of the stakeholders in adoption?
Karen Lynn, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Council of