is child abuse, slavery, and rape all rolled into one pretty package,
marketed to wealthy infertile couples as the answer to all their
prayers and forced upon unsuspecting members of the lower classes.
It is an industry that earns $1.4 billion each year shamelessly
promoting its product with no regard for the damage it is doing
to children and their parents. Surprise! It is not the tobacco
industry, nor is it a chemical company polluting our air and water.
It is adoption, and it is toxic to America's families.
a "loving option" by social workers, agencies, and anti-abortion
crusaders, adoption puts children at risk for a myriad of psychological
problems that range in severity. That may sound like love to the
people who receive a portion of the $1.4 billion, but it should
scream child abuse to anyone else. After all, parents can be prosecuted
for child neglect over something as simple as a messy house. And
in reality, adoption workers are guilty of more than neglect.
Since the 1940s, professionals have known about the damaging effects
of adoption on mothers and children. In fact, the Florence Crittenton
Home brochure from 1942-1956 responded to suggestions of adoption
with the statement, "Motherhood, and the love and care of a baby,
strengthens the character of every girl who has the mentality
to grasp it. As to the child: psychologists and social workers
have learned that no material advantage can make up for the loss
of its own mother." In spite of their knowledge, the Florence
Crittenton homes went on to become some of America's biggest adoption
proponents, once supply and demand made it more profitable to
sever a mother's rights and sell her infant to a wealthy but sterile
abuse that adoptees suffer throughout their lives comes in many
forms. As infants, they are separated from the only person they
have ever known: their mothers. They're born into the world expecting
the familiar scent of family and the warm voice that they grew
accustomed to in utero, and instead they're handed over to strangers
masquerading as "mommy" and "daddy." Because this severing of
the world's most natural bond occurs at a time in a child's life
when he is unable to communicate his emotions and experiences,
it is a trauma that will stay with him into adulthood. Adopted
people also report struggling with their identities, as the legal
lie that they are "as if born to" their adopters works far better
on paper than it does in the real world. Already a trying time
for any young person, adolescence presents a special challenge
for adoptees who lack knowledge of their heritage, family traits,
and other critical factors for establishing one's self. Perhaps
this explains why adopted children are over-represented at both
in and out-patient psychological treatment facilities.
if it's not bad enough that every adopted child is at risk for
the complex psychological problems that seem to come with the
territory, these children are also more likely to be physically
or sexually abused. One fact that the adoption industry would
love to ignore is that children are more likely to be abused by
people other than their true parents. Perhaps we should evaluate
this as common sense. Mothers especially have a primal instinct
to care for their children and ensure the survival of their family
trees. For true families, a baby is not valuable for profit but
for the fact that he is living proof of a connection to the past
and future. As parents, our instinct is to protect, rather than
abuse something so precious and rare.
the abuse of the adopted child is not the only crime committed
against him. Adoptees, stripped of their families, given new names
and even falsified birth certificates, make up a new generation
of slaves in America. In a society where the average cost of a
private adoption is $60,000, agencies and social workers see infants
only through the dollar signs in their eyes. The child's welfare
takes second place to the profit he can bring in; otherwise, parents
would be informed of the risks of adoption before they could surrender
their babies. Instead, children are sold like miniature slaves.
Their birth records are altered to reflect the names of their
purchasers rather than their parents, and their true birth certificate
is sealed away. They are the only Americans who are denied the
right to know their own name and the names of their parents.
are abused, tortured, or killed at the hands of those who claim
to love them. Others, like the "fortunate" slaves of the 19th
century, are treated well by their adopters. But we all know that
once you've been stripped of your rights, taken from your family,
and forced into an uncomfortable lie, there's no such thing as
being fortunate. In their adopter's homes, children are the ones
expected to do the care-taking, to compensate for the babies they
couldn't have, to fill a void in the marriage that's gone stale,
or to guard them emotionally from the harsh realities of the world.
Adoption's smallest victims become slaves to the lies that surround
them and protectors of the only caregivers they have been granted.
Denied knowledge of their true parents' whereabouts, they have
nowhere to run. And they know what's expected of them: to be "as
if born to" their adopters, to act out the role they were purchased
why any parent would knowingly surrender their child to abuse
and enslavement, we learn about a third crime in adoption. Since
the 1950s, fathers have been exiled while mothers have been raped
of their infants. Their bodies have been used as incubators, and
once their purpose has been served, they are expected to fade
silently into the shadows. The common defense of the rapist is
the simple statement, "She asked for it," and the same has been
said of the woman who dared to experience her sexuality outside
of marriage. Adoption is the punishment she "deserved" for getting
caught in defiance of our puritanical ideals. A life-time of grief,
regret, depression, and trauma to make amends for one night of
passion (which could have just as easily been a physical rape
itself). Used, abused, and discarded, these mothers have been
raped of their children and their souls.
the victim of a physical rape, the mother of adoption loss is
not permitted to grieve. She has been told, by the same "professionals"
who spied her baby with dollar signs in their eyes, that she is
doing the "best thing," the only thing to do, and if she truly
loved her baby she would do it. No one tells her what's down the
road for her, or for her child. No one mentions the grieving that
both will endure. No one speaks about the immense gap that will
fill their lives once they've been separated. Instead, she is
told that she is "giving a gift" to an infertile couple, as if
it is her responsibility to meet the demands of a barren stranger.
Like something out of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale,
she is expected to quietly serve her purpose and promptly disappear.
tactics that are used to rape the new mother vary. Without anyone
to tell her otherwise, and wanting to fulfill her child's needs,
she may believe the social workers when they tell her about the
"loving institution" of adoption. After all, they work in a helping
profession, and wouldn't they want to help her? She isn't told
how much money will change hands along with her precious child.
If she does become suspicious or recoils at the idea of adoption,
she won't be left alone to care for her child. Instead, they will
pressure her when she's most vulnerable, when she's just delivered
and is groggy from labor or medication, when they lie and tell
her that she can't revoke the pre-birth consent that she signed,
when they batter her verbally and accuse her of being selfish
for wanting her own baby. Selfish! Yet the adopters, standing
at the door with their wallets open, begging to take home someone
else's baby—they are regarded as saints.
a mother has been raped of her child by the adoption industry,
her torture is just beginning. Every time she turns around, she'll
be reminded of society's stereotypical "birth" mother; the drug-addicted,
child-abusing tramp. In reality, she is none of the above. Yet,
when reading the newspaper, she will be confronted with offensive
language, labeling her a "birth" or "biological" parent, degrading
her by tearing away her right to be regarded as her child's true
mother. Television shows will present sappy stories of happy adopters,
and she'll watch, knowing all the while that for every gloating
adopter, there is a mother who grieves over the loss of her child.
Mother's Day will come and go, and while other mothers receive
cards and home-made gifts from their children, she receives nothing.
At the mercy of the adoption industry, she gave away all her love
and has only heartache to show for it.
raped mothers and their enslaved, abused children are secrets
in America. To report on them is to damage a sector of our economy,
an industry that earns $1.4 billion a year through coercion, dishonesty,
and suffering. We don't like to recognize that there are people
in this world who put on the facade of a helper while working
behind the scenes for their own benefits. We shy away from acknowledging
pain and suffering, especially when it appears on the face of
someone who "should" have gone on with her life. We are cowards
when it comes to allowing the truth to disrupt an easier, fantasy
life. But continuing down this path will only lead to further
destruction of children and their families. We must prosecute
those responsible for the crimes of adoption, and we must work
harder to ensure that these abusive practices are discontinued.
These secret crimes cannot be hidden forever at the expense of
our mothers, fathers, and children. The adoption industry may
be a money-maker, but the value of family cannot be measured in
dollars and cents.
DelBalzo is an expectant mother living in Flemington,
NJ with her baby-to-be's expectant dad. She is a freelance writer
and has spent the past six years targeting the adoption industry
with her research and writing. In addition, she is a family
preservationist and one of the founding members of Adoption: