of a domestic adoption "baby boom" has undoubtedly brought
hope to people wanting to adopt an infant. But this announcement
begs the question: Where are these babies coming from? Is there
a systemic issue to be addressed?
Marion, IA (PRWEB)
June 9, 2004 -- The recent headlines must give hope to people
who want to adopt a baby: "Local adoption agency has rare
openings" and "Catholic Charities expands its adoption
program". The first article describes a domestic adoption
"baby boom"; the second article announces an expansion
in a domestic adoption program. But by announcing domestic adoption
"baby booms" these agencies might as well be announcing
their role in the exploitation of United States citizens.
Not only do mothers
who lose children to adoption have life-long problems so severe
that some commit suicide as a result, but there is also a higher
rate of suicide, childlessness, divorce, alcoholism, and other
addictions among adoptees than the norm in society.
Those who profit from
adoption blame the adoptees' problems on genetics. If genetics
is the cause, the collection of statistical data might clear up
any doubt. In the many cases where mothers married their adopted-out
child's father and had other children, it could be determined
what percentage of the kept children experienced the same problems
as the adopted-out ones.
According to statistics
compiled on adoption.com the mothers who lose babies to adoption
"often come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. These
women come from intact families." (Stolley, 1993) These mothers
and their families are more likely to be naïve than to be
genetically defective. Told "everyone benefits" from
adoption and in the absence of any real information, they may
think it's true. In poorer families, younger "adoptable"
children and babies are systematically taken under the guise of
child protection. The poverty frequently follows divorce or is
related to medical problems of some family member. Most of the
mothers have jobs. And although the people who know these moms
may see a caring, wonderful, competent individual from the perspective
of the government they are only a source of babies for adoption.
The fact that adoptees
and natural mothers frequently have serious problems due to separation
is well known to experts.
In a paper entitled
"CHALLENGING THE SILENCE OF THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ON
ADOPTION ISSUES" published in the Journal of Social Distress
and the Homeless, Vol. II, No. 2. April 2002, Douglas B. Henderson
(University of Wisconsin, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology)
discusses some of the reasons for the experts silence on the issue:
Professionals not wanting to admit to failure, the money to be
made in adoption, and an unwillingness on the part of adoptees
to appear ungrateful to their adopters are a few.
He explains the techniques
used by the National Council For Adoption, which represents the
agencies that profit from adoption, to silence others: "...the
NCFA has attempted to marginalize and pathologize anyone who reports
that adoption experiences are problematic. Setting themselves
up as the national experts on adoption, while actually representing
not the adoptees and (natural) parents who have lived adoption
but rather the agencies making money on adoptions, the NCFA has
long accused anyone who criticized adoption practices as being
With all that is known
by experts about the ill effects of separating family and of the
secrecy in adoption, it remains that adoption is a very lucrative
business. Thanks to lobbying efforts we now have government funding
for Infant Adoption Awareness training, maternity homes, adoption
counseling, subsidies and other aid for adopters, and so-called
"safe havens" where a frightened mother unsure of how
to get real help may leave her newborn son or daughter. In some
states there are adoption aid "Choose Life" license
plates, with proceeds going toward advertising and adoption services.
Those in the health
professions can become an "Adoption Specialist" after
a free three-day training program. There is no requirement that
this training inform trainees of the life-long emotional consequences
of surrender/adoption to mother, child or other family members.
By implementing the
Adoption University@ curriculum in high schools both mother and
father may be influenced to "choose" adoption before
they are even expecting. All risks are hidden and the implementation
of this training in a group setting makes it possible for an opposing
viewpoint to be squelched by the group.
The joy and pride
of parents and grandparents who have maintained hope, worked through
their issues and kept their children is very evident. But with
all the adoption training now implemented, a pregnant mother is
likely to encounter teachers, doctors, nurses, counselors and
others who will not mention the joys of motherhood, but instead
will pressure her to surrender all parental rights and will speak
of surrender in glowing terms to her parents as well. Her baby's
father is unlikely to support her when adoption has been presented
as "better" than taking responsibility for his own child.
A young pregnant mother
or her parents may be lured by a "dorm" with "park-like
setting", "beautiful swimming pool" and "cozy
fireplace". Separated from family and society to aid in "decision-making"
and repeatedly hearing "It's your choice" the mothers
will leave this maternity home still bleeding from childbirth
saying "It was my choice". With their thoughts constrained
by the carefully chosen phrases provided by the adoption industry,
it'll be years before they comprehend that in the their best interest
and the best interest of their child the risks of adoption should
have been disclosed and the choice to keep children they give
birth to should have been promoted.
Other coercive tactics
used to obtain babies include having prospective adopters chosen
in advance and even present at the birth (and we wouldn't want
to disappoint them, would we?).
The cruelest tactic
used to obtain a baby is the use of the open adoption "carrot",
the promise to a mother or family of continuing contact with their
child. Many parents don't know that the adoption may be closed
at any time without their consent. Frequently, the adoption is
closed immediately; the promise of openness made only to lure
them in. For the natural family, it's devastating.
From the industry
standpoint, open adoption has a clear advantage: Mothers whose
children were adopted-out know that for speaking out honestly
about the effects of adoption on themselves, their child and the
rest of their family, the "punishment" will be cutting
off all contact with their child. So, as they see their adopted-out
children cared for by nannies, treated harshly by male adopters
who didn't really want them in the first place, denied access
to their siblings or experiencing other problems these mothers
keep quiet or even continue to promote adoption. They may have
to convince themselves it is "better" or was "meant
to be" just to cope.
The intense solicitation
to obtain babies now includes offers to pay "expenses"
far beyond pregnancy-related costs. These "expenses"
include scholarships, car payments, entertainment, house maintenance,
credit card payments and personal loans. How does this compare
to soliciting to buy children from families off the streets in
Cambodia? THAT is considered criminal! After accepting this aid,
a mother may be coerced by agencies or lawyers using the lie that
she will have to pay all expenses back if she decides to keep
her child. Not surprisingly, there is adopters insurance to protect
New tactics to obtain
babies are being developed all the time. Even whole nuclear families
may be advised that it is "best" to surrender their
new baby if a parent has been laid off temporarily.
In his paper, Douglas
B. Henderson concludes: "It is time for the silence of the
mental health professions on issues related to adoption to end
Continuing the silence will serve the interests of no one, and
will lead to further difficulties for all those touched by the
A domestic adoption
"baby boom" should not be a source of pride, but of
shame on the part of agencies, medical experts, the government
and others for having exploited citizens of our own country, the
United States, to obtain babies.
Boom - Exploiting Women to Obtain American Babies for Adoption
Note: "Birthmother" is a dehumanizing and coercive term,
which makes a mother appear as if she was only the source of a baby
for adoption, not her child's mother and parent. Instead of "birthmothers",
"birthmoms", "birthfathers", "birthparents"
(aka "birth objects") the honest terms "mother",
"father" and "parents" should be used. If necessary,
mothers whose children have been adopted-out may be called "natural
mothers" to distinguish them from the people who adopted their