Many people both
married and single in the United States hope to adopt an infant.
Now that most mothers have the support of family to keep their
sons and daughters, should the government fund a program designed
to make them available for adoption instead?
Marion, IA (PRWEB)
September 7, 2004 -- There is a large "market" in the
United States for babies for adoption. With the reduced stigma
associated with single motherhood since the 1970s more mothers
are keeping and nurturing their own children. Frequently they
have the help of their babies fathers, grandparents and
others. Grandparents speak of the joy an unexpected grandchild
has brought into their lives.
One method being used
to find more babies for prospective adopters is the
federally funded Infant Adoption Awareness Training and advertising
that is currently sweeping the country.
On October 17, 2000
the U.S. Congress, under Public Law 103-310, amended the Public
Health Services Act to authorize specific activities pertaining
to Infant Adoption Awareness (title XII, Subtitle A). The legislation
requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) to award grants To develop and implement programs
to train designated staff of eligible health centers in providing
adoption information and referrals to pregnant women on an equal
basis with all other courses of action included in non-directive
counseling to pregnant women.
Over $9 million per
year is budgeted for Infant Adoption Awareness Training Programs
through grants, the greatest portion of which has gone to the
National Council For Adoption, a membership organization of adoption
Is the goal of non-directive
counseling being met? Are womens rights to honest information
upon which to base their own decision being upheld or is the decision
being made for them?
The brochure provided
by the NCFA says the good news is they have trained more than
11,000 individuals to date. In addition, According to Nielsen
tracking service, local television stations donated more than
$778,000 worth of airtime just since May of this year (not counting
the networks such as ABC, CNN, and Lifetime). Outdoor advertising
giants Viacom and Lamar are providing highway billboards, and
radio stations and other media outlets are helping to say very
publicly Thanks for considering Adoption. "
The brochure tells
of one Master Trainer, a caseworker for the Gladney Center for
Adoption, who spoke daily to a pregnant mother on the phone and
then when her baby was born traveled all the way across West Texas
to be with her in her time of need using compassion
and many of the counseling tools and techniques from the
training to help the mother make her decision.
So as a result of the IAA training when a mom decides that she
wants to keep her own son or daughter, a professional
will be there to make a powerful impact.
Are the known risks
as well as the advantages of surrendering a child to adoption
being provided to these mostly young, naïve women?
reactions of the relinquishing mother: a review by H. A.
Askren and K. C. Bloom published in the Journal of Obstetric,
Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 1999 Jul-Aug; volume 28, issue
4: "The relinquishing mother is at risk for long-term physical,
psychologic, and social repercussions. Although interventions
have been proposed, little is known about their effectiveness
in preventing or alleviating these repercussions."
My mother didnt
want me. stated one adoptee who was nevertheless compelled
to search. Some adoptees have been known to say they consider
themselves to be a 9-month abortion.
Infant Adoption Awareness
Training attendees are told they should speak positively to a
pregnant woman about the adoption option, conduct
an interest survey, and refer her to adoption agencies for more
information. The interest survey is worded in such a way that
it will lead a naïve young woman to say she might be interested
in talking to someone about adoption. People eligible for the
training are those who have little background with adoption or
adoption counseling, thus contributing to the likelihood there
will be no dissenting opinion during the sessions.
During training, an
adoptee or a natural mother who has been hand-picked to promote
adoption may be available to speak. Completely discredited are
the experiences and insights of any adoptee who seeks her origins
or any mother who is badly affected by the loss of her child;
The trainers claim such people are ill or just using
adoption as a cover-up for some other problem they
What do these people
who are ill, the mothers whose children were adopted-out
years ago and adoptees who search for the mothers they have been
separated from for so long, have to say?
Ronna Smith, an Oklahoma
resident whose son was adopted-out in 1978 observes: Considering
adoption? From what I see in the workbook, pregnant women have
no chance of getting out of adoption.
and anyone working with youth that will come into contact with
pregnant teens or women are strongly recruited for this training.
This IAA program is purposely taking away from pregnant women
every support person or system including all family members, friends
and the babys father. Mothers will not be told of any government
programs or any other resource that might help them. Trainees
are taught to focus a mothers attention on her inadequacies.
Then they psychologically turn it around to make a pregnant girl
or woman believe she has chosen adoption when she
may have just wanted general information.
Those of us
who have been through it know what coercion is. We know the effect
adoption has on ourselves and our children. We want this stopped.
Instead, there should be a law that would disallow an adoption
so-called-specialist to contact a mother once she has said 'no'
or even voiced the feelings of doubt about adoption.
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and adoptee, attended the IAA
training. She states: The information presented in both
written and oral form in this national federally-funded program
does not meet the standards for unbiased and ethical counseling
practices. They presented methods to convince a pregnant
women that adoption is the best option for her and her baby. They
did not provide any other options or reasons to help a young mother
to choose to parent her child. Franklin points out that
spending government funds on unethical counseling and training
practices to the tune of millions of American's tax dollars
on infant adoption does nothing for children who are truly in
need of homes.
According to Franklin,
more funding needs to be given for post-adoption services instead
of promoting infant adoption. In addition, she believes adult
adoptees have a right to access to their records. After she went
through the humiliating process of petitioning the
courts for her birth and adoption information, she discovered
that her natural mother had died ten years prior while searching
for her to give her important medical information. Adult
adoptees should not be treated as perpetual children or criminals
for wanting to know their own information. It is important for
both the adoptee and the adoptee's children.
NCFA represents the
interests of some of the most backward agencies in the adoption
industry. Their website says theyre opposed to fathers being
given power to block the adoptions of their own children.
The NCFA president, Thomas Atwood, says mothers want confidentiality.
The truth is that the secrecy is for the adopters; thats
what they pay top dollar for or make the big donations for. The
more ethical agencies will tell you its the mothers who
push for openness. Secrecy, lies and separation from natural family
can cause real problems for adoptees.
Mothers not only want
openness, they nearly always want their children. Mothers, fathers
and their parents may not know much about adoption except for
all the advertising promoting it. They deserve honest information
and the opportunity to make their own decision regarding their
The Infant Adoption
Awareness Training Program must be ended. Not only is the goal
of non-directive counseling for women not being met but mothers
rights, fathers rights and a childs right to remain
with her own family are all being violated.
Adoption Awareness Training -
Why Infant Adoption Awareness Must be Ended.
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