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dear birthmother letters



'birthparents' views on adoption

  January 2004
When God Stuffs Up

When it is reported that God made a mistake by popping a baby into the wrong 'tummy', the thinking person works out fairly rapidly that God, or someone masquerading as God, is experiencing some issues that probably need addressing. It is more likely that those who claim that God is making this kind of mistake are actually the ones with the issues, and not God herself.

The popular press likes to tell North Americans that when 'God' makes these mistakes it is up to single expectant mothers to right them by giving their baby to 'deserving' people who want them. Now, why didn't I think of that? It's a hell of a marketing idea although you wouldn't expect it to work on anyone over the age of five. But what a great way to make money, brokering such deals! Fixing God's mistakes and getting rich in the process. This really is capitalist utopia, helping God out and making money at the same time. It's a hell of a thing.

This bizarre fantasy of the pro-adoption world that is apparently widespread in the United States and even portrayed on American television as an appropriate 'origins' story to feed to adopted children, led me to ponder very seriously on the mental state of adopters and pre-adopters who actually recite this trash. That they repeat it to 'their' adopted children is scary news indeed. It is a great shift of responsibility to put adoption onto God as if adoption is merely a part of God's great plan for humanity. Yeah, right. Sure it is.

That the media so often perpetuates this unethical garbage is extremely disturbing.

While it may be tempting to think about all the money I could make brokering the sale of other women's babies, I would expect the average American would have the basic understanding that a pregnant woman is not on a level with God in the first place and therefore is not expected to tidy up after God has been so inattentive to her job description, that a baby has actually been carelessly placed in the wrong uterus. It does not take a great intellectual leap to work out that there is a serious credibility issue inherent in this theory even though it may reflect very sloppy work on God’s part.

The mother could be expected to know and understand that she could not compete with God by making a solar galaxy in say, 6 or 7 days or
thereabouts. So what makes her think she has the authority to fix one of Gods greatest mistakes by rearranging babies and mothers and thereby obscuring their genealogy? Where does this belief originate?

Well, according to aspects of the American press, God has taken to whispering in the ears of young and not so young, very gullible and stressed women with a baby on the way, that she should take pity on some nice people who need a baby due to their own botched encounters with sexually transmitted infection, or are otherwise infertile due to unfortunate lifestyle choices such as smoking and being overweight, two situations that frequently lead to infertility. And on hearing this message from God of course the mother knows she must give her baby to these other very deserving people.

Um…..forgive me if I don't understand that this is the mother who is not experiencing infertility and therefore has not ruined her child bearing equipment, who must sacrifice herself and her infant for the people who…..what was that rationale again? I never get this right!

The social workers and other adoption brokers who actually hand over children to adopters could consider using this belief system or world view
as a yardstick to weed out mentally/emotionally challenged pre-adopters and any descendants they may have, to ensure they get a mark against their name that would make them ineligible to adopt anything other than a flea or a tadpole for the next 150 years.

This would ensure that this particular American psycho-babble would die out along with any genuine genetic deficiencies that may have contributed to the nation's infertility in the first place. It would ensure that there would be no further need for the adoption of human beings at all because the people who want them/get them would no longer be with us. Perhaps infertility itself is actually God's way to eradicate intellectually challenged belief systems. Well, it's just a theory. But I digress.


When the baby is gone we are left with the mother who has displayed an awesome martyrism, a tremendous self-sacrifice, by offering up her new born infant on the euphoria of indecision, acute fear and a lack of social services. Often she agrees to adoption in the later stages of pregnancy before the baby is real to her. She may do it by signing a 'pre-birth' agreement to surrender her child at birth. But to all intents and purposes it appears to the outside world (that is, the real world outside of adoption) that she is willingly taking part in the transaction of selling the child so others can gain.

That the brokers get the considerable amounts of cash extracted from the adopters probably contributes to the American public perception that the mother must be a gullible woman who probably deserves to lose her child to someone who clearly has a bit more upstairs, in the location where United States citizens calculate profit and loss. It's the North American admiration for the dollar, the capacity to make it and the scorn reserved for those who don't as well as those who appear to be giving it away for free, as these mothers do.

I suspect most surrendering mothers have an environmentally induced need for the approval of adults and that they do not see themselves as adults at the time of the pregnancy or adoption. It is only later, after she has awakened from the long sleep of denial that the surrendering mother looks back and begins to understand her state of mind that contributed to the theft of her infant. Consenting to adoption for no valid reason – and displaying “unselfishness” to please other people is not a valid reason - is caused by a type of learned helplessness that has been identified as present in battered wives who keep insisting they ‘love’ their batterers. They lose all ability to judge the danger they are in and continue to flirt with their own death. They are confused and anxious to please. They believe the battering to be their own fault. They suffer from low self-esteem. They crave the approval of their batterer.

The same thing happens to vulnerable expectant mothers when their family, the state, the community and the press, gang up on them to insist on forced adoption. It’s a hostage situation. Victims of hostage aggression are often identified as suffering from Stockholm syndrome, a dependency phenomena that originates from a position of powerlessness or slavery, and that plays havoc with the minds of its victims. Thus the need for approval, learned helplessness and Stockholm Syndrome all come together and play a role in the suppression of birth memories that can and do lie dormant in the mother for many, many years following her apparent collusion in ‘consenting’ to adoption. She may have signed her name but she has no recall of doing so. That’s not consent – that’s coercion.

The modern process of breaking the spirit of an expectant mother for the purpose of stealing her infant, reminds me of that old film taken by Hitler’s doctors of their own medical experiments, whereby they left a parent locked alone in a room with their baby, but without food or drink. They watched and filmed through a one-way mirror as the adult victim unraveled. It only took a couple of days for the adults to crack completely. In the same way a vulnerable expectant woman is easy pickings for the public and its press. The North American press behaves just like Hitler’s doctors, carrying out goulash experiments on defenseless victim mothers, who are unable to fight back or protect themselves. The North American press appears to be in love with adoption. Or maybe in love with the wash of money always associated with slavery?

The surrendering mother gets a great big tick for agreeing to adoption. It's the oppressors’ tick of approval. The internalized oppression that leaves her convinced she has no right to parent her own baby, is driven by a national press that is at the forefront of the pro-adoption movement. Writing sappy stories to convince the mother she must sacrifice her baby to prove she is ‘unselfish’ would be amusing if it were not so sinister.

Bernstein and Woodward, please come back, your country needs you to carry out investigative journalism into the sinister adoption industry of the USA and Canada.

Some mothers who surrendered subsequently front web sites – or claim to - where they forcibly promote and peddle the idea of adoption to other vulnerable women. In my most charitable moments I think this is because of their current victim status as suffering from learned helplessness, Stockholm syndrome, a bottomless need for adult approval, or a combination of all three. Women who lack self esteem do seem to have a bottomless need for the approval of others.

But what these first mothers are finding is that their adoring public is not as adoring as they expected, and even suspect their motives for trying to convince other women to surrender their unborn children. And I must confess that in my most cynical moments - and I have many - I toy with the idea that the adoption industry, known to be worth billions of dollars, is actually the wallet behind this aggressive and very organized marketing campaign for more adoptive stock.

For many surrendering mothers, the craving for approval originates in a deep well of insecurity that cannot be assuaged no matter how much approval she gets, even though taking part in the formal abandonment of her new born infant is a pretty spectacular, not to mention reckless way to gain the approval of others. If the adoption brokers slip her some cash cunningly renamed 'education fees' then at least they have shared some of the profit they made from selling her infant to the emotionally desperate, unstable people who constitute their client group. The American public may even perceive her more kindly if she makes a little money on the side.

When a pregnant woman has no funds, no support and nowhere to live, how attractive it must be to become a martyr instead of an abandoning mother. To be a kind, caring self-sacrificing brave soul, so UNSELFISH that she would deny herself her baby by generously giving it up, is almost saintly behavior. In the process she escapes a grinding poverty, and social ostracism. The college 'scholarship' she may be offered by the brokers may be thankfully accepted as a marker for her sacrifice. I view these financial inducements as a type of headstone, a marker to her pain.

The mother who surrenders may sleepwalk for a long time before waking to the horror of her loss. During the early stages of her long sleep she will believe the hype of her oppressors, that she will grieve and recover and go on to enjoy the happy life that she deserves. It will be some time before she wakes to the unpleasant truth that the grief goes on and on and on.

Sooner or later the mother understands that the 'open' adoption she was lured into was merely a ghastly, insincere game and that the painful hook upon which she finds herself dangling, has become a permanent state of being. The grief the brokers told her would be temporary becomes a life sentence. She may kid herself for a bit longer, that the grief will pass but inevitably she will know that adoption is the wound that does not heal. It is the gift that keeps on giving - depression, shock and pain. It's the scam of scams of the 20th century, and now the 21st.

It makes a mockery of human rights. The American press might like to write about that. Bernstein and Woodward, are you there?




Voices From Exile Copyright © 2003 Joss Shawyer

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