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dear birthmother letters



'birthparents' views on adoption

July 2003

When Infertility Goes Shopping


As most nations outside of the United States are aware, adoption North American style is pretty much a free market, driven by demand, where ‘anything goes’ for a price. The latest baby breeding plan to be hatched – excuse the pun – by pre-adopters is the purchase of eggs from healthy, supposedly intelligent white women – that is, in the adoption shopping world, the proof of the mother’s intelligence is university attendance. Apparently many women university students are willingly selling off their unfertilized eggs in exchange for money to assist them through their studies. If trading one’s own potential children for money is considered evidence of intelligence, one wonders why they bother to enroll in ‘higher’ education in the first place. What type of university actually accepts their enrolments? This is a worry.

In response to this publicized egg selling racket, a group of first mothers, many of whom have devastating, first hand experience of the damage done to their children once lost to adoption and now found, have suggested that this process of baby farming will soon be streamlined to make it more efficient and also more affordable for women to buy and sell each others fertility. They consider infertility has become sort of like the commodity market, where people can buy and sell things that do not actually exist, like next years coffee or tea crop.

Suggestions to further facilitate the free market approach included the idea of fertility sections in supermarkets, where pre-adopters can pick and choose their embryos. If you think adoption is sane, this makes sense. It would make the purchase of others people’s gene pool more accessible, more fair. Everyone would be able to purchase potential babies off the shelf. It would be affordable, very democratic. There would be no controls which would give all ‘waiting families’ a pretty good crack at someone else’s family tree, a phenomena to which infertile people believe they have an absolute right.

Just to clarify, a ‘waiting family’ is a couple of either gender – mixed or otherwise – or even a single person who for reasons of their own infertility or inability to match egg with sperm, look outside their own bodies for a source of children. The ‘family’ is apparently the family they will become once they procure a child or children with the expert assistance of fertile women. Or men, as the case may be. The ‘waiting’ sounds passive but actually alludes to the frenetic chase for sperm, eggs or ready hatched children born, or about to be born, to some poor woman without the emotional or financial support to raise her own child. While they ‘wait’ for someone’s else’s egg, sperm or personal tragedy to provide them with a ‘family’ these infertile pre-adopters actively seek the source of their fantasy ‘family’. This involves grim chases on internet sites looking for a brokers who will provide them with the opportunity to create a child from scratch or assist them to steal one ready made. They then make the real mother go away so they can pretend they had her child themselves. It’s pathetic. It's mad. It should be outlawed.

There is so much nuttiness surrounding adoption throughout the United States and Canada, I think it should be formally considered a form of mental illness. That the adoption insanity has been normalized in the way it has, does not make it sane. Grief literature explains explicitly, the importance of human beings coming to terms with personal loss, in this case, their own lack of fertility. Sound mental health depends upon the ability of individuals to come to terms with their life experiences and regrets.

No matter how personally difficult coming to terms with infertility may be, it is far, far less painful than losing a child to adoption. Women whose children are stolen by this legislated social policy never actually get over it even though all the advertising that supports the adoption industry, says they must. They are stripped of their child and then abandoned to an exile of an emotional wilderness so extremely devastating, it is hard to find words to describe it. I cannot imagine that the ‘loss’ of potential children – who are only an idea – can come anywhere close to the loss of a real child. One already born, to a real live mother who weeps and bleeds and is left to deal with the aftermath of a dead child gone but not actually dead – well – that is crazy making stuff. That the people who adopt her child do not give a toss about her once the adoption is legalized, illustrates just how little emotional depth they really have. People that shallow don’t actually feel hurt deeply. In fact, they should try eating less cheese or stop eating supper altogether before bedtime, as they may be confusing symptoms of indigestion with emotional ‘pain’. These things are not the same.

Infertile people need to face their infertility and get over it. They need to weep and cry and scream ‘unfair’ and then dry their eyes and get on with life. They need to face the fact they are not ‘waiting families’ but just sad insecure people who need to find outlets for what they imagine are unfulfilled maternal or paternal feelings but may actually be something entirely different. Infertile women need to look outside of other women’s families to find fulfillment in their own empty lives. I suspect that most of the trouble over adoption is the inability of infertile women to find meaningful direction in their lives apart from the culturally induced expectation of the supposed happiness that will come from raising a child – any child. There is no inherent ‘right’ to other people’s children. It only exists in the hype of the adoption industry which is a money making business that feeds off its own misinformation, or should I say, bullshit.

As one first mother from the United States commented, “What is normal? Pretty soon I think having your own child will be abnormal, so many other ways to make families, buying, selling, facilitation, buying embryos, sperm…………..what is normal?…”

What indeed. The other day I read somewhere that there are an estimated 50,000 fertilised embyos stored on ice around the United States, waiting for their parents to decide the right time for them to be born. If ever. How terrible. How sad. The nation that has everything, with a population that belives it has a right to more of just about anything, may have nothing at all that is actually worth envying apart from cental air conditioning and those nifty little plastic bags that come with their own zippers.

Voices From Exile July 2003 "When Infertility Goes Shopping"Copyright © 2003 Joss Shawyer



Voices From Exile Copyright © 2003 Joss Shawyer

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