I’m second guessing a decision I made to like a page on Facebook – One Million Pissed Off Women.
It’s not that I don’t believe in what they stand for overall, or want to add my voice to their fight. But, after reading some comments left by one of the co-founders of the page on Motherhood Deleted’s latest post, Pissed Off and Proud, I really don’t like the idea of supporting any group that doesn’t take the time to research and see that supporting adoption, as it is practiced today, actually goes against the women’s rights they are fighting for.
I just don’t see how anyone claiming to fight for women’s rights can support the billion dollar profits the adoption industry makes from taking children away from young, poor, single women. How they can support anything that encourages the coercive and manipulative tactics that are given in Birthmother, Good Mother, to “convince” a women she is not good enough to be a mother.
How can they stand behind an industry that markets to our young daughters that unless they are married, successful and wealthy, they do not deserve to keep their children. That uses women in their most vulnerable, desperate time in order to take from them their own child. That instills the belief that mothers who are viewed by society as “not good enough” should give up their children to those that are viewed as better than them.
I just can’t get myself to support such a way of thinking.
The co-founder of the site who commented, outside of, of course, knowing a first mom and adoptees who are perfectly happy with their situation, voiced a concern that by taking away the “choice” of adoption, you run the risk of forcing a woman to parent.
What she doesn’t seem to understand is that the vast majority of adoptions that happen today are not because a women simply chooses not to parent, but because she is FORCED into losing her child because she feels as if she has NO OTHER CHOICE.
The typical woman facing a crisis pregnancy isn’t walking into an adoption agency and declaring, “I just really don’t want this baby. Please let me give him away so I’m not forced to spend the rest of my life raising him.”
No, the truth of most, is much different than that. For them, it is a situation where they want to raise their child but don’t have the support or help to do so. They feel desperate, unsure and terrified of what the future holds.
They may have nobody to support them. Don’t have the money and resources they deserve, as their basic human right, to keep and care for their child. Can’t imagine how they can ever make it work when everything seems so dark, so terrifying at the moment.
And only in so-called adoption counseling is it actually encouraged, when anyone in the mental health field knows the harm in it, to push someone to make a life-changing decision while in the midst of a crisis. To actually guide their decision-making by shoving adoption at them as the “loving” solution to their problems.
Such situations can never be seen as a good thing for women’s rights.
If someone truly supported women’s rights, even with the belief that adoption should be a choice, then they would stand up and fight for better support and help offered to young, single, poor pregnant women to enable them to keep and raise their child instead of feeling as if they have no choice but to give them up.
They would stand up and shout for the millions of dollars our government pays to teach how to “convince” a woman to give up her baby be redirected into programs that offered better sex education for our youth. Parenting and job skills for mothers. Financial support so that no mother ever again has to lose her child due to poverty.
They would demand an end to the profits made off of women giving up their babies. Would fight against the unrealistic portrayal of adoption that is fed into our society. Scream at the top of their lungs that women in crisis pregnancies must have true, unbiased counseling that does not push adoption at them as the “loving option.” But instead works with the woman, in each individual situation, to determine what factors are contributing to her belief that she can’t keep her baby. And warning her of the risks, to both herself, and her child, that adoption brings with it.
Just as there is a fight for women to have the right to abortions and pregnancy prevention, there should also be a fight for women to have the right, the means, and the support, to try parenting their child before ever being forced to make the decision to give her own flesh and blood away.
Womens rights supporters should be outraged that, while still under the effects of giving birth, it is legal for a mother to sign away her rights to her child forever. That women can be threatened with things such as paying back medical bills and being turned into social services if they change their mind.
Whether you believe in adoption or not, I just don’t see how you can support women’s rights and not fight for drastic reform in the acts that are used, over and over again, to separate women from their children every day. How you can say adoption is a good thing while knowing there are so many women who have been lied to, used, coerced, forced and manipulated into losing their sons or daughters.
And how can anyone who claims to stand for women’s rights, support an act such as adoption, that denies millions of women adoptees the most basic of human rights, their original birth certificates.
Supporting both women’s rights and adoption, at this point in our nation’s history, just isn’t possible. Because to do so, you make the very clear statement that some women deserve their equal rights while others must suffer and sacrifice without the help of the very people . . . other women . . . who should be helping them the most.