Friday, November 18, 2011

Lip Service

There is a heart breaking story out there about a grandmother who lost her grandson to adoption . . .

It is, unfortunately, another incident of another adoption agency destroying families at any cost for the sake of profits. Of more proof to the fact that as long as we allow these agencies to go unregulated and unchecked, they will continue to commit such crimes without punishment.

And adds to the sad realization that such agencies are the norm, not the rarity in the billion dollar world of adoption.

I’ve heard the argument, the justifications, but the truth of the matter is . . . there is no such thing as an ethical adoption agency. They don’t exist. They can’t exist under the nature of what adoption is in our culture.

As long as there is no protection for pregnant mothers or the children who are supposed to be the most important in adoption. As long as there is profit to be made off of human beings, government-paid programs teaching counselors how to convince women to give up their babies and more of our taxes going into helping couples adopt over helping mothers keep and raise their children, there will never be anything but corruption and greed, coercion and manipulation in adoption.

And an adoption agency can give hopeful adoptive couples or frightened pregnant women all the lip service in the world, it will never change the fact that it is just that . . .

Lip Service.

Because for an adoption agency to be truly ethical, to really care first and foremost about pregnant mothers and children, they would have to go against just about everything they are in business for. They would actually have to admit that adoption counseling is coercive just in the very nature of how it is done. Admit the damage separating a child from his or her family causes. And turn away from the profits they earn with each “successful” adoption.

A truly ethical adoption agency would refuse, without question or argument, to see or talk to a pregnant mother about adoption until she had received crisis counseling for her situation . . . TRUE crisis counseling. Not the kind that comes from counselors that earn their paychecks from mothers giving up their babies. Or Social Workers who aren’t trained to recognize or work with those who are in the midst of a crisis.

It has to be from those who know. Those who are licensed and have been educated and trained to realize that a mother claiming she wants to give away her child is not a normal reaction. To understand there are fears driving such feelings and a responsibility on the one offering counseling to help her not only work through her fears but overcome them so that any decision made is one done so outside of the emotions that are pushing her to make a rash decision that will affect her for the rest of her life.

But there is not an agency I know of that has such requirements. Instead they work their way around that by claiming they truly care about the pregnant mother because they offer “options” for parenting. What they don’t say, but they know . . . trust me, THEY KNOW . . .is that it doesn’t mean a thing to offer such options to a woman who is already caught up in fear. Already believes she can’t do it.

If she hasn’t been helped to overcome her fears, encouraged to seek solutions and answers to what is pushing her to make such an irrational decision, such options are going to be rejected without thought because she is already living under the terrible fear that she isn’t good enough for her own child. And NOBODY has helped her work through that fear or overcome it.

She has already been denied the help she needed . . . deserved. And is instead being manipulated because of her fears. Her desperate emotions being used to push her to give away her child.

There is nothing ethical about that. Absolutely nothing.

But it doesn’t even stop there. Again, for an agency to be ethical, they would also have to put every effort into making sure a child remain within his or her biological family if at all possible.

Not just in foster care adoptions – such as the grandmother who tragically lost her grandson because of the illegal practices of an adoption agency – but in ALL adoption situations.

They would make sure every pregnant mother who came in their doors was aware of the studies, the research, that shows children do better within their biological families versus being raised by strangers. They would encourage family adoptions over stranger adoptions and they would ALWAYS put their highest effort into keeping a child in their family, through whatever means possible.

There would no longer be counseling that encouraged grandparents to “accept” their daughter’s decision instead of stepping in to help support and raise their grandchild. No more suggestions that family offering to help was the same as them not “respecting” a pregnant mother’s decision.

And there would definitely not be situations such as this grandmother’s where biological families were denied their own grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, because there were already strangers being given the promise of adoption.

Keeping children, whenever possible, within their families would go beyond just a practice. Beyond whatever it is an adoption agency might tell others to appear ethical. It would be a requirement, a must, before any other form of adoption occurred. They would fight for it, be vigilant about it. And wouldn’t stray from it, not even if their profits were threatened.

And that is the final reason why there can never be an ethical adoption agency . . . profit.

They make money. They gain. They succeed off of taking children from their mothers and handing them over to strangers who have the ability to pay for them. They lie to adoptive parents, first parents and even adoptees. They cover their tracks, call themselves non-profit, do whatever they can to hide the one and true reason why they do what they do . . .

MONEY.

The money they will not give up. Money that keeps their manipulative, coercive, corrupt and illegal practices going. Money that pays for lobbyists to push for laws that keep them unregulated, untouched even when they clearly break the law. Money that denies protection for pregnant mother and children.

Money that does and will continue to make it impossible for any adoption agency . . . anywhere . . . to ever be ethical. Because they can’t be. They don’t want to be. And they never will be.

Not it today’s world. Not in the ugly truth that is adoption. The ugly truth that won’t change until our support, our belief . . . our own personal ethics . . . change and demand better.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sacrificing Babies

There is a wonderful place here in our state called Hope House.

It is a place for teenage moms. A place to support them, help them, teach them, so they are empowered to be the best they can be, as a woman and a mother.

And these young moms are amazing . . . so amazing. They are everything a mother should be. They are the proof to what it really means to make a loving sacrifice for your child.

They are changing their lives, learning parenting skills, creating job skills, whatever it takes, whatever they need to do to become the best mothers they can be. To find self-efficiency. Gain power over themselves, their futures, and the futures of their children.

And they are everything the adoption industry doesn’t want them to be.

They are the ones that are considered selfish, unloving, irresponsible because they didn’t give away their baby. Because they didn’t believe they were unworthy or unfit but instead knew they could do it . . . could do ANYTHING . . . for their child.

They are the threat because by SACRIFICING FOR their children they aren’t allowing the adoption industry to SACRIFICE THEIR children.

And that is the bare ugly truth of domestic infant adoption and the way it is practiced in today’s world.

It is about discouraging mothers from making true sacrifices for their children while beating them down, keeping them believing they can’t do it, aren’t good enough, so their children can be sacrificed.

Sacrificed for that “more-deserving” couple who wants a baby, who is willing to pay whatever it takes to get what they want.

Sacrificed for society’s view of who is more worthy to parent, for our backwards practices that pays more into support to separate a mother and child than keep them together.

Sacrificed for yet another check to be deposited into the billion dollar profits of the adoption industry. Profits that go unchecked and unregulated at the expense of human beings.

Adoption isn’t a loving sacrifice. It is fear and desperation. Coercion and manipulation. It is about a woman who is carrying a product that another woman wants. It’s about an industry that gains off of taking a child away from one mother to satisfy the needs of another.

It’s about creating a terrible belief that women who actually work hard, change their lives, do everything they can to keep and raise their children are the “bad” ones. The ones not to be praised or respected, but instead chided and ridiculed for not giving away their babies to that “better” person waiting in line.

And you see it everywhere, especially in this month that we are supposed to celebrate all the wonderful things about adoption.

Pictures of those mothers who gave up their children, praise for them, respect for them, is in abundance.

They are so wonderful. So great for what they did. They are responsible and loving and unselfish because they gave away their baby to somebody better. Because they didn’t try to change their life, gain parenting skills, work skills and do whatever it took to be the best mother possible to their child.

They did what was expected of them, what has been pounded into their heads, their hearts . . . they admitted defeat, believed they were unworthy of their child, and gave them up.

And we as a society respect that, we glorify it. We celebrate it.

And we turn around and shake our heads in dismay at the moms who didn’t follow that path, who didn’t give away their baby.

We don’t celebrate them, hold them up as wonderful women to be praised for what they have done.

Instead we call them selfish, unloving, immature. We don’t see - because we are so deep into the lies flooding adoption - how much better it is, how much everything could change, if we supported these women. Supported programs like Hope House. Held them up in the highest of regard because of their TRUE sacrifice for their children. Praised them and helped them and created an overwhelming wave of mothers who have been empowered to be the very best they can be, for themselves and their children.

Could you imagine the changes it might make if our focus shifted and we cared more about supporting mothers instead of taking their children from them? If we could only open our eyes to the truth and see how damaging adoption is to women and their children.

Those in the adoption industry like to pretend they are supporting and caring of pregnant women. But they aren’t. It is impossible for them to be. You can’t empower a woman while also sending the message that there is another woman out there who just might be a “better” mother for her child. You can’t support her and encourage her when you don’t address, from the start, the fears that are holding her back from believing she is strong enough, capable enough . . . GOOD ENOUGH. When the very message that adoption sends is one of being less than and unable to overcome whatever obstacles there may be to become the best person she can possibly be – for herself and for her child.

We need to, desperately, start standing up as one against the damage adoption causes in our society. We need to look harder and deeper into what it truly means to sacrifice for your child. To be the voice that fights for TRUE empowerment for pregnant women.

Our government, our laws, aren’t changing anytime soon. But we can change. As a society we can refuse to support any practice, any industry . . . ANYBODY . . . who discourages women from making a true loving sacrifice for their children and instead encourages them to sacrifice their child, the most intimate, precious parts of themselves, for the greed, desires and judgments of others.

We can say, “NO MORE.”

We have the power. We have the ability.

And we have the knowledge, deep down inside of us . . . in those areas the adoption industry can’t touch with their lies . . . of just how much of a change we could make if we offered every pregnant mother facing a crisis the help, support and power to be everything she and her child will ever need.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"No" Vember

A friend of mine posted a picture on her Facebook wall of a list of “No’s” for November and I figured why not do one that is adoption related since it is National Adoption (BE)wareness Month . . .

NO SEALED OBC’S FOR ADOPTEES - - Nobody deserves to have their equal rights denied them simply because they are adopted.

NO “ADOPTION” COUNSELING FOR PREGNANT WOMEN - - Every women in a CRISIS pregnancy should have true CRISIS counseling from an unbiased professional.

NO DENYING THE TRAFFICKING THAT IS A PART OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION - - The proof is there, pretending it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.

NO BELIEVING THAT THERE ISN’T LOSS INVOLVED WITH EVERY SINGLE ADOPTION - - No matter the circumstances or situation, there is always a loss when a mother and child are separated from one another.

NO COERCIVE PRACTICES LIKE PRE-BIRTH MATCHING AND/OR ADOPTIVE PARENTS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM - - The adoption industry has long-known that a mother is more likely to give up her child if she forms a relationship with the hopeful couple and becomes concerned about their feelings.

NO EXPECTING ADOPTEES TO BE GRATEFUL - - Whether you adopted your child or gave your child up for adoption, you should never expect them to be grateful for a decision that was made FOR them not BY them.

NO HUNTING DOWN A PREGNANT WOMAN TO FIND “YOUR” BABY - - It goes beyond wrong to solicit for and/or market yourself to vulnerable pregnant women in the hopes of them giving you their baby.

NO HIDING THE FULL TRUTH OF ADOPTION FROM AN EXPECTANT MOM - - Every women deserves to know the pain and grief adoption causes for so many mothers and their children.

NO PRETENDING ADOPTION IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO ABORTION - - As it has been said, over and over again, the two are not related. Abortion is the decision to continue a pregnancy. Adoption is a decision about parenting.

NO CLAIMING THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO ADOPT - - God does not, and never will, support the separation of a mother and child to fulfill another’s selfish needs. It goes against everything he teaches.

NO DENYING THAT NATURE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS NURTURE - - Every child, adopted or not, is a part of nature and nurture. To deny them that is to deny them a part of themselves.

NO CLAIMING THAT ADOPTION IS A LOVING OPTION - - Adoption is not from love. It comes from fear and desperation . . .

. . . Any my last and final “no” for this month . . .

NO MORE BILLION DOLLAR PROFITS FOR THE ADOPTION INDUSTRY - - It is disgusting that any one of us supports and encourages an industry that treats human beings, innocent children, like merchandise. That we allow them to be “price-tagged” based on demand for their race, sex and age. That we really see nothing wrong with dedicating an entire month to celebrate something that in the greed of providing children for parents who are willing to pay for them we have left behind the children truly in need.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shut Up And Listen

Wow! National Adoption Awareness month has really kicked off with a bang this year.

I can definitely see where we should all be dancing around and celebrating all that is wonderful in the big, rainbow colored world of adoption.

We are just four days into this month that the adoption industry has hijacked for their own gain and already a large group of adoptees have been insulted, ignored and told - - AGAIN - - they are bitter and angry and need to seek help because they dared to speak up to protect a young adoptee.

And in the swirl of this ugliness, as, over and over again, adoptees are torn down and stomped on for their attempts to speak out and protect a child, I can’t help but wonder . . .

Isn’t that what this month . . . what the whole of adoption is supposed to be – all about the children?

And who knows better about what adopted children might face during their growing up years than the adult adoptees who have already lived the life?

The very people who brave the insults, the degrading comments that always seem to start with, “I can see why your mother gave you up,” to protect, to bring awareness, to help the younger generation of adoptees.

They get kicked and shoved to the ground more times than anyone can count and yet they pick themselves up, brush off their backsides and go back at it. Not for them, or the money hungry adoption industry, but for the children.

You know, those pesky little ones that adoption is supposed to be all about to start with.

But it doesn’t matter because nobody wants to hear them. Not if they aren’t speaking the “truth” they are supposed to say. You know the one. Where they must bow down at the sacred temple of adoption and be grateful for all the wonderful gifts it brought to their life.

And they REALLY don’t want to hear them in the month of November. I mean really, how do they dare speak out in a month that is all about how wonderful adoption is, how saintly adoptive parents are for saving children, how great First Moms are for giving away their babies to strangers and how absolutely grateful, without question, adoptees are because everyone around them decided what would be best for their life long before they ever even had a voice to share their own opinion.

And how do they dare speak out on the blog of an adoptive mother who, in her disgusting attempt to continue to build her own popularity (articles in Adoption Today Magazine, awards for being an inspiring family) places her adopted daughter in second place by refusing to teach her about the racism she will face later in life. By encouraging as “cute” her being a part of such racism. The very kind of racism that ALL MOTHERS - - biological, adoptive, foster, step - - should always teach their children is wrong and inappropriate in any situation.

Nope. That is so wrong in this month that we must all realize that adoption is such a wonderful, terrific act that takes poor, nothing beings away from their unworthy mothers and bestows them on the perfect mothers that deserve a child.

It’s wrong in expecting any wonderful, terrific . . . “hold you up in such saintly wonder that you get your picture in an Adoption magazine” . . . adoptive parent might actually listen to the adult adoptees who are fighting for the future of the young adoptees that are now living the life they have known for so long.

Because adoption might be about the children but it’s not really about those children . . . you know . . . the ones who have actually lived the life. Who have gone through childhood, the difficult teenage years, adulthood, and come to realize their own truths and experiences might not exactly match up to the fairytales the adoption industry and so many blind, “stick my head in the sand” adoptive and first mothers wish to believe.

We can’t listen to them. I mean really, how can we we?

But we should.

Every one of us, especially in this month that is supposed to be all about adoption awareness, should shut up, step back and listen to what those who have actually had to live the life of an adoptee has to say.

Stop telling them what they should feel. Stop insulting them, degrading them, tossing them aside because they don’t say what you want to hear.

Listen to them. Give the meaning of National Adoption Awareness Month importance by giving the voices who have lived the life of being adopted, the lead.

Forget all your crap - - Adoptive and First moms alike - - and step back, listen and learn from those who have the most important message to be told . . .

The adoptees. The ones who were the children that it is supposed to be all about.

The ones who know, better than any of us, the truth of adoption.