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.

25 comments:

  1. A wonderful post!! Occupy Adoption! Yes! I'd like to post on the facebook group if I may.x

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  2. Bless you for this, Cassi. This truth needs to be told now and it needs to be told loudly. Do you mind if I link to it?

    M.

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  3. Mel & Von,

    I am always so honored whenever I am linked from your blogs.

    And Occupy Adoption is something I believe we should all support!

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  4. These young moms are my heroes . . .

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=197711942639&set=o.80139823760&type=2&theater

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  5. What an amazing post, Cassi. Sign me up.

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  6. It sounds like a great place.

    I wonder how many other homes like it there are out there and how many people know about them.

    I did once have a look at a long list of "mothers homes" and of course most of them seemed to be related to adoption agencies but a few seemed to be genuinely for single mothers with adoption not on the cards at all (actually, I think Hope House was one of the places I saw on the list)and thought it would have been good to know which homes were genuine places for pregnant women to stay and which were likely to be feeders for adoption.

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  7. Does this place keep track of mothers and children and how they fare after they leave the program?

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  8. Children want to be raised in their bio-families. Unless there is some kind of abuse, that is what we want.

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  9. Cassi,
    I see you have a link for Change.org. Would everyone who is an animal lover please sign the petition for "Jack the Cat's Law". This would require airlines to provide GPS tracking on animals being transported in cargo. This would enable the animal to be recovered quickly if lost.

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  10. This is one of my FAVORITE posts thus far if. WOW is all I can manage to get out right now..

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  11. This is a great post...bookmarking for sure.

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  12. I absolutely TOTALLY disagree with this entire post! As a child who was adopted (and I thank God for it everyday!) I can tell you that "sacrificing" your child for adoption is one of the SMARTEST things a woman who is not yet ready for a baby can do!!! My birth mother was 17 when she had me and I thank my lucky stars that she had enough love for me to give me to loving parents who couldn't have one themselves. She would NOT have been able to take care of me and still finish school, I would not have had both a father and mother around me at all times, I would've been passed back and forth between the two of them and I am SOOOO glad I did not have that life! I am 23 years old now, I have met both my birth mother and father and I still think of my adopted parents as my "real" parents...they're the ones who raised me, loved me, and were always there for me. It is TOTALLY unfair of you to encourage women who are not mentally, morally, emotionally, and/or mature enough to keep their baby when there are PLENTY of loving couples who cannot have children who can give that baby a loving, wonderful home. Think of what's best for the KID!!! I graduated high school with honors, toured Europe in a National Band on a scholarship, and have had an amazing life this far and it's ALL because my birth mother had the COURAGE to give me up to a wonderful married couple who she knew would be able to give me the life she could not. I could go on and on about how much I disagree, how much my LIFE is a total example of how wrong you are!

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  13. I disagree with a lot of what is in this post. I am a birth mom. I think nothing less of people that change their lives and do everything they can when it works. But lets face it, most of the time it doesn't and no one wants to come from a broken home even if that means its their "real" parents. My son was ten months old when I gave him up. I sacraficed everything for those tenmonths. I worked 3 jobs and had my own apartment. I LOVED my son and giving him up to the wonderful family of my chosing doesn't make me less of a person or mother

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  14. Sorry, Chev, but the truth is that even if you think it doesn't make you any less of a person or a mother, it DOES makes you a woman who abandoned her baby. Adoption is legalized abandonment. It was never meant for babies who are loved and wanted. It is sad that you wanted to give your son away -- i take it that you did it willing with no regrets and no loss or grief? Too bad that you didn't "make it work" with YOU, not giving him to strangers. There would have been help out there that would have enabled you to keep your child. The fact you didn't reach out for it, even after keeping your son for 10 months, will never look good in anyone's eyes.

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  15. Janelle,

    It's great that your adoption story is a happy one for you. However, your positive experience does not negate the many ways in which women are routinely coerced, misled, and often, intentionally lied to in order to get them to surrender their children. No one is saying a teenage mother, or any woman, for that matter, is automatically ready to parent; that's a major point of Cassi's post. Hope House is PREPARING these young mothers to do the best job they can possibly do. They are provided with support, parenting classes, and job skills training.

    This type of support is sadly lacking when a woman visits an adoption agency. As Cassi mentioned, women are rarely told by adoption agencies or facilitators that there are different programs which can help them with housing, food, and daycare, and even if they are aware of these resources, they are routinely discouraged from seeking them. Instead, they are shown profiles of couples who are paying clients of the agency, and told of how deserving those clients are, how loving and caring and ready. How it is brave and selfless to choose adoption, with the obvious implication being that is is cowardly and selfish to dare to want to keep their own baby.

    Agency social workers have barged into the hospital rooms of exhausted mothers who have just given birth and stayed as long as it took to pressure them into signing relinquishment papers. Why is this OK, when no other legal contract can be signed while one party is heavily medicated, has just gone through a major medical procedure, or is otherwise incapacitated? Why is it OK for these women to be targeted when they are vulnerable and alone?

    It isn't about whether you, personally, are glad to be adopted. It's about giving ALL women the support and resources they need to mother their children. It's about enabling and empowering women who really, really want to parent their children to be able to do so, and to succeed in not just parenting, but in life. It's about balancing out the scales and offering true choices to vulnerable mothers, instead of only giving them two equally poor alternatives: to give up their child or to lose the "support" of the adoption-driven system. When you're a vulnerable, frightened expectant mother, often cut off from your family and other support, you are easily led to rely on the very people who have a vested interest in you giving up the rights to your baby.

    Unless and until all women are offered parenting resources, job skills and emotional support in the same proportion that they are flooded with adoption propaganda, adoption will never really be a choice. Because a single "choice" really isn't much of one at all.

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  16. Ohhh so true...you have taken the words right out of my mouth...

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  17. I remember years ago that I felt like the young woman (CHEV) after having relinquished my child...I had been convinced that it was the only choice I had...now my child is 42...and we are recognized in Australia as victims of forced adoption...I didn't sign the adoption form voluntarily..I had no intention of adoption until I came in contact with adoption agents (who solicited me for my baby)...by the time they finished with me, I was "CONVINCED" that I had nothing to offer this child...and I would be CRUEL to deny my child the right to two parents...sound familiar Chev...see, you're only in early days...still "CONVINCED"...let me give you a heads up...when the "mental illness" sets in, it's called Complex PTSD...took me years to get a diagnosis...but I'd like to save you the trouble...when it happens don't bother with Psychologists and Counsellors...just find a Psychiatrist who has experience with CPTSD and adoption...he/she's the one who can help...it will come, let me assure you...BTW did the adoption agents mention the mental illness that comes with adoption (they're supposed to)...oh yeah...your child will have it too... now do you think it was such a GREAT choice?

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  18. Janelle, you are demonstrating Complex PTSD as you write...and display a naivety that reflects your 23 years...but I'm glad your happy...

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  19. PS...my daughter knows now that she was never NOT WANTED by her true family and tells me how healing it's been to learn the truth...which I can prove...and I will also add that we were in reunion and I still believed the lies..I told her "I gave you up because I had nothing to offer you" I was still relatively young then (in my 30s). I raised 3 more wonderful sons and had everything they needed and that is speaking regardless of higher education and lack of wealth...I had what they needed, motherlove. That's what children thrive on best...and suffer for the lack of...I'm sure a transplanted heart would continue to beat...as does a child...the inevitable failure comes later when they see they don't really fit into this fantasy life they have, when children start to come along and they look around them and realize that the only person they look like is their child...

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  20. I wasn't coerced and I definitly felt greif. I still have issues with the fact I gave my son up and my husband and I had to work through them before having a baby. I love my son and I didn't give him to strangers I gave him up to my best friends sister and husband who where the only two people that helped me when I was going through everything. Believe me if I had any help from anyone else I would have taken it gladly. If we had a home I could have gone to I would have gone in order to keep my son but the truth was my babies father pitched in nothing, my parents abandoned me, and few of my friends were able to help. When a woman I had never met before offered to watch my son for next to nothing I jumped at the oppertunity. I fell in love with her and her story and asked her after months of talking to friends and counselors I made the decision on my own. If you don't agree and think I abandoned my son that's your decision but I know my son is in a wonderful home, has pictures of me in his room and knows who I am and the struggle I went through and the love I have for him.

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  21. I don't know if it matters but I never went through an adoption agency. We went through private lawyers and a caseworker that had already been asigned to my sons adoptive mother.

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  22. Same thing happen to me everyone I told I was pregnant said adoption is the best thing to do. I ended up giving my daughter up to a family friend and it has been four months and I have everything to take care of her a job a place with room for her and none of the adoption papers were signed yet. Only thing she has is Temporary custody and when I told her I can raise her and want her back she said I was a bad person selfish and immature person. That she is going to sue for everything all her emotions. But I really believe raising my daughter would be the right thing. I have everything she needs and most of I am her mother and I love her with all my heart and soul. I didn't even go through any counseling... So I am going to fight for baby girl before it is too late! Wish me luck?

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  23. Janelle wrote: " I would not have had both a father and mother around me at all times, I would've been passed back and forth between the two of them and I am SOOOO glad I did not have that life!"

    Well, Janelle, I am an adult adoptee and I did get that life. Only it was not my natural parents who gave me the unstable, back and forth lifestyle, it was my adoptive parents. APs do not always stay married and they do not also provide a stable home.

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  24. *always* provide a stable home (not also)

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  25. Adopters definitely do not always provide a stable home. My female adopter was a mentally ill alcoholic. Her husband almost divorced her and only stayed because he could not get custody and he was pretty much worried that she'd kill me if left alone with me. So he stuck in a bad marriage and I continued to be abused until I got big enough to fight back. Is this really the way that you want your little girl to grow up, feeling despair and crying for you every day, scared of some crazy drunk lady and wishing you would come get her? I love this post. My mother would have been a GREAT mother, she was a wonderful person and she loved me a lot. And look what happened to us, because something like THIS program was not available in the early 60s to help teenage mothers.

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