When just even a hint of coercion exists, there can never be true choice. You can try to wrap it up in a pretty bow, sprinkle some sugar on it to make it sweeter, but it will never change the fact that the moment coercion enters the equation, in any way, choice leaves it.
So when it comes to Domestic Infant Adoption, how can there be choice, when the adoption counseling offered to pregnant women was created for the sole purpose of coercing them into giving up their babies?
According to the NCFA’s own facts, in 1951 there were about 34,000 Infant Adoptions. By 1971 the numbers had peaked to almost 90,000. This was during the time of the Baby Scoop Era or Era of Mass Surrender. These were the decades where there truly was no choice for single, young women who were pregnant. Abortion was illegal. There were no laws in place to protect them from being fired for no other reason than they were pregnant. And society’s views on single parenting were harsh.
And yet, just four years after infant adoption had reached its peak, the numbers dropped drastically to less than 48,000 by 1975. That change can be directly related to the fact that women were gaining more control and rights over themselves and their bodies. Abortions were legalized. Birth control was becoming more accessible and protections were starting to fall into place so women could not be discriminated against for merely being pregnant.
In normal reality, these should have been seen as positive changes. The drastic drop in the number of children separated from their families should have been something to celebrate. It was a clear sign that things were beginning to change for women and their rights. That there was a slow growth of opportunity for women to be able to prevent pregnancy or keep and raise their children without being condemned or punished for doing so.
But, in the twisted logic of those who gain (by profit or child) through adoption, such changes were viewed as a threat because as women gained more power, the industry lost theirs. They could no longer commit their crimes from the past to meet the growing demand from couples willing to pay for a baby.
Desperate to fight back against the increase in women’s rights and protections, the NCFA was created in 1980. Though they claim otherwise, its goal has never been to find families for children in need but to instead find new tactics to separate infants from the families they already have. As they state in their own historic facts . . .
-- In the 1980s, as the number of women opting for an adoption plan decreased, there also was a sharp increase in the number of families wishing to adopt children. Adoption agencies began to maintain long waiting lists as the number of potential adoptive families far surpassed the availability of children. --
Though they are labeled a non-profit, the NCFA is a very rich and powerful organization. Supported mainly by adoption agencies, adoption lawyers and adoptive parents, they have worked hard, since their creation in 1980, to reclaim the power they once had over women and their unborn children so they can again meet the demand of couples wanting to adopt a baby.
Over the last three decades, their research on how to best convince a woman to give up her baby has been extensive. And through the high-paid lobbyists they send to Washington, they have not only been able to continue to create laws that take away the protections that women have fought so hard for and make it easier to separate a mother from her child. But to also have our own government support – and pay with from our tax-dollars – a program called Infant Adoption Awareness Training, which is the accepted and practiced adoption counseling for not just adoption agency employees but also school nurses, high school and college counselors, crisis pregnancy center employees, social workers and many in the medical field as well as religious organizations. It is the training followed by anyone who might come into contact with pregnant women.
The NCFA has recently made the main portion of their program more accessible by providing it online. Anyone with a verifiable email address can go to this site and take the two to three hour course on how to counsel pregnant women about adoption.
As the NCFA states, this training is meant to “provide adoption information and referrals to pregnant women on an EQUAL basis” and that their mission is to “educate about adoption to overcome the potential BARRIERS to considering adoption so clients can make a FULLY-INFORMED CHOICE.”
So the basis of their training is to teach those who come into contact with pregnant women how to counsel them to “overcome” the reasons (barriers) why they want to keep and raise their child instead of giving them up for adoption and make sure they believe that, by being counseled in such a way, they are making a fully-informed choice.
And the truth of that begins in the very beginning of the introduction for their training. Within minutes of a video from Chuck Johnson, CEO for the NCFA, he states that years of research and anecdotal information show that adoption is a good social institution with positive outcomes for Birth Mothers, Birth Fathers, Birth Families, individuals who were adopted and, of course, adopted families. And even though he mentions FULLY-INFORMED CHOICE, he says nothing further about the research and studies that have shown that many women who have lost their children to adoption suffer from PTSD and/or depression. That many fathers have or are currently fighting for their children because the laws for adoption do not protect them and their rights. That there are many who have studied and documented the pain and loss that is involved when a child is taken from their family or that those very children, by the mere act of adoption, will be denied their equal rights and discriminated against for no other reason than they are adopted.
It’s important to remember, as this is just the very start of the course, that this is the ONLY training for those who will be trusted by pregnant mothers to help them decide what is best for them and their babies. These are the tools they are being given to counsel their clients, to be the support they are seeking in the midst of what is so often a crisis situation.
The evidence of the effects of this training are made very clear in another video from the introduction. It is one of the few that is made public and can be viewed by clicking here and choosing the birthparents link at the top of the window.
Her name is Alecia, she is a First Mom who tells her story about when she first found out she was pregnant. Through a crisis pregnancy center, she received weekly counseling and she shared later in the video her thoughts about giving her baby up for adoption . . .
--“I was going to single parent because that’s what I needed to do for my child. My counselor brought up the thought of adoption, which, to me, was far off. I was very not open to that option . . . I wanted to take care of what I did. I wanted to be responsible for it and if I placed my child for adoption how selfish would that be of me. For me to give my child to someone else . . . because of what I did, that wouldn’t be responsible.”--
For this mother, that should have been it. Adoption was mentioned, she was VERY NOT OPEN to it, and she wanted to “be responsible” and keep and parent her child. Long before adoption was even brought into the conversation, she should have been given resources and support that would have helped her keep her baby and empowered her to be the best mom possible. But instead, not only was she denied that from the start, but it continued to be denied from her while she received this instead . . .
--“I went through another workbook actually on adoption. And when we continued just to look at the pros and the cons of single parenting and adoption, and when I realized I couldn’t give my child any of these things that I longed for then it just sort of, was like . . . the click in the head . . . if I want my child to have what I long for him to have, I’m going to place him for adoption.”--
This training has nothing to do with helping pregnant women and their unborn child. It is about, plain and simple, teaching the well-researched tactics and tricks that coerce women into giving up their baby by encouraging them to view themselves as being unfit or unable to raise their own child while presenting adoption as such a wonderful option that only a uncaring, unloving mother would deny her son or daughter such a perfect life.
The workbook and the pros and cons Alecia’s counselor had her go through even after she had stated she didn’t want to give up her baby are tools used to reinforce to a pregnant mother that she will never be as good as adoptive parents for her child. Here is an example of one that is used most widely in their counseling – Adoption Worksheet. Its purpose is to force a mother to feel as if what she has to offer her child is not nearly enough compared to what adoptive parents can offer.
And this one – If Parents Were Hired, Would You Apply – provided as a part of the training course, is meant to overwhelm a mother with a long terrifying list of exaggerated responsibilities that would make any new mom worry about her abilities.
In their training, they suggest if the counselor receives RESISTANCE in a women being willing to give her baby up for adoption, they should offer this possibility . . .
-- Sometimes in a situation like this you can feel as if there is no solution, no way out, no way to recover your deepest hopes and dreams. I believe there are possible solutions to this that we haven’t talked about yet. But tell me. It is hard for me to help you make the best decision possible when we haven’t talked about what the best decisions might be. --
And there explanation for why this possibility should be offered . . .
-- The point of this beginning is that we DO NOT ENABLE a client to be SELF-DETERMINING until she has the fundamental knowledge, skill and LACK OF RESISTANCE to her own beliefs. Otherwise, she is at RISK of deciding in ignorance, acting without experience and DECIDING WHILE SELF-DECIEVED.--
So, just like in Alecia’s case - who was RESISTANT to giving up her baby - they don’t want to enable the pregnant woman to make the “self-determining” choice of keeping and raising her child until they have beaten her down so she doesn’t believe in “ignorance” while “self-decieved” that she can be a good mother to her child and provide them with everything they need. Instead, after they have brought her to a “lack of resistance” by showing her how she will fail if she keeps her child, they want to make sure she is brought back up by the “fundamental knowledge” of how wonderful adoption will be for her child and how it will provide him or her everything she cannot.
As they claim in their training materials . . .
-- In a certain sense, adoptive parents make a new beginning possible for everyone in the situation. The child is given his or her needed parents; the young woman is given a fresh start; the adoptive parents are given a child to care for. --
This teaching as well as how to handle those “pesky” fathers who don’t recognize the best interests of the child or the young woman or the annoying parents who feel so GUILTY AT NOT TEACHING OR PROTECTING THEIR DAUGHTER BETTER from being at risk they are “prompted” to step forward and raise the grandchild, can be found here . . .
Everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, in this course designed to “train” those in trusted roles to counsel a pregnant woman, is carefully scripted and molded to make parenting a failure and adoption a miracle.
In a case study they use as a training tool - which of course they go to the very extreme in the “circumstances” - you hear the story of Ashley who is a pregnant teenager and is “adamantly against adoption” and wants to parent her child. Who tells her counselor, “My mother raised me as a single parent and I can do it too.”
But instead of helping her find the resources and support to raise her child, this is part of the video response of how to force Ashley past the “barrier” that is preventing her from giving her baby up for adoption . . .
--“Ashley . . . feels she is really ready to be a parent. She is VERY UNREALISTIC in her expectations of that role. Her mother is unsupportive, her grandmother is unsupportive, and the birthfather is completely uninterested. But Ashley does think this is what she wants to do. She thinks it’s the best plan. One idea in working with Ashley is to have her make a job description for a parent. Have her write down what she believes is the job of a good parent. Then have her explain where she is going to live, how she’s going to live and who she is going to live with.”--
None of this is to help and support Ashley. To get her enrolled in parenting classes so she can better know about the responsibilities of being a parent and have the tools to empower her to be the best she can for her child. To help her find a safe place to live if she is unable to stay with her mother after the baby is born and support she may gain from others outside her mother and grandmother.
No. This is training so counselors learn how to overcome the barriers – such as Ashley’s story which they refer to as Parenting Bliss – that prevent women from giving up their babies. The purpose of having Ashley fill out a worksheet like the earlier one I linked to - If Parents Were Hired, Would You Apply – and to quiz her about where she is going to live, is to make sure she “sees” that she in incapable, too immature and unprepared to be a parent.
Not only does this course teach how to use such coercive tactics, it also stresses the importance of using the “accurate” language when coercing a pregnant woman about adoption. As is provided in another video from a counselor . . .
--“Language is powerful. It impacts whatever topic we are talking about in a positive or negative way and adoption is certainly no different . . . there is a lot of power in language and we need to pay attention to how we speak.”--
Though many have already seen it, here is the resource they provide in the course for what is “accurate” adoption language. And if you notice, they no longer call it positive adoption language because as they say . . .
--“There has been a lot of emphasis in the adoption field about positive adoption language. There is nothing wrong with using positive words; however, the problem with discussing "positive adoption language" implies right away that there is something negative about adoption and that it needs dressing up in order to make it more palatable.”--
There is so much in this course, so many different methods and tactics to convince a pregnant woman to give up her baby. So much one-sided information. So many lies and “quoted” studies that fail to mention how they are taken out of context or are inaccurate results because the adoptive parents were the ones answering for adoptees.
Though the majority of this course is non-accessible unless you sign up for the training (which if you are a First Mom – please be aware that it can be extremely painful to go through. It is, in many ways, like reliving the experience all over again) some of their material and resources can be found here . . .
It is very clear that their goal is not only to coerce pregnant women into giving up their babies but to also create the accepted belief that separating a mother and her child for adoption is the solution to all the “dire” problems of single and teenage pregnancy. There is ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION though of the effects on a child who has been separated from their mother, taken from their family, their heritage, their culture.
There is nothing, not a single thing mentioned about the damage adoption has caused so many adoptees. No word of anything that does not support these few claims (of many) they make . . .
-- While feelings of emotional attachment were high for ALL adoptive families regardless of the time of placement, the younger the child was at placement, the higher the feelings of attachment.--
-- Children adopted transracially showed no differences in terms of identity formation and selfesteem, attachment to parents, or psychological health.--
-- Adoption brings entitlement to be a parent and with it lifelong commitment. Therefore, children who are adopted have the same security as children raised by both of their biological parents.--
The NCFA and the adoption industry exist and thrive on their own carefully-created lies. They claim they only want to provide adoption on an EQUAL basis and help women make a FULLY-INFORMED CHOICE, but what they really hope to accomplish is to separate more infants from the families they have so they can be given away to complete another’s desire for a family. They want anyone who might come in contact with a pregnant women to be armed with the most effective tools to coerce a woman into believing she won’t be a good parent to her child and the only solution is to give her baby up for adoption.
Their ultimate goal – to take babies from mothers and give them to those willing to pay – has never changed, they were simply forced to find new ways. To research and learn the best tactics to coerce a pregnant woman into giving up her baby while leading her to believe she made a “choice.”
No longer able to commit their past crimes against women, they have worked hard to insure society views adoption as a “loving option” that also provides a “gift” to a worthy couple instead of demanding justice for the horrors they carried out for decades. Instead of seeing how they have again found a way to remove power from women, stripping away their rights and leaving them unprotected against the crimes and violations that society has, for so long, refused to acknowledge.