Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Bad, The Good

You can’t avoid it.  You hear it all the time.

If you are one who dares to speak out about the harder truths in adoption.  One who puts their voice out there, trying to bring about reform to protect everyone involved, you will, more often than not, come up against those who disregard what you have to say.  Will do what they can to make your feelings, experiences, knowledge, insignificant if it does not fall in line with the accepted view of adoption being nothing more than a wonderful, loving act for all involved.

And many of the loudest are those who have had a good experience with adoption.  From First Parents who are happy with giving up their children, Adoptees grateful for being adopted to Adoptive Parents thankful for whatever had to happen to provide them with the child they dreamed about.

So often, they tend to be the loudest, the most active, when it comes to dismissing and discouraging anything that contrasts against their own, personal experience.  And on some level, I understand that.  I honestly do.  It’s in our nature to want to hold on tight to what we see as good and right in our lives.  Challenging that can, so often, feel like a personal insult against us.  Can force us to question ourselves, our happiness.  Feel threatened by someone else seeing our life as somehow bad because of their beliefs that view our own in such a negative light.

And yet, realizing the darker truths that exist in adoption, acknowledging them and fighting for them to change, does not suddenly make one bad.  It doesn’t mean that an Adoptee’s parents were not the loving, kind mother and father they cherish.  It doesn’t take away from an adoptive family being close, tight-knit and strong in their relationships.

Realizing the multi-billion dollar adoption industry carries evil with it is not equal to dismissing your own love, affection and happiness with your own family.  Your own children.  Your own experience.  Accepting that there are darker truths needing to be addressed doesn’t make anyone, or their own experience, bad.

What is bad, however, is using your good experience as an excuse to try and diminish the desperate need for reform in the world of adoption.  To somehow justify that the very real pain and loss that exists in adoption needs to be silenced.

The best adoption experience, the happiest Adoptee, First Parent, Adoptive Parent, is not so special that a blind eye should be turned to the coercion and manipulation that exists against vulnerable mothers.  One having no regrets about what happened doesn’t give them reason to ignore the lack of protections for mothers, fathers and their unborn children.  It isn’t an excuse to claim that nothing needs to change just because one might have gained off something that is full of so much wrong.

How selfish can one be to ignore and dismiss the wrong in adoption simply because they had a good experience?  How far does one have to go in their happiness to have no problem with actually fighting against protections for the vulnerable simply because their experience was different?

The best open adoption in the world, the most loving adoptive family, the happiest adoptee, doesn’t erase the reality that adoption has become, more than anything, a business providing newborns to paying customers.  It doesn’t suddenly nullify the fact that millions of adoptees are denied their equal rights.  That every day a vulnerable mother is faced with the coercive Options counselingdesigned specifically to create more unnecessary separations.

One’s happy experience does not justify ignoring horror stories such as what happened to Veronica Rose Brown and her family.   Loving adoption doesn’t give anyone a right to turn a blind eye to the lack of anything right when so much money is involved in the taking of children from one family to another.

Perhaps, instead of fighting against those who don’t share the same happy experience, it’s time to, instead, fight against the reasons there are so many with such dark, painful experiences.  Instead of dismissing those who didn’t have the same happy experience, take the time to learn and research the darker truths you are being told.

There is nothing bad, just good, in fighting for the outrageous profits to be taken out of adoption.   In demanding protections for vulnerable mothers, fathers and their unborn children so that no one is ever faced with coercion and manipulation in order to get their child away from them.  Speaking out against adoptees being denied the rights the rest of us take for granted.

Such things don’t have the power to change one’s own happiness.  But they do have the power to change the evils so many face when they fall into the hands of an unregulated adoption industry that gains, in the worst of ways . . . using the vulnerable, the desperate, the innocent, to keep their profits growing. 

To keep the business of adoption just as they want it to be . . . about the money, not the children.

Friday, November 1, 2013

True Awareness . . . True Change

“Children and mothers never truly part.  Bound in the beating of each other's heart.” - - Charlotte Gray

So we’re here again.  That time of year returns.

It’s November.  It’s the holidays.  And it’s National Adoption Awareness Month.

And as I sit here and attempt to write this, I stare at the above quote on that bright red coffee cup.  It was a Mother’s Day gift this year from my oldest son who I gave up for adoption.  I can’t bear to hide it away in the cupboard with the other cups.  So it sits on my desk where I can see it every day, be reminded of what my oldest son and I found again after adoption stripped everything away.

For those of us who have lost at the greedy hands of the multi-billion dollar adoption industry, the awareness of what adoption is and what it does to so many families isn’t something that comes around once a year.  It’s there always.  A constant reminder we can never fully hide away from.  One that makes something as sweet and simple as a coffee cup with a loving quote from a son to his mother mean so much more in a bittersweet twist of emotions.

The sad reality is, no matter how hard many adoptive parents and the adoption industry fight to bring a false awareness during this month of November, the truth remains, as painful as ever for the many, MANY who live with it, every single day, not just one month out of the year.

Adoption ALWAYS begins with loss.  There is no getting around that fact.  No denying it.  And to try and raise awareness without acknowledging this is wrong in so many ways.  To try and gloss over that fact, do all that can be done to turn attention away from it, serves only those who gain from such a loss while harming the children.  The ones adoption is supposed to be about.

The ones this month is supposedly supposed to help . . . Children TRULY in need of families.

But we can’t help them.  We will never truly be able to have any kind of awareness, whether it be a day, a month, a year, as long as we, as a society, allow adoption to continue on as it does today. 

Sitting back and accepting what so many have turned this month, and adoption, into, only serves to cause harm to the very children we claim we want to help.  Takes away from them true concern, true help, replaced by lies and half-truths meant to keep the profitable side of adoption ongoing while stripping more and more away from those who are truly in need.

For every time we turn a blind eye to the many unnecessary adoptions carried out for profit.  Encourage a process that uses coercion and manipulation to provide children to adults who desire them instead of truly providing for what is best for the children from the start.  We strip away from the time, the investment, the awareness needed, and deserved, by the children who are in need.

In not this month, but in every month, we as a society drain the attention away from them.  Instead of putting our interest, our attention to those in foster care, truly in need.  Instead of using our energy to demand better for them, from their foster care placements, to the resources available, to training for couples who truly want to help them, we settle in front of our televisions and get caught up in television shows such as I’m Having Their Baby.  Watch with great interest, nodding our head in agreement, as Dr. Phil bullies and shames yet another mother into giving up her unborn child to a “more deserving” couple.

We applaud stripping fathers of their rights so that their children will be more easily available for adoption. See nothing wrong in laws created that make it easier and easier for newborn infants to be taken away from their families to be given to the paying couples who desire them.  Support counseling that leaves vulnerable mothers feeling as if they aren’t good enough for their own children with the excuse it’s probably for the best anyhow.

All of this, for one reason that has nothing to do with children in need.  It’s all about the couples we, as a society, feel sorry for.  It’s about their feelings.  What they believe they need.  It isn’t, in any way, about the children.  About what is best for them.

And for every day, week, month, we support such things, we strip away more and more from the ones truly in need.  From those this month of awareness is supposed to be about.

In this month of November, while so many will be doing all they can to push the practice of so much of what adoption has become – the process of providing newborns for the adults who have the ability to pay for their desires to be fulfilled – they will continue to take away from the true need that exists.

For every bit of energy, every dollar spent, every story shared that concentrates on infant adoption, more and more is taken away from the many, MANY children in Foster Care who truly need our help.  Our awareness.

They are the ones who need the time and energy so many give to supporting infant adoption.  Not just in November but in every other month of the year as well.  Unfortunately, they are the forgotten ones.  Their needs ignored under the heavy, suffocating push of more and more infant adoptions to continue the profits and gains of others.

Image the true change, the TRUE awareness, we could build this month if we refused to accept anything that encouraged the continued coercion and manipulation of adoption as a business for profit.  If we turned a deaf ear to the stories of adults desperately desiring a baby and instead listened with all our heart to the stories of the many children who deserve so much more than they are currently getting.

If we demanded the NCFA (National Council for Adoption) stop using their power and wealth inside our government to create more laws that serve the multi-billion dollar adoption industry and instead center around the children in need they claim they are fighting for.  Help them with laws that demand better placements, more awareness to their needs, more resources and education for those who truly desire to help them. 

It’s time we, as a society, finally come together in one unified voice and make it clear that we no longer will accept the current practice of adoption that takes away more and more from the children in need in order to provide the profits and gains of others.  That we are tired of the acceptance of children being used to satisfy adults desires instead of having their own needs fulfilled as they deserve.

We can, we have the ability if we truly wanted, to raise real awareness, create important change.  But first, we must take away the control of what adoption is today and demand better.  Demand more so that children are no longer left needing so much, turned away from what they deserve by those who use vulnerable families and their unborn children to create a distorted, unethical practice of what adoption should be.

In this month of November, in this month of Adoption Awareness, what will you support?  What will you encourage?

Will it be a continuation of adoption as usual?  A support of a practice that denies children truly in need to provide for others.

Or will you stand behind true awareness.   True change.   Will you use your voice to stand up and speak out against the coercion and manipulation of infant adoption?  The profits made by supplying newborns to paying couples.  To demand we care more and give more to the children . . .

The ones who truly deserve our awareness.