October 24, 2009

Diary of WHAT?

Expensive Pregnancy 1
© Photographer: Camptown | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Wow. I just watched an episode of WE t.v.'s reality show called "Adoption Diary's" tonight, (ironically, on right after "The Locator") and am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around exactly what it was we witnessed. It seems so obvious. "Open adoption" could be coined "open abduction" if this is how it's done.

I can safely say my family wasn't entertained by this suspense-thriller, fraught with fierce competition ("Dear Birthmother" aka 'give me your baby' profiles), hand-wringing nerves (will she change her mind?) and downright desperation as one woman exploited another out of her very flesh and blood.

A helpless human was legally transferred within hours of birth, right in a hospital room. Fresh meat, before his own mother had a chance to stop bleeding or God-forbid recover from delivery to bond with her baby.

Relinquishment papers pushed before her hurriedly, yet riding on the back of weeks spent "befriending" and "mentoring" this more than capable, pregnant mother. The obvious unspoken intent of this "relationship" to cement her feelings of obligation to "follow through with the plan", even while experiencing questioning grief.

Where is the ethical principle of "non-directive" counseling in adoption? No where. It is undoubtedly pounded into the breeders head (aka, one-sided "options counseling") that she is making the "unselfish choice" for her baby, the voiceless third-party in this contract, who certainly can't speak for himself.

And in exchange for trusting her own motherhood, she is lauded a "hero" with the power to "build a family" for those who "can't thank her enough." At least until the papers are signed, that is. As she tearfully walks away broken-hearted, empty-armed. Except for that trinket of appreciation and possibly the promise of a few token pictures. If she is lucky, maybe even a visit or two. At least until her child gets old enough to start asking those pesky, uncomfortable questions.

What a costly exchange. How many thousands is paid for this precious commodity, who she has been led to believe will be "better off" without her. A baby (human-being) with no rights. No voice. A forever-child in the eyes of the law. Birth certificate falsified (amended). Identity "sealed". Heart torn. Sold.

"Open adoption" is not protected by law and can become "closed" at any time. Mothers are exploited from beginning to end, with no separate legal representation or counseling - except through the very agencies whose business it is to procure babies for paying customers. Blatant, unethical conflict-of-interest abounds.

This emotion-laden drama of legalized child-trafficking and state-sanctioned identity theft unfolded right before our eyes. But I guess the sappy lullaby background music is supposed to make it right? Society at its best.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cannot watch this program.
I hope it is cancelled soon.

jimm

Anonymous said...

Peach,

I will gladly encourage your efforts to have all states on board with the open records policies. I believe that to be an adoptee's right and would hope that each state will come to see it as such. It is both right and in the best interest of all to have adoptees have access to this valuable information.

However, might there be a part of you that can acknowledge that not ALL (and in my opinion, not even a majority) of adoptions are carried out in a sneaky, hungry for money, baby stealing kind of way. What is the solutions for birth mothers who know that they CAN NOT or who WILL NOT provide basic care for their children? Futhermore, are you implying that it is wrong of people who can not have children naturally to adopt? Finally, as an adoptive parent, three times over, my kids' birthparents are held in the highest esteem in our family. This means that we don't lie to them or try and manipulate them in any way. We agreed to have an open adoption with all of them and have always maintained contact with them and plan to continue that contact. We do this for two big reasons. Number one, we welcome our kids questions about adoption and know that there are many that only their birthparents will be able to answer. Number two, we LOVE them like they are members of our family..and they are! We seek to always treat them with the dignity every human being deserves because they were made in the image of Christ. It is offensive to me to suggest that promises are made, or friendships are formed with the intent of tricking these beautiful women into relinquishing their children. It is offensive to me and, I would presume, offensive to them as well. You don't have to acknowledge them as heros, or as selfless. But, they are.

Peach, there is so much anger throughout the pages of your blog and it makes me really sad. I hope and pray that you will find peace with all of this...healing through the power of Christ in your life. Many blessings as you fight for open records. I'll be praying to that end.

*Peach* said...

Thanks for your comment.
I agree that there are mothers who cannot or will not care for their children. And these children certainly need a loving home.
However, until the monetary and marketing aspects are completely removed from adoption, there is no real safety-net to ensure ethical practices. Adoption should never be the a "natural" way for those who can't have children to build their family, because then the emphasis becomes a "business" (meeting the needs of adoptive parents rather than the needs of the child.)
In my opinion, there are thousands of older foster children who sadly, go without families, because of a prolific industry trying to obtain babies for the competitive pool of potential adoptive parents.

Anonymous said...

You know, I appreciate your offering my friend Peach your prayers. But she doesn't need your condescending, cr*p.

Angry? Ya, so are a lot of adoptees who were f*cked over by the system that YOU benefitted from.

Yes, there is a lot of coersion and manipulating of pregnant women in difficult situations to pressure them to relinquish their child for adoption. Much money is made from the baby pimps that you see as angelic figures who "help" children "find" families.

I don't give a cr*p if Peach's blog offends you. Don't read it if you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I can't stomach that show either. Although, I usually watch bits and pieces of The Locator. This last one did send me into orbit and I wanted to jump through the screen and slap the woman who said something to the effect that she was able to 'put it aside' when Troy asked her if she thought about her daughter all of these years.

The adoption industry as a whole, to me, is a disgusting big-business. Supplying long-term solutions (permanent adoption) for possibly temporary situations (bmom not financially stable) turns my stomach. Taking a baby from its birthmother while she is still in the hospital, basically traumatized, should be criminal.

Anonymous said...

To the second commenter
"Anonymous"
You ask "what is the solution for mothers who CAN NOT or WILL NOT provide basic care for their children." Well, first lets focus on those who can not. The right solution for them is probably the same course of action you would take if you found yourself suddenly unable to provide basic care for your children. Beg, borrow, steal and Pray to Christ (in whose image, as you remind us, she was made) for HELP and if nothing worked and no one answered her help or prayers then she might be driven to give the child up (just as I'm sure you would do before you'd let your child starve). This is hardly however the best solution for those who find themselves unable to provide basic care. In fact, short of lives lost, destruction of a family is probably the worst solution there is. Then you ask about those who WILL NOT care for their children. There are parents who will not provide care for their children. These children are included among those you will find through the foster care system. If you want to help children who's parents WILL NOT care for them you should start with the foster care system. If for some reason you can't find a child to adopt through foster care and decide to adopt internationally you must be prepared to educate yourself about coercion risks in countries where entire economies are built around the adoption industry. Regarding the women who CAN NOT provide basic care the obvious solution is to provide the needed help. Please remember that just as you would not consider an offer to take your children as helpful these families also deserve to be helped without surrenduring custody of their children. You also claim that you are offended to hear the reports that women are tricked into giving up their children. You may be horrified. You may have made all your promises in good faith yourself, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I hope you will see www.exiledmothers.com where you will find a few dozen stories of "open" adoptions closing. Your claim of offense doesn't erase the fact that thousands of families have been horribly exploited.
Clare

Anonymous said...

It is not wrong for someone to have the desire to adopt. It is wrong to take advantage of a fragile, vulnerable, pregnant woman. She will not realize the full impact of her maternal instincts unfolding before it is too late, and everyone involved in the relinquishment of her baby, those hoping to adopt the child and those making a profit off the adoption, try and severely disrupt the bonding experience between mother and child. When physical contact is severed intentionally during the first days and weeks of life, it becomes an issue of victimization. If mothers were given enough time with their babies and encouraged to nurse and hold them close, surely there would be few to no babies to adopt. And the industry would have to find other more blatant ways to steal a child. At best an obligation felt by the new mother to follow through and please the adoptive parents is only one small threat against her in the adoption arsenal. Perhaps US society will have to resort to a two-child-per- family law, so the government could impose fines on the poor who violate this law and by that take the "extras" away and put them up for sale.

Caroline said...

Anonymous said...
"Peach, there is so much anger throughout the pages of your blog and it makes me really sad. I hope and pray that you will find peace with all of this...healing through the power of Christ in your life."

Anger, properly channeled, can serve a positive purpose. Adoptees have the right to their anger. We have earned it and it empowers us to fight on. It does not mean we have no peace in our lives - it means we have a JUST cause that we will not abandon. Anger spurs us on. There will be anger until every wanted child is granted the right to grow up with their families and until every child who has to grow up elsewhere is not denied their true identity and life history. Don't pray for that anger to be lost - pray for those poor children who need all of our help.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peach,

I don't hear anger in your writing, at all. I hear the Lord calling you to do his work; to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I hear an advocate speaking out with clarity, conviction, and commitment to help those victims who are unrecognized, and silenced by those with power, and voice in the adoption community, who continue to oppress the adoptee and the natural mothers. We need your voice Peach, keep up the great work.