I think during National Adoption Month, I've read some really amazing posts by awesome people. And I've read some not so good posts by (they could be) awesome people. I hope what I say does not come off childish or offensive. And I know my really good friend might hate me for this but I'm just voicing my opinion. I will be breaking it down just like this post. (Breaking down a Potential Adoptive Parents profile). This blog that I'm linking to is a birthmom and her birthdaughter placed her son for adoption.
You can find the post that I'm breaking down here. I'm only doing this because I didn't get the courtesy of getting a comment back from this post (About open adoption). I got a whole entire blog post, which you are about to read as I break it down. You may add on whatever you feel is necessary. This is not meant to start a blog war but I think it's an interesting topic.
"I have been told that I don’t understand modern day adoption. I have been told what I write about is all in the past. So I guess now we do not change birth certificates. Everyone has access to their OBC (original birth certificate), right. Adoptees are absolutely equal to every other US citizen. PAP (Potential adoptive parents) are not ever encouraged to be in the delivery room and that puts no pressure on expectant women to place their child."
I don't know about you but I don't think there is any discrimination against adoptees in anyway, shape or form. They can't be hired from jobs just because they are adopted. They have special benefits because they are adopted. Isn't that what an adoptive child wants? To feel equality? Just because the OBC isn't in their possession doesn't mean anything. An OBC just tells you who gave birth to you and who your BIRTHparents are. I think the ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS THE ONE THAT YOU HAVE AFTER YOU'RE ADOPTED. Because that says who your REAL parents are. Who encourages the PAP to be in the delivery room? I was never encouraged it was always MY decision. It was never the PAP's decision. I wasn't pressured to let them be there. I wanted them to be there to see THEIR child enter into this world to be able to have that special moment to be there the day their child was born.
"Our laws are still against expectant mothers. Woman are still given papers to relinquish their children while they are in the hospital, while their child is in the hospital. While they are still recovering from the delivery. They are given the papers while PAP are outside of the room, in the hospital. No that does not speak of pressure and coercion at all. Obviously things have changed a lot. It seems to be a lot more sly with coercion. While woman are crying hysterically they are given papers to relinquish their child. Yes that is happening today in our society.
Why is there not a waiting period after you sign the papers before your rights are relinquished in every state? Why do dads have barely any legal rights to their children? Why do case workers not always tell mothers that once the papers are signed they will not be able to get their child’s OBC? That is told after the papers are signed. Why are woman told not to put the fathers name on the OBC if they are planning to place their child for adoption? Yes that does happen in 2010. How are these children going to feel in 18 years or more when they find out their father is not on their OBC. Will they question their moms honesty and wonder if their mom’s even know who their dad is?"
We are told that we can sign papers 24 hours after our child is born. We are ALSO told that we can sign whenever we want. We can bring the baby home. It was never set in stone that once the baby is born it is automatically the PAP's. It was and always has been our decision from the beginning. When I was in the hospital they said I could probably stay an extra day and LDS Family Services would pay for that day. I couldn't because the hospital didn't have enough rooms. I ended up doing placement that night. That was MY choice because I didn't think I could've gone through with the adoption if I brought Olivia home. That's just how I felt. I know many girls who have brought their babies home to spend more time with them. I know many girls that LDSFS offered to pay for them to stay in a hotel to have more time. I know plenty of girls who were GIVEN THE OPTION. It was NEVER pressured or coerced. They don't force everything. They might ask you when you're planning on doing it, which is reasonable considering they need to make plans. But they don't tell you to do it one way or another. Ever. I don't know any birthmom that they have done this too.
I asked an adoptive parent how she felt about this and I loved what she said. Her name is Danya. But you know, what do adoptive parents know, all they are is just coercive, baby hungry, manipulating baby snatcher *insert eye roll here*. She said- "what a frustrating post to read. She doesn't see the changes in adoption because she is choosing not to. Its very clear she does not understand many aspects of adoption. For example, she talked about how unfair it is that a birthmom has to sign papers as she's crying. I'm sorry but do you think a few extra days will make signing those papers easier? What birthmom doesn't cry when signing?"
I don't know about the laws that you're from. And if you don't know the laws how about you FIND OUT! That's all I'm asking. Don't act like you have all this information when you don't. If you have the time to write an ENTIRE blog post how aboout doing a little bit of research.
In Utah, it states that the father KNOWS when he consents to sexual intercourse. It is HIS job to check up on the girl to see if she is pregnant. It is the girl's choice to tell him if he's the father or not. But they are only given so many rights, if they want ALL rights. Please look up Putative Father. But this means that he is filing for paternity and he must do this all before the expectant parent relinquishes her rights. He is contesting against the adoption if he is doing that, He is trying to FIGHT for his rights.
Most girls don't put the father on the birth certificate- if they haven't told them, if they feel like the father wasn't really being a father (aka sperm donor), if they are protecting their child, if they know the father will fight against the adoption, or they don't know who the father is. Those are the only cases that I've heard. Once the papers are signed, the father cannot fight against the adoption. He doesn't have to sign papers either. I don't know about you. But I wouldn't want to place my baby just to find out that the father was already fighting for his rights (if he's so far into the process then the adoption can't go through) and go through so many different legal aspects and court. And to put so much grief on the shoulders of yourself, your family and the adoptive family.
Who CARES if he's not on the birth certificate? If you can't even get the orginal birth certificate then why is there a big fuss? Clearly, if you have been dishonest and untrustworthy in the past that's on YOU if your birth child questions it.
I was told BEFORE papers were signed if I was going to recieve my birthdaughter's OBC. Because some people are dishonest they use their child's OBC to get money from the government even though they aren't parenting the child. I knew because I ASKED. Like I said before, I wanted to make sure what I knew what I was getting myself into BEFORE I placed. It's not the agency's fault that you weren't educated and didn't search it all out. Like if we were in school, it's not the SCHOOL's fault that you failed your test. It's your fault because you didn't study for it.
"Four years ago I could not buy a car in California in the evening because there was a too high of chance that I was making a decision when I was too tired. Mothers are allowed to sign relinquishment papers in 2010 when they have slept 6 hours in the last 72 hours and had barely ate 400 of calories food in the last 3 days."
I don't know where you're getting all THAT information. I don't know if you're just clearly being sarcastic or mocking. But I was always told that you may not be under the influence of medication 4 or so hours before relinquishment. I also have been in this situation believe it or not and I have a friend who, also a birthmom, works at the hospital in maternity. There are few mothers who aren't coherent enough (especially when not under the influence of medicine), to make a rational decision. That whole paragraph is just plain EXCUSE. That's all.
"I can not imagine a natural mother being okay with letting their adult child relinquish their parental rights. I’m sure it happens but the natural mother that does allow that has to be rare. Most of us are not okay with seeing our children experience the same pain as us. Adoption agencies encourage natural mothers to sit on panels and share the great experience of adoption with other mothers. As natural mothers we wouldn’t want our children to go through it but some natural mothers encourage our friends and other women?"
Why wouldn't we want to tell our story? You have a blog. Isn't that telling YOUR story to your friends and other women? What's so different about sitting on a panel? It is encouraged because if you look at the stats that most girls choose to abort (#1) or single parent (#2). Adoption is last. Instead of killing your baby, how about you give your baby a chance to parents who can't give themselves that gift? I know PLENTY of single moms. I'm not here to judge them. I never have and I never will. I know they are great parents. I know they wouldn't ever want to give that up. But some girls are willing to look past themselves and look at their child's future 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. Where will you be? Where will your child be? I think agencies ENCOURAGE the option also so they know it's out there and it's not so hush-hush anymore. But just because they encourage Adoption, doesn't mean they are telling you that if you don't place you're a horrible mother. Nor does it mean they are trying to coerce you in to placing. They are simply making sure you know it is an OPTION. and an incredible one as well. A selfless one.
The funny thing to me that I will just point out. Your birthdaughter that you placed recently just had a son that SHE PLACED. Why didn't you "warn" her? Why didn't you try to stop it if you're so for not letting adoption happen? You werre there at the hospital weren't you? Is this why you're upset? Because you couldn't stop it? Because your birthdaughter has her own agency and chose it? And because you're not HER mom to tell her what to do? It makes sense. I would beat myself up too knowing that I couldn't control the outcome. But you did. You had control if you wanted to place or not. We wouldn't even be talking about this mess if you would've just learned from your own mistakes. But now, your birthdaughter learned it from you. Congrats.
"I was also told Utah has great laws for parents giving up their rights. Is that why adoption agencies actually bring expectant mothers to Utah because of the laws protecting or exploiting natural mothers?
Maybe now a day’s adoption are different because agencies do not sell babies? There is no money exchanged ever for a child, right. There are no receipts for children, no checks being written, and no loans taken out to buy a baby. Obviously adoption is very different than 18 years ago."
You may also look on the same website for regulation of adoption expenses.
Payment of adoption related expenses is permitted as an act of charity. ''Adoption related expenses'' means expenses that are reasonably related to the adoption of a child and are incurred for a reasonable amount. These expenses may include expenses of the mother or father of the child being adopted, including:
Medical and hospital expenses
Temporary living expenses during the pregnancy or confinement of the mother
Expenses for travel between the mother's or father's home and the location where the child will be born or placed for adoption
I don't know about you but if I heard about something like that and I lived out of state I'd get my plane ticket to Utah.
I'm sorry that birthmothers are given that luxury as adoptive parents are taking out loans and doing whatever they can to help provide for them and their child.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child
Citation: Ann. Code § 76-7-203
It is unlawful for a person, while having custody, care, control, or possession of a child, to sell, dispose of, or attempt to sell or dispose of the child for, and in consideration of, the payment of money or other thing of value.
No payment may be made for the purpose of inducing the mother, parent, or legal guardian of a child to:
Place the child for adoption
Consent to an adoption
Cooperate in the completion of an adoption
"While we are on the subject different races of children all sell for different prices? Why? Why is one child worth more than others in the agencies and PAPs eyes?"
Danya said-Another thought that came to me is she seems to think in just black and white. She seems to think that everyone who like modern adoption only thinks modern adoption is all good - all rainbows and butterflies. That's not the case. I LOVE what adoption has/is evolving into but I also know it will never be perfect. Adoption deals with people. When you deal with people there WILL be BOTH the good and bad happening. I totally agree with what she said about the agencies that charge based on race. That is SO BEYOND WRONG. It's pretty much human trafficking! BUT just because a few agencies do it does NOT mean all agencies are bad. You HAVE to be able to see the shade of gray.
"I have been told that women will live in poverty when they keep their children. Of course that is possible and it does happen. Does it make them bad parents? I have known several women that started off as teenage moms. That lived in poverty, they fought for everything they had. They were amazing moms too. And now they are lawyers and business owners. Their kids could not have been prouder because they have seen what their mothers have overcame . They have seen the struggles and accomplishments of their moms. Is that a bad lesson to teach your children?
I don't think I know anyone who has been called a "bad parent" because they are a single parent. It doesn't make them a "bad parent" because they live in poverity. That has never been said. I know girls who have backed out of an adoption plan. Yeah, the adoptive parents were hurt and upset. Who wouldn't be? It's comparing it to... a miscarriage or stillborn. You were preparing for a baby. You were told you were going to have a baby. And now you're not anymore. But they have NEVER put down that girl just because they chose to parent. Or stop communication. They're still good friends. That doesn't sound like to me ALL they wanted from this girl was a baby. They have maintained contact and an open friendship with this girl not because of THE BABY. But because they have grown to love and care for this girl. They know their baby that is meant to be in their family will be there at the right time.
Everyone has their own choices. To completely subtract adoption out of the equation is absurd. Yes, single parenting is there. You've made it aware. You've made it aware that SO many people that you personally know have been awesome single parents and have been through tough times and lived in poverty and are now awesome people. I get it. My husband was an out of wedlock child. His mom had him at 18. She chose to single parent. Even though that he was raised by his grandparents for the first two years of his life until she remarried. I am not belittling or not acknowleding that single parenting is a tough challenge. I acknowledge it. I know it's tough to feel like you've come from nothing and work hard to get everything. But not everything is perfect in their family. I can guarantee that. And I know adoption isn't a perfect guarantee in life. That nothing bad will happen again to someone who placed. But if you look at the effects of single parenting vs. adoption. (Not putting any blame on those who chose to single parent on the child's psychological and mental result of the situation) I commend those who can raise their child on their own. But you're only listening to one voice. Your own. You're missing one other. Your child's. Lately, the child's voice has been often ignored or not heard. Tests and observations have shown children raised in single parent homes are more aggressive and rebellious. They are more likely to have bad grades, to drop out of school, get into trouble with the law, be arrested, get into trouble with drugs, or if you have a girl, become a teen mother like you. I'm just pulling these off the internet. You can look up the effects of children of single parenting yourself. And yes, I'm only choosing the negative because you are only choosing to see the negative of adoption.
If you didn't notice most adoptions these days are open. Which means that the child will learn from their birthmothers mistakes, look up to their birthmother and appreciate their birthmother for giving them a better life, yet teaching them how difficult one mistake could be.
"I have also been told if adoptive couples close the adoption they can still adopt another child through the same agency. I’m sorry but wtf? They have proven to an adoption agency they are liars and unethical but the adoption agency still will allow them to adopt they just put a note in their file for future natural mom. Obviously adoption is not at all about money right? One set of natural parent and their families have been crushed when the adoption closes but the agency will still sell another child to the same couple."
Danya said to this- "And then she talks about how open adoptions are not legally enforced and that should change. What is she looking for? Joint custody? Don't get me wrong, I think the adoptive parents who pull the bait and switch on their birthmoms are total scum but where do we draw the line into co-parenting?"
I don't see anything wrong with Adoptive parents closing the adoption due to the childs best interest. I.E. The birthmother is attempting to 'co-parent' or threatening to the family in anyway.
As far as cutting them off for no reason, it's rare. I can guarantee there are no adoptive families out there who do things like that to intentionally hurt a birthmother. They have their reasons for it and if you talked it out with them like an adult, you could probably figure those reasons and fix them if possible. The agency is NOT going to hold them cutting off contact against them. After all, once you sign relinquishment papers, the adoptive family, becomes the parents and they have rights to that child.
Sometimes there is nothing we can do about it and it's frustrating. From when an open adoption becomes a close adoption. It's sad to see it because I have seen a friend- she isn't crazy, she isn't "wanting to take the baby back." She just wants to see her daughter who lives a few states away. And the day that she was going to see them because her sister also placed a baby for adoption it'd be the first time they met. They decided to back out. I don't know the reasoning but my friend was legitimately upset. It does hurt. To see the promises that you made be BROKEN right before your eyes. Just because some adoptive parents see it as- we have a baby, we ARE their parents and that's all they want to see their baby as. They don't want to share. And you know, it sucks because I don't have a logical reason for this and that sometimes life isn't fair. SOME adoptive parents are crazy but MOST aren't. It sucks. It's something we can't change (maybe the agency will find some way over time- like we have said. It's not all set in stone. It's an ever changing thinig). It is better to find out when you're pregnant to know the level of openness you want and if the family is being legit
But an open adoption IS NOT legally bound because it is borderline joint custody. If we wanted to battle with court about who got to see the baby when. I think that we would've just wanted to get in that mess with single parenting. That's the thing. Adoption shows you that it doesn't always have to be messy. Some girls don't want to put their babies through all of that. And I'm so grateful that I didn't. I think that's where COMMUNICATION comes in with open adoption. That is why you don't have to talk through an agency to contact your PAP so everything is sugarcoated and lovey-dovey. Or you don't have to ask your caseworker if it's okay you set up a meeting with them. It can be you go out to eat somewhere. Play games at each other's homes. Those are the times that you are getting to know them as a couple. If they are the right family for your baby. You can talk about parenting. You can talk about what will happen after placement. What you want, what the parents want. You can come to an AGREEMENT what will happen. It's not that you sign papers and you're like, "Oh crap, what did I just do?" Which sounds like what your reaction sort of was. I heard from someone that yeah, adult adoptees CAN feel abandoned and left behind. But that's what THEY chose. YOU can CHOOSE how you take the situation. You can have reserved hard feelings or you can learn to embrace the fact you've been adopted. I think the adult adoptees you talk to are the ones who deal with what it's called, "You are what people tell you are." I'm sure they've grown up heard, "Your parents didn't love you that's why they gave you up." "Your parents didn't give you up because they love you, it's because they wanted nothing to do with you." Everyone will say something according to the situation, negative or positive but because adoption was so closed doors. No one REALLY knew what the crap was going on. Was it true? Did no one love me? The answer is NO. You can find out for yourself if you want. Clearly, you know. So why don't YOU let THEM know? I know I've been called many names or been told many negative things because of my adoption experience. "Oh, you'll see that you'll regret it someday." How could I regret ANYTHING? I CHOSE IT. I can only put the blame on myself for what I chose for my daughter. I don't regret giving her a two parent home. I don't regret putting her in a stable family. I don't regret giving her a brother. I don't regret helping them become an eternal family. I don't regret how happy she is now. Yeah, she's almost 15 months old. She doesn't know but EVERYONE sees it. If one thing I hear is how happy she looks and what happy baby she is. Do I know if she would've been happy with me? No. I don't. Would I want to take the chance to be selfish and see that? No. I was giving someone something that they coudn't give themselves.
I know we talked about the voices and that they're two. But there is a third voice that is often also ignored and not listened to. It's our Heavenly Father. Imagine a triangle. In the left bottom side is logic. The right bottom side is emotional. The top of the triangle is spiritual. We need all three compenents to make this decision. We can figure out the logic. We can figure out what needs to happen to be a signle parent. We can figure out what we want in a family. The emotional. What our body feels. What our instinct feels. It could be totally different that our logic and it can conflict with our spiritual. We need to go to our spiritual side because it is OUR creator. Who CREATED us. Who made this all possible. He needs to help us with this decision as well.
"I do not mean to say that infertile couples are mean or abusive. I absolutely know they are not. I do know they just want a child of their own. Most couples would be just as happy to have a child of their own naturally without adoption. Adoption is about the child and not the adoptive parents. But if adoption is about the child and there is only 1 infant child for every 30 to 40 couples trying to adopt why aren’t the same couples looking into teenage/older child adoption through foster care?
Don’t those kids deserve a home just as much as a cute cuddly newborn? Is it because you can see the loss and sadness that foster kids have, where as all newborns cry the same. You don’t see the loss in newborns eyes. Everyone takes it as “your” child because you adopted the child as a newborn not an older child. Yes adoption has changed so much in the last 18 years."
So you're saying that PAP shouldn't receive the blessings a child brings to their family? I feel as though you ARE saying that they're all mean, abusive, manipulative and coercive. Have you ever taken into consideration what it might be like if YOU were infertile? If YOU had to take that path of adoption to bring a child into your family, and that's the ONLY way you can do that? I know many couples who would be grateful to take on the responsibilty of many children in their home and care for them in foster care. But have YOU done foster care? One of my therapists actually went through the foster car process. They were able to adopt two boys through foster care but that is a TOUGH thing to do. It's a lot harder than domestic adoptions. They also did try to adopt a little girl once. And I don't remember all of the details but I just remember him telling me how hard it was to get over that. Because that little girl lived in your home and you took care of them and you loved them and you wanted them all in your home. But there is so much you can only do in a foster care system. I know there is a lot more details to go through with foster care that I am not familiar with. But to think of it, it's like a tease. It's like, I have all these children in my home but then they might have to go to another foster care home. How difficult that would be to say goodbye to the children that you cared for and loved as your own.
But going along with adopting through foster care, wouldn't you want to experience EVERYTING that comes with being a parent. Like raising a child since birth. Wouldn't you want to experience being up l ate with a newborn baby? As much as we want our baby, we share that want and desire with them. Maybe not exactly "our baby." But a baby, is it such a CRIME to want a child? To have that instinct to be a parent and then come to find out you can't have that? I think that would break me to my core but it's the people that have broken, that have become strong, to fight through it, to have that blessing become a part of their lives. With infertile couples, it's like their is a big hole. It's huge, gaping, bleeding. And sometimes the bleeding will stop or the hole will get smaller once a baby joins their family. But it never fully goes away. It will always be there the want to have a biological child of their own. As much as we hurt. They hurt.
Do you know how many older foster kids come with numerous problems? I know this, because I know a few people that have taken in foster kids and eventually adopted them. Are you seriously saying that you think Adoptive parents should only adopt older kids and deal with the many issues pertaining? I KNOW for a fact that these foster kids will come with issues. I can guarantee that an infertile couple just wants what everyone else has. How do you know they don't adopt foster kids in the future? Or even before they adopt a baby?
My husband wasn't adopted through foster care or anything like that. He was raised by a single parent. His mom did eventually marry after two years. They have divorced since then and I know that his younger brother has come with a lot of abandonment issues from his dad leaving. So think of a child who had to deal with that, had to deal with abuse- see it or feel it, had drugs in their own- seen it or forced to take it. Then to come in a white picket fenced home. They want to feel loved and be loved but there is so much hate that they put up the wall of being hurt and act out. I'm sure people have said to them, "No one will want to adopt you because of your past." I'm sure it's happened.
Also a year ago, my husband found out about his biological father. He grew up knowing dad by the one who RAISED him. Just because you found out about his biological father doesn't mean he's going to out to find him. He knows if his bio dad didn't stick around in the first place, why would he want a 22 year old son lurking around his life now? I'm sure he's changed. We know very little information about him. I've tried talking into getting a picture or possibly an e-mail to redeem himself but that's on my husband, not me.
You're judging, when you don't know anything about it or put an open mind to it. Like you've done with everything pertaining to adoption. So YES, Adoption HAS changed a lot in the last 18 years.
You just need to open your closed mind to see these changes.
Bring on the hate mail. I'm waiting for it.