This comment from Chad was way too interesting to leave in the comment box and I hope Chad won’t mind sharing it here as well – The agencies, churches, legal communities knew shortly after the closed-adoption system began in the USA (around the end of WWII) that the effects of separating a newborn from his natural mother would have devastating, life-long repercussions on the adopted out child and the natural mother, father and bio siblings. The ADOPTION ESTABLISHMENT, however, continues to coerce, manipulate and criminally separate infants from their natural mothers. Regardless of what has happened to the adoptees (many here have endured extreme emotional/physical abuse and even deaths on the part of the adopters), the INDU$TRY refuses to accept any responsibility for their immoral behavior. They continue to promote ideas that “God has an adoption plan for the baby of the vulnerable, soon-to-be mother” and “God has led the adopters to the baby of their dreams” and, of course, the final zinger used here in the States, “God has reserved a place in heaven for adopters.” It all smacks of charlatanism to the utmost degree.
Charlatanism seems to be the underpinnings of adoption which ever part of it you care to examine. We are often assured that adoption has changed from the ‘bad old days’ and most of us adult adoptees couldn’t agree more! It has changed for the worse in many respects, with even less honesty, far more manipulation of mothers done in a particularly offensive way which deceives, misleads and warps the truth. For adoptees there is about the same degree of choice there has always been – zilch! Some of us poor bastards can’t even get hold of our records to know who we are either because we are vetoed or the law won’t allow it in other ways because it is protecting privacy! Whose privacy and anonymity we often ask? In Georgia Tann’s time it was often the anonymity of the very upright and upstanding citizens who are the law makers and administrators for whom self-interest has always been the main concern and still is today.Aome of us re being deported becuase our adopters never got round to making us citizens – negligent, careless or an indication of what they think we’re worth?
Here in South Australia our very own Kate Cocks has never had a word said against her and yet she too would have received ‘donations’ towards the upkeep of babies and the running of the Mother and Babies Home – not payment for babies received or anything quite so distasteful, of course! When human life and money are spoken of in the same breath with an open hand, it is very hard to separate commodification of human life/babies for adoption and necessary action for ensuring that children are not raised in an orphanage or spend damaging time there which could have been prevented. However you look at it, our societies could do better, much better, in preventing unwanted pregnancies, ensuring that those who give birth parent successfully and are not damaged or do damage to children in the process.
The toll of adoption has been enormous. Mothers and families damaged beyond repair; children made adoptees and given the trauma and loss of adoption because they should not have been born; children who suffer institutional life and possible eventual adoption due to substance abuse (up to 80% in America of children in care are abused as a result according to the latest research);the multiplicity of abuses adoptees’ suffer as a direct result of adoption (failure to ‘tell’, inappropriate parenting, lack of adequate parenting, ignorance of adoption issues, refusal to accept the reality of adoption, use of adoptees for purposes such as salvation, infertility relief, and the satisfaction of personal goals which are nothing to do with actual real live children etc, etc).
When we come to transnational adoption, we find a host of other difficulties which have far-reaching effects on adoptees – the judgement that the mother country is inadequate and that the receiving country is superior, the expectations that a new language, culture, religion, education system, customs, habits, food, etiquette, body language and the subtle signs of how life is lived ‘normally’ will replace what the child knows and the cultural transplant will occur smoothly, without damage or at any rate occur. The loss to children of everything they are and everything they know is so huge, so damaging for many, that we wonder how they survive it, how deep depression does not claim them, deep unresolvable grief and a loss of sanity are not always the result. It seems children and particularly adoptees are resilient. That is no excuse or reason to inflict on them the things that are done in the name of adoption.
There are other solutions, some of them long-term, which do not require children to become misplaced persons, lost in limboland forever. Why haven’t we made a serious start on dismantling the adoption industry, looking at its connections with poverty and what causes poverty, educating people about differing abilities, ensuring young women become confident capable mothers, enabling families to support their next generation together in unison instead encouraging shaming, judgement and rejection? I hear there is change in attitudes amongst some religious believers but its not happening fast enough, soon enough, well enough to save the next generation of adoptees from adoption and all it’s ills and the curse it inflicts on so many.
Unlike the question; the answer is simple and short. Because those involved don’t want to and don’t see the need to. Most fail to see or understand the damage of adoption or don’t want to, because they have another agenda. Babies and children are commodities – ‘little morsels of deliciousness’, bundles of joy, blank slates, the way to salvation, starving orphans, gifts, every family deserves one, not beautiful until loved, tax deductable, our right, mine. Adoption for nothing? Never. The cost is beyond calculating for adoptees.