So good to hear from you guys - and a little adoption talk

You all do my heart good, that's for sure. Thanks for stopping by that last post, for the book suggestions, the general hellos and the good wishes. I feel really badly that I haven't commented - oh, heck, I haven't even read - any blogs lately, so forgive me. I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, and sooner or later will stop by to visit. But I still feel badly that I've abandoned all the good stuff you're reading, so please also leave links to any of your recent posts that you'd like me to read.

I did see a link on Facebook that I've shared there and am passing on to everyone: Rethinking Consent to Adoption by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Jane Jeong Trenka and Tobias Hübinette. It talks to the issue of the consent period prior to the surrender of a child for adoption, and points out that the Korean Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family is considering setting this timeframe at 72 hours.

72 hours. Who, after giving birth, could possibly be ready to make such a momentus decision within 3 days? There are a gazillion studies that show the impact of the hormones in the system following birth alone would render this decision faulty. It's sad that Korea doesn't appear to be looking at other models that provide a more reasonable period of time for women to make such a decision.

The Ministry says their decision is based in concern for the child, whom they believe could be harmed if the relinquishment period were extended. Although the article doesn't explain where this fear comes from, I suspect it's the same point of view that we see in the U.S. in the safe haven discussion, in which concern for the exceptional cases leads to laws that negatively impact the majority.

No one wants to see a child harmed because his or her mother was unable or unwilling to seek care. We shouldn't, however, look at nearly-immediate family separation as the best means for preventing this. It seems to me that there are a host of other options in between, but we're forcing ourselves to take sides rather than openly discuss them.

PS: Just got an email with the latest issue of Adoption Today - I have an article in this issue, Empty Nest, Full Heart.


suz said…
The State of Illinois gave me three glorious days with my daughters followed by a lifetime of trauma.

Three days IMO is way too short. Take the child home. Care for him/her. Recover from delivery. Introduce child to his/her extended family. Get an attorney.Understand your rights. Read about adoption trauma to mothers and children. Research all options and then decide.

And that just puts it mildly.

And I did not read the article. Just haver experience with the three day rule.
Terra said…
Thanks for letting us know. I'm on my way over there right now, to read your article in AT.

Mirjam said…
The mothers of the USA-infants adopted to the Netherlands have 48 hours...

Can't get passed page 10...

KimKim said…
You cannot sign the papers until the baby is 5 days old in Australia, at least that was the law in 1984.

I do think 48 hours is wrong, it's not long enough. I don't think any papers should be signed in a hospital. That was also not a done thing in Australia.
Camille said…
I adopted five children from the same birth mother over a ten year period. I had several of the children placed with me for MONTHS before anything was signed relinquishing the birth mother and birth father's rigths.Yes, it was hard for me because I never knew from day to day if they would be taken back (one of my sons was taken back for 14 months). But I am glad she had so much time to consider her options. I agree that 48-72 hours is not enough for such a momentous decision.
KimKim said…
"The long process of convincing Ruth was the hardest part. She wanted to keep all three of the boys very much. I kept talking and talking and pointing out how much difficulty she was having trying to take care of all their needs and make them happy. She gradually saw that she was not able to provide all they needed and one by one let them go….though it was a very hard decision to make..."

Camille, I read this on your blog, I am thinking if Ruth was having problems with being a mother why wasn't support offered to her or assistance. Aren't there courses for parenting and tools one can learn to cope with being a mother?

And why were you the one convincing her that she would be better off giving her children to you?

I felt very uncomfortable about this. Perhaps there is a good reason but it doesn't come quickly to me.

How is it allright to wear a woman down and convince her that she's not a good enough mother and should give you her children?

If a mother is not doing a great job isn't it more ethical to find her support and education first? Especially if she wants to keep her children.

It seems like you undermined her confidence so that you could have her children.

I struggle to find it ok what you did. Please enlighten/educate me if you would be so kind.
Don Gordon Bell said…
In Korea most unwed mothers have already made the decision to relinquish their babies before birth. The revision would actually be decided later this year, 2010 and is still being debated.
The Korean Women's Development Institute reports that 31.7% of birth mothers are in fact choosing to keep their babies compared to 5.8% in 2000. The 3 days waiting period is closer to the model of most States where in Europe I understand it is usually longer.
A Korean birth mother faces incredible pressure from her own family to NOT keep her child. Not many would or could keep the child for 30 days. It is more a matter of the society's rejections and family that influence the birth mothers to keep their baby. Perhaps in twenty more years government,society, and families will support the unwed mothers in helping them keep their babies. I disagree with the three authors who I know personally, in their assessments. Go back to the 1970's in the States and Australia and you will see the attitudes of society toward unwed mothers. That is what the situation is like here.
Kris said…
Margie, I just came upon your blog. I am an adoptive parent of a little girl from Russia. We recently searched for and found her first family. Since then, I have felt tremendous guilt and doubt about our decision to adopt. Seeing her mother and the sadness she has obviously endured has filled me with feelings I can't put into words. I am torn between being so glad we have our little girl and feeling so awful that we adopted her and took her from her country (she was in an orphanage.) I am torn between feeling glad she is not growing up in the orphanage and sadness that she had to lose everything to come here. In the end I don't know how to feel about adoption. Some days I feel like a criminal and some days like a good mom. I should say I do have bio children as well so I find myself wondering why I did this in the first place. I thought it was a good thing but now I'm not so sure. I look at my happy 5 year old and wonder what her life will be like in 20 years. I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more.

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