Out of touch with adoption reality

In a comment on my last post, I said, I think this shows how out of touch the majority of people are with the REALITY of adoption. No wonder we can't get their attention on open

I found a perfect example of what I mean: Foreign adoptions usually turn out well, experts say.

An adoption attorney, Rob Kirsh of Memphis, leads the story by giving us his opinions on this little boy's return to his native Russia. The article states that "Kirsh is an expert on adoptions and although he specializes in infant adoptions, he's very familiar with the international process as well."

"It gives adoption a bad name," he said. "I know when someone handles an adoption thoughtfully, it's wonderful -- it's a win-win-win for the birth mother, the child and the adoptive parents."
Kirsh goes on to give sage advice on adoption alternatives for prospective adoptive parents:

"I suggest people who are considering adoption look at all types," he said. "If they want to save a a life, an international adoption is the way to do it. If they want to save a teenager's life, DCS, Department of Children's Services, is the best way. If they want an infant adoption, they can go through an agency or a private attorney."
This AP-centric adoption menu misses the point of adoption - to serve children who truly need families - entirely. No wonder prospective adoptive parents get the impression that adoption exists to serve their selfish desires (I put myself in this category, because gosh knows that it was all about me when we set out to adopt our kids) and savior complexes.

I sincerely wish that individuals who purport themselves to be "adoption experts" had the sense to point out its complexities, loss, pain, injustices (think closed records) and misuses, every single time they spoke. When they run back to that old win-win-win every time something negative about adoption appears in the media, we all lose an opportunity to address the things about adoption that we so desperately need need to change.


Pickel said…
Adoption isn't about saving a life, though. Adoption is about building families.
osolomama said…
Know I was ranting about the obvious in the previous comments and that it is the big common denominator we have failed to place before the public.

Actually I think open records is an exception. Approached with the right examples, language, and rhetoric, it is a surprisingly easy sell to your average adoption-ignorant colleague or dinner guest. One musn't underestimate the hideously distorted view of secrecy that the Catholic church has, along with its bedfellow, the right to life movement obsessed about fetuses and little else, despite the advice they have been given over the years to broaden the base. The ACLU ought to be reachable--it's just a question of who and how. But the logic and fairness of open records can be sold in 5 minutes to someone with no axe to grind. That these bills look like they do can be attributed largely to these 3 entities.
Mei Ling said…
"I know when someone handles an adoption thoughtfully, it's wonderful -- it's a win-win-win for the birth mother, the child and the adoptive parents."

No, no it isn't!

Margie said…
Pickel, you're right - that whole little menu was goofy. And of course, this attorney is in line to make money off the most popular item on the menu!

Osolo, I agree that the Catholic Church set the stage for current attitudes. Catholic homes for unmarried mothers definitely turned surrender of a child and adoption into an act of total secrecy. They do not exist in anywhere near the numbers they did since Roe v. Wade (actually a little before, when I believe the states began changing their laws), although there is a move afoot to start them again (http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=25623). I found an interesting article about the closures going back to 1972 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19721011&id=3_YpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7GcFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1051,1472779.

Anyhow, the Church has little political clout at the moment, for obvious good reasons. I think the non-Catholic religious right control a lot more of the adoption rhetoric right now. The "called to adopt" thing isn't in Catholic theology - not to say that you can't find Catholics who have bought into it - and I think it drives a lot more PAP behaviour than Catholic theology.

I agree re the ACLU, but also think they have to see a big return before they get on board with something. I don't follow them closely, but haven't heard them speak out much on adoption issues - correct me if I'm wrong.
motherissues said…
Argh! All the teenagers we've looked at HAVE lives of their own, thank you very much, and don't need to be saved from anything. (And I don't say that to glamorize myself and our path toward adoption! I'm just so totally offended by this way of thinking. Sigh.)
suz said…
I would argue with Pickel's point that "adoption is building families." This statement alone leaves it too open for it to be about finding babies for homes when what adoption should be about is finding homes for children who need them.

This puts the focus clearly on the child's needs (and not the adoptive parents) and also on children who truly need families (versus those that already have them - even if extended families - in the form of gramma, aunt, dad, etc.)
Margie said…
I absolutely agree, Suz, that adoption should not be seen as a means for APs to build families, but rather a way for families to be found for kids who truly have none.

Once a child has been adopted, I think it's equally critical for the adoptive parents to create a true family for that child. I get really worried when I hear people rushing to adopt for "savior" reasons, because I worry that their desire to save will get int he way of providing a warm and nurturing environment for the adoptee that respects his or her history, genetic connections and individual needs.

Popular Posts