"The Expensive Birthmother"

I really don't like this article: The Expensive Birthmother

I don't like it for a lot of reasons that I think you'll figure out when you read it. But most of all I don't like it because of this:
The agency, Adoption By Choice (ABC), currently is working with a birthmother who has not yet found adoptive parents for her baby. Dr. Shephard is providing prenatal care to this birthmother, and he gave my mom the phone number for ABC Agency.
The author, a prospective adoptive parent, clearly sees the mother of her future child as as different kind of woman and mother. She has her own special category. She's and "other."

The motives of the author are, in my opinion, appropriate. She understands the connection between support expenses and fraud, but she's missing a key point, I think, which is that pretty much any pre-natal support can lead to fraud, even when it's within "published guidelines," whatever the heck they may be.

I also think she's missing the deeper story about the mother-in-question's situation. It's possible that this woman is trying to game the adoption system. I don't believe that's a common occurrence, but I believe it's possible and happens. But do I believe that women actually think frequent pregnancy and placement of a child for adoption is a way to make a living? No, I don't. And it bothers me that this article gives that impression. I suspect that this woman has layers of issues going on, and her decision to place this child and the others she has placed is tangled up in all of them.

This article says a lot to me about what's wrong with adoption. The author thinks by deciding not to pursue this particular adoption, she's taking the moral high road. She says it makes her feel like she would be buying a baby. But all of us who have paid fees to adopt our children contribute to that potential. It is inherent in the current adoption process, which makes each and every one of us responsible for calling it out when we see the potential.

The author of this article did that, which is good. But she didn't acknowledge that inherent risk, which leads her readers to the conclusion that paying for pre-natal expenses is OK. I personally think if we could eliminate that from the adoption process, ethical adoption would become possible a whole lot faster.


lorraine said…

Agree with you totally. Paying lots of expenses, even for someone in need, in order to guarantee a kid is paying for the child. And the agency fees seem way out of line also--$18,000...for an uncontested adoption. This is how people support wealthy lifestyles by baby brokering. Both the agency (ABC) and the birth mother and the prospective adoptive parent need to rethink the morality of what they are doing.

Lorraine from
Birth Mother, First Mother Forum

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