Three essential reads on adoption policy and practice

I virtually danced for joy when I saw the following three articles in the latest issue of Gazillion Voices:

The Liberal Roots of the Modern Adoption Movement
Liberal Hypocrisy in Adoption
Standards of Practice for Adoptive Parents

You don’t subscribe? Fix that now and go read.

I have spent a lot of thinking and writing time here, at Third Mom and elsewhere trying to articulate what these three articles (by David Smolin and Desiree Smolin, Maureen Flatley and Maureen Evans, respectively) nail. The more I analyze the wreck that is adoption law, policy and practice, the more the concept of justice – or better, the lack of it – screams for attention. Yet as crystal clear as the injustices appear to me, the more people I could find who brushed them off with rationalizations and justifications that frankly don’t hold up. People, however, seem to love believing nonsense when it comes to adoption, perhaps because the very notion of it encourages emotional, rather than intellectual, thought.

I’m no intellectual, but I sure can tell right from wrong. What these three articles do is demonstrate exactly how unjustly adoption is practiced in the United States, and how wrong our mainstream thinking is about adoption. They show how we (as in “the mainstream”) have tended to polarize our adoption attitudes along political lines – liberal and secular vs conservative and Christian – even though they miss the mark. And as if to demonstrate just how difficult it will be to crack that mainstream attitude open, the very first comment on the Smolins’ article proposed that ethical adoption is still possible, right now.

As I said in my comment in response to that one, I have come to the conclusion that ethical adoption is not possible now. Yes, an individual adoption may pass all of the ethical litmus tests, but until every single law that denies equal rights to adoptees, skews the definition of family in favor of the adoptive one, allows adoption practitioners to prey on pregnant women, or dismisses trafficking for the purpose of adoption has been overturned, we cannot say adoption is ethical.

Fixing these doesn’t rest on the shoulders of conservatives, liberals or people of or without a particular religion. It needs people to recognize the sheer injustices that adoption perpetuates on parents (adoptive and original) and adoptees. There’s nothing political about that.

Comments

Lorraine Dusky said…
Thank you Margie. I am always astounded when I read your posts, and in reading this for a second time, tears are flooding my eyes:

"...I have come to the conclusion that ethical adoption is not possible now. Yes, an individual adoption may pass all of the ethical litmus tests, but until every single law that denies equal rights to adoptees, skews the definition of family in favor of the adoptive one, allows adoption practitioners to prey on pregnant women, or dismisses trafficking for the purpose of adoption has been overturned, we cannot say it is ethical."

Thank you, thank you, thank you...xxx
lorraine
Lorraine, thank YOU for your unending commitment to putting everything that's broken about adoption right! I really appreciate your comment and support, and hope you know it comes right back atya!

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