Religious Influence

Many years ago, I had many discussions with a first-mother who lost her son, first through adoption, then later to suicide.

Our phone conversations were especially hard because I could hear the sob in her voice.  Her voice sounded like that of a child... yet her words written on adoption forums read like she was a very well-informed profoundly strong woman.  Like me, (at the time), she was a warrior in words, but a weepy child in private.

Many of our discussions revolved around the Catholic Church, and what it would do to unwed pregnant girls during the Closed Era of Adoption.  [See:  Maternity Homes and The Magdalene Laundry

In brief, the girls were told they were sinners (for having sex outside of marriage).  As such, they had to pay for their sins... make a sacrifice... so they could be forgiven.  The sacrifice would be simple:  relinquish your child to someone who has none.. or to those who are "much better".  Theoretically, asking for forgiveness, paying the price for a mistake, doing what the Holy Father suggests would make everything OK.

When First-Mom and I talked, I would think how this religious approach would work in favor for the infertile, too.  In that case, the person burdened with guilt and shame associated with infertility could easily change the situation by admitting a problem (to "the right people"), praying/paying for an answer, and receiving a baby, thanks to the kind generous working people within the church and its extended congregation.

All involved were to see problems can solved, IF each has faith.

Yes, indeed, wouldn't that be great?

But as First-Mom and I would reveal to one another, (in private conversation), once adoption was the decided option, all sorts of hell began to break-loose in our personal lives.  In her case, the loss of her first-born son haunted her.  Grief could not be relieved.  Other children could NOT replace the child she lost had taken away.  In her mind, the mistake was not getting pregnant... her mistake was listening to the limited suggestions made by others.  In her case, the ultimate hurt took place the day she learned her son -- the one promised a better future -- was found dead, in his car.  Suicide.

In my case, the parents "chosen" for me were not as they appeared on-paper.  [Who ever is?]  In that house, all sorts of secrets, guilts and shames were taking place... and not one person was allowed to bring-in help.  [God forbid people knew the truth!]  I cannot put into words how many times I wished to die... how I wished certain people in that chosen family found me dead.

There are those who think the practices of the Closed Era of Adoption are gone and buried.  I read about the many recruitment practices done by those advocating adoption, (in the name of Christianity), and I have to ask:  how have things become different, how much has changed, and where is the humanity when religion is used as a means to scare and bully?


some of my thoughts

Having spent many hours over the last two years collecting information about the adoption industry and it's affiliated organizations, I basically see four religious groups being particularly active in the field of adoption:

Based upon their presentation on the internet, it's apparent the first three mainly adhere to the old model of secretive operation. Their website are pretty sober when it comes to adoption information and it's very much unknown how many children are being placed through these organizations. In that sense they have a business model fitting with the 1950's and 1960's when they were really big. Church attendance in both Catholic and Lutheran churches have dropped significantly over the last decades and with that it's very likely that the number of adoptions through their agencies have dropped too.

The decline seen among Catholics and Lutherans is not been found among Mormons, their secrecy on the other hand is even larger. Of all adoption agencies only LDS family services doesn't have to register their activities with the IRS, because of Rev. Proc 19-10, which states:

The purpose of this revenue procedure is to list a class of organizations, affiliated with a church or convention or association of churches and exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, that is not required to file an annual information return on Form 990, Return of Organizations Exempt from Income Tax.

So oddly enough LDS Family Services is church affiliated, while the various Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are not. I don't know why this is the case, I just hope it has nothing to do with the fact IRS forms are being processed in Ogden, Utah.

Where Catholic, Lutheran and LDS agencies, show little of the activities they are involved in, evangelical organizations seem to scream it off the roof tops. These organizations seem to be proud of what they are doing and many evangelical christian adoption agency websites present the number of children they have placed and show biblical quotes that should make people believe God is a crusader for adoption himself.

Evangelical agencies like Bethany Christian Services are also very much politically affiliated. Of course not directly, as a 501(c)3, they are not allowed to lobby, but there are others that can do it for them. One of the biggest voices closely related to Bethany Christian Services is James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund. Many of the people donating to Bethany Christian Services, also donate to these Dobson affiliated organizations and often very large amount.

It all seems to fit a particular agenda, which I would like to describe as: biblical rule for the masses and "free" markets for the few. in such a paradigm adoption fits very well. Biblical rule and free markets almost guarantee the supply of healthy infants. Biblical rule enforces the condemnation of extra-marital pregnancies, contraceptives and selective education; "free" markets contribute to poverty and poorly funded public services.  

The workings of this agenda is excellently visible in the health care "debate" that is taking place in the US at the moment. The same organizations that forward the pro-life and pro-adoption agenda are also very much opposed to health care reform. The "free" markets so advantageous to the few would stand to lose some of their enormous profits and the poor are undeserving of good health, just as they are undeserving to keep their children.

Sending the poor to feed the rich

I see many trends... trends established by great powers many centuries ago... trends that seem to keep growing and growing.

In the 1600's The British Empire wanted more wealth, more power, and less beasts of burdens.  So they sent a chosen-few on "special missions".  Those chosen few needed more bodies to help the great missions.  Those bodies came in the form of "unwanted children".  [See:  Child Migration:  An Overview]

Interestingly enough, centuries later, (during the 1900's), a new scheme was developed -- this time is was in the name of "cultural improvement".  White British stock was farmed-out to areas that needed re-building.  Again, the preferred to be sent was "unwanted children". [See:  The Welfare of Former British Migrants ]

In 2009, I see two shifts taking place, simultaneously... shifts that make me question how much has changed, and how much will remain the same.

There are the people waiting for a government's apology.  Charity welcomes migrant apology

And there are the governments making deals in the name of "improvement". US lawmakers urge easier Guatemalan adoptions

While the use of religious beliefs/denomination has always been a strong reason to do something ("In the name of ____"), I find the wanting of money (in not so small denominations), and the subsequent power that money brings, is what leads many onto the path of destruction.

Do not depend on others

Nearly all men (Government)-  can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's/(Government)- character,give him power. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

All national institutions of (Government)- churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

 Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness.
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.  ~Proverbs 22:7

***all the sayings can be modified by the addition of the word government. I placed the word in red to show how true it sounded and show how true it was/is. All I can say is-

Work out your own salvation.  Do not depend on others.  ~Buddha

Pound Pup Legacy