Adopters who back out of adoption; selfish or justified?

This question was asked on Y!A:  How can we back out of this adoption? I feel kind of guilty...? 

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AkLFjXvugZrRm6vqbWFNfxUh...

Unfortunately I was surprised by the additional information and will quote the parts that got my hackles up.

"We met the BM (Paige) though our minister, she's only 17 and seemed excited about us adopting the baby."

I hate the term birth mother with a vengeance and it's a term that I first heard of in 2004 after I found my son.   To shorten it to BM is simply insulting as I immediately think of bowel movement.   From a personal point of view I wanted to raise my son so abortion wasn't an option and adoption never crossed my mind.  Regardless of my choice I chose to go through pregnancy because I loved my unborn child.  Birth mother is a cold term to use.  Mothers don't become pregnant just to provide adopters with a child. 

Anyway the mother claimed to have been assaulted by her step father but the baby is obviously biracial.  The step father can't be the father of the baby as he is Scandinavian.

"But while we feel sympathy we are at an impasse. We aren't prejudice at all, in fact some of our friends are black but my DH, DS and I all have blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. We were expecting this child to be the same, just like her parents. If we were to adopt this child everyone would know she was adopted or else think I cheated on my husband! Also the child would one day realize she didn't look like the rest of the family and may come to the conclusion they were adopted"

In this day and age it disgusts me that adopters want to pass an adopted child as their own purely for selfish reasons.  Had they adopted this child then people who know them would know the child was adopted.  It would only be complete strangers who would assume that the child was adopted or that the couple had got together after the baby had been conceived  or born although that would be less likely to be the thought. 

From what I learned from adoptees is that most of them felt different from their adoptive families.  It is wrong morally to deny a child the knowledge that they are adopted and I don't care what other people believe it is living a lie as the child doesn't know the truth.  Any adopter who doesn't want to tell their child that they are adopted shouldn't be adopting at all in my humble opinion. 

"This dear child just doesn't fit in with our plans or our family. DH and I decided it's best not to continue with the adoption, but feel like we're letting Paige down."

So all because the child isn't the right colour she is tossed aside for them to concentrate on finding a blonde haired, blue eyed child that will fit their plans like an accessory..  It used to be a family joke that I was the milkman's daughter as I was the odd one out.  I had white blonde hair, have blue and am fair skinned but that's all it was - a joke - as my mum and her twin brother had white blond hair when they were young and my mum had blue eyes.  One of my cousins has auburn hair so he stood out but we knew he had inherited his hair colour from our great grandmother.  Children should always be accepted for who they are and not for the colour of the skin or anything else.

"Should we offer to help her find another adoptive family for the baby?"

My humble opinion to that question is that they should be encouraging the mother to parent and giving support.

The question is a classic example to what is so wrong with adoption today.  Adopters come across as expecting a certain type of baby as he or she is a piece of merchandise.  There is no thought for the child's needs and certainly no empathy for the mother who is no more than a piece of meat supplying the adopters with what they they want.  So the mother was wrong to say certain things but how can anybody assume she was lying about being abused just because the baby is biracial.  It has also been known for a baby of white parents to be black as there has been at least one black ancestor.  There have been couples where one parent is white and the other black to have twins where one is white and the other black.  The child should always come first.     

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unprepared

I totally agree with all you say, at the same time I am glad these people made this particular decision.

It is obvious from the post, these people wanted to pass off this child as born to them, a sign they were completely unprepared for adoption. Such ideas were pretty normal in the 1950's and 1960's, but in this day and age, every adopter should know better.

One of the problems with private adoption is that it can be done with little or no preparation. A home study is required, but parenting classes are not, making it possible for people with a completely backwards attitudes to adopt.

When it comes to the desires of adopters, there is a fine line. I totally agree that far too many adopters are addressing adoption as if it were a purchase, on the other hand, if an adoption leads to questionable feelings towards a child, the result will be horrible if proceeded.

In the end adoptions like these shouldn't have to take place. With support from family and society, this child could probably grow up with his/her own mother. It may be a tough road, but so is relinquishment.

 

Failures in today's adoption-plan

This situation reminds me of the unspoken question each adopter needs to ask before adopting:  Do I really want to adopt a child, even if the child I receive does not match my image of perfect or ideal?

Personally, I agree with what Niels had to say:  I prefer an adoption to fail (end) before it begins, than for an adoption to continue, only for it to end in disruption.   (In most disruption cases, it is the adoptive parents who leave or abandon the adopted child because the child could not meet the adopters' needs, wants, and above all, expectations.  In marriage-terms, these couples would rather divorce the child than work on the more difficult (unexpected?) issues that come with living with someone for more than a couple of weeks.)

Agreeing with Niels again, what bothered me most about the PAP in question is the attitude she herself has/will have towards ANY child she adopts:

...my DH, DS and I all have blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes.  We were expecting this child to be the same, just like her parents. If we were to adopt this child everyone would know she was adopted or else think I cheated on my husband! Also the child would one day realize she didn't look like the rest of the family and may come to the conclusion they were adopted.

<shaking head>

It's hard to believe mind-sets from the Closed Era of adoption still exist in this day and age.  Back then, there was a strong element of shame passed onto first mothers, adopters, and the adopted children put in the middle, because adoption was seen as an "unnatural" or highly questionable thing to do.  Back then, single-parenthood was taboo, and "a good Aparent" would hide all adoption facts, that way the adoptee would never have to learn about his or her own birth/family history or the circumstances that led to a mother's abandonment permanent removal/relinquishment.

Sick funny thing about all that secrecy -- for many of us adopted out from that era, we not only learned we were lied to about our origins, but we also learned our mothers were unsupported, lied to, and forced to relinquish, as well.  ( As a lied-to-adoptee, I cannot express how much therapy is required to help undo the anger and subsequent damage adoption secret-keeping can cause an adoptee!) 

So even if this couple were able to get their desired child (blond-haired/blue-eyed), it won't matter because without extensive counseling, the self-serving and self-preserving parenting-style has already been decided:  the adoption will be rooted in secrecy;  shame will be the shadow that follows the adoptee.  I don't think this woman realizes how most astute and sensitive adoptees feel or think, or pick-up on things.  The more that child looks like his/her APs, the more that child will grow-up knowing something is off and strange -- something is wrong and funny (and not in the ha-ha sort of way).  Who will help explain all the strange feelings the adoptee keeps feeling?  An aunt, a cousin, a neighbor, an internet-search, maybe?

This situation, in my mind, shows when and why an adoption agency should deny a person or couple an adoption plan, even if it means the agency will lose the thousands of dollars it can make through completed adoption services.  

PAPs like this one are too narrow-minded and simply too unfit and unprepared to parent an adopted child.  Until her attitude towards the needs of adopted children grow and mature, and CHANGE for the sake of the adopted child, it would be best for any adoptable child that all her plans for a completed adoption will end (fail) before the adoption process is allowed to continue.

Pound Pup Legacy