Adoption Ethics - An Oxymoron
"Military intelligence", "Jumbo shrimp", "Pretty ugly", "Adoption ethics": All of these are oxymorons. But, while there may at times be some intelligence to the military, it's questionable whether there is anything ethical about adoption, especially as it is being practiced in the United States today.
New York, NY (PRWEB) April 29, 2004 -- There has been a huge public outcry about the competition for a baby scheduled to be aired beginning Friday April 30, 2004 on ABC-TV's 20/20 Barbara Walters "Be My Baby" special. In their comments to the 20/20 Forum on the internet, people who have adopted have been writing not only about how the prospective adopters are being exploited, but also questioning how the child might feel later, knowing how he/she was exploited. A person identified only as "babbs455" wrote this about the show: " This is a human life they are playing with, being an adoption search angel and owner of an online adoption search group, I see on a daily basis what Adoption can do to an individual. The turmoil that they go thru not knowing who they are, where they come from, what medical conditions do they expect to inherit it plays a mean and heavy game on their mental side."
Adoptee Joe Soll, CSW, from Adoption Crossroads®, and other concerned citizens are protesting outside of 20/20 in New York. Barbara Shaw, a natural mother and Concerned United parents (CUB) Media Coordinator, adoptee Lisa Scott, and others are protesting outside Disney and ABC in Burbank, CA.
The advertisements for the show state that the young mother, Jessica, wants to keep her child. Hopefully, that is the surprise outcome of it all! But, even if it is, the whole idea of even considering taking a child from a mother who loves him/her is disgusting at best.
Some people will say this is just television and that the adoption industry itself strives to be ethical. But, many adoptees and mothers whose children have been adopted-out have learned to their utter disbelief and frustration, that any mention of ethics in adoption is just another promotional tool and this false display of "ethics" is the most unethical of all such tools.
When do they first encounter the unethical nature of adoption? For some, it comes when they find their messages posted to adoption forums on the internet being deleted. Even a simple statement about how things have gone for them, which does not attack anyone, is often deleted. And then, they are blocked from posting again. Adoptees I'm sure will relate to the fact that they are expected to express gratitude to the people who adopted them before they make any statement about adoption. When communicating with natural parents on a discussion board, if they express gratitude for "life" (or put another way, for not having been aborted) their post is far more likely to remain posted. What other progeny has to thank his/her mother for not aborting them? It's ridiculous. Mothers will tell you the birth of their child was not something they need to be thanked for, but a beautiful event to be remembered always. And that is true even if they were 18 years old and pressured to surrender their child for adoption.
Amazingly, one such adoption forum clearly states that adoptee inputs are not welcome, only pregnant women and people with a positive experience should post. Naturally, some people protested that pregnant moms should have the opportunity to hear from adoptees. I watched in amazement as the number of deletions on that forum grew throughout the day until the number of deletions far exceeded the number of posts remaining.
In addition, that same forum included a "timeline" for the adoption experience which extended only for one year. Ostensibly, mothers just forget all about it after one year. Why then are so many natural moms clamoring to be heard whose children were adopted out as long as 10, 20, 30 or more years ago? In spite of rude remarks by some adopters about how natural moms love their "victim" status, these mothers continue to try to voice their concerns. As one mother, Linda Webber, wrote: "All us moms and adoptees have is our truth and integrity. We don't have the money that the adoption brokers have….We hope that our voices are heard for the sake of all women and children."
Then there is a website for a non-profit organization which claims to be devoted entirely to adoption ethics. They are conducting a survey from this website. Well, they give the appearance of conducting a survey, anyway. The survey looks as if it is taking inputs from what they refer to as "birthparents" and from the people who adopt. But, there is no form for adoptees to make an input. Maybe they assume adoptees are children forever and their input is of no value. Interestingly, the natural moms who made their input could not get the form to submit. Rather than jump to conclusions, many natural mothers wrote to ask them to fix the input process. Then, they wrote again. Perhaps their email address isn't working either, because no one I've talked to has gotten a response. And, the survey still does not accept inputs. I bet the "donations" functionality works perfectly.
Maddeningly, as all this goes on, natural mothers and adoptees still hear those in the adoption industry claiming to speak for them. Thomas Atwood, president and CEO of National Council for Adoption, is just one of many who insists that "birthparents" want confidentiality. Mr. Atwood: From which survey did you get this information? And if you are so considerate of others, then why do you use terminology which limits a natural mother's role to that of a baby-making machine?
Nowhere does anyone, whether calling themselves ethical or otherwise, address the predatory tactics used to obtain babies today. Adoption lawyers, adoption agencies and individuals are all approaching pregnant mothers, many of whom are not even considering adoption, promising them letters, pictures or continued contact with their child, knowing there is no legal requirement to follow through on such promises. Sometimes they score. But, two such mothers have in the last few weeks committed suicide, after the promises made were broken. That is, there are two of which I am aware. Thomas Atwood, is this how you "serve needy children and birth parents"?
Kicking around unmarried moms, who are taking responsibility and caring for their children, is a national pasttime. This attitude leads to abortion as well as adoption. But women should not feel this pressure to seek abortions and moms don't owe their children to anyone. It's time to start encouraging fathers to take responsibility for their children and to provide kindly support to moms in keeping their children.
"Protecting the Rights of Mothers and Natural Families"