Adoption Stigmas, Prejudices and Hope for REFORM.
Several weeks ago I saw a post from a forum that was educating its members on open adoption. I’ve read a lot of painful stuff on the internet over the years but this one hit hard. THIS one overwhelmed me with the horrific reminder that there is still so much work to be done in the adoption industry.
You see, I was beginning to think that in this era of awareness on a multitude of controversial topics, it seemed possible that adoption would finally be seen and heard in a different way.
Apparently, this is not true for everyone.
In case an example is needed, here is a small fragment of this forum participant’s view to the group being educated on open adoption:
“We want nothing to do with the birth mother. We certainly don’t want her as a distant family friend. I’m sure most parents would prefer it this way but many childless couples are desperate and would agree to anything, Of course, the politically correct thing to say is that it doesn’t matter and the child will benefit from having an extra parent but this is “horse sh**. The birth mother needs to let go and the parent needs to accept complete responsibility. We discharged our first agency because they were into all that multicultural it takes a village horsecrap.”
While I realize this one person’s views do not represent everyone’s views this forum is a place of educating others and it portrays the views held by this educator who is a main influencer in the group.
As such perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a healthy adoption awareness has not reached out and touched SOME people in society just yet.
Some people CHOOSE to stay ignorant about adoption and the support that is crucially needed for ALL members.
Yet like other topics that affect us personally, WE GET TO CHOOSE TOO.
We can choose consciously to shake the dust off and instead of allowing those words to discourage and hold us back, we can choose to let them encourage us to keep moving forward with the loving awareness that there are still HUGE needs in the adoption world that can’t keep being ignored.
Today, the stigma around adoption is still willful IGNORANCE and dare I even suggest that it bears an awful resemblance to that of PREJUDICE.
PREJUDICE AGAINST WHAT WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH.
The definition of prejudice:
1.preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
2. harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgment.
1.(v)give rise to prejudice in (someone); make biased.
The negative stigma and notions are still actively trying to find a place in society’s ear.
When we’re prejudiced about someone we often aren’t willing to account for the change or changes that may have taken place as time evolved. I think the majority of Prejudice in the adoption industry is towards the woman who places a child for adoption and our understanding of how this decision affects her afterward EVEN IF SHE WAS IN CHOICE.
Most times, the REASON a woman might choose to place their child with another family to raise is that they are lacking in certain resources and support systems that they feel are necessary in order to provide a stable life for her child. Occasionally there is abuse and addictions involved but more times than not this is not the case.
Yet we hold this against her for the rest of her life. We parade her on birth mom panels and forums and try to keep her stuck in the past and in her story.
Today she is different. Her life is different.
Today Adoption is different.
The reasons women are led to place their child for adoption are different today too. It’s no longer just 15-year-old girls who face an unplanned pregnancy and aren’t ready to parent.
Stop disrespecting her as if it isn’t so. Stop judging her based on your own experiences. Unless you walk in her exact shoes with her exact resources and support systems you do not know for sure how you would have dealt with the situation.
Some women need to choose adoption as a choice for their unplanned pregnancy. We need to understand how this choice affects a person and how it then reaches out to the world around them and how they are able to interact.
It’s wrong to stay biased in our opinions of her choice. That’s her choice and in her choice she is entitled to respect and care and support.
There are certain cause and effects that happen as a result of the adoption. Hiding it under the rug because we think it will discourage others from choosing adoption is wrong. Women should be able to choose adoption knowing that they will be properly cared for even in this unique situation.
There are other situations in life that people are put in knowing that the trauma of these situations is going to REQUIRE aftercare and support. We then provide them. That’s change.
That kind of change reaches out into society and affects all of its members for good. ALL members of the triad REQUIRE post adoption Care.
The birth mother REQUIRES post adoption care. The child who was placed REQUIRES aftercare support to deal with this unique situation that they were placed in. The adopting couple REQUIRES aftercare support to deal with this unique situation that they chose to be a part of.
This knowledge should have been heavily present prior to the decision.
We need to be sure then that we are providing everything for her care and the care of the child.
Birth Moms Today was founded on this very belief:
IT IS VITAL THAT ADEQUATE POST ADOPTION CARE BE AVAILABLE TO ALL WOMEN CHOOSING ADOPTION FOR THE FUTURE OF THEIR CHILD.
I will not stop fighting until I see reform.
Sending Big Love as Always………
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