Saturday, April 14, 2012

Adoption Ambivalent

Pro-adoption, anti-adoption, adoption advocate, adoption reformer, adoption activist….

I have found in blogging that terms like these are mostly used to discount opinions and shut down discussions and create an us versus them mentality surrounding adoption akin to the sharks and the jets…this is not Westside Story…it is adoption and I honestly don’t know one blogger in the adoption community who doesn’t tell their story, from their perspective without in some way hoping to make things better for kids TODAY.

Me personally?


[am-biv-uh-luhnt] Show IPA


1. having ”mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs. She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play.

2. Psychology . of or pertaining to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

I have been called and accused of many things by people who don’t like what I write or my opinions.

I have been accused of hating all adoptions and all adoptive parents. Well that is just not true. My absolute favorite set of adoptive parents are called, grandma and grandpa…so there ya big Meany-pants! I have both adopters and child abandoners on both sides of my family for many generations, and some of my best (real life) friends are / have been adoptees, adoptive parents and first mothers…and just because we all manage to love and respect each other doesn’t mean we all have the same experiences or have the same options about ANYTHING, let alone on something as complex as adoption.

So I figured I take a moment to get some things straight:

First and foremost:

I believe that parents should raise their children, however they acquired them…if there is ANY WAY on heaven and earth that it can be accomplished…we as a (global) society need to work much harder at removing the barriers of parenting, before we remove CHILDREN from their families however they came to be.

Domestic Infant Adoption:

Not gonna lie – I DON’T LIKE IT…AT ALL.

I would say end of story…but it is not…you know me. there are far too many kids who have already been born into this world who need stability and care to be ADVERTISING to pregnant women in hopes that they will give up their unborn babies…dear birth mom, give me your baby letters…gross. …and that still doesn’t mean I hate or have [edited 4/15/12 to add: MUCH] contempt for those who have done it.

Older Child International Adoption:

Is sticky to say the least…there are a lot of real problems here. A LOT. I will refer to the Hague Convention on this one… it would suffice to say that I don’t HATE international adoption or parents who adopt internationally. I do think any entity who deals with international adoption should be spending as much time, money and energy on providing family planning services, poverty prevention programs and family preservation services so that NO MOTHER no matter how poor has to choose between keeping one child and feeding her others. Ever.

Adoption of Abused and Seriously Neglected Children from Foster Care:

Pretty much totally FREAKING rocks in my book. But…you know me there is always a but…(and my views on this is something I have been struggling with (a LOT) since I have been working in an inner-city medical clinic) there is a lot to say here. I do not think foster care should ever be used until all reasonable interventions have been exhausted. I do not believe that minor neglect (the kind that stem from ignorance/lack of education or poverty) is enough of a reason to separate a child from its family. One year in foster care will do far more damage to a child than 18 years of living with lice, scabies, worms, dirty clothes, rotten teeth and sleeping on the floor of a filthy house ever could. (Many of those things listed could be avoided if people were able to buy things like tooth brushes, tooth paste, hand, body, dish, soap bleach and laundry detergent with food stamps…just sayin’…) Although, I DO have a pretty much zero tolerance for physical and or sexual abuse. If a parent can’t immediately make sweeping life changes to keep their kids physically safe…somebody else has to.

So Called MEGA Adopters:

Essentially, this is tantamount to running an unlicensed, unregulated, un/under trained un/under-staffed group home…once you get numbers of children being cared for up near double digits, especially when we are talking about children of loss, trauma and possibly abusive backgrounds it would be very hard to keep so many children safe and supervised. This could very easily be a situation where children could be further traumatized and a set-up where a child could find themselves either sent to a residential treatment center or disrupted (re-adopted out) when they cannot function or be safe in this environment.

Interracial Adoption:

Given that there is a disproportionate number of African American children in the US foster care system, that there more white families who as it stands now (for many reasons that i may post about later) are currently willing and able to adopt any child…and as long as adoption remains the most used method of providing children from foster care with safety and stability…and since Mr. Sunday and I have personally spent an extended amount of time parenting African American children, it is not that I do not think interracial adoptions shouldn’t be ever be done…I just think that they shouldn’t ever be entered into lightly or without a firm grasp of just how complicated adoption is in the first place…let alone adding race on top of it.

Say I am too anti-adoption.  Say I am too pro-adoption.  Say I hate adoption, say I love it. Say I “kiss the adoptive parent ass.” Say I “hate ALL adoptive parents.” Say I am too supportive of  birth mothers. Say I hate all birth mothers.  Say whatever it is that lets you believe I have nothing to say or no right to say it. But MY truth is I am whole-heartedly, unequivocally, 100%, without question Adoption Ambivalent.

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