Do not ASS-U-ME

“The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them.” – John Seeley Brown

“Suz, your efforts are admirable but the reality is there will always be adoption. There will always be some stupid girl who fell for some idiot guy who fed her a line that he loved her and would take care of her when all he wanted to do was bang her for the night. That silly girl will end up pregnant and she will always be too young, too drug addicted, too poor, with no family to help or support available to her and as such she will have to give her child up for adoption.” my friend said.

Hmph. Okay. Yeah.

I agree and I disagree.

Let’s break this down a bit.

I agree there will always be a need for adoption. Parents die, become ill, abuse children and do other things that cause children to become homeless and lack a parent. Those children should certainly be cared for and loved by another. Call it guardianship, kinship adoption, whatever you wish. I would never suggest a child should not be cared for or left in an institution

I also believe there will be some women who don’t want their child. (I am not sure I would want to know those women but I have to believe they exist.). The children they bear  should also be cared for (but their records should not be closed and if they were named, they should not be renamed).

I further agree there will likely always be naïve young girls who want to be loved and believe that the way they obtain that perceived love is to put themselves at risk for pregnancy rather than refuse to have sex with a man.

I must now disagree.

Too young to mother? Who defines too young? My own mother had four children by the time she was 21. Was she too young?  I don’t think so. But I can say that she was very married. That helped. Also, I gotta say, in my experience, our bodies are MADE to have children when we are young.  I had a child at 17, one at 30 and one at 35. Guess what? The one I had a 17 was a breeze physically.  The other two?  Not so much.  Additionally, I am sure many women who wait till their late 30s and 40s (after they are “established”) and learn they can no longer conceive will tell you they should have had babies when they were younger.

Too drug addicted? Gross, sweeping, generalization continually used by the mainstream media and adoption industry to justify taking children from their mother’s breast. I lived in a home with nearly 30 women in 1986. Guess what? None were drug addicted. I have no memories of anyone doing lines or shooting heroine as I walked the floors of Gehring Hall. Don’t assume this. You make yourself look silly.  (Besides, no one wants to purchase babies that come from drug addicted mamas, remember?)

Too poor?  Hmm. Again, most of the mothers I lived with in 1986 came from white, middle class families. Oh sure, we had our share of minorities who were indeed on welfare as well. But poor is another gross generalization. And frankly, we have a lot of poor people in the United States. Should we take all their children away?  For me, yet another silly statement.  Poverty should not be a reason why your children is given away or taken from you.

No family to help her? Why would she have no family? She came from somewhere, right?  Doesn’t the father have family?  And still more gross assumptions.   

And if she truly doesn’t have a family, as in not one single person related to her or able to help her, there are and always should be social welfare programs available to her. She should be told of those BEFORE she is told of the gooey loveliness of surrendering her child.

Finally, I say again, judge a country by the way it treats its women and children. Clearly, many parts of the USofA see no value in the mother-child bond. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

  1. I lost my child to adoption in 1986.
  2. I was a white girl from a middle class conservative Catholic family.
  3. I was President of Student Government, an honor student and a girl with “potential” (obviously not mothering potential).
  4. I was not poor.
  5. I was not drug addicted.
  6. I was not without family.

How do I and the hundreds of other moms I know fit into your schema?

Please. Get your facts straight.  Don’t assume. Don’t believe what you have been told by the agencies you are adopting from. By the friends down the street or by the latest report out of the NCFA. 

The American Adoption Industry is not what you think it is. 

To put it a bit more succinctly, consider the words of my friend Bernadette Wright. PH.D, President of Origins-USA:

"… preventing unnecessary family
separations, ending falsified birth certificates, basic human rights
and protections for mothers, stopping coercive and exploitative
adoption practices, justice for victims of illegal and coercive
practices, and ending profiteering in adoption — these are all
mainstream, common-sense ideas, even if we are one of very few
organizations advocating for them. These ideas are supported by the
United Nations and are the law in most civilized societies. Motherhood
is a traditional American value, and we support motherhood (it’s
forever).

"Our enemies — the radical religious right extremists
and anti-motherhood adoption agencies who want to further erode
mothers’ rights and make it even harder for families to stay together
— THEY should be considered the fringe groups, not us. It is a fringe,
extreme, un-American, anti-family idea to say that we should allow
profiteering baby brokers to trick, deceive, exploit, and coerce
mothers and to sell their babies, just because the mother is single,
young, or having temporary financial difficulties."

4 Thoughts.

  1. I am the eternal optimist (despite what some people may think, LOL), and it actually really bothers me that people go around saying “There will always be people too drug-addicted, too much poverty, blah blah blah.” Really, isn’t that rather a defeatist attitude? It reminds me of what our mental health system currently says, which is, “Some people are just too sick to ever recover.” Well for heaven’s sake, how on earth will we ever know if you’ve already written them off?
    And I’m not naive, I realize the horrible realities of the world. Abusive parents… yeah, I don’t know if that one will ever ever get solved. And the others… right, if they ever get solved, we’re talking like a million years from now. I get that.
    But still. Poverty? Drug addiction? Those are illnesses. Illnesses and not hopelessly terminal ones, either. And nonterminal illnesses can be cured.
    Erin at Seriously? was matched with an expectant mom who was a hard-core heroin addict and used through much of her pregnancy (not knowing she was pregnant), and then quit cold turkey the day she found she was expecting. And she placed her baby, and then changed her mind in time and parented. And she is CLEAN and a GOOD MOM.
    Who gets too decide who’s “too drug addicted” to recover, anyway?
    And who’s going to honestly work at eliminating poverty, if we’re convinced it will always exist?
    I just find this king of thinking very disheartening, very unfair to individuals and their resilience, and awfully cynical.

  2. I am the eternal optimist (despite what some people may think, LOL), and it actually really bothers me that people go around saying “There will always be people too drug-addicted, too much poverty, blah blah blah.” Really, isn’t that rather a defeatist attitude? It reminds me of what our mental health system currently says, which is, “Some people are just too sick to ever recover.” Well for heaven’s sake, how on earth will we ever know if you’ve already written them off?
    And I’m not naive, I realize the horrible realities of the world. Abusive parents… yeah, I don’t know if that one will ever ever get solved. And the others… right, if they ever get solved, we’re talking like a million years from now. I get that.
    But still. Poverty? Drug addiction? Those are illnesses. Illnesses and not hopelessly terminal ones, either. And nonterminal illnesses can be cured.
    Erin at Seriously? was matched with an expectant mom who was a hard-core heroin addict and used through much of her pregnancy (not knowing she was pregnant), and then quit cold turkey the day she found she was expecting. And she placed her baby, and then changed her mind in time and parented. And she is CLEAN and a GOOD MOM.
    Who gets too decide who’s “too drug addicted” to recover, anyway?
    And who’s going to honestly work at eliminating poverty, if we’re convinced it will always exist?
    I just find this king of thinking very disheartening, very unfair to individuals and their resilience, awfully cynical, and quite possibly detrimental to social and individual progress.

  3. I am the eternal optimist (despite what some people may think), and it actually bothers me that people go around saying “There will always be people too drug-addicted, too much poverty, blah blah blah.” Really, isn’t that rather a defeatist attitude? It reminds me of what our mental health system currently says, which is, “Some people are just too sick to ever recover.” Well for heaven’s sake, how on earth will we ever know if you’ve already written them off?
    And I’m not naive, I realize the horrible realities of the world. Abusive parents… yeah, I don’t know if that one will ever ever get solved. And the others… right, if they ever get solved, we’re talking like a million years from now. I get that.
    But still. Poverty? Drug addiction? Those are illnesses. Illnesses and not hopelessly terminal ones, either. And nonterminal illnesses can be cured.
    Erin at Seriously was matched with an expectant mom who was a hard-core heroin addict and used through much of her pregnancy (not knowing she was pregnant), and then quit cold turkey the day she found she was expecting. And she placed her baby, and then changed her mind in time and parented. And she is CLEAN and a GOOD MOM.
    Who gets too decide who’s “too drug addicted” to recover, anyway?
    And who’s going to honestly work at eliminating poverty, if we’re convinced it will always exist?
    I just find this king of thinking very disheartening, very unfair to individuals and their resilience, awfully cynical, and quite possibly detrimental to social and individual progress.

  4. Do you ever wonder why the adoption industry and the church are such natural allies? I would not presume to reduce that complex relationship to a single dimension, but check it out. The church conditions people to rely on authority rather than reason. Credibility goes with position. People with agendas that rely on faith-based assumptions and lightly-questioned authorities need look no further to find rich soil in which to seed bad ideas.
    Young single mothers have no position in life yet, no degrees, and no institutional recognition. Not the kind of person these people are used to listening to. But tack a Rev. or Doctorate in Divinity onto the name and you’ve got clout. Never mind that while the young mothers in question lack information, the would-be authorities are brimming with misinformation, myth and nonsense.
    And here you are, Suz, throwing out facts to this crowd. Very annoying of you. Bravo.

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