WTF? – Me
Margie and covered quite a bit of material in our presentation and shared condensed versions of our individual adoption stories.
I listened the audio recording after the fact and found myself rather pleased. I was concerned I would violate my daughters privacy, say something she might not like (how I would know what she would like is beyond me and yet I worry), or in general, sound like an idiot.
I did not.
As I cleared my desk at home last night I picked up a printed copy of our presentation. I sat at my desk chair and reflected on the material.
I continue to be struck by certain painfully obvious differences in what Margie was told or prepared for and what I was.
The following is what I read about adoption, what I signed, what I walked away with.
- Final & Irrevocable Surrender for Adoption – A single piece of paper typed in courier font with the agency name and address at the top. The document was not notarized and was witnessed only by my mother and the agency caseworker.
I read nothing in advance of surrendering my daughter. I did not research adoption and its effects. I did not attend a support group. I did not discuss with my family or friends. I never saw a single legal statute or document that explained the legal process. I read and signed one document and then left my baby girl to strangers. Society and the church and my parents and the agency and the prospective adopters applauded this ignorance and stupidity. They blessed it and said it was a good thing. A selfless act. (Um, no. Not in the least bit).
The following is what Margie read about adoption, what she signed and what she kept.
- Statement of acceptance
- Affidavit of support
- Statement of adoption
- Statement of acceptance of special medical needs
- Placement agreement
- Criminal history record request
- Petition for adoption
- Order of reference
- Final order of adoption
- Naturalization paperwork
Does this seem a bit oh, OFF, to you?
It should be noted that the Margies children were adopted internationally and my surrender was domestic. Even still, LOOK at the list of documents she read and had prepared and was able to keep in comparison to what I read, signed, kept. I suspect anyone who adopted domestically probably had some semblance of Margie’s experience.
I see a little bit of a problem here, don’t you? All the information shared, signed and reviewed with Margie was for the expressed purpose of proving her capable of parenting someone elses child. Nothing was shared with me to parent my own. More importantly, nothing was shared with me regarding the legal process, the emotional trauma or the life long effects adoption would have on me and my first born child, let alone my extended family and future children.
To make this more interesting, lets look at whom Margie, as prospective adoptive parent, had supporting her.
- Social Worker
- Support groups
- Fertility doctors
- Other families who had adopted
- Immediate family
- Extended family
- Books and magazines
Curious who advised me? Who supported me? Who told me about the adoption process and related information?
- Caseworker – Full time employee of agency that would profit from the sale of my child, Credentials unknown, present with me in labor and delivery, the same person who reminded me my parents would be sued if I did not give up my child.
A tad bit wonky, no?