Quid Pro Quo

"Relationships based on obligation lack dignity.” – Wayne Dyer

He was angry at me. I could tell. He disagreed with my statement and my experience flew in the face of his attitude with an angry rage.

I did not care. He was wrong. He knew it. He was angry at me because sharing my experience garnered support from the rest of the session attendees and made him look like a selfish cretin.

The topic?

Paying for the expenses of an expectant mother prior to surrender.

I emphatically disagreed and said so.  Never, ever, in my opinion, should the expenses of an expectant mother be paid for by prospective adopters or the agency.

I am not suggesting NO ONE should pay those expenses. That would be plain silly. If a mother is unable to obtain payment for proper medical care for her and her unborn child, someone should surely help her. Her family,  the father, the state welfare system, etc. But it should never be the adopters or the agency.

Doing so creates a sense of obligation and is, in my opinion, a prime example of coercion and what is wrong with our adoption system.

So he continued…

“I have a real problem with you suggesting I should not be paying expenses so that my child gets proper care in utero”

I really had to hold back my laughter. Did he hear himself?

Most of the people in the room heard the flaw in his argument.  Was I going to counter?

I had to.

“Well, see, until that child is born and surrendered by his or her mother it is NOT YOUR child.”

He looked at me like I was an idiot. It was clear he could not grasp the concept.

“Let me ask you” I suggested “If that mother had NO intent of surrendering her child, better yet, if she was going to give it to another adopter, would you still be paying for her expenses?”

“Well, uh,…” he stammered.

He realized I had trapped him in his own ignorance. He was drowning in it.

At that point the moderator had to cease the session.

But I made my point.

And he knew it.

5 Thoughts.

  1. Bra-VO!!!!!
    It’s so simple, yet unbelievable how many prospective adoptive parents just don’t get it. I am so glad you had a chance to drive the point home with the people in that session!!!

  2. I so agree Suz. In my first adoption, I was so naive, and as soon as the adoption was done, I saw the huge mistake that was made by this agency…how coercive it was, how wrong it was. The agency I used set it up nicely (in their opinion), we don’t pay unless she relinquishes…which in some ways was a bit better, but NOT ok. At time of relinquishment, she had the choice of placing and getting the money needed to pay her back rent for the past 2 months, or not placing and being evicted with her other 6 kids she was parenting. This is coercive and wrong, and I am ashamed to have been part of it. I am smarter now, and I talk about the issue of expenses all the time now. There has to be a better way. I’d love to hear your ideas of how it could be set up differently. I have a few of my own as well.

  3. I paid my own hospital bills – and the social workers STILL thought I owed them!!
    How stupid is that!

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