At Least She is Honest

"Honesty: The best of all the lost arts” – Mark Twain

The truth from an infertile, presumably adoptive or prospective adoptive mothers keyboard:

"Anti-adoption advocates hate infertile couples in
general, seeing us as the problem. What they fail to realize is that
many, many infertile couples have NO desire at all to adopt. For us,
adoption would only be a VERY LAST RESORT.

That’s right, birthmothers – your child would be a last resort for
us, whether you like that or not. Your child is not the great prize you
may think he is. What most of us want most is our own biological child!

Thank God for advances in reproductive medicine. IVF success rates
are improving all the time. I predict in the future there will be a lot
fewer people adopting or fostering children, because they will be able
to have their own child"

Read more at Anti-Adoption. The entire post is here.

Lori Tay might want to be careful. The Agencies that are making buckets of money off of baby selling might not appreciate her honesty.

Conversely, as a mother, I greatly appreciate it. Of course, it comes a little too late. I wish I had been told this 22 years ago.  Perhaps expectant mothers today could read this.

Furthermore, nearly every adoptive adult I know talks about being second best, KNOWING that they were their adoptive parents last choice. I am sure they appreciate that finally someone admits what they knew all along.

Seriously, Lori Tay, honesty is the best policy. Kudos to you for having the gonads to say what so many adoptive parents avoid like the plague.

18 Thoughts.

  1. I wonder if that’s her real name. I also wonder if she had any idea how much attention that statement was going to get.

  2. Sad but rings all too true. I always cringe when I hear of people adopting cuz they “can’t have a baby of their own.” However don’t forget that there are lots of people out there who adopt for reasons having nothing to do with infertility! I kinda think that’s the point she was trying to make – to shift some of the blame for adoption industry problems from infertile couples perceived of as baby hungry to the rest of us… – Also seems to me that while it might be great if there was less of a demand for healthy white newborns, a potential decline in the number of available foster parents shouldn’t have any upside! [I really wish there was more of a distinction in adoption talk between domestic infant, international, and foster care adoptions…seems to me many of the problems are unique to one or two of the areas so whenever that issue is criticized people from the third speak up, distracting from the issue…kinda like I’m doing now.]

  3. UGH!!! What a terrible thing to say. I simply hate the fact that someone who says things like that would be permitted to adopt. I worry about my children thinking that they are somehow less to us simply because I did not give birth to them. Oh, I am so worked up about this statement. I could go on and on but I won’t. I will just say that if someone truly feels that they want a biological child than that is what they need to go after. I love my children and I have always wanted them. I have never cared about having biological children. I never even saw a fertility specialist. I hate it when people think of an adopted child as somehow second best.

  4. me too, did she have any idea that over 150 people would visit that post today *chuckle* and there she was trying to insult, and hurt, but in the end, she looked like the idiot.

  5. To my children:
    You are not my last resort, you are the only children we could ever hope for. Sometimes I cannot remember which of you I gave birth to and which of you are adopted. We would not change our circumstances even if we could. You are completely loved and wanted.
    Anyone who feels differently should never be allowed to adopt.

  6. Ever read something and the only thing that will come out of your mouth after is WTF??????????? Ms Tay has given me one of those moments!

  7. Let me echo what one responder has said. My children, both adopted, are 100% wanted and most certainly not a second or last choice. Most any family would have gladly welcomed my children into their families with open arms. I know in my heart that their first families had to have wanted them as well. It’s impossible not to have wanted them.
    I don’t know if this Lori Tay is real or not, but if she’s real I’m praying she never really adopts.

  8. Puh-lease. Just as one happy adoptee or “at-peace” birthmom does not speak for the lot, neither does Ms. Tay speak for the hearts of adoptive parents. Everyone is taking this and running with it as if it’s the absolute truth. It’s laughable.
    Yep, she’s right – adoption was not my first choice. There are lots of things in life that don’t turn out how you expect it and you take a different second path. It does not mean the result of the journey is second best.
    And that coming from my husband who grew up as a “last resort” child.
    For us, adoption = last resort does not mean adoptee = last resort.

  9. In keeping with your Mark Twain theme, this “lady” should have thought of this one before she spoke.
    “Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
    This woman needs serious therapy!!

  10. Of course Lori Tay doesn’t speak for all adoptive or prospective adoptive parents! That is simply her point of view and an unpopular one at that, even if it is true (and I believe it is) that most — not all, mind you — a-parents would have preferred to have their “own.” The important piece is that if you decide to adopt, you adjust your attitude and never, ever, EVER make your child feel like a second choice/last resort. If you can’t, you shouldn’t adopt. (This is probably a naive question, but isn’t there some kind of psychological assessment done on potential adopters? Those I know who have adopted say the process is grueling. Or does having big bucks get you out of that?)

  11. Denise, our adoption process isn’t costing us the big bucks, but so far I can’t say I’m impressed with the homestudy portion. We have a counselor, who is lovely and tough and down-to-earth, which I appreciate. But the process itself consists of three interviews (two with partners together, one alone) + background check + about 5-6 required classes. Apparently this is more than what lots of agencies require, but I’m still kind of shocked by how not-probing the whole process is.
    Our counselor has recommended some counseling for each of us due to histories of abuse in childhood, but we don’t have to show proof that we’re getting it. We aren’t struggling emotionally with the infertility thing (it was sort of expected, and we were never invested in the bio link anyway) so I don’t know how that’s handled in terms of demonstrated resolution of infertility grief.
    In short, we may have been psychologically assessed somewhere in the process, but so far I haven’t had to fill out a bubble sheet or answer questions smacking of shrinkage. And I’m on lifelong meds! You’d figure if anyone was going to assessed for extra crazy potential, it would be people like me.

  12. Lula – I greatly appreciate your sharing and your honesty. My own agency that sold my daughter (and to all those that cringe at my use of “sold” I encourage you to read about about Seymour Kurtz) has a reputation of doing quick, short, homestudies – even by their own staff (under the guise of a false name/corporation). So yes, there are some places that feel the homestudy portion is merely a box to be checked and not a big deal. Clearly, you have experienced that as an adoptive parent.
    Interesting though whenever one questions the quality of the homestudies the PAPS scream that biological families dont have to get cleared to have kids.

  13. Suz, I want to be clear on my perception of our agency’s homestudy process vs. the quality of it, ’cause I do believe it’s much better than others I’ve heard of in terms of PAP education and grounding in “families for children, not children for families” philosophy. We’re working with an agency that has a good reputation for progressivenes and ethics (feel free to email me for more info). We started the homestudy process in… October? November? Sometime last fall, anyway. We’ve gone through it quite slowly due to a surgery and a few family & close-friend deaths, but even so I think the quickest PAPs can complete the process is around 4 months, depending on the classes (different classes are required for international vs. domestic adoption, same-race vs. transracial placement, etc.).
    I don’t feel we’ve been “fast-tracked” by the agency — I was just expecting a lot more scrutiny. To people who are not accustomed to having anyone questioning their fitness to do something they want, the process may well feel very invasive and grueling. I’ve worked in delicate areas of public health for almost 20 years now, so I’m used to everyone around me being kinda f*ked up and experienced with social services, giving end and/or receiving end.
    Honestly, I’m not sure what it would take to leave me feeling like I’d been “properly” evaluated as a PAP, given how uncomfortable I feel with the notion that the State is declaring me fit to parent simply because I don’t have a criminal record and an agency is willing to vouch for me.

  14. Just to add to the psych evaluation question. My homestudy was done in a month. Well, no that is not entirely true. It took a month for the homestudy counselor to finish our homestudy. It took a month after that for them to work out their contract with our placing agency before we could get our homestudy. Now, it was my second one with this agency, so that made it go faster and so did the fact that being in childcare my criminal and child abuse clearances were already recent and clear. However, if I thought like that woman thinks they would have no idea.
    I agree that any fool, with any crazy idea on child rearing who can get pregnant has no scrutiny as to whether they should raise their child. I am not screaming that I should not have been scrutinized, that is not my point. I know why people get upset. Some people with silly youthful mistakes are kept from adopting while all over the country women and men raise children in horrible conditions. (Disclaimer – I am not talking about birthmothers and whether they should have kept their children I am saying that plenty of people who get pregnant and have children are no good at it.) But I do wish that the biology issue was something that was dealt with. I hate to think that people are raising children to know they were unwanted. How awful that is for the child.

  15. I absolutely respect Lori Tay’s honesty, but just want to say this – pasting the comment I left at the other blog if that’s OK:
    Just one a-mom’s point of view here.
    I came to adoption as an infertile woman, and you are correct that adoption wasn’t the first choice I made in attempting to parent. But I can assure you with absolutely, 100% certainty that there is nothing simmering below the surface of my love for my children.
    I don’t claim them as replacements for the children I couldn’t conceive, I love and respect them for the individuals they are, with parents who gave them life and talent, and families they have a right to know.
    In saying this, I don’t debate the rightness or wrongness of adoption, nor do I dispute what Lori says. She has tremendous courage to express her thoughts. I simply want to make the point that I love my kids beyond reason.

  16. I think Loris comments are indicative of a certain group of adoptive parents. We can’t all be put in the same basket – just like bio moms can’t either.
    What is to say that an adoptive family might have ended up having bio children and adopting still.
    I see it as more of a journey, we made a stop, it didn’t work out. We make another stop and it worked out. We’ve all thought stops along the way were a good idea but something else ended up being better.
    Say we fell in love with a guy that we wanted to marry very much. You get married but things fall apart. You divorce but you find someone else you love just as much and you have a wonderful fantastic 2nd marriage. Does that mean the 2nd marriage is worth less? Are you the person you are meant to be because of what you learned along this path?
    I don’t deny the idea of loss playing a role in adoption. I went to therapy for awhile before adopting because I wanted to make sure I was ready to adopt. My daughter goes to therapy to help deal with some issues from before her adoption. I don’t have illusions but I also think that adoption can work and can be done with dignity, honesty and ethical actions.

  17. oh and just as a follow up – we did have an ethical adoption.
    We have an open adoption, our child actually knows more of her birthfamily now that she did before she came to us. They all have our home number and address, some of them have stayed at our house and had the chance to spend time with her alone, outside the house.
    We have her original birth certificate, which I had to hustle to get for her. We’ve worked hard to get her other adopted sister’s family to be more open and honest as well.
    No secrets.
    I think that our therapy, our feelings that this wasn’t a last resort has allowed us to feel more flexible about things. We aren’t grasping for something that we have to hold onto desperately.

  18. Hey, Suz, re-reading the comments here, and wanted to add a thought about homestudies.
    I’ve always been struck – not positively, either – by prospective a-parent protests about the scrutiny of a homestudy. I think that some of it comes from attitudes within the infertile support community, which in my experience send the message that adoption is another “treatment” and “solution” for infertility. It’s very seductive, and for some the result is a real adversion to the homestudy.
    I’ve been far away from Resolve for 20 years, but am writing an article in June for the DC Resolve newsletter, and boy will I be talking about this

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