Nearly every adoption blogger I know is writing about the adoptive mother that returned her adopted son to Russia by putting him on a plane alone.  I wont comment much or share much as there are writers, bloggers, activists far more educated on the matter than I am. You can hunt them up.  (You could also start here).

What I will say is what annoys me, again, about this situation (for it is not the first to occur by any means) is that I am not surprised at the least and I am too confident it will happen again.

Was this adoptive mothers behavior situational or dispositional? Did she just invent a brand new crime or is she living what she has been taught by a society that finds her actions acceptable?

I believe too many people will view it  as dispositional and view her as the single solitary evil doer in this scenario.  Americans will gasp and shriek and say “I would never do that” and in their next breath they will suggest to a young mother that she should give up her child to strangers.

At its core, how is THAT any different from what the adoptive mother did? Why do we condone, encourage even, that a  mother, three days post partum, hand her newborn over to strangers and walk away yet we find horror in this adoptive mother putting her adopted son on a plane alone bound for parts unknown?

By no means do I wish to downplay the horror experienced by this child. Rather what I want to highlight is that this is just a deeper shade of the black.  A more bitter tasting sip of the same adoption koolaid. Someone forgot the extra scoop of sugar. Oh, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah.

Each one of us  (and I include myself here) that has ever thought or endorsed current adoption policy as a good thing is complicit in this woman’s actions. Every time we congratulate a new adoptive mother on her recently acquired bundle of joy we are contributing to the problem. Every time we tell an infertile couple they can “just adopt” we feed the machine that put that boy on the plane to Russia.  Every day that goes by that we do nothing about sealed records and closed adoptions and renaming and “as if born to” we are fortifying the very things which we proclaim to be disgusted by.

Where are the pro-lifers here? Why aren’t they screeching?  If this adoption, like so many, was ever thought to be a”paper pregnancy” then I believe this mother just had a late term abortion.

I am disgusted, yes. I feel for that poor child, his original family, but I also feel for the legions of mothers and children yet to be afflicted with the  disease we call adoption.

We need to look beyond this one mothers crimes and look at the system as a whole, piece by piece. Keep what is good and what works but throw out and never replace what is broken.

This mother will be forgotten in a few weeks. The hubbub will quiet down and the sickness will continue to spread across America.

None of us is immune. Not me (clearly), not you, not your daughter or your son.

The next abandoned child could be one of yours.  Which adoption plane will he or she be put on?

8 Thoughts.

  1. This is what surprised me about the YouTube Video you posted. It seemed to focus on what are the problems with the process without asking should there be a process. Don’t ask how but why?

  2. “We need to look beyond this one mothers crimes and look at the system as a whole, piece by piece. Keep what is good and what works but throw out and never replace what is broken.”

    I wish we had a magic wand to wave over it all and make it right. It frightens me how much needs to change, yet how little seems to change as time goes on.

  3. I see the situations as different, but I totally understand the sentiment. This woman CHOSE to adopt that child. The only issue I see with what you said is that a woman who places her biological child at birth is often operating under pressure from accidental circumstances. She doesn’t feel she has a choice, and falls for all the adoption industry bullshit about doing the best thing for her child. This woman, if we can even call her that, chose to adopt and love a child who for all intensive purposes was an orphan. She took him in, made a legal and emotional agreement to love and care for him, and then carelessly put that boy on a plane when she felt that the deal wasn’t quite good enough for her anymore. I understand that these non infant international adoptions often involve children with substantial health or emotional issues, but that’s not excuse to put the kid alone on the first plane to Russia.

    Unless the insinuation is that mothers who place at birth do so in the same cowardly and irresponsible manner as this woman (which I dont think is true), then I don’t think the situations are quite comparable. I think the public is reacting in the way the public typically reacts. They would have the same sentiments if a biological mother of an 8 year old child just dropped him off at the hospital he was born in one day because he was a handful. The general public doesn’t equate newborn adoption in the same way. For all intensive purposes, placing at birth is the decision (I use the term loosely) to not parent. Whereas this woman chickened out and fucked up AFTER she had already made the commitment. Knowingly and purposefully. She owed that child something, and she fucked it up. Getting pregnant does not always mean a commitment to out-of-the-womb parenting, and therefore placing for adoption does not mean that they are violating some already predetermined agreement of trust and caregiving.At least not any legal sense. This woman is a failure of an adoptive mother. She has failed that child. I don’t think its the same because I dont think women who place infants are failures as mothers.

    Does that make any sense? I see what you mean in that it’s ironic that we as a society encourage women to place tiny infants but not to send back 8 year old kids. As if only some motherhoods “count”- you know? But adoption, to the general public, is not going to be seen as a bad thing. Not in my opinion.. not ever. It’s one of the only things in the entire world I think that people insist they could never do themselves, but praise when it’s someone else. The idea of placing their OWN children horrifies everyone, but when someone else does it, they figure that the woman placing her child is different in some way and thus it makes it OK for her. Ugh…….

    Anyway, interesting point!

  4. “Why do we condone, encourage even, that a mother, three days post partum, hand her newborn over to strangers and walk away yet we find horror in this adoptive mother putting her adopted son on a plane alone bound for parts unknown?”

    Because the idea is that a mother who is handing over her child either:

    A) Doesn’t “love him/her enough” to keep the child or
    B) Loves him/her SOOOO much she is making the ultimate sacrifice and besides, the adoptive parents will “pick up the pieces!”

  5. I am probably the only blogger who touches on adoption who has not posted something about this. But I will. I have to. My audience is more general and they, the more general public, need to know about this atrocity, to stop thinking that adoption is all hearts and flowers. It makes me sick. And not just foreign adoptions result in “returns” (like someone bought a dress or shoes they don’t like after all), It happens domestically as well. As if the children are commodities that did not “meet my expectations!” What about those who are biological? They don’t always meet our expectations. Is there a place to return them? Uhhhh, no! I’m so mad right now that I can’t see straight…

    • Denise – Ah, but you must not be familiar with things like the Nebraska Baby Dumps. Here in the US we do indeed allow biological parents to just dump off their child. Check out Bastardettes blog for more details.

  6. Suz – I had a similar response about abandonment in general. In this adoption culture, we teach our children that mothers who abandon their children are doing so out of love, wanting a better life for them. I disagree that adoption is a disease in this culture. The problem begins with mother who are unable to parent their children. Adoption has its many faces, both good and bad, but the root problem remains the same. Abandonment. Relinquishment. Rejection. I’ve been forming thblog post in my head for days, just can’t seem to do it. Perhaps a little too close to home, on several levels. BTW, nice to “meet” you! – through Margie’s blog. Thank you for your passion and thoughts. ~Raina

    • Hi Raina. Thanks for the visit. I am frustrated (obviously) that so many people are so shocked and surprised by this as if it something new to adoption. Not only has it happened before, but we continue to tell expectant mothers every day to do the same (only we have prettier words for it).

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