Saturday, September 09, 2006

On the b-word again: the argument for "reaching out to adoptive moms too..."

This comment was posted, by a mother whom i highly respect, "If we ever expect to change adoption, we need to find ways to reach adoptive moms too ...." Unfortunately, I must respectfully disagree with her. I especially do not believe that must denigrate ourselves by calling ourselves "birthmothers" in order to reach out to adoptive parents, or even that reaching out to them will succeed in changing adoption in the first place.

First, gentle reader, a few analogies: My guess is that enslaved African-Americans never said to their brothers and sisters, "If we expect to change slavery, we need to find way to reach slave owners too. Like it or not, they have a lot of power." Or followed it up with "So we can't go around calling ourselves 'people.'"

Because being a mother is like being a person. It recognizes you a human being. Right now, adopters only are happy when we choose to define ourselves as organs of reproduction, a.k.a. "birthmothers."

Another analogy: What if victims of rape were labelled "vagina-women" by the courts, the rapists, and society? What if they decided they needed to get the support of rapists in order to effect change? if once you got raped, you were no longer a woman but were a "vagina woman"? Yes this analogy is gruesome, but it is the same type of analogy as between "mother" and "birthmother." With the term "birthmother" you are reduced to being a body part. In this case, a uterus and birth canal. in the case of rape, a vagina.

I do not wish the support of my rapist. She has none of my best interests at heart. She wanted my baby and that is why I lost my baby, because I was powerless to stop the system she had hired.

NOT ALL adoptive parents fit this analogy, but it is a very rare few that see us as being human beings and not just the means to producing a baby. Those that acknowledge that I am still a mother and not a "birth mother" (with or without a space it makes no difference), i respect them also. Because the term "birth[ ]mother" reduces a human being to being a bodily function, to not have a role in the life of her child other than gestation and delivery.

Read any article on "Positive Adoption Language" and you'll see how they differentiate between "birth mothers" and mothers.

As well, adoptive parents have a very large and powerful and wellfunded lobby group that they are involved in: it is called the NCFA and is comprised of baby brokers and adopters. They have come together to form other groups as well to reform adoption. These legislative reforms (below) are what they lobby for and have lobbied for in the past as a socio-demographic group:
  • Lower adoption agency fees to make adoption more affordable
  • More private adoptions so that there is a larger chance of them obtaining a baby than being stuck on an agency waiting list.
  • Shortening and eliminating "revokation periods" that the mother is allowed to "change her mind" after signing surrender papers.
  • "Pre-birth consents" that eliminate a mother's right to make a decision about adoption after her child is a reality, in her arms.
  • Shortening and eliminating "waiting periods" that give a mother a chance to (theoretically) recover after her child is born before she has papers shoved into her face to sign.
  • Using "Positive Adoption Language" in legislation to further dehumanize us.
Will people who are involved in this ever listen to us? Will we ever be able to "convince them" to see our point of view? I highly doubt it. No, because we are at odds. We want our children. They want our children. They want adoption to "build" them a family as similar as possible to a natural family, ignoring all the differences.

Like the slave owners above, they have all the power and everything going for them and no reason to change. There is nothing though that prevents those with a heart from becoming "former adoptive parents" in the same way that slave owners often voluntarily released their slaves. Often people do things without realizing that another group has been seriously violated and traumatized and abused in the process. Adoption is one of these instances. It is possible for people to recognize their role, however indirect, in this abuse. Wipe the slate clean. help the natural family reunite, repair, and rebuild. And sue the pants off of the adoption agency that lied through its teeth about "forever families," "As If Born To," and the "lifetime guarantee" that the adoptee will never search or reunite or want 4 parents in their lives. Because that is where the information was ultimately held, and withheld, while babies were sold for a profit even by supposedly "nonprofit" agencies.

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