Monday, August 18, 2008

Responding in Kind

Ah, the internet.  The home of more inaccurate and spurious opinions and badly-stated personal manifestos than any twelve survivalist compounds could read in many lifetimes.  And now, I've found a whole webring of sites I wished had never burned holes in my retinas.  I knew that, when starting the adoption process, we would be forced to listen to opinions on co-sleeping and international vs. domestic adoptions as well as be an unwitting audience to horror stories of adoptions gone wrong.  What I didn't expect, but should have, was the huge number of websites dedicated to the desire to abolish adoption, and that any search for information regarding adoption would lead me to these innocuously named sites.  

These pages forward the opinions that every pregnant woman should parent, that adoptive parents are thieves, that agencies are human traffickers, that all adoptive children end up abused and suicidal and that these same children will never lead full and successful lives until they are reunited with their "real" parents.  And, I'm reading this all while starting to write our introductory letter to potential birth parents.  

I admit that I did write the webmaster/founder of one such website.  She did not quote one documentable source, one article or book published in the last fifty years, one traceable researcher or research project or any opinion that wasn't proffered by a frequent visitor of the website, to substantiate her raison d'etre.  Her primary sources seem to be those who found her site by searching for the best way to treat young, pregnant, frightened women like their choices are not their own, that because one woman was victimized by whatever unscrupulous individuals coerced her to surrender her child, all women who choose an adoptive family for their child are victimized.  

It's no wonder girls are confused.  They are being told that the sex is wicked and evil but that they should never think of or use contraception as it's going against God's will.  However, if they do get pregnant, their choices are limited to none, not even the choice to decide that their child might just have a better future with a family who not only wants that child, but can provide for and love him or her.

So, how do we know that the birthmother who chooses us is doing so with proper counseling and forethought?  How do we know that both of the birthparents are mature enough to make a decision like this?  I know that this is why we use an agency, why counseling is mandatory for any birth mother through that agency.  It's also why open adoption plans are vital, which I understand now, so the birth mother can continue to have contact with her child, if she wishes it, and know her child is loved and healthy and successful.  It will also enable parents to ensure that their child doesn't feel as though they are separated from their past.  I sincerely hope we are up to this, and that we and our child can make the relationship with the birthmother work, so we can all be the best family possible.  

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