27 February 2009

The case against Adoption: an Introduction

For the past decade, I have often been asked why anyone would be against adoption. Why would anyone seek to put an end to a 'beautiful way to form a family'? Why would anyone want to prevent infertile couples from having the children they so desire?

Indeed, why would they? Has anyone, in their rush to defend adoption and its so called 'virtues', stopped and asked themselves why there is a growing number of people across the globe who are against adoption? If it was so 'beautiful' and loving, why would intelligent people seek to eradicate it? Why? There is always a reason.

Once, eons ago, Adoption had its place in society. It is not a new law. It has been around since Biblical times. However, in Biblical times, adoption was not used for infants to be placed into a stranger's home. Adoption was used primarily for adults in order to pass on inheritances or for succession purposes. Then, in later eras, adoption was seen as a way for orphans to have a home, a family and a chance of inheritance. It was about providing a family to those who had NONE, not to replace a family that already existed.

The adoption of infants is relatively new. This came about when Society deemed a child born out of wedlock was an embarrassment, a family shame, a child of no one and given no rights. Adoption in this era meant that a child could, supposedly, erase this 'stain' and become a 'normal' member of society with all the same rights and privileges of a non-adopted person.

Over the last century however, somewhere along the line, Adoption ceased to be about the children. The truth about Adoption and its hidden realities is being revealed and what is emerging is not a pretty picture.

While on the surface, Adoption poses as a loving option for so called 'abandoned' children, the reality is that adoption, particularly infant adoption, is about providing children for couples who cannot have them naturally.

What is wrong with that you say? What do I have against infertile couples?

Okay, one thing I need to make very clear, I have nothing against people who are unable to have children. In fact, I feel very sad for those who are infertile. It is a tragedy and a massive loss, one which needs time to grieve.

However, I do not see how creating MORE loss helps this first loss. I cannot see how taking a mother's baby and transferring that child to a woman who is really just a stranger, can solve anything. What I DO see, is more pain being created, more anguish and a tragedy of monumental proportions.

Adoption as it is practised today has become about lies and secrets. Pain. Loss. Misplaced families of which the effect travels down through the generations. Why does an adopted person need two birth certificates? Why does a baby with a name need a new name? Why does a mother need to lose her baby when all she needs is some support? Why does a child need to lose their family to fill the needs of a stranger's family? This is not a pet or a doll we are talking about but a real human being who has feelings, a personality they are born with, a bond to the mother in whom they grew inside for 40 weeks.

Adoption devalues a person's basic right to their family of origin. It has become, in some countries, a mere business venture where a baby is not seen as a person but a product. Prices are attached to a child's head based on their sex, race, skin colour and dressed to look as if the prices are merely fees. Some places offer education, the chance to further one's career in exchange for a child. To the general public, these situations might seem innocent but please do not be fooled. It is all to further the mighty advancement of one's wealth and there is nothing compassionate or loving in selling a child.

Open Adoption is another lie. It promises contact and updates of a child's life to the mother but is not bound by law meaning it is frequently a broken promise and in some cases a bold faced lie. Open Adoption is a new lure to coerce mothers to place their babies for adoption. In some places this is known as 'assisting a mother to make an adoption plan'. And the worst thing? Those who encourage 'Open' adoption KNOW it is a farce and that it can never be enforced.

The need for adoption in an age where secrecy and lies are seen as no longer acceptable, has come to an end. As humans, are we not creative or intelligent enough to come up with a plan that offers stability to a child who needs care outside of their family of Origin? I believe we are, we just need to cease looking at what children can do for the adults and see what we can do for the children. After all, whose needs are we supposed to be looking out for? Whose best interests and welfare are we serving when a young mother is pressured to part with her baby simply to fulfil another's desires? It certainly isn't the child's or mother's.

Research into the effects of severing a child from their mother have shown the lifelong damage it causes to both child and mother. The sad thing is this research and its knowledge was known as far back as 1943 and has been ignored.

Whilst I have merely skimmed the surface in this post about the need to eradicate adoption, there is much, much more to it than this. I have simplified and generalised a very controversial and emotive topic. But given the fact it is so very controversial and the fact there are serious doubts and misgivings as to how adoption actually helps in today's world, that in itself suggests at the very least it needs to be completely overhauled, or better still abolished. As all things in life come to an end, it is time the era of Adoption did as well and we put the focus back on doing what is right for the child and family. It is time the needs and wants of adults were put aside and as a global community we work on building what we have, the families Nature has created. Where it is sadly necessary for children to be cared for by others, lets not apply the guillotine of adoption but find a kinder, nurturing way to keep as much of a child's identity intact.

In short, let us practise what we preach about love, compassion, human rights, dignity, honour etc. Instead of tearing families apart, we need to join these families and be the village that is needed to raise a child.


  1. Myst,
    This is my first visit to your blog. I am impressed and look forward to reading more.

  2. Hi Myst,

  3. I do have a question for you. What say you about children placed for adoption out of foster care? What about children who were abused by their family of origin and had to be removed for their safety, who are eventually adopted by a family, whether infertile or not?

  4. What do you think about mothers who really WANT to give their children up for adoption?? I know a girl, her entire family was against her giving her baby up, her mother even kicked her out of the house for doing it, and yet she remained that it was the right thing for her and her baby.

  5. Anon, just because the mother is not smart enough to see the adoption would damage her child doesn't make adoption right. You really need to see the bigger picture and not listen to the drivel you read in the media about how wonderful adoption is.

    Your story about the mother WANTING to give a child away just shows the mother is uneduated and needs a wake up call... doesn't mean adoption is right.

  6. Hi! I know this post is a year old but if you're still reading these comments, I am very curious about something...

    (Great post by the way...very thought provoking and I agree with almost everything you said!)

    My question is...in the comment above, you say that you don't think ANY type of adoption is okay. It seems like you're only really addressing the "industry" of domestic adoption.

    Right now, my husband and I are in the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Currently there are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia, and, of course, many million more in other countries! Most of them are true orphans...their families have passed away.

    If they are not adopted into loving homes, they will be forced to spend their entire childhoods institutionalized! To deny these children a chance at having a family at all seems absurd!

    I am just curious what you think about this?

  7. Hi Rebekka,

    Just saw you left this here as well. I answered your question in the comments section of the another post as I didn't realise you had commented here too... hope you see it.


  8. Hi Myst,
    I am just reaserching the meaning of family and such for a school project and came across your blog.
    Very interesting things you bring up about adoption (which is one of the points I am making)
    I know you think that all adoption is bad, and I can understand that after reading through what you have said, but whay about a child pregnancy? A dumb 15 year old has gotten herself pregnant, and can't actually face the idea of abortion, but knows that she herself would be unable to adequatly care for the child. She doesn't even really want a child, she was just being an irresponsible teenager, and became pregnant. How would you feel about it then? (Completely hypothetical situation by the way! I saw the movie Juno)

  9. Hi Guardian :) Thanks for popping by. Even in the situation you mentioned I don't agree with adoption because the child is still having his/her identity guillotined and replaced with a falsehood (the essence of adoption legislation: a child is recognised in law as if born to the adoptive couple which of course it isn't and even reflects this in the birth certificate thus falsifying a legal document)

    I know these situations happen and I understand it is far from ideal however, if people truly want to do the right thing then why not take both mother and child in and help her by allowing her to finish school as well as accepting her responsibility? Sadly these situations result from poor information about sex - 15 year olds simply should not be having sex and nor would they be if they had better self respect, confidence in who they are, knowledge about what it means to be in a sexual relationship etc. I have known girls who have lost their children at 15/16 and it has destroyed them; adoption hasn't helped at ALL so really there needs to be another alternative. And to the baby, as long as he/she is fed, clothed and loved, they don't care as long as they are with their mothers. Children don't NEED all the modern trappings and flashy things society desires for them to have. What a child NEEDS is their family they were born to, a loving home, to be fed and clothed and to receive an education. There are people the world over giving this to their children without modern trappings and they are raising resilient human beings. And so in the same vein, they don't need strangers who can offer them all the wants and not their families. I have met young girls who I have offered to take in or help by looking after their child while they finish school. So far this has not been necessary as either baby has been miscarried or family has stepped in but this is a much better alternative than to strip a child of their family tree, their mother and hand them to strangers who may love them but know nothing about them. Adoption was made for adults by adults to satisfy adult needs therefore it is not in a child's best interests or welfare because it is not child centred.
    I don't blame people for wanting to adopt... I used to once upon a time when I thought adoption was something altruistic however the reality is in adopting a child, it means loss for another family and the child. Loss is inescapable no matter what way you look at it. And anything that causes and has caused as much heartbreak and agony adoption has is not good. Th
    Myst :)

  10. Oh Guardian, as you said this was for a school project, can I suggest some books for you to look at? One is well known in adopto land and is called "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier. The information about child/mother separation is very well researched and applies to other situations as well. Another series of books you may want to look at are by Betty Jean Lifton who is an adopted adult and explains very well the adoptee perspective.

    Another thing I would say, is that while I don't agree with adoption due to its legal standpoint and history, I am in favour of an Australian law known as permanent care which means a child goes to a family like in adoption but they remain the legal child of their parents. In this way, a child in an abusive/unsafe situation is taken care of (I never advocate for children to stay within abusive homes no matter what) whilst remaining their connection to their families of origin. Children are not pawns to be played with, sold, fought over. They are people with rights and personalities and the continuation of their heritage. One must always remove a child from his/her family with the utmost caution because in doing so we are changing the history of humankind itself. Adoption interferes with what is natural; Permanent Care offers most of what adoption offers without removing a child's right to their heritage and identity.

  11. Hi there
    Although I gather you are against adoption, and with valid reasons, I would also like you to know that there are happy endings out there, believe it or not. My twin and I were adopted at birth. The decision to adopt was made by my birth mother prior to our birth, although of course, she could not consent until 10 days after. I have not lost my heritage. I know who my birth mother is and I have met her. I also know who my birth father is, and what he was like. My birth mother, to this day, does not regret giving us up, and my relationship with her was actually encouraged by my parents. Not all adoptive parents shut out the birth mother. I would just like you to know that some women do not want to be mothers, and my birth mother didn't, nor did her parents want to care for us either.

    My parents are wonderful people whom I feel truly blessed to have, but I also feel blessed that my birth mother made this decision, as she could not care for us. I just don't want you to paint a picture that adoptive parents are not nice to the birth parents. Nor has my 'identity' been guillotined. There are qualities in me that come from my birth parents, and from my parents and I appreciate both.

    We have lots of family friends, and I also have friends who are adopted, and all their stories, are happy ones like mine. I don't say this because I'm brainwashed by my adoptive parents. I know my birth mother, and we all know, me, my twin, my birth mother, and my parents, that this was the right decision for us all.

    I appreciate that adoption can be mishandled, and I do think you have valid points, absolutely, but I also just want to tell you all, that it can be a positive thing too, in the right circumstances.

    Thanks for letting me have my say

  12. Hi Penny,

    I am happy for you that your story is one of those rare happy stories. But I just want to point out that regardless of whether or not there is a positive ending to adoption stories is kind of a moot point. At the end of the day, a 'happy' ending doesn't make adoption right. And yes, your identity under the law HAS been guillotined because you are the child of your adoptive parents and under the law, strangers to your family.

    Adoption is wrong. If you had been raised by your adoptive parents under a different system that hadn't changed your name and identity under the law I would be more comfortable however, adoption for what it is and does and the lies it manifests in the legal system is morally and ethically wrong. And a happy story does not make up for the hundreds and thousands of people who have been damaged by this barbaric practise.


  13. hey myst
    i was just wondering if the babies parents die and there are no family members for the baby to look after, wouldnt you want him/her to be adopted and start a new life instead of living in a house full of orphans?


  14. Hello Min,

    Thank you for the question.

    As there are three points in your question I will break it up and answer each part.

    1. If a baby's or child's parents died it would be a tragedy. A very, very sad event for that family. And for there to be no other family members for that child to go to would be incredibly rare but also very sad. An enormous loss for the child in question.

    2. The answer to the adoption part is simply, no. I would not rather have that child adopted by strangers for all the reasons plus a host more of those I listed above and throughout other posts in my blog. I would certainly not want this baby/child to lose more thanks to adoption which would seek to destroy the last remnant of his/her family by stripping any legal tie between his/her family and themself.

    3. And no, I wouldn't want the child to be placed in an orphanage (which would be unlikely again in the West. Children in other countries are placed in orphanages for a variety of reasons, usually other than being an orphan. Despite the polititians doing their best to convince us otherwise, there are not as many real orphans as they would want you to believe there is.) There are always other options available if people are interested in doing the right thing. In the West, a child could go to a close family friend and be raised under the guardianship act thus being cared for and looked after whilst retaining what is left of their own family - their name and past links. In Australia there is a system known as Permananet Care where a child will be given a permanent family but not lose their heritage or name/identity.

    Hope that answers your question.


  15. "Survey OF Adoptive Parents". Bwahahahahahahaha!!! Yup, that explains it all. Myst, why are you even engaging with this dolt?

    1. Many of the statistics I drew from the survey are the product of interviewing the adoptees, such as their feelings about adoption and how often they read

    2. http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/timeline.html



      There are studies, countless studies that show the psychological damage adoption causes children. Google it.

  16. "And the Marri Study actually set out to show that adoption was the worst choice for children- and is where most of this information is from."

    REALLY? You could have fooled me. The MARRI study (which is actually a meta analysis based on a synthesis of the literature) was sponsored by the Family Research Council, hardly an unbiased group.

    from their website www.frc.org

    "Family Structure

    Family Research Council believes, and social science has now clearly demonstrated, that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage. Indeed, the data demonstrate that adults also thrive in this same family structure. Other forms of the family arise from rejection or ambivalence between the parents, before or after marriage. This may include ambivalence about marriage (cohabitation), or the rejection by one of the parents of the other, as is the case in divorce, remarried step families (where there is almost always a history of rejection for at least one of the spouses), single parenthood, or step-cohabiting parenthood.

    FRC strongly supports adoption, particularly as an alternative to abortion, single parenthood, or foster care. The purpose of adoption is not to provide children for adults who want them, but to provide for children families that give them the experience of intact married family life as much as possible. Adoption policy should therefore include a primary preference for placing children with a married mother and father as long as such are available."

  17. Nobody ever interviewed me, Cat. Is there anyone here that was interviewed for this study? Anyone? Well, my results would definitely throw your butterfly and rainbow stats into the gutter. Oh wait, here comes the "I'm sorry you had a bad life but adoption is WUNERFUL". Please, Cat, or whatever your name is. Adoption sucks @ss and your "study" is horse shit.

    1. Cat, screening doesn't mean anything. People pretty themselves up and turn out the best lies when under a microscope so screening won't pick out a child molester or an abuser. And they haven't!

      And as for that child being left in Russia - have you spoken to the mother? Have you asked her what led her to leave her child in an orphanage? How do you KNOW what really happened - were you there and saw her do it? The more you comment the more I see you have created this huge fantasy about what adoption is and you are blinded to the realites of what adoption law does to other people.

      Today you have dismissed and invalidated so many experiences that I cannot believe you are a psychologist and if you are you sure as hell should not be because you are so skewed in the way you see things. Your own issues about not being able to bear a child has totally screwed you up. I will no longer apologise for it because you know, that is how it is and you are using your pain to put down others. You have NO CLUE what it is like to carry a child, to love that child and to lose her just because of people like you. My own raised children have already had a better life than my taken child. Your stats are the most full of crap I have ever seen and simply not real stats and do not represent the real issues of adoption.

      I have tolerated your one eyed responses here and I read your comments from the place you came. You are the moron dear if you are so thick you cannot see more than your own warped twisted point of view. Children are merely objects to you and it sickens me how you use the plight of so many out there to justify getting what you want. If you really cared about children the way you claimed you do, you would be open to helping ANY CHILD no matter what but you want a baby to call your own. Well guess what, adoption doesn't make a child your own - it makes someone else's child yours through a series of lies. That is the facts. I don't give a damn if you care for that or not but that is the way it is.

      And yes the system is beyond broken - that will be evident if you are ever approved to adopt.

  18. PLEASE NOTE: In light of unnecessary comments and attacks, I have shut down comments on this post and deleted almost 80 more comments which had nothing to do with this post. As I have said previously, civil discussion would be welcome however what happened here was beyond that. Thank you to those who have commented previously and kept it civil even where you disagree. It has been most appreciated. Cheers, Myst