09 November 2009

Adoption and hypocrisy

It strikes me adoption is on a ledge all of its own. It contradicts Nature and our whole way of life and yet we, as a society embrace adoption without question.

For a while now, I have felt adoption is completely hypocritical.

In situations where “usual” emotions are applied and expected, with adoption, these normal reactions are completely disregarded and not only that, they are ridiculed.

For example, a baby whose mother dies at birth or a person who loses their parents in infancy is allowed to be given support for this loss. When they are older and should they act out, excuses are made for their behaviours such as "well she never knew her parents you know, they died when she was just a baby" or "its to be expected when one loses their parents so young".

How many times have I heard stories on the news where a child has lost one or both parents and the reaction from the community is an outpouring of grief and support. However, when an infant loses his mother through adoption everything changes. He/she is expected to be grateful and this means accepting their adoption without hesitation. They are not respected as the baby who loses their mother through death is. No, instead of excuses, if this adoptee grows up and dares to speak out against adoption and their feelings of being adopted, they are labelled angry, ungrateful and bitter. Even babies whose mothers die are still given care by either a family relative or some other carer but their grief at losing their mother is not labelled anything else other than what it is: heartbreak at losing one's world. Do Adoptees receive the support, love and understanding the other child gets? No, and yet they should for their loss is exactly the same.

There is no difference to the little baby in the way a mother is lost. To a tiny person who has known no one but his or her mother for the length of pregnancy and however long they were able to spend with her outside the womb, losing their world is still traumatising. But why does society give those babies whose mothers or parents die more respect? Why are they allowed to mourn their loss and an adoptee is not? Adoptees are people...they are the same as every individual on the face of this earth and yet they are discriminated against in so many ways. It is hypocritical to say the very least.

Then there are mothers who say and claim they lost their babies to adoption, as I did. Yet, are told we did not lose our babies. We are told, even if our babies were taken from us through government agencies, lawyers, dodgy practices or wrongfully removed by child services, that it was our choice.

Does a mother choose for her child to be kidnapped? No, of course she doesn’t and she is given support and permission to grieve her loss. Mothers, like myself, who lost their child against their will, are shunned by society. We are told it was our choice or our fault. We are told to take responsibility for our choices and not to blame anyone else because it is convenient. Yet mothers who are victims of kidnappers and even mothers who lose their children in death are not treated thus. We have no services to assist us with our grief and it is not even recognised as a need. When our babies are taken, we are literally kicked to the curb to rot. No one wants to know about us or that we even exist after that moment.

Adoption taints everything it touches. It skews the way life is perceived. In every normal situation, a baby and mother are expected to stay together. As soon as adoption is whispered near a pregnant woman who may or may not be in an unplanned situation, all of a sudden, she becomes a villain if she decides to do what nature intended her to do... keep and raise her child herself. She is torn down, mocked, scorned, told she is ruining her child’s life, she is selfish, her child was not intended for her. All because she was doing what she is supposed to do. And she receives this treatment courtesy of adoption and its thugs.

Mothers who dare to speak up about their grief and speak out against adoption, are labelled bitter and angry. We are not accorded the same respect as a normal human being; our grief is scorned and we are branded with a scarlet letter all for the sake of giving birth and wanting to keep our own children. We are not even given our correct title of "mother" something even women who have suffered the loss of a child get to hold onto (and rightly so). How hypocritical can society get?

Somehow, mothers who lose their children to adoption are cold, unfeeling and heartless. I cannot count the number of times I have been told by other women they could not cope if they parted with their babies. That it would destroy them, they wouldn't be able to live. So, because I get out of bed each day and survive, somehow I am a cold, unfeeling bitch? Who says I cope? I still have days when the world feel like it will cave in on me but in this world to which I have been cast, I have no choice. It is either die or survive here and I choose to survive. That does not mean I love my daughter less and I am so over that insinuation.

Imagine if a mother whose child was killed or kidnapped was treated in this way? Or a child who lost their parents? The outcry would be enormous yet this behaviour, this cruelty is what many of us mothers and adoptees face EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The hypocrisy in adoption is shameful. It is an excuse to treat another human being as a sewer rat. It is the same lack of respect rapists and murderers accord their victims: N.O.N.E.

I will not be quiet about this crime against me and my child. Label me bitter and angry, that doesn’t mean you are right. It is easy to box someone who makes you feel uncomfortable and that is what society does with mothers and adoptees who do not do what they are apparently supposed to do and that is stay quiet about what their feelings are of what was done to them.

It is time to challenge every thread that holds adoption together and show how rotten it really is. Ignorant, hypocritical, cruel and criminal. We as humans have a responsibility to each other to rid systems and institutions that cause more harm than good. Again, hypocritically, adoption has been not only allowed to stay, but it has been encouraged and pushed because without it, many would not get what they desire.

Adoption embodies the spirit of hypocrisy and this needs to be eradicated.

11 comments:

  1. Bravo! Amazing post!

    You hit so many great points here.

    There is another blog I stumbled onto last week through Osolomam's blog . . .

    http://austinholistic.blogspot.com/2009/11/weighing-pros-and-cons-of-adoption.html

    It goes into great detail about how adoption has evolved into what it is today and I can see where the ties in how the industry has fed the "positive" message into our society through the media and advertising and all other avenues, equate to how so many adoptees and first moms are degraded, attacked and demeaned for their feelings.

    We are the evidence to the pain and grief that society has been told doesn't exist. We are proof that there is tremendous loss in adoption and yet, the majority still fights to believe this because to do so would be taking away the "roses and sunshine" they need to believe in to justify their support of such a painful separation of mother and child.

    For many, I believe, it is easier, and serves their purpose more, to believe what the industry has pumped for so long into our society than to acknowledge the true affects adoption has on so many people. Because to do that would mean actually having to question something you have been led to believe is a wonderful, loving option for all.

    And to do that also means many would have to face the fact that their happy version of creating a family actually harms others in the process.

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  2. Thank you Cassi, so eloquently put. You are completely right of course. I know this simplifies it somewhat but to me it comes down to "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" If we are removed from the view of society they cannot see our pain. If we are shut down, labelled and boxed so our voices can be seen as insignificant, they don't have to hear the truth and if we are shunned and disregarded by society then there is no need to speak up with us and join us in our battle to remove the true evil.

    WE are seen as the evil because it is easier to deal with us in that way. Can't have the truth out there preventing a multi-billion dollar industry from prospering now can we!

    One thing I left out is that Mothers are also expected to have less emotions, less of a heart because we cope with losing our child. I am constantly told by mothers who keep their children (i.e. "normal" mothers of society) they couldn't cope if they lost their child. So what does that mean exactly? That I can cope because I lack something? I don't "cope" I survive. I have no other choice, unless I died and that would be a waste of time. I really am sick of being boxed and shoved on a shelf. The segregation in society is prominent, only most people do not realise they do it which is sad.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment :) And anyone who reads this should head over to Cassi's blog and check out her post... it is brilliant.

    Myst xxx

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  3. Hi Myst,
    I think that you are absolutely right about societies attitudes towards mothers who have lost their child to adoption. I think that very few people understand that it is possible to grieve deeply and forever for a child that is not dead. In some ways I think it's worse than if a child had died, at least there is an end.

    But as for adopted people. I think that there is more recognition of their losses, especially among younger adoptive parents in Australia- not all but quite a few. You know I have two adopted children- both adopted as older children. I have held my eldest daughter who was abandoned as she cried asking "why did they leave me?" and I've had no answers for her, could just cuddle her and cry with her, saying that it's not right and not fair. My younger daughter has an absolute facination with birth- started with animals and then morphed into human births and breastfeeding and I can see in her eyes that what she is looking for is that hole left by not having her mother- only me as a substitute. She wants what those babies in those videos have. I can't do anything about that either except love her (and probaby cry with her too when she can express herself more clearly). IMO there is nothing worse that can happen to a child than to lose their mother (through adoption, drugs, self hatred, abuse or neglect- doesn't matter what the route was to the child). I guess that my point would be that once a child has lost their mother the tragedy is only multiplied if they don't have someone else to love them and try to support them.
    Dawn

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  4. Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I understand you are very different from other adoptive parents in the way that you accept the loss in an adoptee and from our contact, I know you are alot more evolved than other adoptive parents but sadly you are one of the rare gems. I have come across so many PAP's (prospective adoptive parents) and adopters who don't accept this loss and many adoptees are labelled bitter and angry just because dare to speak up about how THEY feel about adoption. Instead of listening and seeing the issue is about the adoption factor, adoptees are told consistently and constantly to be grateful, they are lucky etc... but they do not feel that way. Their loss, unlike so many children who lose their parents through death etc, is not validated and I have seen many times where their feelings have been rubbished and ridiculed. I find this appalling. Yes, it is great they had someone to love them... but for many of them, that isn't the point.

    As Nancy Verrier says in her Primal Wound, its not that the adoptive mother is bad, its just she is the wrong mother, not the mother the child wants. In cases where abuse comes into play (and we must remember there are many different cases in adoption), it is fabulous they can go to a permanent care situation/adopted into families that will look after them (although sadly this is also not guaranteed).

    The point of my post is to highlight how we allow for people in everyday life excuses etc but as soon as adoption is thrown into the mix, everything is changed and what is normally acceptable becomes denied and ridiculed. I haven't seen adult adoptees be validated much. Mostly what I see is adoptees being boxed and labelled because they speak up. Hence this post :)


    Myst xxx

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  5. totally agree. we are expected to get on with our lives, move on and basically believe every lie we were told. thats why im on permanent disability for post traumatic stress disorder.

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  6. Dear Anon,

    I am sorry to hear that... but you are right. PTSD... so common in many people affected by adoption. Take care of yourself.

    Hugs,
    Myst xxx

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  7. Hi Myst,
    I don't think I'm that rare amongst younger adoptive parents in Australia- I have many friends that think similarly but certainly the general community doesn't get it. I have been told frequently"oh your daughter she is so lucky" and I think "What, lucky to have lost her mother, lucky to have been neglected, lucky to have had to leave her country in order to be in a family, lucky to have a disability"- You've got to be joking! People are often quite taken aback if I respond like this.
    I've also seen the adoptive parent who don't want to hear anything bad about adoption or the personal struggles that an adopted person might face. There are however some very generous adult adoptees who seek to educate parents of young adopted children about these things. I'm very grateful to such people- as I am to mothers like yourself Myst, who share of themselves.
    Dawn

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  8. Awww, thanks Dawn. I am also happy there are people like yourself who are willing to hear and learn. I think, if there were more like yourself who were open to learning and also who desire only to help children who are in need of care, then things would be very different and adoption MIGHT be okay... but I am not sold on that idea! What I would love is a system that gave children a permanent situation with openess with their first families where appropriate (obviously not where keeping contact would endanger the child's life), paperwork that is honest and doesn't face issues with government departments i.e.

    Name: as at birth - no change permitted
    Parents: the ones they are born to
    In the Permanent care of: xxx
    With no expiry, i.e. no aging out as it currently is but also they know who they are and where they come from at all times. This would be, in my mind, for children who have no chance of being reunited with their families due to abuse etc. But it would give them the chance of knowing who they are and they can make choices for themselves once they are adults.

    In cases where children have a chance of being reunited with their parents then foster care could be worked on to make it so that parents and foster parents alike could work together to do what is right for the child.

    I know this sounds very idealistic and yes I am an optimist that we can do anything we put our minds - but something has to be done to put more focus on the child and their family.

    Thanks again... and excuse my little rant!

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  9. Wow... amazing post... I'd have so much to say... but right now I haven't the time to say it (I'm at work). But great great post...

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  10. You know there is now legislation to prevent a child's name being changed at adoption in NSW unless there are extenuating circumstances. And I've just made input into feedback on ministerial guidelines on the release of info at the time of adoption. The bit that I provided stated that in order to preserve a child's identity a legal document (perhaps called something like "adoption certificate") should be created that shows the new relationship created (and is not the legal fiction of an amended birth certificate). It's a start of what I hope will be bigger change.
    Dawn

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  11. Great post as usual.Stealing our names and identities is such an abusive thing to do to anyone.
    I'll post a link to this one of yours if I may it says it so well.

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