I found a discussion on a parenting forum where a woman who is married and already has a child was very glibly talking about conceiving a baby with her husband for some good friends to adopt because these friends deserve so much to be parents. Their friends have, of course, refused, as they should (of course, that makes me wonder how it’s okay to ask for a baby from a total stranger when it’s not okay from a close friend, but I didn’t go there because it’s not the couple seeking to adopt I was addressing).
The first response she got was pretty obviously from a no adoptions, period, advocate with a militant spin. I feel the person, and I feel that militant thing within me, too, but I realize when speaking directly to someone about adoption, the militant thing is not necessarily the most effective way to be heard…just saying. The woman commented to it like, “uhh, okay, but thanks for that…” and you could tell she was like, “What thuh…?”
While a world with no adoptions, period, would be the best world ever, ever, ever, ever, ever to infinity and beyond, I consider myself a bit more of a realist than that. Unfortunately, no matter how much we advocate for a person’s right to parent, there will still be the mother somewhere who refuses to parent her child, and there will still be the mother who is truly incapable of raising a child on too many levels to deny, and sometimes fathers won’t be there when that happens, and sometimes other family members can’t or won’t step in either.
The next response was quite a bit more sound, but still a tinge of gloom, doom, and even judgment, was discernible – to me, anyway.
So here is my response…kinda just a “Just the facts, ma’am…Just wanna state the facts here.”
Scientific data from years of study is starting to solidify what I have believed for a while. The biological link that begins in the womb is as unique as the DNA code written into each and every person. Just as that DNA signature is unique, and there are no 2 signatures alike, and just as there are no 2 finger and thumb prints alike, so, too, that biological link between the child and the 2 genetic contributors is unique. I believe this biological link is the link that helps that person make sense of the world around him or her. In adoptive homes, the differences from the rest of the family members are tangible and very apparent to the adoptive child. If they are not told they were adopted, they feel like aliens in their own families. If they are told, then it explains those differences that are apparent. You’re asking a lot of that person who hasn’t yet been conceived – more than is reasonable, really. And you are asking the impossible of yourself. That biological link is something that you cannot escape either, and it will betray you for the rest of your life if you do this. I speak from 21 years of experience as a birth mother who gave up a child up for adoption. And I felt much the same way about the adoptive parents that you feel toward your friends…still do. Still, that thing or culmination of things that happened when my son was in the womb betrays me, pretty much daily, to this very day.
What I’d like to see achieved in my lifetime is such an awareness of the pitfalls of adoption that we’re not so quick to take a woman’s child from the womb, and a woman is not so quick to relinquish because there’s more information out there as to how it will truly affect her for the rest of her life and there’s more information and resources to empower her and help her with raising her child. The information when I was doing it was out there but so hard to find I was unable to find it. And parents who want to adopt should be able to adopt, absolutely. There are multitudes upon multitudes of children, born and alive in this country right now, who have absolutely no one because the people that mattered gave up on them, or gave up on themselves, or everyone who could have mattered is no longer living.
I’m not trying to be insensitive to the infertile, and I do feel for women who can’t conceive. It may be that I am among them, so I do know that sting, that stab in core, I understand something about what that feels like. I may never get my chance to be a mom in that sense at all, and I’m learning to accept that. It’s not fair, it’s not anything like nice, but if it’s the hand I’ve been dealt then okay. It is. If I don’t get to experience the joy of birth again and motherhood, seeking a woman who is pregnant and willing to give me her child is not going to console me. That loss will always be that: a loss – just like my son’s childhood that I didn’t get to be a part of.