I spent the first 16 years of my adoption experience as a “birth” mother in complete isolation. It was preceded by the nearly 10 months of family-conducted isolation during my pregnancy. Such is the life of a shamed pregnant teenager. I had personally never known either an adopted person or a natural mother. I thought my mother and the adoption agent, with whom she colluded, sounded like they were full of shite, but how was I to know any different? By the time I delivered my precious girl, my efforts to keep her via parenting classes at a local pregnancy center and accumulation of baby necessities (all returned by my mother) only proved my selfishness. I would be selfish having only love to offer a child. Ultimately, it was the threat of homelessness by my parents that definitively made my adoption “choice”. My greatest fear at the time was my daughter being placed in foster care due to my temporary lack of an address.
America, if I could relive that day again, I would run from that hospital with her in my arms and never look back. I would take my chances with being homeless and the foster care system.
Here I am 18 years later with 2 years behind me in virtual Adoptionland. A place I found out of desperation after learning that this “better” life for my daughter was nothing more than a different life. My instincts as a teen were on point. I wish I had never doubted myself. The realization that an adoption agent and my very own mother reduced me to a bodily function for total strangers has landed me in trauma therapy for the last year. I never received counseling before or after the adoption by the agency. I’ve secretly held myself together somehow all these years only to find out I’ve been suffering with PTSD stemming directly from the adoption. In the creation of a family of total strangers, my very real existent family was destroyed. I haven’t spoken to my mother in a number of years now. I respect my lost daughter so I cannot tell her story, but its one that angers me in a visceral way. I’m grateful that I found a validating world full of adoptees and moms in Adoptionland. No thanks to you America, we are a sisterhood that has survived in spite of adoption not because of it.
All these years, I thought I was alone. I thought somehow I was the one that fell through the cracks. Of course, all birth moms are abusive crackheads, right? They’re all infanticidal maniacs who need their children wrested from them immediately post-birth because of their emotional instability, right? Hell no. Hell.No.
America, you’re a liar.
After speaking with countless moms who had my very story, I began to look at studies. I was expecting to find that the majority of newborn adoptions occur as a direct alternative to abortion. We always hear people say “thanks for choosing life!” I was expecting to find that the moms I had met online and myself (who never considered abortion) were the outliers among the real “selfless” and “brave” birth moms. These “selfless” moms who sacrificed their bodies and their motherhood to create families for total strangers. These “brave” moms who chose not to murder their babies at birth, but instead chose to quickly hand them over to strangers before they changed their minds and strangled their little ones. I’ve been confused as to why we’re praised as “brave” while simultaneously equated to baby-killers. But, I digress. As we all know “adoption saves lives” and the very people that those lives are saved from are “brave” and “selfless” and promised “open” adoptions that close more often than not.
America, you’re a damned liar.
Crazy. I haven’t found a study yet that shows “abortion alternative” as the reason why a mother places her baby for adoption. Depending on the study, I have found that POVERTY and ISOLATION are the overwhelming reasons for adoption ranging anywhere from 70-85% of mothers.
America, you’re redistributing babies.
America, you’re waging class warfare.
America, you’re practicing eugenics.
America, you’re exploiting the vulnerable.
America, you’re implementing misogyny.
Enough about you for now, America. Let’s see what some of your neighbors are doing. We need some perspective to show how serious a problem you have. In an effort to convince you to put down the bottle. Perhaps, we could look at your neighbors who participated in similar practices such as the forced adoptions of the mid-20th century; Ireland, the UK, and Australia. These countries, including you America, perpetrated a great evil on an entire generation of young women during what is now called The Baby Scoop Era. You and your counterparts deemed young, unwed mothers unworthy of raising their own babies. So, you sent them off to maternity homes and took their children by force. There have been apologies offered by your neighbors, but America, you’ve swept these egregious acts under the rug. All that has been offered from you since is a collective yawn and look of confusion. Baby Scoop Era? What’s that?
Let’s compare numbers with your former partners in crime.
First, we travel to the United Kingdom. According to Adoption UK, “Today, very few babies are ‘given up’ for adoption in the UK.” Private adoptions are unlawful. Adoption UK shows that 230 children under the age of 1 were adopted in 2015. These numbers don’t differentiate newborn adoption from children removed by the State. I’m going to assume the majority were removed by the State due to the former statement about babies rarely being “given up”. But let’s say 230 children…like its going to even matter when we get to your numbers, America.
Next, let’s head to Ireland. Recently, the country has been in the news with the discovery of a mass grave where nearly 800 children were buried in a sewage hold. The Tuam Mother and Baby Home should serve as a reminder of what horrors can be committed against those most vulnerable in society; mother and infant.
Today, in Ireland newborn adoption is as rare as in the United Kingdom. Private adoptions are unlawful. According to the Adoption Authority of Ireland, there were 7 domestic infant adoptions in 2015. That was preceded by 6 in 2014, 10 in 2013, and 3 in 2012. Also, keep in mind, abortion on demand is illegal in Ireland.
Now to Australia. Personally, I’m incredibly fond of their adoption laws compared to the lack thereof in you, America. In Australia, private adoptions are unlawful. They have a 30 day wait before TPR (termination of parental rights) can be signed by the natural mother. They actually acknowledge “open adoptions” by requiring that a plan be presented in Family Court and penalizing those who betray them. It costs on average $2,000 to adopt domestically in Australia. Shaming of single moms in Australia has pretty much gone by the wayside. And best of all? Australia has issued an apology for their participation in forced adoptions as well as created memorials like the one above. So how many domestic infant adoptions were there in Australia in 2015? 45.
Let’s do a recap…
2015 Domestic Infant Adoptions:
United Kingdom- 230
Ok, America, your turn. I know you like to bring in God when we talk about adoption. I’m truly hoping that you might question God after these numbers I reveal to you. Better yet, I’d really like for you to question yourself, America. Are you getting adoption right? Are you hearing God clearly? Are you misinterpreting the message?
I shouldn’t even bother with population comparison to the 3 aforementioned countries. But, for the sake of argument….let’s compare Australia to America. In population, America has 350 million compared to Australia’s 24 million. Australia is 14% America’s population. Abortion rates average in America 1 million per year (Guttmacher) compared to Australia’s 83,000 (Children By Choice) per year. Australia has 12% America’s abortion rate. Those seems like reasonable numbers. The population compared to the abortion rate is on par. Now, let’s move to domestic infant adoption.
America, you have some pretty skeezy adoption laws. I know, I keep stringing you along. But the number is so absurd. I’m really trying to drive it home if you can’t tell. I’m also questioning myself because of the disparity. I’ve gone over these numbers for hours. I’m honestly in shock. Have I missed something? Can you truly be this far gone?
America, the majority of states allow mothers, weakened by labor and under the influence of opioid epidurals and pain medications, to sign within 12-72 hours after birth. Irrevocable. That means no opportunity to realize a terrible mistake has been made after an extended time of high stress and 9 months of hormonal chaos. America, you allow private adoptions where prospective adoptive parents can pile their emotional needs on top of an already stressed expectant mother. You praise birth moms with all kinds of platitudes, but have so little respect for her that you don’t recognize, much less, enforce open adoptions. This isn’t the place I want to recount all of your abuses to mother and child, but suffice it to say, much of what you’ve done to natural families isn’t “of God.” With domestic infant adoptions averaging around $40,000, your deeds are more likely that of mammon.
So, how many domestic infant adoptions did you have in 2015? Actually, 2015 doesn’t even matter because you’ve averaged the same rate for the last 25 years.
That’s 400 times the rate of Australia. It’s 78 times the rate of the UK. It’s 2,571 times the rate of Ireland. It’s insane is what it is!
America, you have an adoption problem. This can’t be God putting babies in the wrong wombs this many times. It just can’t! I know you keep “getting called by God” to adopt babies, but are you sure? America, I just can’t keep falling for your unfounded biblical nonsense. Does God truly put 63 times more babies in the wrong American wombs than Australian, British, and Irish wombs combined? Is adoption really “saving lives” when we look at these numbers? Are American mothers 400 times less bonded to their newborns than Australian mothers?
America, you’re playing dumb.
America, you’re plugging your ears.
America, you’re looking the other way.
I know in the evangelical and prolife communities there’s a lot of talk about adopting. There’s a lot of talk about adoption vs abortion. There’s a lot of talk about healing the infertile. But, c’mon now. Adoption is a serious matter- it is literally the separation of a mother from her child. Have we lost that sobering perspective? It isn’t a win-win-win like some would have us believe. It isn’t a cure for infertility. It isn’t a passing religious fad. Its a separation of two people, I believe because of His Word, that God put together to be mother and child. My daughter was meant for me. She was my blessing. I will now live a lifetime without her. My subsequent children will live a lifetime without their big sister. Why? Because, as a pregnant teen, I was told that God meant her for others. I was merely a vessel and should have found pride in that. Everything was done through the power of others to separate us. My story is an American story.
America, you have an adoption problem. And the first step is being able to admit it.
Reader- please tell me I’m wrong. Please find statistics on newborn adoption that would prove me wrong. Because realizing I was part of a machine, one that systematically rips mothers and babies apart from one another, is just too much to bear.