Our adoption practices may be the one thing more barbaric than our divorce ones, and for much the same reasons.
I didnt say adoption is bad. I said our adoption practices are needlessly cruel and inhumane, unjustifiably doing permanent damage to two-thirds of those involved.
If you drop political correctness and listen to those whove been adopted, however happy with their adoptive family, each and every one is seeking their natural parents from somewhere deep within. They want to know where they come from and who they are, biologically.
This is the very thing our adoption practices explicitly brutalize, much like our divorce ones. They try to destroy the indestructible: impose that biological ties do not exist when they do, as though we were not biological beings with biological histories but machines. Blood must be as thin as water.
Our adoption practices reflect a machine concept of family: made of interchangeable parts. They are therefore an inhumanity we systematically commit against ourselves. Our divorce laws equally impose elimination of parental ties with the mechanical consideration that a child needs a care giver and money, not its family.
Yes, adopted children will speak in glowing terms and appreciation of their adoptive parents. They are usually as close to them as any child to any parent. This hardly means they carry no permanent wound and will never feel as complete as you or I. They will never feel the satisfaction of knowing what, exactly, they pass to their own children, that they transfer a history that goes back over continents and centuries. Their pre-life, which exists as much as yours or mine, is hidden and untraceable. Where is the connection to all mankind? Not just who am I, but who are my children?
Yet under the term open adoption lies an infinite range of choices from annual letters to weekly visits to full co-parenting. Each is more common to most other societies than the cruelty we impose. But most jurisdictions still ignore them and restrict any couple on either side to the smallest set of choices, as though society should decide what choices parents can make for their children. And theres no going back from that choice, even though the ties are real and forever. The child is rarely accorded a future choice.
Consider the parents. Do you think they ever get over the loss, like a child from your body is something you just remove like a wart? The only reason parents give up their children for adoption is that they know they lack the resource to raise it, and are responsible about that. But neither could they bring themselves to kill it, caring enough to give it some chance.
What does this say about us? Despite previously un-imaginable wealth, we cannot do what much poorer societies have always done and support those with less than ourselves. It says we are too greedy for what we can get for ourselves to afford the simplest compassion for others and their children. We would rather blame people for what fate and youthful miscalculation provide than simply deal with how the universe randomly unfolds.
For parents, what is the difference between adoption and abortion? Both eliminate the child forever, and leave the same eternal wound. What new set of choices do we think we provide?
If those who campaign against abortion really wanted to reduce their numbers instead of simply impose their values on others, you would expect them to campaign at least as hard for more maternity homes and a far wider range of options for adoption.
©2007 KC Wilson
To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons. - Marilyn French