Abortion vs. Adoption: Ask An Adoptee


Have you ever thought about asking an adoptee how they feel about the abortion vs. adoption debate?  You would think that their opinion would matter.  People do not think to ask us adoptees how we feel about this situation.   For years, I believed firmly in the pro choice movement.  I believed that women had the right to choose over one’s body.  I do still feel that way but my attitude has been tempered by my experience as an  adoptee in the United States.  I am a 1965 domestic model adoptee created in Indiana.  

Why has my attitude changed?  I have always taken precaution in my sexuality.  My adoptive mother was a firm believer in sex education.  I was always on birth control.  I even had my first pelvic examination before I was sexually active. The foremothers of this country fought for that right for me.  I took advantage of it.   I believe now that abortion, adoption, and safe havens are a way to get rid of the problem.  I am the problem.  I am the end result of those illicit affairs that many men and women have had.  I feel that both men and women should be responsible for their reproductive health.  If you decide to have sex, you should handle the responsibility that is inherent with that decision.  This applies to both MEN and women.  So many times a woman is blamed for being pregnant.  She did not get there by herself.  She had help.  Men should also be taught to be responsible.  

With all of this being said, the anti choice folks would have you believe that a fetus is being denied life by being aborted.  They claim that adoption is the answer to the problem.   Well we played that game up until Roe vs. Wade.   You can read all about that era in Ann Fessler’s book, The Girls Who Went Away.   You can read how those situations hurt those women in that book.   You can also read where many women from then and still today are being denied due process of their rights in the article, Due Process in Adoption? Hardly by William H. Mild.   He brings up a very very valid point.  When a mother relinquishes her child, she not only relinquishes her rights but also the rights of her child.  Many of these mothers were not aware of this issue then and even to this day. Anti choice advocates want women making the choice to abort to be fully informed of the risks involved.  This process however is not done for adoption.  Many of the mothers in the past and today are not being told of the risks involved in adoption. It is long past time for it to be done.  

While a fetus is denied life, an adoptee is denied their liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Adoptees did not agree to this agreement.  They have been forced to accept it.   They are denied access to the most intimate details of their beginnings.  Every non adopted person has access to their truthful birth information.  The adoptee does not.   The adoptee is expected to honor an agreement made on his/her behalf well past adulthood.  The adoptee is expected to be grateful that they were adopted and not aborted.   They are expected to be happy that they were not dumped in a dumpster.  We did not contribute to the decisions on our behalf.  We are not allowed to know the process of those decisions made on our behalf.  We are not allowed to see the documents showing that process.  

The peanut gallery is already gathering at this point.  What about “birthmother” privacy?  Many of the mothers prior to Roe vs. Wade did not want that privacy.  Most do not want it now.  It is forced upon them just as it is forced upon adoptees.  The mothers from that time frame were threatened with criminal repercussions if they searched for their child.  Many of these mothers were also told to move on and forget that this ever happened.   That was the confidentiality.  There has not ever been a  single relinquishment form with this guarantee.    Adoption agencies were not representatives of the state governments.   They did not have the authority to act on the behalf of the state governments.  The state governments are not required to honor agreements made by an adoption agency.  

One of the issues of Roe vs. Wade was privacy and the matter of government interference.  The government is not allowed to interfere with the private lives of its people.   The government is,however, interfering with the privacy of adoptees.  Every American citizen is guaranteed access to the documents that the government has on its people, according to the United States Privacy Act of 1974. The only exception is adoption.  An infant can not agree to a contract.  A child can not even enter a contract until the age of majority.   If a contract is entered into on the behalf of a child, that contract is dissolved at the age of majority.  The only exception is adoption.  

In every state, a relinquishing parent is divested of their rights.  They do not get new ones in the process.  They should not get special immunities and privileges because of adoption.   In many states, this is in direct violation of the state’s constitution and Bill of Rights.  If they have the right to deny an adoptee’s right to access their original birth certificate, then they must still have some parental rights in place.  This would allow a relinquishing parent to contest an adoption.; however no parent has the right to deny their grown son or daughter access to their birth certificate.  The exception is adoption.  

What about an increase in abortions?  According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute,  women are more likely to abort because of the sealed original birth certificates.  Women do not want to spend the rest of their lives never knowing their child and if that child is alive and well.   Here is a question for you to ponder.  Why are we holding adoptees accountable for the future reproductive choices of American women? Women feel that it is more responsible to abort a baby than to live in that kind of pain.  With states that have restored the adoptee’s right to access, abortions have decreased by ten percent and adoptions have increased.

With all of this information, one would think that people would ask an adoptee how they feel about this argument.  No one, however, wants to hear our stories, our battles, and our issues.  We live in a country that is in love with adoption.   We need to stop however and think about the child.  We need to make adoption about the child and his rights.  It is time to restore their humanity, their heritage, and their identity to them.   

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  • invalid-0

    amen, sister.

    • invalid-0

      I can understand your frustration. But I think adoption has come a looong way in recent years. We are in the process of domestic infant adoption and our agency quotes in their brochure: “Our Experience over the years has taught us that interaction between birth and adoptive parents and children is healthy for everyone involved. We counsel our birthmothers to this end but tailor each adoption to meet the needs of all parties.”
      We have every intention of making sure our baby has full knowledge of his history and when appropriate (and requested), contact with his birth family.

  • progo35

    Your issue about accessing the orginal birth certificate is valid in terms of how it relates to the adoptees rights, but it really has nothing to do with the adoption situation now. The adoption trauma that you are referencing occured way back in 1965 when you were born. Adoption is a lot different now, and hang ups about who one is don’t equal abortion being a better solution…if that’s what you were saying…and, if that’s not what you’re saying, I fail to see what that in itself has to do with abortion,unless your point is that abortion will go down if we increase adoptees rights to access their birth cerificates and information.

  • invalid-0

    How are adoptions different now? We still do not have rights to our records in most states. And in some states we had *more* rights in 1965 than we do now. For instance, in Massachusetts in 1965, an adoptee was given access to records at age 18. However, in 1974, the books were closed, and this was no longer an option, until 2006, when that law was rescinded.
    Unfortunately, it is still only a sandwich law, and those people adopted between July, 1974 and 2008 can not access them.

    I am going to go one step further and say even with records and access, it can be a painful process to grow up surrounded by biological strangers, without mirroring and reflection by blood relatives. People who have that privilege can not imagine what is it like for those of us who don’t.

    Adoption is an arranged marriage, with no chance for divorce. Some people are a match, and some people are condemned to a life long sentence as an ugly duckling…….

    When Obama spoke at Notre Dame on Sunday, he said that adoption should be easier, to reduce the number of abortions:

    “So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term.”

    Personally, I would prefer that we spend energy and efforts to ensure a woman does not end up with an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Adoption is not the solution I would support.

  • amyadoptee

    You are missing the point.  I make it clear.  An fetus is denied life.  An adoptee is denied their humanity and heritage.  It still happens in 44 states.  Neither situation is necessarily better than the other.

    As far as women are concerned, women who relinquish suffer severely painful effects.  In 44 states, they are denied any knowledge of their child even upon adulthood.  I think as an adoption researcher the pain of that loss is the same or even worse.  Living on this earth knowing that your child is out there but never knowing who they are, how they are and if they are still alive.

    • invalid-0

      I am confused. How have you been denied your humanity? I am an adoptive mother and my child knows his birthmother and has access to any and all information he may want or need. Heck, if he wants to, he can call her on the phone or email her today. The birthmother is the one choosing the type of adoption they will have: confidential, semi-open or open. As an adoptive parent, I also had that right to choose the type of adoption we were comfortable with. I am involved with hundreds of adoptive families and I only know of one with a confidential adoption and it was because the birthmother choose for it to be that way.

      Are you sad that you were allowed to live?

      We thank God every day for our son’s precious birthmother who gave him the gift of life. He is pretty glad to be here and knows that his life has a purpose and a plan. She knew that too, and it was the very reason she chose adoption for him.

  • invalid-0

    I agree with you that women ought to be better educated about adoption options. One of my closest friends became pregnant as a teenager, carried her child to term, and put her up for adoption. She chose the family who adopted her child and remains in contact with them to this day. She visits her child and sends her presents and pictures, and the adoptive family does the same. Now, I know this is not the case for all adoptions, but I also know that this option is available and maybe we need to make this kind of information more available to birth mothers. That being said, does not every person have a right to live? Would you say that even with the hardship of your life it would be better if you were aborted? Children are every day born into difficult situations, but that does not take any value away from their life, and the world is left with a hole without each of these lives. In addition, would you not think that the pain of knowing that their child is dead would be more difficult than knowing that the child is alive, even if the mother doesn’t know the family that took the child in as their own? These are things we need to remember and keep in mind as we support pregnant women in this country.

  • amyadoptee

    Are you saying that we should be so grateful for life that we should deny our liberty and pursuit of happiness?

    Let me ask you this. If adoption is so wonderful which child are you willing to relinquish?  The answer is probably none.  Why are we only giving women two options?  Why can’t parenting be the first option?

    While we are at it, why aren’t birthmothers given due process rights?  Why are they and adoptees given legal representation separate from the adoptive parents’ legal representation?

  • progo35

    Personally, I feel that the yearning some adoptees feel to know their biological parents is natural but something that is as valid as any other personal hangup when it comes to this debate.. Equating the "loss of my heritage" with death/being aborted shows an
    unhealthy fixation on one’s birth heritage, when one has an adopted
    heritage that is also valid, and, has then made knowing one’s heritage into the be-all and end-all of life, which isn’t particularly life-affirming for those who are here. For instance, I recently learned that I am actually Hispanic and have a Cuban, as well as an Irish heritage. Growing up, I wondered about it but whenever such school projects or issues came up, I accepted the heritage of my adopted family, which is German. It isn’t healthy to go around worrying about "who you really are" and what your "real" parents are like, because your "real" parents are the ones who love and nurture you throughout life, who get up with you in the middle of the night, etcAs for adoption being like an arranged marriage, it seems like that’s a deliberate analogy to something oppressive to make adoption appear as such, since remaining with one’s biological family involves the same no-choice situation as being with an adopted family-we do not choose our parents/families,something that both adoptees and non-adoptees must live with. There is nothing unique about adoption, at least not in the points raised here, that makes it a less valid or affirming option that abortion for the fetus/child involved.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Hello,

    This is a very interesting article that raises points I haven’t seen before. However, I’m wondering if you could provide a citation for the assertation that women are more likely to abort because of sealed birth documents. I’m familiar with Guttmacher’s work, and i don’t recall ever seeing anything that specific. In “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives”, Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh and Ann M. Moore
    Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Volume 37, Issue 3, September 2005, there were findings that some women who were choosing abortion had considered adoption but found the concept too distressing. But I don’t see anything about sealed birth records, or anything about state abortion rates linked to adoption policies.

    Thanks!

  • modernmouse

    of the subjects in the book The Girls Who Went Away so I know a little bit about the pain of losing a child to adoption. I fear our President is going down a slippery slope when he encourages adoption. Pre Roe it was the only option for an unplanned pregnancy amongst the unmarried. Social mores dictated that we be hidden from society so our pregnant bellies did not offend. Shame was the norm for those of us who found ourselves pregnant. We could not work and without financial support we were rendered poor. And alone. I gave birth to my first child alone and frightened. Open adoptions are not legal and enforced in most States. Adoptive parents have the perogative of moving without notifying natural parents. And even in those States that do honor it birth certificates are still sealed. Incentivizing adoption and encouraging women to carry to term will lead to coercion just as it was in the ’60’s. I have worked to try to convince legislators that opening adoption records to adopted people is appropriate and desirable. I never wanted confidentiality and was thrilled when my daughter found me at GREAT expense.

  • amyadoptee
  • amyadoptee

    Where did I say that I was dismissing the heritage that I gained from my adoptive parents? I did not say that.  I am saying however that adoption is not always the answer to abortion.  A child because they were saved from abortion should not be forced to relinquish their rights as an American citizen.  That is the consequences of adoption.  It appears that you are saying that adoptees should grateful that they are alive.  In fact, so grateful that they should be willing to relinquish their liberty and their pursuit of happiness.   I do not abide by that.  I did not make these choices.  Someone made them for me.  I am expected to honor everyone else’s agreements. 

    Perhaps you should check out this link:

     

    http://www.njesq.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=173:20090518-adoption&catid=6:this-issue&Itemid=17

  • invalid-0

    I’m sorry- I definitely agree with you that parenting should be the first option. I thought we were discussing the case where a woman could not support her child for financial reasons or in the case I mentioned because she was only an early teen. Of course parenting would be the first option, but in these other cases it is a false statement to say that abortion is less painful and healthier than adoption. I think it is also an oversight if we don’t mention that adoption has caused great joy for many who are unable to have their own biological children but have great desire to be parents. Certainly adoption is not without heartache as parenting is also not without pain, yet this is life we are talking about here, and we will never be able to rid the world of all heartache. Yet, without life you have no opportunity to experience liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

  • http://www.turntheclockforward.org/ invalid-0

    Thank you very much for posting about your experiences.

    As with abortion, the issue of adoption is one where too many people think that protecting the child makes it necessary to ignore or deny the needs and rights of the mother. As you’ve shown, that effort to “protect” the child at all costs can end up being detrimental to both mother and child. What we need is balance, and compassion for both parties.

  • amyadoptee

    It is not about mother vs child. I am someone who is very compassionate to both adoptive parents and the birth parents. The ironic part of all of this. The mother is not allowed access to the original birth certificate either. Their names are on that document as well. I do not believe that adoptees should have access to the relinquishment forms, the medical intake information of the mother, the home study, or the adoption application of the adoptive parents. Adoptive parents are denied access to the original birth certificate because their names on not on it.

    On the non adopted side of things, no parent can deny their adult son or daughter access to their birth certificate. Why are birth parents given special immunities and privileges that do not exist elsewhere in the law? women who have aborted do not get this privilege either.

  • invalid-0

    Again, this research does not seem to address sealed birth records or adoption rates by state, with regards to adoption policies. The press release talks about how respondents in this qualitative study felt adoption (they reported that the thought of one’s child being out in the world without knowing if it was being taken care of or by whom would induce more guilt than having an abortion). Is there more?

  • invalid-0

    Great article. You’re right – it is unjust to deny adult adopted people our identities based on agreements made by others prior to our births. We did not agree to have our identities changed and hidden for the rest of our lives. No one should have to trade their name and identity for a chance at life. Nor should anyone be allowed to make that agreement on our behalf.

    I have never understood the pro-life movement holding ‘life’ up as the ultimate good. There are worse things than death. Humans have risked their lives for their countries, their religions, and for their families and loved ones. Life is not the only important thing.

  • invalid-0

    The specific Guttmacher report is called “Concern for Current and Future Children”: http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2008/01/07/index.html

    “Without being asked directly, several of the women indicated that adoption is not a realistic option for them. They reported that the thought of one’s child being out in the world without knowing if it was being taken care of or by whom would induce more guilt than having an abortion.”

    For those who believe that the Guttmacher Institute may be too pro-choice, there is also a survey by the Elliot Institute (http://www.afterabortion.org/survey1.html)

    Only once is adoption mentioned:
    Question 53. Did you consider adoption?

  • 4% N/A Unsure
  • 62% Not at all
  • 13%
  • 7%
  • 6%
  • 8% Very much
  • Clearly there is a disconnect between what actual women undergoing abortions think about adoption as an option and what those opposed to adoptee records access would tell you is the woman’s motivation. The majority clearly do not want to place their children for adoption, period.

    If you personally think of abortion as murder, you really can’t put yourself in that pregnant woman’s shoes and think like she is thinking. You can’t think of a first trimester pregnancy as being “just a bunch of cells” – but that is EXACTLY how women seeking abortions think of their early pregnancies. It may be a defensive mechanism – but it is still THEIR thought process even though it makes no sense to you.

    In summary:

  • Adoption may be more open today (even though open adoption is not enforceable) but this does NOTHING for the millions of adults, adopted as children, who still do not have unfettered access to their OWN records.
  • If adoption agencies are promoting open adoption as a way to get more women to place their children, doesn’t that mean these women WANT their children to know who they are, as opposed to refusing to “choose life” if that means their relinquished child might someday be able to find them? Why are opponents to adoptee records access still telling us that “abortion rates will skyrocket” if adoptees now in their 30s, 40s, 50s find out who their first parents are?
  • If you want to reduce the number of abortions, then reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Finding better “solutions” for the unintentional pregnancies that occur misses the point. Do you build a bigger hospital because there are more automobile accidents or do you try to make travel safer? Not unless the Trauma Doctors’ Lobby and the Personal Injury Lawyers’ Lobby are afraid their revenue stream will be adversely affected by fewer accidents. Follow the money…
  • invalid-0

    From this site: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/10/31/the-adoption-vs-abortion-myth
    Seems to be that, at least on the federal level, there is no connection. I am not sure where the author of this post is getting the info about state abortion rates, or about women’s reasons for choosing abortion being affected by adoption policies, but I am interested in the topic and would really like to know if that data is available.

    • http://trend-tech.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

      One more disturbing indicator – quantity of abortions. The heavy economic situation became the reason of growth of number of abortions which is now observed in all regions of the country.

  • invalid-0

    Not everybody is a genealogist or even has a desire to study history – that is their right. But time and time again adoptees are placed in a situation where they (and nobody else) have to somehow convince the general public that knowing their original genetic heritage is a right, plain and simple. If we say we are curious about our genetic heritage, we’re told that’s healthy – but not good enough to have any right to our OWN records. If we DEMAND our rights to our OWN records – we’re told it’s unhealthy to feel this way and that we should just stop obsessing. Well, we wouldn’t be so “obsessed” if we could plunk down our $20 or so and get our original birth certificates just like the non-adopted. If your right to vote was taken away – would that upset you? Would you be “obsessed” about getting it back? Why does it matter – it’s only ONE vote.

  • modernmouse

    Jen R, I’m not sure who you were addressing with your comments but I was struck by this common myth that our children needed protection.  Please let me tell you that I have never abused a child or anyone!  The idea that my child needed to be protected from me is haunting!

    I was forced to surrender my child because my parents abandoned me and I was unable to work in the ’60’s because of my marital status and pregnancy.  I had no way to financially support a child and conveniently there were homes provided free of charge just for the purpose of housing and providing prenatal/obstetrical care for us!

     

  • modernmouse

    Certainly infertility is a sad medical condition that many deal with.  But this is exactly the slippery slope I envision with Obama’s push for easing adoptions; that pressure will be put on women to give their children away to ease the burden of the childless.  Pregnant women will find themselves held in highest esteem if only they will surrender their children!  There will be a sense of entitlement by adoptors and a short lived and false sense of altruism by the mother – until she wakes up one day and realizes she gave her child away. 

     

    Been there………

  • progo35

    Amy:

     

    But, the title to this piece is "abortion vs. adoption: ask an adoptee," which implies that abortion is an answer to the problems adoptees face in obtaining their original birth certificates, etc. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t protest that, or that the desire to acess this information is unhealthy, I am saying that believing that abortion would have been better than being adopted into another heritage and not knowing one’s original heritage, or comparing the two in terms of thier impact on the unborn child/fetus/born child is unhealthy.  

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    I don’t get the slippery slope argument here, and I find it hypocritical. You find even one mention of encouraging adoption going down a slippery slope, but you (the people who run this site) do not feel that it is a slippery slope when people abort based on disability (a slippery slope into social ire toward the handicapped), or abort late (a slippery slope into devaluing the status of infants who are actually born.) Incentivizing adoption will NOT lead to the trauma that you experienced, modernmouse, because adoptees like me and true feminists will be there to fight and make sure that that doesn’t happen. If you want to protect women in this situation, fight for them to have more rights in the adoption process, do not fight against adoption.

     

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://www.turntheclockforward.org/ invalid-0

    I’m sorry if I was unclear. I was talking about the way that decisions in the matters of adoption, child custody, etc. tend to get framed as being “in the best interests of the child” even if a) they aren’t; and b) that means utterly ignoring the interests of everyone else involved. I wasn’t referring to abuse at all. Again, I’m sorry if my comment was hurtful to you.

  • invalid-0

    I agree with this article. As an adoptee, I never signed up to be denied access to information about myself that is considered a basic right of any non-adopted citizen. Giving up a child for adoption permanently scars that child. Being born and being treated as a second-class citizen for life is FAR worse than the alternative.

    • http://onlyusstocks.com/ invalid-0

      >Giving up a child for adoption permanently scars that child. >Being born and being treated as a second-class citizen for >life is FAR worse than the alternative.

      100% agree

      Thanks

  • amyadoptee

    A fetus is denied life but an adoptee is denied liberty and pursuit of happiness.  What is life without liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  To me, they are all connected.   It is like saying to someone that they are lucky to be alive only to be abused by someone.  They should be grateful for that life.  If you really want to reduce abortion numbers, give women and men access to reproductive contraception.  Let us teach our children a comprehensive sex education.  If a woman wants to raise her child, give her the tools to be able to do so.  Let us not require an unmarried woman to relinquish or abort her child.  Parenting one’s child should always be the first choice.

  • http://www.turntheclockforward.org/ invalid-0

    You say: “If a woman wants to raise her child, give her the tools to be able to do so. Let us not require an unmarried woman to relinquish or abort her child.”

    This is why I am so ambivalent about the idea of promoting adoption to reduce abortion. If it’s wrong that social and economic factors make women feel that they have no choice but abortion, surely it’s also wrong for them to have no choice but adoption?

  • modernmouse

    I’m sorry, how can you not understand my argument and at the same time find it hypocritcal? History reveals that feminists have not taken up the issue of natural mother and/or adoptee rights. We are forever thought of as insignificant, childlike and as possessions. I am merely voicing an opinion seldom heard and how surrendering a child affected me. I will never fight for easing adoption access unless it is for the older children languishing for a home. Until women faced with an unplanned prenancy have access to real and factual information on adoption including the lifelong consequence I cannot encourage it. Unfortunately, so shamed are those who surrendered children in the past that they fear coming forward to enlighten.

    I do fight for women in the adoption. I have argued publicly in favor of open records and birth certificates. And please share how many third trimester abortions occur annually and for what reason.

  • modernmouse

    Well said Jen R!

  • invalid-0

    As a citizen, I support a woman’s right to choose. As a woman, I understand that the decision to reproduce or not is a very personal decision that should be made on an individual level. As an adoptee, I am insulted that I am used as a pawn in a quest for political power. As stated in a previous comment, there are fates worse than death, and in my opinion, the permanent repression of one’s personal liberties is among those fates.

    The liberty of one ends where the liberty of another begins. I am a grown woman with rights of my own that cannot be suppressed by any other individual or group. That includes my own mother and those with socially conservative agendas. At no point did I consent to my adoption or the sealing of my court records. I believe I have the right to review and possess those records if for no other reason than to ensure that the proceedings were legal. I was a party to my birth, my relinquishment, and my adoption. I cannot protect my own rights without access to the unabridged records of my adoption.

    If anyone believes that by me possessing and reviewing those documents, an unborn fetus is being placed in harm’s way, I suggest they seek treatment in the nearest civics class.

    Great article, by the way. Thanks!

  • invalid-0

    Oh, and to be clear, I don’t see this issue as a struggle between mothers and their offspring. Unfortunately, the adoption industry has framed the debate in this fashion, and for that reason, I want to be clear that my mother’s rights do not outweigh my own.

    • http://hi-architecture.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

      The feeling of love starts to separate from a parent instinct only when the male, can subordinate a female to the domination. But, if the kiss has passed to people, as inheritance of the certificate of feeding at birds in the most beginning it was more parent display, than love.

  • amyadoptee

    We are talking about an adoptee’s opinion on the abortion vs. adoption argument. I find interesting that so many people want to dismiss the adoptee experience as well as the birthmother experience. By interjecting the joy of the adoptive parents into this argument, we are still continuing the dismissal of the adoptee’s loss of liberty and pursuit of happiness.   Does an adoptee have that right as well as other Americans?  It seems like you are trying argue that away.  Is an adoptee’s sole purpose to please everyone else in their pursuit of liberty and happiness?  

  • progo35

    "

    Anon-NO ONE is saying that increased rights for adoptess will hurt unborn children, people HAVE said that adoption by a loving family is just as valid as birth to a loving biological family, and that it is wrong to encourage people to think of their own adoptions in a negative light. 

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    I fully support the rights that amyadoptee seeks, I just think that it has little relevance to encouraging adoption over abortion. As an adoptee, I don’t appreciate people saying or implying that my birth was an act of oppression against my birth mother, and that adoptees generally feel awful that they don’t have their original birth certificates. Perhaps Amyadoptee feels this way, but I don’t think that most adopted people, if asked, would have preferred being aborted because of not knowing their biological history. To compare the situation of an adoptee who lived and doesn’t have his or her birth certificate to a person who lives and is abused is, to this adoptee, ridiculous.

    quot;Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • amyadoptee

    Actually they are saying this.  This is how an adoptee rights bill gets killed.  It happened recently in South Dakota.  The bill died because the National Council for Adoption stated that it will cause more abortions.  It freaked out a legislator enough for her to fight to get the bill killed in the legislative process. 

     

  • progo35

    Amy- "this" refers to what? If that’s the case, than the bills need to be worded differently. For instance, it shouldn’t say, "life without your heritage is no kind of life," it should say,"adopted people have the right to their natural birth information, per the equal protections clause of the fourteenth ammendment," or something along those lines. If it’s worded that way, I can’t imagine such a bill causing more abortions. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Well as an adoptee myself I do agree with amyadoptee. There have actually been times in my life where I have wished I would have been aborted over living with the life of being an “adoptee.”

    What makes me sick is neither choice is about the child and yet so many want to believe they are speaking for them. If you want to truly help the child, stop pushing them as mistakes. Stop encouraing their mothers to view them as mistakes and offering them ways to not take responsibility over encouraging them to take responsibility.

    I don’t believe abortion or adoption truly has the child’s interest in mind.

  • modernmouse

    NCFA is a lobbyist organization for adoptive parents and the industry.  They also receive federal funds to promote adoption

    • progo35

      MM-so, we should only fund organizations like Planned Parenthood? Viewing abortion as a preferable choice in this situation should be a prerequsiite for federal funding? I’m glad you’re not the president.  

      Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    I resent the implication that if I get knocked up, my first choice should be to parent. Um, no. And my financial and/or marital status would have little to do with it. I simply do not want to have children. Ever.

    Now granted, I have never been in a position to make such a choice (though I’ve had a few scares). Birth control and luck have both been on my side.

    However, just for kicks here would be my choices, in order:

    1) Abort without hesitation.

    2) Parent with lots of valium and vodka.

    3) Suicide.

    4) Adoption.

    You could throw a million dollars at me, and I’d still abort. Some people really just don’t want children. Just ask my abandoner mother.

    EP

  • progo35

    I am saddened that some people here have such a low view of their own lives that they wish they had been aborted rather than live the life of a (gasp) adoptee. I am a bit confused about why that is so painful some of you. Parents are parents. It doesn’t matter whether you were adopted or not, some people have “perfect” parents and others have parents who struggle a lot. Most people are somewhere in between. I agree that we should make unplanned children and the pregnancies that lead to them less stimatized, but abortion is definitely not the way to do that.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Here’s an article from the Guttmacher Institute that includes charts showing the change in the rate of abortion state by state between 2000 and 2005. This may answer your question.

    The article “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services 2005″ (in “Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health,” (Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY, USA. rjones@guttmacher.org) includes statistics showing that between 2000 and 2005, abortion rates declined 16% in Alabama and 25% in Oregon (both states where it’s been legal since 2000 for adopted persons to have a copy of their birth certificate). Over that same period, the national rate of decline was 9%. If adoptees’ access to their own personal information truly threatened the lives of children not yet born, those statistics would be just the opposite — becoming higher in states after access laws were passed.

    It’s hard to understand why Right-to-Life groups are not helping adoptees advocate our right to our personal truth when in Oregon and Alabama, many more children are being spared a premature death by abortion than in the country as a whole.

  • progo35

    I think you’re being  a little hard on right to life organizations, which often promote adoption, although increased awareness of this issue is always a good thing, particularly if one’s purpose is to lower abortion rates. 

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    No one has control over whether or not they are aborted. What we do have control over, at least in theory, is the quality of life we live. Why should we line up to deprive ourselves of the same liberties afforded to every other citizen? As an adoptee, I am deprived basic constitutional rights enjoyed by others. I think so highly of myself that I believe I deserve equal rights. I do not believe that I should be satisfied with simply being born. There’s more to life than breathing. Why would anyone want to be born into a free society knowing that they will forever be assigned to an underclass who is less free than society at large?

  • progo35

    Well, I accept my birth certificate that lists my adopted parents as my mother and father and do not feel that I am “forever assigned to an underclass who is less free than society at large,” because of this. Moreover, if one is not born, one cannot fight for these equal rights, thus, life is the basis of the very rights that you seek.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Progo “parents are parents” is truly one of the most delusional statements I’ve read in a long time. It sounds like you were lucky and had a good fit with the people who bought you. How wonderful for you. I’ve heard arranged marriages work out sometimes too.

  • invalid-0

    How noble of you. For a woman who scoffs at good behavior, you have certainly perfected it.

  • progo35

    As far as comparing my adoption to an arranged marriage and asserting that my perspective is "delusional," and that my parents "bought me," you can go and  jump in a volcano-which, I suppose, you’ll appreciate, since, in your opinion, you would rather have been aborted, anyway. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • amyadoptee

    This is one of the little things that they being the National Council for Adoption likes to put out when these bills are voted on by state legislators.  South Dakota had a clean bill.  It passed the House and Senate of South Dakota.  The bill died as they were merging these two bills together.  Why? The National Council for Adoption told a few legislators up there that it will cause more abortions.  It will cause more women to dump their babies.  It is all out there.  Its not only them but also the religious entities and the anti choice folks as well.

  • invalid-0

    I actually agree with amyadoptee and personally know of many adoptees who would have preferred to be aborted than live with not just the injustice of having no access to their OBC but also the emotional distress that many adoptees suffer throughout their whole lives. I also have met women who have had abortions and women who have relinquished their child for adoption. Overall, the women who had abortions were able to mourn the loss of their child and move on with their lives whereas most women that lost children to adoption never get over it because they have no idea what has happened to their child and many also never have more children. I think you have made it clear that you disagree with amyadoptee’s points but it seems like you are saying that your opinion is right and hers is wrong but isn’t an opinion personal and therefore not a matter of right and wrong?

  • invalid-0

    You know what, I was actually quite polite in my last reply to you but now you are simply invalidating what other people feel simply because you do not feel that way. I think we can agree that one person cannot speak for everyone and that actually applies to you too.

  • progo35

     "and personally know of many adoptees who would have preferred to be
    aborted than live with not just the injustice of having no access to
    their OBC but also the emotional distress that many adoptees suffer
    throughout their whole lives." I’d like to see statistics on how many adopttes feel this way, because the people I’ve spoken to do not feel that way. As for the people you’re referring to-then they have a very low opinion of life in general, and I feel sorry for them! I don’t think it’s simply a matter of opinion when we’re talking about people’s lives. I find it offensive for you or anyone else to present my birth and subsequent adoption as acts of oppression. You’re saying that because you feel a certain way, it is wrong to encourage adoption. Baloney! Everyone has hardship in life, and while it is just and good to fight for adoptee rights, it is unjust and wrong to fight against adoption itself, for it empowers women to make another choice besides abortion and gives many children a chance at life who would otherwise been aborted.

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    FYI, my birth mother and father picked my adoptive parents and were able to recieve yearly updates, although to my knowledge my birth mother did not access that information, only my birth father did, which is an odd flip in what one would expect. Anyway, this was in 1982, and my birth mother did not "go away" she finished school and went on with her life. So, even in that short time, adoption had changed from the 1960s model of "thanks for the baby, have a nice life," (a problem that had to do with social insensitivity, not the mothers not having abortions instead of adoptions), to a more open, personalized model.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    I wonder, Progo, do you have children?

    Let’s just imagine a hypothetical situation, please indulge me for a moment or two.

    If you do have children, or if you happen to have children in the future, what type of provisions would you want for them in the unfortunate event of your passing away (and the father too)?

    Would you – A) want a family member/friend to take care of them until they are grown, or

    B) just let them be adopted by some “deserving” infertile couple you have never met and your children do not even know?

    My bet is, you and almost everyone would choose A.

    But then, as you say, “parents are parents” right? But I suppose that only applies to OTHER people’s kids…

  • invalid-0

    If a pharmaceutical company comes out with a drug that cures cancer, but it kills or permanently harms a small percentage of people who take it, it will not be approved by the FDA.

    Terminally ill people have fought to have access to these unapproved drugs, but the Supreme Court has upheld this law, because even small percentages are too great a risk for humankind.

    The percentage of drugs which have actually been approved for use in children is not sizeable, because children are not able to give “informed consent”.

    If a “small percentage” of adoptees are permanently traumatized by adoption, is it worth the risk? If they can not give informed consent for a decision that could result in death or cause permanent damage, is it worth the risk?

    And for the record, the percentage of birth fathers who want contact with their children is increasing as well. I found mine, who was overjoyed to meet me, but it was a long and painful journey to find him. My mother did not feel he “deserved” to be listed as my father, so those fields were left blank. Which only added insult to injury, when I finally obtained my original birth certificate.

    Yet another decision made on my behalf that only served to take away my rights and his as well…..

  • invalid-0

    Progo35-you’re delusional and brainwashed. You’re in what recovering adoptees call “the fog”.

    REALTY is that your adoptive parents are NOT your biological parents. To have a legal document state that is a BIG FAT LIE. So it appears that you are comfortable living a lie. I feel sorry for you.

    In England birth certificates are NEVER falsified. An adopted child has a certificate of adoption that he/she shows with his/her original birth certificate for registering in school, getting an id, etc. England has it RIGHT. No lies, no falsification, no sealing biological identities. The TRUTH works in England. There is no reason why it shouldn’t work in the United States of America.

    The Adoptee Rights Demonstration is July 21, 2009 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

  • invalid-0

    To those who argue that adoption is always better than abortion. Being as I have done both adoption and abortion, I can say that all these years later the abortion still hurts less. I know that the child I “killed” feels no more pain. I could not say that about my daughter until she found me and told me she in fact had a decent life. Not ALL adoptee’s get the same life she did. She was in fact very lucky and she knows it. That does not change the fact that others are subject to a life of pysical and emotional, pain. Try imagining your child, being beaten and abused by an adult and you not being able to help. If you really got into the dynamics of this thought you would understand. Instead you argue that it may or may not happen. Which of your children would you be willing to let that happen to? I’m not proud of my abortion, but truth be told it was the adoption and the pain it caused me that prompted the abortion. That childs pain is over, and I still can’t say that about my daughter I surrendered, she still has issues that are very real and very painful from adoption, they just weren’t physical.

  • invalid-0

    The OP is advocating *open* adoption. RTL organizations don’t seem to give a hoot what type of adoption, just that adoption be the only option for women who do not wish to or cannot parent.

  • invalid-0

    For those who don’t care who gave birth to them and/or don’t care about DNA, family trees, original heritage – that’s fine. As I said before, not everyone is a genealogist or a history buff.

    So – if someone doesn’t care to vote – why should that impact my right to vote? Likewise, if someone doesn’t care about their genetic heritage – why is that a justification that I should be deprived of knowing mine?

  • invalid-0

    …this makes a sick sort of sense. Forced-birthers, like “true feminist” *gag* progo35, whinge on and on about the “abortion industry.” Whilst all the while they completely gloss over the far more lucrative adoption industry, which charges $30-$50K per adoption (none of which goes to the birthmother, beyond prenatal care and sometimes some housing expenses). Should open adoption become the standard and the explicit law (as it should), adoption agencies will stand to lose a great deal of profit. With open adoption as the standard, all a birthmother would need is a boilerplate adoption contract and perhaps a screening agency or website to help one choose the prospective adoptive parents. Obviously, it’s a losing proposition for them.

  • progo35

    Ummmmm….Lily-we’re talking about infant adoption here, in which the child infolved never knew his or her biological parents and only knows their adoptive family. Moreover, a child who is adopted after a parent passes away WOULD have acess to all of his or her biological information/records, making the concern over the right to access that information moot. For infant adoptees, which is the kind of adoption this thread adresses, it is as if they had been born to the couple that adopted them, they just happened to become part of their family through the adoption process-a child who is born to his or her parents may not feel "right" in terms of fittnig into his or her family, have emotional issues in thier life, etc, just as an adoptee would, so, in that sense, parents are parents.

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    I have a very close friend, a former lover, who is adopted. He is absolutely, positively pro-choice, because he recognizes that women are persons and that as persons they have every right to decide what happens to their bodies. He knows that no one can force him to relinquish his blood, bone marrow, or part of his liver to preserve the life of another and, in light of that, no woman should ever be required to endure permanent damage to her body and even risk disability and death to create a new human being.

    Sadly, he is conflicted about contacting his birthmother. He has wonderful, loving adoptive parents, but he has always felt “second-rate” because there is no one in his family who looks like him, whose behaviors/expressions he mimics as a result of biology. He was born in 1965, a time when women, unlike today, had no other choice than to adopt out their children. He agreed with that, but, still, one overriding fear prevented him from seeking out his heritage: He had an overwhelming fear that his creation was the product of rape. Rape is something so anathema to the person that he is that he simply could not take the chance…I didn’t have an honest encouragement to get beyond that one, because if I knew that my existence could be attributed to rape, I wouldn’t be able to handle that fact, either. It’s definitely something I’d rather not know. If I were personally pro-life (I’m not an egomaniac, so I couldn’t possibly ever be politically pro-life), had I been impregnated when I was raped, I would have kept the circumstances of my child’s conception secret from him/her.

    • invalid-0

      You know…when I contacted my “birthmother”I found out I was possibly the product of rape. Wasn’t certain because her boyfriend pressured sex on her after she was raped. Perhaps after we met she knew because of what I looked like but I don’t need to know. She is the one who carried me, and had to live with regretting giving me up. Yes, she regretted it. I wish I had never been born so as to give her a more peaceful life. I put her life before that of my own when I wasn’t even really a person yet.

      By the way…the term “birthmother”…I hate calling her that…it seems so cold…but it’s so confusing I can’t even figure out what to call her. Adoption isn’t that rosy picture that anti-choicers paint when trying to talk a woman out of an abortion–it’s much more complicated for most people. You aren’t just deciding whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term–you are giving up your child–a child that actually exists.

  • progo35

    "REALTY is that your adoptive parents are NOT your biological parents."

     

    Really? I did not know that! thanks for letting me know!!

     

    I would like to continue emphasizing that I SUPPORT all the rights that you seek. I just don’t think that the fight for those rights makes abortion a better choice for the child involved. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    BJ-I find the image of the big, bad oppressive adoption agencies hard to buy,  especially since the agency that facilitated my adoption, Chosen Children (which faciliated a semi-open adoption in my case) went out of business in 2001 because it went broke. Yes, the adopting family is required to pay for the biological mother’s care, which, as you know, can be at least 30 thousand dollars if she doesn’t have insurance, the baby gets sick, etc. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Hear hear.

  • aspen-baker

    Thank you so much AmyAdoptee for telling your story and reminding us all that any discussion about these issues should be driven by the real, lived experiences of every person who has been affected by them. Of course, the experiences of adoptees, adoptive mothers and birth mothers should all be heard and I truly believe their stories and experiences will help us all gain a deeper understanding of what we need to do to support their dignity and humanity. At Exhale, we call this Pro-voice. Keep it up.

  • invalid-0

    Progo, you seem to value the “life” of an as yet unborn nonviable fetus over the life of any woman who becomes pregnant and questions whether she should continue the pregnancy or terminate it.

    THAT to me is not only offensive it’s downright dangerous. You seem happy to treat women as mere incubators to give many children a chance at life rather than be aborted.

    I am a sealed record reunited adoptee I have chosen abortion when confronted with a pregnancy I felt unable to cope with because I knew for ME relinquishing my baby for adoption would NEVER be an option. I made a responsible choice to terminate the pregnancy as early as possible because I was not ready to be a parent at that time. I recognized that the pregnancy was a gift from a higher power, the Universe, God. But I was not ready and was unable to accept that gift at that time. I sent the gift back to God unopened. It was the best thing I could do with the knowledge and awareness I had at that time in my life. It turns out the whole experience marked the beginning of my healing journey.

    I am also now a mother. To suggest that adoption is a humane and loving choice for either the infant or the mother is to ignore the INEVITABLE trauma of separating infants from their mothers and disrupting the natural bond that is every human being’s birthright. I for one am saying it is WRONG to encourage infant adoption, particularly because the young women facing a “crisis” pregnancy are particularly vulnerable. They lack the life experience to know whether they can cope with motherhood. More often than not they cannot know how the experience of carrying a child to term will change them; yet they are encouraged to consider adoption and make an adoption plan? To serve the needs and wants of whom? Certainly not those of the unborn child and certainly not the long-term needs of the pregnant woman. The adoption industry serves the needs and wants of Prospective Adoptive Parents. This is not a new situation it was a state of affairs acknowledged by social workers back in the ’60s.

    And to return to Amy’s point, when a mother “choses” adoption she relinquishes not only her rights to parent the surrendered child; she relinquishes the child’s right to know her mother, her heritage, herself.
    To me, that is an excruciating fate, and I would inflict it on no one willingly. I’d rather have been returned to God, gift unopened.

  • progo35

    Frankly, MK, I think a lot of this has to do, at least on RH’s part, with wanting to push abortion. I am not traumatized because of my adoption, in fact, I regard it as an affirming, interesting part of my life story and experience.

    " I for one am saying it is WRONG to
    encourage infant adoption, particularly because the young women facing
    a "crisis" pregnancy are particularly vulnerable. They lack the life
    experience to know whether they can cope with motherhood. More often
    than not they cannot know how the experience of carrying a child to
    term will change them; yet they are encouraged to consider adoption and
    make an adoption plan? To serve the needs and wants of whom? Certainly
    not those of the unborn child and certainly not the long-term needs of
    the pregnant woman."

    I’d like you to tell me why you think abortion is so much better at meeting those needs, since the "unborn child"(as you put it, yourself) is now dead and the mother, like people who adopt out, may suffer regret and pain afterwards. Moreover, I am HAPPY that I was adopted, so why wouldn’t I encourage infant adoption based on my own experience? You feel this is wrong? Isn’t my perspective just as valid as yours, since we were both adopted?

    "To suggest that adoption is a humane and loving choice for either the
    infant or the mother is to ignore the INEVITABLE trauma of separating
    infants from heir mothers and disrupting the natural bond that is
    every human being’s birthright."

     

    I have a birth right-from God. My birth mother did not send me back to God, God sent me into the world. I do not need to know my biological heritage (although, like you, I am now in contact with one side of my birth family), because I know who I am in Him, in my adopted family, and in my own interests, talents, etc. In my view, everyone has this natural birthright that is not dependent on their biological or adopted parents. 

     

    "The adoption industry serves the needs and wants of Prospective Adoptive Parents."

     

    I disagree with this. I know that it did ignore the birth mother in the 1960s, which is truly a women’s rights issue. I know of stories, from reading, that women were often not told that they had any parental rights over their babies, were not allowed to hold them, were sent off because families were embrassed by their pregnancies, etc. That was the root of the pain and anguish that birth mothers/parents still deal with today-not having any control over what happened to them or their babies. THAT WAS WRONG. I am not suggesting that we go back to that. Rather, I feel that people on both sides of the aisle should continue working for improved adoption regulations and experiences for all involved.

    Getting back to your assertion about the adoptive parents, I believe that adoption does benefit the child. Perhaps you feel that knowing your biologial heritage is so important that you would have preferred to be aborted, but I, and most adoptees, do not. I would guess that if one took a pole, perhaps 1/3 of from-birth adoptees would prefer to have been aborted, while 2/3, the majority, prefer being alive today. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Amyadoptee-I got your email but just glanced over it when RH notified me when it was sent, now I can’t figure out how to access my private messages, but as soon as I can, I’ll reply. Also, if someone could tell me how to access one’s private messages on this site, I would appreciate it.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • amyadoptee

    Try me at amyburt40atyahoodotcom

  • progo35

    sure

     

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    sure

     

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    “I do not need to know my biological heritage (although, like you, I am now in contact with one side of my birth family), because I know who I am in Him, in my adopted family, and in my own interests, talents, etc. In my view, everyone has this natural birthright that is not dependent on their biological or adopted parents.”

    Progo35, for someone who doesn’t care about their “birth parents” or their true heritage, you sure bring up how much you know about both things quite a bit.

    Perhaps you should think about that.

  • progo35

    I felt the same way about my adoption when I had no information about my biological parents, which was up until about a year and a half ago. The only reason that I know my birth father’s biological family is that he tried to find me. That has always been my rubric: I was never angry at either of my birth parents but felt that I did not need to search for them. However, I resolved that if either of them contacted me, I would be glad to reciprocate, and I followed through on that decision. My birth father wrote to me desiring contact, so after I finished college (I wanted to respond right away as a senior in high school but just didn’t feel that that was prudent under my circumstances), I contacted him. I have not tried to search for my birth mother because to my knowledge, she has not tried to find me. If she ever does desire contact, that would be fine with me as well. My point is that I regard knowing my biological father as a blessing, but I was fine with my idenity as a human being before that time. If anything, knowing him and his/our family has affirmed my positive feelings around being adopted. 

     Like I’ve said, I think that amyadoptee is right to bring up the rights of adoptees. We should have all of the same rights as everyone else, and I personally will try to become more involved in that as a result of this discussion. But, all of this does not mean that abortion would have been a better choice for us adoptees, which is what some people on this thread have articulated.

     

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    “But, all of this does not mean that abortion would have been a better choice for us adoptees, which is what some people on this thread have articulated.” It’s certainly your right to hold this opinion, but I don’t share it. Life is about choices, hard choices, and that includes some choices that value my own life first. I don’t believe in your God and think the insistence that human life is inviolate always is silly–since I don’t think we’re the pinnacle of anything. Obviously, you’re free to disagree, but I’ll never support forced birth, which you seem to feel is appropriate for women.

  • invalid-0

    For calling Progo on her ridiculous line about late term abortions. I have counseled probably thousands of women, and I have never met one pregnant woman or teen that ever had a third term abortion. It just doesn’t happen, unless something is very wrong with the fetus, or the mothers life or long term health is at stake (like, for instance, if the mother has cancer and is carrying a wanted pregnancy). However, anti choice people give the impression (lie) that third trimester abortions happen all of the time, which is simply not true. Or better put, I have known many women who have had abortions, and ALL of the abortions happened before the third month. Thank you for calling Progo on the lie that anti-choice people keep on telling of third term abortions.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you!! ; )The anti-choicers would have us parent against our will, or have us give the forced birth child up for adoption to worry about it for the rest of our lives. No way. There are some things in life worse than not being born, as how can anyone know that after they give up a child, that it won’t be abused by the adoptive parents?
    I would rather use birth control faithfully and avoid getting pregnant in the first place, like I had been successful doing, but even the best birth control can fail. Thankfully, that never happened to me, and I am in menopause so it won’t, but thank goodness that we have a right in this country to not carry to term and abort if we need to. I love children, but I did not want to bring any into this world, as is my right, and other women’s, like yours. Thank you for your post.

  • progo35

    Let me just try to explain this again-I happen to be pro life on the abortion issue, a position that I have come to after a lot of thought and reflection. I also happen to be a Christian/believe in God.  My position on adoption being a better option, however, is not dependent upon my pro life position or my religious beliefs. If I were pro choice, I would still ardently support adoption, because I am adopted and I believe that it gives the unplanned children involved the  same chance to pursue their potential that planned children do. 

     

    Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Thank you for your post. Well said. We definitely should not be ashamed or considered selfish to value our own lives first, and do what is in our own best interests. (and if we are considered selfish, who cares??) It certainly beats forced birth, anyday! Forced birth makes a woman not free. It makes her angry, resentful, and in no shape to parent. That doesn’t mean that if you gave a child up for adoption (and once born, then it is a child)that you wouldn’t care and worry and picture all kinds of scenarios where that child might be being physically or sexually abused, not fed, made fun of for being adopted, etc. etc. I would rather not have it at all, as would be my right as a free person.

  • progo35

    Honestly, JAN-what percentage of children who were adopted do you really think end up being sexually abused? And what does that say about the biological mom, if she is continually obsessing over possible, very unlikely scenarios? And, why shouldn’t people who are born value their lives enough to feel that they were served by the adoption decision and that abortion would have been bad, at least as far as they were concerned?

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    I am not going to engage in a protracted debate with you, Progo. If you can live with promoting a practice that is exploitative, commodizes infants and relegates young prospective mothers to the role of incubator– that is your choice to live with. It’s interesting that you think the psychological pain and damage done by adoption to, by your estimate, fully 1/3 of adoptees is acceptable. I note you take no account of the psychological pain endured by the women who have lost infants to adoption.

    Your denial of the negative side of your and your mother’s experience is palpable. I am not going to waste my breath. I hope that if you ever wake up to that side of the adoption experience you discover some compassion.

  • invalid-0

    I am not going to engage in a protracted debate with you, Progo. If you can live with promoting a practice that is exploitative, commodizes infants and relegates young prospective mothers to the role of incubator– that is your choice to live with. It’s interesting that you think the psychological pain and damage done by adoption to, by your estimate, fully 1/3 of adoptees is acceptable. I note you take no account of the psychological pain endured by the women who have lost infants to adoption.

    Your denial of the negative side of your and your mother’s experience is palpable. I am not going to waste my breath. I hope that if you ever wake up to that side of the adoption experience you discover some compassion.

  • progo35

    Nope, sorry, I’m a cold-hearted bitch, which is why I do not feel that abortion is any more compassionate for THE WOMAN or the child involved.

    Women do sometimes suffer trauma after an abortion, as groups such as exhale indicate, and as for the fetus, well, we know what happened to him or her. How is that better than adoption with it’s various shortfalls?

    I’m not sure what you and others want me to say about helping the women in that situation that I haven’t already said, but if what I said means that I lack compassion, well, I guess I’ll have to go on being an unfeeling witch. At least I’m here to be an unfeeling witch, which seems to bother you quite a bit.   

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • amyadoptee

    We have all heard the national news on Masha Allen.  Those situations exist.  They are not unlikely as some would believe.  I wish that they were but they are not. Neither one of the adoption agencies in charge of that case has taken responsibility for their actions in that case. Both individuals  in charge are still working in adoption.

  • amyadoptee

    We have all heard the national news on Masha Allen.  Those situations exist.  They are not unlikely as some would believe.  I wish that they were but they are not. Neither one of the adoption agencies in charge of that case has taken responsibility for their actions in that case. Both individuals  in charge are still working in adoption.

  • invalid-0

    I was sexually abused by my adoptive father. When he wasn’t doing that, he was physically beating me or threatening to kill me.

    A lot of adopted children are abused. Horribly abused.

    My biological mother was lied to by social services when she would check with them over my childhood years on my ‘status’. They kept telling her that I was fine and happy! No one ever came to check on me!!!!! The social services are liars who don’t give a rat’s ass about children. They don’t FREAKIN’ CARE!!!!

    You need to come out of your rainbow farting “adoption is beautiful” fog. It’s nauseating.

  • invalid-0

    Had two wonderful parents any child would have been exceptionally grateful, which I was. Unfortunately I carried the baggage of clinical depression which I got from the Bio. father side. It has been hell for me there were times I wished I had not been born still do. I don’t see the world in the same way as most. One of the so called gifts of depression is creativity, poetry, writing, seeing things many cannnot see like the great philosophers. I have to take medication (expensive) just to function.
    If I had been aborted I never would have known it. Did that ever occur to anyone? In other words who cares!!

  • progo35

    Anon, that’s horrible. But, that doesn’t say anything about adoption, it says a lot about your adoptive father, who deserves to rot in hell. I am so sorry that you went through that.  

     

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://bjsurvivor.livejournal.com/618.html#cutid1 invalid-0

    Actually, the biggest expense for adoption agencies are the legal fees. Prenatal care is generally covered by Medicaid; same for any expenses should the baby get sick. Living expenses are not, so those would generally be charged to the adoptive parents, I would imagine. Pregnant women seldom need help all 9 months, since, typically, they don’t find out about an unintended pregnancy on day 1.

  • invalid-0

    I’m sure third term abortions are very rare, but they do happen. With partial birth abortion the doctor delivers the baby except for his head. He keeps the head inside the cervix long enough to puncture the baby’s skull and suction out the remains. Then he allows the rest of the (now dead) body to be delivered. This isn’t done to end the pregnancy. That could happen simply by allowing the rest of the body to be delivered. Once 90% of the body is delivered it certainly wouldn’t be a big deal to simply allow the rest to be expelled naturally. Then the pregnancy would be over and no longer a threat to the mothers health BUT without a puncture wound in his head the baby would probably be born alive and THAT’S what they want to avoid. Obviously if the doctor tried to do the same thing to a newborn he’d be facing 25 years to life and in some states the death penalty himself. Once a baby is 90% delivered there is no possible benefit to the mother’s health to force her cervix closed and puncture the undelivered skull. The only reason to do it is to get rid of a probably handicapped child in such a way that the Dr involved will not face charges. This is however a very good article and I’m glad to find information on adoptee rights on this site. It’s also worth mentioning that if a birth parent gives up custody of her/his child no changes are made to the child’s birth certificate. It is only if/when the child is adopted that the changes are made so the arguement that it’s done for the privacy of the birth parents is nonsense. Also if you follow the money and find out who is behind the effort to keep records sealed you will find for the most part adoption agencies or those who speak on behalf of adoptive parents. Even though they claim to speak on behalf of birth parents, for the most part these organizations are made up of those who profit from the adoption industry. Lastly, I remember right after the Oklahoma City bombing; the prosecuter had a hard time finding defence attornies for McVeigh and co. This was because just about every defense attorney available had lost someone and couldn’t or wouldn’t take the case. But eventually he got his defense team and the Oklahoma City taxpayers paid for it. Even the worst criminals get a defense attorney. I think birth parents considering adoption should also be provided with an attorney who has no conflict of interest and will advocate for their rights.

  • progo35

    I was adopted into MA and was able to get my records, or at least those records related to my adoption, including my birth parents real names (I didn’t ask for a birth certificate), and I was adopted into MA in 1982. I had to go through Kentucky, were I was born, and then MA, the state that I was adopted to. The judge signed off on it in a few weeks. So, I’m not sure what you mean in terms of MA not allowing people born between 1974 and 2008 access to their birth information, because that definitely wasn’t true for me. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Progo, this is the perhaps the most dangerous myth in adoption there is
    that infant adoption is just “as if the infant were born to the adoptive parents”
    My God, no wonder you’re “happy” with your amended birth certificate. You support a right to life for unborn non viable fetuses but then insist that infant adoptees never knew their biological parents so they won’t miss them?
    Well, infants know their mothers at birth and carry half her DNA; they carry the other half of DNA from their natural fathers, making a fit into their natural families a darn sight more likely than a fit into a family of biological strangers. Children who don’t have adequate mirroring in their families adapt by forming a “false” self. They often insist they’re happy and everything is great. Meanwhile, they have cut themselves off from their deepest primal emotions.

    Infants are born partially bonded to their mothers. That natural process is meant to continue during and after birth. When that process is disrupted through separation (which is experienced as the death of the mother from the infant’s point of view BTW) it is a life threatening, traumatic experience. PERIOD. It changes the infant’s brain chemistry and wires the infant differently than they would have been had they had the opportunity to complete the natural bonding process, and not in a good way.

    What you say disturbs me because it is dangerous to dismiss any newborn infant as unfeeling or unaware. Infants are in fact exquisitely sensitive and profoundly influenced by their earliest experiences. Just because they have no explicit recall does not mean the experience is not stored and “remembered”
    It is stored in the emotional center of the brain and in the body. It’s clear you are cut off from your own emotions and do not have access to that part of your experience and you will fight tooth and nail to keep it that way. Sad, really.

  • progo35

    Jan-I wasn’t lying, I was responding to a comment on another thread about late term abortions in the third trimester because someone used that as an example of a compromising point between pro life and pro choice people. So, I was shocked that that came up as a compromising point, as I would anticipate that that would be rare, and that the "health" exception would be interepreted differently by pro choice and pro life individuals. For instance, pro life individuals do not consider psychological health to be a valid reason for an abortion at that point, but some pro choice people do.  I was asking the person who mentioned it to cite examples of when they thouht this would might happen and how it  would relate to the health of the women involved.

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Well, I don’t remember being born and I feel happy with my life. It would be an unhealthy choice for me to feel bad today because I didn’t "bond" with my birth mother at birth. Moreover, the reason that babies recognize their mothers at birth is because they have been bonding with her over the last nine months, or at least the last trimester and a half of her pregnancy. Do you not think that a fetus aborted at 15 weeks also suffers the pain of seperation from the comfort of their mother’s body as they are being aborted? So, to me, neither are ideal, but one is definately better than the other.

    Moreover, for all I know, my birth mother is a terrible person. (I don’t think that this is true of birth mothers in general, it’s just that I don’t know.) She took LSD and smoked while she was pregnant and maybe she resented carrying me for nine months. On the other hand, she was going through a very difficult time in her life that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and she had already had one abortion, so perhaps she agonized over what was best for me and was simply weak in doing LSD and smoking. Maybe she’s a wonderful person. Either way, why would I feel bad about not knowing someone that, besides the nine months in her body and a brief glimpse of her after I was born, is a stranger? Honestly, do you think that a child who, say, is adopted because he or she was kidnapped(God forbid) and then was returned to his or her birthmother/father would be happy about that because he or she bonded with them for a few minutes at birth? I don’t think so. The bonding that goes on between the adoptive parents and the baby after it’s born during feeding, changing the diaper, playing, and cudding is the bond that has the most significance in the infant’s development.

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://www.sweatbegone.com/2009/sweating-problems-how-to-stop-your-underarms-from-sweating-too-much/ invalid-0

    I applaud all mothers who give their children up for adoption rather than to outright murder it.

    While I do give these people a lot of credit, I dont think they should know anything about the child they decided to give up.

    It can only make the process a lot harder on the mother and the child.

  • progo35

    A very interesting conversation about pro choice philosophy that mentions
    the adoption issue and the tendency of some in the pro choice community to see adoption as a ploy for undermining abortion rights, or as not being in the mother’s/child’s best interest:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QQTlqxEluw
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • emma

    Well, gosh, I know I make all my decisions based on the hope that you’ll applaud them. /sarcasm

    I dont think they should know anything about the child they decided to give up. It can only make the process a lot harder on the mother and the child

    A bunch of adoptees and women who’ve given children up for adoption have just said otherwise. But why listen to them, right? Clearly, you know best.

  • progo35

    As I’ve said, I don’t have contact with my birth mother, so I can’t get her perspective on this discussion. I did, however, speak to my birth father about it recently. He said that he and my birth mother could have chosen an agency that didn’t charge a fee, “but frankly,” he said, “I, personally, wanted someone who could afford you. I didn’t have to choose your parents but I did, one of the reasons being that they were professionals.” So, sometimes birth parents choose an adoption agency with a fee to ensure that their children will be well taken care of financially.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    http://www.birthmombuds.com/
    This seems like an excellent website for people considering adoption and for people who have placed for adoption.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    A lot of people here won’t like this video because it was made by CatholicVote.org, but I think it’s great:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIBZ-kJ6XAc

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • http://www.greatsampleresumes.com invalid-0

    There is a subtle anti-Catholic component to this, as well, such as in Kathleen Reese’s gratuitous comment – one of many – “Indeed, the Catholic hierarchy’s distance from the experiences of American Catholics is exacerbated by the Catholic Church’s specific version of patriarchy. How does it feel as a woman (or as a man) to have a celibate man tell you about sexuality?”

  • invalid-0

    Anno

    I was not adopted but I did have a stepfather and we lived in his town. Everyone was his family and I did not belong. My mother was not mentally healthy. My real father was not in the picture. I was molested by my stepfather. I did not choose my family and I was stripped of my personal freedoms. It was not anyones fault accept the woman who raised me in that enviroment. If you did not like how you were raised or felt you were stripped of your rights. You should go to the source. I think you have unresolved issues with your mother. But as far as the feeling of not belonging is not about your chilhood it’s something most every person goes trhough at some point in their lives. And we often look around us to find a way we can be part of something more.
    I suggest you look UP. Jesus is calling you. Let him adopt you into his family. You are natrually His anyway. There you will belong. He is where you come from.