Educating the Masses, one Discussion Board Post at a Time


I’ve already posted my main response to this week’s writing prompt for one of my classes, in which I argue adoption is not a reproductive right but I thought I would share my response to a fellow student who argued that adoption is a right for adoptive parents.

________________________________________________

A.B.-

At one point in my life, I felt very much the same way you did: adoption is a right. However, when I started  listening to the voices and lived experience of the very people adoption is supposed to benefit—adoptees— I unlearned many of my biases regarding what is and what isn’t a reproductive right.  I figure since they are the experts on what it feels like to live an adopted life, they probably have a lot to teach the rest of us. And this is what I learned.

No one should be prohibited from adopting based on sexual orientation, race, religion, or gender. If a person is a fit parent, they should not be prohibited from adopting and courts across the land agree.  However, not prohibiting a person from adopting does not grant them the right to adopt.  Framing adoption as a right sets adoptive parents at odds with the rights of their adopted child when he or she reaches the age of majority.  It also creates an environment where entitlement abounds and can lead to grievous violations of human rights for both the adoptee and the birth parents.

Adult adoptees have been engaged in an ongoing struggle since the late 1970’s to have their civil rights restored so they can gain access to their original birth certificate, as well as to end the human rights violations that occur when a person’s original identity, heritage, and culture are obscured and even lost in the adoption transaction. Opponents to open records cite the primacy of the birth and adoptive parents’ rights, claiming they are superior to that of the adult adoptee. While 42 of the 50 states still prohibit an adoptee from accessing their original birth records, people across the country are beginning to realize that an adoptee’s rights are human rights and are moving to open records in their state. The most recent state to declare the supremacy of adoptee rights over birth or adoptive parents’ rights is Indiana, who just passed an open records bill today—the bill now moves on for a signature from the governor, which it looks like he will do.

As a mother of four children, I understand the deep-seated psychological need to be a parent, but this is one of those instances where we must listen carefully to those whose rights are most vulnerable, and that is the rights of the adoptee. If you would like more information about adoptee rights and how viewing adoption as a reproductive issue thwarts those rights, you can read more at Americans for Open Records, the Adoptee Rights Coalition, and Bastard Nation.

All the best-

Melynda

P.S. I address this issue at length in my discussion board post, too. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am what is known as an “adoptee light.” My step-father adopted me when I was 27-years old. While I have my original birth certificate tucked securely away, there are millions of Americans who are prohibited from accessing their original birth certificate.

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11 thoughts on “Educating the Masses, one Discussion Board Post at a Time

  1. Absolutely! It is not a right, we are not chattels to be owned. It is also against the Convention of Rights of Children to not be given away like a packet of cornflakes. Have set up affectedbyadoption.com to deal with these issues. Am happy to do a guest blog if you like 🙂

  2. Why the hell do infertile couples think they have the “right” to adopt when adoption agencies and social wreakers think single mothers don’t have the “right” to keep her own baby. To that double standard I give them my middle finger.

  3. Ahem, the bill Indiana just passed does NOT allow for unrestricted access for adult adoptees to receive their unaltered BC. It is still discriminatory and unequal treatment against adult adoptees. More states have been trying to sneak in and “celebrate” victories in passing legislation that still mistreats adult adoptees by continuing to restrict an adult adoptee’s ability to access his/her unaltered birth certificates.

    It’s long past time for adoptees’ rights and human dignity to be restored all over the country and in the world. Unfortunately, Indiana’s recent bill does NOT do that. It still treats adult adoptees as lesser than, inequal, and undeserving of what other never-adopted adults have no issue getting.

    • Excellent point. Thank you for the important clarification. I am a firm believer that ALL adoptees should have access to their original birth certificate with no black out dates and no birth parent vetoes and should be always be available to adoptees, regardless of current age or year of birth.

  4. Adoption is legal by state and federal law…as the general public becomes more educated in the negative outcomes of adoption, more socialistically minded….this may change by the end of the 21st century. Adoption is not a “right” in a Christian sense.
    Usury, (a biblical term) is the act of making money off the misfortunes of others. It is sad people cannot conceive…but infant-stranger-adoption will not solve the couples trauma, nor their relationship.
    Separating family’s, legally, rather than practicing ethical responses of support family’s in stressful situations, confirms it is the goal of capitalism to make money, and at the expense of others. As adoption is marketed to couples that can’t conceive, that they are saving a child, is a lie. Consider the mental health repercussions of adoption that has affected an entire nation. There are multiple books on this…The Primal Wound, Verrier; Chosen Children, Lori Carangelo; Psychological Trauma and the Developing Brain, Stein-Kendall. Adopted persons are the largest group in mental health counseling in the US. Neuroscience has been cautious to do extensive research on this, because adoption, foster care, rehoming, mental health services and all associated agencies, helps run the economy. To top it off..adoption practices in the US, especially prior to R v W, is an embarrassment to social workers employed in private for profit and welfare agencies. The coercion to separate families for profit, was (is?) ubiquitous. The courts should not say “in the best interest of the child”, but instead “the best interest of the biological family”. It is time state and federal laws support the maintenance of biological family’s before profit….

  5. By now I know that words are the most powerful tool to use for good and evil.

    Words, especially those that are used to separate a mother from her child for the good of society are boundless cornucopia of cruelty and inhumanity: give your baby a chance at a better life, with more competent individuals, who have more money, can provide more opportunities. And of course, the unwed/wed mother with little financial means or family, friends to support her. Or, out of fear and social familial shame could not tell family or friends because she cannot possibly raise a child properly whether a teen or naive adult; alluding to promiscuity, lack of self control, the list goes on. All these false perceptions designed only to trade my baby for money and engineer a more desirable society. It still sickens me. I write, write, write, so that I can go on in forgiveness and love.

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