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Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Complicated, Baby

All across America, people still prefer to adopt babies. Millions of Americans adopted babies and some of us were adopted as babies. I’m guessing it’s because tiny babies don’t show their feelings; baby screams sound just like cries.  This may also explain why so many children languish in foster care: they’re just too old. Older kids do exhibit fear, uneasiness or apprehension; some kids even act like babies.
            Adopting babies is easier. Adoptive parents can hope their new baby will adjust and bond favorably by the time baby will talk. Some adopters believe they saved us as babies since our mother was a slut or wretched teenager, or maybe a sick woman on an Indian reservation or from a trashy tenement. Maybe we're Third World babies from an over-populated Chinese, Russian or African orphanage. Sometimes adopters simply ignore our culture and history, like it doesn’t exist. Some of my friends heard words like “dirty savages and filthy heathens.”
            Adopters might hope to mold “orphan babies” into something they want. They'll try loving us first. Yet we know love doesn’t cure everything. Love can’t erase genetics or ancestral memory. If love doesn't work, the adopters might try bullying us or drugging us into submission until we show them some gratitude.
            An even more complicated reality exists, a much bigger untold desperate story. 
            Adoptable babies are scooped up quick, especially if they are white and healthy and from America. You can even order one, but it will cost you thousands of dollars.
            If that doesn’t work, and if you can afford it, you can always buy a surrogate mother; these women widely advertise now. She’ll carry and deliver your baby for a price. Some sisters will do this for an infertile sibling.
            Then there’s a huge “underground market,” where they still kidnap and sell babies. Baby peddlers, some who practice law, are out there making money, too. Some abducted babies were made child sex slaves. Guatemala is now under investigation for illegal baby peddling. Someone made a ton of money on babies!
            A newer adoption scam is happening online – when a woman fakes a pregnancy, offers her unborn baby as bait, then steals the unsuspecting couple’s money (thousands of dollars) using the internet as a trap.
            There are tragic stories about sick women or couples who will kill a pregnant woman just to take her baby. This happened in Massachusetts recently.
            There are more stories about babies being dumped (abandoned) all across America. One mother dumped three babies in California (two were saved but one died from exposure). In New York, three sisters were arrested for helping one sister dump her newborn girl in the trash, causing the baby to die.
            Some mothers are illegal immigrants and don’t want their new baby. They'll do their child a favor by dumping them off at a firehouse. Those adoptees rarely find their mothers, since birth records won’t exist. There is a slim chance their mother will seek them out for a reunion since they are considered felons and criminals in most states.
            For the millions of us who have been handed over, dumped, or exchanged (or sold, or taken) for a hundred years – has anyone dared to ask how we felt at the exchange? 
            Apparently we are studied, not consulted.
            Bear in mind, babies didn’t create this billion dollar adoption industry or cause infertility. Babies can't solve social issues but we're sold as one solution. Babies can't cure the pain in women who can’t conceive. Babies didn’t create poverty. Some would say certain babies arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time. We were an inconvenience, or a sin, or a mistake.
            How will we ever fix this? It's complicated, baby!

3 comments:

  1. Since I am an older mother - almost 50 - and my daughter is 32, I have to say this, there are some of us, a lot of us that just had not options...at all. We were pushed, threatened, bullied, and brow beat into "surrendering" our children. I, for one, was never a junkie, whore, drunk or anything like that....and I sure didn't plan on giving up the baby that I loved from the moment I knew of her, that tiny spark that moved my heart and life.

    Since I was in foster care, for a long time...I totally get it. Left to rot with people that just didn't care about anything but the money brought in. Too old to be adopted, too broken to go home...to a home that didn't exist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your blog Lori and totally get that many mother had no choice but to relinquish their precious child...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your blog Lori and totally get that many mother had no choice but to relinquish their precious child...

    ReplyDelete

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

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ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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