Wednesday, April 1, 2015
A is for Adoption
I suppose my opinions about adoption are different from most and will be offensive to many. That's fine. They come from an understanding that is limited by my own experience from having been adopted.
I grew up knowing I was adopted. I don't remember ever having been told or not knowing, so it must have been relayed to me at a very early age. There was never a misunderstanding about what adoption meant, so the explanation must have been clear. Although I have met a handful of adoptees in my life, it still felt like a very singular and lonely circumstance. It certainly seemed unnatural. I was always aware that my people were not really my people. No one that I knew had the questions that I did. When we learned about genetics in middle school and people had to determine which of their traits they inherited from which of their parents, I was the only one who was allowed to just take an A for the project and not do it. Whenever someone would talk about their heritage having been one nationality or another, I had nothing to add. I had fantasies about what my history may have been (explained in this blog entry), but I had no way of knowing where my ancestors came from. Every time I had to fill out paperwork regarding medical history I have just put a big "adopted" across the section asking questions about any diseases that may have been passed down. To be honest, though, these are all very generic explanations of how it felt to grow up having been adopted.
I grew up to be very detached from people. I explained it in depth in a blog called No, Thanks (read here). I was always aware of a bond that I was missing. I could see it. I could (not) feel it. Although less than 2% of American children are adoptees, more than 10% of Americans referred for therapy had been adopted. My detachment is not unique. From the outside it would seem that the adoptee should just be grateful to have a family. In contrast, however, I wonder what would have happened if my mother had had an abortion and my soul could have landed in the body of a child who was wanted.
Surely there are instances when adoption is the only alternative. But they should be rare. Very rare. Most unwanted babies don't need to be born. In a perfect America where we didn't have politicians trying desperately to create controversy out of things that are common sense and ignore things that are genuinely important, we would have the focus needed to have that revelation. The anti-choice leaders are so busy trying to excite their limited base with nonsense that neither they, nor their base, take the time to see their hypocrisy or edit their opinions accordingly. To be anti-choice, you need to have an alternative. They do not believe in sex education in schools. Apparently that is too icky. They do not believe in contraception or making it readily available to those who they have neglected to educate about sex and unwanted pregnancies. They do, however, believe in making sure every unwanted pregnancy creates a life. Please, do not spend time trying to convince me or yourself that you are "pro-life" when you refuse to care about that life once it breathes.
As we are being hindered in attempts to actually solve a problem before it happens, we are then left with far too many opportunities to solve the problem afterward. Of course, now the problem is a child. And now that child who was such a desperate concern for politicians has become a statistic that they care only about exploiting in attempts to garner votes by encouraging discrimination of the poor, uneducated and needy. They don't want to have to feed them or give them health care or fund their educations. Honestly, children don't vote so why pretend to give a shit? And, apparently the voters don't mind, because the same politicians in the same party have been pulling this shit forever and they still have jobs.
So we have now created children and evidenced we could care less about them. Fabulous.
Imagine how many more unwanted children there would be if abortion were illegal. Those desperate to get rid of Roe V Wade will tell you all about long waiting lists of people who want to adopt babies. Yep- Those lists exist. Yep- There are a lot of people who can't have children who are sitting on a waiting list to adopt a baby. Something very important is missing from their equation, though.
Our country has many hundreds of thousands of children in foster care waiting to be adopted. They exist. They are alive. They were not aborted. They do not have homes. Every year tens of thousands of these children reach adulthood having never made it out of foster care and never found a family. They are literally in this world with no one. Worldwide there are an estimated 150 million children who need to be adopted. They do not have families. They need homes. Why in the FUCK do we need to be creating more children when we cannot (or do not) take care of the ones we already have?
The irrelevance of these children in any part of a society which demands an anti-choice legislation is stunning to me. It should be stunning to everyone. But no one thinks about it. This is America, you know? We have managed to fucker up the lives of so many children in this country by forcing women to have babies they don't want but once here feel obligated to raise.
Until we can, as a country, find a way to care for and find homes for these children, not only should abortion be legal, but it should be encouraged.