Shout Progress!

Shout Progress!
Designs Exclusive for Democrats!

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.







11 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. It is quite maddening, all the ways that people in general and children specifically aren't served by the pro-life/anti-choice rhetoric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! It makes my blood boil. Thank you!

      Delete
  2. No doubt about it, it's a broken system.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. How sad to have rather not been born. We definitely don't see eye to eye on that but guess that's the great thing about life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder what would have happened if my soul had landed somewhere else. I didn't say I wish I hadn't been born.

      Delete
    2. That's true you didn't. Sorry about that. I guess you'd have to believe the soul would pass to another body. Not something I believe in so would land in the not being born/existing category.

      Delete
  4. I think looking at abortion through the eyes of an adopted child is important. I believe in pro-choice, handing out free condoms in high school (I think some do now) and being able to buy the pill over the counter without a prescription! I have a neighbor that started a non-profit for foster children once they turn 18. These children are turned out on the street the day of their birthday with a bag of belongings. It's a perspective that deserves to be considered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, most sincerely. Your neighbors non-profit is beautiful! I would love more information about it. Do they have a website or donation page?

      Delete
  5. My son and daughter in law are in the process of adopting our first grandson after more than five frustrating years of trying to begin their family. He is beautiful and we all love him and are very grateful that his birth family chose to bring him into this world and share him with our family. I love the name of your blog. May you find much tenderness in your quest for understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My two children are adopted; I'll have to ask my son if he feels detached or how he feels about some of the issues you raised here. Long story about why I won't ask my daughter. In my son's case, his birth parents were married to each other, both had children from other relationships and they had one child together. My son tested positive for drugs when he was born so by law back then (1980s) the state we were living in Child Protective Service had to be called in. His birth parents chose to give him up for adoption since they didn't want Child Protective Services to be called (which CPS wouldn't be called if he was up for adoption). In the case of my daughter, she was born to a 17 year old at the time girl. My daughter has physical disabilities. The birth mom kept her for a year and then put her up for adoption. Not sure why. I'm not sure if either sets of birth parents considered abortion. I would have adopted more if it wasn't so expensive. But that's just my opinion and I know your's would be different. Both did know they were adopted early on.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think its beautiful that you adopted children. Those are both the types of exceptions I was talking about. It is not my place to tell people what to do. My blog is my place to vent. But your two children were in this world and then needed to be elsewhere. You stepped up and took them into your home. That is what I would like to see happen more often and people being shamed into carrying children to give to people who only want babies would happen less often. I would like to see the 150 million children throughout the world who do not have families be adopted before we continue to create more children that need homes. Thank you for your respectful dialogue :)

      Delete