Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Honest Look at Adoption

abortion, adoption, birth, mother, prochoice, prolife,
Look, I'm not saying adoption is a bad thing. I think it's a good thing. It's certainly a wonderful thing for people who can't have children and desperately want them. But I have never, ever, seen anything written from the point of view of the birth mother (who in this case had previously had an abortion). Now I have.


The post is a tough read. It's not freakin' Juno. It made me very sad, and very angry. Maybe, just maybe, before we suggest adoption as the panacea to unwanted pregnancies, we need to address the very real concerns brought up by a very real birth mother.

Just a few highlights for those who don't like to click.

Adoption fucked up my head far worse than abortion. I've googled over the years about the psychological aftereffects of giving up a baby, and what little I found is astonishing. Depression and suicide rates ridiculously high, comparable to PTSD - and beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no way you can cook any post-abortion trauma study to come anywhere near post-adoption trauma levels. Strange how peer-reviewed studies on this are damn near non-existent; strange how nobody mentions any of this when it's not just your mind on the line, but also that of your kid or kids (more on that later). Strange how this is never on the radar when these stupid obstructionist anti-abortion rules are proposed by retrofuckwits.

. . .

Emotional fallout only matters to [pro lifers] as a political talking point, in a conversation that includes space only for what is convenient to their preexisting narratives. There's no space to talk about, for example, how, to give a baby up for adoption, you've got to get the father's signature on the papers, or else face legal hell (now, or later). I was raped, by a so-called friend; I had to go through legal hell to get a signature anyway. It was pretty damn adversarial.

. . .

To wind this down: one size fits all doesn't apply to adoption, any more than it does to abortion. If there's going to be discussion about mental issues arising from abortion, then there had damn well better start being just as much - if not more - discussion about mental issues arising from adoption. I cannot say that I'd be surprised to find out that any concern on the part of pro-lifers about birth mothers ended the second she signed the papers; I will scream "Hypocrisy!" as loud as I can if they try to pass off their latest brainfarts as such. You've seen this already: they also argue about the sanctity of a fetus' life, but I see no legislation addressing the quality of life of adoptees.

None of which matters to the kind of people who picket clinics. Not me, not the kid, nothing. All they care about is whether or not they win.

Truer words were never spoken.


  1. Wow, I couldn't even read that entire article. It was very raw. That poor woman, my heart goes out to her.

  2. Yeah, that was rough. Adoption is not a walk in the park. I haven't done it and I know that.

  3. The book "The Girls Who Went Away" is essentially this post in nonfiction paperback form. And centered aroung the 1940's-1970's.

    Read. It.

  4. Well written and thought out post, unlike most of mine. The point I take from this is.

    "None of which matters to the kind of people who picket clinics. Not me, not the kid, nothing. All they care about is whether or not they win."

    Their win is OUR fail. Fight for your rights.

  5. i don't know if i could read that. the post was bad enough and it was much shorter than a book. that was . . . wrenching.

  6. it made me cry.

    Pete was adopted by his mother's parents. she was his sister until she died. fucked him up; looking at her life, i think it fucked her up too

  7. Can you imagine pretending your son was your brother? she must have been in agony every day. poor dear. and poor pete.

  8. no, i can't imagine. it must have been hell.

    i just... i just don't understand the selfishness, to not have an open adoption, you know? i mean, if nothing else, kids will need to know their medical history.


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