Feminists have long been divided over adoption, reflecting this larger dilemma.At Baby Love Child, Adoption as a modern Feminist institutional blindspot:
If adoption exemplifies voluntary kinship—and it does—it stands to reason that adoption would be attractive for women, who have historically been defined and confined by their consignment to mandatory motherhood. On the other hand, if adoption is premised on gross inequalities that result in the transfer of children from poorer parents, communities, and countries to richer ones—and it is—how can feminists ever defend it as a model of family formation?
For Feminism to genuinely begin to grapple with its legacy of and current entwinement with adoption as an institution and the corrupt industry itself, Feminists would need to move beyond listening to adoptive mothers and begin to genuinely listen to Mothers and Bastards ourselves, all while coming to terms with the many ways by which Feminist individuals and institutions, as well as institutions supported by Feminists (NARAL, as but one of many such examples) have enabled the industry and participated personally, a tall order indeed when for decades now adoption has been sold to womyn as another “reproductive choice.”From the Daily Bastardette, Adoption Is a Feminist Issue:
The fact that those critical of adoption tactics and the industry remain ghettoized, never added to the pantheon of “Feminist Issues” says a very great deal about the internal blind spot modern many Feminists have perpetuated. Turning a blind eye to the conditions under which children are procured undermines the authenticity of other aspects of the modern Feminist critique.
How can one speak to the conditions of working womyn in India, for example, without ALSO acknowledging that one aspect of the work some number of Indian womyn are forced into is that of bearing children for American would-be adopters?
Unfortunately organized mainstream feminist talk about adoption hasn't moved beyond the 1970s's consumerist/choice nobody-held-a-gun-to-your-head blatherGreat stuff! Be sure to click through to read both pieces, and the interesting comments, too.
that blames a specific group of de-priviledged women for their own de-priviledging--that privileged feminists have been all too happy exploit without a care to get their hooks into babies. But as Dawn pointed out, adoption IS about privilege. I would add that adoption is mainly a middle class issue as well, since today the rich and poor are seldom on the giving end of the "adoption option." (Of course, that can always change with the economy)
There is little feminist critique of adoption outside of academia, and even there it is top-heavy with adopter discourse--some of it spot-on., and I don't want to dimiss it. But, Feminist Bastard and Feminist First Mother voices are generally limited to blogs, forums, and obscure conference workshops. I don't know why.