Thursday, December 8, 2011

Adoption as Plan B

What do you think of this blog post at Coily Embrace?
[M]any women continue to delay motherhood and when asked “don’t you want children?” their thoughtful response is “One day, and if I can’t have my own, I’ll just adopt.”

“I’ll just adopt.” The way many women quickly say this makes it seem that they believe that adoption is both “easy” and a “back-up” plan. Neither which are quite true.

First, let’s consider adoption as a back-up plan. Bringing a child into your home, and into your life, to raise as your own should be Plan A. Always. Plans can change (and do all the time). But as you go down the road to adoption….that adoption, that child, that experience, should be the current Plan A. Adopting ‘simply’ because you couldn’t have your own children (as a Plan B) is a set up for heartache and suffering for everyone involved. It is important to make adoption your Plan A “before” deciding to adopt.

* * *

Thinking that adoption is a very “easy” Plan B to creating a family is misguided. The women who say “I’ll just adopt”demonstrate that they truly don't understand the complexities of the adoption process. The children who are seeking a family deserve to have parents who view them as “Plan A” and not as a “fall back” Plan B option because they chose to wait too long to have their own biological children.



Linda said...

While we may be "plan a" to some (very few) ap's, adoption is not plan a for the adoptee. Even in cases of neglect, plan a would have been no neglect.

I have an issue with people who say it was "always their plan to adopt". Like they were just sitting around waiting for a child to go through the devastation of losing everything, so they could race in to "save the day"...

It shouldn't be someone's "plan a, b or c" to adopt. I was plan c, like most adoptees were. Plan a is to have your own, with no help. B is to have your own with some assistance. C is adoption. It doesn't offend me, that's just the way it is. ;)

But yes- the whole flippant "oh, I'll just adopt" attitude is a bit ridiculous. Ridiculous, but typical of women who are clueless about adoption.

Anonymous said...

I have heard this remark, but often and frankly, most often, they are usually teens or very young woman. Clearly the complexities of adoption elude them.

When I have heard such comments from grown women who should know better, it is a disservice to all. Initially I tried to educate but quickly realized my efforts are best spent making certain that my child never feels like "the easy way out" and NEVER entertains the notion that we sought adoption because " I didn't want to gain weight." ( again) :(

@Linda, I am surprised you would presume to "know" all AP's rationales, motives and reasons for adopting. I didn't realize you knew us all and had taken the time to scratch a bit below the surface. Huh.

You might take issue with the semantics of someone "seeming" to wish to parent a child who has lost everything and swoop in with a savior like complex ( uh, no!) but you forget that many of us ultimately parent a child for whom that loss and separation already took place...long before we arrived. AND no is celebrating that wound and loss, least of all those who love and care for her best.

Call yourself Plan C if you like, but don't expect everyone else to label themselves in the like. I can speak as both an AP and an adult adoptee.


P.S. Please remember that just like every adoptee and adoption and yes, family is unique, so too are peoples' motivations for adding to or creating their family through adoption, with reproductive assistance or the plain old fashioned way.

Linda said...

Oh, dear, anon- got your panties in a wad yet again, huh? I never said "all". Oh, and in MY opinion (that would be ALL of my opinion), your voice as an adoptee has been cancelled out by your adopter voice. Must be one helluva power struggle, eh?

Reena said...

Ditto on the post comment that the remark, "I'll just adopt," is typically made by very young women who don't yet understand the complexities of life.

Linda (If you are still reading these comments), I do have a question about your comment, (I have an issue with people who say it was "always their plan to adopt").

I am actually one of those people--My parents tried to adopt from foster care when I was 8-10 years old. At that age I didn't fully understand the complexities of adoption (still dont't but am trying). In my mind, there were children who didn't have a mommy and/or daddy to love them, 'no matter what.' It really threw my mind for a loop.

Adoption never worked out for my parents. As a child, I wanted my family to adopt and as I grew up I planned to adopt-- but I never really thought of it as me rushing in as a saviour-- although in writing this down, I can certainly see how it might sound that way.

Leslie Hughes said...

I'm with Reena, here, as a person who planned to grow a family through adoption even as a child. I never intended to experience pregnancy or birth. I intended to adopt. I never thought "Oh, Lord. I hope some mother is having a horrible life and one way or another i get to rescue her children!" I can't change the fact that abuse, neglect, and other societal and governmental pressures color the world that children live in. I can't change a Parent's mind about weither to raise a child or not.
My plans for adoption have been bumped back, for various reasons beyond my control, and i'm somewhat thankful. I've learned more in the 5 years I've been "unable" to adopt and i feel i have a more fleshed out view of adoption in general.
Adoption has always been My Plan A of family building but it's true, when i made that plan, i didn't understand the complexities of adoption at all.

Anonymous said...

I don't think many understand the complexities of the adoption process until they have been through it.

Anonymous said...

I have an issue with people who say it was "always their plan to adopt"

I am one of those people. I wish we lived in a world where every child can be raised by his or her mother, but we do not. I always wanted to become a mother by adopting a child whose mother couldn't take care of him or her. (Incidentally, I adopted from foster care.) My always wanting me to be a mother by adoption doesn't mean I wished particular children would suffer by needing to be adopted anymore that a boy who wants to be a fireman when he grows up is hoping peoples' house burn down.

Molly W. said...

This seemed to me to be saying something somewhat different -- I thought it was suggesting that, once you come to the decision to adopt (even if you didn't "always want" to adopt), you should be wholeheartedly behind that plan.

I think of our adoption process -- we received a referral and then had an 8-month wait for the international court process to conclude. Before we received a referral, I would have been overjoyed to become pregnant.

But during the 8-month wait, after we filed our intent to adopt the child who became our daughter, I took pains *not* to conceive, b/c at that point *she* was my plan A.

Linda said...

Clearly, my sarcasm was lost. Of course, no one sits around and waits for a child to experience a tragedy. But for an adoption to occur, that is exactly what happens first.

I have no issues with foster adoption- as long as the child is not entirely stripped of everything. Unfortunately, foster care adoption is quickly becoming "the back door" to adoption, because of the lack of "voluntary" relinquishments.

My point (which I did not clearly state) was that "most" people (especially those who are young and have no knowledge about adoption) who have a "lifelong plan to adopt" are pretty clueless as to adoption's life long effects.

RA-SS said...

Does "very young" reach up well into one's mid to late 30s and even some 40-soemthings? I hear MANY women in THAT age category saying EXACTLY this: "I can always JUST adopt!"

And I don't thik they are stting around waiting for a child to be neglkected...They re under the classic misconception that there are thousands of ORPHANS ";anguishing" in orphanages waiting to be adopted. People still have a "Little orphan Annie" view of adoption. The industry fosters the lies, intentionally inflating the numbers to keep people applying to adopt and thus keep the adoption professionals in business.

Please read:

theadoptedones said...

I was Plan B - never bothered me a bit. Plan A is for most people to create a combo mini-us. It's perfectly natural and normal desire of human beings to procreate. To see our family line continue. It's why our species has survived.

Only in adoption is Plan A (procreating) seen as the wrong attitude.

Anonymous said...

Life is full of tradiges. It's the decision what we do once those tradiges have occurred. People waiting for a heart transplant are not wishing someone to die ( i speak from personal experience). Rather, they are hoping that if the tradegy already has occurred, someone will be generous enough to fill out their donor card so they may have another chance.

It's not an exact comparison to adoption,(by any means), but I hope people get the idea.

Anon 4

Anonymous said...

I have witnessed age 40 plus women saying the same thing. I have heard it several times from a woman on her Bravo TV show.

I think many of us were raised in the colorblind generation and we just thought adopting was a good thing to do. In other words, we didn't really go beyond "it's a good thing." My mom was a social worker, so I always believed that it was a good thing to give a child who doesn't have a family-- or a family that is able to take care of them-- another home.

It wasn't until I did research that my myopic vision of adoption expanded into the wider scope of race and loss.

What I witness more waaaay often is the religious saving the orphan than the "just adopt" crowd.

Anonymous said...

OOps, meant to sign the last post Anon #4.

Amanda said...

I was a "plan B." It doesn't bother me because there's nothing I can do about it. I can't go back in time and make my parents want me first instead of the biological child they tried for, for 9 years.

I always chuckle when people so easily talk about adoption as a "plan B" without realzing how hurtful it is to adoptees.....but adoptees dare never say that adoption is "plan B" for children. People are so understanding and sympathetic when it comes for a parent's desire for a biological child and their sorrow when they cannot have one....but they cannot make the same connection for a child's need or desire for their biological parent (if that connection is healthy and appropriate, of course).

There's always that double-standard. Perhaps a product of unconcious adultism in a society that is not entirely tolerant of children. Who knows.

Like Linda, I too bristle when I hear someone say "I'll just adopt" or "I've always wanted to adopt." Not because people who have actually always wanted to adopt and have done so informed and for good reason don't exist. I am aware that they do. It is because the usual context I hear such a statement said in is when someone is talking about charity, all the good they can do, and their words are dripping with pity for the poor soul they'll some day save. Sometimes people who say they've "always wanted to adopt" have done no homework to know how adoption can be helpful and how it just contributes to existing problems. You wonder if they'll be the APs who are informed and allies to change--or ones who look at the change makers with raised eye-brown wondering why they're so gosh-darn "anti-adoption."

We are real sons and real daughters. I'm nobody's charity case. No adoptee should be the object of pity. And that's precisely why I don't like those statements.

noname said...

The whole article is negative and derogatory towards birth families and birth mothers. It has a fearful attitutde towards open adoption.

The article is only interested in portraying the inconvenience of adoption for the people getting the child.

It doesn't have any concern for the child involved nor for the families of relinquished children.

I'm really tired of all this stuff, really who cares what some woman who worries about not being thin is thinking about adoption?

There will always be anger about the ignorance surrounding adoption.

We are all ignorant in our own ways anyway, especially Linda who jumps all over anyone who disagrees with her.

Anonymous said...

"We are all ignorant in our own ways anyway, especially Linda who jumps all over anyone who disagrees with her."

So seconding that. Adoptee voice cancelled out by an adopter voice? More like adoptee voices that don't agree with Linda are cancelled out.

Anonymous adoptee and non-adopter

Anonymous said...

Actually, Linda is oblivious to everything except the sound of her own voice so she doesn't need to worry about being ignorant.

Non-adoptee and Plan A Adoptoraptor

malinda said...

Let's keep it friendly, folks. Disagreement is ok, but when you find yourself disagreeing with a PERSON instead of disagreeing with an ARGUMENT, you've crossed the line.

Anonymous said...

Funny how that applies to some sets of people and not others.

Reena said...

Oh wow—I had some stuff come up over the weekend and was not able to check back.

First, my question to Linda was an honest question. I actually don’t have a problem with listening to her opinions nor do I typically mind how she states her opinion. Sometimes, one does need to be a bit ‘shocking’ to get people’s attention. Linda, like many other adult adoptees has experiences in common with my daughters that I will not ever really be able to share with them. When I read a comment by an AA and it reflects something that is true for me—I ask about it because quite frankly, I would rather hear the response from them and digest it to get an idea how one or both of my daughters ‘may’ feel about it someday. I am trying to learn and have discovered that the world of Adoption (Agencies) does very little to actually prepare us adoptive parents.

I think the point(s) made by Amanda is really dead-on and as APs why aren’t more of us asking why this is true?
“but adoptees dare never say that adoption is "plan B" for children. People are so understanding and sympathetic when it comes for a parent's desire for a biological child and their sorrow when they cannot have one....but they cannot make the same connection for a child's need or desire for their biological parent (if that connection is healthy and appropriate, of course).”

Anonymous said...

Yes, Linda has a beautiful voice, I love to listen to it as well.

I know all of you too, yes, every single one of you, and what is in your adoptoraptor heart. I am adopted Santa Claus and it bothered me a great deal to be plan B. I knew I was so I left home and moved to the North Pole and deal with my control issues by surrounding myself with tiny, badly dressed slaves. Huzzah!

Santa Claus

p.s. I got Linda a diamond tennis bracelet and you anonymous adoptoraptors can look for a lump of coal ground into your carpet :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Reena, haven't you sucked up enough to the doppelganggirls for one season?

Or is it a year?

Hard to tell--it's been so tedious to watch.

Anonymous said...

Now listen up, folks. It would all be so simple if only you would all agree with Linda. She's not looking for discussion. The screech is the message.

Delusional friend Santa is All-Knowing and lives up the pole surrounded by a bunch minions with no elf-esteem. And that's OK too, because they are PWed and can't help it. Pathos is power, especially if used right.

So bite me.


Reena said...

Wow, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous-- you all (or is it just one?) really put yourselves out there don't you.

Grand Applause!

theadoptedones said...

Wow, just wow. To the anonymous commentors...

If you feel this defensive perhaps you should look deep, deep, inside to figure out why.

Anonymous said...

Reena and theadoptedones, have you ever thought, REALLY thought, about WHY there are so many anonymouses (including adoptee Santa, in case you hadn't noticed)?
No, I didn't think so.

I don't have a problem listening to what other people have to say. Or taking it in either.
I do have a problem with them telling me and others what to think, and that if we don't march in step to the beat of their drum, we are renegade.

theadoptedones said...

Anonymous 9:20...

So you don't want to be told what to think, but at the same time you have no problems asking questions and then answering the same questions for us?

Would that not be a double standard? Not okay when done to you - but okay when done to us?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Adoptedones, rhetorical questions are lost on you. As to your previous comment about "defensiveness," why can't you just take the comments in the non-defensive but utterly disparaging spirit in which they were offered?

Anonymous said...

Q.E.D, Previous Anon.