"Anti-adoption" sounds ludicrous. Who could oppose placing an unwanted child into a loving home?Not to mention facing a public and media willing to accept simplistic and unhelpful labels like "anti-adoption" for any critique of adoption as it's currently practiced. . . .
An entire movement, it turns out--fighting with a primal passion to expose what activists insist is adoption's darker side: The lifelong trauma of women coerced into surrendering babies. Adoptees denied their heritage. And, they say, a billion-dollar industry that focuses more on money than youngsters' welfare.
Some leave careers to write letters, track legislation, research articles and books. They work in anti-adoption non-profits. They educate "vulnerable mothers" and provide baby supplies and financial resources.
The activists insist a mother should first be helped to keep her child. In cases in which that is impossible (say, the woman is incapacitated), a family member or other caring adult should have guardianship. The child should be aware of that relationship. Money should not be exchanged.
Adoption supporters say that logic is flawed.
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"I've been in children's welfare a long time and I've never seen this level of volatility in other issues. Feelings run very high," said Madelyn Freundlich, attorney and author of the book "The Impact of Adoption on Members of the Triad" (Child Welfare League of America), the triad being mother, baby and adoptive couple.
Anti-adoption groups confront a public puzzled by their cause. Some 94 percent of adults polled either held "very favorable" or "somewhat favorable" opinions of adoption in a 2002 national survey by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a non-profit focusing on adoption policy and practices.
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