Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thoughts on adoption

I found my boys like this one morning--sitting side by side, each playing a stolen DS, with a blanket pulled up on their legs.  Boy, I love them.

I don't get to watch too much television nowadays, but at night Dan and I usually have one or two shows that we like to watch together.  Last night I was watching one of those shows, and something about it just kept rubbing me the wrong way.

A large part of the storyline dealt with adoption, specifically a girl who had tried to contact her birthparents.  The thing that was bugging me, was that they kept using the phrase "gave her up for adoption."  I hate that phrase.  I am here to let you all know, that the more correct phrase to use is "placed the baby for adoption."

Think about what is implied in the phrase "giving up for adoption.  It implies abandonment.  It implies that a birthparent doesn't care about this child.  Most of the birthparents I know or know about, nothing could be further from the truth.  For example, our birthparents.  They were together, in fact already raising rwo children together, and when they found out she was pregnant, did not feel they could provide for another baby, let alone two.  They then made a very careful and conscientious decision to do what was best for the children, and opted to place them for adoption.  There was no abandonment, no selfishness, just making a choice to do what they felt was best for these babies.

The other thing that bothered me about the show was the lack of respect given to the birthfather.  In the story he was a grown man with a family who had placed the baby when he was 17.  He had loved her, but didn't feel he could care for her.  Other characters belittled him for the decision he made, and the fact that he wasn't ready to meet his biological daughter many years later.

I guess what was bugging me so much, was that I feel it is so important to respect the choices that birthparents make.  We have a semi-open adoption,  We send pictures and letters twice a year.  In every letter I let our birthmom know that we would love to hear back from her, but she has never sent anything back.  That's okay.  I respect that.  I don't know her well enough to know what she needs, but whatever it is, I will respect her decision.  If my boys want to find her one day and have a relationship, I will support that, but at the same time respect her wishes as well.

Finally, I am so bugged that every time I type birthparent it's telling me I have a typo.  I have only had one or two people use the term "real parent" to me, thank goodness.  I think most people know that isn't the correct term.  I am the real mom to my boys, but we do owe a humongous thank you to two very special people, the birthparents, and their decision to place these precious boys with us.


kdkc said...

I am so glad you addressed this issue. I am the mother of an adopted son and I am so resentful when someone will introduce our family and have to say our adopted son. No one says He's my biological son! Our son's birth mother gave him to us to raise and that's when I became his mother!

It seems like when there is bad news and the child is adopted they report on it like that is the reason they committed a crime!

The Chairman's Wife said...

I agree with all you shared. We also are adoptive parents. One international (China), one domestic, and a child by birth. We are the 'real' parents. We love our children unconditionally and unbiased in every way. I wish the media didn't place such a heavy stigma on birth parents. They did the best choice possible. And we as adoptive parents have been given the best gift possible. I hope that changes so that others can have the joy we have had in the adoption process.