Saturday, November 8, 2008

Adoption and Donor Conception Parallels


Via Gershom on Anti-Adoption:
"Adoption is not a band-aid for infertility and it never should be. It doesn’t heal someones infertility and putting that responsibility onto a child grieving the loss of their mother is dismissive and not honoring the emotional well being of the child."
"There are many ways to care for children, but i do not support in the ownership of them and that is what adoption is to me. It is buying, selling, renaming and falsifying their documents to make the sale legal. It is exploiting and profiting off of the adoptee with no intention of helping them in any way shape or form."
Why would anybody who was raised in a loving home be unhappy about being adopted?


I'm currently in the middle of reading the book "Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption" by Wayne Carp, and it first discusses the early days of adoption - where it was no secret, adoption records were open, and adoptees were always told, then the age of secrecy - where adoption records were sealed and the adoptees were unable to ever see their original birth certificate, and social workers advocated a-parents never to their their children, and finally the emergence of the adoption rights movement and the move towards open records and open adoptions.

While I have always been one to acknowledge the similarities between us and adoptees in regards to the grief and loss, I never realized how negatively adoptees were treated at the birth of the adoption rights movement in the early 1970s - almost identically to how donor conceived adults are treated today by a society that scorns us for disagreeing with the method of our conception, and tells us we should be grateful to be alive, etc.  Carp explains that the ignorant society saw adoption and adoption agencies as "good and altruistic" without regard to what was really going on within them...thus discounting the adult adoptees who were accusing the industry of denying them these rights.  The words "good" and "altruistic" in regards to helping people have children are oftentimes synonymous with donor conception, and the tragic losses brought to the children are never fully accepted. 

When I finish the book (probably tonight), I will try to write up a nice little summary with some fantastic quotes I found and post that later.

ADDENDUM: After finishing Carp's book I found it interesting in the historical contexts of adoption in the past century, however his ultimate conclusions (which I hadn't gotten to yet when I last posted) were ultimately troubling.  I will post more comments in a later post when I get some free time.  I was reading this book for an archives class, so now I must write a book review, but focus on the interest to archivists/archives.....oh dear, how can I not make this too personal?!?!

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