What's Best for Mothers and Babies
©2007 Celeste Billhartz
I have a friend who is convinced that all adopted babies are/were removed from their mothers for good reasons and that adoption is always in the best interests of the babies.
She cautions me to be less strident about expressing my anti-adopting views. I don't argue with her because she is older and a lot smarter about life.
I know my views are difficult for her to hear. She volunteers her time on behalf of an organization that supports and encourages young mothers to surrender their infants for adoption. She sees really mixed-up teens who are reckless, irresponsible and drug-addicted. No doubt, their babies would suffer in their care. Taking them from their mothers makes sense, of course.
My departure from my friend's view is around the issue of adopting -- selling the babies to strangers. (Or, non-profit organizations accepting a large "donation" in exchange for them.)
Even infants-at-risk ought to be kept within their familes, with responsible, caring adults -- grannies, aunties, cousins, supportive friends. The mothers and babies could also benefit from wise and caring mentors, too.
I believe women-of-conscience who want to adopt should become mentors, instead. They should help mothers and babies, not separate them. At some point they must realize that their willingness to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an infant is the reason adopting is a billion-dollar a year industry that flourishes in North America.
Because we now know that the girl/mothers of past generations -- who were forced to surrender their babies -- never got over that loss, we must stop taking babies from young mothers who do not pose a threat to them, but simply are young, gullible and unmarried when they give birth.
Yes, having a baby changes everything. Yes, dreams get put on hold. Yes, life is never the same. That's why it is so important that families welcome mother and baby home, that we-- as a society -- show compassion for young single mothers instead of shaming them, and that women shift their desires from buying a baby to helping many mothers and children make their way in the world.
To really get a new perspective on babies who are/were separated from their natural mothers, read Julie Rist's blog -- Lizard Chronicles: Happy Adoptees