Adoption Reform means so many things because we all come from different parts of the adoption community. To you reform may mean making original birth certificates available to every adoptee, to me it may mean making all countries Hague compliant.
Almost everyone involved in adoption believes that the adoption community needs some reform.
So, tell us what you want reformed. Help us spread the word a little (okay, a lot) and lets get everyone involved in this Carnival. Make sure to link to Mr. Linky.
What do I want reformed? Hmm. High up on my list would be keeping the original birth certificate and adding an adoption decree—the amended birth certificates are not only a lie, they are sometimes nonsensical. Yes, Cricket’s biological parents are both women, why do you ask? Says so right here! Ruth and I both have copies of his OBC, so access to it won’t be a problem for him, but all adoptees should have access. Original birth certificates should tell the truth; our agency tried to bully me out of having Mr. Book on there, wanted me to go with “unknown.” Listen, guys, I’ve only had sex with one man in my life—I am not pretending otherwise so that you can shut him out of the process!
I want all adoptions to be agency adoptions, and all agencies to be nonprofit. In fact, I’d rather they didn’t focus on placement; I know one social worker here in town who works with an organization that helped 240 women last year and of those, 6 placed their children for adoption. That’s what I want—organizations that are genuinely looking out for the best interests of the child and the mother, whatever that looks like. I know that they exist, but they’re in the minority . . . and they don’t have the ad budget of those less ethical agencies.
Prospective adoptive parents should be educated before they go into the pool—about open adoption, about RAD, heck, maybe they should have marital counseling (I throw that last one in only because the local CUB rep told me that adoptive parents have an 86 percent divorce rate. I’m not sure that I believe her, but jeez). They should hear from adoptees and birth parents and adoptive parents, about the good and the bad. I don’t think that all adoptions need to be open, but I do think that all open adoptions should be legally enforceable; modifiable if it’s in the best interests of the child, of course, but not at any of the parents’ discretion.
Beyond those few things, I become more uncertain. I think that there are some problems with the way that some women making an adoption plan have their expenses paid by the prospective adoptive parents—but some of them need the help. Heck, I had some of my medical expenses and some maternity clothes paid for by Ruth and Nora (through the agency); I felt that it was okay for me to have them pay for things that they would have paid for had they gotten pregnant (so no rent or food money, but medical expense, absolutely). Heck, I thought to myself, if I could pay my own medical expenses, I wouldn’t be doing an adoption, now would I?
I hate some of the advertising done by people hoping to adopt, but I suppose I can’t blame them. I have not yet been through that experience of trying and trying for a child, realizing that it isn’t going to happen that way, going to a doctor and trying even harder, and then deciding that a biokid just isn’t in the cards. But the billboard ads, the YouTube videos . . . it creeps me out, to be perfectly honest. There’s gotta be a better way.