Adoption has been called many things. It’s been called a win-win-win, the answer to an expectant mother’s prayers when she’s facing a crisis pregnancy, a way to save all the orphans of the world, and a wonderful way to build a family (on a par with a biological family). It’s also been called the answer to the problem of infertility and the perfect alternative to abortion.
But I say…Adoption is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Take Carri Stearns, for example. This young Ohio mother made a poor choice when she under an enormous amount of stress in her personal life (her father’s recent death and other issues) and had a fling outside of her primary relationship, which resulted in a pregnancy. Given how revered adoption is in United States culture, it is no surprise that Carri ‘chose’ adoption to deal with her predicament. However, it didn’t take long for her to come to her senses and realize that giving up her son was hardly the solution to her problem and would only make things worse for herself and her other children. But, “Not so fast”, said the adoption agency. The prospective adoptive parents did the right thing and refused to take a child from a mother who desperately wanted to keep him. But the adoption agency has not returned the boy to his rightful mother. Carri now faces the fight of her life to get her son back.
Then there is Kiara Citizen-Williams, a single mother from Houston, Texas, who was facing a sudden and severe financial crisis. She, too, thought adoption was the way out of her problem and the best option for her son, only to discover almost immediately that giving up her son was a far bigger mistake.
The April 27, 2015 issue of Star magazine has an interview with two of the first mothers of actress Rosie O’Donnell’s adopted children. And what they have to say isn’t pretty. They both sound full of regret for what they each thought was going to be an open adoption. Actress Kate Mulgrew is another first mother who knew immediately that giving her daughter up for adoption was a terrible mistake. But when she went back to Catholic Charities, the very first week, to try and retrieve her daughter, she was told it was too late.*
My fellow blogger, Kellie, found out the hard way that adoption is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She supported her daughter in giving her daughter (Kellie’s first grandchild) up for adoption to close family members to raise. Kellie’s own mother-in-law is an adoptee and seemed to be happy and secure in her adoptive family. So Kellie assumed this was the way adoption turned out for most adoptees and really had no reason to think otherwise. But what happened is another story. The adoptive parents, whom Kellie and her husband had an agreement with to allow a close and active relationship with their granddaughter, immediately reneged on their side of the agreement and refused to allow any contact at all. The resulting tension and strain has caused undue stress for all members of the family, and may very well leave Kellie’s granddaughter, Olivia, feeling (unnecessary) guilt that her existence has caused such a painful family rift.
Even America’s first parent sweethearts, Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra, of Teen Mom fame, seem to be having second thoughts about the wisdom of their adoption choices. Perhaps not of adoption itself (YET), but of the couple they chose as little Carly’s adoptive parents.
For an option that has been touted as the perfect solution to one of life’s most stressful situations, an untimely pregnancy, adoption certainly does create a lot of insecurity. Adoptive parents feel insecure as to whether or not the child is really theirs and worry that s/he will feel more of a connection to her original parents. Even Brandon and Teresa Davis (Carly’s adoptive parents) don’t seem immune to this particular adoption strife. They were clearly feeling the heat as evidenced by their recent appearance on the special, Teen Mom OG. First parents in open adoptions feel insecure lest they say or do the wrong thing and lose contact with their child. Adoptees feel insecure as to whether or not they are truly members of the adoptive family. And if they were raised in a closed adoption and then reunite, they wonder whether or not they will still be accepted as members of their biological families. The ‘one big happy family’ concept between original and adoptive families seems to be largely a myth, except in a small number of cases. Of course, the theory “the more people who love a child, the better” is sound. I mean, who doesn’t want to have more love in their life? But as it turns out, we mere mortals are too often consumed with our insecurities and jealousies and are frequently not up to the task of being mature and sensitive to the kind of complicated relationships adoption usually creates.
While adoption is considered by many to be a win-win-win that wraps up the problem in a pretty bow, that doesn’t turn out to be the reality for so many of us caught in its clutches. What started out as the seemingly perfect solution to a crisis leaves far too many of us feeling instead like we’ve been hit over the head with a sledgehammer. For once you let adoption into your bed you will most likely discover that you’ve been led down the garden path. And at the end of the day, you’ll find yourself thinking, “My Big Adoption, what big teeth you have!”