So often when we are doing outreach to new organizations we hit the wall, because the mindset in the community is that parenting should be the only option, that adoption should not even be on the plate and that adoption should only occur when the court decides rights should be terminated. It is so frustrating to me, I’m trying to figure out – is it me trying to push my opinion onto someone else when I tell them adoption needs to be an option, or is it the other way around when organizations tell me they won’t even consider it – parenting is the only way? This past week, I did a concentrated effort on correction facilities and organizations that work with women while in jail. Organizations that claim to be advocates for these women.
I received one reply, and I have to admit I appreciated it and the honesty she provided. She stated that although she could understand the perplexity of what I discussed – which was that women deserve to have options – she could not support this as it went against everything she was working for.
This is where I have the hard time understanding….when you are advocating for a group of people- what should be the purpose? My thought is the best outcome. So then wouldn’t it be at the peoples best interest to then look ahead to the outcome? Yes parenting should be it, but what if you can’t or don’t want to? Not everyone has an innate ability to bond, to love to take care of another individual. So why as a society do we feel it necessary to force that upon someone? And then if it doesn’t work it’s OK to say oh well and then we make the decision again to take away what we decided in the beginning they should do. How many lives have been affected negatively now? Certainly not the life of the person who decided it was the only option they had. I know this may be a far reach but – we don’t arrange marriages here in the US – why? What stops us from deciding that someone should get married and we then get to decide who they marry and what that relationship should be like. Women get pregnant – its a biological process that happens when the sperm hits an egg and penetrates. Not every conception is a preconceived notion.
Okay I guess here is where my opinion comes on a little strong..EVERY child deserves a family. Family doesn’t mean a biological mother and father, it means someone who is going to love, nurture and care for this child forever, to guide them through life even when life gets tough. Not everyone who gets pregnant is capable of this no matter how much we won’t it to be, no matter how much we wish for this to be..so why does the child have to wait for this to be discovered by someone else, if the person who is carrying this child to life understands this from the beginning? Why do we force parenting on women, and shame them when they can’t? And the even harder part for me to understand, is it’s not the men who are placing the shame, it is other women.
This month I’ve had three women tell me how grateful they are for adoption, and how grateful they are for the families that are loving their babies. This is the reason I have to keep moving forward even when the door gets slammed in my face. These women deserve someone to advocate for them, for their children, for their decisions, and for their strength. Parenting is the hardest responsibility in the world. For those who know they can’t do it there needs to be an option and for the children who aren’t born yet – there needs to be a voice. Adoption has made many changes in the past 50 years. My hope is that it continues to evolve so that women don’t have to hear “why did you give your baby away” but instead – “WOW what an incredibly difficult choice that must have been for you – I admire your strength and love for your child”