Monday, July 03, 2006
Truth Hurts: Responses
Infertility is traumatic I do feel for any couple who WANT a child and cannot have one without participating in the trauma of another parent or parents who must relinquish a child to fulfill their dream. I am a 50-something adopted daughter of an infertile couple so I have personal experience of this issue. I had great parents but, because I had no knowledge of, or connection with, anyone who shared my genes, I wanted very much to have a child myself, the old-fashioned way.
The real problem here is that times have changed. First of all, unplanned pregnancies happen less often because of widely-available birth control options and, when they do, they do not automatically result in adoption. Another consequence of changing times is cost, not because of inflation but because the government has shifted its focus to unwanted and/or inadequately parented children who are not infants.
When my parents adopted me in 1953, it cost them less than $50 in attorney's fees and court costs; I was placed with them by what was then known as the welfare department. However, today adoption is big business and most adoptions of healthy infants are handled by private outfits who, while they may be categorized as not-for-profit agencies, never-the-less, have to raise operating monies somehow. And they do -- in the form of fees from desperate would-be parents who have tried everything and failed to reproduce naturally. And that's why adoption costs so much whether foreign or domestic.
Fortunately, some foreign countries have realized that children are not a marketable and exportable commodity. Someday, the USA will reach the same conclusion. Domestic adoption of an infant is not, as the columnist suggests, necessarily cheaper. Adoption of a child from foster care, may be. But most would-be prospective parents do not want "damaged" goods. They want a "perfect" infant, preferably white, but they will take an imported Asian or a Hispanic infant. Many, no doubt, believe that an adopted an infant will lose all connections to his family of origin even though this flies in the face of logic and science.
While their manners are appalling, so are the comments of the relative who is concerned more about money than about the couple's motivation and Amy's "advice" is not particularly comforting. A couple who would create a "gift" registry to encourage monetary donations to their adoption plan may be looking at the child as an coveted accessory to their marriage, rather than seeking the opportunity to provide a home and love to a child who needs both.
In the past several decades, since the supply of healthy white infants available for adoption decreased sharply, too many folks seem to have forgotten that adoption is NOT about finding a child for a couple who wants to be parents but about finding a loving home for a child who needs one.
P.S. BTW: I am childless unless you count the hundreds of students who have passed through my classroom and found a place in my heart.
Dear Amy: A big point is being missed here. Adoption should not have to cost a great deal and doesn’t have to. There are over half a million children in foster care in this country, many of them with no chance of being reunited with families.
It is not only unnecessary to spend money to go overseas to adopt, it is a selfish act done by people who claim to be desperate to parent but are choosy as to skin color and age. Romania has stopped the International adoption of their children because of the corruption money brings to the picture. Russia is about to close their doors as a result of 12 Russian adopted children being killed by their American adopters.
These countries and others do not want our “help” in taking their children. These children do not need adopting, ours right here in the US do!