In a recent post, I mused about what makes for an ethical adoption. I promised then to follow up with a post from a cross-triad discussion board.
When I posted this draft on this discussion board, I asked for help from other members to flesh it out. After all, I am just a tiny piece in the adoption mosaic. There were a few people who posted some suggestions, but I was surprised at the otherwise roaring silence from this historically clamorous group. Could it be that the loudest complainers would rather wail than work on issues? Ahhh, that’s for another post.
So, throwing it out once again, here is a working draft…feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
Ethics in Infant Adoption
Who we are: An online community representing
- Adoptive parents
- Birth/first parents
- Adult adoptees
Our guiding principle: Since there are competing interests among members of the triad, we seek balance among these competing interest so that all parts of the triad are respected in fundamental ways.
- Compassion and empathy among members of the triad.
- Elimination of adoption coercion. Just as coercing a partner into marriage is void of integrity and not conducive to long-lasting relationship health, so is coercion in adoption. We recognize that coercive language and practices are harmful to all parties involved in adoption (first parents, adoptees and adoptive parents).
- Prosecution of adoption scammers.
- Education of the general public about the true faces of first parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees.
- Adherence to Best Practices in adoption by agencies and other adoption professionals.
- Integrity — integrating truth and informed choice in language, intentions and actions.
- A uniform and reasonable period between birth and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)
- Access for adult adoptees to their original birth certificates. Such information on one’s own DNA is a fundamental right which affects one’s physical, emotional and mental health.
- People in crisis pregnancies are considered “expectant parents” or simply “parents” until TPR is signed. Only after this occurs do they become birth or first parents.
- Expectant parents considering adoption are presented with resources for parenting (WIC, etc).
- Appropriate counseling helps people in crisis pregnancies to accurately envision both avenues open to them: parenting (and all available resources) and adoption.
- An expectant mother considering adoption is given the opportunity to be paired with a first mother mentor, someone who has been through the process herself. This mentor serves as a volunteer. This community maintains a list of qualified (i.e. not having an adoption agenda) first parent volunteers.
- Agency/professional provides ongoing grief counseling for up to two years after placement.
It is acknowledged that adoption is a loss for the child, a tribal severance from one’s clan. Adoption must be freely chosen by expectant parents, only when they deem it is a better option than parenting, taking into account issues of safety, security, finances, familial relationships, desire to parent, and other pertinent factors.
- No less than 1/3 of the total cost is due after placement.
- Agency/professional supplies accurate statistics on number of placements, number of waiting couples, average wait times, and reclamations during a recent time period.
- Agency/professional discourages matches prior to six weeks before due date.
- Agency/professional provides grief counseling to pre-adoptive parents who have experienced infertility.
So now what? If you see there is a problem, want to be part of a solution?