A few weeks ago, the “world’s most-used adoption site,” the “largest online adoption community,” the “most-read publisher of adoption articles, videos and other content” published an article titled The Baby Bust: Why Are There No Infants to Adopt?
A few days ago, the article became a topic of discussion in two of my cross-triad adoption groups.
Homes for Babies? Or Babies for Homes?
The article probably meant to explain the current baby bust and advise potential adoptive parents what to do about it. If adoption is about finding babies for homes, then perhaps the article met its mark.
But among those who believe adoption should be about finding homes for babies, the article incited quite a furor. The article has been taken down, but here are some passages to illustrate why it was so inflammatory.
The author, herself an adoption attorney, outlined the market forces that make it very difficult for prospective adoptive parents to find a baby.
From time to time, consumers find certain items in short supply. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, cleaning supplies and toilet paper were hard-to-find products. In recent years, prospective adoptive parents have realized that infants to adopt are available in increasingly limited quantities.
Readers were incensed at the comparison of toilet paper and humans. Why did the author do that? I suspect it was not to put babies on par with the lowest of paper goods, but rather to elicit the feelings of desperation we all had for toilet paper a year ago, and how we had to wait for supply to catch up with demand.
I aim to love all parts of me, including the ugly ones I try to hide even from myself.
Open-hearted adoption. Over and over again I see that a BothAnd view serves all parties better than an Either/Or view, which splits the baby. The BothAnd concept goes not only for “real” parents, but also for the range of emotions anyone in an adoption has about adoption.
When I honor my children’s connections to their original family, it adds to my children without taking away from me. Also, I acknowledge that open-hearted adoption is really hard at times — as well as rewarding.
Birth mom and advocate Ashley Mitchell breaks down the case and talks about our responsibility to prevent coercion in adoption.
If you are horrified by the Paul Peterson case (details below), if you’ve ever wondered what happens in “adoption-friendly states,” if you care about ethics in adoption, you must tune in to Ashley Mitchell’s recent talk via Instagram TV.