I Disagree

There’s an adult adoptee whose book I read. She’s South African and was in a group I was in till she angered too many adoptive parents with her truth, and didn’t get much support even from the moderators and creator of the group. Then she left, as did many other adoptees. The issue was that too many adoptive parents, especially white ones of children of colour, wanted to ignore that their children were of colour and therefore different. This adoptee hated it because sadly, the world didn’t ignore her differences (that made her inferior to them) and her adoptive mother did.

She apparently did an interview on the radio this past week, and stated that she will “never adopt.” She said adoptive parents don’t care that being abandoned or taken away from the mother is trauma. And she would never inflict trauma on a child. She allegedly even states that adoption numbers wouldn’t be “so high” if people realised how unhealthy adoption is for children.

Given adoption numbers in South Africa are woefully LOW, that point was a bad one for me. I can tell she’s been on a lot of American adoptee groups because I used to be on them too, and the points the article says she raised in her radio interview are points the adoptees in those groups used to make when I was a member. Points not relevant to South Africa…Like there being too many adoptions!

She also allegedly said that instead of adopting, people should rather support the mother who can’t keep her child. Now… We have to be brutally honest. Most people in South Africa adopt not because of altruistic love, but because they can’t have biological children. They aren’t looking for someone to give money to, they are looking to become parents. They won’t be volunteering to give some woman money.

Also, I’m trying to imagine it logically. Firstly, she mentions the poverty reason. Say I find a woman who says she’s very poor and can’t afford to raise her child. Then I tell her to keep the child and I’d pay her for the upkeep of the child. What about the other issues? What happens when they have no money for paraffin to use the stove or run out of electricity? Poverty wouldn’t disappear just because you were paying for the baby. They were poor before the baby. Helping with the baby doesn’t help THEM! So the costs would become higher for you as you try battle school fee issues for the older children, food running out for the mother herself..unless you have a cold heart and still only pay for food for the child she wanted to place for adoption till you prevented her from doing so.

I’m also thinking… I’m a homeschooling mom so I don’t have daycare fees. That mother would! So I would need to pay way more to support the birth mother, than I would to adopt. And that just isn’t logical. People aren’t made of money. All this -the banning of adoption -would do is increase the number of dead babies found in fields. No parents to adopt, and stigma because by placing the child for adoption, she’s evil for traumatising the baby.

And there’s another thing. Most children are abandoned already. Found in fields, in hospitals, stairways. Others have relatives who don’t WANT to care for them. For other birth mothers, poverty isn’t the only issue. Some want their child to have two loving parents. Others want their child out of the informal settlements they live in where crime is high and there’s no future. They don’t want money. They want parents and HOPE for their children. Or they just don’t want the child at all. Like one of my friends who was conceived by rape and whose birth mother wanted nothing to do with her even when she wanted to meet her as an adult.

Not adopting does not prevent the trauma of abandonment because that trauma has already occurred by the time the adoption happens.

When we’d already begun our second adoption process, a 16 year old foster child was a member of the group. One mother spoke about how hard it is to care for children with special needs. And others said how they wanted healthy children. Somehow the 16 years old was pulled to comment. And she haunts me to this day.

“I’m on permanent oxygen and in a wheelchair. I understand why you all want healthy children. But we also deserve parents, please don’t give up on us. I’d love to have a mom.”

What this radio personality is saying -if the article quoted her correctly -is that children should remain in children’s homes and then be abandoned to a cold world when they age out of the foster care system.

I don’t think I’ll be reading her next book.

Maybe she should go into every single children’s home in the townships and in the suburbs. Tour the places. See the lonely children. Hear them mocked at school for being foster children, “Nobody wants you…”

Would she still say she would “never adopt because it causes trauma?”

If this adoptee would tour these children’s homes, if she would read the diaries of foster children like the one who begged us to adopt even those with extra needs, and still say she would never adopt, her heart has become cold and unfeeling, not what she portrays it to be at all.

And that makes me sad. I really, really hope the article did her an injustice in how they reported what she said.

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