Archive | October 8, 2014

The Not-So-Hollywood Side of Adoption

I hardly watch television, but when I do, its like the devil makes sure I hear the one-second mention of adoption. It could be a commercial or just a quick clip, but I’ve noticed on a great number of sitcoms that adoption is glamorized, jokes are made about it, it’s taken so lightly and it’s made to be trendy. People are so desensitized that the tearing apart of a mother and child and family are obsolete.

Hollywood makes it all look so cool and fashionable. You always hear of these celebrities and their ‘new children’ making the news, children that seem to be adopted for show, for status. It’s like children just drop out of the sky, no ties to anyone, a person to mold and shape, a toy that doesn’t run out of batteries. The baby cries, hand them to the nanny.

Please don’t misunderstand me; under the right circumstances, adoption can be an amazing blessing. When a child is orphaned, in the foster care system, when the child is without any of their natural family, then yes, adoption can be a beautiful thing.

But when a child’s family is there, supportive, loving, and accepting, they should have every right to be given the opportunity to raise their kin.  A family should be kept together if at all possible. Had our family been made aware of my sister’s pregnancy, this adoption would have come to a screeching halt. She just didn’t know how to tell us, she was taken advantage of at the most vulnerable she had ever been, and ultimately we were robbed of our right to raise our baby in our family, her rightful family.

Secret adoptions are never good, adoptions where someone profits from the baby exchange are sickening, the severing of a family through unjust adoption is not a laughing matter. Adoption jokes are not funny no matter how you tell them.

Altering a child’s identity via adoption should be the last option because the child is literally molded into what the adoptive family wants them to be, rather than the child developing through a natural course with their natural family teaching their traditions and ways of life. A person is not a thing to be bought. A good rule of thumb is ‘Adoption is for children without homes, not homes without children.’ 

The truth about adoption, the details no one wants to talk about, the pain and destruction left behind, it’s all conveniently left out. No one talks about the mother and family who never heal, the child who grows up wondering and yearning to belong. People are entitled to know where they come from, who they belong to, and they have the right to be a part of their own family. No one should have the right to break up a family by ‘buying’ a child especially when the child’s family was completely unaware of the clandestine adoption taking place.

The real issues of adoption need awareness, it’s taboo to talk about but looks so beautiful on t.v. I know from personal experience that the effects of adoption last a lifetime, no matter how they are arranged. It leaves scars, it leaves unanswered questions, it leaves confusion and unsettled spirits.

Family is so important and more resources need to be available to keep them intact.

The truth about adoption isn’t what is portrayed in the movies and magazines. The fact is, children are not accessories. They are human beings and their needs should be considered above all else.

Laws need to be changed regarding relinquishment of rights, the timeframe a mother has to ‘think it out thoroughly’ needs to be extensive. No more of this ridiculous ’72 hours’ nonsense. Rules need to be followed, nothing should be hidden.

Adoption isn’t glamorous. It is a serious, life-altering event that changes everyone involved. Adoption nightmares are hidden, swept under the radar, never talked about. Adoptees rarely have the right to their own paperwork, which is absurd. Moms are thrown away and forgotten.

Hollywood and television make adoption look glittery like gold, when in truth, there is a darkness beneath the bright lights. And that darkness is so dark, black isn’t dark enough to describe it.