I just need to rage against the storm for a bit and tell you how I feel, how I really, really feel about adoption, in particular infant adoption as practiced by the LDS church and the people that attend it.
I HATE IT.
I hate everything about it. There is precious little that is virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report about it.
Don’t tell me how different things are nowadays with womb-fresh infant adoption because in the end, it is just the same as it has always been: A mother’s God-given desire to protect her child from harm is used as a battering ram to rivet the lie onto her heart: YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. A mother’s love for her child and her desire to please God is used against her to convince her that by giving away her child, SHE can redeem herself and turn a “bad” situation into a “good” one. Adoption is portrayed as the portal to redemption for both her and the product of her sinfulness.
HELLLOOOOOO. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous on ALL parties involved? I thought that whole redemption thing was God and his Son’s job – not ours.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know. Before you get your panties all in a wad screaming about the staving babies in Africa and the abandoned girls in China let me just remind you that I am not discussing international adoption right now. I am discussing the shameful practice of womb-fresh infant adoption that happens within the LDS culture, that is celebrated as “family building” and the most loving option.
I ask again (and will keep asking), if adoption is the most loving option a single parent could choose for their child, then why isn’t EVERY SINGLE PARENT in the LDS church (regardless of the reason they are single) urged to relinquish their child for adoption by a more “worthy and qualified” temple married couple? This would include parents who become single through death or divorce.
You can stop laughing now. I know you are laughing because it is a ludicrous thing to demand. My questions merely highly the reality faced by first parents in the LDS culture: Adoption in the LDS culture is about punishing the mother for her unsanctioned fertility. It is about finding babies to fill the homes of infertile couples. If you have any doubt of that last statement, just read the words of Julie Beck, president of the Relief Society, which she said at the FSA conference last month:
“…our focus has shifted a lot more toward the childless parent, and the couples who desire a family and aren’t able to have that blessing in their lives,” [Beck, J. (2011). “Rooted in Love.” As reported in Church News 20 Aug 2011].
According to her, it is INFERTILE couples who should be extended love and compassion and understanding. Not single expectant parents.
I have to admit, it is quite refreshing to have a church leader finally publicly acknowledge what many of us natural mothers have known all along: LDSFS is NOT about helping us. It is about helping infertile couples to our children. _________________________________
I just got off the phone from talking with my mom. After reading that entire article about Julie Beck’s comments, I felt like I was going to tear my hair out. I had to talk to someone who I knew wouldn’t judge me or tell me I was off my rocker. I screamed at my mom, “Tell me, what am I supposed to do????!!!! How on earth can I continue to participate in a religion that tells me I deserve this pain, that THIS is a blessing and miracle from God?”
My mom reassured me that I wasn’t crazy and every thing I have ever talked with her about the “doctrine” of adoption and the LDSFS’s crazy obsession with stripping single mothers of their children is Truth. As a side note, did I mention that many of the Families Supporting Adoption groups, hosted and run by LDSFS, hold fast and prayer days so more women’s hearts will be “touched” to give their babies up for adoption instead of (selfishly) parenting them? Seriously. They honestly do that. “Good” Mormons, under the leadership of their local LDSFS offices, who fast and pray that mothers and babies will be separated for time and all eternity so that infertile couples can become parents. I get sick to my stomach thinking there are people of my own faith out there, fasting and praying that another woman and child have to be put through the hell that is adoption.
Not that they see it that way.
According the Sister Beck, “Adoption blesses both birth parents and the child in this life and the eternities.”
Yeah, Sister Beck, remind me again of the blessings I have received from adoption other than a broken heart and a broken relationship with my daughter? Tell me again what a blessing it has been to have people look at me in revulsion and horror as they say, “Oh, I could have NEVER given my baby away! You are such a hero.”
I can’t speak for my daughter but I wonder what kind of blessings she has gotten out of adoption. But hey, Sister Beck? Can you look me up in the eternities and remind me about the blessings of adoption when my grandchildren and posterity, in perpetuity, are not considered part of my family? I am sure I will be eversograteful for the rest of forever, amen, to have been cut off from my daughter and my descendants. /sarc
Most days, I can keep a lid on my anger about what this craptastic system has done to me and to you and to our now non-existent relationship. Today is not one of them and anyone who crosses me is going to get an earful.
I HATE ADOPTION AND WHAT IT DOES TO OTHERWISE PERFECTLY LOVELY, CAPABLE, AND RATIONAL WOMEN.