Originally Posted by DoulaVallere
as well as just knowing that it's healthier,
Sorry, but that doesn't even get to come into the reasoning here.
The child in foster care in your state will not be breastfed whether you parent the child or not.
What you are saying, ultimately, is that you can't be associated with a non-breastfed baby...that you can't care for a child who isn't breastfed.
You're not talking about the child's interests, you are talking about your own. You have an ideology within which a certain child doesn't fit. This is about a particular type of child being, to put it crudely, beneath you.
Look, I reaaaaaaally get the commitment to breastfeed.
I am the daughter of a mother who extended breastfeed me and all my siblings. I am the daughter who only self-weaned from my own mother's breast because I didn't like the taste of the breastmilk after my mom got pregnant with my brother. I am the daughter of the mom who was chastized during a visit to "The Farm" (you know, Ina May Gaskin) because the other women there thought her kids were too old to be breastfed. ("Stephen says...")
I never knew anything about bottlefeeding. My mom and all her friends breastfed. I was there at the birth of one of my God-siblings, who was breastfed. All my mother role models breastfed. I never pictured myself parenting any other way.
In fact, when I was a teenager, I started babysitting these kids (kids of a colleague of my dad), and they were bottlefed. It was the first experience I ever had with bottlefed kids, and I was weirded out by their poops. In fact, the kids even had this salty smell in general that was so unfamiliar as to become a subject of discussion in our home...during which time my mom reinforced my desire to breastfeed my own future-children by emphasizing that it was just one of those weird things about formula-fed kids.
When I was around nine or ten, I became interested in fostering/adoption. I actually researched adoptive breastfeeding at that point...and this is back in the days when that was one of those unheard of things, so I don't even know how I had heard about it. Later on, when it looked like a friend might ask me to take care of her son, I started a pumping protocol just in case.
In my public health days I wrote a grant for a program whose purpose it was to increase the rate of breastfeeding in teen moms. I've taught breastfeeding classes when I was active in a childbirth education network. I've helped women learn to breastfeed back when I worked in the maternity unit of a hospital. I've written lactivist letters to businesses that didn't support breastfeeding mothers. I've written to my legislators about the importance of laws that protect the breastfeeding relationship between mothers and babies.
I get it.
When we decided to foster adopt, I really wondered how I would handle the whole bottlefeeding thing. I was afraid that I would be ashamed to feed my child in public, that I would be uncomfortable doing something that would contribute to normalizing bottlefeeding for young women and future mothers.
But adoption is about what is best for children, and there are children out there who simply will not be breastfed. I believe those children deserve families who are committed to attachment and bonding
So I swallowed my pride, played the part of the adult, and decided to lose the baggage.
I learned about bottlenursing. It's great. Look it up.
I learned about fish oil and other supplements that can help make up for at least some of the missing components of formula. Formula will never be as great as breastmilk, but that doesn't mean we can't give our children every other advantage possible.
I learned how to be creative in creating attachment and bonding opportunities with my children. And its a good thing I did because they each came with unique needs that called for creativity.
You can think all the things you want about the inferiority of formula and bottlefeeding, but if you are going to reason that this means you shouldn't foster-adopt, then don't even try to claim that what you are thinking of is the best interests of children. In any way, shape, or form. This is not about what is healthiest. Nope. Sorry. (If by "it's healthier" you mean: children who might have more ear infections, or are 8 IQ points lower than they'd otherwise be, or who get the flu a couple times as babies, or whatever, are not for you, then I suggest you take a look at doing something other than adopting a child.)
And one more reason to sort through this kind of baggage before you make your way into the experience of adoption: adoptive breastfeeding is *not* the same as breastfeeding a biological child. There are all kinds of really difficult complications that can arise, including having a grieving baby who can't tolerate body contact with you (I had one of those...so I know). There is a reasonable chance that despite your commitment, there will be other plans for the feeding of your future-child, and if you haven't processed some of your baggage here, you could damage both of you when things don't work the way you intend and your attachments to this notion of the only way to be a good mother to your child start to unravel.