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If you could give one piece of advice... - Page 3

post #41 of 69
Thread Starter 
This discussion has proven what I suspected to be true. It is an extremely sensitive issue that we can intellectually believe one thing about, and yet our emotions won’t be swayed. It is very difficult to not personalize what we perceive to be cosmic unfairness.
As a (hopefully) less volatile comparison, I was unable to exclusively breastfeed my toddler, and am having even more difficulty with my infant. There are times when the seeming injustice of it all leads me to conclude that formula should only be available by prescription to those with a proven medical inability to nurse. Trust me when I tell you that I have built a very logical case for this in my mind.
Is it fair that women who are capable of feeding their children breast milk choose to use formula? Of course it is! Does that stop me from wanting to scratch their eyes out when I think what I would give to be able to do the same? Not usually.
post #42 of 69
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Is it fair that women who are capable of feeding their children breast milk choose to use formula? Of course it is! Does that stop me from wanting to scratch their eyes out when I think what I would give to be able to do the same? Not usually.
The difference, of course, is that Jane X using formula in no ways prevents you from breastfeeding your child. I mean, of course, it may have larger social implications, but it does not directly effect you. Jane X choosing to adopt a healthy domestic infant if she is perfectly fertile and has no counterindications to pregnancy (ie, medications, severe PPD, hyperemesis, etc) does effect your ability to adopt.
post #43 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But, why are they desperate? They can have the kid they feel ready to parent! They can have a bio-kid!
I don't think you're hearing what people are saying, though. Just because a person CAN have a biological child, doesn't mean they want to. It also doesn't mean it's a good idea (for health or other reasons). Some people really do dream of adopting children, and forming their families that way. I have a few friends who haven't ever tried to conceive--they went straight to adoption. As for us, our daughter (adopted) was the one child dh and I planned for and dreamt of from almost the beginning of our relationship....a dreamed child is a dreamed child. Letting go of that dream, whether your dreamed child is adopted or the result of your own pregnancy, would be extremely painful.

I don't think it's fair to assume that all people have the same ideal of birthing children, or even that they should. It's a little insulting/strange, really, to think that the only "legit" way to adopt a healthy baby is if you come to the idea as a plan B (once the option of pregnancy is exhausted). Some people consider adoption their plan A. I think that's great.
post #44 of 69
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I don't think you're hearing what people are saying, though. Just because a person CAN have a biological child, doesn't mean they want to. It also doesn't mean it's a good idea (for health or other reasons). Some people really do dream of adopting children, and forming their families that way. I have a few friends who haven't ever tried to conceive--they went straight to adoption. As for us, our daughter (adopted) was the one child dh and I planned for and dreamt of from almost the beginning of our relationship....a dreamed child is a dreamed child. Letting go of that dream, whether your dreamed child is adopted or the result of your own pregnancy, would be extremely painful.

I don't think it's fair to assume that all people have the same ideal of birthing children, or even that they should. It's a little insulting/strange, really, to think that the only "legit" way to adopt a healthy baby is if you come to the idea as a plan B (once the option of pregnancy is exhausted). Some people consider adoption their plan A. I think that's great.
I get that, totally, because I have adopted one child and am about to adopt another, and I am fertile. I simply think there's a solid ethical dilemna here. I completely understand being called to adoption even if you can have physical children. But I question the ethics of adopting a child with a loooong waiting list of good, kind, loving parents when you can create just that type of child yourself. I don't think adoption is a plan B at all. But I think it's similar to saying you choose not to breastfeed so you are going to use donor milk, which is in high demand.

I get what you're saying, I just disagree. And either way, you are talking about suffering. I get that letting go of your adoption dream would be painful. But I can't imagine that that pain even begins to approach the pain of a couple who cannot conceive at all and don't have the choice that you and I have to conceive naturally.
post #45 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
The difference, of course, is that Jane X using formula in no ways prevents you from breastfeeding your child. I mean, of course, it may have larger social implications, but it does not directly effect you. Jane X choosing to adopt a healthy domestic infant if she is perfectly fertile and has no counterindications to pregnancy (ie, medications, severe PPD, hyperemesis, etc) does effect your ability to adopt.

It’s not 1:1; you’re correct that one woman’s choice to formula feed doesn’t directly impact my ability to do so out of medical necessity. It’s just a statement about how easy it is to personalize an emotionally charged loss even in a case where one does not directly impact the other. How much more easily is it done when there is, or appears to be, direct impact?
post #46 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
Riiight, but it you're fertile, you can have bio kids, you don't have to "sit empty."
And likely the foster mom that had two babies, while i had none (just an 11 yr old boy) was "fertile" too.

But you make alot of assumptions of people who have bio kids. Yes, i am presumably fertile...i dont know...the last time i was pregnant i was 23 yrs old. I'm single and 37...how exactly am i supposed to get pg?? Yeah i guess i could go out and get pg by some random guy. Or i could do donor insemination. I dont think people should have to go to such lengths if they dont want to.

And frankly, i could turn the same thing around on you...you dont have to sit waiting for a baby...you could sign right up for your state adoption program, you could foster...hey they'd probably send a 10 yr old right over. Is it fair to complain about not getting a newborn when there are older kids waiting and waiting for homes? (or course it is, but do you see my point?)

My friend who has two bios and is adopting three kids is techincally "fertile" but her pg are very complicated and another one could risk her life. Does she count as worthy of being at the head of the line?
post #47 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But I can't imagine that that pain even begins to approach the pain of a couple who cannot conceive at all and don't have the choice that you and I have to conceive naturally.
We definitely disagree , though it's interesting to read your arguments.

I guess I object to this last statement, though....does that mean that it hurts less to give up on an adopted child than it does to give up on a biological child? I mean, fertile or infertile, there are always paths to having children join our families...almost no one must go childless. Do you think people should or do grieve less if they can't adopt vs. if they can't give birth? To me, either way is the loss of a child that is wanted with your whole heart. I don't see adopted children as less grieve-able than biological children.

Why would the pain of giving up on an adopted child be less than the pain of giving up on a biological child? I don't understand that at all.
post #48 of 69
I think fixating on the in(fertility) of the PAPs creates more problems than it solves.

Whether or not their parents are fertile SHOULD BE IRRELEVANT as much as possible to the adoptee. I'm not sure that using infertility as an "extra qualifier" really encourages this. Again, I know that my parents were extreme (I hope) in their grief over their infertility that was *never* encouraged to be resolved by anyone. I was supposed to heal that, and I did *not* even though it was conventional wisdom that putting a healthy infant in the arms of an infertile couple would solve their pain. I really feel ill thinking that sort of thinking might even be remotely encouraged by anyone at all, especially on the agency/social worker side of things (because the triad members, ALL of them, at that point are so vulnerable...the baby because s/he's helpless, the adults because often times it's pretty easy to put on the rose colored glasses.).

Being in/fertile is irrelevant to being a good, qualified parent. To fixate on that as the ultimate decider as to who "gets" the hottest commodity (healthy infants) is....so...I'm sorry, but it's totally horrifying and gross to me as an adoptee because I was adopted out with that logic, and frankly it had catastrophic consequences for me (and probably my aparents as well--I've not really had the courage to ask them) in the long run.

I do understand the "it's not fair" emotions. I do. But frankly, a lot in parenting is not fair, and the status of one's reproductive system should not and *cannot* shield people from unfairness in adoption. Even if you fix things so literally a note from a reproductive specialist guarantees you first spot in any agency you choose, for any type of kid you want--the ripple effects are not all good.

But I dunno, people really get pissed when I point that out, because of course they're not terrible ogres like my parents are. Except for, some mental illness quirks aside, my parents are relatively normal people--who expected adoption to fix their pain, were told by everyone that as soon as they had that 10 years longed for baby in their arms it would all be better, and when it wasn't...I think it broke something between us. They probably felt like failures. I know I certainly do.

This is why I'm gunshy, to be honest, of fertility even remotely being part of the agency priority process. Though I would like to see infertile couples at least interviewed to be sure that they have healthy expectations and are supported pre- and post-adoption with working through grief as they need to (I'm sure some people don't). Then again, I support very realistic and intense counseling for any adoptive family, because it's not like fertile couples don't experience adoption grief or blues either.
post #49 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But I question the ethics of adopting a child with a loooong waiting list of good, kind, loving parents when you can create just that type of child yourself.
Wow. I can't help but see that as anything other than children being prizes awarded to the most deserving parents, somehow used to level the playing field between fertile and infertile people. I find that wrong on so many levels.
post #50 of 69
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And frankly, i could turn the same thing around on you...you dont have to sit waiting for a baby...you could sign right up for your state adoption program, you could foster...hey they'd probably send a 10 yr old right over. Is it fair to complain about not getting a newborn when there are older kids waiting and waiting for homes? (or course it is, but do you see my point?)
I AM a foster parent for older kids. I'm also fertile (I assume, I am not TTC right now, but I have bio kids). I have never done infant adoption and am not personally invested in it.

Again, I don't think there should be litmus tests or some law changed here, but I think these are important ethical questions to think about, for all of us. Ethical issues definitely impacted our decision to foster. I have no interest in making a list of who I think should infant adopt and who shouldn't, btu I think it's something useful to ask oneself.
post #51 of 69
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Wow. I can't help but see that as anything other than children being prizes awarded to the most deserving parents, somehow used to level the playing field between fertile and infertile people. I find that wrong on so many levels.
Well, that;s ridiculous, really. I said multiple times that both fertile and infertile couples who apply to adopt are typically loving, kind, generous, wonderful people all of whom would make great parents. I think this whole "finding families for kids, not finding kids for families" thing is a bit disingenuous and la-la-la I can't hear you. Because yes, the child's best interest is the absolute no questions asked number one priority. But when all things are equal, which I would argue they generally are between fertile and infertile couples, on a macro level at least, then how to decide? It's not about levelling the playing field, it's about compassion, IMO.
post #52 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
Again, I don't think there should be litmus tests or some law changed here, but I think these are important ethical questions to think about, for all of us. Ethical issues definitely impacted our decision to foster. I have no interest in making a list of who I think should infant adopt and who shouldn't, btu I think it's something useful to ask oneself.
I just don't think I'd approach adoption according to what's ethical for the adoptive parents, especially if "what's ethical" gets into the very strange territory of who's most deserving of a child--based not on anything that would affect the child or parenting, but strictly on compassion toward previous losses of PAPs?? It seems to me that the ethics we really need to focus on and protect are the childs (and expectant/birth parents)...they're the ones, in adoption, that tend to get overlooked. If parents are ranked according to the pain of their previous losses, and children are awarded to those parents first, then doesn't that say something pretty unpleasant?

Quote:
I think this whole "finding families for kids, not finding kids for families" thing is a bit disingenuous and la-la-la I can't hear you. Because yes, the child's best interest is the absolute no questions asked number one priority. But when all things are equal, which I would argue they generally are between fertile and infertile couples, on a macro level at least, then how to decide? It's not about levelling the playing field, it's about compassion, IMO.
I don't think "it's about finding a family for a child, not a child for a family" is disingenuous at all. I think it's a straighforward, simple reminder of how adoptive parents need to get their impatience, their entitlement, their first-world grabbiness in check, and realize that this isn't about THEM. It's about the child.

Honestly, I think we all need to get over ourselves a bit and realize that whatever baggage we bring, whatever impatience we bring, whatever hurt we bring to adoption, it's not about that. DD's longer-than-expected adoption experience was an excellent teacher in that way, as was losing ds during the adoption process. Yes, many of us are hurt, impatient, needy people as we approach adoption, but when the baby is handed over to you for the first time, you realize that all that stuff needs to drop off the map...this isn't about how worthy you are, or how long you've waited, or how much you've invested, or how much pain has brought you to this place--it's just about being a good parent to a child that deserves the best you can give. The only part of you that really matters to this baby is how good a parent you are...and that's all that should be used to judge whether or not a couple can adopt.
post #53 of 69
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I don't think "it's about finding a family for a child, not a child for a family" is disingenuous at all. I think it's a straighforward, simple reminder of how adoptive parents need to get their impatience, their entitlement, their first-world grabbiness in check, and realize that this isn't about THEM. It's about the child.
But I don't understand what it has to do with anything. You have IF couples and F couples (infertile and fertile). Both are loving, kind, generous, etc. How is it not respectful and considerate of the child's needs above all else to place them with an infertile couple versus a fertile couple? I'm not advocating ignoring loving fertile couples in favor of infertile crack addicts or child abusers!

And if you think this system I'm referring to is about "awarding" kids, then I suggest you think about the current system, where IPs make flyers advertising their looks, money, age, status, wealth, degrees, etc, in order to court a birth mom. That is just as much about awarding desirable kids to "deserving" parents. I don't think it has anything do with deserving or not deserving.
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The only part of you that really matters to this baby is how good a parent you are...and that's all that should be used to judge whether or not a couple can adopt.
But if you have, say, 10,000 great parents who want to adopt, and only 2,000 expectant mothers who want to place their babies after birth, then how does this enter in? Assume that all 10,000 parents are homestudied and therefore established to be hopefully good parents. What then? It's just silly to assume that this doesn't get into icky territory of who's "best." And I certainly think that's gross and ugly and I don't think IF couples are better than anyone else, but if there's going to be some stratification, why not base on fertility?
post #54 of 69
"It's just silly to assume that this doesn't get into icky territory of who's "best.""



There are many countries who think two-parent hetero families are "best." There are many countries who think that two skinny parents are "best." There are countries who prefer parents over 30, under 50, etc etc ad nauseum. Emoms everywhere have their own ideas of what's "best." The adoption process is all about somebody's culturally-loaded ideas about what's "best."

For my part, while I expect the public system in America to run an equal opportunity program, I have no problem with private agencies that prioritize same-race placements, infertile clients, Christians, Jews, first-time parents, queer families, whatever. If they have ideas of what is "best" that attract a community of emoms, then they are serving as a broker between two sets of people who share a vision of what adoption should be.

I find is similarly dangerous to apply the "it's about finding families for children" indiscriminately. Adoption is about the best interests of the families AND the kids, because the happiness of each is dependent upon the happiness of the other. "It's not about you" is not a useful response to the pain and grief of potential adoptive families. It IS about them. If they didn't have a stake, adoptions wouldn't happen, and if they are unduly traumatized by the adoptions process, that is bad news for the entire triad. It's not JUST about the PAPs, but things don't typically go well when they feel like the only ethical approach is to portray themselves as selfless martyrs to the cause of child welfare. It's OK and appropriate for PAPs (and emoms!) to defend their own interests in the process, and to seek out agencies/countries that offer the best chance to make their dream into a reality. They shouldn't be pressured to agree to things that make them uncomfortable in order to be PC. Happy parents make for happy kids. Believing that doesn't objectify children who need homes - rather, it fully humanizes ALL of the people in the triad, instead of editing down the emom and PAP stakes in service of the viewpoint that only the baby's feelings matter, and that the baby's feelings are best served by a selection process that pays minimal heed to whatever cultural, ethical or religious background the emom and the adoptive family may have in common. The "best" adoption is one where the emom and the PAPs can find themselves in accord about what's "best." The minute that any government body gets involved, "best" is so far off the table that it's hard to even imagine what it might look like.

Probably nobody here disagrees with me about any of this, and I've just ranted for no reason.
post #55 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But I don't understand what it has to do with anything. You have IF couples and F couples (infertile and fertile). Both are loving, kind, generous, etc. How is it not respectful and considerate of the child's needs above all else to place them with an infertile couple versus a fertile couple? I'm not advocating ignoring loving fertile couples in favor of infertile crack addicts or child abusers!
No, I know you're not. I think the whole point is that the child's needs have NOTHING to do with the pain a couple has experienced in the realm of fertility. It would be entirely parent-centered. And, in terms of establishing a family and a parent/child relationship, there are boatloads of things that the parents might have gone through that should have nothing to do with that parent/child relationship. Compassion toward adoptive parents shouldn't be part of the equation, because (I believe) nothing pity/compassion-related should be part of the adoptive parent's side of the adoption equation. Adoption should stay child-focused and child-centered from the beginning, so that the already heavy influcence of power the PAPs hold in adoption isn't further distorted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
And if you think this system I'm referring to is about "awarding" kids, then I suggest you think about the current system, where IPs make flyers advertising their looks, money, age, status, wealth, degrees, etc, in order to court a birth mom. That is just as much about awarding desirable kids to "deserving" parents. I don't think it has anything do with deserving or not deserving.
I think there are serious flaws in the domestic adoption "market," as there are in almost every system of adoption in the world. I believe these things happen, more and more, as we move away from a child-centered focus in adoption to a PAP- or AP-centered focus. The domestic adoption "market" is a perfect example of this. When adoption turns into a competition, it becomes much more about the parents and much less about the kids--it becomes a market, with all the negatives associated with that kind of economy and market pressures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
But if you have, say, 10,000 great parents who want to adopt, and only 2,000 expectant mothers who want to place their babies after birth, then how does this enter in? Assume that all 10,000 parents are homestudied and therefore established to be hopefully good parents. What then? It's just silly to assume that this doesn't get into icky territory of who's "best." And I certainly think that's gross and ugly and I don't think IF couples are better than anyone else, but if there's going to be some stratification, why not base on fertility?
I don't think there should be any stratification. This might be a bias because of us adopting internationally, but I actually think it's great when PAPs have very little control in the system (and really...in international adoption we seem to have way more power than we should ) I say, if there are 10,000 great parents that want to adopt, then yay for the 2,000 expectant parents because they have a wider choice of parents from which to find a match in their beliefs, their child-raising beliefs, their adoption relationship hopes, etc. Artificially limiting the pool based on fertility status serves no one but the APs, and APs should not be served in the adoption process. Adoption is not a service...I think that's where the feelings of ickiness come in...that instead of being about the children, this argument makes it seem like a ranking structure for a baby-delivery service. It's not about APs and their losses or their needs, or delivering/awarding a baby to those most deserving of compassion. It should always be about the child (and when possible) the wishes of the expectant parents.
post #56 of 69
"...APs should not be served in the adoption process. Adoption is not a service...I think that's where the feelings of ickiness come in...that instead of being about the children, this argument makes it seem like a ranking structure for a baby-delivery service. It's not about APs and their losses or their needs, or delivering/awarding a baby to those most deserving of compassion. It should always be about the child (and when possible) the wishes of the expectant parents."

I disagree. I think that the "best" adoption process is one that does the most to serve the interests of all three members of the triad. Ignoring anybody's needs is asking for major trouble.
post #57 of 69
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
There are many countries who think two-parent hetero families are "best." There are many countries who think that two skinny parents are "best." There are countries who prefer parents over 30, under 50, etc etc ad nauseum. Emoms everywhere have their own ideas of what's "best." The adoption process is all about somebody's culturally-loaded ideas about what's "best."
I can't defend the bias against homosexuality. At all. But I can defend some of the other policies, and they ARE child-centered.

Thin (or at least not morbidly obese) parents live longer, encourage healthier habits in their children, and are usually more active. That's best for the child...especially considering that many international PAPs are adopting at an older age than typical new parents, and that morbidly obese people tend to live shorter lives with greater health problems.

Parents that have been married longer than 5 years have a lower chance of divorcing, and have had time to exhibit a stable, healthy marriage that can be judged in the homestudy. Again, this serves the child.

Parents over 30...that's iffy...but in general it means you're getting a parent who is more mature, has had time to be married a while, has had time to pursue degrees, and has had time to get financially stable. Again, even if you're just looking at how these factors affect marriage/family stability (not just socio-economic status), these things serve the child.

Parents under 50...well, since many people die in their 60s and 70s, I think this one's easy. Children do best when they have a stable family and healthy parents (or living parents), and having older parents means that you could lose one of them prematurely. Adopting at a normal age to become parents (or within that range) serves the child.

If you look at the policies for adoption around the world, there are definitely some examples of bigotry...but most of the policies ARE child-centered.
post #58 of 69
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
"...APs should not be served in the adoption process. Adoption is not a service...I think that's where the feelings of ickiness come in...that instead of being about the children, this argument makes it seem like a ranking structure for a baby-delivery service. It's not about APs and their losses or their needs, or delivering/awarding a baby to those most deserving of compassion. It should always be about the child (and when possible) the wishes of the expectant parents."

I disagree. I think that the "best" adoption process is one that does the most to serve the interests of all three members of the triad. Ignoring anybody's needs is asking for major trouble.
Yes, but adoption does serve the needs of the AP, at least in how they relate to adoption, the child, and the triad. APs are able to say what they can and can't handle, what they do and don't want...and I think it's laughable to say that AP's needs aren't considered in adoption. Too often they're the only needs considered!

I'm just saying, don't compute in irrelevant losses and needs in some artificial structure of who's most worthy to adopt. And as far as parenting goes, fertility status IS irrelevant.
post #59 of 69
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think it's a straightforward, simple reminder of how adoptive parents need to get their impatience, their entitlement, their first-world grabbiness in check, and realize that this isn't about THEM. It's about the child.
Yeah, but let's be honest. I think most people would admit that IF THE BIRTH PARENTS CAN PARENT WELL, being with birth parents is best for the child. So maybe people who spend 30, 40+k on an adoption (in some select situation where there is a financial impediment to parenting) could put that money towards the child staying with the birthparent, if the child's interest is all they care about?

I certainly think that would be ridiculous and silly. It's not 100% about the kid, nor 100% about the parent. IMO, adoption is about creating families which are mutually agreeable and beneficial. A child who needs a home, and parents who want to parent and love. As someone else so eloquently put it,
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Adoption is about the best interests of the families AND the kids, because the happiness of each is dependent upon the happiness of the other.
. You can't ignore the pain of the child OR of the parent. But I don't see how it harms the child's interests to prioritize infertile couples. Can you explain to me how it does?
post #60 of 69
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Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I AM a foster parent for older kids. I'm also fertile (I assume, I am not TTC right now, but I have bio kids). I have never done infant adoption and am not personally invested in it.
i didnt mean "you" literally....i was talking about your "devil's advocate" position that i shouldnt feel bad about a FP having two babies when i had none, cuz i could just go have a bio baby. My point is, well how can an infertile couple complain about the wait and fertile couples "taking" "their" baby, when they dont HAVE to have an infant and wait and wait, they could also choose a different route to parenthood. Its all the same thing. And where does it stop? Ultimately, in the end, people should make the choices they feel is right for their family. If a couple feels so strongly that fertile couples should not be in a domestic infant program, they could choose an agency that only accepts infertile couples.
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