Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 07, 2006

Adoption is Unconstitutional

Webster's New World College Dictionary's definition of adopt is to choose and bring into a certain relationship; specif., to take into one's own family by legal process and raise as one's own child.

All slavery isn't about labor, drudge, or toil, but all slaves are under the control of another as owner and master. Slavery exists when one human beings takes ownership possession of another. In this sense, adoption is a form of state-sanctioned slavery. If slavery is unconstitutional, then so is adoption. Let's look at the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

Amendment XIII Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Adoption in the United States is an industry. Capitalist industry demands growth. In capitalist counties adoption is the ultimate answer for privileged couples who cannot have children of their own.

In America, about six babies are lost to adoption every hour. The State of California, for example, reported in 2005 that it separated 10,000 more babies from their natural families in 2004 than it had in the previous year. Adoption is an immensely profitable franchise sung to the tune of over $4 billion a year in profits. The supply chain is institutionalized on an endless conveyor belt of guilt, secrecy, and lies.

We hear outrage about puppy mills, but rarely a mention of baby mills, which are lucrative and state-sanctioned. Intellectual property rights are fiercely guarded and protected by federal law. How about adoptee identity rights? The right to know who you are and keep that knowledge as your own? We all know the golden rule: he who owns the gold makes the rules.

Natural mothers, coerced from their own children, are the breeders, workers, producers. Adoptees are the product, resource, and commodity. The state, or CEO, and its baby brokering agencies, along with adoptive parents are the consumers, beneficiaries and stock holders. Laws are written to support the stock holders. As with other resources like water, trees, and livestock, commodity is inexhaustible and workers expendible. They are there for consumption, convenience, and to feed a pathological myth. Organized religion bolsters this myth by its blessing on adoption, and adoptive parents use religion selectively to justify their theft. The Catholic Church, for instance, has a long history of active baby trade.

Except in rare cases, adoption is unknown in "poorer" countries where families continue their heritage as sacrosanct, with continuous, unbreakable bonds. Doing otherwise would never occur to them. In some cases, adoption certainly is unavoidable. For example, when the child's natural parents die. But in "poorer" cultures, another family member takes on the care of childen who lose parents to death.

The truth is that no one can ever raise a child "as one's own." There is only one set of real parents. Everyone else is a caregiver. A surrogate. Nothing can ever replace the bond that exists between a natural mother and her child. And the myth perpetuated that adoptive parents are the real parents is unspeakably shameful.

Adoptees are expected to be grateful for being "saved" from a life of misery and hardship. The truth is, who set themselves up to be God and say what the fate of the child would have been? Adopters' justifications and cliches about "chosen babies" and "in the interest of the child" form the glue that makes them feel better about their "choice" of creating a fake bond. Sometimes the glue holds, sometimes it doesn't. But once you break something, the crack is forever there. An adopted child is always the elephant in the living room.

Which isn't to say that caregivers cannot be kind, giving, and understanding human beings who do whatever it takes to help the child discover who he or she is without the arrogance that goes with possession of the child as private property. But this type of selfless caregiving is rare in a society of narcissists.

Americans truly think the world is their shopping cart. Their attitude is, "If I paid for it, it belongs to me." If adoptive parents paid $30,000 to some agency to buy someone else's child, they are going to be damn sure no one, especially not the natural parent, lays claim to that child whose true identity has been carefully sealed away and replaced with a new one that pleases the purchasers. If you can buy a new Mercedes, you can buy a new baby. You may have to import this "chosen bauble" on the market, but that is certainly acceptable in affluent social circles. Curious, isn't it, how white affluent couples are the largest segment of the population with greatest infertility problems?

The adoption industry's managers and beneficiaries are in the business to separate families that should have had cultural support to remain intact. The natural parents must deal with the separation as best they can, often with irrepairable emotional damage.

But the the most tragic result of adoption is like an infinite worm coiled in the center of every adoptee. That worm eats away a bigger and bigger hole that nothing can heal. From the day of separation the adoptee is rendered invisible and her feelings inconsequential. Even if the child one day re-unites with the natural mother, the damage was made permanent. The child not only lacks knowledge of her true identity, where she came from, and medical history, but she lives with the constant message that she wasn't good enough because she was rejected at birth.

Caregivers are never enough. Nothing is ever enough. The adoptee is a dungeon of anxiety. Addictive behaviors, depression, need for control, intimacy problems, suicide thoughts, and self-hatred are just a few of the life issues adoptees suffer. With their slave mentality, most adoptees remain docile and terrified of displeasing their owners.

But sometimes things go horribly wrong in the system and adoptees kill their owners or others, even themselves. Who would have guessed? Jimmy was a chosen child. He was special and had the best of everything. How could he have been so ungrateful to do this?

It's time adoption is seen for what it really is rather than as the ultimate solution for infertility that it is promoted to be.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

# Sarah Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 12:19 pm e

I agree with some of your words. But some seem just to come only from your pain. Mostly I’m talking about that adoptive parents aren’t the real parents. If you look at it that way then who is. The boy and girl who screwed around got pregnant and left u in the world alone. I do understand there’s a bond, I just recently admitted to myself I miss my birth mom. And I admit I’m struggling figuring everything out right now but I just don’t think its fair not to give any respect to adoptive parents. Sorry I’m not trying to fight just state what I think. Maybe I just still have alot to learn.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

# emptycerealbox Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 1:41 pm e

Thanks for your comment, Sarah. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and feelings, and yours are as valid as anyone else’s. But here’s a link I strongly recommend that really tells it like it is for adoptees: http://www.stephenfitzpatrick.com/adoption/
The writer’s insights are incredibly clear and well thought out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# KristenJean Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 2:28 pm e

*stands up and applauds*

I think you have got this just right.!

-kristen jean

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# HeatherRainbow Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 7:01 pm e

I have started thinking of adoption as a slavery issue. It totally pisses me off.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# HeatherRainbow Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 7:26 pm e

One more thing… in reference to the only one set of parents…. I had a thought…. that no one is ever going to love my daughter the way I do. A mother’s love can never be replaced. We share a special bond, and no other woman would be able to love her like I can. And, none would have that unconditional love I would have for her, because they received her, as opposed to had her. Because they shower her with things, whereas I gave her life. If they had not received my daughter, and had received another child… they would not miss or love my daughter. But, whether my daughter is in my life or not, I still love and miss her.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

# emptycerealbox Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 10:18 pm e

kristen jean-oh, but there’s a lot more where that came from…bwahaha!

heather-exactly. the adoption industry is in the business of ownership, not truth and natural bonds.

manuela-sarah’s an adoptee, lied to like the rest of us. apparently those lies and truth have met inside her head, so there’s gonna be some thunder and lightning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# Manuela Says:
April 8th, 2006 at 8:52 pm e

I think what you have written here is VERY thought provoking… the slavery comparison has never crossed my mind before… it rings true… it really really does.

And… as for Sarah’s comment… you know what really pisses me off… people who disregard adoptee’s thoughts and opinions (even other adoptees…) because “it’s coming from pain”. So freaking WHAT??!! How does the fact that an adoptee is in pain somehow invalidate their beliefs??? I see the same treatment of natural mothers ALL the time… drives me freaking batty… yah… let’s all just shut up and turn a blind eye… so long as the adoptive parents get what they want!!!


Sorry… didn’t mean to come off as so bitter and angry… especially as this is my first time commenting here…

Anonymous Anonymous said...

# adoptedlife Says:
April 10th, 2006 at 8:13 am e

Healing is possible, but you have to want it. It’s a choice, just like everything else in life. Yeah, you can’t choose not to be adopted, but you can choose your reaction to your circumstances. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but if you’re miserable, you have chosen to be miserable. I was there for many years and I had to choose to live differently.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

# emptycerealbox Says:
April 10th, 2006 at 8:25 am e

Excuse me, adoptedlife, but you don’t know me and therefore you don’t know if I’m “miserable” or not. Even if I were “miserable” as you put it, at least I’m working through my “misery” in my own way. And incidentally, you don’t sound healed by the words you just wrote here. It’s easy to preach to someone, but not so easy to work through something. People who say, “Just get over it” are in total denial themselves. It’s too bad that you’re so closed-minded.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

May you never know the pain of infertility.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

[Oh lord. Here we go again. I can't force myself to be nice here.]

Anonymous-How does your pain give you a right to steal someone else's child and bring pain to others to ease your own pain? Feel sorry for me, everyone. My eggs are bad (or my SO's sperm is bad.) No one knows my pain. All I hear from you is self-pity and selfishness. How is a mother refusing to give up her own baby selfish? How is a baby who wants to know her identity selfish? I'm sure you think you're the only one who suffers.

You would steal someone else's child in a heartbeat, wouldn't you? Deal with it honey cakes. You want a baby to fill that raging black hole inside you. Well, it never can, never will, despite the lies you tell yourself. Just because the state supports your pain and not ours you want us to feel sorry for you? Out of the question.

Blogger Robin said...

Marie, you wrote the hard truth here that this adoption-besotted nation does all in its power to deny. That worm also lives and grows in the deepest part of the vast majority of natural mothers, coerced and hoodwinked and brainwashed and underinformed, upon whose tragedy this industry thrives. Our children's pain exacerbates our own when we come to that strange and arduous attempt at re-uniting.

Anonymous, how do you see yourself as more "fit" to have and raise a child that that child's natural mother? Don't give me the "crackwhore" scenario or manufactured stats from the industry that say a single mom is more likely to abuse, etc. (not true, BTW). Do you think it's right to build your happiness on another woman's pain? Are you willing to see potential "breeders for the wannabe adopters" really given the scoop by awakened and empowered moms and adult adoptees who truly know the score? That might just cut down on the supply.

Marie is not just talking about "her bad experience" any more than I am talking about my "bad experience." We're are not isolated cases. We are LEGION. It's just a sad fact that most of us have been so beaten down that we don't all come out and tell the truth.

I see Marie's pain and frustration echoed in my adult reunited children...a pain that is not there for my raised children. And what happened to me "back then" is still happening now. So think about it, this time without the "I gotta have a baybeee" idea being the first thing you consider.

In Truth,
Robin, True Mother of Four

Blogger warriorwoman said...

I was shocked when the woman who "got" my baby complained to me (over 20 years later) that she "got no choice" which baby she got. Then she went into detail about all the supposed "defects" my daughter had. This woman definitely thought she got cheated. Although she was overly protective of her right to the human she purchased, she obviously felt no compassion whatsoever for my child.

LOL - My family would have thought nothing of it if someone had the supposed "defects" the adoptive woman mentioned - we all had these characteristics. Catholic Charities knew my mother and I wanted to keep and raise my baby - and with my parents help I would not even need welfare at all. But those social workers thought they knew best...that because I was single some wealthy donor deserved to get a 'little bastard' to use as 'real offspring'.

Yes of course it's slavery.

Blogger savhsu said...

I'd just like to add some thoughts I have pertaining to adoptive parents. This really came to light for me just a week before my mother (adoptive mother) died. In another of her dark moods I think she finally got as close to the heart of her apparently life long pain. She told me that she had never had anything that was hers, especially not her own children. That I didn't think like her, cook like her, etc... really a tirade. I realized from that that the act of adopting me wasn't an alturistic act, it was a selfish act. This woman wanted a child, couldn't have one so adopted. Apparently she spent the rest of her life trying to make me the one thing I could never be - hers. She wasn't rescuing an unwanted child, she was attempting to create her dream. I know from that one conversation with her, really the last conversation we had, that ultimately I was a disappointment to her. So just as I was at birth, I was disposable.


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