Adoption options

What a can of worms I've opened, in my mind anyway. Of course I've delved further into the world of unwilling first mother blogdom. And they're pissed, rightfully so. To be coerced into giving your child to someone else to raise or to have your baby stolen from you is something I cannot imagine and will never profess to and I applaud their efforts to bring awareness to it. Any person who takes advantage of another in order to fulfill their own need to have a baby, or to gain financially by facilitating such an outrage is engaging in an act that is criminal. From information I can find  in the Adoption Act in my area of the world it is against the law:
 "Paying or accepting payment for an adoption
   A person shall not give or receive, offer to give or receive, or agree to give or receive any payment or reward, whether directly or indirectly,
(a) to procure or assist in procuring a child for the purposes of adoption in or outside of the province; or
(b) to place or arrange the placement of a child for the purposes of adoption in or outside of  the province."

Phew...that's a relief to me. I imagine the possibility of it happening here still exists and that likely it does. In every area of life there are people who don't think the law and ethics apply to them. Enough said.

Another piece of the Adoption Act that caught my attention is the fact that: 
"a judge shall not make an order for adoption of a child unless notice of the proposed adoption is given to the child's birth father."  This I like too because a man has the right to know that a child he's fathered exists and is being put up for adoption.

I've looked over the local licensed private adoption agency's website and had confirmed what I thought I already knew:  "Once the child is placed with his or her adoptive parents, you have 21 days in which to revoke consent. The possibility that you might change your mind is a risk that adoptive parents must accept when entering into a private adoption arrangement."  So for my area it would appear that adoption exists as I thought it did. It exists as a viable option to women or young girls who find themselves pregnant with babies they can not or do not want to raise themselves, and these females DO exist. It is my hope that they realize it before their child is no longer an infant and at an age when they're, sadly, less "desirable" to prospective adoptive parents. The following is taken from the Canada's Waiting Kids website: 
"There are more than 76,000 children in the care of child welfare organizations across Canada. More than 22,000 of these children have parents whose parental rights have been terminated by the courts. What this usually means is that these children have no permanent family and will live in foster care or small institutional placements until they are legally of age.

Imagine the possibilities if these biological mothers had been able to realize they were not in a position to properly care for the children they gave birth to. Or, if they'd had the support necessary to help them be in a position to look after these children. The reality is that when, for whatever reason, a mother can't look after her baby that adoption done properly is a viable option. 

I am aware that some of the children who end up lost in "the system" or are subjected to a life with abusive parents are adopted children. Adoptive parents aren't automatically perfect parents because they have the means to adopt. They get divorced, drunk, stoned. They are not immune to personality disorders, to the inability to break cycles of bad parenting. Adopted children need protection and rescuing too. This doesn't mean adoption isn't a viable option, when done properly.

If society as a whole would just get their act together and put our and everyone else's children ahead of ourselves the entire world would be a better place. I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child and that people need to think more about what they're doing or not doing to children. That we need to hold each other accountable and keep our eye on each other's children. That we need to have an open mind to what others say and try to teach us. We need to listen to our children and provide them with a safe place to grow up. To remember what it feels like to be a kid. To do a better job than our parents did which in turn will help our children become better parents than we are. We need to admit when we're wrong, and learn from it. This sets an example for our children that it's okay to make a mistake and they'll feel safe in telling us they made one.

This post isn't as tidy as I like. It's a little all over the place but I think that's alright because this topic is very much all over the place. I do think though that it all comes back to doing our part in being the best parent we can be and that is achieved by putting in a lot more thought, a lot less ego, and sadly sometimes relinquishing the responsibility to another who is better equipped to do so.


  1. Campbell, welcome to the world of adoption! I wish, in many ways that some of the laws that apply there, applied in the US. Unfortunately, that is not the case. While father's are notified if a child is put in foster care and in some states when a child is adopted, rarely are they given the option to stop it.

    Sometimes, when we have good homes ourselves (not me), we forget the world around us.

    You are exceptional.

  2. I don't believe they're given the option to stop an adoption here either Lori but, as I said to my son, at least the adoption can't be granted unless they're notified.

  3. Lady, it isn't if they *THINK* they can raise their child or not. Everyone has doubts at some point in their parenting history. The problem is too many people there to convince them that they can't do it--so they can take the baby for themselves. Imagine the possibilities if we actually helped these women instead of fed off them. If in some fit of charity and kindness, you want to look out for the kid, help him keep his family whole. Unless you're adopting a (true) orphan or a 10 year old, you're just in it for yourself.

  4. The laws here in the US are not nearly the same. I wish they were. Here it is on a state by state basis. In some states father's have no rights unless they have signed up on a punitive father's registery before the child's birth. If the mother leaves the state he signed up in he will not have rights in the statte she has moved to. Utah is pretty well know for moving pregnant women there to get around the rights of the father. Woman also just have to say they don't know who the father is and then he has no rights. Some states have a revokation period for the mother to change her mind. It ranges from 24 hours to 30 days. Some states have no time period at all. A few even have pre birth surenders. Many times a mother will revoke her consent to an adoption only to have the agency refuse to file the paperwork while shaming her. Its not nearly as simple here as you would like to believe.
    Another thing is that parents that abuse and neglect their children are very rarly the ones that can be taked into adoption. They tend to see children as property and won't even consider it. Mothers that lose children to infant adoption are in most cases very good mothers that were scared, trusted the wrong people or victimized. I am truly sorry that you can't wrap you head around this. No one on my blog has ever said children should stay with abusive parents. Not once has it been said. That is something you are getting from yourself. We just believe in an alternative that you are unwilling to hear about.

  5. and to add to that. In California there is a 30 day revocation period. There is also a form that waives that 30 day period that can be signed before the birth. From what I understand, it's common practice to have the mother sign that form.

  6. Yes, US laws vary state to state. Regarding the time a mother has to make a decsion and then to revoke that decsion vary greatly but are, in general. all far less than other indistrialized countries. For more on this, google "Time to Decide" by Elizabeth Samuels.

    For other aspects of adoption you may be unaware of, read "The Lies We Love" by E.J. Graff.

    These, and other articles on adoption re available at:

    When flooded with pro-adoption rhetoric about rescuing children and feeling a tug to do so...take a look at the source of such propganda. Myths of the number of orphans etc are spread by those who profit from the redistribution of children. The truth is told by those who truly want to help children - and their families...the NHGs like UNICEF.

    Mirah Riben, author
    The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregaulted Adoption Industry

  7. " Any person who takes advantage of another in order to fulfill their own need to have a baby, or to gain financially by facilitating such an outrage is engaging in an act that is criminal... From information I can find in the Adoption Act in my area of the world it is against the law.... I imagine the possibility of it happening here still exists and that likely it does."

    Yes, it does happen. You mention a "local licensed private adoption agency" later in your post. You can bet your bottom dollar that these people are performing this very act: receiving money in exchange for the trade in infants. But our governments turn a blind eye to the sale in babies, human trafficking, the adoption industry. I suggest calling up that agency and asking them how much they charge for a domestic infant adoption. It certainly will not be "free." The fees paid by people who adopt go to pay the wages, utility bills, rent etc. of these businesses, the same as any other for-profit business. That is why they are often referred to as "baby brokers."

    I'd like to recommend the book "The Stork Market" by Mirah Riben. She really hits the nail on the head. Also, Darlene Gerows' article at also talks about it.

    Businesses such as this agency profit financially from adoption. There is no legislation protecting mothers from coerced surrender and human rights abuse. The industry also has over 30 year of research on how to get more mothers to surrender their babies (i have copies of these studies). Unfortunately, few adoptions are actually ethical, even in Canada. That's why we have hundreds of infant adoptions per year here, and there are only a handful each year in Australia -- they protect mothers down there.

  8. Hey all, thanks for taking the time to leave comments.

    Anonymous, can't find in my post what you're referring to with the following, "Lady, it isn't if they *THINK* they can raise their child or not."
    You say "Imagine the possibilities if we actually helped these women instead of fed off them" I agree, as stated in the post, "Or, if they'd had the support necessary to help them be in a position to look after these children."
    I also agree that people who adopt infants can be considered as "in it for themselves" as they are people who want children and aren't having their own, for whatever reason.

    aislin, hmm...I'm not sure what you think I'm unable to "wrap my head around", but, I'll try and respond. When I wrote about abused children in my post I said that placing a child for adoption is not a guarantee that they won't end up with abusive parents. That some of the children that are taken into governmental custody (the system) are children that were in an adoptive home. I do not think now nor wrote that you or anyone on your blog thinks that children should stay in abusive homes. The first paragraph of my post is regarding mothers losing children in infant adoption being victimized and how I feel it's criminal and applaud your and others who are anti-adoption efforts to bring awareness to it.
    If I'm missing something that you see me not wrapping my head around please feel free to further comment if you like.

    neverwanted, thanks for the info on California.

    AdoptAuthor, I'll check into the book and link you shared. I've already had a quick peek at your website and did a bit of searching of your name and plan to do some more when I have the time.

  9. Hi cedartrees

    Funny you suggest that I contact the agency in question because I have plans to do just that. It was a resource we had available to pass on to callers when I was volunteering on a teen help line so I want to find out more about what they are actually doing there and if it's an appropriate place to send people who are in crisis.

    You know, when you say few adoptions are ethical it makes me very uneasy when I myself, just one person, am familiar with more than a few ethical adoptions.

  10. Campbell, I would consider unethical any adoption where a mother's human rights were violated, where she was exploited (often because of this human rights violation left her vulnerable to exploitation), where vital information was withheld from her about the consequences of surrender, and where industry-researched practices that were designed to increase surrender rates were applied to her, where contact with prospective adopters was made before the the surrender was signed and revocation periods expire, or where she was not provided with recovery time post-birth before making any "adoption decision."

    The "more than a few" adoptions that you know which are ethical, are they free from all of these practices? I know you are new to much of this, and few people know that "generally accepted adoption practice" is fraught with ethical violations, human rights violations, and conflicts-of-interest.

    All of these practices and occurrences negate true decision-making and are unethical. That is why I state that few adoptions are ethical -- because once adoption became an industry, fueled by consumer demand, the rights and protections for mothers evaporated and many practices began that were designed to influencing, manipulating, and coercing mothers to surrender.

    Evelyn Robinson in South Australia details how mothers in that state are protected against many forms of coercion. She compares their system to that in North America. It is an eye-opening article, at . I also cover the issue of coercion in my blog post "Adoption Coercion in Black and White" .

    Coercion did not stop at the end of the BSE -- it just became more insidious and refined.


  11. Campbell thanks for commenting on my blog. I appreciate this new world of adoption blogs out here. Good and bad we are linked together and I am glad to be a part of it.

  12. Campbell, as an adoptee what advice do you give adoptive parents?

  13. Hey Shannan, been thinking about your question off and on all day at work. I checked in on your blog and can't really tell just exactly what your particular situation is. I did notice the one post you have on adoption you plan to talk less about your children's personal story, even though you enjoy talking about it. You have your reasons for deciding that, but I just wanted to say that I too as an adoptee have always enjoyed talking about my situation and what details I did know. Just thought that was interesting, may be a personality thing.

    As far as advice, hm, not sure what to say exactly but looks like I'll need to use more characters than one comment allows. I suspect your kids story is very different than mine was/is, so because of that maybe I have nothing to advise.
    In a general sense, I think that being open, allowing humor when it occurs, taking a minute to think when a big question comes up. I am all for saying, " actually, I need a few minutes to think about that", or " you know? mommy doesn't know the answer to that but we can try and find out". This applies in all aspects of my parenting.
    I see nothing wrong at all in making an adopted child feel special because they were adopted. As people get older they see that for what it is, but as a child, for me, it was huge. Yes, if my parents hadn't gotten me they'd have gotten someone else but I didn't know that as a child and it isn't always easy to adopt a child, mentally or physically, so it was obviously something they really wanted.
    I was never referred to as an "adopted child". It was never, "this is Campbell, our adopted daughter". I don't know if people actually do this but I've seen, for example, news stories where someone's child is being referred to and it's pointed out that it's an adoptive situation. I don't get that. If you're in a situation where it comes up, go for it, it's nothing to be ashamed of. For example, people have said things to me about resembling or not resembling my adoptive family, and I always offer up the fact I'm adopted. As I'm thinking of situations where this occurred, it was never my parents pointing it out, it was me. And they were fine with it. Perhaps I could even say they just went with my lead, which is something I'd never thought about until just this minute. Very cool.
    I think adopted children should be protected from "those" family members who just don't get it. I recall one situation where my old great grandmother allowed my sibling and I to be in a generational family picture even though we weren't, ahhh, it escapes me just how she put it but what she meant was we weren't REALLY part of the family. She was old, ignorant, and truly meant no harm so it was let slide under the radar. Plus, we were grown at this point. My point is, there will always be people who are ignorant and they need to be discussed, monitored, and if need be, informed of your expectations of them and if they don't get it, they won't get to see your precious kids. Again, this applies in lots of areas of parenting.

  14. I'm not sure if I ever pulled the old " why'd you take me if you hate me!!" or why can't you just send me back to my real mom" (I'd be surprised if I didn't) but, something I did with my own son in situations like that is saying " I hate you" wasn't allowed, period. He could say he was mad at me, whatever, but not those words because we both knew he didn't mean it and it hurt my heart. One of THE smartest things I did parenting lol.
    I don't know how much you know about your children's biological family or their situations that led to them being adopted, if you're in an open adoption situation, if you have any biological children of your own. My mom told me as much as she knew, which wasn't much. She gave me my adoption document, which has my birth name, obviously very helpful. I think an adoptive parent should get and retain as much information as possible and share it at age (maturity) appropriate times and/or in situations that warrant it. This I believe varies from child to child.

    Well, that's tons from someone unsure if they had any advice to offer, eh?

    I'm very passionate about parenting and have and continue to put lots of thought into what I do when it comes to my son. Hopefully something I've said is helpful and if there's anything specific you're wondering about please fell free to ask.

    One more thing. Be confident in your role in your children's lives. Nobody can replace any person who plays an important role in a child's life.

  15. Campbell thank you so much! These are great suggestions and I really appreciate your time in putting this together. I especially love what you said about your parents following your lead. It's almost as if you knew you were able to talk about it and ask about it and they'd tell you but it didn't take over. I also like your last comment about having confidence. One of the things I had to do this week after reading so many blogs, was turn the computer off, go kiss my sleeping kids and take a deep breath realizing that they as yet are oblivious to all this and it is my job to keep them safe, tell them the truth, and above all love them. Thank you for saying all this. I am going to tag this so I can keep referring to it.

    Oh...and what I meant about not talking about it was this. I find myself wanting to tell people the details surrounding our first mothers (ie, why they placed, where are they now, what drama is happening, etc). THAT is no one's business. People ask me about it all the time though. What I DO love talking about is our side of the story and expressing love and gratitude to the first moms and talking about where the kids are from, my feelings about it, etc. Those things are fun and helpful...not the gossip.:) Thanks

  16. Oh Shannan you're totally welcome. I'm glad you got something out of it.

    You have a much better piece of advice than any I gave, and that was about turning off the computer. I can't even imagine how shaken I'd have been if I was an adoptive mom and had read all that I've read the past few weeks. I'm glad I'm now more knowledgeable on the dark side of adoption, but, I know how it's just one side and that adoption is a viable option for some moms and a very workable solution for many families.

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  21. Apology accepted, and appreciated.

    The type of volunteering I was doing was more of an outlet for young people to have a place to vent. We were not to impose our views but rather encourage them to figure things out for themselves and provide them with information on resources that may possibly be able to help them.

    I realize that your daughter has had a terrible time and it makes my stomach hurt to think of any child being abused. Her and your situation are a perfect example of adoption gone wrong and I can honestly say it was not best for her. That I do not believe that every adoption is done for the best reasons.

    For me it's all about the kids, and I stand firm that sometimes adoption IS an option.

  22. I've removed the previous posts out of respect for your situation Lori. If for some reason you are opposed to me doing that let me and I'll put them back.

  23. I have worked in child welfare. I just wanted to comment on the first two comments here. Fathers are given the option to stop a child from going into care...well, not from going into foster care, but do have the option to step forward with a plan and state that they want their child with them and not in foster care. Sadly, most don't bother. Plus, if they are involved active father's who a child sees regularly, they most be sought out before the child is even in care. Unfortunately many of the children who do end up in care don't have active involved fathers and when they not so involved fathers hear their child is in care, they do nothing about it, they don't come forth and say they want their child with them.

    Second, birthfathers do have the right to stop an adoption. Most adoption professionals will not get involved if the birthfather says he does not agree to an adoption. This is IF he meets the definition of a parent. Many birthfathers do not meet the definition of parent and therefore don't even have to be notified.

  24. Well, I'm glad to hear that a father who meets the definition of parent has the right to stop an adoption. I wonder if it's a gender or societal issue, or perhaps both that makes some fathers less likely to want to step forward and parent.

    Where is it that you worked in child welfare? Tough work, that.


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