In writing about all matters of parenting for the past few years, I’ve learned that some topics are divisive among the readers no matter what I have to say on the matter. Other topics elicit comments that are so predictable, the cynical side of me thinks I should probably just save readers the time and write the responses myself. The more generous side of me concedes, however, that these divisive topics and predictable comments demonstrate the complicated emotions we have around particular subjects.
One of those subjects is adoption and since November is National Adoption Month, we should talk about it.
Here’s how things often go: in nearly every post on assisted reproductive technologies or repeated pregnancy loss, someone writes in suggesting (often in the form of hammering it over the author’s head) that the family stop with the pregnancy nonsense and adopt a child. Wait, there’s more.
If the post is about complications in adopting an infant, the comment, again delivered with a hammer, is that the family should quit being selfish and/or racist and adopt an older child.
Then again, if the story is about someone who adopted an older child and that child wound up with some kind of behavioral problems, well, why did the family have to act like such heroes? If they weren’t ready to handle someone with problems they shouldn’t have tried to be parents in the first place!
And for those who adopt internationally? Well, don’t they know there are children waiting to be adopted right here in this country?
Seems like everyone knows what’s best when it comes to making a family — and there’s only one way to do it through adoption. What that way is, though? I still can’t figure it out.
Shannon LC Cate, a former Strollerderby blogger and someone who has studied and written quite thoughtfully about adoption, put up a list of 10 common adoption myths over at BlogHer, where she gives a more thorough explanation of why some common notions about adoptions, birth mothers and celebrity babies are simply false.
1. Birth mothers are all teenagers.
2. Open adoptions are confusing to kids.
3. They hate girls in China.
4. Black babies are the latest trend among celebrities.
5. Adoptive parents are saintly for adopting.
6. Adopted kids are lucky.
7. Adoption costs a lot of money and only rich people can afford it.
8. There’s a high level of risk that adopted kids will be returned to their biological parents.
9. Birth mothers are saints … or birth mothers are demons for carelessly getting pregnant.
10. Adoption is the opposite of abortion.
Be sure to check out this Babble list “10 Things Not to Say to Adoptive Parents.”
What do you think of Cate’s list? Did she leave anything out? Did she change your attitude about adoption? What are your pet peeves regarding adoption?
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