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The Tally Ho

Monday, September 11, 2006

And lest we wish to get back to the good old days

Folks in my line of work often bemoan the adoption rate nowadays; I believe (though I have no stats in front of me currently) that the number of mothers in the US choosing to place their child for adoption is hovering somewhere around 1% of the total. Meanwhile, we see lots of women, young and old, holding (or not) children that they obviously are not prepared to deal with and we think, "Honey, since you felt so strongly about having the baby, couldn't you find a good parent to raise him?" before we catch ourselves (or each other) with the reminder that it is NOT our decision to make.

So here comes the Happy Feminist to remind us: YES, we HAVE made progress, at least in one arena. She briefly describes an adoption in 1968 from the birth mother's account. (I'll cite Happy because not because she's the original source, but because it's not entirely clear which article she pulled the quote from.) I can't know whether this woman was prepared in 1968 to raise a child, or whether he would have been better off with her or with his adoptive family, since there was no mechanism to provide for both. However, I can guarantee that today's low adoption rate is a direct consequence of all those many years of forced adoption. We should be outraged on these women's behalf. Those folks who would like the adoption rate to rise need to be loud about reminding families that once again, there are open adoptions, so it doesn't have to work like that anymore. And for those of you reading who do wish we could force women into adoption instead of letting them make the choice, I'm glad that we don't live in your world anymore. I'm one of the bad girls who was totally rooting for the baby nappers.

3 Comments:

  • E, do you read the blog This Woman's Work (www.thiswomanswork.com)? If not (or if you do but haven't delved into the archives), you might go there and read through her posts under the topic of adoption. It's very interesting to see her attitude toward adoption (and particularly open adoption) changing as they went through the process.

    By Blogger giddybug, at 2:09 PM  

  • I was sent over to her site and left a short comment about my experience at 15.

    Yes, much has changed.

    By Blogger Granny, at 3:50 PM  

  • Hey, Giddybug! No, I hadn't been over there, it's an interesting read. I wandered through a bunch of blogs I had never met before, and left with a lot of ideas I'd like to ask my in-person friends about. Thanks!

    Granny, thanks for commenting over there (and here, in fact). It was amazing to me how much debate Happy's post generated.

    By Blogger Trope, at 9:47 AM  

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