Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tough topic: Abandonment or Adoption Plan

There has been some discussion on other blogs I read about being truthful to our adopted daughters in regards to abandonment vs. adoption plan. Some people believe that by calling the abandonment an adoption plan, an adoptive parent isn't being truthful. Adoption plan has behind the words a meaning of a loving thoughtful plan to place a child for adoption with a loving couple. Abandonment is ugly and somehow gives a meaning of being unwanted, unloved. So here is my thought on the subject, because I am sure you were interested.

In China, it is illegal to make an adoption plan like we think of it in the good ole US of A with an agency or lawyer. It is illegal in China to place a child for adoption. It is legal however to abort or rather murder a child still in the womb. It is also illegal to abandon a child or murder a child after it has been born in China. Up until recently it was legal to perform ultra sounds in order to perform selective gender abortions. I believe in 2005 that was made illegal, but be sure it still happens for the right price.

So if a birth mom in China is faced with an unwanted pregnancy because of having more than the allotted number of children, of this baby being a girl and having already had a girl, of not being able to afford to care for the child, of husband's family not wanting this child, of it being disabled possibly or whatever; she has two choices. The first is to abort. The second is to abandon. To abort is to absolutely do away with the baby never to worry with it again.

To abandon the child, the birth mom has two choices. The first is to abandon the child where it will die on its own and not be found (this does happen) and never worry with it again. The second choice is to abandon the child where it will be found quickly and never to worry with it again.

Now if a birth mom takes the time to plan to abandon a baby where it will be found and so that she will not be caught; I call that an adoption plan. No, she didn't make an international adoption plan in writing knowing the child would be adopted by a family outside of China. It would be her hope that the child would be found by someone and taken care of if she did abandon it in public place. As for planning as opposed to acting off the cuff, she may have had to think about abandoning the child during the last few months of the pregnancy. She may have only had the train ride or the hour or more walk to the city to plan the abandonment but plan she did.

Now China as a government, must determine that a child is an orphan and has been abandoned in order that the child is able to be placed with an adoptive family in or out of the country. Abandoned is the actual happening, what was done to the child. Adoption plan was the meaning behind the abandonment. If the child remains unclaimed then the child is acknowledged as an orphan. There have been cases where the abandoning family has returned for the child. More often than not, they are the exception rather than the rule.

Now does the birth mom love the child? That is only to be determined by the child as she grows up and comes to an understanding of the processes and government regulations within the Chinese system. I cannot tell my child her birth mom loved her. I can tell my child that her birth mom respected life enough to take a chance at giving birth to her and planned the location, hour, and day to abandon her so that someone would pick her up quickly and care for her.

Was Glenys abandoned? Yes. Was she abandoned to be found? Yes. Did her birth mom or family make an adoption plan for her? YES, by the mere fact of where/how she was abandoned. Did the family expect Glenys to be adopted internationally? I doubt it, since rural area people don't necessarily know about IA. Do I care whether this family planned for an American to adopt her? No. I would like to make contact with her foster family, and if in some future time it is possible to find them, I would like to find the birth family.

Can you tell adopted children legitimately that the birth family loved them? Not unless there was a note explaining the situation behind the abandonment. Other circumstances may give a clue as to some sort of care, but mainly children just want to acknowledge that they are lovable and who wouldn't want to love them.

Now adoptive parents can do with this information as you wish. These are my thoughts and as Glenys grows up I will explain them to her. Also to compare, in the US, there are safe places to abandon a baby where the birth parent won't get into trouble. Americans have the option of making a legitimate adoption plan through an agency or lawyer. If an American chooses to abandon a baby, that is not an adoption plan. That is ugly and unloving. There are agencies and lawyers galore who would gladly take a baby and help a birth parent make a legitimate adoption plan. There are ads in the papers by adoptive families wanting babies. To abandon a child in America is ugly and unloving. That is not making an adoption plan.


tracy said...

Fantastic post! Thanks for the insite on this topic. I like the way you think!

melody said...

Hi, I came here from adoption roundup. I agree with your reasoning and appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

My children were taken from their birth mothers as infants due to severe abuse and neglect. I have a whole 'nudder world to explain.

Laurie said...

I appreciate your post. My only beef is with your wording that a birthmom's options are to abort or abandon and "never worry with it again." These are VERY complex topics, and it's definitely NOT the case that someone doing either of those things does it lightly and never thinks of it again. I just think that minimizes a woman's plight as she's struggling with a situation that is unfathomable to most of us.
I think this is a great post otherwise and brings up a very good point.

:: Suzanne :: said...

Thanks for sharing your link. I am so excited to read all these new blogs.

We are LID 11/8/05 but went on six month hold due to changes in our homelife. All are LID mates are next up for the referrals.

:: Suzanne :: said...

Just wanted to let you know that the Adoption BlogPost RoundUp round-up is up!

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing the thoughtfult post on a difficult topic. You gave me much to think about.