I’ve been really mulling over this. I guess in my mind it’s like asking if war is a good thing. Depending on who you ask, you could get a variety of answers. I sometimes ask myself, “What would God say about adoption or war?”
The bible shares an adoption story very early on in The Book of Genesis. And this was no ordinary adoption. Moses’ mother didn’t intend to abandon her son for good. She merely wanted to temporarily hide Moses from the Egyptians who feared that there were too many Israelites. They thought that by killing the first born son of each Israelite family, they could reduce the Israelites’ future population. As a result, Moses’ mother was caught in a desperate moment. This was the only way she knew how to quickly protect her son. This is what I call an unnecessary adoption.
Then what happens?
The very people she is trying to protect Moses from, the Egyptians, have now found the babe in the river and claim the child as one of their very own. Afterwards, Moses’ mother knows that she will not be able to get her baby back. Why? They have power, she does not. They possess great wealth, she does not. The events that led up to this were the cause of power and greed. The bible has a lot to say about power and greed.
Adoption was not uncommon in Egypt or Ancient Rome as well. Power tribes would adopt and rear up a child from local tribes so they could learn the ways of the power tribe which in turn helped to strengthen political ties, and foster allies. The child, who later was returned to its original tribe, would be familiar with both tribes, his own that he was born to and the one who raised him.
But the one thing that was missing from the ancient adoptions were Adoption Agencies. Nowadays, depending on whom you talk to or ask, Adoption Agencies and their associates can be an Angel or a Devil.
I think some of us who have grown the product for the adoption business got bewildered by the promotion and the advertising that lured us into the Adoption Agency’s doors. In many cases, we walked in alone, frightened and pregnant without a true “neutral” ally or even our own lawyer or legal counsel. We were led to believe that the Adoption Agency was there to help us and in many ways they did. They called us brave and selfless. But there was also an expectation and price to pay; at the end of the process, the Adoption Agency would acquire one precious little human being, our baby.
Excluding the baby scoop era and homes for unwed mothers, catholic charities and many other religious orders who were trying to mask their financial greed at the expense of the scorned women, often times, abandoned by their sexual partner and their own parents, I’ve wondered why some of us women would be angry at the modern day adoption agency after the adoption is complete. I mean the name says it all. Right? Yes? I include myself in this mixed of discernment. I’m like, the sign was right there on the door. ADOPTION AGENCY. Am I that naïve? It’s a business like any other business. When we go to McDonalds, we expect to get food. That’s what they advertise. When people go to Adoption Agencies, they expect to get babies. And while both businesses have a need for a product, babies and Big Macs are two very different things.
Personally, I would say adoption and war are not good effects but are sometimes necessary effects. Both are a result and a response to something that occurred previously. For example, the Civil War was a necessary war. However, if America never participated in the slave trades, there would have been no need for a Civil War. How can we call this a good war when so many slaves suffered at the expense of the white man’s greed? How can we call war good when so many men and women died fighting for what they believed to be right and just?
Like war, adoption has one side celebrating a gain and one side suffering a loss. Too often, adoption is the cause of a woman being abandoned by her sexual partner, his parents, and her own parents. The abandonment starts before the child is even born and the cycle is put into motion, causing the pregnant women to wonder into strange territory and seek guidance and support from strangers. Appallingly, somehow society has been okay with that.
Most mothers would like nothing better than to give birth and then love and parent their child. But more often the forces are against single, unwed or teenage mothers and we become desperate. Like Moses’s mother, we make a choice based on our current circumstance. How can adoption be good when a mother feels the need to relinquish her parental rights based on a lack of financial and familial support or fear from a disapproving society? How can adoption be good when the child grows up to feel abandoned? Many say even Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, grew up feeling abandoned. How can adoption be good when we put a price on an infant? How can adoption be good when that price is sometimes based on marketability (depending on race or mixed ethnicity)?
What will you say when the adoptee comes to you as an adult and ask you, “How did you help my mother when she was pregnant with me? What were you willing to do to support her? Did you do everything within your power to preserve my family?”