Category Archives: Misognyny

“It’s generally believed that the transaction is purely commercial”

…by the purchasers, of course. Because I’m sure I don’t know who else could believe this nonsense. Carrying, nay constructing, a future human being in one’s own body for nine months doesn’t involve anything other than money…just ask people who’ve never done it! (Shit, I’VE never done it, and I know better than this!)

Now, assuming any of you fine, fine parents-by-surrogacy out there really want to know, which you nigh universally do not, this purely commercial transaction bullshit is bullshit. I mean, was it “purely commercial” for you to finally get the baby you dreamed of all these years? No emotions involved at all? Oh, that’s right, you’re not “birth mothers” or “rental wombs”–you’re real live humans! How DO I keep forgetting such an obvious and vital distinction?

Anyway, this article tells the stories of three rental wombs who had the brazen (and fertile!) ovaries to Feel Things about their vending machine status and the products it produced. Who would have thought? And isn’t the progressive and compassionate BBC just swell to give these vessels a voice? I mean, otherwise, how would anyone who matters know that poor and/or Indian womanshapedthings have emotions?

These women’s stories sound eerily familiar to me, and there’s a reason for that. S. Sumati says

I was still under sedation when they removed the baby. I never set eyes on it. […]

When I gained consciousness, my first words to my husband were, ‘Did you see the baby? Is it a boy or a girl?’

He said he hadn’t seen it. I asked my doctor, but she didn’t answer my question.

‘You are a surrogate mother, you shouldn’t ask these questions,’ she said.

But I want to know about the baby. I want to know where he or she is and what it is studying.

The second interviewee, Anandi Chelappaun, describes being sent away:

While I was in the hostel, my family was allowed to visit only once a month and that was very hard for me.

I was warned that whatever happened, I couldn’t go home, but then thankfully nothing untoward happened which required me to visit [my family].

Jothi Lakshmi says

My mother and mother-in-law [..] didn’t speak to me during my pregnancy.

I never laid eyes on the baby and I think maybe it was for the best because if I had seen it, I would have felt very guilty giving it up.

But it was hard, I had felt the baby move in my belly, I had become attached to it, and I couldn’t see it. It just disappeared.

For about two-three years, I felt very bad and I lost a lot of weight.

But now I don’t want to see it. At home, we don’t talk about it. I even discourage my husband from talking about it because I know it belongs to someone else.

I have made peace with myself.

Tell me you can distinguish these three stories from the accounts of many BSE-era relinquishing mothers, because I can’t. Isn’t it wonderful how adoption has changed? Now you can purchase your child outright, without the least wisp of worry that you’re doing anything wrong (just like before, when you could tell yourself you were doing that slut a favor in helping her get on with her life). And you get to leave that incubator on the other side of the planet where she belongs and never worry think about  her again (just like the good ol’ days when you could be sure that shame would keep your baby’s adoption delivery system-thingummy from ever looking for your child).

This is what parents-by-surrogacy want and what they pay for. The Baby Scoop Era, with its thousands of suffering women and confused children, remains the gold standard in *adoption. All these decades later, it is what almost anyone who hears the word “adoption” believes the word means. The average PAP will pay any amount of money to attain this experience, or one as close to it as they can get. (Some, of course, will do worse.)

Surrogacy is actually superior to gold standard adoption in that you may very well receive a baby who’s genetically your own. So here’s another BSE question for you parents: Are you going to tell him/her? Don’t you think it might confuse him/her to know s/he was purchased out of a brown womb on the other side of the planet?

Adoption will never change unless and until those who pump money into it and benefit from it want it to change, and they don’t seem to want that at all. Why aren’t more people ashamed of themselves?

* (or “reproductive choices,” or whatever we’re supposed to call the buffet of child-procuring methods rich white westerners get to choose from)

 

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Filed under Colonialism ROCKS!, General Ignoramitude, Misognyny, Sad and beautiful

Fuck You, Pennsylvania.

Because we all know what “streamlining” means, don’t we? It means PAPs get what PAPs want ASAP.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Three more bills from a package of legislation to streamline and speed up adoption procedures in Pennsylvania were approved by a state House committee on Wednesday.

Greg Grassa is Executive Director of the House Children and Youth Committee, which advanced three bills that are part of an eight bill package to tighten up adoption procedures. Grassa says one of the most important bills in the package has already passed the House and awaits action in the Senate. That measure would reduce the period of time a birth mother can revoke her consent from 30 days to 14 days.

Because nobody needs more than two weeks to make a decision that will affect her and her baby for the rest of their lives (and beyond). I mean, fuck that noise. The “most important” part of adoption is that the PAPs get what they want when they want it…even though adoption is supposed to be founded on the best interests of the child.

“From the adoptive family’s point of view, they can actually bring a child home and welcome them into their hearts and homes,” Grassa said, “and on the 29th day of the revocation period, the birth mother can still say ‘ahh, I’ve changed my mind.’”

Oh the unimaginable horror! Oh those poor adoptive families!

Thing is, those suffering “adoptive families” are NOT adoptive families: not until the mother relinquishes. If there’s one good thing I can say about my BSE adoption, it’s that I was NOT placed in my APs home before my mother relinquished me. I was given up, then put in foster care while the state found a match for me–a family with that matched my first family as closely as possible–and then adopted. That’s right: They wanted a match FOR ME, not for some mob of “adoptive families” who saw fit to approach my mother with a wad of cash, zero morals, and the presumption that she wanted to sell her daughter.

But we don’t do that anymore, do we? Because if we couldn’t put a non-adopted baby into an “adoptive” home, the mother would feel freer to change her mind. Far better to put the kid there right away so that if she does change her mind, she’ll be “taking the baby from the only home s/he’s ever known.” She will be the villain and everyone will tell her how horrible she is. After all, they paid her medical bills: she owes them. Now that societal shame is not enough, coercion must be employed, because who is adoption about, anyway?

Individual shaming is the way to go these days. Bitch, you led them on, and that means they’re entitled to use you. Don’t you know prostitutes can’t be raped? (If you think you see a difference between these two methods of shame-based economic coercion of women, do please tell me what it is.)

Also, if we want to be fair, shouldn’t we pass similar laws against non-adopted babies who have the temerity to die before they’re two weeks old? Someone–god, the Universe, the government, their bank accounts–SOMEBODY owes their parents a baby, because they paid their money and they got screwed over. If that sounds insane to you but the other does not, you are part of the problem. No matter how much you love your adoptee or how long you waited or how much you paid or what you think you were promised, you’re the problem.

On Wednesday, one bill approved by the committee requires courts to set a hearing date of no more than 20 days after birth parents’ file a petition to relinquish their parental rights.

NOW! NOW! NOW! Easier, cheaper, faster, NOW! If “your birth mother” kills herself when she learns how horrible you are, that’s…well, it’s rather convenient, isn’t it? Especially if you promised her an open adoption you had no intention of leaving open.

I was in the middle of composing this post when TAO put up an excellent one about the (shh!) E-word in adoption. Please read it and comment if you like (but read the guidelines first).


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Filed under General Ignoramitude, Misognyny, Those Wacky PAPs

WHISKEY. TANGO. FOXTROT.

Readers, I apologize for what I’m about to lay on you, and I apologize for any vomiting, dislocated mandibles, or headdesk-related injuries it causes. Brace yourselves for the stupidest, most offensive question ever asked on Planet Earth.

These authors are serious, and they answer their question in the affirmative. Naturally they’re both men. Men doing a “thought experiment” they conclude is a splendid idea.

Imagine a world in which all the babies born each day were randomly redistributed among the biological parents. The infant assigned to any given set of parents could be white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or any combination thereof (and that’s just the US); the baby could be perfectly healthy or grossly deformed. Parents would know only that their child was not their biological child. Let us call this social mixing.

No. Let us call this what it is: Imaginary barbaric social engineering by a couple of white guys who think racism can be imagined away if people only let go of the idea that women and children are human. Nobody who thought they were human could imagine something as horrific as swapping kids around at random. The authors propose this because it would hurt “lesser people” more than it would hurt them and because it sounds easier to them than actually confronting their own racism and privilege. (Also, “grossly deformed”? Isn’t that a delightful thing to call infants with drastic birth defects?)

This plan is of course politically impossible, perhaps even repellent.

You bet your ASS it is, Sirs. But hold on a sec–guess why it’s repellent? Because it would subject women and children to unspeakable cruelty? Because it would put the onus of fixing society’s problems on minority babies who would be raised in a racist society by people who may or may not be able to comprehend that racism or help the kids navigate it in any way? No, of course not. It’s because one’s own precious child might end up in the arms of a crack whore. No, seriously:

Is the idea so frightening? Yes it is. It is a frightening thought that your own biological child, the one sitting there now doing her homework, might have gone to an impoverished mother or a drug addict, perhaps have been beaten, perhaps starved.

It gets worse, though:

But why, save for genetic chauvinism, do we view with comparative equanimity the everyday reality of other people’s children subject to the same treatment by their own biological mothers?

What’s the “we” shit, you heartless pricks? How dare you? The reason you don’t care is that you lack human empathy. Assuming you’re white, which doesn’t seem  like much of a stretch, people like you run the country that lets women die in childbirth at a higher rate than any other “civilized” one, that blames women for their own rapes, that lets children grow up in poverty and go to jail because they’re the wrong color and/or their mothers weren’t married. Don’t throw your baggage on me, Sirs, because I fucking well do care.

You may argue that genetic bias is indelible in human nature. Social mixing would not only disturb the comfort of this fatalistic attitude,

Loving and wanting your own child is fatalism. Sure it is.

but also use genetic chauvinism for ends beyond mere economic equality, providing grounds for a compassion that goes beyond the wellbeing of our immediate families.

“[M]ere economic equality.” Pfft. Who cares about something that piddling? It wouldn’t fix anything OH YES IT WOULD. Go eat a bowl of bees, you dipwads.

Since any man might be your biological brother, any woman your biological sister, concern for them would have to be expressed by a concern for a common good.

Again you admit you don’t give a fuck about anyone who isn’t related to you and presume the same of everyone else. Yes, let’s doom everyone (except your generation and the generations before them, of course) to a lifetime of genealogical bewilderment because it would magically give you Yahoos hearts (not that I believe it would).

A second effect of social mixing would be to generate a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, which would ultimately translate into an interest in the social and biological welfare of everyone. Since any child might end up our own, we would provide the social and educational environments that would best enhance their development. Ghettos and slums would be an eyesore for us all. Poverty, drug, and alcohol addiction are already everyone’s problem, but this fact would be more meaningful than it is now. The child of that addict might be our biological child. Every victim of a drive-by shooting might be a member of our genetic family. Each of us would see the link between our fate and the fate of others.

Worse and worse and worse. How can it go on getting worse? No point in giving a rat’s ass about women and children if there’s not a microscopic chance the women are carrying your future biological or adopted child.

And if you’re as heartless as you seem, then what you’d really do is tell yourself the chances of being biologically related to or being given the child of one random person are astronomical, so to Hell with that ghetto drunk and her prenatal check-ups: you still don’t want your tax dollars supporting the likes of her.

Third, the superficial connection between colour and culture would be severed.

SUPERFICIAL?!?! Also, that would be horrible. It would not result in white people sharing in black culture or Asians partaking of Latino culture. It would result in a homogenous, generic boring-ass cultural blandness of the kind white USAian people already have–and already hate so much that we’re prone to going around trying to steal other people’s cultures (white “Native American shamans,” white dreadlocks, white people using Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to drink too much beer, etc). Plenty of adoptive parents currently feel entitled to parody and degrade “honor” their internationally adopted children’s cultures already. Y’all need to quit kidding yourselves.

Racism would be wiped out. Racial ghettos would disappear; children of all races would live in all neighbourhoods. Any white child could have black parents and any black child could have white parents. Imagine the US president flanked by his or her black, white, Asian and Hispanic children. Imagine if social mixing had been in effect 100 years ago in Germany, Bosnia, Palestine or the Congo. Racial, religious, and social genocide would not have happened.

Just like when white slaveowners raped their slaves and sold their own children, right? and just like being raised by a “mammy” rendered white children not racist? Just like Hitler’s Jewish ancestry kept him from hating Jewish people? Even if this would work,  you are jumping ahead to the ends without considering the very human means to those ends, because apparently women and children only exist to fix your broken evil selves at the cost of their offspring and identities. You don’t care. I mean, here you are discussing what it would take for you to care.

[…] There are, of course, many natural objections to this idea. It will be said that one of the joys of marriage is for lovers to see the product of their love. To this we say that the product of one’s love lies not in the genetic production of a human being but in the mutual cultivation of the life of a child. But isn’t it true that either the genetic match between parent and child or a bond formed between mother and child in the womb makes each parent uniquely fit to raise his or her own child and less fit to raise another child? The evidence for such idiosyncrasy is slight.

OH IS IT REALLY. Spoken like true men–true unadopted men, possibly ones without children.

True, adopted children tend to have more mental and physical problems than non-adopted ones. But

we don’t give a flip!

…children are often adopted at relatively advanced ages, after they have formed close attachments with caregivers. Children adopted during their first year are at no disadvantage relative to non-adopted children.

Speaking as a person who was adopted before age one: You have no idea what you are talking about.

The authors rush to assure us there is no risk that under social mixing people will be as indifferent to their own *real children as they are now to the biological children of others. …[T]here are no grounds for such deep pessimism. Look at the behaviour of adoptive parents now, or look at the practice of surrogate motherhood. The many apparently infertile parents who adopt a baby only to have a biological child subsequently do not tend to reject the first child.

Except when they do, you chowderheads. I know many adoptees who were rejected or given short shrift when that biological child came along. And most couples who use a surrogate mother have her carry their own egg and sperm, so that doesn’t even count.

[…] It may be objected that parents’ desire to have their own biological children is so strong that they would be blind to the public good, that they would have babies and bring them up in secret. But those babies would not have birth certificates, they would not be citizens, they could not vote, serve in public office and so forth. If discovered, the children might be taken away after the strong bonds of psychological (as opposed to biological) parenthood had been formed. Few Americans would risk these penalties.

You two are officially horrible. You’re cruel, you’re monsters, I don’t even have words. You’re Frankenstein, you’re Nazis. You imagine and argue for a world wherein other people get rid of your prejudices for you no matter how much that hurts them. You have your brazen balls talking about “the public good.”

It will be objected that incest would occur frequently in a society where biological kinship was obscured. In answer to this, we now have the ability to test prospective parents and to forbid marriages between people with close genetic overlap – whatever the cause.

Who’s gonna pay for all those DNA tests, Doofuses? And in a country where people continue to spread STIs and experience unexpected pregnancies even though condoms are freely available, do you really think horny people are going to wait for test results to come back before they get it on?

But even if we did not have this ability, is it likely that incest would be more frequent under our plan than it is now (notwithstanding taboos) among close biological relatives living together? […]

I dunno. Why don’t you ask all the adoptees who have experienced genetic sexual attraction, Assholes?

It may be objected that people would not want to bear children only to have them raised by strangers.

YA THINK?! As it is now, desperate girls and women have to be coerced and purchased or paid to do it.

But genetic narcissism may not be the optimal motive for having children. There may be no correlation between the biological capacity to have children and the ability to cultivate the optimal development of a child. It may be a good thing if only people who passionately wished to be an integral part of the life trajectory of another human being raised children.

It would be, and that’s why women need better access to birth control and abortions, not an excuse for you to snatch their kids for great victory over racism. You do realize “people” includes women, right?

Genetic chauvinism lives on very strongly in our culture. Modern fiction and cinema often present adoptees’ searches for biological parents and siblings in a highly positive light.

How very tragic and unfair NOT.

The law in child custody cases is biased towards biological parents over real parents.

You really, really don’t know what you’re talking about.

You might claim that this bias itself is ‘natural’. It is so common as to seem part of our biological makeup.

It’s also the cornerstone your stupid argument rests on, but don’t let that bother you.

But subjugation of women was also common in primitive human cultures and remains so in many cultures today.

You are literally arguing for the subjugation of women to your wishes.

Unnatural as it sounds, social mixing promises many advantages.

Perhaps it does. But I find it very interesting that you propose this convoluted mess instead of simpler solutions, like eliminating redlining and otherwise arranging things so minorities can live next door to well-off white academic types like you. You could move into a “ghetto” neighborhood anytime you wanted, you know. But that would involve your taking a risk and your being inconvenienced, and those things are for women and babies.

If we are not willing to adopt it, we should consider carefully why. And if naturalness is the key, we should ask ourselves why on this matter, ungoverned nature should trump social cohesion.

Look, there is no magic racism eraser. There never was one and there never will be one. We–white people, because we have the power–need to get rid of racism by doing the hard work of educating ourselves, examining ourselves, and then putting our money and energy into  effecting change. And we don’t get to decide what the changes will be. If we are so lucky as to win their trust, underprivileged people of color will determine what help they do or don’t want from us. In the meantime, hands off other people’s kids.

White people made racism. Expecting minority women and babies to fix it for us is just another form of racism.

 

 

 

*YES, “REAL.” THEY ACTUALLY WENT THERE. They suffer the same genetic chauvinism they intend to erase by using genetic chauvinism.

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Filed under Colonialism ROCKS!, General Ignoramitude, It Can't Be Racist. I Didn't Use the N-word Once!, Misognyny, WTF?!

Hand Over the Uterus and Nobody Gets Hurt

From Australia comes this thinly veiled threat of an article about how unfair it is that Australians aren’t allowed to rent the wombs of other Australians. You see, there are people out there who “require the services of a surrogate.” Not desire: require as they require food, air, water, shelter, and sunlight. Yet all “Australian states and territories, except the Northern Territory” have banned binding Australian women to a nine-month slavery contract. So the people who require the use of a woman’s body are forced, forced I tell you, to go overseas and take advantage of poorer foreign women. “[B]ecause the only surrogacy permitted in Australia is altruistic surrogacy,” and, as it turns out, the average woman doesn’t want to make a free baby for someone else. Funny that.

“This is true,” the article points out, “even in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, where it is a criminal offence to enter into a compensated surrogacy arrangement overseas.”

Obviously these lawbreakers must be given what they want. I mean, if we make nice things expensive, thieves will steal them. If we buy a house, burglars will burgle it. That’s why we have to allow anyone who asks to kick us out of  our houses and take our stuff. Obviously.

The article declares laws against foreign-womb-renting a failure. Why? Nobody enforces them: “There has not been a single prosecution, let alone a conviction, for pursuing extra-territorial surrogacy.” Then the problem here would seem to be the lack of prosecution rather than the law itself, wouldn’t it?

Is anyone else reminded of certain arguments for prostitution? I know I am. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is when the author invokes the UN Rights of the Child in defense of surrogacy:

“Article 7 provides that children have a right to an identity and to know and be cared for by their parents. Children born through surrogacy may have up to five parent-like people: two intended parents, a sperm donor, an egg donor and the surrogate. In this context, Article 7 is best understood as meaning that children have a right to know their biological and gestational parents and to be cared for by their intended parents.”

PARENT-LIKE PEOPLE. If anyone called any of my four parents that to my face, I’d pop’em right in the snoot.

“With many overseas surrogacies, the record-keeping is poor or non-existent, making it impossible for a child to find out their genetic origins.”

Then, once again, the problem is with record-keeping, not with a ban on being able to rent local and/or foreign wombs. Don’t you think that if the legal and lawbreaking womb-renters of Australia really found this record-keeping so important, they would already have demanded and gotten it? I know I do. I don’t think the average womb-renter gives a rat’s ass about the incubator they purchase, her identity, or the child’s right to know where s/he came from. If they did, they wouldn’t do overseas surrogacy, especially since, as the author tells us, Australia is scrupulous about such things:

“Australia has one of the best systems in the world for recording persons who donate eggs and sperm. This ensures that children born through surrogacy in Australia will be able to identify all the people associated with their creation.”

But PAPs don’t really care because, again, they will be forced to do unethical, illegal things if they can’t buy a woman’s reproductive system outright.

“We need to acknowledge and address the legitimate fears that people have about surrogacy. But rather than trying to stop these scientific advances, we should put in place safeguards to prevent exploitation of vulnerable women and protect the rights of children born through surrogacy.”

Help US help YOU sell us your body! Paid surrogacy IS the exploitation of vulnerable women, FFS. What “safeguards” would you propose? Because allowing only altruistic surrogacy seems like a very good safeguard to me.

As if all that weren’t bad enough, the author has the brazen gonads to quote Gibran on how “your children are not your children.” Of course they aren’t–they’re ours. Sell us your children now, Australian women, lest we be forced to commit crimes in the name of parenthood!

“This reminds us that how a child is conceived, and how a child is born, is largely irrelevant. What is important is that children are loved and their inherent dignity respected.”

And that is why, when a woman gives birth in Australia, she tenderly places the baby in a random crib in the maternity ward, blindfolds herself and spins around until she’s dizzy, and then takes home the first baby her hand happens to light upon.

For the millionth fucking time, how a child is conceived and born is not irrelevant in any way to anyone. Even people who are willing to hurt anyone and pay any price in order to get a baby they can call their own are lying to themselves about this, and they know it. They know damned well it’s important to them where they came from and who they look like. (In fact, didn’t you just argue that it is important that children know these things because it’s a human right?) The reason adopting/womb-renting couples want a baby rather than a waiting child is that they want to replicate the experience of raising one’s biological child from day one as closely as possible. Because it matters.

The article’s author is a professor in “Human Rights Law.” There is no human right to rent another person’s reproductive system.

 

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To “Jane,” Who Doesn’t Want to Be Called “Baby Thief”

Dear “Jane:

I’d like to start this by saying I understand your feelings are hurt. I imagine that encountering the online family preservation community was like a slap in the face.

I’m pretty sure that’s because you’ve been told all your life what a blessed and booful and beneficent thing adoption is…for people like you. And I doubt you’ve questioned that very much. I’m writing this to tell you it is time to start questioning that, if only for your future adoptee’s sake, because your future adoptee will be the product of pain and loss.

I know you want your own child, and I know it will seem very cruel to you when I ask you to perform the following thought experiment:

1) Think about what it would be like to bear your own child out of your own body, to have what you so long for.
2) Ask yourself: Who would willingly let go of that precious child? Who would willingly give it away?

The answer is and always has been “almost nobody.” The only reason most “birth mothers” win that title is that they felt they had no other choice. What you stand to benefit from, what you hope and pray for, what you literally describe yourself as entitled to is someone else’s unthinkable tragedy.

I’m not even going to talk much about what adoption is for the adoptee here, because there’s only so long a blog post can be. Just think about the woman you expect to willingly hand over her child to you (and then, as you say, “be respectful” of you…should you stoop to an open adoption…if you must).

I asked you to imagine that because you describe first mothers’ regret over losing their children as “blame-shifting.” You really seem to believe that if a woman relinquishes a child, it’s because she had a free and uncoerced choice to do so. We live in a society where women earn less than men and our reproductive choices are constantly challenged; yet when a woman gives up her own flesh and blood, you seem to think she is a free agent.

You are “blame shifting.” You are blaming women for the very misfortune you expect to benefit from.

If, as you say, you believe adoption can be about “finding homes for children,” then you should seek out an existing child who needs a home. Do not write “Dear Birthmother” letters to pregnant women, do not rent billboards with messages aimed at pregnant women, do not put ads aimed at pregnant women in the Penny Saver, do not pay a pregnant woman’s medical expenses, do not start a website telling pregnant women what you can give their babies.

If taking in a child who really needs a home is so unacceptable to you because it might be temporary (or for any other reason), then don’t pretend you want to give a home to a child who needs one.

I believe you when you say infertility hurts, but these days there are simply not enough desperate women lacking reproductive choices out there to supply every couple who wants one with a child. Again, that is literally what you are complaining about:  a shortfall of desperate women without reproductive choices. And you have the gall to claim such women have the advantage over you:

A person who is coming to adoption from a place of infertility is NOT in a position of power over anyone.

An infertile person is not in a position of privilege, no matter what these other groups might like to believe.

Infertility does not negate privilege. If you are well-off enough to consider adoption, you ARE in a position of privilege relative to the child’s first mother. How else could you adopt?

You live in a Western democracy. You are almost certainly white. You can realistically consider adopting. That means you either have access to a great deal of money or to the ability to borrow or otherwise obtain that money. I understand it may not feel that way, but you are incredibly privileged. To say you lack privilege because you’re infertile on a planet where women’s fertility has always been an instrument of our oppression is untrue and offensive.

[Critics] also place a moral judgement on a couple’s only alternative to parenthood and make adoption seem like it’s only being done to satisfy [APs’] selfish needs.

“Jane,” that is where you lost the last scrap of my sympathy . “Alternative to parenthood”? I was not my adoptive parents’ alternative to parenthood; I was their route to parenthood. They were and are (two of) my (four) parents. When you phrase it this way, you’re saying adoptive parenthood is not parenthood, and that is no attitude with which to raise an adopted child. While parenting adopted children is different from parenting biological children, it is certainly parenting. If you don’t think it is, you need to do some of those things the mean family preservation people might have told you to do, like get a pet, because what’s the diff? Pretending is pretending, isn’t it?

Why should my desire to become a parent [don’t you mean become an alternative to a parent?] be seen any differently [than the desire of fertile people]?

Because your desire literally depends on someone else’s loss, that’s why. I know I keep saying that. I’m saying it again because it is the point you keep missing and missing and missing.

As an infertile couple, we have the same right as anyone else to adopt and build a family.

That is true: You have the same a right to another woman’s baby or child that anyone else has, which is no right at all.

Know what might make infertility hurt a little bit less? Letting go of the (insane) idea that somewhere out there is a woman who is hatching a very special baby intended just for you. Because as long as you believe in her, you can believe in your entitlement to her offspring and her (also insane) desire to freely give them to you. And the more deprived you feel of what’s hers, the more you hurt.

The family you feel entitled to build is not rightfully yours. That (insane) idea is bullshit, and it always was bullshit. It seemed saner in the past because women had fewer rights and choices then. Adoption is an act that, were women accorded full human rights, would be so rare that the word would lose its current meaning. And while I suspect infertility hurts more than I can imagine, I think all the women who did not and do not want to relinquish their children are more important than that pain. And I think it’s many decades past time to kill the idea that anyone is literally entitled to a child if s/he can find a family tragedy to benefit from (and plunk down the bucks).

PS: I also think it’s over the top and unconstructive to call people who are not, for example, the Capobiancos “baby thieves,” but that’s beside the point.

 

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Filed under General Ignoramitude, Misognyny, Those Wacky PAPs

Adoption and Masculinity

November is full of Good Adoptees, the cheerleaders for adoption who DARE to STAND UP and parrot the dominant public narrative about adoption as if we couldn’t get that story everywhere and anywhen. Blessing, gift, real parents, better life, blah blah blah. It’s old hat, and it makes it tough to blog in November because one feels one has written about it a million times. So today I want to point out that that I think men and women tend to talk about the blessing of adoption differently.

For one thing, fewer men than women search. My a’bro has told me more than once that he is not interested in knowing where he came from, and that his first mother was a “military slut.” He does not seem to take into account that, unlike mine, his parents were married at the time of his conception and birth. He also doesn’t take into account that, if what his non-ID info says is true, his mother wanted to give him the sweet, sweet gift and blessing of adoption from day one, but his father chose to hold up the process for months not because he wanted to keep his son, but because he wanted to hurt his wife.

I think men often blame women for the evil that men do, and I think male adoptees are no different in this. As evidence, I offer a furious male comment on an article about a good, happy, bestest-ever adoptee who had the gall to find out where she came from even though he, himself did the same damned thing.

Please read the article. It is written by an adoptee so fawning and so Good she even starts with “I’ve always known I was adopted,” as if not having one’s parents lie to one about one’s identity all one’s life is evidence of having The Best APs Ever. Having experienced basic human decency (and a thing experts have been telling APs to do for at least fifty years now) is a low bar, but a Good Adoptee makes sure to congratulate his/her parents for clearing it. So far, so good, probably even in the mind of Furious Male Commentor.

The Very Good Adoptee who wrote the article admits to wondering about her birth family growing up, which is a crime Furious Male Commentor cannot forgive. I say he thinks wondering is her crime because he can’t take her to task for searching: He did that too (but for Virtuous Reasons, as we’ll see).

As it turned out, Good Adoptee’s first father was a hero. She couldn’t find out much about her first mother, so she met her father’s family, which made her feel awkward, especially after her paternal grandparents stopped contacting her. But she was thrilled to meet her half-sisters later on. And she discovered her father regretted relinquishing her and that he had written her a letter saying so. And then she typed the sentences that apparently sent Furious Male Commentor over the edge:

At times, I wanted to push my adoptive parents away. I was so upset about not knowing my birth father.

Never mind that she followed it up with But looking back, meeting my birth family has strengthened my bond with the parents who raised me. She has the gall to end her article with I love having Deena [her father’s widow, not her mother] and my sisters in my life. I’m still coming to grips with the fact that I’ll never know Tom. But because of my ongoing relationship with his widow and daughters, I do feel close to him. She feels close to her dead father. She had feelings and she has feelings. And that means she must be punished by Furious Male Commentor, who says

I too was an adopted only child. I am offended FOR her adoptive parents. I never cared about my bio family. I never had “fantasies” of a heartfelt, tearful reunion with the bio fam.

(Funny, I never had fantasies of a reunion like that, either. I simply wanted to know who I came from and why I was so different from everyone around me, which questions my loyal adopted self did not even ask until I was over twenty.)

I love my adoptive parents

Can’t love your APs and care about your own DNA dont’cha’know, even though searching has been acceptable, even expected, for decades now.  This is so sad. It’s so old and so stale, and I read it and I see a dog standing on its hind legs so someone will give it another treat, I swear I do. Look, unless you say differently, the entire world will assume you love your adoptive parents. Because they’re your Real Parents, right? Right. Then why are you punching air?

and feel as though hoping for something more or better or famous is horribly disrespectful

Read it again. That is not what the author of the article says she did.

to the people who took me in,

“took me in.” I was in a cardboard box in a gutter, I swear, not in the loving arms of a selfless woman who made a beautiful choice for me.

loved me,

NOT LIKE THAT SLUT who cared enough to give me away

and gave me a million

A MILLION. ONE THOUSAND THOUSAND OPPORTUNITIES

opportunities that, otherwise, I’d not have gotten.

I’ve read many missives like this, and am disgusted by them when I do. My adoptive parents were tough, hard people,

oof

but I am better for it. I would not trade them for my bio parents if I could.

You know what? Given what little I know about my biological family, I wouldn’t make that trade either. And nowhere does the author of the article say she would make that trade. Yet she and I still searched: AND SO DID YOU, you hypocrite. How dare you take this woman to task?

I found my maternal bio family when I got married merely because I wanted to find my medical history because m[y] wife and I wanted to have a child.

“Medical history” was my excuse, too, once upon a time. Guess what? I still don’t have it.

My bio mom had committed suicide several years prior. The rest of her family was nice, but vastly different than me. We met, and we’ve not spoken since. I wish them the best, but we’ll never speak again. My adoptive family is my family.

In other words, your experience was similar to the author’s: You searched, and you found one dead parent, one live parent, and a family you didn’t fit into. This apparently resulted in your feeling closer to your adoptive family–you know, kinda like the author felt when she said “meeting my birth family has strengthened my bond with the parents who raised me.” HOW DARE SHE?!?! How DARE that ungrateful–

I ended up with the family that wanted me, and could handle the burden of a child.

“The burden of a child.” Please tell me you haven’t reproduced. Please?

Every time I see a 16-year-old girl with an infant, I am bummed that she

Oh, now we get to it. Now we get to the misogyny inherent in the system. Come and see the misogyny inherent in the system!

(Look, I don’t think every male adoptee who insists he wants to know nothing NOTHING about That Woman is a sexist oaf, just the majority of them. It’s funny, because if that slut hadn’t spread her legs, you wouldn’t exist…and I suspect that’s what angers you so, the fact that a mere “teenage whore” might once have had complete power over the fate of you, a MAN!)

cannot see the value of adoption. Give the child the best, strongest opportunity to be successful.

Which is anywhere but with you, you slut.

Blood “family” be dammed.

Responsibilities of men who have unprotected sex be damned. SLUT SLUT SLUT SLUT SLUT why wasn’t my daddy a hero? why didn’t he write me a letter? Why?

Give the child the best environment in which to flourish, and young welfare Moms

CONCEIVING CHILDREN PARTHENOGENETICALLY AND LYING ON YOUR ASS EATING BON BONS YOU SLUT

cannot provide it. Love the child enough to adopt them out. Closed adoption.

You gave me away and I want to punish you for that forever, no matter how much it might hurt me–but of course it doesn’t hurt me because I am a man and I have no feelings about my first mother at all. None. Couldn’t care less. That’s why I looked for you.

Let them succeed. Don’t be selfish.

Try to convince me otherwise.

I wouldn’t dream of it, Sir. Lower your manly fists, please.

You know what, Furious Male Commentor? I would love to have discovered that one of my parents was an actual national hero (or even someone whose inclination, talents and temperament resembled mine in some way). And a letter saying s/he regretted giving me up would be a precious artifact to me. I wish very much that I had been born in a time and a place wherein open records were available. Unlike you, I care about these things, and I have feelings about them.

Yet I am not angry at my first parents or at this young woman. You are. Try to convince me otherwise.

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Filed under Adopted And Happy!, AdoptoLand, Misognyny, NaBloPoMo

The only thing that could have made that photo more annoying

has come to pass: The couple in it believe those trumped-up, bullshit Planned Parenthood videos.

In case anyone has any doubts, they’re bullshit.

No, really:

It’s bullshit.

And since so many people seem to think their tax dollars go to pay for elective abortions, I’ll add: that’s bullshit too. (If you have a problem with exceptions for rape, incest, and health conditions medically certified to threaten the pregnant woman’s life, well, I don’t even know what to say to you.)

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Filed under General Ignoramitude, Misognyny, NaBloPoMo, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal, Those Wacky PAPs