Since most of you reading this have probably not ever gone through the process of adoption I thought I’d share a little more about it. I’m finding the whole process really fascinating actually. In grad school (because I am a nerd at heart) I did an independent study on adoption. Mostly I read about identity and kinship issues. I found out some interesting things but going through the actual process, even at this early stage, has schooled me a lot more in adoption than reading ever could.
For instance, do you know that when you fill out your application to adopt you also (at least at our agency) have to fill out a “child matching” form? All these 4 pages are about it what “type” of child you are willing to adopt. Things that you never have to consider with a birth child. Will you take an infant from a mother who drank while pregnant? At the beginning of the pregnancy only? What about drugs? What if she has bi-polar? What if she doesn’t know who the father is? What if she hasn’t had access to adequate prenatal care? Check here for the ethnicity you will accept… African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caucasian/Hispanic, Caucasian/African American. And on, and on!
Crazy stuff, but necessary too I guess. Kevin and I really had to mull over some of the questions and others were no brainers for us. We checked every race but some of the other ones were tougher. How does one say well, you’re not worthy of being a part of my family because your mom messed up? Or because you just don’t look like us? Really heart wrenching stuff I tell you.
There is a website called handstohold.com. This is a site for an adopting “referral” service. Basically it is a service for “situations” that agencies are having a hard time placing so a referral service is used to get the word out even further. It is so sad as I read through each situation on there. And that isn’t even all of the ones that are available! If my house were bigger and we had money to spare I think I might be tempted to take them all! Sadder still to me was when I went on a site yesterday that is solely parent profiles. These are couples or singles who are hoping to be matched with a birth mother and adopt her child. You can sort the families who want to adopt by the race they will accept. Well, check “caucasian” and over 300 families come up. Check “African American” and it is less than 50. I am not saying that Kevin and I are some kind of saints because we don’t care about the race of our child. It’s just sad that so many families want to adopt but our society has so ingrained in all of us that race is such a major issue that we’re only willing to accept children who look like us. And it’s not just us white folks. The African American community has made a stink for years that white families shouldn’t adopt black children. That they won’t know enough about their heritage if they’re raised by Caucasians. Everyone has some valid points, but when it comes to giving a home to a child who doesn’t have one… who really cares?!? As my dear friend Cindy would say, “it really makes my ovaltine boil!”
This ones for you Cin! MUAH!
So I went back and checked on parentprofiles.com again today to see if anything has changed in the last year. Sadly, nope! Still about the same ratio.
I strongly and more firmly believe now, even more so than I did a year ago, that adoption should be ONLY about finding homes for children. Not finding children for homes. It just seems that the whole adoption mentality is backwards. Are you adopting because a child needs a home or because you need a child? I think we all need to look at this and be honest with ourselves. I thought I had the right attitude but honestly, looking back I don't know if I totally did.
Certainly we were very open about race, but other things, not so much. I am embarrassed to say that now. I truly am. Did I miss out on a child for my family, and a family for that child, because I didn't trust that the Lord would not give us more than we could handle? If I had chosen to carry a child in my womb I certainly would not have had the choice of whether they had any disabilities or other issues. What gives me the right to chose that outside of my womb?
Ugh, I hate those child matching forms.