I’ve been working on the California Pregnancy Resources List at the behest of Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy who is a major force in the world of birthmothers. Click on that link and scroll down to her map. She’s got a nifty template where, with a bit of Googling, all of the resources can be plugged in for a particular state. But she needs our help.
Imagine you are pregnant. And you are desperate. You want to keep your baby and somehow be the best mother you can be. But you lack of money and/or support. And you don’t know where to start. Claudia is envisioning an online Crisis Center for Pregnancy Options that will lead to pages of resources other than to links that promote adoption.
For example, Claudia’s resources list for New York state is full of information. It looks like this.
This state-by-state resource list is super important. If you Google “pregnancy help,” you’ll see why. The results page has three top links. All are paid adoption ads. Let’s change that. Please check Claudia’s map and pick one of those white states that hasn’t been spoken for. If you’re a birthmother, you could perhaps choose the state where you relinquished your baby. You could help create a comprehensive list of resources for women and girls who need it. Just like you needed it. Only there was no list for you. So, let’s work together on creating this list!
Adoption. Anti vs. Pro. I don’t want a line in the sand. I’m not pro-adoption, and I don’t want to be anti-adoption either. But. Please read on.
My boyfriend died of lung cancer in June. We’d only been together for five years, so there was a lot I didn’t know about him. Dan had been at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement, while I was a boy-crazy 8th grader at a Catholic school in Iowa. Even before that, if I have the timeline correct, he’d joined the Freedom Riders and had gone down to Mississippi. An old friend of his told me that while he was down there he was arrested and taken to jail. “Are you black or white?” Dan was asked over and over again as they were preparing lock him up. Dan, a Korean-American, wouldn’t answer the question, but as the questioning got more aggressive, Dan finally went with white. He was jailed anyway.
I’m telling this story as an introduction.
Why I’m not pro-adoption
I do not imagine ever aligning myself with the folks who call themselves pro-adoption. But, I might be in favor of some adoptions. But the label pro-adoption would need to be dissected and arranged in such a way that it didn’t mean unnecessary adoption. I might be in favor of some adoptions if it didn’t mean secrets and shame and sealed records. If it didn’t mean child trafficking or endangerment or taking children from poor single mothers and giving them to couples with a bigger bank account. I might if family preservation came first and foremost.
I don’t want to be anti-adoption
But I don’t really want to be anti-adoption either. Not straight across the board. I acknowledge that there are children who need to be removed from their biological parents–at least temporarily. Still, adoption is no guarantee there will not be abuse. I acknowledge that there are children in orphanages and in foster care that need families. Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy elaborates on the anti-adoption label in her ESSAY from Portrait of an Adoption and pretty much covers everything. So, yes, if I have to choose, I’ll have what she’s having. But only if it’s served up like that.
Reform of the adoption industry is absolutely necessary. But I don’t like the line in the sand. I’m guessing that a lot of the people who label themselves as pro-adoption don’t really want to associate themselves with the corrupt practices present in adoption today. Or at least I hope not. So I wish they wouldn’t say they were pro-adoption without writing an essay defining it.
Strength is something we seek. Taking a stand is admired. Fervent seems like a nice adjective. But maybe we all have to stand together in the middle of the hurt and confusion explaining every little thing to one another, listening as hard as we can.