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Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Complicated, Baby

All across America, people still prefer to adopt babies. Millions of Americans adopted babies and some of us were adopted as babies. I’m guessing it’s because tiny babies don’t show their feelings; baby screams sound just like cries.  This may also explain why so many children languish in foster care: they’re just too old. Older kids do exhibit fear, uneasiness or apprehension; some kids even act like babies.
            Adopting babies is easier. Adoptive parents can hope their new baby will adjust and bond favorably by the time baby will talk. Some adopters believe they saved us as babies since our mother was a slut or wretched teenager, or maybe a sick woman on an Indian reservation or from a trashy tenement. Maybe we're Third World babies from an over-populated Chinese, Russian or African orphanage. Sometimes adopters simply ignore our culture and history, like it doesn’t exist. Some of my friends heard words like “dirty savages and filthy heathens.”
            Adopters might hope to mold “orphan babies” into something they want. They'll try loving us first. Yet we know love doesn’t cure everything. Love can’t erase genetics or ancestral memory. If love doesn't work, the adopters might try bullying us or drugging us into submission until we show them some gratitude.
            An even more complicated reality exists, a much bigger untold desperate story. 
            Adoptable babies are scooped up quick, especially if they are white and healthy and from America. You can even order one, but it will cost you thousands of dollars.
            If that doesn’t work, and if you can afford it, you can always buy a surrogate mother; these women widely advertise now. She’ll carry and deliver your baby for a price. Some sisters will do this for an infertile sibling.
            Then there’s a huge “underground market,” where they still kidnap and sell babies. Baby peddlers, some who practice law, are out there making money, too. Some abducted babies were made child sex slaves. Guatemala is now under investigation for illegal baby peddling. Someone made a ton of money on babies!
            A newer adoption scam is happening online – when a woman fakes a pregnancy, offers her unborn baby as bait, then steals the unsuspecting couple’s money (thousands of dollars) using the internet as a trap.
            There are tragic stories about sick women or couples who will kill a pregnant woman just to take her baby. This happened in Massachusetts recently.
            There are more stories about babies being dumped (abandoned) all across America. One mother dumped three babies in California (two were saved but one died from exposure). In New York, three sisters were arrested for helping one sister dump her newborn girl in the trash, causing the baby to die.
            Some mothers are illegal immigrants and don’t want their new baby. They'll do their child a favor by dumping them off at a firehouse. Those adoptees rarely find their mothers, since birth records won’t exist. There is a slim chance their mother will seek them out for a reunion since they are considered felons and criminals in most states.
            For the millions of us who have been handed over, dumped, or exchanged (or sold, or taken) for a hundred years – has anyone dared to ask how we felt at the exchange? 
            Apparently we are studied, not consulted.
            Bear in mind, babies didn’t create this billion dollar adoption industry or cause infertility. Babies can't solve social issues but we're sold as one solution. Babies can't cure the pain in women who can’t conceive. Babies didn’t create poverty. Some would say certain babies arrived at the wrong place at the wrong time. We were an inconvenience, or a sin, or a mistake.
            How will we ever fix this? It's complicated, baby!


  1. Since I am an older mother - almost 50 - and my daughter is 32, I have to say this, there are some of us, a lot of us that just had not all. We were pushed, threatened, bullied, and brow beat into "surrendering" our children. I, for one, was never a junkie, whore, drunk or anything like that....and I sure didn't plan on giving up the baby that I loved from the moment I knew of her, that tiny spark that moved my heart and life.

    Since I was in foster care, for a long time...I totally get it. Left to rot with people that just didn't care about anything but the money brought in. Too old to be adopted, too broken to go a home that didn't exist.

  2. I love your blog Lori and totally get that many mother had no choice but to relinquish their precious child...

  3. I love your blog Lori and totally get that many mother had no choice but to relinquish their precious child...


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The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


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Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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