An Open Letter to Young Women,
Recently, the Allison Quets
story has been all over the news. Briefly, Allison Quets is a woman who lost her children to adoption in spite of the fact that she emphatically changed her mind within 24 hours and has spent more than a year and $400,000 dollars trying to get them back. If, in the face of all that, she was unable to get her children back, what hope do people who don't have that much resolve and a life's savings of $400,000 have against the adoption industry?
I write this letter because I have seen people that I care about very deeply be irreparably harmed by the Adoption Industry. It would seem that there are no easy answers or perfect solutions when it comes to women's fertility issues and reproductive rights. It is a very volatile, contentious and emotional subject. It is not the intention of this letter to berate adoptive parents or stand in judgement of young women who have made an informed decision to place their child for adoption. Rather, it is my hope that this letter will provide useful information for young women who are or may become sexually active and/or pregnant.
A Marketdata Enterprises industry analysis of Adoption Services in 2001 placed a $1.4 billion value on adoption services in the US, with a projected annual growth rate of 11.5%.
It is safe to say that there are a lot of people who profit from adoption. In the United States, couples have demonstrated a willingness to pay anywhere from $1,000 to the more typical $10,000 on up to $50,000 to secure a child. Now that the United States awards a tax credit of $10,000 per adopted child, much of this is even done with the money of the average U.S. citizen.
In 1972, as a result of the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion there was a sharp decline in the availability of healthy Caucasian infants. The growing adoption industry attempted to compensate for this loss in several ways. One way was to expand their efforts in the area of international adoptions. Another was to redouble their efforts to separate mothers who were on the fence about adoption from their children.
Adoption Industry professionals have a number of coercive and insidious tactics at their disposal. They have a great deal of money that the government takes from everyone and gives to them, giving them very deep pockets. And they have very slick public relations and media campaigns that attempt to make adoption look like a beneficent perfect solution that harms no one.
Don't believe it.
One of the first things you should know is that if you are pregnant and confused and running out of options and you see anything like an advertisement that offers young pregnant women free room and board while they get their lives together, this is probably TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Young women taking advantage of such offers are finding themselves under extreme pressure to either surrender their baby for adoption or pay back the cost of their "free" room and board.
Another very important thing to be aware of is that the Adoption Industry needs you to sign relinquishment papers and there have been cases where industry professionals will do almost anything to get you to sign. Please be prepared and know what to do BEFORE you are in the vulnerable state of just having delivered a baby. You have the legal right to insist that anyone who is bothering you be forced to leave your hospital room. And if any person refuses to observe that right, you have a moral obligation to refuse to stop screaming at the top of your lungs until they leave you in peace (using whatever language you deem necessary for the situation).
Next you should know that if you have signed relinquishment papers, there may be state laws that allow you a grace period to change your mind.
You should also know that many adoption industry professionals may attempt to entice you with the lure of "open adoption" --they will tell you that you can still visit your child and be a part of their life. Please know that "open adoption" arrangements are almost never enforceable and in a great many of the cases the adoptive parents change their mind (sometimes leaving the mother unable to contact their child EVER).
Most importantly you should know that many natural mothers report prolonged physical, psychological and physiological effects long after losing a child to adoption. And regardless of what anyone may tell you, many children placed for adoption suffer prolonged physical, psychological and physiological effects after losing parent(s) to adoption.
In the New Year, as you're filling out mySpace bulletins and passing on chain letters and having other assorted fun on the internet... please also take time to pass this information on to anyone you feel it may be of use to. Please feel free to change it, put it in your own words or add links and so on.
Peace and Love,
-Alex Mead, a friend of a friend
Here are some links to more information: www.theadoptionshow.comwww.OriginsUSA.orgwww.exiledmothers.comAdoptese MSN Group