Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lucky? Saved?

Myth: People adopt to “save a child.”
I have a personal hate in all this adoption malarkey. The amounts of time we have been told 'what a lucky boy boy-o is'. He isn't lucky, and we haven't saved him!

He isn't lucky, if he was lucky he would have been born to a birth mother who was able to care and love him. If he was lucky, he would be with his birth family, getting to know them, getting to understand their ways. If he was lucky he wouldn't have been removed at birth.

We are not saving him, we haven't rescued him. He was happy in his life in foster care; and I know enough about his foster carers that they would have altered the type of fostering they were doing and would have kept him as a long term foster child if adoptive parents hadn't been found for him. He would have been loved and looked after, even if we hadn't adopted him.

We did not rescue him, decisions were taken about him before he was ever born by a large number of people, not including us. And those decisions were not taken lightly. No-one thinks that removing children from their birth families is actually the best thing. Adoption is never plan A for a looked after child - that's why there are so many damaged children in the care system.

We came to adoption after much heart ache and sorry and grieving. It is (as I've said before) the right thing for us. We didn't do it to save a child, we did it to complete our family. We did do it to have a child - we haven't saved him, he has saved us. He is not lucky, we are, to have such an amazing person enter our lives.

It's National Infertility Awareness Week (in the USA). Resolve have challenged bloggers to bust myths about infertility. There were many I could have chosen about infertility - but I wanted to talk about adoption - and my little pet peeve.

I possibly need to restate what I've said before - adoption is different in the UK. He wasn't given up as a baby, he was removed by social workers, and that decision was made by a whole team of people, who looked at his birth mother, her circumstances and how she had managed previously with her other children. The closest thing to compare with is foster to adopt, however, we although he is technically a looked after child still, we are not fostering him, there is no chance that he will return to his birth family. In about 4/5 months time we will go to court and have it officially confirmed, that he is our child.

For more information about infertility and it's effects - click here
For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week - click here


DrSpouse said...

Though a lot of US states allow or even emphasise foster-to-adopt (and I'd argue that's the best route for children, and should be widespread in the UK), there are quite a few US states where prospective adopters/foster carers have to decide adoption OR foster care, just like they do here.

(and there are a couple of agencies in the UK that do what's called "concurrent placement", which is like foster-to-adopt).

And while I'm on my hobby horse, a small number of babies are still relinquished (or abandoned) in the UK but the UK system doesn't allow for them to go directly to prospective adopters, which I think is criminal.

Gaby said...

I can't tell you how much this bugs me as well. When people tell us how "wonderful" we are and how "lucky" our children are, it's all I can do to answer gracefully and calmly. They have blessed us far more than we ever "rescued" them. Thank you for writing this.

Krissi said...

I love how you write that he saved you! That is so sweet! Nicely done with this. Happy ICLW!

Lost in Space said...

Great myth to bust and a great description about adoption losses that most people consider to be "luck".

a field of dreams said...

Wonderful and informative post. I don't know much about adoption, but it makes sense what you wrote. It's not like your child was a dog you saved from the pound!

Here from NIAW blog list.

Kira said...

Thank you for this "myth bust". My husband and I are planning to begin the adoption process at the end of the summer, and when I mention it to people they often state "what a nice thing to do for a poor baby" and it makes me feel all squirmy and uncomfortable. Now I have a response for them that expresses our feelings and educates them.
PS-since this blog only allows google accounts, the blog link attached to my name is no longer my current blog. My blog is

Emily said...

I had to be certified to be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent. My certifier is actually an adoption worker. The state of oregon does not offically condone a foster to adopt situation, although they do happen on occasion. Mostly you do one or the other. Ive put together an adoption profile and that is part of the reason my homestudy extended into 17 hours of interview / psych eval time. My parents adopted older children directly through the state and never fostered. The children that are available for adoption through the state have been placed there through child welfare intervention. Occasionally parents will sign off parental rights before the state revokes. My foster children's birthmother had the infant that was born recently placed in a private adoption, to keep the state from taking the child.

I get some similar comments about my foster children. That they are so lucky to have me. This is not a selfless act. I did it for me, because I so very much want to be a mother, in any capacity. Its hard to explain this to folks though.