Monday, January 23, 2012

Open Letter For Those Who Hate Adoption

Recently I got an angry response from an Ethiopian woman on the post I wrote revealing my daughter's PTSD diagnosis.

Here is her comment:

And my answer:

This got me thinking. There is a whole community of adoption-haters here in the U.S. who spend their time & energy trolling the internet so they can leave nasty comments on adoption blogs and videos. They call us names like "baby stealers", "human traffickers", "well-meaning naive idiots", accuse us of buying our children, and tell us that we'll never be a real family.

I've been the target of some of these attacks myself. Mostly the comments just annoy me, though I get angry when the target is a loving adoptive friend of mine who doesn't deserve the verbal abuse heaped upon them by strangers.

I'm about to make a big assumption: I'm guessing the people in the domestic anti-adoption league belong in one of two categories. They are either adult adoptees who had crappy parents, or they are birthmothers/first mothers who were forced or pressured to place their children for adoption. Most likely these adoptions took place many years ago.

I firmly believe every child deserves to be raised in a loving home. To those who were adopted by crappy adoptive parents, I am truly sorry for your experience. Some children who were raised by their biological parents had crappy parents as well. However, I and the many adoptive parents who have been targeted by your hateful comments are not responsible for what happened to you.

Likewise I believe that no woman should be forced or pressured to place their child for adoption. For those who have had that happen, I am truly sorry. That should never have happened.

So why target families that had no part in the pain behind your anger? Do you realize how very different adoption is now compared to how it was even 20 years ago? Closed Adoptions are virtually non-existent these days. The adoptive parents are almost always chosen by the birthmothers, some of whom continue to be a part of their child's life, like in our case. Children grow up knowing their adoption stories now, rather than being lied to & led to believe they were born into the family. Our adoption agency made us sign an agreement saying that we would share our son's adoption story before he turned five so he would never remember not knowing he was adopted.

The fact of the matter is that there are some people who choose not to parent their children. Don't they have the right to make that decision? Don't they have the right to choose who parents their children in their stead? So why are the adoptive parents these women chose being subjected to attacks by strangers?

And to those who oppose International Adoption: no one can deny there is a serious orphan crisis. Adoption is not the answer to solving it. Finding ways to reduce maternal mortality, provide medical care & end poverty to keep families together are better solutions. But the fact remains there are millions of children in orphanages RIGHT NOW in various countries who need families. To the natives of those countries opposed to "foreigners" adopting their children, would it be preferable for those children to grow up in these orphanages until they age out & live on the street than for them to be raised in loving families? Yes it is a tragedy that many of those children will lose their culture. But is that preferable to being raised in an orphanage? I believe so. How many of these children have you adopted so they can keep their culture?

Adoption is not perfect. There is always loss in adoption. In an ideal world every child would be raised by their loving biological parents. In an ideal world every couple that wanted to give birth to children would be able to, without problems. In an ideal world we would not experience loss, sadness, sickness or death. But we don't live in an ideal world, do we? We have parents who want to have children but are unable to. We have children who need families.

Thank God we have adoption.

Biological connection does not make a family. Love does. My husband and I love each other dearly. We are soulmates. There is no shared blood between us, thankfully, because that would be weird. My point is that I have several good friends that love me as a sister with no biological connection. I grew up with "Aunts" "Uncles" and "Grandparents" who had no blood relation to me yet filled those roles in my life. Did I love them any less due to lack of biological connection? Of course not.

So my unsolicited advice to those of you who hate adoption and spend your time blasting & attacking us online...

Choose another target for your anger. Turn your anger into something productive and positive. Use your passion to help keep adoptions ethical. Be advocates for adult adoptees who want to find their birth relatives. Help change laws so that birthparents are listed on the birth certificates of adoptees as well as the adoptive parents. Provide support for other birthmoms who are hurting. Help counsel potential birthmothers to make sure they are making an informed decision. Help affect the circumstances that lead to unplanned pregnancies. In other countries, help lower maternal mortality rates. Help reduce poverty levels. Help keep families together.

Stop attacking loving adoptive families. Get counseling. Stop spreading hate. At the end of the day your attacks may annoy us or even ruin our day, but to deal with that level of hatred day in and out, you are causing so much more harm to yourselves than the families you attack. We will get over your attacks, but you live with this hatred every day. This will affect your health, relationships & general well being.

Of course in the end, the decision is yours. You can choose to continue attacking us. Just know that you are wasting your breath & aren't doing a single thing to change the situation that you don't like. We're not giving up our children and/or returning them to their countries of origins. They are our real children and we are their real parents and no amount of verbal attacks will change that.

Just think next time you decide to attack... Who are you hurting more in the end? Us? Or you?


  1. well said Julie! I love this one and the "why not America" people.... Screw them... let's see what they do!


  2. Just a thought...perhaps some of those who are adoptees and angry about it didn't necesarily have crappy adoptive parents...maybe there was so much unresolved hurt from their previous family situation(s) that they were never able to allow themselves to trust enough to truly receive the blessing of family that their really awesome, loving adoptive parents tried to give, so in the end, they were just really bitter toward their adoptive parents because of misplaced blame and anger...

  3. well said. broken families, broken systems. Broken people. its all grace.

  4. I'm sorry you got that comment, but glad you handled it with love and grace.

    Dawn Davenport
    Creating a Family

  5. Yay Julie! Thank goodness someone is brave enough to say it!

    I'm sure this post will generate more controversy. You are that relevant!

    We've got your back missy!

  6. I was with you 100% until you seemed to forget about adoptive parents to children who were removed (by force) from their biological parents due to neglect/abuse and eventually had their rights terminated. No woman should be forced to give her child up for adoption? I would disagree. Some are not fit to parent and their children deserved to be safe and loved as well.

  7. @Tikun Olam You are right. I neglected to think of those situations where the child is removed by force due to abuse and neglect. I absolutely agree with you that those children SHOULD be removed from those situations and placed in loving homes.

    When I said, "No woman should be forced..." I was referring to women who are technically capable of providing for the child should they choose to, but are forced or pressured to place for adoption by a relative, parent, agency, etc."

    Thank you for correcting me.

  8. This is such a difficult and painful issue for everyone involved. Adoption always starts with loss and pain. I have adopted 4 children from Africa and I have received a slew of different comments from friends and strangers alike.

    I feel for the people of Africa who have told me that are sad that they can't take care of all the orphans. It's very personal and shameful to them. Even if they aren't their own children, they culturally are a huge family and they feel the loss of their "family members" (very unlike the US who thrives on their independence from each other). A lot of the anger and attacking is simply a result of not knowing how to deal with the feelings they are having.

    A truthful and loving answer can do a lot more good than we realize. There needs to be a shift in the world's view of adoption but it's going to take one person at a time. Julie, thanks for taking the time to respond to this women. I hope you'll consider an ongoing conversation with her via email. I'm sure you can both learn a lot from each other!

    Best to you.


  9. Sorry I posted a bad link! Forgot a letter...


  10. Adoption is the most horrible act that can be imposed upon a child. One selfish birthmother had a night of unprotected sex and has is happy that she found a way to dispose of the baby. Another selfish couple was denied the ability to have a child by our creator, which was his way of denying the couple of ruining the child's life. This ultimately leaves the child with one mother that abandoned it and another who is incapable of giving it what it needs. I would suggest to those wanting to adopt, to adopt a dog. There is more chance of it loving you. Also less of a chance of you ruining its life.

  11. What a disgusting stupid comment. Then to not even have the guts to post with a name shows total cowardice. I get the feeling that possibly you are mad at your birth mother who gave you up? There are so many happy children who are being raised in families like Julies who would have never had a chance otherwise. Perhaps we should just dump all of the unwanted children in a huge institution or better yet abort them? The selfish mother is off the hook and the barren mother will never know the joy of mothering a child. Problem solved.

  12. Dear "Anonymous" (again with the hiding behind Anonymous instead of being willing to stand behind your words publicly)

    You are exactly who my post was addressing and I think your response speaks more about you and your past than about my post. In fact, given your response, I wonder if you even read my post or if you are one of the many angry adoptees that troll adoption blogs and leave hateful comments without bothering to read what we have to say. If that is in fact true, I challenge you to actually read my post and see how you can take your anger and turn it into something productive and positive.

  13. "Anonymous," I'm a birthmother. Do you know whether or not A) I was on the pill when I got pregnant (it's not 100% effective, even when taken correctly) or that B)I was the victim of a date rape? And would you suggest that my amazing daughter (who is a straight A student at an Ivy League school now, btw) should have been "disposed of" via abortion because I, as a 19 year old girl, was unable financially and emotionally to raise her? And do you know whether or not the wonderful-beyond-words parents who adopted her had been given the ability, albeit briefly, to conceive one child on their own before a terrible accident removed the ability for them to do so again? (And maybe, just maybe, that child is now a doctor saving lives in South America?)
    Nope...I thought not. Because you are ignorant.

  14. Julie - Thank you for writing this. I love your reminder: "in an ideal world we would not experience loss, sadness, sickness or death"....nothing in life is perfect, but a loving family and friends will give you the support to move through the worst of times. Stay strong, my friend and thank you again.

  15. First of all, I am not an "it." I am an adoptee, a human being who has feelings just like the vulnerable mother whose child is placed for adoption, as well as the many loving adoptive parents. Come on, "What good does it do to have to be so cruel and mean spirited with your words?" When you have to attack with such viciousness, it only shows you have been deeply hurt by the choices that others had for your life. I assure you this adoptive mother didn't/wouldn't inflict the kind of pain you are obviously feeling in your heart. I doubt it made you feel better to make such an awful comment, "Another selfish couple was denied the ability to have a child by our creator, which was his way of denying the couple of ruining the child's life." I could turn your harsh statement around and say, "God denied us being raised by our birth parents because we were bad or did something wrong to cause this to happen." It's not true and doesn't help any of us to heal.

  16. It seems that when anyone follows God, satan flat out doesn't like it. The wounded and/or sometimes toxic (often both as a result) attack. As a mom of eight and an adoptive mom of five...thank you...beautifully said Julie.

  17. Dear Ignorant Anon,
    You are a coward. Saying that adoption is selfish of the birthmother who "had a night of unprotected sex", let me remind you that not all birth control is 100 % effective. Let me also remind you, some women are raped, some women are forced to carry a child they do not want, some women have not got the mental capacity to raise a child (which seems to be your case, dear Anon.) so adoption IS the best thing for the child.

    Adoption is the most SELFLESS act a birthmother can preform. She realises that she is not able to raise the child properly, sees that she will hate the child, or sees that she might possibly not be able to care for the child due to a mental problem.

    It seems, dear Anon, by stating that adoption is selfish, it makes it very clear that you are ignorant and narrow minded. Perhaps you are a woman who was forced to carry that child full term instead of get an abortion because those are "bad" too. Perhaps you have finally been shown the "light" and think you are all high and mighty. Let me tell you, you are not. You are the scourge of women. You would rather a woman go without a child if she has to adopt than a child find a wonderful loving home throughout adoption. You are the person standing outside the clinic protesting abortion when you have no idea the woman going in now was raped by a family member. You should be ashamed of yourself. Dear Anon, I have heard there is a special place in hell reserved for people like you. People who judge others. People who feel righteous without reason. People who hurt others.

    And as for Julie, she is one of the most amazing people I know. You would be so lucky to have your children raised by such a wonderful, caring and loving mother.

  18. I think people would not be so condemning if infertile American couples did not rush in to impoverished countries and swoop in to claim the orphans. Look at Haiti after the earthquake. So much chaos and families were seperated. The seperated children were all considered orphans and Americans flocked to save them. Ethiopia too. Too bad so many infertile loving mothers rush in because they have means and money. I know this post will be hated and screams of protest will follow. But most people now are aware that these human rights violations are occuring and being touted as loving deeds. But we are know now it isn't really true. Your kids will too. God bless!

  19. Just found this page tonight.

    I was adopted, but have had my own case annulled/set aside.

    ADOPTION IS SOCIAL SLAVERY. adopted children learn to smile and tap-dance to make THE POOR CHILDLESS, ABNORMAL couple feel better...really should not be our job., but we are forced into ridiculous routines to look like we are thrilled...WE ARE NOT. I have personally worked on several hundred adoption set-asides/annulments - and when not doing that pre-hearing paperwork, I am researching /finding the bio families of adoptees. If you spent the same $$$ on keeping the baby with his/her mother OR FAMILY MEMBER that you do on ADOPTION AGENCIES, there would be very few adoptions. You have no absolute right to another woman's baby. It seems that you still have problems understanding us: WE WANT OUR FAMILIES...OUR BLOOD...NOT YOU. We live INSIDE our mother's body for 9 months...we have memorized her voice; her laughter; her scent. We are forever looking for this woman...she remains the only TRUTH in our lives....NO, WE ARE NOT YOUR CHILDREN.

    I have been re-united with parents for 35+ years...THEY ARE MY PARENTS. We look alike, think alike, talk alike...amazing.

    I work each and every day to change the system in the US...I will have at least 150 adoption cases annulled by 01/01/2015. I will have found at least another 75-100 bio families.

    Children are slaves in the US System...My revolt started many years ago...

    SELF-LESS ADOPTION IS NOT POSSIBLE...everyone is getting SOMETHING, except US...Adoptees lose immediately. we are stripped of our birthright; our heritage; our family name and our mothers.
    If you are not adopted, you cannot possibly understand the grief caused by this archaic legal maneuvering.

    1. Gotta love the people with so much to say... yet hide behind "anonymous".