I know I’ve been harping (yes, I chose that word on purpose) on language as of late. The written word, of course, is even more adept at lingering as is the point of written word. And that’s why I have a problem with this article.
The article is talking about the “shortage of infants.” (Of note that the article does mention the number of waiting children languishing in our foster care system but says, and I quote, “few can compete with the appeal of a just born bundle.” That quote is juxtaposed with a picture of this particular family standing in an empty nursery, looking very forlorn.) We hear about the plight of the long waiting lists. We see birth mother used in the wrong way as birth mothers don’t look through waiting family’s profiles; expectant mothers do. And then we see this quote.
When did we get to this point? How did we allow this to happen? It is so very discouraging to see this kind of talk. But, at the same time, perhaps necessary. Are people going to read this article and think the same things? Are they going to read how far we’ve gone in the wrong direction and realize how necessary reform is at this point? Maybe. Maybe not.
But as a bargaining chip, a birth mother can strike a deal for an “open adoption” – a once-unheard of arrangement that can include a lifetime of contact with her child.
Say what? The woman in this couple also refers to the way that they’ve been searching for a birth mother as “running a business.” But really? Bargaining chip? Does anyone else see and feel the ick factor of that phrase used in this context? We’re bargaining for children? Furthermore, that’s all an open adoption relationship is to some people? WHY? (My guess is that it goes back to that lack of education for all sides of the traid. My guess is also that I would be right.)
Whatever the case, I will hold out the hope. As an example, despite the poor word choices throughout that article, the journalist does mention that open adoptions are not legally binding in all states and that adoptive parents can cut off contact at any time. Stuff like that isn’t always written in articles concerning this topic and I am counting that as a step towards the truth. And shouldn’t we all want to be standing in truth?