If we ignore injustices that we discover in adoption, we allow the status quo to remain. In international adoptions, adoptive parents sometimes mention that at some point during their adoptions that something seemed amiss. Several brave bloggers have spoken up when they noticed; others worried about the fate of their adoptions and stayed mute.
Whether in domestic or international adoptions, if something seems “not quite right,” it is likely a valid indication that something in the adoption may not be as it should be. Ignoring those signals may ensure that your adoption is not disturbed, but, it also encourages and condones bad practices.
When a agency in a domestic adoption seems overly aggressive with a pregnant woman, any one who sees such behavior should speak up. Do not allow them to continue to get away with that type of behavior. As long as agencies go unchallenged, they have no incentive to change.
For potential adoptive parents who are choosing an agency, ask the important questions that can help you evaluate an agency’s sense of integrity. Ask how many of the pregnant women who come to them change their minds. If an agency says, “none,” pick another agency.
Logically, you might believe that it is a positive sign if an agency says few of the pregnant women who first explore adoption remain and place their babies. It could be a positive sign. However, it is far more likely that few women who walk in their doors change their minds due to aggressive and persistent pressure to place their babies or children for adoption.
Agencies that truly do not use coercive tactics realize that ethics are of utmost importance to many prospective adoptive parents. Highly ethical agencies will brag about the fact that pregnant women often change their minds. They are proud that they do not resort to pressure tactics.
For pregnant women considering adoption, speak up if you believe that someone – anyone – is trying to force your decision. Educate yourself about your rights and do not allow anyone to trample on those rights.
Photo by Jan Baker 2007